Useful Links

Useful Links

Update 9th/ 10th July 2020

Dear Parents,

Further to my comments yesterday I am pleased to be able to invite you all to a parent meeting on the 15th July at 7pm to discuss our plans for the return of every child to school in September. I hope that we can answer as many of your questions as possible and to provide you with an idea of what school will be like for those children retunring/starting. An email link to the meeting will be sent out on Monday.

I have shared an outline plan with Governors, last night and with staff on Wednesday night; like our previous plan there may well be revisions before we start back in September and there may well be revisions as we go as find find things work or don't work. Alongside the plan will be a detailed risk assessment to show exactly how we are planning to mitigate and lower the risks involved. This risk assessment will be available on the school website.

Next week is our last week in school for our Key Worker children and our Year 1,R and 6 pupils. All of the children have been absolutely amazing and been a delight to have back in school. In many ways they have made the school feel like a school again. I'd like to thank all of them for being brilliant. I'd also like to thank all of the staff and governors for their endeavours during this time and parents for their support and their ultra efficeitn pick up and drop off!

We look forward to welcoming children from other year groups back starting next Friday when Year 5 will be returning, followed by the other year groups in the last few days of term.

Best Wishes

Steve Owen

Dear Parents,

We are able to confirm some of the initial arrangements for September that may be more pressing for some of you in terms of organising your future work arrangements.

Term 1

Arrangements for Extended Schools are as follows:

Breakfast Club will run between 8 -8:30am ( but will not include food at the moment - if the situation changes and this is easier to facilitate we will) hence the revised cost of £2 a session.

After School Club will run between 3:30pm and 5pm and will include a cold snack at a price of £5.50. There will be one session, not the option of 2 as we have previously had. Children will be able to be collected at any point.

We will make changes to any of these temporary arrangements if circumstances permit and hope to be able to in the longer term. We will review arrangements on a termly basis at the very least.

Bookings will go live in September - any money in credit can be transferred over to September should you wish.

Staggered Start

Thursday September 3rd - Year 5 and 6 only

Friday September 4th Year 3,4,5 and 6 only

Monday September 7th Year R,1,2,3,4,5 and 6. (Whole School)

We need to road test the procedures in place, hence the staggered start, this will avoid 200+ children and their families turning up on Thursday 3rd trying to familiairse themselves with the new drop off arrangements.

 

Start Time

Year 1- 6                        8:30am - 8:45am

Year R                            8:45am - 8:55am

 

Pick Up Time

Year 1-6                        3:10pm

Year R                           3:05pm

 

We will have a one way system in operation in September which we are trialling - this may need some work if we find it is not working. This will mean for the short term that the Turning Circle remains closed - we may need to reassess this as time progresses. As ever we recommend parking at the Village Hall and walking down to school.

Other Clubs

We pride ourselves on being able to offer a wide range of extra curricular activities - for the short term these will not take place,however we do hope that going forward into Term 2 and beyond that we may be able to offer these again.

Lastly

We thought that this would be useful for you so that you can plan your childcare arrangements for September. Like I have always said,we are working our way through the advice and guidance and making decisions with the best information we have to try and ensure that we make our school and procedures as safe as possible, but also as practical and useful as possible for parents to return to work.

As I have said previously, I will invite parents to attend a virtual call next week - details tbc - regarding the return:where I aim to give you a little bit more insight regarding the arrangements we are planning to put in place.

Best Wishes

Steve Owen

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Parents,

We have been working hard to make a plan of action for the return of all pupils in September and we are making good progress in producing a draft plan which we feel we enable the school to return in as safe a way as possible, while retaining as many of the elements of 'normal' school life which make us so successful. There will be some significant changes to some elements of school life, however I hope that these will be taken in the stride of all pupils and parents. As ever these plans may well change as we move forward and get to a point of finalising them. We plan to share our outline plans with staff tomorrow and then share the headlines with governors, before sharing them with you next week. Once we have completed this consultation, with feedback from all parties, we will then finalise these plans and share them with you. For those children who may find the return to school more challenging we are aiming to produce a social story for them that parents can share with their children and talk them through before September. 

Please can I remind parents of children in Year 2-5 to email their child's classteacher to let them know if they will be returning for the refocus mornings/afternoons at the latest by Friday. Please do not email the office or a member of the leadership team - many thanks.

Just a further reminder - school will finish for Key Workers on Friday 17th July - after this date the school will be closed to only those year groups returning for their refocus sessions. During this time we will be completing a radical transformation of the school in preparation for September.

Reports are continuing to be sent out this week - all year groups will receive them by email by the end of the week.

This Friday will be the last of the Home Learning tasks set for the rest of this term; we hope that you have found the balance suitable. In preparation for any further lockdowns schools must prepare remote learning opportunities to run alongside the face to face teaching activities and we aim to review our provision over the Summer.

 Yesterday, we posted a link to White Rose booklets for the Summer - which you might find useful, in addition to the provision of Reading Eggs and Mathletics - which we would recommend your child continues to work on over the Summer.

Best Wishes

Steve Owen

 

Update 6th July 2020

Dear Parents,

We hope that this finds you well? We are currently reviewing the guidance that we received regarding school openings in September with a view to having drawn up some draft plans by the beginning of next week, which I will then share with you. I have met with the other Hythe Hub heads this morning and am due to meet with the Senior Leaders tomorrow and Wednesday to flesh out our plans.

You will have heard about the £1billion for schools to provide catch up - at present we have had no further information on this - nor have we heard what kind of amounts individual schools will receive. Once we get an update we will let you know! As I have always said - I find the term 'catch up' not very helpful!

Reports will be sent out this week - please do keep an eye on them.

Last two things today:

White Rose Maths is excited to have produced a range of work booklets for parents and children to use over the summer. These booklets can be found on Amazon for the Kindle or downloaded below.  There is one booklet for each of our blocks for Y1 to Y6.

Choose from Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4Year 5Year 6,

https://whiterosemaths.com/resources/primary-resources/parent-workbooks/

And if your children are missing their weekly dose of Collective Worship - we have an online Collective Worship for them on the theme of Hope. https://vimeo.com/435691043

Best Wishes

Steve Owen

 

Dear Parents,

Thursdays and Fridays seem to blur into one at the moment so I seem to be doing a two-day update each Friday – anyway lots and lots of information to think about.

You will, I am sure, have been made aware of the plans for all children to return to school in September. I think all of us at Lympne and the wider community, recognise the impact that five months out of school will have had on all of our pupils, and there is not a Headteacher in the land who doesn’t hope to see all their pupils walking back through the school gates in September. School has been a very strange place over the past few weeks and months and I know Home Learning has been equally eye opening for many parents!

Thankfully, the guidance has arrived before the end of term so we can make a good start unpicking and scrutinising it, alongside the myriad of other documents which have come my way in the last day from the: Unions, Kent and Educational publishers. On first glance there is nothing that is insurmountable, however we may need to make some significant changes to the running of the school.

Moving forward, I will be discussing this document today with other Headteachers, before discussing this information with the other Senior Leaders in school and then the staff. As part of the process, I would also like to invite you to take part in some of the discussions and to that effect I will be holding another parent forum towards the end of the week after next. I will send out the invite next week.

Once we have gathered all of the views and produced our new arrangements we will share these with you – alongside our revised risk assessment. We will endeavour to ensure things are released to you as soon as possible.

I am sure there are a myriad of questions that you would like answered: curriculum, drop off, catch up, behaviour, school dinners, after school and before school clubs, worship, PE, swimming, teaching groups etc. I appreciate that things like Breakfast and After School Club are key for many of you and we will try to unpick this one as soon as possible.

I hope you will bear with us as we unpick everything within the document and I hope to have all plans completed by the end of the month so that you are aware of the plans going forward.

One of the decisions to make is regarding uniform – some children have been in school in non-uniform during this interim period, however from September ALL children will be required to wear uniform in line with our normal Uniform Policy. On this note I am delighted to say that our new uniform suppliers – Marks and Spencer’s are up and running – they are also offering an amazing 25% off so you can purchase your uniform now:

https://www.mandsyourschooluniform.com//m-s-uniform/uniform-by-school/kent/lympne-church-of-england-primary-school/5637147640.c

I have also updated the link on the website in case you should prefer to go through the App or website.

Best Wishes

 

Steve Owen

Update 1st July 2020

 

Dear Parents,

We currently have around 70 children in school at the moment in one capacity or another – either as Key Worker children or as one of the other year groups. It has been interesting watching things develop over the last few weeks as children get familiar with things.

For many children the Summer Term is full of the most exciting events of the year and we are well aware that there are many your child has missed out on. Their first Sports Day, their last performance; their exciting school trip; their laughs and giggles with their friends and the exciting learning in school.

We will do our utmost to ensure that when we get back to some sort of normality that provide as many of the opportunities they might have missed as possible.

Please can I just clarify end of term arrangements as there seems to be some confusion and/or lack of knowledge of the events and how they are being organised. On the 23rd of June we sent out the following information:

As we are in the process of finalising our end of term arrangements I am delighted to invite each class back for either a morning or afternoon session with their current teacher. Our last official day for the children in attendance including Key Worker children will be Friday 17th July. After this point the school will be closed except to the Year groups listed below on their Refocus Session. (A Refocus session is a time to bring children and staff from each class back together in a socially distanced way and enable them to reconnect – albeit for a short time – before September.) Please note that apart from Year 6 this is a child only event.

Thursday 16th July Year 6 Leavers’ Service 11am followed by picnic and dismissal at 1pm. All children not attending school at present are invited, as well as parents of children. Feel free to join the Service with your child and share in the picnic– please adhere to 2m social distancing.

Thursday 16th July Year 1 Refocus at 1:00pm -3:15pm-3:25pm – all children who have not returned are invited in to join in with a goodbye to Maple Class – all socially distanced on the field – children may bring in some extra snacks/picnic for themselves to eat.

Friday 17th July Year 5 Refocus at 9:30am – all children are invited back to school to join in with a socially distanced gathering and goodbye – Picnic packed lunch for all children and dismissal at 12:30pm.

Monday 20th Year R Refocus at 10am – 12:45pm all children are invited back to school to join in with a socially distanced gathering and goodbye – Picnic packed lunch for all children and dismissal at 12:45pm. Please make sure they can open their packed lunch items.

Monday 20th July Year 2 Refocus at 1pm – all children are invited back to school to join in with a socially distanced gathering and goodbye – Picnic packed lunch for all children and dismissal at 3pm.

Tuesday 21st July Year 3 Refocus at 9:30am12:45am– all children are invited back to school to join in with a socially distanced gathering and goodbye – Picnic packed lunch for all children and dismissal at 12:45pm.

Tuesday 21st July Year 4 Refocus at 1pm – all children are invited back to school to join in with a socially distanced gathering and goodbye – Picnic packed lunch for all children and dismissal at 3pm.

There is no compulsion to attend should you not wish to send your child in, or your child does not wish to take part.

We hope that this will then mean that all children will have an opportunity to reconnect before the Summer holiday so that a September return may prove to be not quite so daunting!

Hopefully, this will explain the arrangements – the refocus sessions include a picnic of some sort and will be on the school field. Children do not need to bring in anything other than their lunch and a drink. If the weather is poor these events will have to be cancelled. PLEASE EMAIL THE CLASSTEACHER by 10th July TO LET THEM KNOW IF YOUR CHILD WILL BE ATTENDING.

Can we also remind you that there is still some money outstanding in the school office – if you have not collected it please do come up to do so.

 

Best Wishes

 

Steve Owen

 

Update 30th June 2020

Dear Parents,

We hope this finds you all well? From the feedback I have had you have found these daily updates useful and informative, which is great to hear – we will continue with them in this daily format until the end of the Summer Term. Once we get to the Summer holidays I will aim to provide a weekly update as we move through August in preparation for September. If things do change and we need to add more information as it comes to us we will then increase the updates. I hope that makes sense.

Many thanks to those parents who have emailed their child’s classteacher about their child returning for the refocus sessions. Please do email your child’s classteacher by next Friday so that we can make appropriate arrangements. It will be a socially distanced whole class event – made from two bubbles – they will be on the field together as though it is a whole class.

Weather warning – like all good things planned to be outdoors in the Summer we are hopeful that the weather will improve and that the events can run as planned. If for any reason the weather is poor, we will not be able to run an alternative event. We will make a decision the morning of the event – with at least an hour’s notice. Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate children indoors during this time.

Talking of the weather – please can you make sure if your child is being sent in to school at present that they have appropriate clothing.

Yesterday, there were 15 criteria leaked to the press regarding school reopening in September – the list can be found at:

 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-53225365

Some interesting ideas, but as I said yesterday we will await final confirmation this week as to what we are expected to do and what you can see happening in schools.

Best Wishes

 

Steve Owen 

 

Update 29th June Update

Dear Parents,

This is a very strange time for all of us in one way or another and as we adjust to a new way of living it has presented us with a whole host of challenges. Some of these challenges we have been able to overcome fairly easily and the things we have learnt will change our lives for the better. Personally, it has been amazing getting home for dinner time each day so that I can have dinner with my family each night, something I hope we can continue!

One of the biggest challenges we face if that of forward planning: by this time, we will normally have developed our priorities for the following year, drawn up plans; reviewed our performance from this year; carried out hand over and transition days and have begun in earnest making our arrangements. At present this is really difficult as we have no idea what learning will look like in September – planning for all this will take a great deal of time and consideration.

There are three weeks until the end of this school year and about 8 weeks before we are due to come back in some capacity or another. There will undoubtedly be many changes over this time so planning is going to take time – there are many questions I am unable to answer at present. I am hoping we get some clear guidance from the DfE this week!

With regards our catch up mornings/afternoons, can I just remind you to let the classteacher know via email if your child will be coming in for the session, by the 11th July. We can then make arrangements for how best to organise these sessions, bearing in mind that we need to have children in ‘Bubbles’ no more than 15, we will arrange sessions so that the classteacher is leading the sessions and be supported by other adults ‘running’ the other bubble! Hopefully, that makes sense!

Once again can I remind you of the benefits of using Reading Eggs and Mathletics – we have about 70 children using Reading Eggs and about 50+ using Mathletics, which is not bad, but means that there are probably the same number again not using it. If you need any help with it please email Mrs Cave and she will help! We are sending certificates out to children who are completing the tasks so if you have completed something already a certificate will be on its way to you!

We would like to share with you our latest offer in terms of staying in touch – this one is a bit different to the others we have shared with you and is considerably longer – so you will need to make some time to watch us in action telling you a story! Please use the link below:

https://vimeo.com/433425839

We would like you to email/share with your classteacher how you think the story might end!!

We hope you enjoy it!

Kind regards

 

Steve Owen 

 

26th June Update

Update 25th+26th June 2020

Dear Parents,

Apologies for not sending an update out yesterday frankly there was not much to update you with that was new. Over the past two days, I have been trying to digest some information from the DfE. I think the stand out piece of information came from the DFE who somehow managed to make a major policy change hidden within a daily update and hidden within a paragraph. This was the news that the DfE are now saying that they never told schools that they should try to adhere to a 2m distance rule – despite previous advice to the contrary.

Now, I have tried to stay apolitical through most of this, but this was totally disingenuous and meant that we had planned, carried out risk assessments and delivered arrangements in class to support learning and children’s returns on the basis of 2m rule being crucial for the older children at least and key worker groups. I was dismayed at such blatant lying!

Despite the relaxing of the 2m rule in general population, we are still maintaining 2m distance in school, as this would be confusing for children to get used to, and something we have been instilling in them for some time.

 

We hope that you found the information regarding the Refocus sessions useful and we look forward to seeing your child on the set dates. These events will be held outside on the school field and we hope they prove a nice way to reconnect. You might be wondering why – refocus? Well, we were trying desperately to come up with a way whereby your child’s current teacher would take them in Term 1, so this was an opportunity to refocus, before returning to this group in September, rather than a Goodbye. Despite our best efforts we were not able to solve how this might work in September, no matter what we tried, and as such it will be a Goodbye. This was disappointing, but logistically not possible. We hope to have your child’s next class teachers/assistants at the picnic as well as their current one.

 

This week the staff made some outline plans for our new curriculum approach in September; bearing in mind the huge challenges and changes we have faced we have chosen a whole school vehicle – ‘After The Storm’ as our whole school theme. Our focus for Term 1 will be to ascertain what children know and outline any gaps they might have in the key subjects of English and Maths – the rest of our focus will be on mental health/wellbeing/ physical health – which may cover some aspects of Art/Music etc – however other curriculum subjects will be introduced in Term 2.

We hope this will provide a balance for our children to enable them to return and reconnect; to create healthy minds and bodies; as well as provide opportunities to work out what they know and can do in terms of English and Maths. Once we have this information we will start to address how these ‘gaps’ might be addressed.

By the sounds of it we will be working in class bubbles – which will probably mean no gathering in whole school groups – such as worship and lunchtime – we just await more guidance. There may well be some of the elements, which we have introduced for this period of time, which we will either adapt or continue with in September. Obviously once we get more details of how things are supposed to work in September, we will update you.

 

We have two videos coming your way next week – a story told by all of the staff in school, which we have finished, on a cliff-hanger. We would like your child to have a go at finishing the story in any way they should wish – picture, writing, or even just telling you how it might end, it would be really great if you could share this with us as we would love to know.

The second video is the first of a weekly worships which I hope to share with you and your children – the first one is one the theme of Hope.

 

I hope this finds you all well?

 

Steve Owen

 

 

 

 

Update 24th June 2020

 

Update 23rd June 2020

 

Dear Parents,

 

As we are in the process of finalising our end of term arrangements I am delighted to invite each class back for either a morning or afternoon session with their current teacher. Our last official day for the children in attendance including Key Worker children will be Friday 17th July. After this point the school will be closed except to the Year groups listed below on their Refocus Session. (A Refocus session is a time to bring children and staff from each class back together in a socially distanced way and enable them to reconnect – albeit for a short time – before the September.)

 

Thursday 16th July Year 6 Leavers’ Service 11am followed by picnic and dismissal at 1pm. All children not attending are invited as well as parents of children. Feel free to join the Service with your child and share in the picnic– please adhere to 2m social distancing.

Thursday 16th July Year 1 Refocus at 1:00pm -3:15pm-3:25pm – all children who have not returned are invited in to join in with a goodbye to Maple Class – all socially distanced on the field – children may bring in some extra snacks for themselves to eat.

Friday 17th July Year 5 Refocus at 9:30am – all children are invited back to school to join in with a socially distanced gathering and goodbye – Picnic packed lunch for all children and dismissal at 12:30pm.

Monday 20th Year R Refocus at 10am – 12:45pm all children are invited back to school to join in with a socially distanced gathering and goodbye – Picnic packed lunch for all children and dismissal at 12:45pm. Please make sure they can open their packed lunch items.

Monday 20th July Year 2 Refocus at 1pm – all children are invited back to school to join in with a socially distanced gathering and goodbye – Picnic packed lunch for all children and dismissal at 3pm.

Tuesday 21st July Year 3 Refocus at 9:30am12:45am– all children are invited back to school to join in with a socially distanced gathering and goodbye – Picnic packed lunch for all children and dismissal at 12:45pm.

Tuesday 21st July Year 4 Refocus at 1pm – all children are invited back to school to join in with a socially distanced gathering and goodbye – Picnic packed lunch for all children and dismissal at 3pm.

There is no compulsion to attend should you not wish to send your child in, or your child does not wish to take part.

We hope that this will then mean that all children will have an opportunity to reconnect before the Summer holiday so that a September return may prove to be not quite so daunting!

I have been speaking with the other local Headteachers: Saltwood, Palmarsh, St Augustines, Sellindge, Hythe Bay and Brockhill and the challenges we have faced have been similar across the board. There are no plans from any of the schools to open for the Summer holidays although some schools will offer their usual Summer Camps.

We discussed transition arrangements for Year R and Year 6 and what arrangements will be in place for children when they return. It was really useful to find out exactly what is happening at other schools.

Moving forward thankyou to those parents who have been in touch regarding Key Worker places for their children. Please remember that the cut off date is the end of this week Friday 26th June. We do not need to know exactly what dates/days are needed at present, just that you need a place.

Hopefully, we will have two additional videos ready for you next week – one worship and one final surprise (I know I have been promising this for some time!!!)

Best Wishes

Steve Owen

 

 

Update 23rd June 2020

Dear Parents,

Over the last few weeks and months we have faced an unprecedented time making changes rapidly on a daily and sometimes hourly basis. One of the main challenges has been to try to second guess how many children might be returning and how we will cater for them. At present, I would say that we have nigh on the maximum amount of children that we can cope for on site in any kind of way – whether that is Key Worker, EYFS, Year 1 or Year 6. At the outset, our obligations were to ensure children were readmitted on the basis and order listed above and that we would make changes to groups as and when necessary.

During this time, we have also explored many additional options including the return of other year groups, however we have been hard pressed to bring this to fruition because of the amount of staff we have available and the numbers of children returning.

Additionally, I think like most things at present, some parents and pupils have held off requesting a return until they hear feedback from other pupils and parents to get more reassurance; which I totally understand.

As such, numbers have been pretty stable, but with ongoing fluctuations, which has been helpful, but still meant planning for the rest of term challenging.

Moving forward, we would like to minimise the potential number of changes which we might need to make and to retain the organisation as is for the rest of term. To that effect this Friday (26th) will mark the last day for parents to notify us of their child’s desire to return in Year 1 and will be the last day for parents of Key Worker children to notify us that they may/may not need provision going forward until the 17th July. After this time, we will be unable to accept any additional children into school.

I am sure you can appreciate the difficulties this has presented us with and the challenges we have faced – we have always endeavoured to accommodate as many children as possible who wished to return, however at some point we need to finalise our numbers and plan for the end of term.

As said previously, we are planning a morning/afternoon for all children to come in on the very last week of term 17th/20th - 22nd July and will provide further details tomorrow. Additionally, we still await guidance about what we are required to do with regards to all other year groups and any contact in a face to face fashion before the end of term.

On another note

Thank you to all of the parents and hardworking children for already accessing and working hard on our new online learning resources - we can see that children are working hard on these and achieving well!

With regards to Mathletics  - please note that the work curriculum is organised via year group - and split into the terms of the year.  If you wish your child to use the resource as a revision and revisiting aid, then using the Autumn term and Spring term resources will be appropriate.  For newer learning, please choose resources from the summer term section which is further down the page.  Please note, that every time you start a new topic the content will be simple, and as you work through the resources they will become more complex - for example - In a money section, the first screen may ask your child to identify coins, which seems simple, then as they work through the activities, they will be asked to add the coins, find totals, change and other problem solving activities.

With regards to Reading Eggs/ Eggspress - if following the reading placement test, you feel that the content is not at the correct level - please do let us know ( senco@lympne.kent.sch.uk) and the placement test can be reset for you.

Best Wishes

 

Steve Owen

 

Update 22.6.20

Dear Parents,

Important political announcements always seem to be given out on a Friday afternoon and so it was again – not once, but twice this week.

The majority of you will have heard the headlines: All Children Back to School in September and schools given £1billion for Catch Up. Announcements like this show the forward momentum that is being provided, but without any details it is much harder to comment at present.

I think the other notion that was floated on Friday was that of school’s spending time face to face with each child before the end of term – again I will wait to see what further information we have before coming back to you about this.

As I said on Friday, we are starting to make plans for September, based on a ‘normal’ return with everyone in school. The details of which we will be working on over the next few weeks as guidance comes to us from KCC and the DfE.

Aside from the government, KCC seem to be also releasing important information to parents and the wider community at the end of a working week. On Friday there was an update regarding the Kent Test and the changes that have been proposed for this year’s test in light of Covid19. Basically, it is going to be deferred by a month meaning that parents and pupils will not know the results when they apply for a Secondary School place. As such parents will get more choices (6 rather than 4) on their Secondary Application Form. Further details can be found here:

https://kccmediahub.net/proposal-to-delay-kent-test-2020-until-october745

 

We hope that you have received your on line learning pack from school by now and that you have set your child up so they are able to access things from home. A huge thanks to the large number of parents who have already got this set up. As we move forward, we are hoping that more and more of you will sign up to this and we will monitor the success of the Home Learning by monitoring the numbers of children using it. Should you need any support please do get in touch.

Best Wishes

Steve Owen

 Update 19th June 2020

Update 19th June 2020

 

Dear Parents,

Many thanks to those parents who have come to collect Home Learning at school and to those who have been in touch with regards Mathletics and Reading Eggs, having received the instructions in the post – a big tick for all of you!

Another thankyou to those parents who have come to collect their trip money refunds; like I said before we are still awaiting news from Kingswood, despite numerous additional emails to them this week!

You will have seen the government’s announcement regarding an extra £1 billion being given to schools to offer catch up programmes/tuition etc - money which will undoubtedly prove useful to aid pupils learning. My calculations, looking at the number of pupils in school, is that it would equate to about £125 per pupil, if divided equally in a simple fashion by the DfE school population figures for 2019-20 and depends on equal weighting – which it probably won’t be. For a school our size that is about £25,000 - which is no small sum. We will await further detail before making any more comments on how this might work.

Personally, I’d like to see a repeated year, or a shift in the school year so that we could use the Autumn Term to replace the missed term and start a new school year in January. I appreciate there are other logistical challenges, but at least there wouldn’t be this cramming that might well be needed otherwise. I’m not sure how younger children will respond to a longer school day of learning!

Anyway, while we await further information, next week we will begin planning for our return in September. I am hoping to make plans for a return under normal circumstances and will share the plans with you once we have completed them. Like the return to school plan for Yr R,1 and 6 undoubtedly it is prudent to wait for further guidance before developing, but there is only so long you can wait…

Best Wishes

 

Steve Owen

Update 18th June 2020

Dear Parents,

 

Firstly, I would like to apologise for the random nature of the contents of this update, but there are lots of things to give you information about at present.

I would just like to clarify a couple of things having received some additional communication from parents regarding events at the end of term. Typically, this time of year would be frantic with Sports Day, Play and Performances, School Trips, Transition etc; obviously the vast majority of events are not happening at present which has presented us with a few challenges: how to induct our new families and children; how to celebrate the finishing of primary school for our Year 6 children and how to refund parents for payments made regarding trips that have not taken place, among other things!

Refunding of trips, breakfast and after school clubs, as well as residential refunds are all in hand at present. Today we have emailed those parents who had paid money for: Port Lympne, Horton Kirby and Penshurst Place to come to collect their refunds from school.

Our next task is to work on refunding Breakfast and After School Club payments and as soon as we have organised these we will let you know.

The most challenging task we face is trying to refund parents for the school residential – there have been numerous articles in the news regarding our usual trip provider for Year 6 PGL, who have been widely criticised for the way they have treated their customers and at present I am facing the same challenges trying to get in contact with, let alone receive a refund from, our Year 5 residential provider Kingswood, I am just grateful that we did not book with PGL. This one is taking me longer to resolve and seems to be fraught with challenges at present and so money for this trip, which I understand is much greater than the other trips, may not be refunded for a while. It will come, in the worst case scenario it will have to be from our own budget and I will have to divert funds from other things. I appreciate your patience with this matter. A quick look at the article below will give you an insight for those interested.

https://schoolsweek.co.uk/coronavirus-schools-paying-out-thousands-for-cancelled-pgl-trips/

 

Celebrations for Year 6 – we hope to be able to celebrate the departure of our Year 6 class on their last scheduled day in school. At this point we will invite all parents and children to attend an outdoor service and socially distant picnic – which we hope will go some way to mark the end point for all pupils in Year 6 at Lympne School. While, not the typical event we might have hoped for, I am sure this will provide pupils and parents a sense of closure as they move on and a time to celebrate their years here. We will confirm the exact dates and times in the next week or so.

 

On another note for those parents who have requested paper copies of the Home Learning – you do not need to email again to say you need a copy each week. If you haven’t done so and would like a paper copy of your child’s Home Learning, please email Mrs Ladd directly.

ladd.anna@lympne.kent.sch.uk

Please do not email the office or Classteachers – many thanks.

 

We would like to thank all parents at drop off and pick up for their promptness and efficiency at helping children coming into and leaving school. A couple of things to bear in mind – please no bikes/scooters; dogs are only permitted if they are carried through and we would kindly request the minimum number of people to collect - no siblings or other adults if avoidable, as we would like to have the minimum amount of people on site. Many thanks.

 

Red Teds – we have had a few queries about Red Teds and whether we might be rewarding those children who have been reading at home and keeping a record. At present this is not something we will be doing, however we are looking to Reading Eggs/Eggspress to provide us with an online solution.

 

Worship/Assembly – I am hoping to be able to record a worship next week and share it with pupils via the website – hopefully I can make this a weekly event – fingers crossed and more details nearer the time!

 

We hope that you have found the revised Home Learning useful and you should receive additional guidance for our new online learning opportunities over the next few days in the post. Don’t forget your child’s teacher will be leading the Zoom sessions this week as they start the English Learning off for the week.

 

This update has turned into a mini newsletter.

Thanks once again for your support at this challenging time; you have all been so warm and encouraging and this has certainly helped me through some difficult moments.

 

Steve Owen

 

 

date 17th June 2020

Dear Parents,

We hope that you found the update regarding Home Learning of use to you all – Mrs Ladd and Miss Cave have spent all day sorting out the paperwork to be sent home for you all – including passwords, logins and instructions – so we hope that they prove to be a useful set of resources for you all. These will be sent out tomorrow. We have subscribed for 15 months so we hope to get much use from it – whether that is as we are schooling at present or as a supplement to learning for all pupils to use throughout the year.

I know that there has been lots of talk on the parent Whats App forums regarding the arrangements in school for returning pupils. I would just like to clarify our position moving forward so that you are absolutely clear what the situation is. At the outset, we stated we could take up to a maximum of 15 in the groups we established; this did not mean that all groups could take that number - as younger children and furniture take up less space than older children this would be achievable for Year 1 but not for Year 6. This has meant that we have had space for larger numbers of pupils returning in Year 1 than we do in Year 6.

At present, we are at our absolute capacity for children in Year 6 in their classroom, however we are currently exploring all our options of using additional space for the small number who may wish to come back as we do not like saying no to any children if we can physically fit them in.

Our Year 1 group has grown exponentially as we have opened and we are confident that we will be able to meet the demand. If you have asked for your child to return and have had this confirmed by a member of the Leadership Team – Mrs Ladd, Miss Cave or Mr Owen, then your child will have a place. Equally, not returning this year does not jeopardise any place in the school, nor does it put you and your child at a disadvantage in terms of grouping in September.

At present, and in our current organisation, our Year R group is at capacity and we are unable to make adjustments to numbers.

Lastly, our Key Worker groups are well attended at present and we are able to support them with the numbers we have now.

Moving forward, I would say that my position on things has changed on numerous occasions and as the staff will testify I have had lots of different ideas and have changed my mind several times to respond to demand and how things are working. It would be wrong of me to set things in stone, or to not consider making changes as the situation evolves and this is what we have had to do. If Boris can do it, so can we!

Finally, we are considering ending the school year on the 17th of July and providing Years 2,3,4 and 5 with the opportunity of returning for a socially distanced morning/afternoon at the end of this term on either the 20th or 21st of July including a picnic on the field. This would enable all children to see their classmates; see some of the arrangements that we have put in place and hopefully help with anxiety levels come September.

We await an announcement on what is supposed to happen over the Summer holidays with regards Summer Schools and any provision that is supposed to be in place.

Best Wishes

Steve Owen

 

Update 16th June 2020 

 

Update 16th June 2020

Dear Parents,

Having finalised our new arrangements for Home Learning we are pleased to be able to share these with you. It is important to recognise that this is always going to be a challenge to get 100% right as every single family set up and capacity is so variable; we have parents who have the skills and time to assist and we have parents who will find this all new to them and limited time on their hands - finding the balance is exceptionally hard. This will be the third time we have reviewed our provision and hopefully we will be hitting more and more of your requirements each time.

The key messages from parents were:

  • Paper copies are needed for some families.
  • Taught lessons
  • Greater English input
  • More extension/Challenge/More learning

We were also mindful that we needed to provide software that would enable children to work a little bit more independently in a structured fashion. We had already increased our Lexia provision for Years R and 1 and now we have purchased and are able to offer Reading Eggs (for Years R-2) and Reading Eggspress (for Years 2-6) to support with English. Then for Maths, we have also purchased and can now provide Mathletics for Years R-6; this is in addition to Times Table Rock stars for Years 2-6 as well.

Further details of these and logins are being worked on this week and will be posted out to you by the end of the week. All pupils will require individual log in details.

We are aware that some families may have limited access to laptops/computers etc and are looking into how we might assist with this.

Many thanks once again for your input into our recent survey – we have tabled below some of your comments with how we are actioning these points.

 

Parent Comment

Action Taken

Parents would like more feedback from the class teachers regarding learning.

We reminded staff that this is an option for parents and are reminding parents that should you wish to have more feedback on your child’s work to send your child’s work via email to the classteacher – no scanner needed – take a photo of it and send it in.

Encouraging SEND children to participate in learning

Individual support has been offered where requested and tailored support put in place – please do contact Miss Cave on senco@lympne.kent.sch.uk if you require further guidance, support or advice.

Worksheets/ pintables

We have tried to provide all the relevant documentation in one place for parents, rather than relying on links. We appreciate that this sometimes makes a document a little long, however at least you only need to go to one place.

Paper Copies of work available

Please email MRS LADD (only) ladd.anna@lympne.kent.sch.uk, (please do not email class teachers or the office) by midday on Thursday if you would like paper copies. These will be printed and enveloped to be collected on a Friday outside school between either 10am – 11:30am or 2pm – 3:30pm.

Additional Exercise books

Additional Exercise books will also be left outside the school on a Friday at the same time as above. Should you need additional books.

Online learning/ Zoom learning/ Video learning ( particularly to support English)

The majority of parents wanted more input for English so we are asking the class teachers to use their weekly Zoom meeting for a taught English input instead of a general catch up – this should set the tone for the rest of the English learning for that week. These will be beginning this Friday and will move into next week.

We are unable to offer daily taught lessons as all of our teaching staff are teaching all day. (This won’t apply to Year R or 6)

More possible independent learning opportunities

We recognise that parents may wish to use something more structured for Reading and Maths which children can use fairly independently. As such, we have invested in: Mathletics and Reading Eggs/ Reading Eggspress for the whole school – except Year 6 who are in school. More details will be sent out regarding these two programmes later this week and details how to logon etc etc.

 

We are also still providing:

TT rock stars (Year 2-6)

Lexia (Years R and 1 and SEND)

 

More Challenge

We have been setting an overview for the week for children with a brief outline of what is needed to be covered. Moving forward we will continue to provide an initial outline lesson (Maths) which will cover the basics and then for those that want to have more we will provide additional optional lessons which follow on the same/similar theme for the week.

Other Comments

There were a wide range of comments regarding Home Learning – as we have always said it is a delicate balancing act and we are trying to provide you with as much useful information and assistance as possible.

 

On another note, we have created another video for our new Year R families who are due to start with us in September – a link to which can be found here.

https://vimeo.com/429343138

We will be sending the link out to families today/tomorrow and we hope that they will find it useful.

For those of you waiting for our final staff video – I think it is nearly finished !!!! Hopefully it might be with you next week!

Best Wishes

Steve Owen

 

Update 15th June 2020

Dear Parents,

A huge well done for all of the parents and children at drop off and pick up today; it was brilliant, we couldn’t be more thankful that your children arrived on time, left you brilliantly and walked to their lines. It is lovely having more children back at school and the school is slowly feeling more and more like a real school again!

Please can we remind you to pack items in your child’s lunch that they can open or sort themselves – drinks cartons with straws have been a real challenge today, as children have not been able to insert their straw! Also yoghurt pots, packets etc etc. It is really helpful to us if you could either put the items in a pot they can open, or substitute them with something else. Many thanks.

I would just like to clarify a number of things regarding spaces in Key Worker and other year groups, as I have had a number of queries over the weekend. It is important to recognise that at present Key Worker groups take priority over every year group – including those in attendance at present. If numbers increased significantly in the Key Worker groups we might be in a position where we would just be accommodating them and not have staff or space for any other year groups.

At present we have no additional space in our Year 6 groups; if we took more we would have to close the groups for all children in Year 6, as this would necessitate creating an additional group and we do not have the staff or space to accommodate them in the fashion we have to. We do have some space in our Year 1 groups, however our Year R group is also at capacity in terms of numbers. I appreciate that this has been a challenging time for parents who have been asked to make some difficult decisions.

Choosing whether to send your child back to school is a tough decision and no easy one for any parent; I think my wife and I went a full 360 degrees in our decision making, so I appreciate the difficulties this has presented you with. You will have made the decision that you feel is right for your child – and that is the right one for you and your family.

 

Home Learning refresh!

Tomorrow, I will be writing to you to present you with an update regarding Home Learning. We would like to think that we have listened to your concerns and your wishes and tried to accommodate them as best as we can to improve what we are offering to you following the decision not to send pupils in Year 2-5 back to school. Again, it is a delicate balancing act and we have been aware that there is a full range of views and capacities that parents have: ultimately we want to provide you with as many opportunities and choices as possible, without providing you with a guilt complex for not being able to complete all of them!!!!

Kent Test

Rumour has it that schools, so probably the press, should get an update regarding Kent Test this week. I will, of course, send this on to you as and when I get this. I appreciate it has been an especially anxious time for pupils in Year 5 and their families. Please can I remind you to register with Kent and individual grammar schools should your child wish to take the tests.

Best Wishes

Steve Owen 

 

UPDATE 12th June 2020

Dear Parents,

I hope this finds you well at the end of a busy week.

 

We are really looking forward to some of our Year R and 1 returning next week alongside our Year 6 – it will be great to see another part of our school community returning. Don’t forget to watch the video which is on the school website under the Covid 19 tab on the website and clearly explain to your child what the new rules are in the Behaviour section.

As I said yesterday, if your child is anxious please join the back of your year group's line in the morning. This week the line has worked really well and it should be quick and efficient so that parents are not on site longer than they need to be and children can walk to their lines effectively. A good idea is to say your goodbyes in the line before you get to the front as we will need you to send your child and then follow the path to the Aldington Road gate.

Being honest, I think parents are generally more worried than children, so hopefully with a smile from us they will walk to their line without a fuss!

Please remember it is a one way system and you come in the side entrance and then out of the Aldington Road gate.

Any problems please email or call the office on Monday.

Best Wishes

 

Steve Owen

 

 

Update 11tth June

 

Dear Parents,

A huge thankyou to Year 6 who have been brilliant this week in adapting to the 'new normal' this week and learning the new procedures put in place. I would say it has been very successful. A big thankyou to the parents as well for adapting quickly to the changes we have made to drop off and pick up.

Next week, we welcome our Year R and 1 children back, please make sure that you arrive on time and not early or late, and that you adhere to all of the social distancing measures that we have put in place. If you feel your child may be a little bit nervous I would recommend putting them at the back of the line and please remember we are unable to cajole children into the school as we may have done previously. Please also remember packed lunches and drinks

We look forward to seeing more of our school community on Monday.  

A huge thankyou once again for your support in completing the questionnaires, like I said yesterday we will be revieiwing what we can offer those children in Year 2,3,4 and 5 and are discussing this next Monday in out staff meeting. We aim to make changes to our provision as soon as possible going forward and will let you know what has been agreed next week.

Please note that the numbers of pupils enrolled into Year 6 now make Year 6 full to capacity and we will be unable to take any additional children into the 'bubbles' that have been put in place.  At present, numbers are rising in key worker/critical worker groups as more people return to work, however as I said before if numbers rise significantly so this will mean that we will have to reduce our provision for some of the year groups in school. It is a delicate balancing act and lots of juggling involved!

I look forward to hearing what Gavin Williamson has up his sleeves regarding this 'catch up' notion Boris was sharing with us yesterday, like I said before this really isn't helpful terminology. They are not catching up, this is where they are at!

 

Best Wishes

 

Steve Owen

 

Dear Parents,

A huge thankyou to all those parents who have completed the questionnaire that was sent out yesterday – the link to which you can find here:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/KCFFFB2

We are processing the information which you have sent in and will be making some significant changes moving forward which we hope to be able to share with you next week in the light of the feedback given, to improve the offer we are providing for children not attending school for the foreseeable future.

I can say at present that we will be investing some thousands of pounds into providing additional structured learning for you and your child which we hope will prove to be beneficial. As well as providing some additional support for you and your child and some options to receive paper copies of some Home Learning.

I would like to point out a couple of things which have come up; firstly, that you are always welcome to email your child’s classteacher regarding any work they have completed should you wish to have any feedback, I know some parents have done so already, however if you have not the option is already there.

Secondly, our community is very fractured at present – some children learning in school; some children learning at home and some children in school as Key Worker children. The Zoom meetings we are currently holding are for all children to take part; whether they are in school or at home, and is a chance for the whole class to find out what is happening amongst their peers.

Lastly, just to reiterate that all classteachers are working in school from next Monday, this means they are not available during normal school hours to provide live lessons to pupils as they are teaching/ working with other year groups. I know the desire for live learning sessions is strong, however it is not possible for our teachers to be doing this on a daily basis as they will be teaching YrR,1 and 6 and providing childcare to key worker children.

On another note, we are seeing greater incidents of children facing considerable challenges to their mental health as this ‘new normal’ continues, and as such, it is even more important as adults to provide children with ways of understanding their mental health, and to look at things in a positive light.

Please find some links here to two workbooks which you can download and print for your child regarding Growth Mind set and Wellbeing. We hope they might be of some use.

As ever should you wish to get in touch please contact: headteacher@lympne.kent.sch.uk

 

Best Wishes

 

Steve Owen

.....UPDATE 9th June 2020.....

 

Dear Parents,

As you may well have heard, the government have now confirmed today what we were all thinking about the return of Years 2-5. I know for many parents, children and staff this will be extremely disappointing and upsetting, on the other hand for many parents it will be a relief to have some certainity about a return this year.

We are currently looking at what we might do to provide some certainity to pupils and parents in these year groups moving forward.We are also exploring options of how we may or may not be able to increase our current educational offer to more year groups.

Logistically, this was always going to be a challenge and I think from the moment the government no longer insisted that Year R,1 and 6 had to all return on the 1st of June, we knew that this was not going to be possible, as many schools would be starting in a staggered fashion, as we are, and would not have all of Year R,1 and 6 in school until the third week in June. Trying to ensure all aspects of social distancing would still be happening would be an impossible ask with all year groups in school.

As we have always said, this is unchartered territory for all of us and we will be exploring our options moving forward and hope to be able to share this with you soon. Please click here to complete our very short questionnaire.

Tomorrow night I have an online meeting with our new Year R children's parents to discuss their start at school. At present there are lots of discussions about how things might look in September for Year R, but also for all of the year groups who have missed many weeks of learning.

There is a phrase that I keep hearing that I would like to offer some challenge to going forward and that is the notion of children 'being behind'. I am not sure who they are behind, or what they are behind, we have a generation of children who are where they are and where they are we don't know at the moment, so I am not sure who they are behind or what. I'm sorry if I am confusing you!

I  know it is easy to slip into this terminology - your children may well be far more knowledegable about a whole host of things that they would otherwise not be aware of, if they had not been at home. It is easy to worry so much about where your children are...focus on one thing rather than lots of things - for example for younger children focus on reading/phonics - if you don't get time to do other things just stick with one you can build on.

I appreciate that many parents will be feeling an immense amount of guilt about the time they can give to their children - they will learn when they come to school and they will improve when they come here.

Best Wishes

Steve Owen

Update 8th June 2020

 

Dear Parents,

It has been so lovely today to see many of our Year 6 pupils returning to a somewhat different learning environment, with smiles and happiness intermingled with lots and lots of handwashing! Drop off seemed to have worked well and both parents and pupils followed the guidlines well and we were able to get the children into school in a timely fashion.

As we go through the week we are tweaking and changing things so that we can get things to run more smoothly and I am sure we will continue to refine 'our return' as we go.

Please can we remind you that children only need to bring in the bear minimum - lunchbox and drink - coat of the weather is poor and that only one adult needs to be on site to collect children.

Please refer to our Covid 19 tab on the Homepage for further details regarding - arrangements/ policies and procedures and general advice - including our videos. Many of the questions I have been asked this week are answered in this document - thankyou for your support.

Moving forward, we are continuing to make preparations for Year R and 1 to return to school next week and staff have been busy making plans for what this will look like in terms of learning.

As for the future... there has been much talk of Summer Schools and provision taking place; we like you, are waiting for an announcement on this matter, the last annoucnement made was a long time ago and was a firm no this will not happen. However, increasingly we are hearing reports of this possibly being announced...as ever I will try and sit on the fence for the time being and will let you know when we find out!

The return of Year 2-5 has also been very quiet over the last month, increasingly so and I would imagine that this will also be moved to September, as I have said before, or possibly the Summer!

Lastly, we have uploaded some useful guidance for parents on keeping children safe online over this lockdown period. Please find a link here: Useful Info on Online Safety.

 Best Wishes

 

Steve Owen

 

 

We hope that this finds you well at the end of this week – Week 7 of Home Learning – it seems crazy how quickly the time has passed. It seems like only yesterday we were looking forward to Easter.

We hope that you have all received the Home Learning for this week, which will continue to be set for all classes as we move forward into Term 6 and beyond. If your child is in Year R, 1 or 6 and you have decided to keep your child at home, rest assured Home Learning will continue to be sent out for them.

Teachers will also be continuing with their weekly Zoom meetings, but do please check the time and day, as they will probably change as obviously from next week class teachers have taken on different roles throughout the school.

We will continue to check in with our families as we move forward, focussing our attention on all of those year groups who are not able to return at present.

I also hope that we will have a worship/assembly in the next week or so to share with you all.

As promised, we have, courtesy of our resident Steven Spielberg (Miss Durham), another video to share with you regarding the opening of the school- please, please watch this video as it shows how to come into school and how things have been organised. Parents please watch this with your child and talk to them about what is expected and how it is organised. This will be a key part of your child’s return.

Please click on the link    https://vimeo.com/426197826

We hope it will reassure some of you and that you will find it useful for your child. My own daughter is starting back at her school next week and I know that while on the surface she is quite happy about it, underneath she will need a lot of reassurance and having had some photos sent to us of the arrangements in her school we have been able to answer many of her questions and we feel much happier.

We also arrrrrrrrrrr (you will see why) still working on our additional video for all of you to enjoy with some audience participation for all of you. We will let you know when we are ready to go with it!

We have spent the last week working hard setting up the school, running through all of the arrangements and testing how things work – we hope that we have put in place everything that we can to ensure that the risks within school have been reduced. As I have said, countless times, we cannot remove the risk but we can reduce the risks in school.

If we all pull together, follow the guidance and rules which have been put in place we can then welcome children back and part of our community can start to come together.

Please support us in our endeavours next week any feedback from parents of returning children will be appreciated; likewise parents of children not able to return we would appreciate your feedback on how things are with you.

Lastly, I would like to thank the staff for their hard work, flexibility and commitment over the past few months and their drive and enthusiasm for welcoming children back has been second to none.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the video!

 

Best Wishes

 

Steve Owen

 

 

4th June 2020...

Dear Parents,

Lots of information coming out again today to you.

Firstly, our return to school video will be available for you and your children to look at shortly - I will let you know as soon as it is ready - this will show you what is involved in pick up/drop off and how classrooms are organised.

Secondly, I have added further information to the website to explain what should be done if you suspect your child has Coronavirus - this has come directly from PHE and is the guidance we will follow. Please follow the link here. We will notify our bubbles straight away if we have a case of suspected coronavrius.

Reintegrating back to school life can be a challenge at any time but that demand is even higher during the current climate of uncertainty and change.  Below is a link to a few ideas and bits of information that should support you and your school families in this process. Useful Links

As a staff we have walked through our arrnagements this morning and trialled them, however this will not replicate having children in completely. Please bear with us if we need to make changes quickly, or if things do not run to time in the first instance.

Please can we just reinforce a few key messages to parents of children returning:

  • Children need to be escorted to their teacher by an adult/ older sibling following the one way system into schooland out on to the Aldington Road.
  • The Turning Circle will be closed.
  • Children do not need to bring their own hand sanitiser we have over £1000 of hand sanitiser in school and stations on entry to the school and outside every classroom.
  • Please ensure that if you are sending your child to school with a packed lunch that they are able to open the packets/lids etc
  • Please arrive promptly and not early - remember the turning circle will be closed.
  • There is no fruit available so please send your child in with a mid morning snack and a water bottle, as well as their lunch.
  • Children will be sent home with their lunch-rubbish - so please check their lunchbox as it comes home.
  • Bags are not needed - coats might be!

I hope to be able to produce some worship/assembly for the whole school to follow which we will post online for parents and children to see in the next few weeks.

I met with an area group of Headteachers this morning to discuss a  number of pressing issues such as: Secondary transition and Primary Transition - there are still many unknowns in this area and we hope to have some more details regarding these going forward. If your child is due to start school in September we have sent out invites to parents to an online meeting next Wednesday ay 7pm.

 

Many thanks for your continued support.

 

Steve Owen

 

UPDATE 3rd June 2020...

Dear Parents,

Please find a link on the school website under the COVID19 tab to the guidance which we have produced for our pupils who are returning. We hope that you find it useful and we would ask you to talk to your child about the contents of the letter and draw their attention to the behaviour and hygiene expectations.

Tomorrow, we are meeting as a whole staff to run through final arrangements which we have put in place and will be running some trial runs to see how everything works and iron out any points that are not working.

Needless to say we are looking forward to seeing pupils next week; we will keep checking in with families who are not returning and will continue to support the vast majority of our children who are remaning at home at this point.

Further details about the support we will be offering pupils who are not returning will be provided over the next week and we also hope to be able to send our final video to you all next week.

Best Wishes

Steve Owen

 

 

 Update 2nd June 2020

Dear Parents,

We are just finalising our arrangements for our return next week and will send out formal communications to you all hopefully tomorrow. This should explain how things will work going forward ,for anyone coming on to the school premises in any way whatsoever.

When drawing up the new procedures and logistics we have to ensure that we are reducing the risks for all those coming on to site - whether that is children, staff, parents or visitors. While we have repeatedly said we cannot reduce all risks; we can put in place arrangements to reduce them.

I think the hardest thing is that the majority of the procedures we have put in place make our school seem a much colder place than it ever was before; of course there will be the welcoming smiles, however school will feel very alien for all of you. We are proud of our caring, supportive and open ethos, which will continue, but in a very different way. We can no longer hug a child if they are feeling sad, gently cajole a child into school, chat on the gate with you, we would love to be able to, but for a myriad of safety reasons things have to change.

We look forward to your support in following these new procedures and will await feedback from you as to how you feel these are working for you and your child over the next few weeks.

Our first port of call is to add Booking Forms for parents of Key Worker children who have let us know they require childcare to the website. Go to www.lympne.kent.sch.uk and click on the COVID Tab for these.

Best Wishes

 

Steve Owen

 

UPDATE 1st June 2020

Dear Parents,

We have had an exceptionally busy day today in which we have met as a whole staff to review procedures and processes for our more formal return next week. We have moved furniture, resources and put out markings and devised groupings for both key worker and Year R,1 and 6, which has been a challenge in itself.

We are not able to make any additional changes to these groups of pupils now until at least the 15th June at the earliest, so if there is a change of circumstance please let us know asap. 

Over the course of this week,  we will send you an increaing amount of information via School Comms regarding procedures for our return and we would ask parents of children returning to read it carefully. To aid parents in locating information we are adding an additional COVID19 tab to our Home Page so that you can find relevant updates and information such as Booking Forms for Key Workers.

I appreciate we have already sent out a lot of information to you, but this will begin to finalise arrangements in your minds. We would ask you to really explain the importance of all of the elements we will be talking about to your children so that they are prepared mentally for what things will be like.

For example, there will be some significant changes to the Behaviour Policy where we will be including much tighter rules about follwing hygiene gudiance and adhering to the policy as a whole; changes to the Home Learning, Safeguarding and Acceptable Use Policies to name a few!

 We are also in the process of producing a video which we will send out to you before the weekend to show you what school looks like and help your children to understand the changes.

There will be a number of changes for all children, including those already coming into school and it is important that you make yourself aware of these as from Monday - Key worker drop off/pick up times and location of drop off/pick up change significantly, for example.

I hope to send some of the first details out to you tomorrow and look out for them across this week.

 

Apologies to those parents of children in Years 2-5, we haven't forgotten about you, but I am sure you can imaine we are having to spend a great deal of time preparing for our return next week.  We are working hard to continue your Home Learning and provide you with your weekly Online Meeting. We are also looking into the possibility of some online teaching from your teachers.

Parents of children in Year 2-5 may well have seen that we are starting to hear voices expressing disquiet about a return for all children this year and as I said previously this is something I feel is more realistic, however unfair that might seem.

I hope this finds you well.

 

Best Wishes

 

Steve Owen

 

 

 

Again many thanks to you all for your attendance at last night's meeting - I hope that it gave you the information you need to make an informed decision. A second thankyou for all the follow up questions and thoughts, please do feel free to email and ask if you need clarification. Please may I remind you that we need a definite answer from you regarding your child's return by 6pm on Sunday. We are planning our bubbles and groups on Monday morning and as such we need final numbers so that we can finalise and firm up our plans.

To complicate matters further there is a possibility that the key worker list may well be updated on the 1st of June by the DfE, as that is the review date on the document. We don't know if this is the case, but obviously if it does expland it will impact on all schools as the number of key worker children will increase and ultimately will mean the return of Yr R,1 and 6 might need to be re-assessed.

Currently, the teaching staff have been working on completing reports for your children; and while these normally come at the end of the year, I have asked staff to complete them for where your child was at pre lockdown. I appreciate that this is a little different, however I felt it important to acknowledge where your children had got to in a formal fashion. This will go out to you towards the end of the year, when they are complete.

 You will also have received a leaflet via School Comms about our new uniform supplier M+S, who we hope prove to be more successful than our previous supplier!   Their launch is likely to be in July rather than June, however they will be  launching with a 20% price discount promotion which although normally runs for 4 weeks will run throughout the whole of August and September as well!  

Moving forward to September, I am pleased to be able to confirm the following teaching arrangements:

Year R - Miss Jessop - Mrs Cook

Year 1 - Mrs Ladd and Mrs Cave - Mrs Moulin/ Mrs Arnold

Year 2 - Mrs Martin - Mrs Chapman

Year 3 - Mr Haycock - Mrs Young

Year 4 - Miss Durham - Mrs Charles

Year 5 - Mrs Curtin - Mrs Ransley

Year 6 - Mrs Hayes/Mr Owen - Ms Watts and Mrs Drury

 

I am delighted to have maintained the core group of staff that make our school such a special place and while we will be immensely sad to see Miss Bailey move on we know that Miss Jessop will do an amazing job!

 

Monday will see us working with the whole staff team to finalise the preparations for the return of children - once these have been completed next week we will share with you the logistics and hopefully some images of what rooms, routes and spaces will look like.

 

Best Wishes

 

Steve Owen 

 

 

 

...28thMay 2020....

Dear Parents,A huge thankyou to all those parents and families who attended this evenings online meetings - I can only apologise if I spoke for too long. I just wanted to outline our position and the complexity of the situation as a whole. If you should have any additional questions, or weren't able to make the meeting please do email: headteacher@lympne.kent.sch.uk with your queries and I will endeavour to answer them.

I appreciate it is a challenging time for all of you, but can I ask you to let your child's classteacher know if they are hoping to return in whatever cpacioty, either as year R, 1 or 6 or as a key worker child. WIthout this infomraion we are not able to make any concrete plans for the 8th nor the 15th. Please send it by 6pm on Sunday 31st. All classteacher email addresses can be found on the school website.

I hope you will forgive me for the short update this evening!

Best Wishes

Steve Owen

 

Update 27th May

Dear Parents,

Tonight's update will be a short one, bearing in mind we have the virtual meetings tomorrow:

6:30pm - 7:30pm for Parents of children in Year R,1 and 6, as well as Key Workers

7:30pm - 8:30pm for parents of children in Year 2,3,4 and 5

If you happen to have children in both feel free to join both meetings. Should you not have had the invite please email me directly.

Many thanks for sending so many questions so far, I will endeavour to answer as many of them as possible. I will start with a preamble and explain the complexities of the situation and in doing so I hope that I will answer questions as I go. I hope you find the session useful and informative.

Following the session and by Sunday evening (6pm) at the latest, please can we ask you to have emailed your child's classteacher to let them know if your child will be returning in the next few weeks as either Year R,1 and 6 or Key Worker category. (Please see below for rationale)

Best Wishes

Steve Owen

-----------Update 26th May---------

Dear Parents,

I hope you all had an enjoyable and restful Bank Holiday; we had a welcome visit to Kingsdown and a dip in the freezing cold sea! Over the last few days you have been kind enough to send me a whole host of questions regarding our plans to re-open in the next few weeks, as I said before if you would like me to try and address them at the forthcoming Online Meetings please do send them to me before 3pm on Thursday this week.

I need to be perfectly honest with you about one of the key challenges that lie ahead for not just our school, but all schools in the area and country. While we are planning, and have planned, for the return of Year 6,R and 1, it is exceptionally difficult to know whether these plans will come to fruition. The key factor in determining this is the impact of an increase in the number of key/critical worker children who might attend school for childcare reasons in the future.

At present, we are able to cater for a return of Key Worker, Year 6, Year R and Year 1 children based on our own projected numbers, however the key unknown is how many key worker children may return to school in the next few weeks. There will be a tipping point for the school if numbers exceed our projections and we will have to drastically alter our plans as key worker children take precedence over other year groups. How that will look, we are unsure of at present, however I have to be clear it could be a number of things, but does include the possibility of having to renage on a decision to re admit one of the key year groups of Year 6, R and 1.

The number of staff and the number of rooms we have available in school mean we are running on a minimum number of 2 adults per group which could be hard to maintain should numbers creep up in other ways. This is not meant to deter Key Worker parents from using the childcare facility, just to explain what the realities are that we face.

Looking at the reintroduction of other year groups (2,3,4 and 5) this will be even more challenging and what that might look like is even more complex. Boris seems to not be mentioning the return of other year groups at present as it may well be that he is no longer pushing this for this academic year. Who Knows! As soon as we have some indication we will let you know.

Please can I ask you to ensure that you let your child's classteacher know, via email, if you are planning on sending your child back to school, either as a child of a Key Worker or in Year 6, R and 1, by end of play on Sunday this week. We will be unable to plan provision unless we have this confirmed by then and this will stay as is for at least the first two weeks. We cannot have a fluctuating roll at this time because numbers are critical to our provision so we really need you to make this decision by this date. Moving forward, we will need at least a week's notice, possibly two, ( I will need to confirm this before Thursday's meeting) before we will be able to admit additional children after the start date. I appreciate this is  not ideal, but if we have to change our arrangements because numbers go up it is important that we are able to give parents enough notice to change their arrangements at home, should they need to, if we then cannot acommodate a year group.

I'm just trying to be honest about where we are at - this is no different to any other school really, lots of Headteachers are in a similar position. I hope you can understand.

On a lighter note we have another video coming your way - this will probably be the last one - however there is a large degree of audience participation in the next one!

Keep sending your questions in.Many thanks

Steve Owen

 

....Update 22nd May 2020...

Dear Parents,

Following on from yesterday's update I am going to be sending you details today of the arrangements we are making for our return to school. Yes I know ahead of schedule I hear some of you cry, well I have finalised details with the staff and governors earlier than expected and I am now in a position to be able to share this with you going forward. Please find a copy of the letter being sent out to you all today and a link to our plans.

 

Dear Parents,

 

I hope that you have found the regular communication from the school useful in giving you an understanding of the issues we are facing and the challenges that have been presented to us. In the current climate, with a wealth of information coming to us from a wide variety of sources, I think everyone could be excused for feeling somewhat confused, concerned or completely overwhelmed about what has happened in schools; what is happening right now and what will happen in the future.

 

For weeks and weeks, we have been asked to socially distance; to ‘Stay at Home’ and if you can work at home you should. Following government announcements earlier this month, the rhetoric has changed and we are now being actively encouraged to return to work, and with that, return to school.

 

As a result, schools have been asked to plan to enable opening from June 1st at the earliest; following a detailed risk assessment and return to school planning, which needs to be signed off by the Governing Body.

 

The government gave guidance over which year groups it was prioritising, which was a surprise to many people, with Year R,1 and 6 to be included first, with the priority still given to Key Worker children over everyone else. The information from both central government and local government came out very slowly and in a fragmented fashion and meant that planning for a return was challenging with many unknowns and changes along the way.

 

While this guidance is issued and both the government and KCC would like us to follow it in its entirety, none of these institutions will take responsibility for the way in which schools are planning to return and have washed their hands of any liability. To compound matters further, teaching unions and support staff unions have also passive-aggressively hinted that Head teachers may well be held to account if members become unwell.

 

All this leads me to say is that hopefully this enables you to understand why this planning has taken so long; as the decisions we have made have been extremely complex, extremely nuanced and at times extremely frustrating and exceptionally difficult ones, the likes of which I have never encountered before. These have taken into account our unique context; Government, Local Authority, Union, Medical and any other sources of advice we have been able to gather to formulate a plan which we believe will work with the information we have available to us at this present time and the acknowledgement that we are not experts in this field.

 

I have tried to put myself as much as possible in ‘your shoes’, I have a daughter in Reception and she is desperate to go back to school, (probably to get away from Home School with the Headteacher); she is desperate to see her friends and my wife and I are really sad that she has not been able to spend her time building the strong foundations she needs. My decision making has been informed and defined by my role as both a Headteacher and a father, trying to steer a path that I would consider as safe as possible for my daughter as well as everybody else’s!

 

Unlike Michael Gove, I cannot guarantee 100% that everyone coming into school will be safe, all I can say is that the actions we have taken will hopefully reduce the risks and make our school safer than it would otherwise be.

 

While I have thought long and hard about how we will organise our return, there are likely to be some decisions that may appear unclear or unresolved as many hinge on the numbers of pupils returning and the rapidly changing nature of the situation, which can mean that all good plans need to change. At present, our plan is outlined in the link below and we hope that it is clear.

 

Please note however, that with the potential for the national, local and school situation changing very quickly, no matter what my plans are they may need to change on an almost daily basis. I will endeavour to give you as much notice as possible should there be any changes, but I will thank you all, in advance, for your support and understanding should I ever need to make changes at short notice.

 

There will be an opportunity to discuss these plans at the Parent Zoom meetings next week:

 

Parents of children in Yr R,1 and 6, as well as Key Worker parents 6:30pm – 7:30pm Thursday 28th May 2020

 

Parents of children in Yr2,3,4 and 5 7:30pm – 8:30pm Thursday 28th May 2020

 

Invites to which will be sent out separately.

 

If you have any questions please do email them to me before 3pm on Thursday 28th May 2020 – headteacher@lympne.kent.sch.uk

 

These are challenging times for all of us, if you need any assistance we are always here for you and please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Best Wishes

 

Steve Owen

RETURN TO SCHOOL PLANS

 

Update 21st May 2020

Dear Parents,

Just a short update tonight as I plan to share with you tomorrow some of the headlines from our return to school plan,   which we are finalising tomorrow, so that you can make your own plans, and I am sure there will be plenty for you to discuss and think about. I am delighted to say that the plan has the full support of the Governing Body which has just met and approved the plans; it is reassuring to have such support.

Moving forward some key dates (times of meetings yet to be confirmed) for you:

26th May  Plan to be sent to parents for your perusal.

26th - 28th May - please send questions to me for considersation prior to the Zoom meetings. There will be an opportunity to ask questions,however I would prefer questions in advance so that I can make sure I have the right answers - a politicians answer!

28th May Parent Zoom Q+A for pupil groups returning YrR,1 and 6

28th May Parent Zoom Q+A Parent Zoom Q+A for pupil groups not returning in the first phase - Yr2,3,4 and 5.

29th May Parents to confirm their intentions in returning their child to school in YrR, 1 and 6

Please can I remind you if you need Key Worker places next week during what would have been Half Term to let me know and book your space by 6pm tomorrow night - we are open all week including Bank Holiday Monday.

I hope this finds you all well

Steve Owen

20th May 2020....

Dear Parents,

 

Another very busy day today as we are now close to finalising our return to school plans and risk assessments. I didn't know anything about PPE and cleaning products at the beginning of the week and now I feel an expert. We are undertaking an exceptionally detailed risk assessment which I hope to be able to share with the governors tomorrow night. Once this has been shared I will then be able to share some basic information with you at the outset about start dates, year groups etc etc, before providing you with an outline of the plan on the 26th May. I am also going to revise the planned Zoom meetings so that there is one for YrR,1 and 6 and one for the other year groups, as I would imagine there might be a number of different questions from those year groups returning shortly and those realistically in September.

I think it is important to remember that school's have been instructed to open from the 1st of June where possible and looking at the picture around the country this may not be achievable for all schools, including Lympne. I wanted to take a measured and considered approach, consult staff, parents and governors, before making a plan, as well as having as much information as possible in front of me. I am not going to rush our return to school as I want to make sure it will work as safely as possible.

I want to address a key point for many parents and one that seems to be the most contrversial and that is the idea of social distancing in schools. I would like to say at the outset that I cannot guranatee that children across the school will remain socially distant at all times, espcially the younger children. This may well be easier to achieve with older children, but I do not believe that young children will be able to adhere to this as well as we would like, I certainly know my own child would struggle with this notion. We will work to have as much social distancing in school as possible, but this will not be our only way of reducing risks and instead we will rely on something else.

  Instead of focussing solely on social distancing the plan is for children to remain in what are called bubbles/pods/little groups - these groups will stay as they are small numbers less less than 15, with the same base, the same make up and the same adults at all times. Groups will not mix with other groups, and as I call it, the integrity of the bubble will be its success.  Limiting the number of social interactions, not social distancing on its own, is the way that we hope to reduce any risks of C19 transmission/infection. It makes sense in many ways that if we stay with a limited number of people and onlyinteract with these few we should reduce the risk significantly, if this groups remain separate.

I'm not a doctor or a virologist, but this does make sense to me, as I hope it will to you, even if you may not agree with it.

As a parent I have gone full circle in my thought process and we have had some really interesting discussions about her return to school. Our children are the most important things to us and understadnabvly we need to get this right for them. I need to get this right as much for my child as for yours, and I also know I don't have all the answers!

Best Wishes

 

Steve Owen

19th May 2020....

 Dear Parents,

Today, I have met with the whole staff virtually to run through staffing and arrangements for September, which seems a long way off!!!! We also spent a good deal of time going through arrangments for 'The Return' and sharing a rough outline with staff for their initial thoughts and feelings.  We finally had the guidance from KCC late last night all 140 odd pages to digest, although much of the information has been duplicated, so that much of the information was already known.

My plan is to share our plans for our return by Tuesday at the latest next week - although start date and year groups invoIved will be shared with on Friday - we will then host two Zoom Meetings for KS1 and KS2 parents to discuss any queries/questions you might have. Once you have read the outline plan I would ask you to send questions to me before the Zoom meeting so that I can share the answers with you and prepare beforehand. There will also be a Q+A session at the end of the meeting as well.

I am meeting with Governors this week and will share my initial plans with them so that they can decide whether they feel the arrangements will work and to answer any queries, in order to gain their support. As well as the plans we will be reviewing an updated Covid Safegarding Policy as well as ratifying the school budget.

We continue to be open for Key Worker children with low numbers of pupils attending and we anticipate demand increasing as more key worker jobs are restarted. We are open next week during Half Term, however we will not be setting Home Learning during next week or having Zoom Meetings with children.

Please find a helpful link for older children to assist with their wellbeing and resilience and designed to help them cope with the stresses of everyday life, which may well be helpful at this time.

https://kentresiliencehub.org.uk/ 

We hope this finds you well?

Steve Owen

Update 18th May 20200

Dear Parents,

I hope you had a good weekend, although these days it is quite hard separating the weekend from a work day! So today I have been starting the process of producing a plan of action of how we will make the school safer for pupils and staff moving forward. It is important to note at the outset that I cannot guarantee that I can make the school 'safe' for pupils from C19; however we can do our utmost to try and plan and risk assess all factors that we know of and put in place strategies to lessen the risk.

Helpfully, we are still awaiting guidance from KCC regarding their take on the government guidance, so I have decided to proceed with the information I have at present and a handy document that the Kent Association of Headteachers has produced. I hope that I will be able to share with you as much of the plan as possible by the end of this week/beginning of next. Please also bear in mind that none of the guidance we have been given is statutory and the govenrment have made it quite clear that the reponibilties lie with the Headteachers of our schools, not with them if something goes awry - so apologies if that leads us to being over cautious and making sure we have carried out all of the necessary preparation we need to.

Additionally, while the Yr R,1 and 6 June 1st start is the earliest date, it may well be that we are not in a position to be opening to all,or any year groups on this date and may need further time to ensure all of our arrangemenhts work and meet the requirements of our risk assessment.

I appreciate this might feel like me trying to cover my back, but I need to get this right for all of our children and staff, and rushing to get things done may well not give us the best results.

Moving forward, I would like to hold a Zoom Meeting for parents to have a Q+A session with me once our initial plan is circulated as it will be very helpful to have your perspectives on the plans and how they might work. Due to time constraints this may well fall within Half Term next week, I will email the link out to parents once I have sent the initial plan out later this week. I can't promoise I will be able to answer all of your questions, but I will be honest with you about where we are and what we are doing.

On a lighter note, we have started our third and probably final staff video for you which you may well find in your inbox after Half Term!

Best Wishes

Steve Owen

Dear Parents,

Another momentus week has passed with all kinds of changes to our lives in so many ways. I look forward to a time where we at least get to a new normal - whatever that might be!

Hopefully, you will have received all of the Home Learning that was sent out - due to the size of some of the documents I have had to make the versions pdf and upload to the website instead - if this causes you problems please let the classteachers know.

Please find the link to the booking forms for Key Workers here - I appreciate it might be a little lost in all of my ramblings below!

If you need to use the childcare facility please can we ask you to book your child in using the form below and email it to: headteacher@lympne.kent.sch.uk  by 6pm on the Friday before it is needed- this really helps us plan the number of staff and activities that we have happening.

Child Care Form

Today, I have spent the majority of the day devising a revised cleaning and hygiene schedule for the school to follow when children return in increased numbers. This has involved sourcing hand sanitiser and additional products, as well as writing a comprehnsive list of jobs and roles for individuals, so not a very exicting day and where is all the teaching and learning in this you might ask!!!!

In addition to devising this rota, we have made privionsal arrangements with Caterlink to provide lunches in the form of packed lunches, to our KS1 children who are returning in Yr R and 1 and also for any children entitled to Free School Meals or in Year 6 who would like a lunch. We have taken the decision to offer packed lunches as opposed to a hot dinner as this will negate the need to have children sitting indoors together eating their lunches and will enable us to provide children their lunch for them to eat outside and to socially distance themselves more effectively.

There has been a little more clarity from KCC and the government today regarding  'The Return' with some clear guidance which says that schools must offer a full time as much as possible and that Year R,1 and then 6 should be prioritised. We have not heard from the Unions as yet, regarding their meeting with the government's Scientific Advisors today and as yet, have not received any additional guidance, however I am sure it will filter through over the weekend. 

Regardless of what might be said in the press, we are desperate to have our school community together and in no way are any of us opposed to the idea of 'The Return' - I think the consensus is that we just want to know it is safe, or as safe as it can be for all of us to return. 

Any questions/queries please do get in touch.

Best Wishes

 

Steve Owen

Dear Parents, another day and another 80,000 questions running through  my mind to try and answer!!! The day started well (hmm) with Matt Dunkley - Director for Education  at KCC, announcing things live on BBC Radio Kent that we knew nothing about as yet! The good news is that there is a timeline for all those pupils and parents likely to be affected by the Kent Test, with a decision due by the 1st of June, which will be very welcome and helpful to all. The other piece of good news is that we have not made any plans yet about our return, which is a good job as  Matt Dunkley also gave some things away about KCC guidance and the 7th piece of guidance to come my way from the DfE has just arrived via email about 15 minutes ago.

The Kent Association of Headteachers has its own social media network and I know that a large number of heads have already made plans and created things which will now have to be undone. As I said yesterday, I am waiting until I have the DfE's and KCC's guidance before making any concrete plans in most areas. There are a few areas I will be working on in the short term,which we will need to address anyway, so tomorrow I will be establishing a plan for the cleaning of the school to ensure that the site is cleaned to the very highest standards going forward and that we can maintain elevated levels of hygiene standards. Moving on from that will be catering and how we plan to cater for the pupils in the short to medium term with regards to school meals.

Again, can I thank all those who have responded to our survey, if you haven't already responded or haven't been able to please follow this new link:

https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/KHJ5TQ/​

Thankyou for your honesty in completing the questionnaires, it has been very helpful and I am aware that many of you will be waiting to see exactly what the plans are for children returning before being able to commit one way or another to a decision.

Moving forward, I am in the process of finalising staffing for next year and I hope to be able to share this with you shortly so that you are aware of what is happening. There are a few minor tweaks, but nothing too drastic. It is important to retain as much consistency as possible for our pupils. The budget for the school is not as good as hoped despite promises for funding and while yes we have more money, basic costs like salaries, pension, NI contributions have all gone up considerably and as such we find ourselves in a deficit position this financial year!!! However, at present I have more pressing things to concern myself with!

As ever if you wish to get in touch please contact us at the usual addresses... sorry but I must dash to go and clap as my wife is a nurse and she will kill me if I don't!

Steve Owen

 

Update 13th May 2020.....

Dear Parents,

After last night's very long update I promise this one will be much shorter! Firstly, apologies for the link not working for the survey, however a huge thankyou to the near 100 respondents so far. Once we reach 100 replies we have to produce a second one - for those who haven't responded yet - so if you get a message it can't be done a second one will follow. It has been great to get the depth of feeling and emotion and we appreciate your honesty and the fact that many of you are unable to commit at present is totally understandable, given the fact we have not presented any plans as yet.

On a lighter note, it was great to see Elm and Beech Class emulating the other classes with their Toilet Roll Challenges - so lovely to see children happy and smiling. There is one more staff 'treat' in the making but this one has a twist which will require your assistance!!!

The Senior Leaders at school met today to discuss the guidance that has been issued and we are currently just cross referencing what has been produced by the government to see what we are required to do and prepare for. KCC are promising us their take on the guidance next week, but there are numerous discussions to be had before then!  I am doing my best to digest this information and to pass this over to you in the simplest way possible - currently there is lots of speculation amongst the Headteachers in Kent about how children might return and we are just awaiting further clarification, especially about how we might achieve small groups of children across Year R,1 and 6 and how that might progress to the rest of the school returning.

Thankyou to all those parents who have been in touch regarding their own thoughts and situations, I appreciate you taking the time to share them with me.

Best Wishes

 

Steve Owen

 

 

Update 12th May 2020

Dear Parents,

Since sending my last update to you I have been inundated with an extraordinary large amount of information from a wide range of sources. In the short term, following my update last night we have received an additional three large documents to digest, alongside the three that were circulated yesterday; we have had a wide range of union responses and numerous questions from parents, staff and some pupils!

I am taking a pragmatic approach to all of this, as whether it is on the 1st of June or not, July or September, much of the work being required at present will be useful to some degree when schools do eventually return, which they will have to in one way or another. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail as they say!

At present, I am still digesting information and plan to meet with other senior teachers tomorrow to dissect and prioritise government information about how we will go about reopening at some stage. I will also be consulting all staff and parents in the medium term and believe KCC are intending to release some guidance at the end of the week and all education unions are also in the process of producing guidance. All of this will need digesting and as things are changing so quickly I am just taking time to think these things through carefully. I am also hoping you will be able to assist me somewhat by answering a short questionnaire which is linked below.

https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/7YE17R/

The purpose of the questionnaire is to get a realistic view of the numbers of children we could expect to have in school on the 1st of June and beyond. I appreciate that it is someway off and things may change for you or your family, or you might change your mind, but at least we have some way of making plans for an estimated number of children.

There are lots of issues at stake here: How will the school ensure my child is safe? How will the school ensure its staff are safe? How will the school organise pupils? What will be taught? What happens if my child does not attend? Etc Etc

Firstly, can I say that I am in the same boat as you and while the government are urging schools to prepare and parents to prepare for a 1st of June return, we as a family are unsure if we will send my reception age daughter back to school for numerous reasons. I am sure there are many of you thinking the same thing and on the other hand many of you looking forward to the support that school provides.

I can’t make promises about the spread of C19, I can only follow the guidance that has been issued by ‘experts’; if you feel that your child will not be safe in school, I totally get it and totally understand, if you do not wish to send them in. I think the government understands this, and that is why they are not insisting children return, but strongly encouraging families to send children of these year groups in. Children and families will not be penalised in any way if they chose to keep their children at home.

Parents wishing to send their children in, are perfectly entitled to do so under the current plans and we will do our utmost to provide a service to them, on the 1st of June or later if that proves to be the case.

What education will look like at this point will be interesting and challenging – we will have some children in school (how many we don’t know) taking part in some sort of learning (what we are unsure of at present); some children not in school Yr2,3,4 and 5 Home Learning, being set learning by school and also some children in school under the key worker childcare scheme, being looked after.

Some parents have asked whether if their choose not to send their children in whether Home Learning will continue – I can only answer with - We will do our utmost to provide an education for all children in school, as we also have to remember that we have a number of children who are unable to return as they, or their families are in the highly critical group and they will need our support.

Other parents have emailed to ask what the situation is regarding key worker children at present. This is somewhat unclear to me, despite having read numerous documents, some say the situation hasn’t changed as yet and others are saying that key worker children are being encouraged to return to school. Government guidance says this is the new approach and that we should be encouraging more children to return, however union advice is very different. Should your situation have changed an you now require childcare as a key worker please complete the form which is attached to this section of the update on the Home page of the website. Key Worker Booking Forms These need to be emailed back to myself: headteacher@lympne.kent.sch.uk by 6pm on Friday thankyou.

 

The government have released some guidance for parents which can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/reopening-schools-and-other-educational-settings-from-1-june

There are lots of questions milling round my head and I am just starting to see the enormity of the task that faces us; closing the school was fairly easy in the previous world we had and reopening would have been a doddle – since then the world and our lives have changed immeasurably and the task that faces us in reopening the school is a formidable one. Whatever we do, we will put the lives of our children, staff and parents first and make decisions in their best interests.

 

Best Wishes

 

Steve Owen

Update 9th May 2020

Well everyone, we finally have some guidance as to what the future holds for our children and our lives going forward. The PM's 'roadmap' which was released last night was unduly vague and limited in content and clear guidance, since then however we have had the 50 page document released which clarifies the situation slightly saying that:

Since this document has been released we have received a number of additional documents directly to school with much greater guidance and detail - the key points I will share with you below (We and Our claims are government not school):

  • Schools should be encouraging key worker children to be sent in before the 1st of June.
  • From 1st June - Year R, 1 and 6, alongside any priority groups should be 'welcomed back'.
  • We are gradually increasing the numbers of children in schools.
  • Our ambition is that all primary year groups are brought back to school before the Summer, for a month if feasible.
  • Younger children are being encoruaged to come in as they are less likely to be ill and Year 6 because they will be transitioning to secondary school. (I'll explain my views later.)
  • Children and staff classified as clinically extremely vulnerable due to pre exisiting medical conditions are not expected to return. Those living with someone clinically vulnerable are advised that they can attend school.
  • Anyone with symptoms should not attend.
  • Smaller class sizes must be put in place - ' basic principles are that classes should be halved'. Normally one teacher should be allcoated to a group, but if there are any shortages then support stafff may be used to lead groups.'
  • Increased cleaning and hand washing is needed. Timetables need to be changed; layout of classroom changed as well and interaction between children reviewed and reduced to a minimum.
  • Year R and Year 1 should be the priority if there are difficulties providing for all children.
  • Attendance is encouraged -parents will not be fined,nor will school be held accountable for attendance levels; schools should address attendance issues.
  • Vulnerable children should attend.
  • Curriculum - consider mental health and wellbing and provide support; assess where children are at and agree what adjustments are needed; identifyand plan how best to meet the needs of pupils and support Year 6 with transition.
  • Continue to support the learning of children at Home.
  • Schools should provide meals for all children in school, and meals should be available free of charge where pupils meet Free School Meal eligibility.
  • Schools should try to keep children 2m apart as much as possible, separate break times and other transition times; increase the number of outdoor learning opportunities, stagger drop off and collection times; clean equipment and reduce sharing of it; remove soft toys.
  • Communicate to parents how this is all going to work!

AND THERE IS MUCH MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

SO much information to digest, take on board and disseminate to all members of the community - we will be embarking on this over this week and next.  Lots of questions and lots of discussions are needed - rest assured I want your children to be safe and my staff to be safe. As I have said before I am not a virologist and I do not know how these things should be handled, as this is new territory for me. I am trying not to be critical of the approaches adopted and recommended as this is new for everyone.

I feel as though this is a massive juggling act between so many competing demands - health, economy, mental wellbeing and social fabric. I would not like to be making these decisions...

I thought I'd add all this information for you to digest and discuss first before me providing our take on it, which I will do once we have reviewed all the information available. Apologies for any typos - it is late and I have read a lot today!

Best Wishes

Steve Owen

 

7/8th May 2020....

 

Dear Parents,

We are so glad you enjoyed the staff video which was sent out yesterday, I certainly enjoyed playing a part, as I am sure you could tell! This is a great way of just lifting the spirits,staying connected and making sure we show that we are all ok. We hope that it had the desired effect!

Again, we have been open to a very small number of pupils today and I think there was a range of activities put on including plant pot painting!!!

Mrs Dodman and Mrs Farmer are taking over some of our Check Ins with our families; this is enabling us to get through to many more families each week. Please do not feel you cannot contact us, if you need something please ask and we will do our best to assist.

We also sent out Home Learning today for next week. PDF copies are always available on the website, as I know these are more compatible with most smart phones and tablets. Thankyou to those parents who have already provided feedback about the Home Learning, we are taking it all on board.

I suppose in many ways we are all waiting to hear what 'Boris' is going to say on Sunday evening and how this may well impact all of us, not just within school, but beyond. Personally, I am looking for some clear guidance and clarification about what is expected of schools and what and how they would like us to operate  in the future. I appreciate that for all of you with children at school, this is something you are waiting to hear about - I, like you, would like to know what is going to happen in the future for your child's education as well as my own daughter's. Rather than speculate on when we are going to return we are focussing our efforts on the how and have started to make plans regarding our inevitable return at some point whether that is in June , July or September.

It would be remiss of me not to mention VE Day tomorrow and while we are fighting our own 'war'so to speak it is crucial for us to remember all those who gave their lives for our futures - I hope you will join with me in raising a glass of thanks!

We have no children in attendance tomorrow, so the next update will arrive post-Boris on Monday, where I am sure there will be much to say.

In the short term, enjoy the warm weather and keep in touch.

Best Wishes

 

Steve Owen

 

....UPDATE 6th May 2020....

Dear Parents, it has been really good to hear from so many of you that you are finding the daily updates useful. Fundamentally, communication is probably the most important thing at this time for everybody and it doesn't take long to send out. Please rest assured that I am passing everything I am receiving your way so that you are as much in the loop as I am.

Today, we received guidance from the government regarding Home Learning and what schools should be doing and what is best practice. I am hoping to digest this information over the next few days and will then speak to the senior leaders before deciding if we need to revise our provision. Any feedback would be appreciated.

If the lockdown for schools is extended still further, we will look to make some more significant changes to what we have put in place so far. Rest assured, although this is all new to us - we are still trying our best to ensure what we offer works for as many pupils and parents as possible.

You may well be aware that the government launched an initiative regarding providing Free School Meals for those children whose parents were eligible for funding; despite our best efforts trying for the past 6 weeks we have not been able to access it. As a result we have come up with our own system to replace this.

Please note that Home Learning may well be sent out earlier this week, so do not be surprised if it comes through tomorrow. I have asked the staff to prepare it earlier and we have revisited how we want it to work.

Lastly, WE HAVE PRODUCED ANOTHER LITTLE SOMETHING FOR YOU ALL !!! A massive thankyou to all the staff and especially to our resident digital editor Miss Durham - Don't Stop!!

https://vimeo.com/415522420   

Enjoy, although heaven knows what's coming next!

Best Wishes

Steve Owen

UPDATE 5TH MAY 2020

Dear Parents,

We had our biggest number of children in this week (5) however, numbers are remaining low throughout the week.

The Toilet Roll Challenge seems to have taken on a life of its own with some amazing class responses - so far I have seen: Willow, Maple and Sycamore - the staff are absolutely delighted to see such a response from the children - it has been really awesome. However, the staff are not finished yet and rumour has it that later this week another little something might be on the way for you.

I have been asked to pass on a message from our Head Boy -James: 'I am writing to ask if you could ask everyone to try and do something for VE Day.
As we are all finding this situation hard, it makes you think they had it much worse during the war, and we should not forget it. 

Additionally, as we have said previously we have lots of information sent to us from a range of sources, but this one came from the Turner Contemporary and seems to have lots of great ideas.

https://turnercontemporary.org/learn-and-engage-with-us-during-covid-19/

At present, we are just awaiting Boris's update on Sunday as to how things will evolve going forward. It is strange for us to be living day to day and not being able to make plans for the rest of the term and the forthcoming year. The plus side of it is that we are living in the moment and spending time not wishing away our time.

On that note ...

Best wishes

Steve Owen

 

 

Update 4th May 2020...

Dear Parents,

We are open again this week - with a small number of children coming into school for childcare. I think they are making rhubarb crumble using the rhubarb at the back of the school! Strange to think that today would have been a Bank Holiday ordinarily and we would be counting down to SATS for Year 6 next week! A lucky escape for all of our children!!!

Last week, I spoke about press speculation regarding the opening of schools - it seems this has increased tenfold over the weekend. At present there are lots of scenarios being shared on social media, news, press etc - we have no idea at present what the proposals will be, however it seems likely that it will be primary schools first. One thing we do know for certain is that there has been widespread agreement between government and teaching unions that there will need to be a 3 week notice period for schools to make the necessary arrangements - so at least expect that. I am hoping they provide us with a strong lead and a clear scientifc rationale for how we should be organising schools going forward, as while I have an A Level in Biology, that doesn't really make me an expert at organising a school safely in a pandemic! We shall watch this space closely this week.

It has been really heart warmining and touching to see so many responses to our Toliet Roll challenge with Willow and Maple Class rising to the challenge - it has been really amazing!

Click here to see Maple Class

I am hoping that I will be able to put a link to them on this daily update so that the whole school community can see them.

The staff are currently working on a follow up ... watch this space...

 

Best Wishes

 

 

Steve Owen

 

 

Dear Parents,

I hope this finds you well? School has been open again today for a minimal number of children and is open again tomorrow for very small numbers of pupils. Today the children an staff made some fabulous chalk rainbows on the walls outside school - fortunately I was sent a photo before the rain!

 

Just a reminder that tomorrow we will be putting some exercise books, reading books and lost property in the turning circle at the front of the school for any parents/children who may wish to collect any extra books or lost property. We are recommending that this material should be collected by families in walking distance of the school - apologies this is not for any families who would need to come by car, as we do not wish to encourage unnecessary journeys. Tables will be placed 5m apart and we would ask that if you are going to collect materials that you respect social distancing and other governmental guidelines. The tables will be out between 10:30am and 1:30pm.

We have a number of handy documents and links below for you to follow should you think they might prove useful:

Supporting Children with Learning Disabilities / ASD in lockdown

Fun things to do in Lockdown Leaflet

We are open next week for childcare - if you should require childcare next week and are a key worker please do send your booking form to school by 6pm tomorrow night. We will be open on the Bank Holiday FRIDAY - (not Monday don't forget!) if you should require childcare. Please see the information below regarding eligibility.

Home Learning will be uploaded and sent out tomorrow - maybe even today if I am ultra efficient! PDF copies on the website do not contain Zoom details - see emails for that. For those parents who are unaware of the Zoom meetings - each class are meeting via Zoom on a weekly basis - the invite to attend is sent with the word version of the Home Learning via School Comms. It is a great way to keep in touch and fairly easy to use.

Next week you may receive a call from Mrs Dodman or Mrs Farmer as a check in, as they are starting to assist the senior teachers with reaching out to pupils and families across the school.

Best wishes

Steve Owen

 

 

Update 29TH APRIL 2020.......

Dear Parents, I hope this finds you well and coping with the change of weather - it certainly adds an extra dimension to lockdown and Home Education!

If you have seen the latest news today regarding schools, the Secretary of State for Education spoke and explained that the likelihood is that when it is deemed 'safe' for children to return to school this will be in a phased fashion (how and what that means is not clear at present) also it will only be for key year groups such as Yr 6,10 and 12 for example. 

At school, we have had 5 pupils in school today, which is the largest amount scheduled to come in, in one go. We are delighted to be able to offer such childcare and are thankful to parents for their support.

Due to numerous requests for exercise books, on Friday this week, we will be putting some exercise books, reading books and lost property in the turning circle at the front of the school for any parents/children who may wish to collect any extra books or lost property. We are recommending that this material should be collected by families in walking distance of the school - apologies this is not for any families who would need to come by car, as we do not wish to encourage unnecessary journeys. Tables will be placed 5m apart and we would ask that if you are going to collect materials that you respect social distancing and other governmental guidelines.

One of the trickiest things that we are finding is to try to ensure we provide as much support to families as possible remotely and consistently. The challenge has been that families need very different levels of support and we appreciate that we have been providing a blanket approach to all families. We are trying to work out ways to provide some differing levels of support for some families, so please watch this space going forward.

We, like many schools, are having immense challenges accessing the 'Free School Meals' voucher scheme that has been launched and are hoping to make a break through shortly, in the interim we have been offering assistance to eligible families directly.

Best wishes

 

Steve Owen

 

 

Update 28th April 2020

Dear Parents,

I hope this finds you all well. Day 2 of childcare sees us looking after a very small group of children as I said yesterday it is great to see some children in school - it has been very strange without anyone in school.

There has been a flurry of articles, news, fake news, information coming out over the past few days regarding the re-opening of schools and how that might work, which in my opinion has not been very helpful. At present no-one knows what is being proposed or when such changes might happen, I know the NAHT (Headteacher's Union) is campaigning strongly to ensure that arrangements meet all the necessary requirements. I am not an expert and I would not like to be making these decisions at this time , as I have no idea how you would enforce social distancing and provide education in a satisfactory fashion. I am also aware that there will be a large proportion of parents not wanting to send their children back to school until they are happy that their child is safe, regardless of what any government decree might be - this is also perfectly understandable. 

On a different note, children transitioning to secondary school are facing a very challenging situation and we are working hard to ensure that we liaise with the secondaries in as comprehensive fashion as we can. We have had numerous conversations and information sharing with local secondary schools and will continue to work with them moving forward.

At the other end of school, we sent out our welcome packs to our new children this week and we hope that at least parents can start to support their children with this. Transition into school for September is still very much up in the air and we are still waiting to see what transpires before putting into place a transition package - needless to say it will be as supportive as we can provide.

I hope that this finds you well, as ever if you wish to get in touch please contact either myself, Mrs Ladd or Mrs Cave. I am currently in school on a Monday and a Friday and Mrs Cave and Mrs Ladd are sharing Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday between them in school.

Best wishes

 

Steve Owen

 

 

PDATE 27.4.20.......

This is the third attempt to do this today - IT problems!!!

Dear Parents,

We hope you enjoyed our little treat last week - if you haven't seen it follow the link below:

https://vimeo.com/411075212

More to come, I have been told!!! A huge thankyou to the staff and to Miss Durham for putting it togther - I think it put a smile on everyone's faces!

 

We are currently open today for childcare for Key Workers and have a very small number of children coming in this week. Many thanks to all those key workers who have been in touch to let us know what they are doing. If your circumstances have changed; you fit the criteria and you have no other options please do email myself at: headteacher@lympne.kent.sch.uk

 

A useful guide has been produced to help younger children (5-9) understand all about C19 in a child friendly fashion. It has been illustrated by Axel Scaffer (Gruffalo) and is a simple way of explaining all of this to young children. My two, just know there is a nasty bug, which stops us doing our normal things, but they are only 2 and 5, so I am lucky enough that they don't really get it. Please see the link below:

C19 Story

We hope that you have found this week's Home Learning a little bit easier to work with and following feedback from parents I will leave the previous week's learning on the classpages as well.

We are continuing to check in with families this week to see how they are, if you need anything please do get in touch with staff.

2020 Admissions - just a reminder if you have a younger sibling due to start school at Lympne in September we need your acceptance by next week. Packs for new starters are going out by post today.

Best Wishes and Stay Safe

Steve Owen

 

Update 24th April 2020

 

Dear Parents,

 

We have sent out revised Home Learning to all children today. PDF versions are on the school website if these are easier to download and print. Word versions are included on the original email. Zoom meetings are scheduled for next week and I was lucky enough to be part of Maple Class chat this morning, which was lovely to see everyone.

 

Thankyou for your kind words regarding the Home Learning it is really great to feel so supported in so many ways.

 

School is open next week as described below and we are looking forward to being able to provide a service at this time.

 

We have been working hard behind the scenes to create something light hearted for you all to enjoy - special thanks for Miss Durham for putting it all together for us! 

 

The link is here:

https://vimeo.com/411075212

 

Best wishes

 

Steve Owen

 

Update 23rd April Shakespeare's birthday and St George's Day......

Dear Parents,

Exciting news at very long last - we have one working boiler with the second due online in the next few days, so we are able to finally open on Monday 27th April. We have sent booking forms to all parents who contacted us as key workers who might need childcare. If your situation has changed please contact myself at: headteacher@lympne.kent.sch.uk to request a booking form.

It is critical to note, however, that this provision should only be taken up if there are no other alternatives. In the best interests of your child and my colleagues, we wish to minimise any risks and the number of students attending should, therefore, only be in circumstances where it is essential.

  1. If your work is critical to the COVID-19, response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed and you cannot keep your child safe at home using alternative arrangements.
  2. If your role is critical – not just listed, but critical.
  3. If you have no other alternative for safe childcare.
  4. If you will use the service just as minimally as possible – especially if you work part time – taking children out when you are not working.
  5. That you recognise that the service is childcare and not an educational service at this time.

Pleas ensure the booking forms come back to myself by 6pm on Friday 24th April so that we can organise staffing for Monday.

Secondly, it has been great to hear your feedback regarding Home Learning,which is been overwhelmingly positive and we hope that the new and improved Home Learning this week will really simplify matters and help to avoid any problems. As we said yesterday, we have added a section on Physical and Mental Wellbeing - which we also hope you will find useful. Nect week's Home Learning will be sent out tomorrow and you will also be able to find it on the website.

Thirdly, we have something really exciting to share with you and your children tomorrow - very exciting and we hope will bring a smile to your face!!!! Watch this space!!!

 

Best wishes

 

Steve Owen

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++UPDATE 22nd APRIL++++++++++++++++++

Dear Parents,

Today's update - Support Staff met online to discuss a range of issues in school and how best we can support children and families once we open. One of the key points when we open to key workers is to ask parents to explain how social distancing will work in school and what they need to do - we will provide guidance to you beforehand about how this might work.

Just a reminder - this week we hope to be sending home new and improved Home Learning which should have pretty much everything you need included on the Home Learning document the classteacher is providing. This should save you having to go to multiple locations online and try to print and lose the will to live!!! As I said yesterday we will be including a section on mental and physical wellbeing - my family and I have been doing the Joe Wicks everyday - being honest my wife and I do most of the work and the girls lie about on the sofa and join in with the odd bunny hop - with some coercion!!! However, I can't stress how important it is to focus on family life, relationships and making the most of your time as a family. If Home Learning is creating too much friction then pull back from it and don't force it - there is always tomorrow... ( I know it is a cliche, but its the way to go!)

With everything being sent on other days I forgot to mention a couple of key things:

1. This week has seen the launch of the Oak National Academy online classroom and resource hub

The sector-led Oak National Academy has today launched its online classroom and resource hub. The Academy offers 180 video lessons each week for schools to use, across a broad range of subjects. The lessons cover children in Reception through to Year 10 and are free to use by both teachers and young people. https://www.thenational.academy

2.. Launch of BBC Bitesize

The BBC has today launched an education package across TV and online, featuring celebrities and teachers, helping to keep children learning at home and supporting parents. https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize

Thursday (hopefully) the boiler work will be complete - I should have an indication during the day tomorrow and I will let you know  asap.

Best Wishes

 

 

 

 

Update 21st April

Staff met today, via Zoom, to discuss a number of things, foremost was Home Learning and the challenges that some of you have faced in downloading and using the information provided.We want it to be very user friendly so that it is not a chore to use it; as such, we will make a number of changes to next week's learning - in which all resources will be included on the Home Learning sheet, rather than being additional add ons that you have to download. We hope that this will alleviate some of the teething problems we have encountered;this is new ground for all of us, please bear with us.

 

We have also been asked for a number of resources regarding mental health and well being. In order to assist you with this we will be adding a section to the Home Learning each week to give you some ideas for physical and mental wellbeing. The NHS has an excellent leaflet which you can download here.

Kent Test information - I have had a number of parents enquire about the Kent test so I am pleased to provide you with this information that was sent from the Director of Education in Kent only yesterday. Please find it below in its entirety.

It is understandable that families would like to have a clear idea of what is going to happen to the Kent Test in the light of the current Covid-19 lockdown, but unfortunately it is too early to confirm anything other than that provision will be made for children to be assessed so that Kent’s grammar schools can determine which of their applicants can be admitted.

A selection mechanism of some type will need to be applied, however, as it is unclear when restrictions will be released, or whether schools will be back in session before September, it would be premature to fix a solution now. There is national legislation around the co-ordinated admissions process, so the action which can be taken regarding the timing of the Kent Test will also depend on advice from the DfE, which has yet to be issued.

The loss of direct teaching time is concerning but unavoidable. All schools are continuing to provide support for their Year 5 pupils and there are many National Curriculum resources available free online. Our website has also offered access to free familiarisation material for a number of years. Unlike the national exams which have been cancelled, the Kent Test does not examine a taught syllabus. The process which determines what level of test performance will constitute a “pass” is set by KCC after the test has been completed, so there is also scope for flexibility when the Council considers the impact of the lockdown on everyone taking part.

We continue to check in with parents on a daily basis and we hope that this is helpful to you - should you wish to have a check in sooner please do email the office.

Boiler work and cleaning continues... - fingers crossed both will be finished this week.

Best Wishes

Steve Owen

 

 

Key Worker Information

Dear Parents,

Thank you for the very supportive approach that you have taken during these exceptionally challenging times. As I have made clear, Lympne School will remain at the heart of our community.

Following the list of key workers which was published, we are writing to clarify our position as a school.

  • Firstly, we want to support our country and the population by doing everything we can to ensure that we can provide support for families of key workers.
  • Secondly, we want to ensure that children are safe, happy, and able to be looked after in the numbers that make that achievable.
  • Thirdly, we want to ensure that we minimise the risk to staff, without whom we cannot operate, and who have their own families who need to be kept safe.

We are grateful to all of these key workers who are looking after us all. In return, my staff are also going to ‘step up to the plate’ and provide provision for your child / children. It is critical to note, however, that this provision should only be taken up if there are no other alternatives (see guidance). In the best interests of your child and my colleagues, we wish to minimise any risks and the number of students attending should, therefore, only be in circumstances where it is essential.

  1. If your work is critical to the COVID-19, response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed and you cannot keep your child safe at home using alternative arrangements.
  2. If your role is critical – not just listed, but critical.
  3. If you have no other alternative for safe childcare.
  4. If you will use the service just as minimally as possible – especially if you work part time – taking children out when you are not working.
  5. That you recognise that the service is childcare and not an educational service.
  6. That you, or your children have no symptoms.

At Lympne, we are a community, and we will pull together to support the effort to keep our society safe. Therefore, we will remain open for the children who need it, but I strongly urge you to think very carefully of whether this is necessary for you. I also need to make sure that my staff are well protected as key workers themselves, all of whom have families and many of whom have children of their own. I do appreciate that for some parents you are not necessarily aware if you are required to work at this time. If at a later stage your circumstances change, please do get in touch


 

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