Message from SLT - May 22nd, 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope that you are all keeping safe and well!
We have been very busy working in school to get a sense of what the new "normal" will look like when we potentially welcome back some of our children for the final term of the year. After much debate and reflection, we feel that it is important to take a measured and gradual approach in order to keep everybody as safe as possible.
As I have said before, I want to be as open as possible with you but this is proving very difficult with the sheer quantity of advice/guidance (often contradictory), which is being released. Once we have finalised plans we will of course explain what life will be like back in school. We do know however that our school is going to feel very different. Children will need to socially distance in school, with desks set out in classrooms 2m apart and, in line with Government guidance, all unnecessary furniture, soft furnishings, small toys, and books will be removed; drop off and pick up times will be staggered; children will eat their lunch in classrooms; parents/carers will not be allowed in the school buildings to name but a few. We appreciate that this is an extremely challenging time for you all and we understand that the flurry of communications from the Government has done little to help you or us make sense of it all.
At the moment we are intending to bring Key Worker/vulnerable children only into school as of 1st June. The provision will continue as normal for those first two weeks. Only if it is safe to do so, will we take the tentative steps of welcoming the Year 1 children back in the week beginning Monday 15th June 2020. The Government is due to make an announcement on Thursday 28th May 2020 on whether the country has met the five tests and we are hoping that there will be some much needed clarity at that point. We will then communicate our plans in more detail with you including whether it is safe and feasible to open up the school to more children. I say all of this in the knowledge that an independent group of SAGE scientists released a statement today saying that it is not safe to open schools on the 1st June.
After much consideration we will now be opting for a system of class “bubbles” with a maximum of 15 children in each, if and when we do open. If your child is in Year 1 you will be offered a mixed approach with two days in school and three days of home learning. The school days will be set as Monday and Tuesday for Group 1 and Thursday and Friday for Group 2 each week. It is unlikely at this stage that all children will be taught by their class teacher.
Thank you for your responses to the parental survey which enabled us to ascertain the numbers of parent/cares who intend to send their children back into school. In the week commencing 1st June, class teachers will contact you directly to finalise numbers if we are able to open to Year 1. Please be aware that children will only be able to be part of one “bubble” and therefore will not be able to move between key worker/year group “bubbles”.
I hope this has given you some more information regarding how the school will operate during these difficult and testing times.
Alison, Becky and Sam
Parental Survey - Potential June 1st Opening
Parental Survey for EYFS, Y1 and Y6 Parents Only
In light of the government's recent announcement on the possible reopening of schools, could you please complete this questionnaire so that we are able to gather the views of parents and carers in our school community.
Message from SLT - May 12th 2020
I hope that you are all safe and well.
I have waited before writing to you as I thought that the announcement by Boris Johnson on Sunday would bring some clarity to the situation and I would therefore be in a position to write to you in an informed way. As many of you are aware advice is changing all the time and this is very difficult to manage.
In his address to the country, the Prime Minister spoke of Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children returning to school as of 1st June with an ambition to bring back ALL primary aged children by the end of June. I am sure you were all for a moment filled with hope – hope for a return to normality, before the reality of what this actually meant sunk in. It is important to note that prior to the release of the latest proposals the Government had sent through no information/plans or details on what the new proposals would, in fact, be. Until yesterday, we had not received any further information to support us with this new plan to start the phased reopening of some year groups. The Plan to Rebuild; the UK Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Strategy document released yesterday did little, if anything, to clarify how this would work in practice. We hoped to receive further information from the DfE, and sure enough a further set of documents were released yesterday evening including suggestions for social distancing, less pupils in school, splitting of classes, staggered lunches/start and end times and so on but with little detail on how this would work in practice. The document released on Monday also made it clear that the dates set out could be delayed if the five conditions are not met at any stage with any changes announced at least 48 hours in advance and so potentially at very short notice.
I felt it was best to be honest with you as our school community and share our initial thoughts with you so that we are being as open and transparent as possible about the situation we are facing.
Firstly, I think it is important to state that there is no such thing as social distancing in schools. It does not exist and will never exist. The reason childhood illnesses spread in a school is because we are all in constant contact with each other, hence the spread of chicken pox for example when it starts in a class. This virus we have been told is a super spreader and therefore although child mortality has thankfully been low, there remains a very real risk to the staff who work in our school.
Secondly, after 17 years of headship and having taught since the early 80s, I have been in the privileged position to lead this school through many changes – some very challenging. I have had the pleasure of caring for hundreds/thousands of children and leading a dedicated group of staff over the years and now. And yet, I find myself in the unfathomable position of not knowing how this could possibly work. Adhering to social distancing (just!) will mean splitting classes into groups of 10 on a three weekly rotation, so that children can be taught by their class teacher, after weeks of social isolation. This is in spite of the latest guidance from the Government for parents/carers which recommended groups of 15 and does not take into account the trauma that many children may have experienced after months of social isolation.
Thirdly, entry to the school will have to be significantly reduced with potentially no admission to the school grounds and/or buildings on either site for adults and strict adherence to the 2m social distancing rule whilst dropping children in the morning and collecting at the end of the school day. A delayed entry to school in the mornings could work …West Norwood has 5 entrances (including the car park entrance) so we could limit year groups to certain entrances and Streatham has 3 (including the car park entrance) so we could have 3 points of entry. Staggered starts and ends to the school day could make this more workable but I am at a loss as to how this would actually work in practice.
Fourthly, lunches would be an impossible feat. Were social distancing to be adhered to in the lunch halls, we would spend all day catering for the children and children then having lunch and breaks at odd times. The only solution would be to offer packed lunches and for children to eat in classes if children were attending for the whole day.
Fifthly, in order to overcome some of the many challenges we are proposing that we possibly adopt a staged approach to children coming back to school with Reception coming in first, followed by Year 1 and then Year 6 in the first instance. This will mean that not all children in those Year groups will start on June 1st. Children will be in on a three weekly rota basis which we will share with you once it is completed.
Finally, we all want schools and life to return to normal. We all miss the children and the vibrancy of normal school life. We are committed to this happening but need a measured and well-planned approach for this to be workable. We understand the pressure you are all under and empathise with you completely. Many of us are parents/carers and are in the same position – trying to juggle home schooling with our jobs, managing furloughing/loss of jobs amongst other things. At the moment, for us in school, there is no change to the guidance. We will provide care for those parents/carers whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response and only those that cannot be safely cared for at home. The message is it is still safer to stay at home.
We are in urgent need of clear guidance to plan how it is possible to socially distance in schools and keep our children, teachers and families safe including how we might start to phase groups of children returning and what this will look like in practice. Please be assured that there is no way we will open until we are 100% prepared.
As always we will keep you informed but for now, please try not to worry. Our plan for now is to continue to provide activities for learning at home, keep contact with you, our families and continue to support each other in these very difficult and uncertain times.
Best wishes to you all!
Alison, Becky and Sam
Term 5 News
Welcome back to what would have been the start of Term 5. Strange times indeed! Casting my mind back a few weeks I could not have imagined a world where schools would be closed, online learning would be in place, streets would be virtually empty and social distancing would be the new norm. The situation at the moment for us all sometimes feels like a slightly surreal, recurring dream....Everything feels at times quite overwhelming and strange....but here we are and it has become our new normality. These are truly unprecedented times, with the uncertainty of when we might start recognising things as "normal" again one of the biggest issues we face.
I sincerely hope that you and your families are well during these times of great worry and uncertainty. There is no doubt that we are living through a period that could perhaps significantly change society and the way we all live.
In line with Government requests, Julian's Primary has continued to open to the children of critical workers, vulnerable children with a named social worker, and children who have a formal Education and Health Care Plan. This opening has been Monday to Friday including over the Easter break. We have also made vouchers available to all children eligible for free school meals. Please contact email@example.com if you are having difficulty in accessing these.
We are grateful to all staff for recognising that these are unprecedented times, and for continuing to work, in spite of the increased risk to their own health, and that of their families, caused by being in school. Where staff do not need to be in school, we have asked them to work from home, in line with government advice. We are very grateful to all parents/carers who are critical workers for keeping their children at home where at all possible - this is the safest place for them.
Since the closure of all schools to most children, we have made J2e available to all our families. Please contact us if you are having difficulty accessing the materials on STRclosures@juliansprimary.org.uk or WNclosures@juliansprimary.org.uk depending on your child/ren's site. We are grateful to all parents/carers who have supported the children in completing learning at home. These packs cannot replicate what children do in school with their teachers, our facilities and resources but we are all doing the best we can in the circumstances.
There are, of course, lots of new and free on-line educational materials now being published and available for those that want to do them, and we would encourage you to make use of them if you would like to.
At the point of writing, we have no indication about when schools might be fully open again, in spite of the recent news coverage. It seems likely that all will be asked to have a phased opening of some description, possibly with children attending on a part-time basis to help maintain social distancing in classrooms (impossible with 30 children!). We are evaluating national advice on a daily basis, and are very much looking forward to welcoming all children and staff back into school as soon as the scientific advice tells us that it is safe to do so.
Please continue to keep yourselves and your family safe during these very trying times by staying at home and following all rules on social distancing. Holding up the spread of this highly dangerous and often life-threatening disease has to be the priority for each and every one of us.
As a special treat, we thought it would be good to spread a little Julian's happiness with our very own version of HAPPY...Please watch and enjoy!
We miss you all!
Stay safe and well....
Alison, Becky and Sam
September 2020 Reception Places
If you have received your offer for a Julian's Reception place for September 2020, please make sure you accept by April 30th. Sites will only be confirmed after this date
JPS Summer Childcare Provision
We are currently planning our provision for the Summer Term. If you are a government identified key worker, your family qualifies for your child to receive childcare while the school is closed for most. In order for us to adequately staff and resource this provision we need you to complete and return the form below by Thursday 16th April at 10 am (at the very latest). We will notify families by lunchtime on Friday 17th April. If you have already provided the information on the first page of the document, please just complete page two. Please complete a separate form for each child.
Please remember that:
- Where it is possible, children should stay at home
- If there is a second parent/carer in the home who is not a key worker, the child/ren should stay home with them
Dear Parents/Carers and children!
We hope this finds you all safe and well. This is, without doubt, a period of unprecedented anxiety and uncertainty and everyone at Julian’s sends much love and strength to all children and their families.
School will remain closed over the Easter period for all but essential key workers. The holiday project for the 2-week “holiday” period will be set on Friday 3rd April 2020 through J2e and online learning will then resume Monday 20th April 2020. Please contact us if you are unable to access your J2e account so that we can help you.
And ……..as we’re all missing singing assembly and the uplifting feel it all gives us on a Tuesday and Wednesday each week, here’s “1,2,3 It’s Good to be Me!” to sing and sign with your children! Have fun!
Remember sometimes life isn't all rainbows and sunshine but after the rain there’s a rainbow, after a storm there’s calm, after night there’s morning, and after an end there’s always a new beginning…
We hope that you all have a restful break during these turbulent times and that you look after yourselves.
Alison, Becky and Sam
P.S. - You may find this a useful link to share: Where Did Everybody Go? - A book to share about the Coronavirus
Message from SLT
As we now come to the end of the first week of home learning, we hope that you are all well and managing... We are missing the children very much and the hustle and bustle of everyday school life. Life in school is strangely quiet!
We have had some really helpful feedback from parents/carers on home learning and are grateful for the lovely positive emails that you have sent. They have meant a lot to us! Whilst we have had many positive comments from you, we are also aware that some of you may be feeling under pressure to complete the home learning that is being set and that many of you are juggling your own work commitments at the same time. Please remember that you can only do what is right for you and your family. We are all doing the best we can in very difficult circumstances and that is all we ask of you.
I am sure that for many of the children, the idea of being off school initially sounded great, but as the reality of isolation and the inability to socialise and/or see friends for play dates/sleep overs has sunk in, it has become less of a novelty. Please remember that what children need right now is to feel like it's going to be okay in these uncertain times and so you should only do what you can. Remember it is not school at home. It might mean that you don't log onto J2e but play board games, bake a cake, watch movies, go for a walk, do PE with Joe on Youtube, take a virtual field trip, start a book or enjoy the sunshine where and when you can. It's up to you! The important hing is that you take care of yourselves and your children...
Don't worry about your children falling behind. Every single child in the entire country is in the same boat and they're will all be okay. We do not know what the future may bring and when or if school will be reopened this academic year. It is you, your children and your family's well-being during this time that is the most important thing. Remember, this storm will pass. We just do not know when...
Stay safe and look after each other
Alison, Becky and Sam
Be aware of scam emails
We have been informed that some parents have received an email stating the following: ‘As schools will be closing, if you’re entitled to free school meals, please send your bank details and we’ll make sure you’re supported’.
We can confirm that this is a scam email and is not official. We urge parents that if you receive any emails like this, please do not respond, and delete it immediately.
J2E Teething Problems
We are aware that there have been some difficulties with accessing the j2e website this morning. This was a problem with the main website and so out of the school's control. The website is now working fully and the children should be able to access activities in their class folder.
Staff are working tirelessly to ensure that all children have access to online learning. These are however unprecedented circumstances and there will no doubt be some bumps in the road so we thank you for your patience. If you experience problems with the site then we recommend completing an activity from the TTS activity pack which can be found in the useful website links and resources section of the home learning page.
JPS Key Worker Update
UPDATE - If you have been offered a childcare space at Julian's you are required to complete the attached information form and either send it back by email or in person by Tuesday 24th March.
Thanks to those parents/carers who filled in the questionnaire last week. This has been very helpful and we have been able to allocate places accordingly.
Remember: if you, as a key worker have someone at home who can safely look after your child, then your child should stay at home and they must NOT come to the setting.
If you are able to keep your child at home for eg if you work from home, if there are older siblings at home or if you do not have to attend work, then your children are expected to stay AT HOME.
Social distancing is essential to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus and we ALL need to comply. School is only open to those key workers who HAVE to work. As previously stated at the moment we can only offer limited spaces.
Staff will have a list of children who have been given a space. Unfortunately, If you are not on the list, you will not be able to enter school. We understand that this is frustrating, but these rules are in place to protect our staff and children. Please remember that carers, teachers and specialist support staff are putting their health and their family’s health at risk to look after the children at their setting so that key workers can get to work.
If you are accessing childcare at the school and you work shifts, you would be expected to collect your child as soon as possible so they are at the setting for as little contact time as is possible ( at some point, proof of shift patterns will be asked for from employers).
The situation in the UK is currently extremely serious. It is likely that large numbers of people are going to get ill, some critically. Please follow Government guidelines for staying at home and do just that....stay at home.
The list and need for childcare will be reviewed and is subject to change.
Stay Well and stay safe
It is with a heavy heart that we have had to take the decision to close Julian's for an indefinite period. Yesterday was a sad day for all of us as we move into a uncertain future. I would like to thank you all for your understanding during this difficult and stressful time. We would particularly like to thank those of you who have taken the time to send in messages of support. These were really appreciated by the staff team who have been working tirelessly over the past couple of weeks.
We will continue to communicate through our website regarding any updates we have on this ever evolving situation.
In the meantime, please take care and stay well. Remember...this storm will pass!
Our very best wishes
Alison, Becky and Sam
Key Worker Update
Friday 20th March - Update
We are currently collating all of the applications for childcare places and will forward the information onto parents by the end of the day - Thank you for your patience at this stressful time
The full list of key workers was released by the DfE and Cabinet Office at midnight on March 19th. The government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and schools to remain open for childcare only for those children who absolutely need to attend. If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.
All key worker requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis and we will have to prioritise places offered based on our capacity. The highest priority will be for families where both parents are key workers or where a sole parent is a key worker. If you make a request for care you will need, in addition to providing evidence of your work, to obtain confirmation from your employer that, based on business continuity arrangements, your specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service. We understand that this may need to be done retrospectively.
This is an offer to parents and carers and there is no requirement for parents/carers to send their children to school if they do not need or wish to do so. This is a very different type of provision to that which schools normally provide as it will be about care, not education.
For vulnerable children, your child’s social worker will work with you to assess the best option for your child.
If you are one of the following key workers and would like Julian's to provide childcare, please return the school closure questionnaire as soon as possible
- Health and social care
- This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.
- Education and childcare
- This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.
- Key public services
- This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.
- Local and national government
- This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies.
- Food and other necessary goods
- This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).
- Public safety and national security
- This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas.
- This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.
- Utilities, communication and financial services
- This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.
Key Workers Information
Thank you for all your support during this challenging time.
We are currently in the process of making arrangements for next week following the Government announcement yesterday. We are still waiting for additional guidance and hope to be in a position to share these details with you tomorrow.
Please note that if you are a key worker you will now need to complete the school closure questionnaire to confirm this and return it to us as soon as possible so that we can finalise numbers.
Please ensure that you have collected workbooks from the offices on both sites with details regarding home learning. If you are unable to access J2e please let us know as soon as possible by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Please stay safe and well. We wish you all the best in these difficult times.
Alison, Becky and Sam
18th March 2020 Update following Government briefing
Following the Government briefing today at 5.15pm, I can confirm that the school will close as of Friday 20th March 2020 to all children except those of key workers until further notice. This follows closures of schools as of Friday in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The situation as you will be aware is more serious in London with the virus spreading faster in the capital than any other part of the country.
We kindly request that all key workers - those who work in the NHS, Police force and delivery drivers - notify us as soon as possible on firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com so that we can make arrangements for their children. We will need verification of your key worker status. Please be aware that we do not yet know how the Government intends this to work in practice. We will contact families who are working with Social workers and children with EHCPs directly.
As we said in our earlier update we are doing our very best to minimise the disruption to all of our children's education as much as possible. We have been putting in place arrangements for the children to complete work through J2e - an online LGFL learning platform.
We hope you stay safe and well during these unprecedented times.
March 18th 2020 UPDATE
Firstly we would like to thank you all for your continued support during this very challenging period. Our highest priority is the wellbeing of our children, staff and wider community.
We are following the Government and Public Health England’s advice on managing the Coronavirus situation and have been closely monitoring the situation.
We are expecting a Commons statement on the situation regarding school closures in England at 5pm today, following a decision for all schools in Wales and Scotland to close as of Friday. We understand that given the situation, all schools may close for all but the children of key workers, but this is not yet confirmed.
However we also need to inform you that as a school it is likely that we may need to make the difficult decision to close over the next few days. This is due to the unprecedented challenges that COVID-19 presents to our community. This week pupil attendance has decreased significantly alongside a large increase in staff absence due to the latest guidance from the Government and PHE. This is making the day to day operations of the school very difficult for us.
In the first instance it is likely that Julian’s will close until Monday 20th April 2020. Any further closures will be communicated here, or if you are a parent/carer, via email and/or text. We would ask that parents/carers continue to look at the website for any updates.
During this challenging time, we hope to minimise the disruption to children’s education as much as possible and we have been busy putting in place arrangements for the children to complete work through J2e on a daily basis.
We are also looking at the possibility of implementing plans to provide food for children eligible for free school meals and will contact parents/carers directly if we are able to support you with this.
Thank you also to all staff, both those in the classrooms and behind the scenes for their commitment and sacrifice during these challenging times.
Alison, Becky and Sam
Home Learning in the event of school closure
In the event of a school closure, class teachers will set Home Learning tasks for their classes. This will be primarily through the J2E learning platform. This week, children will be sent home with books in which to record their work – please do not use these books unless the school is instructed to close. Children are being taught how to access the learning platform and a parent/carer guide will also be sent home.
If your family is self-isolating, we will not be setting additional work as we do not currently have the capacity given the numbers of staff and children who are absent. If this is the case for your family, please look at the curriculum information on the website and do some work with your children around the concepts and contexts they are currently working on.
Thank you for your support.
The Government yesterday announced the introduction of new stringent measures to help tackle the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
These are being introduced because of the rapid increase in cases and aim to push the peak of cases into the summer to ease the pressure on the NHS.
Here are the key points:
- Anyone who has a new persistent cough or a temperature of 37.8C or above and anyone who lives with them should stay at home for 14 days.
- People should minimise social contact and avoid public transport, pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues.
- People should start working from home where they possibly can.
- Those over 70 or those who have a significant health condition such as heart disease and lung disease as well as women who are pregnant need to take extra care to minimise social contact for 12 weeks from the end of this week.
- Only use the NHS when we really need to.
- From tomorrow government will no longer be "supporting" mass gatherings using emergency workers.
These new measures are having a significant impact on our school and we would ask you to keep a close eye on the website for further information.