Looking forward to the new school year


 A message from Mr Langford - Friday 28th August 2020

"Good morning. We are coming to the last few days of the summer holidays and we are really looking forward to welcoming the children back to King David School next week. All of Year 1 up to Year 6 will be back next Wednesday, the 2nd of September. The Nursery and Reception children have a staged return. Nursery children with a parent are being invited in for individual meetings and you should have received your scheduled appointment date and time for next week back in July. If not, you can call the school office next Tuesday to get that information. For Reception children, we are starting you in two groups, part-time for the first couple of weeks, to make sure you are settled and have the best start to your formal education at King David School. Again, you should already know if you are in the morning or the afternoon group, or part of a key worker family, and so attending full-time.

We have put in a lot of work ensuring that school is a safe and pleasant environment to be in. Each class will be its own bubble, including at breaktimes and dinnertimes, and will not mix with other classes. There will be regular handwashing and cleaning of all surfaces. This is where I'm so pleased that we managed to get three-quarters of the classes back to school back in June, which made sure that we knew how systems and procedures can work, all the staff have experienced procedures working effectively, and, although not all the children in those classes came back in June, the majority of children did. That puts us in a great position to have a smooth, successful start to the new academic year, when all children are back in class.

The first couple of weeks of school, we will be working with all the children to identify what their immediate learning needs are, identifying who has made progress, and where gaps have opened up, during the lockdown, but more than anything helping the children adapt to school life again, with some of them having not been in school for over five months. I know most children are very excited to be back at school, but some will be holding worries and will need help in the transition from home-learning to being back in school full-time. We did send out some materials through the post back in May, about preparing your child for returning to school and we will be blogging those materials again over the next few days. It would be great if families can work through those materials, talking with your child about their feelings about returning to school, what they are looking forward to, how their expect things to run. On the blogs back in July, each class teacher posted a message to their new class as well, and set a task for the holidays. Please make sure you've done that task and bring it with you to school next Wednesday.

We do need children back in school from next week. Of course, if they are unwell, particularly with covid-19 symptoms, they cannot attend school. If they have:

- a high temperature

- a new, continuous cough, or 

- a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste

- you should arrange for them to be tested at one of the local coronavirus testing centres. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/

If anyone in the household is suspected of having coronavirus, then everyone in the household must self-isolate for 14 days.

We also know there are some families who have been affected by the quarantine rules for people who have travelled abroad. If your child has been abroad during the holidays and came back from one of the countries from which quarantining is required – that includes most countries outside of Europe, and also France and Spain inside Europe – since 19th August, then they will still be in their two weeks' quarantine period when school starts again next Wednesday, and so they will not be able to attend school. If quarantine is preventing your child from returning to school next Wednesday, please call the school office next Tuesday to let us know, or email the office sooner, and we will support with how your child will not be too disadvantaged missing the start of the school year.

You have a few days left of the school holidays. Please do enjoy that time and the long Bank Holiday weekend, but keep safe, following all public health guidance, so that King David School can be the safest possible place on everyone's return. A few days left too to make sure children have the correct school uniform. They also need their PE kits, which should be brought and then kept in school. Please check those PE pumps – feet have grown over the last six months and they probably don't fit anymore. Boys will need a capul for RE lessons and prayers. There won't be whole school assemblies next term – morning prayers will be conducted over the school network – it's quite a sight to see Mrs Cohen leading assembly on the big screens in each of the classrooms – but this worked very well last term. Boys still do need their capuls for those prayers, though, and for RE lessons – they can be ordered from the school office via the School Money website.

On Wednesday morning there will be a lot of people in the playground. We ask that only one adult accompany each family. There will be zones marked out in the playground for each class, close to where they will enter school, and each family should wait inside the zone for their class. If you have more than one child, please wait together as a family on the edge of one of the zones, ensuring that children from different bubbles, from different families, do not mix, and that all adults keep at least 2 metres apart. We do not expect children, visitors or staff to wear masks in the playground or in school, but if you are coming to school on public transport, masks are required.

If you have any questions, please let us know. You can contact the school office, me directly, or each of the class teachers, easily via email, though please appreciate it may take a day or two to get a response, and at the soonest when staff are back in school next week for final preparations. I will blog again next Tuesday, to answer any questions that have arisen. I've also included in this blog on the school website, the discussion paper that I presented to the Governing Body in July, that goes through in detail the measures we are taking, and I urge you to take a look at that.

In the meantime, have a great weekend - for a peaceful Shabbat, I wish you Shabbat Shalom - and I look forward to seeing everyone next week."

Mr Steve Langford, Headteacher, King David School

My Going Back to School Story
Happy holidays


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Sunday, 25 October 2020