Dear Parents and Carers,

Thanks for all your support during a particularly busy and stressful week. We particularly want to say thanks to all those parents that have sent us positive messages of goodwill and thanks. These have really helped to boost the whole staff team over the past 3 days as we get used to working during lockdown, dealing with the issues and worries that everyone has with regards to the current situation and managing their own family situations. I know that my Daughter is certainly feeling the pressure of home learning with having two teacher parents!

I understand that some parents have been anxious and worried about the lockdown and the enforced remote learning. However, please understand that we are trying to do our best in what has been a very challenging week. It’s strange to believe that as I write this message, the announcement came less than 3 days ago…

Obviously, the announcement for the full closure was very late on Monday evening. However, we always like to have a plan B up our sleeves, so I was very glad that we were able to open for key workers as of Tuesday. In comparison to the previous lockdown, our key worker numbers have grown exponentially. Therefore, we have to have more teachers on site, more regularly, to supervise this provision so please bear with staff if you or your child doesn’t get as speedy a response as you may have had last Spring and Summer. I do have a special plea for key worker parents… please only send your children in if you have no other safe alternative. We need to limit numbers on site as much as possible for the safety of all the children, staff and community. The message from the government is Stay At Home. If you are able to do that, please do so.

Information will be sent out tomorrow (Friday) regarding live lessons that are commencing at St Bede’s for every year group as of Monday 11th January. We have worked with Worcestershire Children’s First to launch our live lessons provision and they will be quality assuring our blended curriculum as we move forward. I have had a handful of parents question about live lessons over the past 72 hours. It is really important that we try not to compare what different schools are doing with regards to their remote learning. Each school has it’s own set of individual circumstances and what works for one school may not necessarily be in the best interests of the pupils or staff of another school. We also have a range of different types of family situation in our school community and we need to make sure that we have a flexible approach to ensure that it is appropriate for all. Hopefully with the introduction of the live elements next week, we will be able to make as many people as possible feel satisfied.

As well as organising the key worker provision and getting to grips with online learning again, we opened our St Bede’s Lateral Flow COVID Test Centre on Wednesday. A special thanks must go out to all of the Our Lady of Lourdes Central Team, as well as the school staff, that worked all through their Christmas break to make sure that we could get up and running as soon as possible. Hopefully, this will help to continue to keep cases at St Bede’s as low as they have been and in turn mean that we do not have to close any bubbles of key worker children or have staff unwell or isolating.

As always, please do not hesitate to get in contact if you have any issues or concerns. Social media sometimes isn’t the best place to voice those worries as we may not be alerted via this method that there is an issue, it’s always best to call the office or email.

If pupils need to speak to a member of staff, remind them that as well as email, they can always send a Teams chat message. As a teacher, I know that this is sometimes the easiest way to communicate with pupils…. It’s like having a whatsapp message or text!

As always, stay safe, take care of one another and God bless.

Luke

Luke Payton

Head of School

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