This week’s message (Friday 16 July 2021)

Friday 16 July 2021

This week’s message is in two parts: next week (England moves to step 4 of restrictions easing on Monday), and next school year. We’ve tried to keep the messages simple, using a Q&A style…

Next week

Will you be completely back to normal?

No. With one more week left in school, the Leeds Health and Safety team has advised that we should continue with the Covid measures we’ve in place. This means we’ll continue with the staggered school day and bubbles.

If there’s a positive case, will you burst a bubble?

No. The advice we received yesterday sets out what happens. If a child tests positive, they (or parents) will be contacted directly by Test and Trace. This is so that you can tell the tracers who close contacts are. (Good luck with finding out from your child the names of people who were within two metres for a period of 15 minutes!)

What about a bubble that burst before Monday?

They must complete the full ten day isolation period.

What if someone has symptoms?

They should stay at home and book a PCR test. If your child has any symptoms – or just doesn’t seem their usual selves – please keep them at home until you have the results of a PCR test.

There’s lots of confusion about what’s happening next week, and aspects of ‘Freedom Day’ don’t seem to make sense for people. We’ve always followed Leeds and national advice, and we’ll continue to do that for the last week of term. Thank you for continuing to do so, too.

Next year

Will you have a return to the normal start and end times?

Yes. The normal times are 8.50am start and 3.15pm finish. Although the staggered school day has had benefits, there are lots of reasons we won’t continue this. These include:

  • it’s very hard to coordinate for families with more than one child
  • we want children to have the opportunity to play together with friends from other classes – having staggered times for the school day but fixed times for breaks would mean very long or very short sessions rather than the carefully planned school day we normally enjoy
  • it’s hard to track if all pupils are arriving on time

One of the benefits has been a reduction in traffic congestion. We know this is a hassle, but – like other schools – our advice would always be to try to walk, cycle, scoot to school. If you have to drive, park further away and walk the last bit of the journey.

We’re hoping to get lots of after-school clubs back up and running, too.

Will you continue to allow children to wear PE kit on PE days?

Yes. We’re going to trial this for another year – it saves time and reduces lost property. You’ve told us you prefer it, too. Please make sure your child’s PE kit follows the uniform policy.

Yesterday was St Swithin’s Day. If we really are due to enjoy 40 rain-free days, then this weekend should be the first of a few good ones. Enjoy.