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COVID-19: Parent Letter 11 - 05.06.20

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Friday 5 June 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,


I hope you and your families continue to do well. Please pass on our love and support to all of your family and most especially to your son or daughter. We continue to miss them!
My thanks goes to everyone on our Staff Team 8 who have again worked so hard with a small group,of students in school this week to make our set up safer, but still fun.
Each day we are creeping towards being better at all the ‘new normals’: aiming for outdoor learning as much as possible, improved social distancing, better application to one way systems, more and better cleaning as we go: All whilst still trying to keep school a fun place to attend.

NEXT WEEK THINGS START TO CHANGE

We enter our ‘Bubble’ mode where groups of 4 (occasionally 5 for this next week only we hope) students are taught from a base with their own unique bubble of staff from Team 9 throughout the day and have access to their own Bubble’s outdoor space.

Separate toilets have been allocated to each Bubble that they alone will use.  It will be quite a different, but very necessary approach.

A team of our staff are putting the finer details to it all and Team 9 led by Grahame, Jannine and Sarah Mcvey will work with their team mates to try to implement it all next week.  Lunch for 2 of those Bubble groups will now be delivered to their ‘Bubble’ with only one group eating in the dining area.

Our Sixth Form Leadership team at SpringHall will be looking at that model closely to try and match up as we start to give serious thought to a reopen of SpringHall.  Each Bubble group, by necessity has to try to maintain separation from the others so that we can best prevent the spread of any infection.

Our default position remains: ‘Stop the introduction and spread of the virus in RHS’

We have started to ask staff to consider how they personally come out of of their own Lockdown situations where feasible. Some of the potential milestones for a ‘baby step‘ approach to a wider reopen are as follows: please note these are not confirmed, but currently are our aspiration.

Monday 8 June

Bubble groups introduced at Skircoat Green well separated from each other. 3 Bubbles based in:

1. Rooms C/A with access to the football pitch and playground area

2. Rooms 2 and Conservatory with access the Sensory and Sound gardens) 

3. The Science room and Food Technology room with access to the Science Garden and Mound).

14 students are in every day next week. A small increase from 12 a day this week. Further increases need to remain small and very carefully managed.

Monday 15 June: another small and carefully managed increase in student numbers is likely to be supported by an increased number of staff in Team 10. Not a huge increase in student and staff numbers though. We need to keep things safely proportionate and cement good habits. The Bubble concept will again be refined and expanded to 4 maybe 5 Bubbles during this week, largely based on the real life learning experiences of staff on Team 9 next week.

Monday 22 June: our Sixth form provision possibly reopens with a small number of students who can best understand and apply the principles behind the Bubble concept invited in.

Monday 29 June: some more groups of students attendIng both sites. Very carefully managed yet again.

It is likely that around 70+ families will not feature in the larger return this term. They have confirmed this already And we thank them for it, though it does sadden us. Our ‘Full House’ numbers, to be confirmed by our experiences over the next 2 weeks, will be around 40 at the most in Skircoat Green on any one day and at most 24 at SpringHall.

Family Respite offers for swimming and cycling for the Shielding Groups will continue as and where possible.

For the Mathematicians amongst you it is obvious that 188 students divided by the 64 available  places cannot work.

So our future offer over the next 6 weeks will look something like this:

  • Continued stay at home for a significant cohort of students especially those who are considered  ‘medically most vulnerable’.  We will continue to try to offer practical support for all of these families from a 2 metre gap or Via video and phone contact and/or our online resources.
  • Part time offers for most students that are invited back in.
  • For a small number in our community, despite genuinely us wishing to offer a place, there may be a need to resist a parental request for a place during the next few weeks. This in NOT because we don’t want to offer. It is because in our judgement the risks are currently too high for too many, including that child. Please try not to take it personally. It is not personal. 
  • A full time or part time offer for all Key worker children has to be maintained if needed.
  • A ‘Bubble’ only school offer will be available.

We will worry about September at a later date. Getting things right now is our priority

A word on staffing.

We have always been consistent in our messages that we recognise just how challenging this is for EVERYONE? 

Many of our student families and our school staff face unique challenges and circumstances that are not of their making or choosing.

All staff who are currently not in school, (except those with official shielding letters) will need to start to become more available as we near the end of the month. They know this.  Bubbles by their very nature are very staff intensive.  We understand some staff may still have unique and challenging circumstances. We will always seek to try to support in that situation.

All of the above has to be factored against some impossible to predict external variables. It has to remain fluid because we don’t yet know what the Covid 19 picture, coming out of a Lockdown, at those milestone dates will be like in reality.

So as we try to ‘Mind the Gap’ I hope this potential strategy helps you to understand the challenges we face at Ravenscliffe as we ‘Creep out of Lockdown.’

JUST LIKE GOING UP A DANGEROUS MOUNTAIN, WE NEED ‘ESCAPE ROUTES’ ALL THE WAY THOUGH THIS PROCESS, IF WE ARE TO GET SAFELY TO THE VALLEY BELOW.

Have a great weekend everyone and please try to remember to ‘Mind that Gap’ as you too start to ‘Creep our of Lockdown’.   We really can’t wait for a ‘Full Normality’ to resume.

Yours sincerely

MARTIN MOORMAN

HEADTEACHER