Message from the Headmistress
Thank you for bearing with us through the changes that have been, and are being, made to ensure our provision is as good as it can be. Things are continually evolving and with the resuming of some on site lessons from 2nd June (as outlined in my communication on Wednesday) there has been much to do. We are still working on some of this and there will be a further communication with the handbook for returning families sent at the end of half term.
It is half term now and lessons will not be being set for the week commencing 25th May. Some staff may have suggested on-going project work or continuation with other things already set, but nothing is compulsory as we believe the children need to keep in a routine of term weeks and holiday times.
Lessons on the Satchel:One platform will resume on Monday 1st June. I am sorry if I suggested this was an inset day – it is not. The staff will be receiving their training for re-opening for some junior cohorts and others will be setting up their classroom and other spaces in readiness but lessons online will continue as normal. We are hoping to take some pictures of what the spaces will look like and sending this to parents on this day, too.
In this communication I will be responding to some generic points raised by parents this week.
Plans for Year 11 after half term:
Following the responses from parents of the Year 11 cohort from the questionnaire, our current teaching provision will be replaced by the pastoral sessions, bespoke curriculum support and careers guidance. Please ensure you ask us for what you require in these areas.
We are still considering what we can do to find an ‘end’ of the Hollygirt era for these pupils. (Though, we aspire to retaining their contact going well into the future…)
Children in classes versus the online provision:
We aspire that as many children as possible will return to the taught classes and have staffed as if this is the case. The current agreed provision is for 3 days a week for Year 6, Reception and later for Year 1. Plans for other year groups in the Junior School and in Year 10 will be clarified after half term when we have embedded the first 3 year groups.
The teacher will be with the class on these days and not full time on Satchel:One. However we are putting in plans to ensure that the online work will continue on the in-school days, for those children not in school. There may be some changes to the current timetable for this curriculum.
On all days when the children are not in school, things will be as they currently are.
Can I change my mind?
Parents can change their mind from their already stated intentions as long as you let us know, as each child, in Year 6 especially, will have a discrete working area.
I reiterate from my Wednesday communication that children can only belong to one bubble – this is part of our essential risk mitigation plan. This means that they cannot alternate between the class group and the Key Worker group.
Key worker children – times of the school day from 1st June
We need to alter our current hours for children of key workers from 1st June to 8.30am – 3.45pm.
Explicit arrival and pick up times
Whilst we appreciate this is challenging, we require that parents arrive at the stated times for delivery and collection of children so we can socially distance correctly. This detail was in Wednesday’s communication.
Again a reiteration, it is of vital importance that children who are symptomatic or who have family members who are symptomatic do not come to school. This will impact on the whole bubble and increase the risk for all.
There will be a medical questionnaire specifically linked to the virus and related conditions, coming to all parents of those children who are eligible to return during half term.
Additional fees statement
We will not be charging any additional fees for the rest of the Summer Term for those children returning to the classroom. This is because our costs will not significantly rise as we still have a group of staff furloughed, lunches will not be provided on site and we cannot access the games facilities, which had reduced our hire charges and transport costs.
We are not requiring children in school for the rest of the Summer Term to wear school uniform. This is to facilitate the daily washing of clothes worn in the school bubble. We request that children dress modestly and appropriately to the season. As they will be outside for some of the time, in hot weather please send a sunhat!
Returning children require a packed lunch, snacks and drinks for the day. A cool bag is ideal.
As of June 1st we will be staffing the school phone line between 8.30am and 3.45pm. There will only be one person present, so please bear with us if the line is busy. Additionally as there will not be full staff on site, you are unlikely to be able to be put through directly to the person you wish to speak to and messages will be passed on via email.
We had a brilliant virtual open day yesterday, with some lovely prospective families online. Thank you for your recommendations and promotion of this event. I hope you and the children are able to do something different and have a restful half term break.
Message from the Head of Juniors
I hope you have all had a good week and had a chance to enjoy some of the beautiful weather we’ve been having. The forecast also looks good for next week so I am looking forward to lots of walks and bike rides. Over half term, there will be some tasks set on Show My Homework; these are completely optional but there should you need any ideas. The children have been working so hard and may just need some time off and a break.
We have, of course, been working hard on planning for the phased re-opening of school. We understand that you have lots of questions; please feel free to email me over half term should you wish to know anything further.
Teams lessons for the week beginning 1st June will follow on a separate email once these lessons have been finalised.
Look after yourselves and I look forward to seeing some of you after the break.
Have a lovely weekend,
Head of Juniors