Home learning and other support (19 May 2020)

Tuesday 19 May 2020

We’re still planning for how we might open up our schools more widely. As we said to you yesterday, the process of opening up will be slow and safe.

Heads of School are working through a very helpful document produced by Leeds City Council – this provides lots of prompts to make sure our plans are comprehensive and robust. Once this is produced, our governors will scrutinise the plans.

All this means that a dramatic re-opening on Monday 01 June isn’t realistic. It’s even more challenging because there remains a lot of uncertainty about the best course of action. The government updated its guidance for educational settings yesterday (frustratingly, they don’t indicate what or where the updates are), and this advice is due to be updated again:

This guidance is applicable to 31 May 2020 and will be reviewed before 1 June 2020.

A separate government document presenting actions for schools was also updated yesterday. The introduction to this documents does make clear that schools re-opening is not definite (we’ve added the bold):

As a result of the huge efforts everyone has made to adhere to strict social distancing measures, the transmission rate of coronavirus has decreased. We therefore anticipate, with further progress, that we may be able, from the week commencing 1 June, to welcome back more children to early years, school and further education settings.

We will only do this provided that the five key tests set by the government justify the changes at the time, including that the rate of infection is decreasing. As a result, we are asking schools, colleges and childcare providers to plan on this basis, ahead of confirmation that these tests are met.

This uncertainty is frustrating and unhelpful for you – we’re sorry about that. However, you can hopefully appreciate the difficulties we’re facing.

In the longer quote (above), please note the reference to social distancing. Thanks to those of you who emailed us to support the strict approach we’re taking, as outlined yesterday: If we have reasonable grounds to believe a family is not following the government’s message, we will ask you to collect your child and remain away from school for a period of time. We’ll continue to do this after half-term, too.

Moving on…

These prompts, and more, are in a really nice checklist for your child which promotes healthy routines. We’ve mentioned it before, but this is one of our favourite resources because it’s so simple, so we thought it was worth a second mention.

Finally today, we’re approaching the Summer half-term. Just like at Easter, we’ll take a break from the daily home learning tasks and instead present a menu of activities – these are all optional, so your child can do as many (or as few) as you like -make this work for you all. Look out for that later in the week.