Woodland Middle School

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A values based school

Statement from Mr Conquest 11th May 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,


Following the announced roadmap to exit lockdown outlined by the Prime Minister this past weekend – I wanted let you know about our plans for re-opening Woodland to some pupils from (potentially) after May half term.


The PM has stated that Y6 are one of the preferred year groups to return to school – presumably ahead of the national transition to Secondary Schools. This is not a transfer year group in Middle Schools and so our preference is in fact to bring Y8 back to school. The PM did mention that he would hope to allow some Secondary aged pupils to return to school before the summer holidays and so it may be that Y8 will need to wait until then. As Middle Schools we are awaiting direction from the DfE on what we are legally allowed to do and when of course it is safe to do so. Parents/Carers of pupils at Woodland therefore should NOT assume that Y6 will be our first year group to return as we would want to prioritise Y8 ahead of their transition to Redborne.


Nevertheless, we do have a comprehensive plan in place to bring a year group back to school and can put that in place quickly given that we have a nearly completely healthy staff and that we have never closed down (having been running a childcare provision for key workers’ children since the national lockdown began). As you know Woodland has large year groups and so we are NOT able to safely accommodate (with social distancing) a whole year group at a time. We plan initially to take in a half year group for Monday/Tuesday and a half year group for Thursday/Friday. On Wednesdays and other times staff will be setting online work for other year groups and deep cleaning our facilities for the arrival of new groups.


The Keyworkers’ Children Childcare will run 5 days a week and we anticipate an increase in demand – applications can still be made through the online form. The half year group of 3 classes - will be split into 9 classes – each one will be taught in a single room, with each child assigned his/her own table and given their own equipment. There will be no sharing of anything. Teachers will come to their room to deliver a very much revised version of the curriculum given that many subjects cannot operate without social distancing or equipment sharing. Each class will enter school at a different entry point or a different time and social distancing of 2m at all times will be enforced. Pupils that wilfully ignore the 2m rule will be liable to sanctions.


Again – we are awaiting advice for Middle Schools specifically from the DfE on how we are allowed to proceed and so will make our plans definitive as soon as we can. For now, we wanted you to be aware that we are fully planned for a restart but that we do not know yet which year group we will be starting with.


In anticipation of a return to school, a helpful file is provided by Central Beds Council which is attached to aid your child’s return to the school environment. Our SEN team will provide additional support for those pupils that need some preparatory work ahead of a return to school. We will also provide smaller work spaces for pupils that will not cope with the new slightly austere arrangements.


Also, I have been asked to highlight the support that exists for those that are suffering domestic abuse during lockdown – please see the attached flyer to direct you to support.


Best wishes and good health,

Jeff Conquest


Practical Tips to ease your child back to school

Domestic abuse – help during lockdown