I hope you all enjoyed a restful half term break. I managed to keep up with my pledge for Active October and completed my 100km cycling and 50km running, so I feel in better shape for the new term (despite a bit of a bad back). We have all enjoyed having the children back in school this week refreshed and ready for their learning.
Across the country, Thursday saw the onset of a new four-week lockdown and we are delighted to remain open as usual during this time. We have looked carefully at the updated government guidance and it is pleasing to note that we already have in place the safeguards that are highlighted. We are working hard to make the school as safe as it can be for children and staff whilst maintaining as much as we can of our full programme.
We now know that sports fixtures with other schools cannot go ahead, but we had already come to the same conclusion. We have brought in much stricter limits on visitors to the school and all appointments for prospective parents have been rescheduled. As a result, our Early Birds deadline for Reception and Year 3 applicants to start in September has been moved back to Wednesday 9 December.
There has been some debate about extra-curricular club provision, but we are confident that what we are providing is within the acceptable definitions in the new guidance, which includes activities that:
- support the rebuilding of friendships and social engagement
- address and equip pupils to respond to issues linked to coronavirus (COVID-19)
- support pupils with approaches to improving their physical and mental wellbeing
These clubs will continue unchanged, at least for now.
Other than that, it is business as usual and the children have been hard at work throughout the week and enjoying being back with their friends. I have even heard early stirrings of Nativity play rehearsals emanating from the hall earlier in the week which brings a welcome note of normality.
We have talked a lot in school this week about supporting each other through this period and I appreciate all of the support you as parents offer us as a school and a staff. We are into four weeks of a straightforward routine of ‘Eat; sleep; work; repeat’ and I know that if we pull together we can get through it in good shape. Seeing the children getting so much from their school life makes everything worthwhile.
Our Year 6 children this weekend will be taking their 11+ exams and they go with our thoughts and very best wishes. The exams have been significantly delayed but are finally going ahead. The good news is that they will all be sitting the exam together in the same room and this may well allay some of the normal nerves that children feel on the day. They should take considerable confidence in knowing that they go into the exams as well, or better, prepared as any.
Have a great weekend everyone.