Information regarding September plans
26th June 2020
I trust that you are all safe and well and that you are taking time to enjoy some of the wonderful weather that we are having! It seems so hard to believe that we have not seen so many of you since the end of March and as we go into the Summer holidays you have successfully cared for and educated your children for way over two school summer holidays; we continue to think that you are all doing an amazing job but we do miss all of the children and families terribly. Red Kite is not the same!
I know you will have seen in the ongoing news announcements that the government is planning the re-opening of schools as soon as possible in September 2020 as part of the next phase of its Covid 19 recovery strategy. The government is never absolutely clear in its aims for how this might happen nor how it might look like for Special Schools. I am however very keen to be as open as I can with you about our plans for reopening, given that the boundaries and ‘rules’ are changing all of the time; as a Head Teacher trying to keep ahead of all the news and be one step ahead it is a challenging time!
We continue to evolve our plans based on advice and we are now waiting for further guidance and clarification from the government, as we shape our action plans for our phased/full reopening in September,
We appreciate that you will be worried about what September will look like and we do share your concerns about what our school’s reopening will look like in practice and want you to feel confident that we have taken your concerns seriously.
I wish to stress that there is NO expectation from myself that you must send your child back in September; you all know your children the best and you may wish to wait a while to see how the pandemic runs its course. Equally many of you have children with very complex needs and their safety is of paramount importance; we just ask that you let us know your plans please and we will then work with you as we move forwards. We appreciate that coming back to school will be a challenge for many children but our experience tells us that we need to approach it with positivity and aim for normality as quickly as we can. I have been working on a Repair Curriculum which Teachers will follow for the first two weeks when the children return to school which allows the teachers some time ‘off timetable’ (if needed), to be able to talk through anxieties and worries; all of our children are unique and we will continue to support them and their needs individually. We will have our family support and pastoral team on hand ready to offer support and guidance as needed and myself, Gemma (Acting Deputy) and Sam will all be readily available.
It is a very unsettling time for us all, but rest assured that we are going to be doing everything we can to make sure we are ready to receive all of children and students back if it is safe for our school to do so. We also know that some employers will be encouraging you to return to work and wanting to know your plans so we are keen to give you an overview of what our plans are. We have two clear plans; A and B. We aim to let you know what plan we will be putting into action by the 16th July but this may not be possible if we do not get clear Government guidance.
Red Kite will close on the 16th July for all key worker and GCSE ‘bubbles’ and will not be open through the holiday for any children.
This plan involves us reopening fully and quickly and aims to get the children into school with as little upset as possible
1st Sept – Training Day (no children in school)
2nd Sept – Training Day (no children in school)
3rd September – all Secondary class children return to school (Wolves, Foxes, Squirrels, Badgers, Look Out, Weasels, Hedgehogs and Field Mice; including all new Yr 7 + students
4th September – all Primary and Secondary class students (as above and also Poppies, Daisies, Bluebells, Cornflowers, Daffodils, and Snowdrops); including all new Yr 1-6 children.
7th September – all children are in including all new Reception Year children.
No children in school until the w/b 7th September.
Each class will be split into half and half will attend on the Monday and Tuesday, half the class will attend on the Thursday and Friday.
Class teachers will let you know if you are Bubble 1 (Monday and Tuesday) or Bubble 2 (Thursday and Friday) on the 1st September
No children will be on site on Weds to allow for deep cleaning.
Deep cleaning will also be undertaken on the Friday prior to the following Monday
Further points for your information
- The school day will operate the normal school hours
- Transport will operate for those children that require it
- There will be no hot meals until October half term; all children will be required to bring a packed lunch and FSM packed lunches will be provided for
- The school is cleaned deeply every night
- No classes will use shared spaces unless I deem it to be safe (following Risk Assessments that involve a clean after every use)
- Swimming will not operate until I have the go ahead to offer it safely
- You will be asked to social distance at the school gates
- The Kettle will remain closed and appointments with Sam/Sonia will be available
- Staff will continue to wear PPE if it is required
- All staff and children will sanitise their hands every 30 minutes
- We will provide as much outdoor experiences as we can
- Class sizes will be kept to a minimum
- Classes will have set staffing
- No visitors will be on site unless agreed by myself
New classes – September 2020
On Monday 29th June your child’s current class teacher will be calling you as usual and they will let them know of your child’s class, teacher and Learning Support Assistants for September 2020; if your child is having a new teacher then they will call you through the week of 29th June -3rd July to introduce themselves; as always changes made are with the children’s very best interests and needs at the heart of our school plans
I would like to thank you for your ongoing support in helping your child learn from home and for working with our teachers and school staff. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the amazing staff team at Red Kite who have done a phenomenal job through this pandemic and I really hope that as we move to the Summer break they are able to recharge and refresh ready for September.
A Summer pack is being prepared for each child and this will be with you through the post on the week beginning 13thJuly; this will include a ‘Moving Up’ sheet which will let your child know of their class mates for September.
New Sixth Form
Project managing this on top of leading the school has been demanding but I continue to be determined to have a building that is bespoke, fit for the purpose of educating our young people and preparing them for adulthood and also of a high quality; the plans are really impressive! The build will be ready for January 2021 so any children allocated to the Red Kite Look Out (Sixth Form) will continue to be educated and cared for in the new build. We have a strong field of candidates for the post and I will update you next week.
I trust that all of the above gives you some clarity; as ever I aim to give you as much relevant information as and when I can. Please do contact the school if you need any further support.
I really look forward to when our school community is back together again and continue to hope that all our children, young people, families and staff stay safe and well.
Take care all and see you all very soon;