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Head Teacher

 

Dear parents and carers,

 What a wonderful few weeks we have had as we have welcomed all the year groups back into school for their transition sessions.  The children have all been very sensible about  washing their hands and adjusting to life in school during  coronavirus.  We were so impressed with the children’s resilience- most children took the return to school in their stride, and children who were initially a little anxious went home happy and confident about how they could handle new school routines. A big thank you to all families for trusting  that we have thought very hard about how to make the return to school as risk free as possible.

 The children will return to school on Thursday 3rd September and we will be operating a staggered start and finish for each phase group. This is because our main control measure for protecting children and staff is to keep children in their class bubbles, and to maintain social distancing as much as is reasonably possible. We will continue to use different gates for different year groups too.

 We have posted the timetable for the whole school on the website. The start times range between 8.50 and 9.10 and the finish times are between 3 and 3.20. Please click here for the timetable and the different gates.

At the moment we are thinking hard about how we can reopen our wrap around child care safely, but it won’t be possible to operate this for the first two weeks.

It has been a really difficult time for all of us, but as always , our time with the children has reminded us of what is important and makes us feel valued and happy- the opportunity to learn new skills: to play together: to celebrate small successes together; to support each other. We  were also reminded that out of times of great collective difficulty and anxiety can come some really positive changes for the world- after the First World War , women’s rights  were recognised and legitimised by the right to vote. After the Second World War, the National Health Service was founded. At Hermitage we remain optimistic and so we are naming our classes this year after people who have made the world a better place through their ideas and actions. Some may be familiar, some won't- we look forward to learning all about them as we return.

I haven’t done a thought of the week for some time, so I end with a lengthy thought for the summer.

“To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.
What we choose to emphasise in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.
And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvellous victory.”
Howard Zinn

We look forward to seeing you in the Autumn. Stay safe.

As always, with warm regards,

Zoe

Letter from John Biggs and Updated Risk Assessment