Dear Parents and Guardians,
We hope this finds you well and that you have enjoyed a restful Christmas break.
We write to you following the Minister of Education's latest announcement and the subsequent meeting in Stormont to discuss pupils' return to schools after the Christmas break.
Next week our exceptional closure day which was planned for Monday 4th January remains in place. This will now be used to prepare home-learning for the children, which will be provided from Tuesday 5th January until Friday 8th January 2021.
Primary Schools are currently due to return to face-to-face teaching from Monday 11th January.
Nursery schools are to remain open, and therefore Brooklands Nursery School will be open for our nursery pupils from Tuesday 5th January.
Brooklands Primary School will be open to provide a 'supervised learning environment' for vulnerable children and children of Key Working Families next week, but it is vital that this service is only availed of if you have no alternative way in which to safely care for your child within your family bubble.
If your child is sitting the AQE examinations in January, please contact Mr Armstrong for information regarding how we will strive to support your child specifically next week. It is imperative that we keep numbers of pupils and staff coming into school as low as possible next week, so that we can continue to keep everyone as safe as is possible during this time. As such we appeal to all families to contact us regarding a place for your child, if we are your only option next week.
To register your child or children for supervised learning next week, we ask that you email Mr Armstrong to firstname.lastname@example.org before 9pm on Sunday 3rd January 2021.
This is to allow vital time needed on Monday to put safe plans in place for our pupils that week, including arranging appropriate levels of staffing to provide supervision throughout each day, and cleaning of the rooms in use. Late applications therefore cannot be considered.
Children can arrive between 0845 - 0915 via the main front door only.
School will close at the usual times, with a 3pm finish on Tuesday and Thursday and a 2pm finish time on Wednesday and Friday.
Children should wear their uniform, and we ask all children to bring a packed lunch next week.
Children in school will be supervised when completing their online tasks set for that day, and made to feel safe and secure during their time in school.
Children will not necessarily be supervised by their own class teacher.
The children's activities will be posted each day, Tuesday to Friday, within their year group Home-Learning Page, which will be found from Tuesday morning by clicking upon 'Children' then 'Class Pages' on our school website.
Pupils will be set a literacy and mathematics task each day, and this will be a revision of skills taught in class earlier in the academic year. This will help the children to feel secure in their learning when at home, as they consolidate skills and understanding.
On the 'Whole-School Home Learning Page' you will find a welcome from Mr Armstrong and Mrs Smart on Tuesday, and daily short assemblies for your child to watch at home from Wednesday to Friday.
We hope that this will help the children to feel that vitally important connection to school, and to know how much we are thinking of them when they are learning from home. We also appreciate the demands this places on all families, with parents potentially working from home also, or older or younger siblings needing time and attention too, so all that we ask is that you do what you can as a family and in as enjoyable a way as is possible, so that your child feels connected, happy and ready to return to school from the following week.
Should you have any queries, or wish to share work that your child has completed with your child's class teacher, we would encourage you to email your child's teacher, during school hours, from Tuesday 5th January.
Teachers are there to help and want to share in your child's learning next week, albeit remotely. They will do their best to reply to you as soon as is possible, but we ask you to be mindful that they may also be in school, supervising pupils there, so replies may take longer as a result.
Please contact Mr Armstrong or Mrs Smart if you have a query that is more urgent in nature. Our email addresses are:
May we take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy new year. This is not the start to 2021 that any of us want, however, we will all work together to do what we must, as we push through this challenging time and look ahead with positivity and hope for a safe and happy new year together in Brooklands.
Thank you for everything that you are doing from home, and for your support to us too, as we navigate our way through these unpredictable and challenging times.