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Urgent - Important Information Monday 4 January 2021

Dear Parents and Carers

I am sure you have just watched the Prime Minister’s announcement at home, as I have. It is with great disappointment, just one day into the new term, that we have to move to remote learning for most of our Avondale pupils. The children had returned to school so well today. It was lovely to see them in school, to hear all about their Christmas holidays and see them having fun in the snow.

However, with effect from tomorrow learning will be remote for the vast majority of our Avondale children until February Half Term. That is unless they are a child of a critical worker, have an Education Health Care plan or are classed as vulnerable.

From tomorrow, learning will go back online as it did in March 2020. This time however we will be providing live lessons with your child’s class teacher, twice daily, as well as online activities to complete. Due to the short notice of the announcement, the live Zoom lessons will start from Wednesday 6 January, though online work will be posted tomorrow.

If you don’t have online learning facilities, then paper based booklets will be available to collect from the office area from 12.00 noon onwards tomorrow. I have also prepared a booklet for you all that goes into more detail and this will be emailed to you tomorrow.

School will remain OPEN tomorrow for children:

  • who have an Education Health Care Plan
  • who are classed as vulnerable (i.e. they have a social worker, are looked after or they are a young carer)
  • whose parents are a critical worker

Today we issued a questionnaire for parents to complete if they felt their role is a critical one to the Covid pandemic. The list of critical workers is different to the list from March last year so please check it carefully. So far we have had 90 parents who feel they meet the criteria. As we only sent the questionnaire out today, and asked for it to be completed by tomorrow morning, we have not had time, as yet, to go through all the responses and identify who meets the criteria. Due to the announcement from the Government being so late, and the fact that organising child care at such a late stage will be difficult, we would like to welcome tomorrow all the children whose parents have requested a place. We will go through the list tomorrow and potentially ring parents and/or employers to confirm the information provided and then during the course of the day we will be able to confirm critical worker places for Wednesday 6 January onwards. If we are inundated with requests we may need to look at both parents being key workers in order to provide a place. However, if only those people who genuinely need the school request a place then hopefully we will be able to support everyone.

Again, due to the late announcement, we have decided to keep Breakfast Club open tomorrow from 7:45-8:45 am for those children who are already booked in. Also, the After School Club will operate tomorrow until 5:30pm. Once we have confirmed numbers for critical workers and when we have further information from the Department for Education, hopefully tomorrow, we will review our out of school club provision and share further information with you.

If your child will be attending school tomorrow but doesn’t attend Breakfast Club or After School Club the school day will be 8:45 am until 3:15 pm. Please use the gates that you have been using so far this school year, so that we can all remain socially distant.

From Wednesday, the children who are based in school will be taught by one of the year group teachers, with the other year group teacher providing the remote learning for the children whilst working from home.

I apologise that this all seems rather rushed and last minute; I feel as frustrated tonight as I’m sure a lot of you do. We just seem to get one plan in place and then it’s all change.

As a school community we have worked through this together before and I’m sure we can all do the same again. I was only saying to the children in Assembly today that we need to appreciate what we have and look for positives in all we can. Now, as adults, it is our time to lead by example.

Please look out for e-mails and additional letters coming home and as I receive more information I will, of course, share it with you.

Take care

Mrs Brown, Headteacher

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