Woodland Middle School

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A values based school

Statement from Mr Conquest 26th May 2020

Dear Parents/Carers

Just wanted to give you the latest picture from Woodland as we approach the beginning of Step 2 of the Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Strategy.

The PM has intimated this week that Primary schools (and therefore Middle Schools) will re-open to Y6 from June 1st. The final confirmation that this is to happen is expected from the PM this week on Thursday. Assuming that our plans for re-opening to Y6 proceed we will be expecting around 110 Year 6 pupils back in school as well as up to 60 children (including some Y6) of key workers. To ensure that social distancing is manageable we have assessed the risks and concluded that only half the year group can be accommodated initially. We will of course continue to risk assess and will hope to increase our contact time with pupils if it is safe to do so. To the parents that have decided not to send their Year 6 children back to school at this time, be assured that if you change your mind we can accommodate your children. Parents who responded to our survey that they would like their child to return this term but later, please contact the school office when you would like your child to start.

Our teaching staff will continue to set work (after half term) online through Google Classroom for Years 5,7&8 and for the pupils in Year 6 that are not in school.

When thinking about the return to school please do have a chat with your child about the importance of the hygiene measures and the social distancing conventions. A helpful file from the Local Authority about getting to school safely is worth a read. Please note that we are asking all parents (other than those given express permission from the SEND team) to avoid entering the school grounds including the car parks so that congestion is at a minimum for those arriving at school. It is important that pupils arrive exactly in their allocated time slot and at the correct entrance so that coming into school can be orderly and social distancing and hand sanitising can happen efficiently.

I have been asked a number of times about what might happen for Year 8 and their transition. We have asked Redborne Upper School for their input on this…it seems that they are not planning a visit for Year 8 this term but will be preparing a video for the cohort. We are now quite resigned to the fact that we are unlikely to be able to bring Y8 back to school this term, however we will be looking to technology for a solution to celebrate their four year journey with us. I will be writing to parents of Year 4 with our plans for their transition shortly too.

The DfE have issued guidance to parents too – which I am sure you have all seen through social media too – but here is a link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers

I would like to publicly thank my staff for keeping our school open to Key Workers’ children throughout the lockdown weeks including the Easter holidays and this May half term week too. We have about 20 pupils in each day whilst their parents work in the NHS, the services, schools, the food supply chain and other essential services.

You may like to know that we are continuing to make sure that our staffing is secure for Sept 2020 and with that in mind we have re-appointed and welcome back Mr Solomon to Woodland. He will be joining our Year 5 team for next year and brings with him a wealth of Maths teaching experience too.

And finally…our SEND team have put together a little slide show for pupils that might be anxious about a return to school next week – so we’re attaching it here as everyone might appreciate it.

Warmest wishes,

Jeff Conquest


Returning to School

Parents back to School guide