23 June 2020
We hope you are all well and managing the challenges we are all facing, as families,
during this pandemic lockdown.
Members of staff are working hard to maintain a stream of work to support you
during this period of Home Learning. This is the main platform for pupils and parents
to stay in touch with their teacher, and, in the vast majority of cases, this is working
very well. If there are any issues, please don’t hesitate to contact School.
Planning ahead …
It is only natural to ask about what is to happen in September 2020. The directive
from the Diocese is that all schools will be closed for the full summer holiday (seven
weeks this year). Schools will not be running catch-up sessions for any pupils over
the summer break. We are working on the assumption that we will be open to all
pupils (except new Reception Class) on Tuesday, 8 September 2020. This may be
subject to change if government restrictions on social distances are still in place in
We are well aware that our children will have missed four months of “in-school”
education, so, initially, teaching in September will be based around the social and
emotional well-being of our children as they settle back into a daily school routine.
Teachers will also undertake initial assessments for each child to gauge their
individual needs in English and Mathematics. The School will then devise an in-
house catch-up programme for all children. This will involve small groups and/or
whole classes to be involved in intervention programmes to close the gaps in
understanding as soon as possible. The focus will be on English (phonics, reading,
writing, grammar, punctuation and spelling) and Mathematics (all concepts) to ensure
we close the key knowledge gaps as soon as possible.
Please do not worry about your child’s progress at this time – we are committed to
ensure that your child will embark on a catch-up programme to bridge the gaps in
knowledge which have naturally occurred during this lockdown period.
We fully appreciate your support with Home Learning and the challenges you will
have had as a family. Anything you are doing as a family will be a great help in the
long run and can only be beneficial. Please try and enjoy and make the most of this
extra time with your children. If you have particular concerns about your child(ren)
during this period, please don’t hesitate to call School and arrange telephone contact
with their teacher.
During the summer break urgent upgrades and maintenance will be undertaken to the
school building. The works are to commence in the first week of the school closure
and will be completed, in full, prior to opening in September.
Free School Meal Voucher Scheme
All families, currently in receipt of these vouchers, will continue to receive them
through the summer holidays.
Teachers2Parents (Text messaging service)
We have invested in a text messaging service to ensure important messages get to you
directly via your mobile phone. (This service doesn’t allow you to reply to the text).
Please ensure you keep school updated if you change your mobile phone number.
Martin G Humble
We hope you are all keeping well through these challenging and unprecedented times. I know it hasn’t been easy for anyone to adapt to the lockdown measures and we certainly don’t underestimate the impact it is having on our children. On Monday we look forward to welcoming some of our pupils back into the building as part of the wider opening of schools. This is a phased return for pupils from Reception Class, Year 1 and Year 6 in a small group (Bubble) with children assigned to specific bubbles. Bubbles have also been allocated specific dates and times to attend school – see previous letter.
We continue to offer this provision as outlined by the Department for Education (DfE) based on the premise that it is safer for children to stay at home wherever possible. We appreciate that employers are having to adjust to home working for employees and we understand this may not be sustainable in some cases. This childcare provision bubble has a cap of 15 places. If you find it impossible to keep your child at home due to work commitments outside of the home please contact school to see if we can support you in our childcare provision.
Phased Return of Pupils to School
The government had indicated they would like a phased return for pupils in Reception Class, Year 1 and Year 6 from 1 June 2020. This timescale had been an aspiration, the governors met on Tuesday 9 June to consider the risk assessments required for opening and the plan for the phased return. A key element of the decision would be if the infection rates are continuing to decline nationally. However you will be aware that infection rates currently vary significantly throughout the regions in England and the rest of the UK. Our region currently has some of the highest infection rates in the UK and was considered as a key factor in making a decision. Please be assured that in reaching the decision, the safety of our school community was paramount. The governors agreed to the wider opening of school based upon the Risk Assessments undertaken and the changes put in place by the school leadership.
Planning for the Phased Return (Reception Class, Year 1 and Year 6) – Week Beginning 15 June 2020
We are aware that many of you will not be sending your child(ren) into school for the phased return and thank you for letting us know.
Our current planning is to have classes split into smaller groups (bubbles) and that your child(ren) will attend in their group (bubble) as outlined previously. These groups will stay together at all times and will not mix with other groups or share equipment. Cleaning regimes will be intensive and risk assessments deal with all aspects to reduce the risk of cross contamination.
Year 6 Updates
Thank you all for engaging with Mrs Wilson on Google Classroom during lockdown. All of the hard work and effort prior to lockdown is appreciated and recognised by us all. Unfortunately the specific preparation for SATs didn’t culminate in you taking the tests this year, but rest assured it will help you in preparation for any future tests and assessments.
The transition to secondary school will be different this year and we will forward/publish anything we receive from each secondary school. Some of the work in ‘bubbles’ will concentrate on transition activities. Staff from some of the secondary schools have already been in touch with school to arrange conversations with your Class Teacher and the school SENCO where appropriate.
It is our intention to invite all of Year 6 back for their Leavers’ Mass and a celebration of their time in school, with the whole school community and parents present. It is hoped that this will be possible in September 2020 although it will be dependent upon government guidelines. IT WILL HAPPEN at some point in the future when restrictions are lifted and we will try to compensate for the disruption caused by the current lockdown.
Whole School Phased Return 1 July 2020
There will be no whole school return before September 2020.
Last week of term week beginning Monday 13 July 2020
School will be closed to all pupils (including keyworker child care provision) in the last week of term, except for Wednesday 15 July 2020 when we will be open to all Year 6 pupils from 9 am to 1 pm.
Please note school will close on Friday 17 July 2020 and reopen on Monday 7 September. During the summer break we have planned upgrades and repairs planned. The school will not be open for summer play schemes or any other programmes being mentioned in the media.
Return to School in September 2020
We are not in a position to know what the possibilities will be for the re-opening of school in September and how school will operate. Rest assured the governors will be looking at all of the proposals and guidelines issued from the DfE to get school back to ‘normal’ as quickly as possible BUT only when it is safe to do so.
All updates will be published on the school website www.st-gregorys.co.uk and you will be informed by email when there are updates for you.
Good afternoon, St Gregory’s Parents and Carers (otherwise known as…newly qualified teachers)
You’re four days into your new teaching careers…and we just wanted to say you’re all doing a great job! We have all been teaching for many years so we fully appreciate how stressful it can be to try and keep little people on task…especially if you have your own work to do at the same time. Just take a step back and remember… You’re doing great!
Here are some little tips to help boost your morale in the coming weeks:
- Create time for yourself – we escape to the staff room and have 5 minutes peace. You need to do the same from time to time and have some time just for you…if you can.
- Try and create a routine…whatever works for you. The majority of children like to know what is happening next. It doesn’t have to start at 9:00 – just whatever fits in around you. Try and focus on Maths and English in the morning. We always find that the children are more engaged in these subjects before lunch. Then do other things in the afternoon.
- Don’t feel that you have to stick to a timetable…sometimes when the children are really engaged in something, it is best to let them continue with it. Even if it takes them longer than expected…that is absolutely fine.
- Build exercise into your day. Use PE with Joe Wicks, or Dance with Oti or some other form of exercise. We will try and share different types in the coming weeks to provide variety.
- Keep a diary or journal. We are living through quite a surreal time at the moment. Get the children to keep an account of what they get up to – pictures, drawings, painting, write letters. This can then be shared with classmates when they return to school and even with future generations!
- Plan in reading every day. The children love to have some quiet time where they can sit and lose themselves in a book. They also love it when we read to them. So spend a little time together and really start enjoying the love of reading! Use online resources if you wish– David Walliams is reading online each day at the moment.
- Play games with the children and don’t always let them win! It is just as important to develop their social skills over the coming weeks as well as their academic abilities. When the children are at school, time in the playground is just as important as time in the classroom, as they develop their relationship skills with each other. You are now their friends…as well as their teachers…as well as their parents. Provide them with opportunities to grow emotionally – play board games, card games, games in the garden etc. Challenge the children to invent their own games to share with their friends on their return.
- Give them jobs around the house to do…at school children LOVE to do jobs. Provide them with opportunities to clean, organise; tidy up after themselves. The children start and end each day in a tidy classroom (some classrooms are tidier than others). Encourage them to leave their work space in the house tidy for the next day.
- Build in technology and down time. It is a very strange world for our children at the moment. It is fine that the children enjoy down time during the day. Encourage the use of technology for school work, but also allow the children some free time.
- Keep looking on our website to keep in touch. We will try to share useful tips and online resources for you to use.
So once again, thank you for everything that you are doing to keep the education of your child going. Just remember all children are different – so what works for one child, may not work for another.
We are so looking forward to welcoming the children back – whenever that may be and when we do… we will simply pick up from whichever point they are at and once again we will let their beautiful lights shine. Please do not worry. You really are doing a super job.
The St Gregory’s Team.
Dear Parents / Carers,
As requested by central government – St Gregory’s closed its doors on Friday and has been closed today (Monday 23 March 2020).
Due to significantly reduced staffing levels, and the government request to STAY HOME wherever possible, we have had to restrict the keyworker offer at St Gregory’s. Those parents who have been allocated a place for their child (children) have been contacted by telephone this afternoon. If you haven’t had this contact I am sorry but we are unable to accept your child into this child care provision. Initially this offer is for this week only and it will be reviewed in-line with Government advice.
This childcare provision is not an entitlement and we are unable to take up any queries around this allocation. Government advice is to stay at home and social distance, which could escalate further as the week progresses.
We are all concerned about our community and our own families too.
Take Care and Stay Safe.
God’s Blessings on you all
We have had a wonderful time celebrating Science over the last few weeks here at St Gregory’s. The children have enjoyed learning about influential Scientists as well as taking part in Science workshops. Photos to follow soon from each class.
Thank you to all the poster competition entries. They are absolutely fantastic! These will be judged this week and the winners sent off to the British Science Association.
We had a brilliant time for World Book Day and our costumes were all amazing!