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Dear Parents and Carers,

You will all be very aware that Crossdale has been closed to most pupils since March. You will also know that the children of critical workers have continued to come to school throughout the intervening period and, since 8th June, children in R, Y1 and Y6 have been able to attend school.

Over the last 2 weeks it has been a real pleasure to have more children back in school and a joy to see how well they have responded to the changes we have put in place to promote good hygiene and social distancing. Seeing how happy the children are in school has made us determined to give even more pupils the chance to spend some time in school; in fact, we’d like every Crossdale child to have the chance to spend some time in school before the summer.

Government guidance received this week now gives us the flexibility to invite different year groups into school. However, existing guidance around class sizes means Crossdale is already ‘full’ – most days we have 7 groups of up to 15 pupils (bubbles) being taught in separate classes. Consequently, we have neither the space nor staff available to offer provision for more bubbles. The latest guidance gives us the flexibility to invite more year groups into school but does not give us the scope to have more bubbles in school at any given time. Quite a quandary…

Our response to this quandary is informed by our desire to give every pupil some time in school to allow them to reconnect with friends, teachers and the routines and heartbeat of Crossdale. It is extremely important to us that children should not return after the summer having been out of school for 6 months. As such, we have devised a plan that gives every year group some time in school over the coming weeks – for some year groups the time is brief, but it will still be important in terms of transition to their next year group.

Our updated plan does mean that children in R, Y1 and Y6 will have their time in school reduced, but this is a compromise we felt we had to make in order to benefit as many children as possible. Had we continued with the current timetable for R, Y1 and Y6, we would not have been able to offer any time in school to other year groups.

Planning for more pupils coming to school has been made more challenging by the availability of staff; the current crisis means our normal staffing complement has been significantly reduced and sourcing supply teachers has become problematic. If staffing availability changes, it may mean we can increase our offer for some year groups, but it could also mean we need to reduce it. We will keep you informed as the situation evolves.

Children attending school over the coming weeks will follow our Rainbow Rules – the children already in school have followed these rules very well and, in line with our risk assessments, staff are promoting the good hygiene practices that reduce virus transmission risk.  The curriculum will focus on well-being and activities that support key skills. We will also continue to offer home learning activities until the end of term for children not in school.

To summarise:

  • We plan to invite pupils from Y2,3,4, and 5 into school over the coming weeks. This will be on a staggered, part time basis.
  • The current offer for pupils in R, Y1 and Y6 will be reduced.
  • Our offer for key workers and home learning will not change
  • Please read both attached leaflets carefully
  • To help us finalise our plans, please complete the survey below if you have a child in Y2,3,4 and 5 by Sunday 21st June
  • Please also complete the survey below by Sunday 21st June if you have a child in R, Y1 or Y6 who is NOT currently attending school

We do appreciate there is a lot of information to digest to digest here. Please read both attached documents carefully and contact us using if you have any questions. We will contact all parents on Monday 22nd June with more information about bubbles and dates when pupils can attend. 

It is my sincere hope that the school experience children have over the coming weeks is a precursor to them coming back to school more consistently after the summer. As a parent and a teacher, I know how important it is for the children to be in school and with their friends and teachers. The government have not yet given a timescale for the release of their plans for schools in September, but I will communicate them with you as soon as we get them.

Kind regards,

Peter Cresswell