Please find following a letter about our plans for September 2020. As frustrating as it might be, our plans are entirely reliant on whatever new government advice is at the time. It is still 9 weeks until school resumes for the new academic year in September and much may change during that time. Please keep your eye on this website and download "The School App" to get updates as and when they are made.
Dear Parents and Carers
Thank you: Firstly, I would like to thank you all and acknowledge your amazing efforts over the past 3.5 months since the government announced that schools were to shut down to help control the spread of the Coronavirus.
It has been a difficult period of time with so many unknowns, frequently
changing information, needing to stay at home, so many shops and services closed, some schools and respite facilities closed and the constant worry about the health of yourselves and those you love. Unfortunately, a number of families in the Victoria community have been touched by the death of loved ones during this period. Our sympathy goes out to them all.
You have all done a truly amazing job of supporting your families and continuing their education by implementing the learning activities sent out from school. Some of you who are, or whose children are deemed to be extremely clinically vulnerable, have now been advised to continue shielding at home until the end of July, about 6 weeks longer than originally indicated. We know that this must be hard but because people who are clinically extremely vulnerable would be hugely at risk if they did catch COVID-19, it’s a precaution that is well worth taking!
Known cases of COVID-19: While a small number of children and staff have presented for COVID testing, there has been only one confirmed positive case and that was right at the beginning of the pandemic in the second last week of March when one pupil tested positive. Thankfully, that young person is now fully recovered.
iPads & Laptops: We have loaned many iPads and some laptops out to pupils to facilitate their learning at home. We have also used bursary funds to buy similar equipment for some of our 14-19 year old students. All ICT equipment will need to be returned to school when pupils and students return in September.
Physiotherapy Equipment: After consultation with parents, school staff transported many pieces of physiotherapy equipment home so that you could continue to implement the very important regular programmes of positioning and postural support. Please try to make time to continue these programmes throughout the Summer holiday. The equipment will need to come back to school in September.
Summer Holidays: There are no plans to open Victoria School during the Summer holiday. Quite a bit of building and maintenance work that was to have been completed at Easter has had to be postponed until the Summer holiday so the school is ready for the start of the new school year. Teachers will also cease making their weekly calls to you at this time.
If you need nursing advice during this time, contact the School Nurse Holiday Cover team on BCHNT.firstname.lastname@example.org
For Physiotherapy advice, call Allenscroft Children’s Centre on 0121 466 4710.
For wheelchair repairs, call Rosscare on 0121 328 0227.
The Prescription Line is 0121 466 4727.
Financial Assistance: Information on the Government Family Fund can be found here:
The Northfield Community Hub can be contacted by phone or email on 07516 918 133 ((M-W) or 97951 346 327 (Th or F) or email@example.com
What will school look like in September? This is a very hard question to answer because we do not know how government advice will change over the course of the next 2 months. The government has announced that all schools will re-open to all pupils in September. It is our plan that all children will be able to return to school when school resumes in September. However, depending on social distancing rules at the time, we may not have space for all pupils to be in school at once. In this case, a rota system will be set up. We have already been advised by the Department for Education, that primary pupils do not need to socially distance. If no social distancing is required, we will be able to accommodate all learners to return to school.
Returning pupils will resume school on Thursday 3 September and new pupils will be informed of their commencement date during their transition sessions.
At this point, we do not know whether the NHS will have returned school nurses, enteral feeders and physiotherapists to schools. If social distancing is still required, the capacity of school transport will continue to be severely limited. Mileage payments continue to be available to those parents who transport their own children. To apply, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
In the first half term (until October half term break), we will be focusing on transitioning all pupils back to school, with an emphasis on supporting their mental health and wellbeing. We will also be assessing pupils to determine their knowledge and skill levels after a 5 month break from full education. For those who use postural and positioning equipment, physiotherapists will need to measure and weigh children and check equipment to ensure that it is still the right size for the pupil, or have it adjusted or replaced as necessary.
In the second half term (October to Christmas), we will be focusing on core subjects: English, Maths and Science, together with the Victoria Priority Subjects of Communication, PSHE and Positioning & Postural Management. This is because these are the highest priority areas for Victoria pupils and also to enable classes to remain in “bubbles” to limit the spread of infection, if that is still required.
Hopefully in the Spring term, we will be able to return to full curriculum provision.
We do not yet know whether lunchtime clubs and after school clubs will be able to be run. This will depend on government advice at the time.
If “bubbles” and/or social distancing are still required, this means that play and break times will need to be staggered, lunches eaten in class groups, and group events such as assemblies and plays, delivered virtually, rather than face to face.
All of this planning is subject to government guidance as it changes in response to the pandemic.
For as long as it is recommended, staff will continue to have access to personal protective equipment (PPE) for situations where they need to work in close proximity to pupils, for example in personal care.
Communications between home and school: We are desperately trying to both reduce costs and protect the environment, by using less paper. Therefore, the website and associated App will be the main means of communication from September 2020. If you have not already done so, please bookmark the school website at email@example.com and download “The School App” from your App Store onto your phone or other device so that you will receive notifications when new
information is added to the website. Text messaging will
also be via the website so it is essential that download the App.
We will only be sending out hard copy information to those families
that do not have the internet or a device. If you are in this situation, please
advise the school office on 0121 476 9478.
Farewells: Farewell to those young people who will be graduating from Victoria School in July. We wish you well in all that the future holds, and hope that you take a little bit of Victoria in your hearts to remind you of your years here.
A small number of staff members are leaving at the end of this school year. We thank them all for their service to the children and families of Victoria School and wish them well for the future.
They are: Lisa Lewis (retiring)
Vanessa Attewell (retiring)
Katie Tombs (relocated out of the area)
Louise Sperin (family responsibilities)
We also wish all the best to Robyn Murphy and Sarah Trueman-Jones who are both going on maternity leave.
Congratulations: to Jenny Reid-Lees who has been permanently appointed as Head of the MSI Department. Congratulations also to Jade McIntosh who has successfully completed her induction year as a newly qualified teacher (NQT) and to Jodie Glover who has been awarded Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Lauren Tate and Louise Hancocks have been promoted to the post of Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA).
Annual Pupil Reports: This letter accompanies your child’s annual report. I hope you enjoy reading these reports in their new formats and celebrating your child’s successes. Should you wish to discuss your child’s report with his or her class teacher, please phone the school on 0121 476 9478 or email the teacher or main office on firstname.lastname@example.org to request an appointment.
Class Groups for September 2020: You will also find an information slip advising you of your child’s class for next year.
Best wishes: I trust that you will all enjoy a relaxing summer break and some great summer weather. I hope also, that as time progresses, the impact of Coronavirus on daily life will lessen.
Stay safe and well.
Executive Head Teacher