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19 May 2020 – Headteachers Letter to Year 6 Parents

Dear Year 6 Parent / Guardians,

Changes to Year 6 Phased Return 

I wrote to you on the 14 May regards the government’s announcement on Sunday 10 May 2020 for schools to plan a phased return for Year 6 pupils. This was to advise you of Ranvilles’ plans and reassure you of safeguarding. I also wanted to keep you updated of the government directive / guidance given to schools at that time. 

I offered you a specific opportunity for Year 6 pupils to return, in a controlled group of 8, for one day a week. I also told you that the core purpose of the children coming into school was to support transition. 

Since that letter and since the 10 May, the government has published 15 different sets of guidance for schools to adhere to. The government has also now made specific recommendations that Year 6 pupils return full-time – if school risk assessments allow for this in relation to the guidance. 

I attended an on-line Full Governors Board meeting on Wednesday 13 May. We are very fortunate to have such a committed body of people placing the interests of our children at the heart of what they do. At this meeting I expressed my ultimate priority of safeguarding children and adults alike. I also expressed to our Chair of Governors that I will not dutifully follow without questioning, but rather lead with integrity in relation to my fundamental principles and values, asking questions at every step of the way to ensure that I feel confident to achieve what is being asked of me. To this extent I can advise you that: 

  1. I can risk assess in the context of existing guidance provided by the DfE but have no knowledge of access to published scientific facts in relation to Covid-19 and transmission amongst young people and adults 
  2. I have an extremely dedicated team – some are shielding/clinically vulnerable and the rest are prepared to do everything they can for the children physically in school; I am as committed to their wellbeing as I am to that of our children 
  3. The government is asking schools to plan for a phased return for Year 6 and eventually all year groups 
  4. I remain committed to no more than 8 children in a classroom 
  5. Each group (known as a bubble) will have 2 members of staff linked to it – therefore it is only feasible to allocate a total of 8 pupils to Mr Self and 8 to Mrs Holmes; the remaining Year 6 pupils will have a teacher from another year group attached to their ‘bubble’ 
  6. The principle of the ‘bubble’ is to safeguard against cross-contamination 7. Each ‘bubble’ will have an allocated classroom with specific resources 8. Each ‘bubble’ will have specific arrival times, break times and collection times 9. Year 6 teachers will group the children in relation to friendships 10.Children will focus on preparing to move to secondary school and also focus on Year 6 learning 

It is inevitable and wholly right that we plan for the children’s return to school. At this stage school preparation feels somewhat reactive in relation to daily guidance, with more uncertainty than assurance in relation to scientific evidence. Whilst I have an outline of a plan and am preparing the site ready, I now need to ask you to email the school again to advise me of your intentions: 

  1. Option 1 – your child will attend school for the days the school can open in relation to risk assessments (likely to be 3 or 4 full days) 
  2. Option 2 – your child remains at home to complete on-line learning and allow the school to support transition in an alternate way 

I apologise for having to ask you to contact the school again; guidance published after my first proposal for a phased return has advised that Year 6 need to be in as close to full-time as is possible. Please email your preference to admin@ranvilles-jun.hants.sch.uk by Wednesday 20 May – 12pm. In turn, I will write to you again, before half-term, to detail the final provision the school will offer Y6. I will specifically detail management and organisation which will be based on the number of children attending school. 

Yours sincerely

Angela Williams, Headteacher