Dear Parents and Carers,
Welcome to the first newsletter of the second half of the Autumn Term, and the first since Lockdown 2 began on Thursday 5 November. As schools are remaining open throughout it has made no difference to children’s learning in classrooms, but to begin with it did affect our after-school activities, as the government’s guidance prohibited them during lockdown unless they were for childcare. So we moved all football and gymnastics to lunchtimes and carried on; I am determined that COVID-19 restrictions cause as little disruption to children as possible. Thankfully, the government has seen the poor sense of this guidance – why is it OK for children to stay after school for childcare but not for a club or activity? – and allowed after school clubs once again, so from today all of Andrew and his coaches’ activities move back to their original times.
The children had only been back in school on Monday 2 November for 2 hours before Ofsted phoned to announce a short visit under Section 8 of the School Inspection Framework to find out how Brunswick had responded to COVID-19. You may have heard about these visits on the News: 1200 schools across the country – primary, secondary and special – have been selected to provide information for government policy makers about what has gone well and what could be done better. They have visited about 900 so far, and Brunswick was one. I and the other Senior Leaders spent 5 hours on 3 November on Microsoft Teams answering questions from senior inspectors called HMI (Her Majesty’s Inspectors) about the school’s context and how COVID-19 has affected the children’s behaviour, children and staff attendance, the school curriculum and how we will ensure children catch up on lost learning and our offer of remote and blended learning for use if children or staff have to isolate.
These special visits are not inspections: they are conducted to find information, not to judge how well a school is doing. Therefore, the Inspectors’ letter that will come out later this week will not say what Brunswick has done well, though anecdotally they told us that much of what had been done was ‘inspiring’, but will describe some broad themes in basic detail and thank the school for its help, which we were very happy to give. Anything that can be used to improve the situation in the future deserves sharing.
Some more important news to share:
1. This week is ANTI-BULLYING WEEK;
2. Individual photographs FOR ALL Year Groups will be taken on FRIDAY 20 NOVEMBER;
3. Mrs Hales is making great plans so end of term shows/productions/events can still go ahead. We will keep you posted.
And finally, thank you for your participation in our first Zoom Parents’ Evening. It went really well for those who attended and we’ve learned a lot to make it even better for next time. We need your feedback on this and on the other ways the school communicates with you. Please look out for a quick online survey to complete to help us do our best to support you and your families.
With best wishes for a safe and healthy fortnight ahead.