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Newsletter Issue 18

Remote Learning During the Coronavirus

A Message from The Headteacher

We're halfway through the first half term of 2021 and I'd like to acknowledge the hard work of everyone involved in our learning community - children, parents, carers, teachers and all of the staff - in adapting to these trying circumstances!
In school we will start to use Lateral Flow Testing with staff who are coming in, so that we can reduce the risk of staff who are asymptomatic but are carrying the virus coming into school. This testing is not compulsory but we anticipate that most staff will make use of it. These tests do not replace anything we are currently doing, rather they add another layer of risk mitigation, while not removing that risk altogether. I think that risk reduction is the best we can hope for over the coming years and the risk posed by this virus and its ongoing mutations will be something we need to adjust to living with.
Remote learning is going well - thanks for all your feedback - teachers and pupils are becoming more familiar with the platforms we are using and the offer continues to evolve. There have been great contributions from our Art and PE specialists too. We are of course, delivering an adapted curriculum and we can't cover all of the content that we would get through in school. We will address these gaps - for example in PSHE and Spanish - once we return to normal schooling.
Regarding children coming into school, we are very close to capacity on some days. If you are using the in school provision, please let us know if there are any changes to your plans and if the days that you require an in-school place change. Thank you.
The design work for our new hall continues and we are soon to begin the planning permission application process. Watch this space for more updates along the way. I'm really looking forward to seeing this project come into reality!
With respect to the school's financial position, you will appreciate that we have lost a lot of income due to Covid - nursery fees, breakfast and after school club fees, lettings - our latest figures put the loss at £109, 000. This is a huge sum and extremely difficult for the school to absorb. I have asked the Local Authority and written to the Barnet MP but have received no indication that there is any plan to address this further exacerbation of the school funding crisis. I'm concerned that people may imagine that school finances have not been impacted when the reverse is true. I will keep you informed of this but a letter to your MP might help raise awareness.
At Half term we will invite our regular provider - Planet Youth - to run a holiday play provision. This will be the only provision during that week.
Thank you for your ongoing support.

Hugh Vivian


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