Dear Parent/Carers,

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as you wait for an update following the Government announcement last Sunday evening. We have been working very hard to plan for the potential of a phased return to school for children. Unfortunately, I will be unable to update you any further since the guidance and information that followed the announcement was released from Tuesday onwards and the latest information was only released last night at 7.00pm.

Our plans must be robust and, as far as possible, safe for your children and also for the staff in school. In effect, once your children return to school, we are “in loco parentis,” which means taking on some of the responsibilities and functions of you as a parent and therefore we must make every effort to keep your child safe.

We do have some draft plans in place for a limited, phased return for some children. However, before these are shared with parents, we need to ensure that we have included the latest guidance and the plans must also be shared with staff and Governors and their views considered about these important decisions.

I know that this will be very frustrating, particularly for those of you that were planning to get back to work. We all want the children to be back in school for all the right reasons, but our priority is safety first. I do not want to expose your children or the school staff to any unnecessary risk.

There continues to be a request for Emergency Provision places. School continues to be open for those children of key workers and vulnerable families. These places are currently capped. We are making risk assessments about individual requests for places. Mrs Bailey, in the office, will need detailed information of parents’ occupations and evidence of key worker status. There is a request also to these families that are already using this provision. Please book in the place as early as possible. Please consider if you are able to keep your children at home over the half term holiday.

School has been open since the Lockdown, including Bank Holidays and the Easter holidays. I am hoping that I will be able to release some of the available staff on the rota for the half term break. School will continue to be open for the existing families of key workers and vulnerable families. I will be releasing the plan next week at the earliest opportunity.

Some very good news now. Mum to Oliver (Y1) and Lucas (R) has been ill for some time and receiving treatment. However, she rang me this week and received some very positive news about the success of the treatment. Thank you for all the prayers and thoughts from the school community.

Thank you for completing the questionnaire regarding the online learning. The staff have discussed the findings and are working together to see how they can address any concerns raised or make things more uniform and easier to use. Any changes to the home learning will commence after the half term holiday.

A big thank you to Mr Beattie for arranging the video message from staff at school for the children. Year 6 should have completed SATs this week. We don’t need SATs to tell us how wonderful and amazing Year 6 are.  A Lockdown SATs paper was released this week which might make more than Year 6 smile. Mrs Robinsworth has sent it to Year 6 but she will be putting it on the website, and it might be worth having a look if you are in Year 6 or not.

Two weeks ago, our new school APP was launched with great success. We currently have 97 parents regularly using the APP and we have received a lot of positive comments about how easy it is to access information and use. If you haven’t downloaded the APP yet please type ‘SMMRCBurnley’ into your app stores. The links are also available below:

Android – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.smmrc.school

Apple – https://apps.apple.com/us/app/st-mary-magdalenes-rc-ps/id1509738345

Below are our Home Learners Headteacher Awards for week commencing 4th May. Look out for their photographs on the school website!

R – Patsy Slater

1 – Ethan Nixon

2 – Jessica Philp

3 – Jacob Scaife

4 – Hannah Cryer

5 – Hadley Johns

6 – Joseph Worrall

Keep safe and keep praying for all those in need; all the key workers, all the families in isolation and of course for those who are sick.

God Bless,

Bridget Parkinson (Headteacher)