18 May 2020
Dear Parents and Carers
Re: Government announcement – Coronavirus and the re-opening of schools
The Prime Minister announced last week that the Government were intending to start the re-opening of schools and nurseries from 1st June with particular year groups – Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 identified as those who would be first to return, with some face to face support for Years 10 and 12. This announcement was part of the Prime
Minister setting the ‘conditional’ roadmap to release the country from the current
lockdown arrangements. Details can be found at this link:
Up until the 1st June 2020 the current arrangements for schools accommodating children in school that have parents who are Critical Workers or from specifically identified groups will continue. The information as to which groups this guidance covers can be found here:
Since the Government announcement there have been a number of further guidance documents published by the Government in relation to the re-opening of schools. These were received by schools on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday last week. In addition, there has been much commentary from the teacher and support staff unions and a meeting was organised last Friday for the teacher unions to meet with the Government to ask questions about the decision.
All schools in the Clevedon Learning Trust have been working since the announcement on plans in response to the Government’s desire to re-open schools. The priority in this planning is the welfare of children and staff and their health.
There will be many factors that each individual school in the Trust have to consider in their planning such as staffing availability, number of children expected to return, number of children of Critical Workers attending, size of the school, layout of the school buildings and the protective measures as outlined in the Government guidance. Schools are being supported to work through Risk Assessments to inform their planning. These will be shared with staff and parents once completed.
Taking all these factors into account it is likely that schools will not be able to open to all eligible children immediately from 1st June. There may need to be part-time provision, staggered start and finish times, and alternative arrangements put into place for different groups of children. In this situation, we cannot guarantee that you child will be taught by the same teacher or member of staff that they have had previously. It may also be the
case that schools in the Clevedon Learning Trust will not be able to offer the same provision for children from 1st June.
We are currently reviewing all of the school sites and procuring hygiene and cleaning materials, which in itself is very difficult. We want to ensure that all schools have access to stocks of these goods before wider opening takes place.
We are expecting further guidance to be issued this week and we will respond to this as it is published. The Headteachers’ are all meeting regularly together with the Clevedon Learning Trust team to allow every school to have support and advice in making plans for their own particular context and community.
We all appreciate the difficult situations parents and carers are in at the moment. You have all responded so positively to the home learning demands and all schools are very appreciative of your support with this. Now as the Government attempts to move to the next phase of relaxing the lockdown, you too will have pressures from employers and other commitments that will continue to make normal life difficult for you. We do understand this and hope that you realise that the school leaders and the Trust are also making very difficult decisions about the re-opening of schools and that this might not be as quickly as you would want.
I am confident that if we continue to work together and schools communicate with you directly about their own particular decisions relating to the re-opening it will facilitate wider understanding of any decisions that are taken. Again, the priority for all of us must be the health and welfare of those returning to school and in order to do this we must be confident that we can follow the guidance around hygiene, cleaning and social distancing.
We will continue our planning and the Clevedon Learning Trust and all individual schools will keep you informed of the progress and our intentions regarding the re-opening of schools. The Government has declared that it will review the position and make a final decision on 28th May.
Finally, thank you once again for all you are doing to support your child’s school and with all of your home learning efforts. We are all in very challenging and very different times and we are all trying to find the best route forward for our children, our school staff and our families.
Clevedon Learning Trust
11 May 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
RE: Coronavirus update
These are really difficult times for everyone and each week that passes presents us with more challenges to continue to ensure we all stay safe and protect ourselves and the NHS from the Coronavirus.
The support all schools have received from parents and children has been incredible. I would like to thank all of you for your understanding and flexibility whilst schools have tried to adapt to the new ways of home learning and supporting some children in schools. This new way of working puts a lot of strain on people and if you are working as well, that is incredibly difficult.
All staff in schools have also shown tremendous resolve and effort in order to cope with the various challenges that have presented themselves since lockdown. Their dedication and professionalism has been marvellous and a true testament to their vocational approach to teaching our young children.
The way the community has come together has been a huge positive amongst some of the stories of heartache and worry. I hope this has made a difference for families and staff and helped everyone get through this period.
Last night the Prime Minister made another announcement and indicated that he felt that it may be possible to begin phased re-opening of schools from 1 June, starting with pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. He also mentioned that it was the desire for children taking exams in secondary schools next year would also be able to make contact with their teachers before the end of the school year. These plans are not yet confirmed as the Government have indicated that this is ‘conditional’, dependent on the statistics and scientific information that is received over the next few weeks.
All schools are now already beginning the planning for such a re-opening and considering all the factors that will need to be in place for this phased re-opening to be successful. The priority continues to be the safety of all children and staff and we will be considering how we will deal with the logistics of opening over the next few days and weeks.
The Government are producing more guidance documents over the next couple of days and the Prime Minister is speaking again this evening. We still do not have the fuller details from the government following last night’s announcement and we will be waiting for this further guidance before we make any final decisions about how we might proceed from 1st June.
The Headteachers of all the schools have already been working on various aspects of a plan and we will continue to work together so that we can be ready for when the government make any further decisions.
At the present time, there are still so many questions outstanding that we are unable to answer. We will remain in regular contact with you with updates and each individual school will continue to send out letters and information to you once we have received further clarification on the future Government proposals
Once again, my deepest thanks to all of you and I hope you all stay safe and well. Yours sincerely,
Clevedon Learning Trust
Dear Parents & Carers,
Many thanks for your kind feedback on the Facebook page this week!
Free school Meals - eligible families will have received an email this week with voucher codes for free school meals. This means no meals will be available to collect from the school from now on. We will update you with developments with this as they arise.
We are now moving into what would have been the Easter holidays and because of this, no further home learning will be provided for the next two weeks. There are plenty of ideas for your child on the class pages of the school website: www.willowdownprimary.co.uk/class-pages.
We are currently working with the Clevedon Learning Trust to prepare for online education using Microsoft Teams. Please bear with us whilst we get this up and running. Teachers will be providing English, Maths and topic learning for your child at an age-appropriate level, more details to follow when we are ready to launch this.
Contact from school staff
Every child will be contacted regularly by a member of School staff. We want to keep in touch with you when we can to say hello and to take any questions you might have.
School closure - how long will it last?
You might be thinking we know more than you about this, but rest assured we really don't! Personally, and I'm sure I speak for a lot of you, I long for school to return to normal, but until we have any news I am unable to tell you more. Rest assured staff are all working incredibly hard here at school and at at home to keep providing the best we can for your child. I would suggest you take the next fortnight to ease off if you've been pushing home learning, or delve into class resources if you've been struggling to get going. We'll be back soon with plenty more resources to support you.
Please keep emailing the school inbox: email@example.com if you need any support, or with updated shift patterns or queries. Please be aware that we have no eligible pupils booked in for next Monday (6th April), so the school will be fully closed on this day.
I wish you and our wonderful children a happy, sunny weekend. Please tell the children they are sorely missed and in our thoughts always.
Sunday 22nd March
Dear Parents & Carers,
Procedures for eligible pupils:
For those of you with children who are eligible to attend school I need to explain to you the measures we are taking to observe social distancing here at school. Please talk gently and explain each point to your child before they come in so they understand that things will look and feel a little different from tomorrow. We will make sure your child laughs, sings, dances, plays and takes part in some innovative learning with plenty of down-time in between learning whilst they are with us. We will make sure they are safe and feel safe.
Measures we ask you to take if your child is coming into school:
Measures we will be taking here at school:
Facebook: We will be live-streaming from the school as part of our learning and would like eligible pupils to take part in this if they are in school. If you would like your child to take part, this will only be permitted if you email firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us you are happy for your child to take part. Please email us before Tuesday with permission, even if your child is not coming in at the start of the week. Please email us if you would like support with any aspect of your child’s home learning and we will release short video tutorials to explain how to approach a skill.
Free school meals: These will be available from the table outside the school office from 12:30-1pm only. Please help yourself, all bags contain exactly the same meal, so only handle the bag(s) you are taking
School enquiries: Please make enquiries via telephone and email. Please do not come to the school in person unless you have contacted the school and this has been agreed in advance.
Remember, eligible children and key workers may be carrying the virus and we do not want to spread this into the school community or the school key workers’ communities, so it is vital we all follow the measures outlined above to avoid unnecessary spread.
Many thanks for all your support with keeping everyone safe, together we can beat this!
We take the health, safety and wellbeing of all our staff and children seriously. As such we are monitoring and acting on government issued advice concerning managing the coronavirus within education settings. All the schools within our Trust are ready to take appropriate and coordinated action if it's required.
Several cases have been confirmed within the South West and 5 confirmed cases in Somerset. The advice is for everyone to follow basic hygiene measures, including frequent handwashing. If anyone suspects they might have contracted coronavirus, they are advised to self-isolate and contact NHS 111. They should not attend a hospital, doctors surgery or other medical setting.
We will be monitoring the situation and updating our advice and information on a regular basis.
The DfE launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)