A return to school of sorts!

Dear Families,

This week we welcomed Year 1 back to school into their bubbles and next week we are so excited to see Nursery and Reception children. Chestnuts is beginning to feel like a school again!

As I'm sure you will have picked up on Monday, the Department for Education has now given schools the freedom to admit children from other year groups before the summer holidays, in group sizes of no more than 15, 'where there is capacity to do so'.

The school's position has always been to do whatever it can to ensure all children have at least some time in school before the summer holiday. Fully utilising all the staff and classroom space we have will enable us to have the rest of the school (years 2,3,4 and 5) back in school for the last 2 weeks of term. This will run in the same way as we have welcomed back the other year groups, set out below: 

Following government guidance, the children will be allocated to one of two 'bubbles' (Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday) and the classrooms will be deep cleaned in between on a Wednesday.   

Having the two separate groups or 'bubbles' will ensure that no more than 15 children attend any one session.  Children will be taught by their usual class teacher where possible. Please understand that we have some staff members who are unable to return to work at this time. 

Our aim is to provide a safe, happy, familiar place with time with friends and teachers.   Within the session the children will not be expected to follow social distancing rules and we will operate as normally as possible.

Your child's class teacher will call you next week to let you know the block your child has been allocated and to explain the details of the school day. Each year group will also have a page on the website where this information will be held. As you can imagine this takes a huge amount of logistical planning and the start and end of the school day will need to be staggered to ensure the safety of everyone in the school community. 

I know that all children will be excited to return to school and I know staff are very much looking forward to some normality. I apologise that these arrangements are less than perfect and may well be inconvenient to some parents. However, under the circumstances, it will at least provide all children the opportunity to have had time with their friends within the school environment this side of the summer break.

I know there is much discussion about the phased return to school. Please be reassured that the health and wellbeing of the school community is our most important priority - with children returning to school playing an important part in supporting this.

Please also check the updated school term dates for the academic year 2020-2021. School will now start on Monday 7th September. This is to allow for staff training and CPD to take place. As I am sure you can imagine there will be significant need to bring our staff team, back together and training needed to ensure the school year starts smoothly. I know many of you will be wondering about transition arrangements and teaching staff for next year. I will update families on this at the end of week beginning July 6th. This will allow us to share plans with children as they return to school. 

As ever thank you for your support and should you have any questions do not hesitate to ask your child's class teacher or myself. 

Mrs Horwood