Dear Parents and Carers,
On Wednesday afternoon, 03/06/2020, the Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, published details of the next phase for schools in Wales, providing an opportunity for your child to “Check in, Catch Up, Prepare for Summer and September”. As part of this statement, the Minister confirmed the intention that schools will plan to start the next phase on 29 June, with the summer term extended by a week, ending on 24 July. Furthermore, the last weeks of this summer term will be used to make sure pupils, staff and parents are prepared – mentally, emotionally and practically – for the new normal in September. The autumn half-term break will be extended to two weeks.
A link to the statement can be found overleaf, where we’ve also attached a summary of the statement as a help.
Your child’s safety and wellbeing are our priority and we are waiting for the detailed guidance that will help us to plan and prepare for this next phase. Welsh Government has announced that this further guidance will be published this week, including information on managing facilities and logistical arrangements, including buildings, resources, cleaning and transport. However, we have already started our initial planning and considerations, prioritising wellbeing of learners, staff and families to plan a phased approach that is right for our community. Over the next week we will send out further information that will hopefully answer all the important issues and anxieties you may have. As soon as the Welsh Government publish the national guidance and we have a meaningful plan in place, we will communicate this directly to all parents and carers.
We understand that you will have many questions and we are working closely with the Local Authority, the regional consortium and governors so that we can provide you with the information you need to prepare for this next phase.
In order for us to plan the safe return of pupils and staff, we would appreciate you completing the short survey on the attached link, https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NR7WYXM indicating whether to you intend to send your child/children into school. It is imperative that this survey is completed no later than Tuesday, 9th June, as the results will inform our planning and be key to preparing the school site.
We will write to you again as soon as more detailed information is available. Please be reassured, keeping you and your children informed remains our priority. In the meantime the school remains open for vulnerable pupils and children of key workers.
We would like to thank you for your continuous support at this difficult time.
Take care and stay safe,
Summary of and link to The Education Minister’s announcement 03/06/20
Check in, Catch Up, Prepare for Summer and September”. https://gov.wales/check-catch-prepare-summer-and-september-all-schools-wales-enter-next-phase
· Schools will start the next phase on 29 June, with the term extended by a week, therefore ending on 27 July.
· Autumn half-term break will be expanded to two weeks.
· Childcare providers will also increase the numbers of children in attendance from 9 June.
· In each school there will be a phased approach.
· Year groups will be split into cohorts with staggered starts, lessons and breaks.
· It is expected that this will mean, at most, a third of pupils present at any one time, though schools may need time to reach this level of operation.
· Much smaller classes will provide secure dedicated time with teachers and classmates.
· This time will include online and personalised classroom experience, getting children and teachers ready for a similar experience in September.
· We are creating the opportunity for children to Check in, Catch Up and Prepare before the start of September.
· Since the decision to close schools for statutory provision, our understanding of the virus and its longer-term impacts has continued to develop.
· We know that we are going to have to live with it for some time.
· We know that it will remain our biggest challenge for the foreseeable future.
· We know that the classroom experience will be different for a long time to come.
· Next week, the Welsh Government will publish guidance to support childcare, schools, as well as further and higher education institutions.
· This will include information on managing their facilities and logistical arrangements, including buildings, resources, cleaning and transport.