22nd October 2020
As we approach the end of the first half term, I would like to contact you to pass on my thanks to you and your children for helping New Marske Primary School navigate the transition from a full lock down, to a full return for all of our pupils in school.
As I look back on this half term, I am pleased with the way the school dealt with the challenges of coronavirus and did so while making sure the rounded education of pupils took priority. Over the course of this term we have had to deal with issues we have never had to deal with as a school:
• Implemented a one way system around school to ensure entry and exit is managed safely
• Kept pupils in bubbles to ensure a decreased risk of transmission of the virus
• Established consistent hand washing routines for staff and pupils
• Provided sufficient stocks of PPE and cleaning materials for staff
• Managed illness across school to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus, without impacting on attendance. (New Marske Primary School has recently been awarded the school with the most improved attendance within the Galileo Multi Academy Trust).
• Provided remote learning to pupils isolating at home.
• Carried out a remote Harvest Assembly with our local church
• Dealt with a positive case within school, isolating classes to reduce the risk of transmission
• Provided free school meals to pupils who were isolating at home
• Provided access to food for all pupils as they come into school as part of the National School Breakfast Programme
• Provided remote meeting programmes for all staff
• Continued to provide a rich a varied curriculum for all of our pupils
All of these issues have provided a steep learn curve for all of our school community, but as we approach the half term break, I think we can all congratulate ourselves on the first steps taken to ensure that we can provide a full education to all of our pupils, as well as manage the increasing demands of coronavirus.
As we all are aware, the issue of coronavirus is not going away any time soon. Within Marske and the surrounding area, the numbers of coronavirus cases per 100 000, has increased by over 4 times in the past two weeks. Within school we have noted more of our families having someone test positive for coronavirus and have had a positive case in school. All of these points indicate that we cannot let our guard slip in what we must do to reduce the risk of infection. These steps are:
Within school we ensure that all of our pupils and staff take part in regular handwashing and if staff are working in close proximity to pupils they will wear a mask or visor. Within school we continually remind pupils about social distancing and hope that these steps will go someway to stopping the spread of the virus.
So that this spread can be delayed further, I would like to ask parents to ensure that when picking up pupils at the end of they day, they maintain social distance in our playgrounds and to support this, wear a mask where appropriate. Although this is not a compulsory measure yet, the governmental guidance does state that if social distancing cannot be maintained, a mask should be worn. This would be appropriate at the end of our school day when parents are in the playground and are finding it difficult to keep apart.
As we enter next term, we will continue to ensure that we take the appropriate steps to keep our staff, pupils and school community safe. In addition to this, we will also ensure that we are doing our best to provide an education that is as normal as possible for our pupils. I have been delighted this term that we have had a harvest festival, a Halloween disco, a cross country competition, some after school clubs have started, all pupils have been assessed in reading, writing and maths, staff are preparing to teach the full National Curriculum from next term, we have a Bookshed lending library, our ECO club are growing fruit and vegetables in a poly tunnel, we have created a full tub of brand new compost and donated over 15 boxes of food to our local foodbank.
All of this could not have happened without the continued hard work and focus of all of our staff, the willingness of all of our pupils to get back into school and all of our parents and carers for supporting New Marske Primary School at this uncertain and demanding time.
I hope you all have a relaxing and peaceful half term break.