Looking for a place in our school for September 2020 in Nursery, Reception or any other year group – please get in touch by email to stmonicas@st-monicas.co.uk or 01908 606966.
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Message from Mr O'Malley 24th May 2020 - COVID 19 Update

Robert O'Malley

Headteacher

Dear parents and families,

COVID 19 Partial School Closure

I hope that you and your families are well.

In line with the Government’s orders, currently the school remains closed to children except for children of key/critical workers.

Work continues to be sent for children to do at home. Thanks for all of the effort you are putting into working with your children – it is really useful and very much appreciated. Thanks also for sending pictures of work etc. to the teachers – they are gratefully received.

School conditionally opening to more children on Monday, 1st June.

The school is planning to open to more children from Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 on Monday, 1st June. The Government will confirm that schools can open in this way on the 28th May. If the Government states on 28th May that schools will not be open to more children from 1st June, we will be in touch with those parents who have said their children will return on 1st June.

We have telephoned each family with children in those year groups to confirm whether their child is returning or not. If you have told us that your child is not returning on 1st June, you must give us two school days’ notice before your child can return. You do this by emailing this address or phoning the school office with your child’s name, year group and teacher’s name.

Please do not return your child to school without notifying us in this way as you will be asked to take your child home with you and return them to school no sooner than two days later. Registers will be taken on the gates.

This is because we have to plan ahead for exactly the number of children we can have as they are in small groups so we need more staff, rooms, resources and so on to provide for them. This needs to be planned ahead to ensure it can be in any way effective.

We will be sending a letter on Tuesday, 26th May, to parents who are returning their children to school on 1st June – it will provide all the details you need and will be mailed to you by your children’s class teachers. Please read it as it will have lots of useful and necessary information.

In the meantime, you may be interested in reading this Government guidance on current plans for more children to return to school on 1st June. Please see the link at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/reopening-schools-and-other-educational-settings-from-1-june

What will happen if I do not send my child in those year groups back to school due to COVID?

We understand that this is a difficult and uncertain time and we will not increase any difficulties for you by not allowing you to keep your children at home if you wish. As teachers and parents ourselves, we understand why you may wish to do so and many of you have explained your reasons when we phoned you.

The Government guidance confirms that parents will not be fined for children not coming to school at this time.

The Government will also not hold schools accountable for children not attending school due to COVID at this time.

Will the school continue to be open to children of key/critical workers?

Yes, it will. If you believe you may be a key/critical worker and you need your child to return to school because you need to work and there is nobody else to look after them, then please email this address and we will tell you how to apply for a place, including on proof of job status needed from your employer(s).

If you are not sure if you are a key/critical worker as defined, please see the link at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision

What about school work if my child is not returning to school on 1st June?

Work will continue to be provided for your children by teachers. As most teachers may be at school from 1st June to teach the children we may have in in small groups, your child may receive their work or have GMeet sessions led by a teacher that is not their usual teacher. The work your child will receive will be similar to that set for those children in their year group who have returned to school if applicable.

As well as the work set by our staff, your child may be interested in https://www.thenational.academy/online-classroom/subjects/#subjects This Government set up site provides full lessons for all year groups. Many children, including my own, enjoy having full online lessons led by teachers. If your child is going up to Year 7 in September, they may wish to have a look ahead at Year 7 work.

Why did the Government choose the year groups it did to return to school first?

We do not know.

When will children from other year groups be returning to school?

We do not know. We were informed of the year groups to return on 1st June by watching Boris Johnson in his recent Sunday night briefing as many of you would have. As soon as we get any information on other year groups being able to return, we will let you know.

Do we have to do all the work the class teachers set for children at home?

No. The amount of work your child does at home is up to you. We do not expect all work to be done and will not be collecting it in. We realise the families may not have time or wish to lead their children in all work set.

Will there be as much work over half term break this week?

No. Teachers will be setting no more than the amount of work they would usually set for holidays.

Is there any more Government information on the current school closures?

Yes, there is further information at the following links:-

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/help-primary-school-children-continue-their-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/supporting-your-childrens-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers

Where can I get advice on changes to everyday life due to COVID 19, including social distancing?

Please see https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/staying-at-home-to-avoid-getting-coronavirus/ for NHS guidance.

What do I do if I think my child may have symptoms of COVID 19?

Please see https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-in-children/ for NHS guidance.

What do I do if I or somebody I live with has symptoms of COVID 19?

Please see https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/what-to-do-if-you-or-someone-you-live-with-has-coronavirus-symptoms/ for NHS guidance.

What if I think I or a family member may have symptoms and I want a test?

Please see https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-for-coronavirus/ for NHS guidance.

Where can I get advice if I believe I or a family member may be at higher risk from COVID 19?

Please see https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/people-at-higher-risk-from-coronavirus/ for NHS guidance.

What if I need food from or wish to volunteer or give food to MK Food Bank due to COVID 19?

Please see http://mkfoodbank.org.uk/ or please call the Food Bank Helpline on 01908 565852 to discuss your situation in confidence with experienced staff. The Helpline is open between 10:00am – 4:00pm, Monday – Friday.

What if I have signed on for benefits from the Government due to a change in job status recently? Will my child be entitled to Free School Meals?

If you have had a change of job status, including being unemployed and/or claiming certain benefits for even a very short of time, please get in touch with us by this email. Your child may be entitled to Free School Meals which can involve a payment to you of up to £15.00 per week per child while school is closed to your children and free lunches each school day once they return. Your child may also be entitled to extra funding to support their education going forward. All enquiries will be dealt with by Miss Shanahan, our Deputy Headteacher, and will be dealt with in the strictest confidence.

Going forward

We look forward to school returning to a more normal state in time in line with Government guidance. We miss so many of the children and yourselves whom we do not see in school at the moment and will do our best to provide the children with what they will need on their return and going forwards.

As ever, if you have any questions on this or any aspect of your child’s education, please contact their class teacher by email or me on this email address.

Kind regards,

 

Mr O’Malley

Headteacher

Stay At Home

Educational websites for Parents during School Closure