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Dear parents / carers,

Thank you very much for your responses to the consultation in relation to your child / children returning to school. We are now in a position to share our action plan that has been devised in consultation with Governors and with reference to the Department for Education and Union guidance and our own risk assessments pertinent to Parkside’s situation.

It is our intention to focus the next phase of provision in school on returning primary phase pupils. We also plan to provide our school leavers (year 11 and 12) with an opportunity for some transition out of the school.

We currently have four “Kingdoms” open in the school. We intend on opening a fifth Kingdom from June 8th and will contact those Primary parents whose children to whom we can offer a place. Unfortunately, our risk assessment shows that it is unsafe to offer all places requested by parents from the consultation.

Online / remote learning will continue. Those pupils who are currently attending can continue to come to school. The new Kingdom will take the number of pupils on site to 38 from 25, including the additional Key Worker pupils.

We will contact parents of year 11s after half term to discuss their leaving arrangements.

I have attached / enclosed a copy of our latest action plan, written from our school Risk Assessment for your information. You will notice that we will be changing the school day times from Monday 1st June to finish 15 minutes earlier on Monday – Thursday to allow class teams to prepare resources for cleaning. We will finish at 12.30 on a Friday to allow for a more thorough clean of the school each week. If any Key workers will find this difficult, please contact the school so that we can support you. Please also note that since we are asking parents to send their pupil in with fresh clothes each day, we will not expect pupils to wear school uniform at this time.

May I also request that families let the school know if a family member is showing symptoms or had a positive test, as we will need this information when reviewing our daily risk assessments.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding.

 

Bob Holderness,

Head Teacher

Carolyn Ellis-Gage

Head Teacher Designate

These documents are to be read on conjunction with the main School Covid 19 Risk Assessment:

Covid19 Pandemic Action Plan

Sites Risk Assessment return to school from 1 June 2020

 

Free School Meals

Dear parent / carer

Thank you for your patience as the school has been organising Free School Meal Vouchers. I am please to announce that the Government has now developed a system allowing schools to distribute vouchers electronically for those parents with email addresses. Those eligible parents without email addresses will receive vouchers by post. The new arrangements will start on the 22nd April.

May I take this opportunity to wish you all a pleasant Easter break. Please stay safe.

Mr Holderness

 

Letter from the Chair of Governors, 31/03/2020

Dear Parent/ Carer

 

I am writing to you on the behalf of the governing body at Parkside. First, I hope you and your children are well and are coping with the transition to social isolation/ distancing.

As you are aware Parkside is closed for the majority of pupils, though remains open and is providing child care on the school site for children that have parents who are key workers and for other children in particularly challenging circumstances. In addition to this, work is available from the school website to help you in supporting the learning of your children at home in the coming weeks.

One of our most important aims as a school is to try to ensure positive emotional well-being for all of our pupils. This is an aim that is now significantly more challenging due to the current circumstances, and we would encourage all of you to contact the school if you have any concerns about your children in this regard. We would also encourage you to have this in mind when encouraging your child’s learning at home. Please do not feel that you have to become a teacher overnight. The resources provided on the website are there for you to choose from and are not meant to be prescriptive. It is important that you try to take an approach to supporting your child’s learning in a way that is most appropriate to them as an individual. Routine is certainly important, but routines will be different for different children. Also, please don’t feel that you have to ‘battle’ to make your child learn all of the things that they would have learnt if they were attending school. If you can make learning as fun and stress-free as possible that will certainly contribute to your child’s emotional well-being and help to ensure positive family relationships during this challenging time. Rest assured that staff at Parkside will assess all children’s progress on their return to school and pick up their learning from where they are up to.

I cannot emphasize enough that school staff are available to offer help, guidance and support, so please get in contact with your child’s class team/tutor group for any concerns or issues that you have.

We know from the Government that the current situation is likely to continue for a number of weeks/months. The school is planning to open after the Easter break on April 20th with the same arrangements and pupils. Since there has been no critical need identified for the school to open over the Easter break from key working parents, this will provide an opportunity for the school to have a deep clean in preparation for the Summer term.

Finally, on behalf of the governing body, I would like to offer huge thanks to the staff at Parkside. I am in regular contact with Bob and other members of the leadership team at the school and know that the response of all the staff to the crisis caused by the virus has been exceptional. As ever staff are going the extra mile time and again in the interests of the children and young people that attend the school.

Mr Steve Hobbs, Chair of Governors

Bulletin 26/03/2020

Dear Parent / Carer,

Thank you for your continued support for the school. We are delighted with the feedback that we have received in relation to the resources teachers are preparing for educating in the home, which I will pass on to the relevant staff.

We realize that this is a very difficult situation to deal with, especially as we do not know how long we will need to close the school to the majority of pupils. We do work closely with Educational Psychologists in CEPP, who can remotely support families having significant difficulties.

In line with most other complex needs schools we will be closing for all pupils over the Easter break, as we do not have staffing in place to open the school itself and we will need to deep clean the whole of the school. Many of our staff support young people with complex needs in different settings over this period. If you are a key worker and have a critical need for support over this time please do contact the school to see if we can help.

Research Project

Dear Parents and carers

We’ve been approached by a team of researchers at the University of York who are interested in how children with special educational needs and disabilities are feeling during the Coronavirus outbreak and how parents would like to be supported.  They would like to invite you to complete a 5-10 minute online survey by clicking this link (https://york.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_e4LnbX5Q7X2MF9j).  They’ve also compiled a list of online resources to support your wellbeing and your child’s wellbeing during the Coronavirus outbreak (see below).  If you have any queries about this survey, please contact the research team directly on ed-fabproject@york.ac.uk

Coronavirus and Your Child’s Wellbeing 

Coronavirus and Your Wellbeing 

20th March 2020 Bulletin

Dear Parent / Carer

Due to the Government directive, please be aware that The Parkside school is closed to pupils unless you have been contacted directly.

The school will continue to provide resources for home learning and will endeavour to make contact over time, where possible. We will let parents of pupils eligible for free school meals know our plans to provide food shortly.

We will send further information about the plans next week.

Kind regards

Bob Holderness

Letter to parents

Dear parent / carer,

In the light of the Government briefing yesterday, the Head Teachers of the Norfolk Complex Needs schools, will be discussing how we can support our communities over the coming months. Parkside’s risk assessment and contingency planning has a graduated approach; in summary, fully open, partially open and fully closed. The risk assessment considers a great deal of variables such as staff and pupil absence, attending staff members’ specialisms and training, cleaning, medical, transport and catering staff absence. Staff members have been asked to make their own assessment around the safety of them attending work in line with Government advice.

We have moved to the partially open phase of our risk assessment. We will be making daily assessments of the situation as people’s circumstances are likely to change as the pandemic progresses. We are aware that in the light of the Government briefing there will now be staff members who will need to be at home with their own children.  We also identify that there are staff members who fit into the higher risk categories who are currently attending school who will need to self-isolate themselves very soon. We were expecting to move to the fully closed phase next week.

The school leaders are making plans for the school to support our community in the safest way it can.   The measures being discussed include: issuing free school meal vouchers to eligible families, regular telephone contact for families and staff members who might need it, important planned meetings by telephone and remote support for education in the home via our website. We hope to be able to issue some alternative emergency telephone numbers to families soon to aid communication and clarify support arrangements.

Please be assured that we are working to enable people to remain as safe as possible in the coming weeks and months. Decisions made will involve our Governors, the Local Authority, Social Services and colleagues in other complex needs schools. The situation may change rapidly, so we would urge people to check updates on our school website for the latest information.

The Government has asked all schools to try to stay open for children whose parents / carers are in the frontline public services in the context of Covid-19. We would be very grateful if you would let the school know as soon as possible if you fall into this category and would like the school to consider support. As the pandemic proceeds, scientists are telling us to expect a significant percentage of the population to contract Covid-19. If you or a family member contracts the disease, please let the school know immediately. We can then use all of this information when making our risk assessments. [The school can be contacted via: office@parkside.norfolk.sch.uk]

We have been contacted by family members concerned that they will be required to send their child to school if the school can remain open in any way. Please be assured that all absences will be authorized.

In order for us to make the necessary plans for our next steps, we will be closing the school on Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th next week for all pupils. Those staff who can attend will be able to better focus on planning suitable curriculum resources and organising free school meal arrangements, as requested by parents. We will also deep clean the school.

The phrase “unprecedented times” has been used many times when describing the situation in which we find ourselves. We realize that everyone in our community will be feeling anxious. Some will be feeling very confused with so much advice – some of which is conflicting in the context of education and vulnerable children. Please be assured that all decisions made will be with the best intentions of keeping everyone healthy, and will consider Parkside’s particular situation.

Kind regards

Bob Holderness, Head Teacher

Steve Hobbs, Chair of Governors

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