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Whittington Moor Nursery and Infant Academy

Whittington MoorNursery and Infant Academy

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Gilberts Update - Government Plan to Re-Open Update

Dear Parents / Carers,


I want to start by thanking you all for working so positively with us over the last nine weeks. We are extremely grateful to you for the support you have shown towards Gilberts @home and our key worker childcare provision and in helping us to maintain a sense of ‘relative’ normality.


Thank you also to those parents who took the time to enquire about the health and welfare of the staff member who has been poorly with this horrible virus. It was lovely to hear that you send your very best wishes to them at this time.


As we begin to look forward to potentially reopening the school for some children, we are busy preparing for as smooth a return as possible given the uncertain circumstances.  Since I last wrote to you on this subject, there have been a total of 41 DFE updates to the original guidance and I only received the guidance for Early Years on Bank Holiday Sunday.  Therefore, plans we have made have been drafted and redrafted several times over and inevitably changed again, as new guidance is released and published.


At this stage, the Trustees have agreed that the primary schools within the Cavendish Learning Trust will not start a wider re-opening until week commencing 8th June.  This is for the following reasons:


  • The final decision on whether schools will re-open will not be made by the Government until Thursday 28th May.  The Trustees wish to review the announcement that is being made before making the decision to open.
  • The schools have been advised by the Department for Education and Derbyshire County Council that they are not able to operate a rota for children who wish to return and this significantly reduces the number of children able to attend.  The plans initially created by the Headteachers had rotas in place at most schools and therefore plans are having to be changed.  The Trustees would like to review the new plans that have been created before making the final decision to open.
  • The Trust is still awaiting an order for Personal Protective Equipment and cleaning materials, which have been difficult to source.  These need to be in stock at the schools before they open.


The Trustees will only start a wider re-opening in the schools when it is safe for the children and the staff and it is important that everything is in place before the final decision is made.  It is important to note that the schools will still be open for critical worker children and those deemed as vulnerable, as has been the case throughout the lockdown period.


Therefore, as we move towards the 8th June, be absolutely assured that we cannot wait to welcome children back to our school but it is now crucial that we work with final numbers, so we are able to fully plan what a Gilbert’s reopening will look like. Once we have these, we can look and see whether we are able to support a reopening for all groups (EYFS, Reception and Year 1) or prioritise as per the DFE guidance factoring in staffing, legal ratios and room requirements.


To enable us to safely welcome the children back please read the following carefully to enable you to evaluate your decision about your child’s return. Their education will undoubtedly look and feel very different and the more we prepare you and your child for this new experience the better. Below are pictures of the three classrooms, which have been organised under the guidance from the DFE, to allow you to see what school will look like.


Other important things to note


  • Children and staff will be allocated to a ‘bubble’. These bubbles will not mix at all.
  • We will not be in a position to offer our breakfast club.
  • There will be staggered start and finish times for each age group.


Tomorrow, school will send you a text, which will take you to a survey to ask you to make a firm decision about your child’s return to Gilberts. This will need completing by 01/06/2020. If we receive no response by this date, we will take your decision as ‘no’.  


If you previously stated you would like your child to return to school but have changed you mind please complete this new survey. If you have stated you do not want your child to return to school but would like them to at a later date, please complete the survey and add the date to the comments section, be aware we will need 5 working days’ notice to implement this.


We will share plans for further reopening next week, in the meantime our Gilberts @home curriculum will continue from the 1/06/20 after half term.


Thank you for your continued support.


Joanne Mappin