End of Autumn Term 2020

Dear Parents, Carers and Families,

Firstly I would like to thank you for your support in what has been an extremely challenging term. We are grateful for the flexibility you have shown and the way we have all adapted to new ways of doing things. We would all acknowledge that there have been ups and downs but on the whole, it has been a positive term and a much needed reintegration back to full time learning for all of us.

I would also like to share with you the decision that we have made in relation to the end of term. As you may have picked up in the media, the DfE have allowed schools the option to close early on Thursday 17th December rather than Friday 18th December as planned, taking the day as an Inset day instead. The thinking is that this will reduce transmission and reduce the need for Track and Trace to be taking place by schools during the Christmas holiday. In our case, we do not have an Inset Day planned for the Spring and Summer term so we would need to add an additional learning day in July. This means that we would finish on July 22nd instead of July 21st.

We have not taken this decision lightly but we have decided to take this option and close at the end of the day on Thursday 17th December. Our thinking is based on the simple fact that one day less in school reduces the possibility of transmission to our students and

staff. We are very keen that everyone remains well over the Christmas period and that we can preserve the Christmas experience as much as possible. We would normally finish early on the 18th anyway so the lost learning time is less significant.

As a school, we have a duty to maintain support to you as families over the Christmas period and particularly in the first part of the holidays where we may still need to look at contact details if a member of the school community tests positive for COVID 19. We clearly hope this does not happen, but if your child does test positive for COVID 19 over Christmas, we would ask you to let us know using the email address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. We will then liaise with you about the next steps to take.

We will be holding virtual end of term celebration assemblies and raising awareness of/providing practical support for the Benjamin Foundation. Students will be allowed to wear non-uniform on Thursday 17th December. We will not be asking for any monetary contributions for this day. However, donations to the collection of items for The Benjamin Foundation can be made on any school day in December.

May I take this opportunity to wish you and your families a happy and safe holiday period. We look forward to seeing you in, what I hope is a slightly easier 2021! Take care

L iz Wood