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Week 9 (18.05.2020)

Dear Parents, 

We all hope that you are keeping well and safe. I understand that many of you, like the staff at St Joseph's, are finding many aspects of life difficult as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic. We would love to return to a sense of normality as soon as possible, but we all know that it will not be as simple as we would like. 

Thank you to the many of you who have responded to the questionnaire that was sent out at the end of last week. We received 94 responses. This has been useful for us to gauge your feelings as we await further guidance and the scientific evidence. It is also useful for us to be able to try and answer any of your questions in the coming weeks.

The results from the survey showed that in answer to the question 'Would you be sending your child back to school in June, if the school reopens for them?' 18% responded Yes, 45% responded No and 37% responded to highlight that they were undecided. 

We understand your anxieties and your questions, and I hope to be able to update you as soon as possible. Lewisham Local Authority have asked us to wait for further guidance in our plan to implement the phased return for pupils. Please remember that this will be a gradual process and therefore we will keep you fully informed when your child will be invited to return to school. For this reason, please do not plan to return to work on 1st June as we will be notifying parents on the phased return based on the risk assessments completed for our school, the LA and the government advice.

The government guidance informs us that we will remain open for critical care workers and then the school would begin to open for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6.  I will be sending another quick questionnaire to these year groups at the beginning of this week in order to help us to plan for the weeks ahead.

It is unlikely that all children will be returning at the same time for these year groups and it is also unlikely that all children will return at the same time for children within the same class. Once a date has been confirmed for the gradual re-opening of schools, we will contact you individually to let you know the details of the return, including the entrance that will be used for your child's individual group.  I will share the information about our plans as they develop. 

Part of our risk assessment will involve the number of children who we can accommodate in each classroom in order to facilitate social distance as much as possible. As you will know, this is very challenging for all children. 

We are all missing you a great deal. School does not seem the same with so few pupils in school and we are looking forward to seeing more of you, when we are told that it is safe to do so. 

We have loved seeing the photos of work and videos that have been uploaded each week on to Google Classroom. Please do keep that up!

I would also love to hear what book your child is reading (or being read to). Please let me know by emailing me at headteacher@stjps.lewisham.sch.uk where they can tell me what they are enjoying and whether they would recommend this book to me. Is this a book that you are reading as a result of Bug Club? I would love to hear how you are getting on with Bug Club.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. We will share more information with you as it comes to us from both the Local Authority and central government. We do understand all of the questions that you all have. 

I also want to let you know that we do have vacancies for our RECEPTION class for September 2020. If you know of anyone who might be interested in a place in our Reception class for September 2020, please ask them to email me for more information at headteacher@stjps.lewisham.sch.uk. Thank you.

Please click on the link below to follow our assembly for this week. The prayers for each day have been uploaded below.

You are all in our thoughts and prayers.

Best Wishes 

Nicola Doherty (Headteacher)