Important update from the headteacher – easing of lockdown

Dear Parents and Carers, I hope you are well. I am very grateful for the different queries asked of school this week following our Prime minister’s announcement outlining the next phase of the easing of lockdown with specific reference to the wearing of masks in school.

The guidance clarifies that as of Monday coming, May 17th, students will no longer need to wear masks in school whether that be in lesson or in communal areas such as hall ways, canteens etc.

Now, I am sure that many of you will share my concern as to the fact that whilst it is encouraging to see a phased return to normality, it is also very important that we maintain the vigilance, care and sensible approach we have collectively given so much to over the last year or so.

My reasons for suggesting as such is because as a school:

* We still have a number of staff who have yet to be fully vaccinated,
* We have a number of staff with extended families including the elderly and vulnerable,
* We have a significant number of our children who include the elderly and vulnerable in their wider family and whose Parents and Carers are front line workers,
* Since our return on March 8th we have enjoyed a growing number of weeks which have been largely uninterrupted and have therefore allowed us to fully engage with teaching and learning, supporting the academic progress of our children and ensuring that we are caring for the their pastoral needs. It would be a shame to see this disturbed for the want of being reasoned and determined in our ongoing approach.

So, taking the thoughts and needs of all concerned in to account and in conjunction with the latest amendments published, I am suggesting the following as the approach in school for the remainder of this term by way of achieving a happy medium for all.

* Should staff wish to continue to wear their masks they may do so,
* Should a student wish to continue to wear his/her mask he/she may do so,
* Should a Parent/Carer wish their child(ren) to wear their mask we will support that wish,

In addition to the above and until further notice we will continue to:

* sanitise on entry to and on exiting Form rooms and classrooms,
* provide tissues and sanitising wipes in all Form rooms, classrooms and offices,
*  socially distance,
* sit frontwards facing in Form and in lessons,
* utilise seating plans in Form and in lessons,
* maintain 2m distance in Form and in lessons,
* utilise our current practice regarding Learning Hubs,
* use designated entrances and exits for students arriving to and leaving school,
* use our current practice of staggered breaks and lunchtimes.

I hope this clarifies any queries you may have.

Time will be spent during Form time tomorrow morning explaining the detail enclosed above to our students but I would be most grateful if you would discuss it at home also.

Thank you for your support and ongoing encouragement and as always please do not hesitate to contact us should you wish to discuss anything further.

Mrs Bowen

Headteacher | + posts

Mrs S Bowen is the Headteacher of St Thomas More Catholic School.