4th Jan, 2021Dear Parent/Carer,
We wish to update you with the latest information to secure the continuity of learning for the week of January 4th - 8th, 2020.
As you will be aware, the prevalence of the virus and its new mutation, continues to place unparalleled demands on the emergency and front line healthcare services. These services must be supported, by us all, to provide the required care for those who are suffering critical and life-threatening situations. During the Christmas holiday period, we have all been required to limit our contacts to one household only, with the exception of Christmas Day.
Once the school is fully open, all pupils will have contact with in excess of 30 households per lesson and teachers will have contact with 150+ households daily. As we have previously communicated, social distancing is impossible for pupils in the school setting, when the school is fully open. This places us all in a highly challenging situation, especially as the latest research is indicating that the new variant is highly transmissible across all age groups. The research also informs us that the risk to children remains very low. However, given that the variant is now far more transmissible, it's the risk to transmission rates and it's the risk to teachers and parents, and to those that their parents mix with, which presents us with the greatest challenge and dilemma.
Monday, 4th January and Tuesday, 5th January 2021, will involve remote learning for all pupils in line with the school's Blended Learning policy. Lessons will be posted online, as per the normal timetable, and as per previous arrangements communicated to you.
In addition, these days will be utilised in full to enable the Senior Leadership Team to: review risk assessments; determine staffing availability; and, to work with teachers to review and establish provision for those learners who are deemed disadvantaged and/or vulnerable. These pupils will be invited into school for face-to-face provision from Wednesday, 6th January onwards.
We will accommodate pupils of critical care workers from the 6th January 2021. We will prioritise those of front line emergency services, social care, and education staff, and we will consult with you directly, via ParentMail, to establish this need and demand, in line with our confirmed staffing availability at that time. We will confirm our capacity for pupils of critical and front line services by the end of Monday, 4th January 2021. This will be via email directly to those parents.
All other pupils will continue to receive remote learning for the remainder of the week (Wednesday January 6th- Friday January 8th). We intend for all pupils to be back in school, as soon as possible, for face-to-face learning.
We are awaiting further information from the Welsh Government; however, it is reasonable to assume that the current situation with Covid-19 will continue to challenge continuity of face to face teaching.
As a result of this situation we are committed to:
- ensuring all pupils have paper based resources, where this is appropriate to enhance learning;
- provide real time, interactive communication between pupils and teachers during each lesson - further details of how and when this will be available will follow shortly;
- providing real time interactive communication for pastoral support with Leaders of Achievement and, where appropriate, members of the Senior Leadership Team.
- providing a timetable of when different Leaders of Achievement are available for pastoral support and we will make this available as soon as possible.
We are committed to ensuring that teaching for all can resume as soon as we have been able to establish the implications for staff health and safety and the safety of the wider community. In the meantime, we are acquiring the necessary resources to fulfil the above provision.
Throughout the first week of January, the Welsh Government has committed to consider information from the Technical Advisory Cell and we will update you with information as soon as this is available to us and inform you of any changes accordingly throughout this week.
Thank you once again for your continued patience and understanding.
Mrs Thomas and the Senior Leadership Team.