St Stephen's Catholic Primary School and Nursery, a Voluntary Academy

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An update from Mrs Lubomski

1 June 2020 (by sdunn)

sent by email 1st June 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

I hope that you are all still keeping well and enjoying the beautiful weather. I am fully aware that you may be feeling frustrated about the slowness of information from school about our  plans to welcome back more pupils. As I said before half-term, all the school in the Trust have submitted a thorough risk assessment to our Health and Safety Advisers which has to be validated before we can extend our opening. As of last Friday (29th) none of our Trust schools have been given the green light to proceed with our plans further, including St Stephen's. Due to the complexity of the issues around keeping your children and the staff as safe as we can, I can only ask you to continue to be patient, as soon as I know more I will contact you again.

To help you with preparing your children, Mr Gilhooly and the staff team will putting up photos of the changes to areas around school during this week, please keep an eye on the school website for them.

To help you with potential arrangements going forward, some of the school's plans may include:

- Nursery to only be open initially to those children who are due to start in Reception in September 2020 (please check with the office if you are not sure if this affects your child)
- Nursery to only be open from 8.30 - 12.30pm daily initially
- Reception class bubbles to be open from 8.45am - 3pm (Mon-Thurs)  Fri 8.45 - 12.15pm
- Y1 class bubbles to be open from 9am-3.15pm (Mon - Thurs)  Fri 9 - 12.15pm
- Y6 class bubbles to be open from 9am- 3.15pm (Mon - Thurs) Fri 9 - 1pm
- Key Worker group (Y2 - Y5) to be open from 8.30am - 3.30pm (Mon - Thurs) Fri 8.30 - 12.45pm
N.B. Friday afternoon will be used as a 'deep cleaning' period.

Another development has been that the Department for Education has secured funding for schools, like St Stephen's, which do not have an online learning platform in place, due to restricted funding issues. This kind of system is something that high schools have had in place for many years but has not been a necessity for primaries due to our practical, interactive teaching methods. The school is currently in the process of setting up the new system which will enable teachers to interact more frequently and more personally with the children in relation to their learning tasks going forward. 

Again please accept my heartfelt thanks for stepping into the shoes of our teachers since March, we have tried to ensure that you have access to a wide variety of home learning materials so that you could follow your child's interests in many different ways. All schools have approached the situation in different ways as you will know, there has been no 'one size fits all' option and as a profession it is going to continue to be a challenge going forward due to the requirement for some children to educated in 'bubbles' / some to be educated at home and not enough teachers in many primary schools to plan and deliver the learning.

I hope to contact you again later in the week.

Very best wishes

Alixena Lubomski