Friday 18th September 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We write to you at the end of our second week back in school. It has been a delight to welcome our pupils back and we would like to extend our thanks and gratitude, to both them and yourselves, for adjusting to the new routines we have put in place to keep us all safe.

Now that our plans have been in action for several days, we are aware of what is working well, where timely reminders of key points may be needed and of any additional points we need to note. As you can imagine, the working school day now looks quite different, for pupils and staff, however we all seem to be adjusting well.

Drop off and pick up times were always going to be one of the most challenging parts of our school day. We are aware that our 15 minute intervals can mean some waiting around, particularly for those of you who have children in different year groups and we thank you for your patience. We do however reiterate a key point from our risk assessments. Please only enter the school premises five minutes before your allocated collection and drop off times. This assists with ensuring adequate distancing between year group bubbles. Again, please ensure that only one adult collects a child. As previously mentioned, please make use of our yard space to adequately distance, ensuring you avoid standing too close to classroom windows.

It has come to our attention that some young children collecting friends or siblings are using our ninja trail equipment next to our lower yard. We ask that they are kept away from this entirely as we are carefully timetabling its use for individual bubbles in school. Furthermore, we appreciate space can be limited, but we do once again ask any adults collecting pupils to consider where they wait outside the school gates too, allowing space for people to pass on the footpaths. Similarly, please aim to distance as much as possible when entering/exiting our gates. We do appreciate your cooperation with regards to this.

We are extremely pleased to still be able to offer a varied choice of hot school lunches each day. We understand that some pupils prefer to bring packed lunches, which is of course fine. Again, we ask that these come to school in a disposable bag or container. In the past, where pupils may have not eaten some packed lunch items, we would typically encourage children to take these back home, so parents are aware of this (we understand packed lunch items can be costly and that having an awareness of what your child is eating can be helpful). It is clear we cannot allow this to happen at present, and all leftover items will be disposed of. Where our midday supervisors are concerned that a child may not be eating well, either from school lunch or a packed lunch, we will aim to inform you with a phonecall home. Additionally, we ask you to consider how easily children are able to open some of their packed lunch items, as staff need to keep contact to a minimum.

Finally, we are also sending home a survey regarding technology available to families at home. Given the circumstances of extended periods of absence from school, or indeed future partial or full school closures, we need a better understanding of how we can support learning at home. We ask that you complete this survey and return to us, no later than Friday 25th September to allow us to plan for the most useful support moving forward.

Once again, we thank you for your cooperation and help during these most unusual times.

Should you require any more advice or support, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Kind regards

All at Monkton Academy