Wednesday 6th January
As has been the case since this pandemic began, as a school Principal I get to hear the decisions made about schools via social media. Last night it was on Twitter and as of this morning, I am still waiting for official guidance from DE. I had hoped to send a second letter yesterday, but as with every ministerial decision it came whilst I watched Emmerdale!
It makes me so angry and frustrated, that we are not informed with more notice, or given the courtesy of formal notice before Belfast Live or Robbie at the BBC get to spread the word and not the schools. But that’s my rant over for another day!!!
So in a nutshell, school will remain closed until the February mid term, with a return to school all being well on Monday 22nd February.
We have a a high number of key workers’ children, vulnerable children and those children with Statements of Educational Needs in school this week, therefore we won’t be accepting anymore children from next week.
Those children attending school are completing the work teachers are putting on seesaw, they are not being taught in the classrooms, as DE have directed us to carry out supervised learning/childcare and not face to face teaching during this lockdown.
Children are in mixed year groups bubbles, being kept in the same room each day, with the same children but with different staff supervising on a rota. We would remind all parents whose children are attending school, they are not to be sent in if they are showing signs of being unwell, they must remain at home. If you have changed your mind about your child attending, we need to be informed, so we can plan staffing levels accordingly.
To ensure my staff attending school to cover are kept safe, we must keep numbers at a manageable number. It is also important to remind parents, our staff also have their own families, their own caring responsibilities and right now they are anxious, worried and to be honest frightened at how this pandemic has progressed. My teachers and assistants want nothing more than to teach in their classrooms, but only when it is safe for everyone and now is just not the safe time, we all hoped it would be as we entered 2021.
If you have exhausted all childcare options and think you would qualify for childcare as a Keyworker, we can hold your child’s name on a waiting list in the event those currently attending school give up their places.
For parents working at home with the children, remember to log onto Seesaw each day, keep the children in a school day routine and don’t hesitate to contact the teacher if you need advice or ideas to keep the children on track. Please do share the children’s photos on Seesaw and or Facebook, we all need motivation and a reason to smile.
Take care, please keep safe and remember each day to set aside a little bit of ME time.