I hope you all had a peaceful Christmas and I wish you all a very Happy New Year.
I am sure you are all aware of the announcement made by Mr Weir on Thursday 31st December that Primary Schools are to remain closed until 11th January 2021. This is not the start any of us would have wished for at the beginning of a new term, however, we all recognise that the health and safety of the children, staff and all of our families is paramount.
Direction was slow in coming from the Executive to principals, after 6.30pm last night to be precise, so this last minute decision making has been far from ideal. I wish to reassure you that the school will be open on Tuesday 5th January in accordance with guidance:
• The first day of the normal school term will be used to prepare for the rest of the week.
• Primary school pupils will be taught remotely until Friday 8 January, after which they will attend school for face-to-face teaching.
• Childcare settings including those attached to schools, pre-school facilities, nurseries and special schools will be open as usual;
• Schools will accommodate vulnerable children and the children of key workers from January 5th 2021 for supervised learning.
Further clarity on the definition of key workers and children who are deemed as vulnerable can be found on separate document Am I a key worker, is my child vulnerable ... https://primarysite-prod-sorted.s3.amazonaws.com/st-colums-primary-school/UploadedDocument/2e5265069fdb4500882df09f3d233c62/am-i-a-key-worker-is-my-child-vulnerable.pdf
Furthermore we recognise that this is a particularly stressful time for parents and children who may be preparing for GL or AQE assessments and we want to assure you we will continue to support those pupils online or in face to face learning as appropriate. Please contact me directly via email to discuss a way forward. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In order to manage the logistics of this I would appreciate if those of you who require to send your child/children to school for all or a part of next week, would reply to a text message I will send out on Saturday morning, as I can then compile a list of expected attendees.
As the guidance has indicated Monday 4th January is to be used by teachers for planning and preparation for the week ahead. I will contact you all again on Monday to notify you of the arrangements for online/blended learning. I will keep you informed of any further developments. In the meantime we will all work together to support your children and hopefully look forwards to welcoming them back in person the following week.
Mrs KS McCullagh