Home learning and other support (20 May 2020)

Wednesday 20 May 2020

We’re starting today’s message with some plans for the next week or so.

The situation we’re in right now is changing all the time, so please be aware these plans aren’t set in stone: we have to work through them in more detail; our governors will scrutinise them; and advice and direction from the government is due to be updated, too.

All along the way, we’ll have to keep reviewing numbers coming in and balancing this with lots of other considerations, like staffing and the spread of the virus.

Up until now, the numbers of children of key workers at St James’ CE Primary have been quite low, and so they’ve been attending Moortown Primary or Scholes (Elmet) Primary, our sister federation schools.

Next week

Pupils from St James’ CE Primary can continue to attend Moortown or Scholes, as arranged. This is except for Monday when all three schools will be closed for Bank Holiday.

Week commencing 01 June 2020

On Monday 01 June, Sphere Federation schools will not be open to any children. This is so staff can prepare classrooms and learning resources for children.

We will re-open from Tuesday 02 June to accommodate children of key workers and children who may be vulnerable in some way.

For the rest of that week, we’re expecting the number of children to rise. This prediction is based on your survey responses, which indicate that more and more key workers will be required to be back at work.

We’re determined to accommodate these children in line with all safety guidance we’ve received.

Week commencing 08 June 2020

This week is open to some review based on the numbers we’ve had in school in the previous week. Our current aim is to open school more widely to additional Year 1 and Year 6 children. There are various criteria that we’re considering, such as criteria around free school meals, which seems a fair way to do this.

As before, we can and will accommodate these children in line with all safety guidance we’ve received.

Week commencing 15 June 2020

This week is open to a lot of review based on the numbers coming in to school. We have three broad options that we’ll continue to review:

  1. to continue to open school more widely to limited numbers of Year 1 and Year 6 children (two of the year groups identified by the government as a priority)
  2. to invite children from other year groups where we know there are exceptional circumstances and/or there is a real need
  3. to consider opening for children in Reception where the families qualify for free school meals

Our preferred options at this stage are Option 1 or 2, or some sort of combination. Option 3 is less likely based on survey responses and our capacity to make sure provision is safe for the youngest children, and – importantly – provision is appropriate (since we can’t safely offer an Early Years learning environment which the children will be used to).

As we said at the start, these plans are subject to change. We’ll continue to update you when we can.