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School Closure - January 2021

An update following the Government announcement on 4th January.

5th January 2021

Dear Parents and Carers,

Re: School Closure

I am sure you are aware of the Government announcement last night, closing schools to the majority of pupils across the country. Woodlane will be following this guidance due to the high transmission rates in London. This means that there will no longer be a phased return for all pupils over the next two weeks.

It is expected that this school closure will last for 6 weeks, until half-term. On our return, we anticipate mass-testing taking place, so please review and sign the consent forms for this if you haven’t already.

Whilst the timing of this announcement was not ideal, we feel it is the right outcome to protect pupils and staff, and our wider school community.

 

The Government advice is as follows:

“The single most important action we can all take is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives. All are being asked to follow this guidance immediately.”

“You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave the home to:

  • shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
  • go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
  • exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
  • meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
  • seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
  • attend education or childcare - for those eligible”

See the full guidance online: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home

 

Critical and Vulnerable Pupil Provision:

During this time, Woodlane will continue to operate a limited critical worker and vulnerable pupil provision in school for pupils with the greatest need. If your child is safer cared for at home, that is where they are expected to be.

If it is possible to offer an increased number of places in this provision during the next few weeks we will communicate this with you.

 

Lockdown and Homeworking:

This lockdown appears to be very similar to March/April 2020, but Woodlane now has significantly improved processes and systems to allow your child to work successfully from home. Please get in touch if you need any support regarding this. We ask that all pupils complete work set every day and attend live learning sessions timetabled, following as close to a normal routine as your personal circumstances allow. During this term we will support you and your child by:

  • Opening to a small number of pupils of critical workers and vulnerable children – including those on child protection/child in need plans.
  • Providing daily work for pupils through our remote learning portal ‘Firefly’ or in other formats where this is necessary. Some work will be longer (project style), other pupils will receive work for each lesson in their timetable.
  • Providing a comprehensive Live Learning programme, (through Microsoft Teams) beginning on Monday 11th January, for all pupils.
  • Calling you and your child each week – please expect a phone call from a withheld number on Thursday this week, and on Wednesday for the coming weeks.
  • Providing 3 assemblies per week at 9am, to support pupils to retain a routine and see/speak directly with staff and their friends.
  • Providing access to any Free School Meal systems implemented by the Government. Please note we are awaiting guidance on this at this time. If you require support immediately, please contact school or visit your local authority website where information is available.
  • Providing access to technology where this is needed.
  • Providing Year 11 pupils with specific support regarding decisions made on qualifications, post-16 provision and a remote Work Experience programme.
  • Remaining contactable via email and the school telephone for advice and support throughout this period of closure.

We send our best wishes to all our pupils and their families. We truly wish you good health and happiness during this challenging time.

Please do not hesitate to contact us via the school email if you require any further information.

 

Yours sincerely,

Tim Heapy
Interim Headteacher