Following the further announcement from the Government last night, Cherry Orchard will only be open to vulnerable children and children of critical workers until at least 22 February.
During the first lockdown in March last year we had a total of 10 children who accessed childcare in school at Cherry Orchard. Today we have in excess of 50 children registered to access childcare provision in school.
As we have a very high number of critical worker children I would once again ask that you consider very carefully whether you need this childcare. It is important that our vulnerable children are prioritised and, as we move forward and circumstances change, it may be necessary to prioritise children where both parents/carers are critical workers. We are already concerned that we may not have sufficient chromebooks or iPads for the children to access their online learning and, although we are trying to reduce contact, this is more difficult with the increased numbers we have coming into school. We are restricting movement around the school and ensuring that bubbles do not come into contact with each other, but in the event of a positive case reported in school, that Key Stage bubble will be sent home and required to isolate for ten days.
We would like to remind parents of the governments reasons for closing schools, the DfE state:
‘ limiting attendance is about reducing the number of contacts that all of us have with people in other households.
And go on to say …
‘in the face of the rapidly rising numbers of cases across the country and intense pressure on the NHS, we now need to use every lever at our disposal to reduce all contacts outside households wherever possible.
As we are now in a full lockdown, and the intent of school closures is to limit the number of people leaving their homes and minimising contacts with others wherever possible, please consider if you do still need to send your child into school, where they will be potentially in contact with up to 25 other children and adults in their Key Stage bubble.
If children are able to be supervised at home whilst accessing their remote learning by an adult in your household (who is not a critical worker) then this is by far the preferable option and ensures they are not unnecessarily exposed to contact with other households.
We will update you further as we work with the Trust to understand the implications of the longer term school closures on our capacity in relation to staffing and IT resources.
Mrs J Forsythe