Dear Parents / Carers,
It is with great pride and much sadness that Lakeside closed its doors to pupils today at 3.30. As I walked around the school today, there was still a buzz for learning, games being played and happy voices. Staff are still smiling and enjoying being with your children, possibly for the last time this year. Today, I am a very proud headteacher! Proud of my staff, proud of my families and most of all, proud of our children!
Primary Purpose of Closure of Schools
Nick Batchelor, director of education, wrote to schools last night:
“The primary purpose of the exceptional decisions taken this week to close schools for statutory education, is to support the government approach to the reduction of the spread of the virus.”
School will be closed to all pupils on Monday, other than those children of keyworkers who have no alternative child care. The reason for this is to stop the spread of the virus. Backing up the health care system is the main priority and keeping the numbers of children in child care as low as possible is important to minimise the risk of spreading infection.
Key Worker arrangements
Following County Guidelines issued today, in the first instance we will have to look at delivering provision and supervision for children whose parents or carers work in Health & Social Care or the Emergency Services (Ambulance, Fire & Rescue, and Police). It has been made clear we must focus on these groups first to ensure that they can continue to do the essential work required to stop the spread of COVID-19, to care for the sick and to protect the public. It may well be that the category of key workers is broadened later on but we need to keep this small initially until we get a clearer picture of the level of need.
The provision will be strictly for children where at least one parent/carer is a key worker and there is no other adult available to look after the children.
The provision is expected to be in Lakeside in the first instance, however, the local authority will be moving towards using Hub Schools by the end of the week. Those schools have not been identified yet, so we will let you know as this arrangement becomes clear in due course.
In order for us to ascertain how many pupils this may concern, please click on the link below and complete the survey monkey to tell us your child’s name, your job details and working commitments. To help the local authority and Welsh Government plan the support system for “key workers”, we have been asked to gather certain information from parents of children attending Lakeside. As a matter of urgency, please click on the link below and fill in the Survey Monkey form.
Please note that we are gathering this data for the purpose of information the local authority and Welsh Government to help with service design and provision. That data will be downloaded from Survey Monkey and stored on the schools secure server. We will then delete the Survey Monkey questionnaire and the data held on their platform. Your data will then be provided to the local authority and, by them to the Welsh Government. This makes the school a data processor in terms of the GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018. If you do not consent to your data being used as described, you are free to not complete the form but this may impact on you access to key worker support if you require it.
We will continue to share information and advice as we receive it.
Please note that completing the survey doesn’t guarantee you a place, it just gives us an indication of numbers of keyworkers with a childcare need
Free School Meal Arrangements
The local authority is providing grab bags for free school meals children. They will initially be available for pick up from Lakeside by parents / carers. We will inform you on Monday of the time these are to be collected.
The school website will have weekly planning with links available on the class page. These will be available on the Friday for the week ahead. Children in KS2 will be able to access work on HWB, where they can also keep in contact with the teachers; younger children have had packs sent home as well. Pupils have all taken a new exercise book home to record their work. These are still available to be picked up next week.
Arguing with your children to do homework is not what anyone needs right now. Take turns reading. Read them your favourite book. Do a puzzle, build a fort, bake, watch TV together, paint, get the Lego out and build together, set up a tent in your living room and camp out. Look at photos of when you were a child. In other words … Don’t stress about them forgetting, or home schooling them. Just spend time together. Your children won’t learn much if they are feeling stressed. Though this is a scary time, enjoy spending time with your children and family.
At the end of an exhausting week, please can I thank you for all of your support, dedication and kindness at this time. Please, please keep in touch, look after each other! Remember, I am here and the team are here for you all.
Best wishes and keep safe,