Dear Parents and Carers,
I genuinely hope that you are all well, especially after the announcement from the government yesterday. It was probably not the news that the majority had hoped for. However, based on the transmission rates of the new variant, and the rise in cases, we consider the Prime Ministers announcement to be a fair reflection of the situation we are in right now. Covid-19 is certainly dominating lives and circumstances currently, and school life is no exception.
For those of you who did not hear Boris Johnson speak yesterday, children will not be able to return to school, unless they are vulnerable or part of the critical worker groups, until the 8th March 2021 at the earliest. In his statement, he confirmed that ‘it will not be possible to increase the number of pupils attending schools immediately after the February half-term’. Instead, he indicated that the earliest the government believes it will be safe to begin to increase pupil numbers is from the 8th March 2021. This means education continues remotely and our offer remains the same for at least a further two weeks after our February half-term. The Department for Education, and the Nottinghamshire Local Authority, have also confirmed this week that schools will not be asked to stay open throughout the holiday. Both the staff, the pupils and their families require rest and recuperation from the education that they have been providing and receiving since January.
Despite the perception within the media, schools are very much still open and we continue to educate 135+ children daily (a third of the school community). There has just been a shift in the way in which are working. We are still very much educating 100% of our children, with the 65% of those at home receiving work and feedback daily.
We are very proud of everything you are doing currently to support your children and we know how hard this is right now. Many of us are parents ourselves, and we know the balance that has to be struck, and it is not easy for anyone. We also whole-heartedly appreciate how hard the news must have been to hear yesterday and how disappointed you must be! Rest assured, we are here to support you and will do what we can to get you and your children through the next few weeks.
Times are hard currently and this is certainly harder than the previous lockdowns. The nights are darker, the days are colder and the beautiful snow soon turns to slush and wet. We no longer have the sun and the patience that we had in the first lockdown, the daily figures create worry and panic, and positivity is being lost because we are struggling to believe that there is an end in sight. However, I wanted to say WELL DONE! Ultimately, we are all coping in a global pandemic; things are bound to feel strange and different! There may be more microwave meals throughout the day, more time on devices and screens and a later time to bed! No one is judging this and ‘it’s ok!’ – we are all doing our best, and we know that you are all doing what you can to keep your children safe in the best way possible.
Do not be hard on yourselves and seek help if you need it. We are all in this together, and we will genuinely help if you are honest and open up! We know that the daily timetables do not work for everyone and that you all have a different tolerance to education and the ability to support your children. Reach out and we can help.
Honestly, look after yourselves and take care. We cannot wait for this to be over, but at this moment in time, we are very much living and breathing a pandemic that needs to be controlled and managed in the very best way possible. We are nearly a year in (I cannot actually believe I am writing that, but we are!) and we have the experience now to keep going and fighting this battle until the very end!
There is a light at the end of the tunnel! For now, do your best and keep going! I am so proud of our community spirit right now.
THANK YOU, take care and look after yourselves,