Just to say…

I hope you have all received your cards and seeds, it was lovely to read through the lovely messages the staff have written to you all.

We look forward to seeing how well your seeds have grown in September.

Best wishes

Katie

School update

Dear All

As the government continues to make announcements on the planned changes to education, we are getting an increasing number of queries asking what school will look like in September, and increasing requests for children to come back into school.

As it stands today, no new guidance has been released, despite the prime minister announcing all schools will return in September. As soon as we have more info on this I will share our plans. We currently have a plan for all pupils returning together, and a plan where all pupils have a place where they have one week in school/one week home learning basis. I am hoping we do not have to use this plan as I know it will cause a great deal of issues with families where parents work, however I must adhere to guidance around social distancing and the safe number of people in the building.

For parents who are requesting placement before the end of term please contact school to request this. We will try to accommodate your request but again, we need to adhere to current guidance and cannot have all pupils in school. If your child has previously been shielding, but medical advice is that they can now return to school, I would need this in writing to help us plan for their return.

Can I once again thank you for all your support during this difficult time, it has been exceedingly challenging for us all and it has been lovely to see our school community come together to support each other.

I hope you are enjoying the glorious weather- it certainly makes social distancing, and spending as much time as we can outdoors that bit easier!

Take care and stay safe

School update

We are continuing to get an increase of requests for placements into school. We will try to accommodate these as much as we are able, but please be aware that we must continue to adhere to updated guidance in relation to how many children and staff we can safely have in school. Due to this we have adopted a week on/week off model to enable all children to access an element of face to face schooling. This also enables us to adhere to other guidance in relation to maintaining the integrity of our “bubbles”. I appreciate that this may not be the ideal solution for some of our children, however it enables us to ensure that all children on roll are able to access therapy/education.
 
Whilst we are aiming to return to as normal as we can, things in school may look different for your child. There are elements of the curriculum/care we are still unable to offer, and your child may not have the full staff team they would normally have. This may be as staff are in a different bubble or are shielding. All children still have access to education and input from each of the therapies.
 
We are moving towards the end of term quickly and I know people are beginning to ask questions about next year. I am currently finalising the class lists and hope to have this information out as quickly as I can. We will then look at how we support transition for children moving key stages. Senior leaders will be in touch to let you know how this will be facilitated.
I have made the decision not to produce end of year reports this year, due to the exceptional circumstances we find ourselves in. We have managed to give regular updates to all parents, and all children have continued to receive their annual review report throughout the year. If you would like to have a further discussion with your child’s class teacher about any element of their progress, please feel free to do this during your next contact.
 
Take care and stay safe

Wider opening

As you will be aware from the media there is currently a lot of information about schools reopening or not reopening. At this time we continue to be open to pupils who need our support, however, the number of the pupils who are requesting places in school is increasing.

Due to this we will be moving to a week on week off rota for the majority of pupils (even those who have previously been in more frequently).

We will continue to offer places to those children whose parents are keyworkers and will continue to support around your work commitments.

We have moved to a week on week off system to enable us to separate the schools into bubbles, and to maintain the integrity of the bubbles as much as we are able. The week your child is in school they will receive input from the school team, whilst they are not in school they will continue to be supported via virtual means. 

Please note there are still a number of restrictions of the offer in school due to how we have had to arrange the school/school day/school staffing to adhere to guidance.

As always we continue to keep your children as safe as we possibly can, please get in touch if you have any concerns or queries.

Take care and stay safe

FAO: Parents of Children Back at School

To further limit the spread of infection, we have decided to move away from Home School Diaries, until further notice. Instead, parents of children who are back at school either full-time or part-time will receive a weekly update email from their child’s class team, and if we need to discuss anything particular, then a member of our team will be in contact by phone to discuss.

Thank you for your understanding and continues support. We hope you and your families are well.

Best wishes from all of us at Percy Hedley School.

School update

I wanted to write to update you on the current position of the school. As you know we have been open to children of key workers since the start of the lockdown, this week we welcomed a greater number of children back to school and from 1st June we will be increasing this again. Some children will be attending school each week and others on a week on week off. If you have requested a school place, you will receive information letting you know which weeks your child can attend. This will then be followed by a weekly text confirming whether your child is in the following week.

There has been a lot of guidance from the government in relation to schools and an increasing amount of press coverage in relation to reopening.  All of us, as parents, have exceedingly difficult decisions to make and once again please be assured that we respect whatever decision you make with regards to your child.

I have put a number of measure in place in school and the school is split into three bubbles, each of these bubbles will maintain the same staff and pupils as much as we are able. They will have different entrances, different outdoor spaces and different toilet facilities. We have increased cleaning on site and have kept each class size to a maximum of 4. We will use PPE in school for feeding and personal care, but not at other times (unless deemed necessary by an individual risk assessment). Government guidance clearly states that additional PPE is not needed in schools, even if pupils cannot maintain a 2m distance.

Whilst we are putting as much protection in place as we possibly can, I would ask for your support in continuing to protect your child and your household as much as you can. There is a large amount of press coverage around people seemingly relaxing lockdown rules, visiting more places, allowing people into their homes and attending larger gatherings. Please help us to keep our children and staff safe by continuing to follow government guidance.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

School Update

Its hard to believe we are at the end of the half term, it feels very odd to have spent a whole half term without a full school. The staff have been working tirelessly to adapt to new systems of working and ensuring all our pupils are safe, well and able to continue to access education and therapy.
 
We will not be open over the half term holiday, I feel it is important that the staff have a break, and I urge you to enjoy the good weather (fingers crossed) and take a break from home learning for a week. We will still be doing some phone calls/emails but with a lighter touch.
 
We have been open to more pupils this week and are open to more again after half term. I have increased the numbers as safely as I can taking into account, safety measures as stated in guidance. Parents whose children have a place after half term will be contacted on Thursday- please do not send your child to school unless you have received confirmation. Some children will be offered a place on a weekly basis, others will be offered a week on, week off. This is due to the fact that I have split the school into bubbles to minimise chance of transmission. If we have a large number of children in one class happy to return to school I need to offer this on a rota basis to ensure class sizes are kept low.
 
I know there is a tremendous amount of press coverage in relation to opening schools and I appreciate this is a challenging time where decisions are hard to make and none of us really know what right looks like! Please do not feel any pressure to send your child back to school, but be reassured that I and the staff will do everything we can to keep them as safe as we can. We care for them all greatly and look forward to seeing them back in school whenever they do return!
Take care and stay safe

‘Our plan to rebuild’ : Next steps

14 May 2020

Dear All

I hope you are well in these current circumstances, and are managing to keep your families safe. It is so lovely to read the updates from the staff about how everyone is getting on. I am immensely proud of how the staff team is working in these difficult times. Their care and devotion to each and every one of pupils shines through. We are trying to continue you to support your children from a distance and thank you for bearing with us as we iron through some of the teething problems.

As you are aware we have remained open to children whose parents are key workers, and have operated with a reduced staff. Through this time we developed systems in school to support us through the period of sustained transmission, when guidance from the government for education was nonexistent.

This week the government “urged” all children in the vulnerable category (those with an EHCP or social worker) to attend school. This creates a significant issue for us, as all of our 174 pupils have an EHCP! As such we are working to develop systems to support as many of our children as we can, whilst adhering to the guidance which is now available, and most importantly ensure we keep everyone safe.

We will be offering places to everyone who has requested them, although this may be on a week on, week off basis. This helps us to minimise the number of people our staff and students come into contact with at any one time and keep numbers in school low. We have reduced the class sizes down to a maximum of four and we are trying to ensure students stay as much as possible in a particular area. We are also reducing the staff in school to those working directly with the children and a skeleton team of other support.

Since this began, we have been taking childrens and staff temperatures in school each day. New guidance has told us not to do this, but I would ask that you continue to check your child’s temperature before sending them into school, and I will be advising staff to do the same.

We took a belt and braces approach to PPE, but guidance states that PPE is not needed in schools, and indeed if PPE is not used correctly, this causes a higher chance of transmission. As such staff will wear PPE during personal care tasks and when assisting children to eat/drink- this will be gloves, apron and facemask. Staff will also wear face masks if children become symptomatic.

We will ensure all staff regularly wash their hands, and will ensure all pupils to do the same.

We will ensure all staff adhere to the 2m social distancing rule where possible, and will encourage children to do so as much as we are possibly able. However, as you can imagine this brings unique challenges with any children and an increased challenge for a lot of our pupils.

Thank you for those people who have responded to the questionnaire sent out requesting for information about places, this is not intended to cause any pressure to send your child to school, indeed it is entirely your choice- and there will be no penalties of any sort for non-attendance.  Also please feel free to change your mind at any time- there is no right answer to this and we all find ourselves as parents with exceedingly challenging decisions to make.

If you do decide to send your child back to school, please be reassured that I will do everything I can to ensure all children and staff are as safe as possible. But I must also follow direction of the government guidance. If you do not choose to send your child to school, we will continue with the home learning/therapy tasks as currently.

For those parents who have confirmed they would like their child to return to school, we will be confirming places for the following week via a telephone call, please only send your child to school if you have received this weekly telephone confirmation.  We will also be advising the local authority transport department who will be attending on a weekly basis, it would be useful if you could also confirm with them whether you intend accepting the school place.

If you have any concerns or queries please get in touch with a member of the senior leadership team, or the class team.

We all miss the children greatly and I look forward to welcoming them all back to school, once this is over.

Please take care.

Very best wishes

Katie Murray

Headteacher

COVID-19 update Monday 11 May 2020

We’re sure many of you will have seen Boris Johnson’s update last night about the government’s staged plan to slowly begin to lift the lockdown as our risk levels reduce across the country.  There is no immediate change to our service provision as a result of the announcement.  The message is still that it safer to stay at home where possible. We are waiting for further guidance to be released about what the phasing in of students and service users will mean for us.  Once we get the guidance and have had time to understand what this means for our services we’ll be in touch with families.

Stay safe everyone,

Katie

Silver linings

What are you grateful for during these challenging times?

One of the things that can help you feel more positive during difficult times is to think about what you’re grateful for. We’d like you to share with us your positive stories:

  • · What is helping to get you through the lockdown?
  • · What unexpected silver linings have you found?
  • · What will you miss when we get back to ‘normal life’?

Please share this with us at communications@percyhedley.org.uk either just by typing it into an email or by sending a photo of you or your silver lining.