Update - Wednesday 27th May 2020 - letter from Mrs Whitfield.
I hope that you and your families are well and staying safe.
I need to inform you that; based on the SAGE guidance released last Friday, the Local Authority has instructed all Rochdale schools to delay opening until the 15th June 2020 for children in the Nursery, Reception, Yr1 and Yr6.
For us this means that St Mary’s will be looking to re-open for some children as of 15th June. We are still waiting to find out whether we are able to open to all of Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 or if we will have to stagger different classes coming back to school due to the size of the school building and social distancing arrangements. School will not be open to these classes before Monday 15th June, however I will update you as always if I get any further information.
We will still maintain our provision for children of critical worker families and those identified vulnerable groups (those with an EHCP and those with social care involvement).
I am sorry if you find this confusing or disappointing. We do want to have our children back with us in larger numbers but it must be safe for us to do so. Rochdale has taken this step as the SAGE guidance does indicate a delay of two weeks reduces risk significantly, so they have taken this step with the best interests of children and families in mind. We agree that it wise to consider the advice from Sage about risk reduction and timescales.
Thank you again for all of your patience and kind words, please stay safe and look after each other.
Update - Tuesday 26th May 2020.
We have just been advised that Rochdale Council has taken the decision to delay the return of R, Yr 1 and Yr 6 pupils until 15th June at the earliest whilst further risk assessments are carried out.
School will remain open for vulnerable children and children of key workers during this time.
There has been no further information about the possible return of the other year groups. We will advise you of any updates we receive asap. Thank you.
Update - Monday 11th May 2020.
You may have heard some of Boris Johnson's briefing yesterday and it leave you with some questions, Like you, we have only just heard the announcement so at this stage we are not in a position to answer any questions. As keen as we are to have more children back with us, we need to ensure that as far as possible it is safe for the children and staff to do so. We are told to expect more guidance and information from the government about what the announcement may mean for our school. I await this with interest.
In the short term, nothing has changed. We remain open for children of key workers, those with an EHCP who can socially distance safely, and those with social worker involvement, Staff continue working hard to support home learning on ClassDojo and in school and our cleaning team is working hard to ensure it is safe for us to be here.
I will of course provide further information in to coming days and weeks when I am able to do so.
Once again I thank you for your continued support and understanding - we really are in interesting times!
Tuesday 21st April 2020.
I hope you all had a restful Easter break and welcome to our very first remote summer term!
We’ve all had to adapt to new ways of working, so I wanted to take the opportunity to say what an amazing job you’re doing supporting your child’s welbeing and learning during this time.
It’s definitely been a strange and challenging time, so it’s okay if you and your child feel wobbly and worried at the moment. We’re here for you every step of the way as we figure this all out together. Remember, if you have any concerns about helping your child learn or you need any other support from the school, please let us know by emailing your class email or ringing into speak to a member of staff in the office or teaching team in school.
We miss the children very much, but we must follow the government’s guidance to keep everyone in our community safe. So, we’re carrying on with following the government guidelines around key workers and vulnerable children only in school- you will have been contacted if this applies to you. Just because we’re not all in the same building, doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun together! Your children will have lots of activities they can get stuck into over the summer term – so keep a close eye on our web page, Facebook page and Dojo online learning activities
We also love seeing the children’s fantastic learning at home – please keep sending their work in if you can via the email, Dojo system or taking a picture and emailing as we would like to showcase it in due course.
We can’t say yet when we’ll be able to open the school fully, but rest assured that we’ll continue doing our utmost to keep your child learning and our school community connected.
Mrs K Whitfield
Friday 20th March 2020
To our school family,
Our doors have been open to our community for well over a hundred years. Today, we close them for the majority of our pupils.
At St. Mary's, we try to start children off on the path that they should go so that, when they are old, they will not turn from it. Sometimes, obstacles block our paths: as if someone has turned off the lights and we cannot decide what to do.
Luckily, the people in our school community - guided by our Christian Values of respect, responsibility, perseverance, friendship, truth and trust - are kind, resilient, and ready to face this particular obstacle. We are strong and as Maya Angelou said, we are stronger than the storm.
As always I am overwhelmed by the whole school community and their willingness to help and look out for each other in this very confusing time. I know that for some children they do not fully understand what is happening. For this reason I have written a letter - which you can download here - just for them, to try to explain what is happening and reassure them that it will get better.
Take care of each other, keep in touch, wash your hands, and we will be here to welcome you back through our doors before you know it.
Mrs K Whitfield