A pdf version of this letter can be viewed and downloaded here.

Dear Families,

RE: Arrangements for September 2020 Opening

I am writing this final letter of the term to wish you all a happy and safe summer break and to thank you all for your patience and support during what has been an unprecedented period where we have been closed to most children and their families. I am delighted that we are coming to the end of what has been for the school and myself personally, a completely unwanted and strange situation.

This week on Tuesday 14th July, we staged a picnic on the school field for the Year 6 children to say goodbye and wish them all good luck and very best wishes as they move onto their secondary schools. I am delighted we were able to do this as at least gave them some sort of farewell as they have missed out on so much of the usual Year 6 leaving festivities and activities that we would do for them in more normal circumstances.

As a school we are determined to come back stronger and below I will set out how we will approach the reopening of the whole school as guided by the DFE, in September. We have already revised and re-planned our curriculum to take account of the emotional roller coaster many of our children, families and staff may have been on over the last 5 months, and we are determined to welcome everybody back safely and gently to ensure that a more normal education for the children can be resumed as soon as possible.

I want to reassure you that any gaps in learning will be assessed and quality first teaching and targeted intervention programmes will be planned to address these, but first and foremost I want to get all the children, parents and staff back to school safely and concentrate on reconnecting the whole school community and getting back to where we had been before the enforced closure with engaging families in the life of the school. Obviously, we will remain vigilant and continue to make sure everybody who comes to our school is safe and knows how to observe the rules on social distancing and sanitisation.

We were of course disappointed that we could not even end the year properly with face to face parents’ evenings but we did manage to get reports written and these are now available for collection. Using the zoom platforms for transition meetings was also something I was pleased to be able to offer as a school as again I felt this was important for connectivity and I am hearing very positive things about these meetings. It also means that the children will have met their new teacher and had the opportunity to say goodbye to their old one which for them I know is very important, and will help with preparing to return in September.

I just want to say a huge thank you to Mrs Southall, Mrs Targett-Adams, and all of the school senior leadership team who have been at my side throughout the crisis and together as a team we have tried our very best to ensure that some kind of normality was maintained and that we kept all children, staff and parents safe who were attending school during this period of great uncertainty. I am eternally grateful to them for helping me to ensure that no child or staff member became seriously ill with the Covid-19 virus during this time.

I would also like to welcome Jasmeet Atwal, Rianna Clunis, Sharon Birk and Hannah Priest who will be joining the teaching team at Redbridge in September. I am very much looking forward to working with them next year.

Below we have set out the organisational details for the return of the children in September. Please make sure that you are aware of the changes that will be necessary to ensure that we continue to keep the whole school community safe.

Safety protocols and Measures for arriving at and Leaving School

The DFE guidance states:

‘Staggered start and finish times should not reduce the amount of overall teaching time. A staggered start may, for example, include condensing / staggering free periods or break time but retaining the same amount of teaching time’

Redbridge Primary will aim to stagger the start and end of day timings to ensure as far as possible, that groups are kept apart as they arrive and leave school.

We look forward to welcoming the children back on Monday 7Th September. Staff INSET training will take place the week prior. This enables us to have the school ready for the children returning.

There will continue to be a one-way system in and out of school with hand sanitising stations situated at the entrance and exit gates. The entrance to the school for all year groups will be from the Highcliffe Gardens end and the exit will be onto College Gardens. This will be strictly enforced and parents are expected to follow the one-way system at all times without exception. This will be clearly marked and sign posted so that on the first day back we can start as we mean to carry on, in keeping everybody safe. Members of the school’s senior leadership team will be on hand to guide and direct parents and children in the morning and afternoon at drop off and collection times.

Gathering at the school gates and otherwise coming onto the site without an appointment is not allowed. All children should wear school uniform and bags and lunchboxes are allowed.

We are closing at 2.35pm on Fridays as we were before the lockdown measures were put in place as this will be the only time teachers can be released to plan for the children’s work. However, because of the safety bubble requirement we cannot provide after school provision so all children will need to be collected at this time on Fridays for the time being. I am hoping to reintroduce after school provision once the guidance allows me to do so.

All my very best wishes and please have a relaxing, safe and healthy summer break and I am counting the days until we can all meet again and carry on baking this wonderful cake together, that is Redbridge Primary School.

Kind wishes,

Steve Davies (Head Teacher)