31 December 2020, Comments: 0

I hope that you have all been able to have a special family Christmas and have enjoyed a Happy New Year.

You will have heard the recent announcement made by the Prime Minister regarding the plans for the re-opening of schools at the start of the Spring Term 2021. Harrogate has been placed in Tier 3 in response to the increased spread of the new strain of covid-19. Whilst our colleagues at St Aidan’s will see a delay to the start of their term as they prepared to introduce a mass testing programme Primary Schools, including Richard Taylor, will open as expected on Tuesday 5th January (please remember that Monday 4th January 2021 is a staff training day).

The government have announced its intention to introduce testing for staff and children in primary schools at some point in the spring term; this will not be for some time as they implement the process of testing at High Schools across the country. With the vaccination programme beginning to be rolled out we can look forward to a happier and safer 2021. However, none of the measures which will see an end to the national emergency that we have lived through will have a significant impact until we reach Easter and the summer term.

This means that it is even more important that we remember to follow the systems which have worked for us through the autumn term. We will still be faced with class lockdowns and periods of self-isolation for groups if children and staff if we have positive tests reported in school. This is something that we want to avoid!

Please remember the key messages:

  • Do not send your children to school if they are unwell in any way, especially if they or anyone in your family are showing covid-19 symptoms
  • Maintain 2 metre social distancing at all times when on site, do not stop to talk to staff or other parents and stick to your child’s established drop off and collection timetables.
  • Do not block entrances to school or the narrow pavements which surround our site.

We want to avoid class closures and keep our children in school where they can thrive and learn; please help us to protect the staff and children by playing your part and following the key messages above. Thank you.

Sadly, over the holiday period we had an incident of mindless vandalism at school, with damage to the school pavilion and a broken window. Thanks to the swift action taken by Mrs Bonson and the good work of the police, the culprits were caught and action will be taken. The damage can be repaired but it is a great shame that there are people within the local area who think so little about the consequences of their actions at a time when we need to work together more than ever.

Finally, the new term is bound to bring winter weather, including ice and periods of snow. Please make sure that you send your children dressed appropriately for the weather conditions; we will still need to keep windows open and get the children outside as much as we can as part of our strategy for preventing the spread of the virus. We cannot do this is children do not come with the necessary footwear, coats, hats and gloves.

I look forward to welcoming the children back to school on Tuesday and making sure that, together, we can get through what will be another challenging term.

Happy New Year 2021!

Andrew Symonds

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