Friday, 22 May 2020

Havering Council COVID-19 - Phased Reopening of Schools Response - Councillor Robert Benham Deputy Leader of the Council Cabinet Member for Education, Children & Families

Councillor Robert Benham
Deputy Leader of the Council
Cabinet Member for Education, Children & Families

London Borough of Havering
Main Road, Romford RM1 3BD

email: CouncillorRobert.Benham@havering.gov.uk

Date: 22 May 2020


Dear Parent / Carer,

Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Phased Reopening of Schools

I hope you and your family are safe and well at this difficult time.

Thank you for your continued support to the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Being at home with your child(ren), and supporting their continued learning alongside your own work will be a significant challenge at this unprecedented and worrying time.

Many of you will have heard the Prime Minister setting out the government’s position that, as well as schools continuing to being open to vulnerable children and the children of critical workers, a phased re-opening of schools could begin from 1st June at the earliest. This would begin with pupils in nurseries, reception, year one and year six.

Secondary Schools and Alternative Providers will also be planning their approach to offering some face-to-face time for pupils and we are working with Special Schools on their plans to increase gradually the number of children and young people on site, again from the 1st June at the earliest.

The government is clear that all arrangements will remain under regular review, and will happen only if the level of new infections continues to decrease among other conditions.

We are working with schools to support their plans for a gradual and phased re-opening. A full health and safety risk assessment, taking in to account staffing levels and their physical capacity on the school site, will guide their plans.

The safety of everyone in the school community is the most important thing for us in all of this. We all want to get more pupils back into school as soon as it is safe to do so because school is the best learning environment for our children. However, in supporting schools to re-open in a phased and gradual way, the first priority to consider will be the health and well-being of all pupils, their families and school staff.

Although all schools are working hard to respond to the guidance sent by the Department for Education, some primary, infant and junior schools may not be able to offer full time provision for the relevant year groups, and any new arrangements may not be introduced exactly from the 1st June. Each school will need to think carefully about the guidance and respond to its own individual circumstances.

With any return to school, there will be noticeable differences. Children will be in smaller groups to reduce the risk of infection and they may not be in their usual class group or classroom or with their usual teacher. The curriculum will also be different as in order to prevent the spread of the virus not all resources will be available.

How children may attend school may also change. The return may be staggered with other year groups being brought back at different times. Children may not be able to attend every day, and the timings of the school day may also be changed to avoid parents congregating and putting themselves at risk. Home school activities will still be planned to children continuing with home learning,

In all of this, all school attendees – parents and carers, pupils and siblings and staff – will need to continue to observe all guidance about infection prevention and control, including the regular handwashing regime that was in place before the closure.

Schools will be talking to you about the offer and response that they are able to make based on the health and safety risk assessment that they have completed. It is not compulsory for parents to send their children to school at this time, and I am clear there will be no penalties if you choose to keep your child(ren) at home. All schools will continue to provide a home-learning offer to all pupils not accessing support on site, and will keep in regular touch with the families of all pupils, whether or not they are attending school. 

You can find more information in the attached government guidance:


I assure you that Havering Council is working closely with all our schools to offer a consistent and safe response to the proposed plans, and the health and safety of children, their families and staff remains everyone’s first priority during this period.

If you have any questions regarding this letter, please do contact your school in the first instance.

Thank you for your continued co-operation at this time.

Kind regards,
Cllr Robert Benham
Deputy Leader of the Council
Cabinet Member for Education, Children & Families



🔎 Look who! WC 18/05/2020

Children and families,

Another week has passed where you have engaged with learning from home.  

It is important to remember we all have good days and bad days.  Never regret a day: good days give you happiness, bad days give experience, worst days give lessons and best days give memories.  On a good day, you might feel very engaged in learning and motivated to create great work, on others it might feel like a real battle to even log on!  This is normal and it is important to remember the feeling doesn't last.

It looks like lots of you have been busy bees this week.  Take a look!




Update on Wider Opening of Schools for Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6.


Learning Federation - Schools.png


                                                                                                                                             22nd May 2020

Dear Parents and Carers, 

As you are already aware, the Government have announced their aim to open schools more widely from 1st June. This wider opening is for Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 in Primary schools. The wider opening relies on the five key tests set by the government, including the rate of infection is decreasing and the enabling programmes set out in the Roadmap are operating effectively (Actions document, 11 May 2020).

Schools have continued to receive guidance and information documents since the announcement because of the many considerations which are required in the current situation with the Coronavirus outbreak.

We have been working very closely with the Local Authority and Head teachers from the schools of Harold Hill. We are making arrangements together so that we all do the very best for our schools and wider community.

Schools are still waiting for further information to open more widely for our youngest children and the announcement to indicate whether the five key tests will allow for wider opening is planned for Thursday 28th May. For these reasons, we have made the collective decision that schools will not be able to open widely on 1st June. This week, the media have reported that this was a date that the government has indicated schools should work from.

A detailed message for the most considered wider opening will be shared as soon as we have received the information we need to do this. Each school will intend to inform communities of the protocols and arrangements they are planning at the beginning of June.

We greatly appreciate your support and patience as we navigate this challenge together as a school and wider community.

 Best wishes and stay safe.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs L. Smith                                      Mr J. McLucas

                     

Head teacher                                    Head teacher




Wednesday, 20 May 2020

A warm welcome to the children and their families joining us in September 2020



Dear Parent/Carer,

We have been advised by the Local Authority that you have accepted a Reception place for your child in our school to start in September 2020. Thank you for choosing Broadford. We look forward to your child starting their school journey with us in September and getting to know them as the wonderful individuals that they are!

As a school, we are committed to smooth and timely transitions that allow each child to settle in, get to know their teachers and make new friends. We believe parents and carers play a key role in this transition so you too can feel reassured that your children are safe and happy. We can only imagine that during this time of uncertainty, the natural worries and anxieties that occur when children are about to start school are increased. At this time, it is difficult for us to publish details of our usual transition programme. However, please let us reassure you that we are planning ways in which we can prepare for your child and give them the best possible start to school.

We will be keeping in touch over the summer term via email, to inform you of our plans and update you with regular information. Whilst this may start off as more of a virtual relationship, this remains a priority for us. We will also be keeping in touch via social media and on our school website. Please do visit our social media pages and our webite to keep up to date with information. The links can be found below:

Website: www.broadford.havering.sch.uk

Facebook: Broadford Primary

Twitter: @BroadfordSchool

Please check your emails as we have sent out information today containing our welcome letter and school admission form, which will need returning by 1st June. If you haven't received the email (please check your spam folder) or have difficulty accessing any of the information, please do call our school office on 01708 342880 and we will arrange to send out a paper copy to you.

In the meantime, please enjoy the video that we have attached to share with your child to familiarise yourselves with our Reception learning space. Just click on the link below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjmJdA3KiwU&feature=youtu.be







Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Mental Health Week

Organised by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week is an annual campaign aimed at raising awareness of mental health and “inspire action to promote the message of good mental health for all.”

In response to the ongoing worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the theme of the event will be focusing on the relationship between ‘kindness’ and our mental health.

Over this week, we will be sharing acts of kindness on our Facebook page that will come from a document published by CAMHS, 7 Day Kindness Challenge

Why kindness?
We have chosen kindness because of its singular ability to unlock our shared humanity. Kindness strengthens relationships, develops community and deepens solidarity. It is a cornerstone of our individual and collective mental health. Wisdom from every culture across history recognises that kindness is something that all human beings need to experience and practise to be fully alive.

Celebrate kindness
But we also want to shine a light on the ways that kindness is already flowering at this time. We have seen it in the dancing eyes of 100-year-old Captain Tom Moore as he walked his garden to raise money for the NHS and in the mutual aid groups responding to local needs. We want that kindness to spread further in every community in the UK. Finally, we want to use the week to explore the sort of society we would like to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic.

Kindness and Mental Health
Kindness is defined by doing something towards yourself and others, motivated by genuine desire to make a positive difference. We know from the research that kindness and our mental health are deeply connected. The research shows that kindness is an antidote to isolation and creates a sense of belonging. It helps reduce stress, brings a fresh perspective and deepens friendships. Kindness to ourselves can prevent shame from corroding our sense of identity and help boost our self-esteem. Kindness can even improve feelings of confidence and optimism.



Mental Health Awareness Week 2020

Friday, 15 May 2020

🔎 Look who! WC 11/05/2020

We have been absolutely blown away by all the creativity that has been going on in your homes!  We say this every time but we miss you greatly; seeing your work really does bring a smile to our faces, so thank you!

Another unusual and uncertain week has passed.   We have made it to the weekend.  Hopefully you have some plans that will allow you to stop, slow down and put your feet up.  You cannot function on an empty tank so build in some 'self-care' time for yourselves whether that be a movie, a walk or getting lost in a great book.

Look at what our Broadford family have been up to...






Thursday, 14 May 2020

Possible phased opening of school in June




Dear parents/carers,

Re: possible reopening of school to more pupils in June
As you know the government has requested that schools reopen to pupils in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 from 1st June if it is judged safe to do so. This judgement will be made based on data collections of current infection rates and the spread of Coronavirus in the community. Of course we continue to provide provision for all our vulnerable children and those of keyworkers as required by parents.

It is a very unsettling time for us all, but rest assured that we are going to be doing everything we can to make sure we are ready to receive these year groups if it is safe for our school to reopen. However you know your personal situation and your child best and as a parent/carer it is your choice whether to send your child back to school at this particular time. Please be assured that you will not be fined if you consider that the safest place for your child is to remain at home.

We need your help and your opinion
I want to reassure you that we are not going to be pressuring anyone to send their children to school. In order to assist us in planning for reopening it is essential for us to know if your child will attend. Once the school has an indication of numbers we can put together a plan of what reopening will look like.


Please submit this form for every child in your family who are in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 or Year 6 by no later than Monday 18th. 

We are creating a detailed action plan that we will share with you as soon as possible so you know what changes to expect to our school routines and procedures as we work towards reopening. The safety of your child and our staff will be a priority at all times and I can also advise you that:

  • Limiting class sizes - pupils will be in groups of no more than 15 therefore they may not be in their normal friendship groups. Pupils will remain in the group that they are placed in for the duration of their time in school and will not mix with other groups.
  • It is highly unlikely that your child will be in their usual classroom
  • Children are unlikely to have their normal teacher or their normal support staff
  • The curriculum will vary and will be reduced with limited availability of resources
  • We will be staggering break times, and pick-up and drop-off times to avoid adults gathering at school
  • There will be regular supervised handwashing routines in place for pupils and hand sanitizer will be made available
  • We will Increase cleaning in school before, after and during the school day.
  • We will strictly be keeping pupils and staff with coronavirus symptoms at home. If your child displays symptoms they will need to be collected from our isolation room immediately
  • We will be limiting access to the school for all parents and visitors and will prefer that all communication will be via email and telephone
  • Sadly, I am sure you will understand that I cannot eliminate the possibility that your child will be exposed to the virus whilst at school and I cannot guarantee that pupils will maintain a social distance from each other at all times.
We would like to thank you for your continuous support in helping your child learn from home. If your child will remain at home beyond 1 June, we will continue to support you and them with home learning. Please do continue to stay in touch with us about how your child is getting on.

We will keep you updated once we know more about as and when schools will be able to reopen for other year groups.

Warm regards,

Jim McLucas

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

School Closure Update - May 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope you and your family are keeping well. Here at school things are quiet but it's great that teachers are able to keep the community learning through the online virtual school. It's fantastic to see how quickly years 1 and 2 have adapted to the Google classroom and are posting about the activities the children are doing. This gives all of the staff at Broadford a boost as we are all missing the excitement and vibrancy  that Broadford normally has when the children are here, and of course we can't wait to see the children again and get back to having a proper learning community.

I'm sure you all have heard the Prime Minister last night talking about the possibility of some groups of children returning to school in June providing that infection rates don't start to rise again between now and the beginning of June. At the moment we don't have any further details but as soon as we do I will share them with you.  The Local Authority has written to me this morning to say that they are starting to put together guidance for schools to ensure that any school reopening is done safely, however they are still in the same position as the rest of us though in terms of detail and are waiting for further clarification from the DfE which may not be forthcoming until later this week. 

Until the school receives further information, we will be continuing our current activities:-
 
  • ​Virtual school activities
  • Providing places for vulnerable children and for children of key workers
  • Providing family support by telephone and email
  • Supporting the Free School Meals scheme through food packs and voucher administration
  • Planning for September 
 

Please do get in touch if you need support or know of a family who might be struggling at this difficult time.

Best wishes

Jim McLucas



Friday, 8 May 2020

Look Who... VE Day - 75th Anniversary

Thank you to all our wonderful families who took part in the 75th anniversary of VE Day, today.  These are extraordinary times and it shows that the Broadford family continue to think of others, give thanks and continue a tradition that reminds us of the sacrifice others made and the hope they gave. 


VE Day Quiz

Good morning everyone.  Get your pencil and paper ready, and thinking caps on, for this week's Family Quiz, which is all about VE Day.

1)   What does VE Day stand for?          
2)   In 2020, how many years are we celebrating since VE Day?    
3)   What does VE Day commemorate? 

4)   What type of decoration lines the streets of Britain on VE Day?   

5)   Who was Britain's prime Minister in May 1945 when Victory in Europe was achieved?   

6)   Name the British singer who was famous for wartime hits such as 'We'll Meet Again'.  

7)   Who was Britain's monarch during WW2?   

8)   Where in London will Katherine Jenkins perform a concert on VE Day with no audience?  
It is the first time in the 150 year history of this building that anything like this has happened.    
9)   What was Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) and her sister Princess Margaret allowed to do on VE Day?     
10) Where in London did crowds gather to celebrate VE Day in 1945?

Don't forget to check back on Monday for the answers to this week's quiz.

Have a lovely weekend and enjoy any 'Stay at Home' VE Day celebrations you have planned.