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School Closure

Dear Parents,

Following Boris Johnson’s announcement this evening, we are sending this email to confirm that Garboldisham Church Primary Academy will not be open tomorrow (Tuesday 5th January).

We shall look to set up the remote learning planning and resources via Class Dojo but please bear with us all as we work to get this in place. Tuesday’s learning will focus on Maths and English and then by Wednesday we shall have the full plans in place.

If you qualified as a Key Worker last time and your situation remains unchanged please email Mrs Green if you require a place for tomorrow (Tuesday 5th).

If your situation has changed since last time and you think you qualify as a Key Worker under the criteria laid out by the government (which was updated on 30th December – www.gov.uk) or your child is classed as vulnerable – see below, and you will require a place during lockdown, please email Mrs Green.

We shall need to check that you meet the criteria and be provided with proof ahead of confirming if a place is available as we shall need to set up staffing numbers and cover arrangements. We shall be in contact with you individually.

Vulnerable children and young people

Vulnerable children and young people include those who:

  • are assessed as being in need under section 17 of the Children Act 1989, including children and young people who have a child in need plan, a child protection plan or who are a looked-after child
  • have an education, health and care (EHC) plan
  • have been identified as otherwise vulnerable by educational providers or local authorities (including children’s social care services), and who could therefore benefit from continued full-time attendance, this might include:
    • adopted children or children on a special guardianship order
    • others at the provider and local authority’s discretion including pupils and students who need to attend to receive support or manage risks to their mental health

This change from today’s provision and yesterday’s communications has come late in the day to us all, so please be patient with us all as we seek to put the necessary plans in place.

Kind regards,

Mrs J Humphrey
Interim Headteacher
Garboldisham Church Primary School
01953 681327

Years 3, 4 and 5 Swimming Lessons

Dear Parents and Carers of pupils in Years 3, 4 and 5

Due to the current situation of Norfolk being under Tier 4 restrictions, swimming lessons at Diss Swim and Leisure Centre will not be taking place during this half term.  We will review this at February Half Term.

If you require any further information please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards and Happy New Year

Jo

Return to school – Monday 4th January 2021

Dear Parents and Carers, 

I apologise for sending a second email over the weekend and for waiting until the end of Sunday. 

Since yesterday’s communication with you all, you will be aware that there has been continued debate within the LA, the MAT, the teaching unions, DfE and government about the right course of action for schools in Tier 4. 

I attended an LA zoom meeting this morning and received an update from St Benet’s just after lunch. Since then I have been in communication with the 4 teachers about their intentions. 

As such, I can confirm that as per yesterday’s email, we shall be open as a school tomorrow with all staff on site delivering learning as normal. We are likely to review breakfast and after school club provision and will update you tomorrow with any changes. 

I am aware from a number of emails that have been forwarded through the office to me, that some parents are anxious about sending their child to school, others have already said they are unlikely to send their children in. What I am still unsure about are the expectations placed on the school where parents elect to keep children away. 

In the September DfE guidance we were instructed to insist that all children returned and we were obliged to only provide home learning for children who were required to isolate. This is something we have been doing as some of you will be aware. 

The register codes were amended to reflect this with an X code used for isolation or Covid symptomatic children. there has been no updated guidance (yet) from the DfE for January. 

If you decide that your child/ren will not attend tomorrow or for a period of time, we ask that you inform the office of this decision.

I am also unsure at this stage, what the remote learning expectations are. With teachers working their normal days in front of a class, they will be less able to provide home learning with ongoing communication and support through the day as they did during the first lockdown in March and April. Our remote learning plan which was written in September, outlines hybrid models for the few children at a time we expected to see in isolation. If by tomorrow, the number of children remaining at home is substantial, we shall need to review our offer. I shall suggest to the teachers that tomorrow, once we have a firmer idea of the numbers attending in person and those remaining at home, we shall review the plans and procedures for providing remote learning. 

After getting off to such a great start last term, feeling that children were just starting to gain momentum in their learning and adapting to the new approaches such as Talk for Writing and mastery Maths, I am desperate that no child will be affected by not attending school. However, we shall need to ensure that what we deliver is managed with the same standards as we expect in school. 

It has been made very clear to all headteachers that final decisions need to be made at school level as each school will have different staffing levels. Decisions made on one day will need constant review and may potentially change with little notice. With this in mind, the actions taken by each school cannot be compared to any other – all schools are in very different contexts.  I attach a letter from Mr Cranmer the CEO of St Benet’s MAT. In this, he says that the MAT will back whatever decision each school decides to take.

I would be happy to speak with any parent tomorrow during the school day, via the telephone should you wish to contact me. 

Kind regards, 
Mrs Julia Humphrey
Interim Headteacher 

Return to school on Monday 4th January 2021

Dear Parents,

I would like to begin by saying Happy New Year and expressing my wishes to you all that 2021 will eventually see a return to some, if not most of the norms we perhaps took for granted this time last year.

Norfolk remains in Tier 4 but as per the government’s announcement on Wednesday 30th December, we do not fall under the list of areas who will begin the term teaching remotely. As such, the staff and I are readied to welcome you and the children back for our first day on Monday 4th January. The school day will begin and end at the usual times.

We shall be making changes to the drop off and collection measures which were written into the COVID Risk Assessment to ensure your safety and aim to minimise any spread should we find ourselves with positive cases this term. You have already responded so positively to the approaches we have taken and so I set out these additional steps in the hope that they will make sense to you and raise your confidence further in the way the school is managing this tricky situation.

We ask that

  • all parents, carers and grandparents who drop off or collect children do so wearing a face mask.
  • people take responsibility as they wait along the roadside to not engage in conversations with other parents at close proximity. Likewise, in the Village Hall carpark, please refrain from loitering or spending time speaking with others after the morning drop off or at the end of the school day.
  • in the morning drop off, people enter through the gates one family at a time, allowing space between. Without rushing to say goodbye to your child/ren, please do not wait around on the playground.
  • at the end of the day, please position yourself at a distance to other parents. We do appreciate that this point of the day is a normally sociable occasion where parents like to catch up with each other but please adhere to the expectations we are under while out at the shops / in public places etc by not mixing.
  • at the end of the day, once your child has made their way to where you are positioned, please leave immediately and not allow them to play with other children/run around.

Please may we also ask that between now and Monday morning, you discuss these measures and remind your child/ren about the hygiene expectations we set in September – handwashing, use of the hand gel, use of tissues etc. The staff will review the routines with the children on Monday too.

Thank you.

For now, there is no change to the previous information and guidance about attendance or notifying the school if your child is unwell.

Should you have any questions or comments about this newsletter, please email the office@ email and we shall reply as soon as we are able.

We look forward to seeing everyone again on Monday.

Mrs J Humphrey

Interim Headteacher

Garboldisham Church Primary School