As part of the easing of the lockdown, the government has announced that there will be a wider reopening of schools in the week commencing 1 June. Primary schools have been asked to welcome back children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. This will be in addition to the keyworker provision that the school is currently already operating.
We are looking forward to the children coming back to school very much, as we have missed them. However the school they return to will be very different and it is important that families are aware of what the changes may mean for the children and themselves.
Therefore parents need to be aware that
• The school may not be able to offer provision for all the specified year groups and any transition back to school for the children may be staggered.
• The start and end of the day will be staggered for the different year groups, to reduce the number of people coming into school at one time.
• Classes would be split into two. This means that children will not necessarily be with their class teacher or in their own classroom.
• Children would stay in this group with their allocated teacher and teaching assistant and not mix with any other groups.
• Children would have lunch in their class or outside, they will not go into the dining hall.
• Any provision we put in place for the first year groups coming back, may have an impact on the home learning for other year groups
We have been looking at the many government documents which have been issued, the latest of which the ‘Planning Guide for Primary Schools’ was published on Thursday evening. As I said in my previous letter, the risk assessments are complex and a huge undertaking. The safety of the children, staff and wider community is my main concern and together with the governing body, I need to ensure that the school has followed all guidance and put all measures in place to reduce risk. The arrangements then need to be shared with staff and parents before we are ready to admit a wider group of children. I will continue to keep parents updated as to when it is likely that we are to reopen, but it will only be when it is safe for all.
I appreciate that this will be incredibly difficult for families in general, who may have been hoping that coming back to school would signal a return to ‘normality’ and I know that it will be extremely challenging for those parents who have one sibling in a group who can return, but their other child cannot come back to school yet.
In order to help us plan further, we are asking parents in the specific year groups to complete a short survey on Survey Monkey. The link will be sent to relevant year groups via text message. Please complete by Wednesday 20th May at 3.30pm.
Mental Health Awareness Week 18th – 24th May.
If your child is anxious or worried about coronavirus (COVID-19) and if they’re struggling with their mental health, the NSPCC have advice to help you support them and keep them safe. Follow the link to useful strategies for conversations with your child as well as: advice about signs of anxiety and depression in children, helping a child with anxiety or depression and getting mental health support for your child.
The WP Kindness Cup is back!
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week with the theme of ‘Kindness’.
Kindness and mental health are deeply connected. At this difficult time, we want to celebrate the many examples of exceptional kindness as children go above and beyond to make a positive difference for the members of their family and school community. That is why we are excited to announce the launch of our ‘Virtual Kindness Cup’.
Kindness Cup winners are usually nominated by their teacher, a member of staff or a friend.
We need our WP families to nominate each other for this prestigious, weekly award.
Have YOU noticed an act of kindness that deserves a Virtual Kindness Cup this week?
Please send name, class and brief explanation to email@example.com by midday each Friday and the virtual winners will be posted on the school Instagram account on the following Monday, as well as receiving a certificate through the post. There will be a weekly winner for EYFS, for KS1 and KS2.
Stay safe. Be kind!
Hackney Quest is a charity which aims to give young people, families and members of the community the practical and emotional support that they need to develop and pursue their aspirations and deal positively with life’s challenges against a backdrop of social and economic disadvantage. If you yourself or you know any families who need support, please contact Hackney Quest and they may able to deliver food to your doorstep, speak with young people over the phone to help keep their spirits up, or help parents to think about daily routines and learning activities for their children. You can text or WhatsApp[p the company phone on 07802 170944 or call the office on 0208 533 5480. Thank you Kristina, who volunteers with HQ for sharing this information.
Free online chess sessions from ChessKid.com
Chess in Schools and Communities have launched a programme to offer free Gold Membership of ChessKid to every child of primary school age in the country. ChessKid is a website and app that gives children access to interactive lessons, instructional videos, thousands of puzzles, and a safe environment in which to play chess against others from around the world. William Patten has signed up, so follow the link
Hackney Pirates is an after school Literacy support programme for children in Years 5 and 6. A number of our children attend and the William Patten Pirates have engaged with the programme writing poems, diary entries and reviewing books to recommend to others. The children have been following the online programme during the school closure and we received an email from the Captain of the Ship, Andrew McWhirter. He said ‘Special shout outs to Cameron, David and Salma for their amazing poems. William Patten have been a real success story for our online programme – you should be very proud!
The first e-book, ‘Home’, featuring poems by many of the Young Pirates, has just been published. We hope you enjoy it.
Thank you for your continued support, patience and understanding during this time. I will update you again regarding any school reopening at the end of the week.