I realise you will all have lots of questions and concerns relating to the news announced today about school closures so here is what we do know at this time.
You will have heard on the news tonight that ALL SCHOOLS in the UK will be closing at the end of Friday 20th March until further notice. This is to slow the spread of Coronavirus.
Therefore as of the end of Friday 20th March, Anthony Bek will be closed to most pupils. The Government have asked schools to help keep key workers in their jobs by allowing pupils of those parents to still attend as long as they have the staffing to facilitate this. The scientific advice shows that our school would be safe for this small number of children to continue attending – but asking others to stay away will help to slow the spread.
Anthony Bek will therefore be open to pupils who fall into the following categories- vulnerable pupils and pupils whose parents are key workers. If staffing concerns mean that we cannot offer these places, this provision will be offered by the local authority elsewhere. To reduce the number of pupils in school, where one parent is not a key worker, it is expected that this non-key worker parent would be able to care for the child. It is not compulsory for the pupils below to attend school, it is being offered as a service to help parents but parents can opt to keep these pupils at home if they choose.
Vulnerable pupils (siblings of these pupils will be expected to remain at home to keep numbers of pupils in school low)
We are already aware of who these pupils are and texts will be sent to confirm your child meets this criteria.
We are expecting to receive a more thorough list from the Government on Thursday 19th March. We will then need to collate job roles (from both parents who care for the pupil) to identify which pupils fall into this category.
Children who are currently self-isolating
At the end of their self-isolation period, these pupils can return to school IF they meet one of the criteria above. If they don't they will stay off school until further notice.
Walesby and Whitehall visits
I have contacted both centres to enquire about our bookings and what may happen should schools not be reopened by that time. I will update you with their feedback once this is received. Please be aware that I expect them to be extremely busy at this time so you may not get an immediate answer to this. Please continue to make payments in accordance with the payment plan so we don't lose our booking. If we have no choice but to cancel, you will receive a refund so please don't worry about this.
Free School Meals
The Government has announced that pupils eligible for free school meals will receive vouchers to use in supermarkets to help fund dinners during the period of school closures. I expect to hear more about this tomorrow so will update you once this is received.
Learning at home
Each child will receive a pack tomorrow (Thursday 19th March) which will contain activities to complete over the two weeks before the Easter holidays. Pupils have also been given a login for Purple Mash (an online education website) which is full of activities to do. Their teachers will put activities in their 'to do' folder each week but they are free to do any activity on there. (We do appreciate that not everyone has access to the internet, hence the paper pack too.) There are also links on our website (Parents tab- Helping your child') for other websites offering educational activities. Class teachers may also put activities on their class pages so please look out for these. Of course, you may ask your child to do any activity which would be beneficial to them educationally, such as reading a variety of texts, writing a range of texts or practising number related activities (as appropriate to the age of the child).
Assuming school closures continue after Easter, teachers will continue to create work packs which last 2 weeks for those who cannot access the internet. You will need to let us know if you would like this so we can organise how to get this to you.
The Government have announced that there will be no Primary Assessments this year. This includes Phonics for Year 1 pupils, SATs for Y2 pupils and SATS for Y6 pupils.
After school provision and breakfast club
It is not yet clear if these provisions will be offered. If they are offered, it will only be for the pupils who meet the criteria above. More details will be shared before the end of school on Friday 20th March.
We will continue to send texts and keep you updated throughout the period of school closures if anything changes.