School reopens - a message from Mr Langford

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"Good morning. We are so excited to welcome all the children back to school from this Monday, 8th March.

We have worked so hard together through this lockdown to keep the children's education going, and I must give my heartfelt thanks to all the teachers, who have embraced this new way of teaching and delivered fantastic lessons every day. Thank you to all the staff in school who have supported the children of key workers – that provision enabled doctors, nurses, pharmacists, to carry on their essential work. Thank you to the parents, who have helped at home, giving the children an appropriate place to work, keeping them on timetable, and supporting as needed, especially in the younger years. And finally, a huge thank you to the children themselves, who have shown fantastic resilience, flexibility, enthusiasm and imagination, in making this unusual situation work so well.

Everyone is returning to school on Monday, and we have put in a lot of work ensuring that school is a safe and pleasant environment to be in. Just as in September, 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. We will be increasing the ventilation in classes, and that could mean more windows open and the temperature being a bit cooler in each class, so I suggest you make sure children have layers of clothing - a vest, a shirt, and a jumper or cardigan, so that they can keep warm.

Next week, we will be working with all the children to identify what their immediate learning needs are, as we realise that, as good the online provision at King David School was, the situation was far from ideal – there will be gaps, and some children will have had more opportunities than others, and made more progress. We will make sure the children get the right support and interventions they need, to fill in the gaps and catch up, and school has enrolled in the Accelerated Reader programme and the National Tutoring Programme, to help us in that goal.

While we do look forward to welcoming everyone back to school, we are still in a pandemic, and any child who is unwell, particularly with covid-19 symptoms, cannot attend school. If your child has:

- 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.

If anyone in the household is suspected of having coronavirus, then everyone in the household must self-isolate for 10 days.

The government has announced that families will be able to get home-testing kits. All the staff in school are already testing themselves twice a week, and we do encourage parents to do the same. If I receive further details of how you can get home-testing kits, I'll let you know.

During lockdown it's been great to see all the children in school uniform, which, I think, was an important factor in establishing good learning behaviours and attitude to the lessons and tasks. Of course the children will need school uniform on Monday, and you might particularly want to check that shoes fit, as they probably have not been wearing them for home lessons. Remember that you do not need to have uniform branded with the school logo – just make sure it is the right colours, and these are available in the major supermarkets that are still open. Children will also need their PE kits, which should be brought in and then kept in school. We are not sure yet when swimming lessons will restart, or which classes will be going next.

Assemblies will continue to be done online through google classrooms, with each class joining in from their classroom. Boys still do need their capuls for those prayers, and for RE lessons – capuls can be ordered from the school office via the School Money website.

We would like children to bring in the work they have done during lockdown, so we can celebrate their hard work and achievement. If you have borrowed a Chromebook from school, please also return that, ensuring the charger lead is included, and carry-case, if you were given one. We would like to have all of the Chromebooks in, please, so we can check and audit them, though we will look to lending some out again later, to assist children who need them to do homework. We will make great use of the Chromebooks in school, for lessons, and they promise to be a fantastic resource on into the future.

If you borrowed textbooks from your teacher, these too need to be returned on Monday.

Books and Chromebooks can all be brought into class by your child, and the class teacher will check them off. If you have medication for your child, though, that needs to be handed in to the school office by an adult.

On Monday morning there will be a lot of people in the playground. The system will be exactly as back in the Autumn term. 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. You might remember that Y3 and Y4 enter through the main entrance. 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. All adults in the playground must wear a mask, unless they have a medical exemption. There is clear evidence of the effect mask-wearing has on cutting transmission, so Mr Booth and myself will be checking with anyone who isn't wearing a mask, that they have a necessary exemption. Older siblings too, who come from senior school to collect their younger brother or sister, must wear a mask in the playground too. The King David School children themselves do not need to wear masks – indeed because younger children are more likely to touch or fiddle with the mask, there is growing evidence that younger ages wearing masks can actually be counter-productive.

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.

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

World Book Day 2021
School reopens to all on March 8th


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Monday, 12 April 2021