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Future plans & the end of a dream...

Dear Parents/Carers


8 weeks nearly completed. 8 weeks. 56 days. 1344 hours. 80,600 minutes. 483,840 seconds. 483,840,000,000,000 nanoseconds. 15.38% of a year. I hope you & your loved ones are safe & well & coping with life in these unusual times.


As you will be aware, last Sunday, the Prime Minister indicated that the government believes it may be in a position to implement a phased re-opening of schools from 1st June, starting with pupils in reception, year 1 & year 6. This is part of the government’s conditional plan which it says will remain under regular review. During the course of this week we have gradually found out more information & have therefore been able to begin to make plans as to how we will approach this at Woodlands.


The government has stated the following in relation to EYFS & primary children returning to school:

  • children in nursery settings, reception, year one & year six should return to school from 1st June 2020
  • children are to be taught in “smaller groups” of no more than 15 pupils in each classroom
  • children to be kept within these smaller groups throughout the day to minimise contact & mixing [they would have separate breaks, not eat lunch with other groups & not play with children from other groups]
  • they would like all primary year groups back to school before the summer holidays
  • it is important to clean hands more frequently – washing hands for 20 seconds with running water or using alcohol hand rub / sanitiser
  • it is important to clean frequently touched often using standard products, such as detergents & bleach
  • the wearing of face coverings or face masks in schools or other educational settings is not recommended
  • schools should remove unnecessary items from classrooms and other learning environments where there is space to store it elsewhere
  • schools should remove soft furnishings, soft toys and toys that are hard to clean (such as those with intricate parts)
  • schools should consider how children and young people arrive at the education or childcare setting

All of the above (& much more) has been published in the government guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19): implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings. I’ve included a link so that you can read the document in full [Maybe you’ve finally finished the Marvel films, maybe you have run out of episodes of ‘Homes Under the Hammer’, maybe you just can’t stand the thought of making another batch of sourdough. If so, this is the document for you. It’ll give you an excuse to find yourself a quiet place to sit (on your own), pour yourself a drink of your choice, play some relaxing music (anything apart from Michael Bublé #bubléfreewoodlands) & say to the rest of your household, “I’ve got this very important document to read, please leave me in peace for the next 2 hours…” It’s only 12 pages long but you don’t need to tell anyone that!]


The government has confirmed that if parents choose not to send their children back to school they will not be fined for non-attendance.

The headteachers of the schools in Formby [FLiP: Formby Learning in Partnership] have been working to together over the past week to ensure a common approach across all their primary schools with regards to the return of the pupils. There have been a series of strategic meetings across the local authority; we are still evaluating a range of information that arose from these. I’m meeting (virtually) with our governing body next Tuesday & will therefore be in a position to share our plan with parents after that.


Next week, once we have been able to finalise & share these plans with all our families, I will be sending a short survey to the parents of the children in our nursery, reception, Year 1 & Year 6 classes to gauge initial responses about the children returning to school. By waiting until we know exactly what we are doing, we will give families the chance to make an informed decision with regard to their children returning to school from 1st June.


I thought I’d better finish by giving you an update on Mr Grant’s efforts to build his Viking long-ship in his back garden. I’m sad to say this particular Norse saga is over. Unfortunately, he’s had to abandon his task. The might of the Viking nation has been defeated - not by an angry horde of Anglo-Saxon warriors taking them by surprise with a sneak attack or a savage storm devouring their fleet whilst navigating uncharted waters. No, the Vikings (Southport division) have been vanquished by a combination of a noise abatement order & a lack of planning permission - health & safety gone mad… Even though he claims to have moved on to his “next project”, I am a bit worried as Mr Grant seems somewhat downcast. In school this week I found him muttering darkly to himself about his Carthaginian army crossing the Alps in 218BC. I also caught him googling “How to buy an elephant”. I think I may have to stage an intervention…


Take care & stay safe

Keith Williams