Dear Parents/Carers, 25th June 2020
We are looking forward to welcoming your child back to Willow school on the 6th July. We understand that you may be anxious about this and so have set out some information below to explain the precautions we will be taking to keep your child safe, happy and engaged once they return to school.
On 23rd June, the Prime Minister relaxed some of the lockdown rules and the following guidance was issued to schools by the DFE:
‘Primary schools should continue to operate in groups of no more than 15. The changes to social distancing, will give heads and teachers the confidence to maximise to available capacity within schools and classrooms, ahead of all pupils returning from September.’
‘Primary pupils do not and have not needed to be kept apart in the classroom, and we are encouraging primary heads to use the capacity they have and the flexibility provided to bring more groups of children back into school.’
So, when your child returns to school, they will be in a bubble group with other children who will be in their new year group in September. To clarify, this means that year 2 will become year 3, year 3 will become year 4 and year 4 will become year 5. Current year 6 children’s final day at primary school will be 3rd July with the exception of keyworker or vulnerable pupils who will be in a separate bubble. Within each bubble group, staff will prioritise safety, well-being and social interaction. Each group will be housed in their own room and will use their own resources which will be cleaned at the end of every day.
To minimize the risk of infection from books and bags, homework and reading books will not be provided except online. Additionally, all children will be provided with a school lunch and packed lunches will only be allowed in particular circumstances such as extreme allergies. Please book and pay for meals via parent pay, your account will be reactivated and the menus will be posted as usual. If your child is entitled to free school meals, meals will be provided for free. However, if paying for your child’s meals would create financial hardship, please contact Mrs Adams at the school offices to discuss a solution.
We will provide the same high quality educational provision that you have come to expect from Marish Academy Trust during July. However, one change will be that your child is likely to spend a lot of time outside. Therefore, please ensure that they have a water bottle and sun cream if it is hot.
To maintain social distancing between adults both within school and in the wider community, we are making changes to pick up and drop off points and timings to the school day.
- Current reception (new y1) – Soft start from 8-8.30am. Finish time 2.30pm
- Current year 1 (new y2) – Soft start from 8-8.30am. Finish time 2.30pm
- Current year 2 (new y3) – Soft start from 8-8.30am. Finish time 2.40pm
- Current year 3 (new y4) – Soft start from 8-8.20am. Finish time 2.40pm
- Current year 4 (new y5) – Soft start from 8-8.20am. Finish time 2.50pm
- Current year 5 (new y6) – Soft start from 8-8.20am. Finish time 2.50pm
- Current year 6 keyworker and vulnerable children – Soft start from 8-8.20am. Finish 2.50pm
Breakfast club will operate between 7am and 8am. Afterschool club provision will remain open until 5pm if needed. If your child attends, they must enter and exit through the main reception.
- Current reception and year 1 (new y1 and y2) – enter through the main gate to the playground on the right where classrooms will be labelled.
- Current y2 (new y3) – enter through the main gate, bear right and the year 3 door will be labelled on the corner.
- Current y3 (new y4) – enter through the back entrance via Grassmere Avenue
- Current y4 (new y5) – enter through the back entrance via Grassmere Avenue.
- Current y5 (new y6) – enter through the main gate and bear left at the main reception.
- Current y6 keyworker and vulnerable children to enter via the main reception.
Children will go straight to their classroom and the day will begin with the daily mile. It is therefore important that parents do not loiter in the playground. Please stay well away from the doors and observe social distancing in the playground.
All classrooms will be equipped with hand sanitizer which your child will be expected to use on arrival. Masks are not permitted in school or recommended by the Government. Therefore, if you choose to equip your child with a mask on your journey to school, you must remove it and take it away before handing your child over. Speaking to staff on the door is not practical in these circumstances so if you have any queries, we ask that you communicate these via telephone or email in the usual way. Should your child have a new cough or a temperature, please keep them at home and ring the school so that we can arrange for your household to be tested. This will then mean a swift return to school and work if it is just a cold or the flu.
We hope that the change to the school timings will ease congestion in the roads around schools and so prevent any crowds building up. We are very much looking forward to welcoming your child back to school and thank you in advance for your cooperation with the guidance both published by the Government and shown above.
If you have any queries or concerns, please raise these with the staff member that contacts you later this week or email the school office. In the meantime, please be assured that Marish Academy Trust will continue to do whatever it takes to keep our community safe and thriving.
Mrs H.G Denham, Executive Headteacher, Marish Academy Trust
Welcome to the Website of Marish Academy Trust- from Executive Headteacher:
At our Trust we are committed to consulting parents and listening to children, mindful of the need to shape our curriculum and learning experiences to meet the individual needs of pupils who may one day be citizens of the 22nd century.
Before sharing some recent successes, I would just like to draw your attention to the consultation on our new Relationship and Sex Education Policy which will run between now and the end of February 2020. (Please see the links below and send any feedback to either school office using the usual email addresses.) Having explored the new guidance thoroughly, let me reassure you that Marish and Willow Schools are already compliant and will not be changing what we teach. An appendix to the draft policy has been written to show parents exactly what we teach and when and how this maps to curriculum requirements.
This consultation is typical of what you can expect from Marish Academy Trust. We are two truly inclusive primary schools in Slough whose aspirations for our children, include them making a positive difference to others, as well the usual things such as the best possible outcomes and life chances.
In 2019 both Marish and Willow were in the top five of the league tables in Slough for attainment at KS2, because attainment is well above average nationally and for Slough. Over the past three years, both schools have been at the top of the table, for overall primary school progress performance at KS2 in Slough and in the top 3% of schools nationally at Marish in 2017 and at Willow in 2019.
- Marish Academy Trust’s best practice contributions are now published in the Parliamentary review 2018 p45 onwards and the Parliamentary review 2019, p57. onwards (See links below)
Our disadvantaged pupils and those with additional needs make do as well, if not better than the other pupils.
Marish Academy Trust’s commitment to improve even further is enshrined in our revised Trust wide logo and motto ‘Strive for the heights’ shown above.
To achieve this, we will continue to welcome people into our community, regardless of their backgrounds, ethnicities, faiths, age or skills. We focus on what we share: living or working in 21st century Slough and wanting the best outcomes and life chances for all our children. Here, diversity is a strength and rich resource, rather than a barrier. These aspirations apply to all members of the Marish/Willow Community and are summed up in our three diamond rules, our trust strap line and in fact, British values. Ask your child to explain what these mean in practice:
Three Diamond Rules:
Show respect and good manners at all times: Care for everyone and everything and Follow instructions straightaway, with thought and care!
Our Trust Strap Line:
Work to be outstanding,
Deserve to be outstanding,
Will be outstanding!
Mrs Denham teaching her Greater Depth Maths set.
Tolerance and inclusion, mutual respect for personal freedom, equality of opportunity and a celebration of the diversity of our community which enriches us all.
These values and our children’s understanding of them are key to creating strong, resilient young people and communities which are the hope of a brighter future.
Thank you for all your support in 2019- we look forward to continuing our successful partnership into 2020 and beyond.
For the Parliamentary Review/ Relationships and Sex Education Policy/ Understanding Relationships and Health Education in
your child’s primary school – Please click on the link below:
Get in Touch
Willow Primary School
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Fernside, Slough SL2 5FF
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