School Closure Update May 2020

11th May 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

Yesterday the government announced the latest changes to the lockdown.  This included changes that affect schools.  There are still a lot of details that we require and unions will be working closely with the government to ensure that when children return to school that this is safe for all.  Some of these details we believe will be released later today; others are likely to come from Hampshire and the Department for Education over the next week.  Once we have all the information required, we will be able to give you a more detailed plan of how the school will operate from June onwards.

At present, we have been told that year 6 (along with year R and year 1) will return to school at the earliest from the 1st of June.  This suggests that it may be later if the government feels it is too soon but we will need to be ready for this date.  It was also said that there are hopes to get year 10 into school before the summer holidays.  This would suggest that all other year groups will not be returning to school before September.

Now we have this new information, over the next two weeks, we will be providing details about the following:

Year 6

We will detail how the school day will operate and what changes will be made to keep everyone as safe as possible (for example smaller class sizes etc.).  There will be arrangements for parents at the start and end of each day.

Home schooling

Due to this closure being extended for most of our pupils, we will be making some adjustments to how we support home schooling and what will be made available on our website.  We are both home schooling our own children alongside working and know a lot of the struggles involved.  Getting the balance between children’s learning and maintaining a family’s wellbeing is important to us.

Transition

As stated in a letter from the Hayling headteachers, we will be working together to find ways to support transition.  We will be providing details about how this looks for each year group after half term.

Lunches and free school meals

It is likely that lunch time school meal options will be different for those in school.  As far as we know, the voucher scheme for pupils entitled to free school meals will continue.  Using the voucher website has not been without its difficulties.  In order to reduce frustrations for all involved, we will be issuing 4 weeks’ worth of vouchers at once.

Residentials

Year 6’s trip to Fairthorne unfortunately has joined year 5’s Fort Purbrook residential in being cancelled.  The money already paid for these trips will be refunded.  Please be patient with the office staff as they arrange this.  They will be in touch separately.

Year 6 end of year celebrations

Even with year 6s returning, it is unlikely that end of year celebration assembly and barbeque will be able to take place.  We are adamant that their time at Mengham Junior school will be celebrated.  If needs be we will hold these events in the Autumn term - leavers hoodies and all!

Critical workers and vulnerable children

At present the guidance for children who can be in school remains the same and is limited to these two groups.  We believe this will remain in place for years 3, 4 and 5 once the school is open to year 6.  If there are any changes to this arrangement or the criteria then we will let you know.

We also will be looking out for further guidance for households who are self-isolating or shielding.

Our hope is that once we have the relevant information and advice on all of the above, then we can give you accurate details about the rest of the summer term.  When we release these details in the coming 2 weeks, should you have any worries or concerns, then we would encourage you to get in touch and share them with us.

Best wishes,

Odele Davies and Edward Harrison

Co-Headteachers