Firstly, I would like to thank you for the excellent work you have done at home to prepare your children for returning to school. When teachers talked to the children in classrooms, many already understood and knew exactly what to do with ‘safe spaces’ and hand washing. You will not be surprised to hear that the children’s behaviour in all year groups has been exemplary.
Learning does look different at the moment, and pupils have done really well to manage the change to classrooms. As you know we have focused this terms curriculum on learning key knowledge and skills needed for transition to new year groups. We have also focused on sport and, of course, PSHE and children’s positive mental health. Mrs Booth has ensured additional learning through music, the Big Sing and a Ukulele project. We will be having a virtual sports day at home and school later in the term.
The high school has contacted year 6 pupils and is setting plans for a virtual transition at the moment. Mrs Hall, Mr. Woolacott and Mrs. Goff are working with high school colleagues to undertake transition meetings.
We have received a great deal of emails and messages of support and praise for all that the staff have done in order to open on June 1st to Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils and this has been gratefully received by everyone.
In recent days I, like you, have been watching the news and it is clear many decisions are left to us in our local communities. At Drake and Little Pirates, we are well supported by Norfolk County Council who have provided templates for the risk assessments that you have seen on our website. Chris Snudden (Director of Learning and Inclusion) and Sara Tough (Executive Director of Children’s Services) meet regularly with head teachers and are well aware of what is happening across the county in schools. At Drake we are proud to be one of only 52% of schools nationally, that opened for pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6, in addition to the children of key workers . This was only possible as a result of the entire staff team and our governing body working together to make it happen and I know you have really appreciated the commitment to our school and the children that everyone has shown.
As we look forward to planning to open to more pupils, we will need to know more about how many pupils we might expect to welcome back to school; we can then see what would need to be in place for the required social distancing, cleaning, staggered start and finish times, breaks and lunches. This will clarify if we need to ask our local authority to support the wider opening of Drake Primary with additional resources. Unfortunately, given recent announcements, we now have a short time to plan so I would ask all families, including those who are already here in school with their year groups or in our Key Worker Rooms, to complete the questionnaire as soon as possible (see the link on our website and on Parent Hub). I know that these decisions are not easy but we will close the questionnaire at midday Monday 15th June.
Thank you for all your support,