A message from James Passmore

Welcoming children back to our schools

As we approach the end of the school year, I have been reflecting on the unprecedented challenges we have faced, particularly since 23 March when the schools closed to all children except those of key workers, and then gradually reopened for more pupils.

Four of our schools were able to remain open to provide in-school education for vulnerable children and children of key workers, as well as home-learning for all other pupils.

I have been encouraged by the excellent engagement of our children and their parents/carers to the home-learning programmes our teaching staff have provided. This is something I would like to build on in the new academic year, and look forward to continuing to engage and involve you in your children’s learning through our online platforms.

From 4 June, our schools welcomed back pupils in year 6, year 1 and Reception and it was wonderful to hear from our Heads, teachers, parents and children that pupils have been excited and happy to be back at school! The return to school was carefully planned over a number of weeks, which was challenging in itself given the amount of government guidance which was issued leading up to the reopening of the schools. We have received some very positive feedback from parents on the way our schools have managed the reopening and also on our communication with families.

During this time, we have also offered all pupils the opportunity to have some face-to-face time with their teachers before the summer holidays. I am delighted that this has taken place and the take-up has been very high. Our staff have been very creative in finding ways for new pupils to be able to have as smooth a transition into the schools as possible, for instance using virtual tours of the school and explaining what they can expect when they start school.

Planning for the new academic year has been underway for some time and I look forward to welcoming all the children, parents/carers and our staff back to school in September.

I hope you all have a very relaxing summer holiday.

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