Previous post on school closure

Dear Parents/ Carers,
We hope you are keeping yourselves and your families well and are getting some time outside every day!
You will, no doubt, have been hearing and reading a great deal about government plans for schools over the next few weeks and months. We want all of our pupils back as soon as it is possible but not in a way that puts your children or our staff or indeed any of you and your extended families at risk. We have always made it clear that safety and happiness at school are our top concerns. In our opinion and in that of many schools around the country, along with the education unions, we do not feel that the time is right or safe to open schools for hundreds of pupils.
We are doing lots of work and have been for some weeks on what modifications we will need to make to ensure safe social distancing for pupils, staff and yourselves. It is clear that in the first instance, school, particularly if we return too soon when risks are still worrying, will not look or feel familiar to the pupils. They will not necessarily be in their own class with the friends they are used to. They may not have the same teacher or have many of the fun opportunities that we have worked so hard to provide.
The activities that will be available will be virtually the same as they are getting now through Home Learning, as staff will be focusing on keeping children safe by following the social distancing required, and supervising very small numbers washing hands, etc. The classrooms will have been cleared and the resources remaining will need to be allocated individually to each pupil. This way of working will be virtually unrecognisable to them. Also, just getting all of Reception and Year 1 and possibly Nursery (450 pupils) dropped off and collected safely will need to be completely reconfigured. Buffet Diners will need to be spread out over 2 hours or meals delivered to classrooms. This will sadly be a long way from what they will remember about lots of freedom in classrooms to engage in active learning and to be running happily all over our extensive playground, exploring freely wherever they fancy. We have already started work very creatively to find ways to give them back their safe and happy school life as best we can, but it’s highly unlikely this is going to be up to a suitably high standard of safety by the start of June.
We continue as always to put our pupils and our families at the top of our priorities. In the meantime we will watch, as we are sure you all will, the developments over the next few days and weeks and prepare to invite our pupils back in a safe way. We hope that date will not be too far away.
Thank you as always for the brilliant way you have worked with our staff on the Home Learning and we hope we are getting the balance right! Enough to keep the children learning in a fun and challenging way, while not over burdening yourselves by sending home too many activities that require your total attention! We will be in touch again very soon and remember to let a member of staff know if you have any issues that we may be able to help you with!
Please be reassured that you will not be penalised if you choose to keep your child at home for longer while we all see how things improve and how we progress with our developments to keep everyone safe.

Ms Harper-Quinn. Headteacher Hounslow Heath Infants and Nursery School