Dear Parents / Carers
I hope that you are all well.
As I expect you have heard, Kirsty Williams has announced that schools will re-open in a restricted form from the 29th of June. They are also extending the summer term so that summer holidays will start on the 27th July.
Both Bedwas Juniors and Rhydri are receiving their scheduled Health and Safety site visits this Friday. I expect to know the ‘safe’ capacity for both schools as a result of these visits. Once we know this number we will be able to plan for the organisation of the children’s return. Kirsty Williams stated that she expected that ‘up to a third’ of children will be on site at any one time meaning that children will only be attending for a few days a week at most and that, depending on the advice we receive, it could take a while to build up to the ‘new normal’.
When the children return there will be changes to start and pick-up times as well as the way in which break times and lunch times are managed. These will be planned according to the groups we develop after the Health and Safety site visit as well as in light of Welsh Government guidance for schools that we expect to be published imminently.
I understand that many people will be concerned about sending their children back in to school even under the adapted circumstances and it is important to emphasise that we will support you whatever decision you take; Kirsty Williams has said that there will be no ‘consequences’ for parents who keep their children home but at the same time we will work as hard as we can to make the return to school as supportive and positive experience as we are able.
With regard to what the children will be doing when they are back with us, the message we have received is that “…it is important to note, that the school experience will not be as it was before. The immediate focus will be upon “Check-in, Catch-up & Preparation” in readiness for September. The focus is very much upon the wellbeing of the children in these initial stages and not upon academic work.”
The important question of ‘which children on which days?’ will be answered as soon as we have had the opportunity to respond to the Health and Safety recommendations and we will let you know what the return will look like as soon as possible. Once you are able to see the plans we will have prepared, I would like to engage with you again to find out how many of you would be considering sending your children back to school.
Mr R Cook