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Well, we welcome the end of another week since the school closure and what a week it has been! Since the weekend there has been a lot of media attention and reaction to Boris Johnson’s announcement that the Government intend to open schools to Nursery, Reception and Year 1 children (and Year 6), as well as ongoing provision for Key Worker and vulnerable children from 1st June.

As you know, we have been working to develop plans for this potential reopening, trying to identify all that we can do to reduce risk and keep children as safe as we can should parents choose to send their child back to school. I hope you feel the information provided to you so far has been helpful. Due to the nature in which we receive guidance and information, day by day the picture changes and as a school we must respond. Unfortunately, a lot remains unknown and we (school and parents) still await the answers to many questions. This is certainly the most uncertain and challenging time for us all.

I think we would all agree that we want to receive and understand the scientific evidence that supports the Governments suggestion that it is safe for children to return to school. There remains a significant concern that the risk to our precious children, dedicated staff, families at home and wider community remains too high to return at this time.

As explained via our FQA on our Reopening page, as a school we will do all that we can in the best interests of our children and staff under the direction of government guidance. I would like to stress however that it will be the Government’s decision whether or not our school or any other school is deemed ‘safe’ for children to return to on June 1st.

I would like to thank all those parents (a huge majority) who have taken the time to complete our Reopening survey this week. The information and comments received have been really useful. It is likely a further survey will be issued in the coming days, as information received since it went out has changed our options already!

I would like to place on record (again!) my thanks to you all for the support you have shown as well as to the wonderful team at Birches.

I will continue to share information with you as I am able to do so.

In the midst of much uncertainty, we have continued to receive news and photos from the children at home about their learning and activities and these messages really do lift our spirits – thank you. We hope the communications that come back your way from staff do the same for you!

A word about home learning, staff have been (and continue) working incredibly hard each day to prepare the bespoke home learning tasks for each class. Please do use these with your children in the way that suits you and them best! In this situation, unfortunately ‘one size doesn’t fit all’. If your child is struggling, needs a break, is overwhelmed etc please do respond to their needs and adapt as you see fit. Your child’s wellbeing is so important at this time (as is yours – home schooling can be very stressful!) If, on the other hand, your child is enjoying the daily tasks (as many parents report they are) then this is great! A reminder that the government have produced online lessons via their Oak Academy and BBC Bitesize are producing daily tasks for English, maths and topic. You will also find a range of links on your child’s Home Learning page and in the Children drop down menu on our website. As I said, go with what works for your child.

If you need to get in contact, have any questions or concerns or simply want to ‘touch base’ and say ‘Hi’; a reminder that I can be contacted on and teachers can also be contacted via their emails. We really do enjoy hearing from you.

Warmer weather looks to be on it’s way so I hope our families are able to enjoy some time outdoors within the restrictions.

I hope you all enjoy precious time with loved ones at home this weekend and are able to connect with loved ones beyond the home in some (safe)  way too.

Best wishes and stay safe all.

Mrs Ferretti