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St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

Together as one family

Letter about the reopening of school to all pupils on March 8th

Dear Parents,  

 

As we move towards the reopening of the school to all pupils, here are a few reminders and some other information.

 

Firstly, I want to reassure you about what school will look like during the period to Easter.  As we ease the children back into school, we will be adapting our curriculum to really focus on the core areas, such as English and Maths.  We will also be spending time on RE as we move towards Easter.  There will be lots of ‘wellbeing’ activities and time for the children to be back with their friends and build the bonds of friendship again. Our staff know your children very well and being small means we can give lots of individual attention and support should they need it. If you have any concerns, please speak to us.

 

Other points:

  • Please make sure your children DO NOT come to school if you or they are displaying any symptoms.  Don’t forget the new ones we have also been advised to look out for – fatigue, gastro problems such as diarrhoea and sickness, and headaches.  If in doubt, to protect everyone, always err on the side of caution and go for a test.
  • Little Changes PE and Yoga will be starting up again as we feel the children really benefit from them.  Children can come to school in their PE kit on a Wednesday and Friday and stay in it all day.
  • We will be getting outside as much as possible, but the weather can still be very cold at the moment, so please ensure your child brings a coat.
  • Full school uniform is expected on their return, but we will understand where children have outgrown items, such as school shoes. We will make allowances if children need to wear an alternative until you are able to get to a shop.
  • Full school meals will start again from Monday at £2.50 a day.  We will be moving to the Parent Pay system as soon as possible.
  • Breakfast Club (from 8am) and After school club (until 4.30) will be running again, just for childcare at the moment, but you MUST book in advance the previous week so that we can arrange staffing.  Phone the office or email Mrs Johnston on jjohnston@st-josephs-cockermouth.cumbria.sch.uk
  • Please remember to send in a water bottle each day.
  • Children should only bring in the minimum that is needed to school each day.  They should not bring toys unless something has been arranged with their teacher. We will still send home reading books but are moving to an online reading record system – information about this will come out soon.
  • If you have been loaned a laptop or tablet, please ensure they are returned on Monday.
  • Absence procedures will continue as they always have.  You MUST let us know why your child is not in school, by 9.30am.  If we do not hear from you we will work down a list of measures, including texting, phoning and emailing both you and the emergency contacts we hold.  If we still do not know why your child is absent, we will come to your house to do a home visit.  If we are unable to make contact, we will call the POLICE and ask them to make a welfare check.  These measures are in place across all the schools in Cumbria as we must know where your child is. 
  • Make sure your contact information is correct in the office.  If you, or one of the emergency contacts we have on file, have changed their number, please let us know.
  • Remember, we are a NUT free and KIWI FRUIT free school.
  • If your child is self-isolating (but fit and well), we will still send out work to complete at home so that they can keep up with their peers as much as possible. 
  • As we approach Easter, we will not be able to invite you in to school for the usual events sadly.  However, we will still try to keep things the same where possible and have many of our traditional activities such as Egg Dumping and Egg Rolling.  Information about these will come out nearer the time.

 

I can appreciate that a return to school coinciding with some temporary changes in staff could be difficult for some children.  Please reassure them that the there will still be plenty of staff in school that they will know.  Unfortunately, Mrs Graham and Mr Graham are away from school temporarily (not COVID related), but we have some great staff who are fulfilling their roles until they are able to return.  They have been spending this week getting to know the school and the children who are in and are excited to meet everyone.

Skiddaw Class – Mr Barnes with Mrs Nelson

Whinlatter – Mrs Johnston and Mrs Fleming with Mrs Child and Miss Sowerby

Mrs Heaney remains in the office until Mrs Wallace Lawman returns after Easter.

Mrs Johnston is in school in a leadership role until I am able to return in person, but we communicate daily and I am always available contactable by phone or via email.

 

This has been such as difficult time for everyone.  The staff in school have been fantastic – keeping both the school going and providing remote learning at the same time. And you have been marvellous at home!  You have helped your children to keep up with their learning and to keep them sane – all whist trying to keep yourselves sane too!

 

It does feel hopeful at the moment, but we are not out of the woods yet! As much as the government tell you all the good news at the briefings about the reduction in numbers becoming ill or dying, the scientists are always adding a note of caution.  Their advice always is to follow the guidance to keep yourselves and everyone else safe.

 

As we open school again to all children, my plea to everyone is to keep doing all the things you have been doing, because it has worked – we haven’t had any incidents of people catching the virus!  Please maintain social distancing at all times; don’t let children have play dates etc and keep up the measure that have kept us all safe, such as regular hand washing. Hopefully, by doing these things and following the guidance strictly, we can all get through this and look forward to a summer of meeting up with families and friends again.

 

 

Stay safe and thank you for everything you have done this term!

The staff are really looking forward to seeing your children back in school on Monday!

 

 

Andrea Worthington

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