Dear Parents and Carers

Well here we are at the end of the most unbelievable school year that I think any of us have ever experienced.  It has definitely felt like we have been on a roller coaster with so many highs and lows along the way.   It has been a rather bitter sweet ending due to the fact that we were unable to hold many of our end of term celebrations, however we felt we needed to acknowledge our 7 leavers with a socially distanced Leavers’ Assembly.  It was a very special event to be a part of and everyone at Pear Tree is really going to miss Thomas, James, Catherine, Mahnoor, Jonathon, Kane and Harriet and we wish them so much love and luck for the future.

I now cannot wait until September and we can finally fill our wonderful school full of children again.  Whilst many of you will share my enthusiasm for a full school return, I also understand your concerns about the safety and set up of the school.  September is still a long way away yet and in that time there may be changes put upon us both locally and nationally and any risk assessment I have written will be amended as required.  You have all been so patient throughout this crisis waiting for my updates and further information and once again I thank you so much for your co-operation and support.

During the latter part of August I will be sending some information out to you to digest before the start of the autumn term.  This will be in the form of a return to school handbook which should answer many of your questions or concerns with up to date information and guidance.  I will also be producing a short film for facebook to demonstrate some of the changes to the environment which you could share with your son/daughter to help alleviate any concerns.

Some headline information which I would like to share with you now is as follows:

Start and finish times

You will have been informed now of your child’s return to school date which has been made in consultation with the school nursing team and and the Physiotherapists.  If you have chosen to bring in and collect your child each day, please could you drop off between 9 a.m. and 9.15 a.m. and pick up between 2.30 p.m. and 2.45 p.m.  This will enable school transport to drop off and pick up without different groups of children crossing paths.  Please also follow the floor markings and information to support everyone to practise social distancing.  On arrival at school all children will be supported to thoroughly wash their hands; this will be kept up throughout the day.  At the end of the school day we will need children to promptly leave the building, so unfortunately staff will be unable to participate in any conversations or discussions with parents at this time.  If you would like to speak to a member of staff, please phone up at the end of the day and they will be more than happy to speak to you.

Class bases

Your child’s class have been split into smaller groups in order to minimise numbers in each group.  The class teacher will still have ultimate responsibility for the whole class and will work in the different groups throughout the week.  The teaching assistants assigned to the different bubbles will remain constant and the children have been organised into groups according to their level of need and preferred learning style.  The exact group and location in which your child will be based will be communicated with yourselves in August.  Children will eat lunch in their class base and will also be on a rota system for playground access.  All children will get a minimum of one and a half hours of outside learning/play during the day.  Children will have their own frequently used resources and any shared resources will be thoroughly cleaned in between use and certain ‘hard to clean’ toys have been taken out of use.

Curriculum

We feel that our extremely personalised curriculum is our recovery curriculum and it is my belief that our children need to return to the structure, routine, care and challenge that they previously experienced.  To support this we will also introduce the SHINE curriculum which is based on the NHS 5 ways to wellbeing which will support their emotional health and well-being.  Please trust us that we know your son/daughter well and understand what is needed in their ‘daily diet’ to ensure all of their needs are met.

Clothing and bags

Please can all children return in their school uniform in September (excluding Sixth Form).  This should be clean on each day and a spare set of clothes must be sent into school on the first day back which will be kept in school in case it is required.  We encourage all children to be bathed/showered on their return from school each day.  All children will be issued with a new home school diary and this should be brought into school each day in a small bag which only contains essential items e.g. gloves, hat, communication aid

Isolation of bubbles

If another person from your child’s bubble tests positive for COVID-19, we will disband that bubble and inform all children and staff to isolate at home for 14 days.  If during this time your child displays coronavirus symptoms, you should ensure they are tested and inform school of the outcome asap.  Throughout this period of isolation a robust home learning programme will be implemented.  At the end of the 14 day period, and as long as they are not symptomatic, they can return to school.

Visitors in school

Only essential visitors will be allowed into the school; this includes therapists, nursing team and any emergency building work required.  To reduce the number of people entering school, we will continue to liaise with parents remotely via the home school diary, phone calls and email.  If it is essential that a face to face meeting should take place, we will seek to put in measures to reduce the risk to allow this to happen but this should only happen by appointment.

I recognise that this has been a lot of information to digest so please make contact with school if you have any questions or concerns.

In conclusion I am so proud of how our school community has pulled together throughout this crisis.  My staff know how much I value each and every one of them but I wanted to share with you the amount of joy and strength I have gained from them.  I could not have effectively led this school these past four months without their encouragement, commitment and positivity; there is no other group of people I would have wanted to be with to get through all the challenges, hurdles and hiccups.   All the staff have worked incredibly hard to continue their highly skilled level of support whether the children have been in the building or not.  They have continued to go above and beyond to ensure every one of our children and their families has remained a valued member of the Pear Tree community.  I feel like the most privileged Headteacher ever to have worked alongside them all through this as together we have all remained committed to our school motto of “Achieving the best we can in everything we do”.

Have a great summer everyone and it is not long until we can all be together again.  Stay safe.

With the warmest of wishes

Kate