Update 11th Janaury 2021

Dear Families


It is hard to believe that New Year's Day was just over a week ago. Without listing all the events nationally and internationally it’s fair to say it has been a busy start to the year with some unexpected ‘curveballs’.


I would like to thank everyone in the Lark Hall community for your kind comments, for responding so quickly to our local changes in circumstance and working with us to make sure, as far as is reasonably possible, that the children are able to continue to learn whether they are at home or school. This letter is to update you with regards the start of this year.


You may be aware from the media that many schools have a much higher number of children attending than originally envisaged by the government. This could of course create a greater mixing of children and adults than ideal and an increased risk of covid transmission. Currently we have approximately 120 children attending Lark Hall.


During the first national lockdown in spring 2020, approximately 10% of our children attended school. This time during lockdown the 120 number amounts to 30% of our children attending school. We were able to give a school place to all of our children whose families requested one at the start of term. A big thank you to our families for their prompt response as it enabled the school to put in place provision for each and every child.


I want to thank those parents who have found domestic solutions to keep their children at home even though they were eligible for a place. It is a dilemma for all of us - I would love if we were able to have more children in school BUT if you can keep your children at home please do so. We must all work together and individually to play our part in minimising mixing and transmission risks.


For those families that have children attending school please stick to our protocols to protect our staff and Lark Hall families: wear masks when present on site; stick to the one-way system; maintain social distancing; drop your child and leave the site quickly; please don’t stay and chat. The space outside our gates is narrow and we must all be vigilant to ensure we all feel safe.


You are all aware that we have Google Classroom and Class Dojo for our children’s home learning. The work set on these platforms should not be viewed as an optional ‘it would be nice if the children do it’, but as an essential part of the children’s learning. Furthermore, ideally, it would be great if our children carried out the work on Google Classroom between 8:45am and 4:00pm. During these times, if a child needs a teacher to respond, then teachers could be free to do so. If a child posts work after 4:00pm and they require a teacher to respond, then this will likely be the following day. Teachers will also make telephone calls to our children once each week; this will appear as a ‘Withheld Number’ or ‘Private Number’ so please try to take the call when it comes through.


Lastly I want to mention assessments: in short the government has cancelled this year’s statutory assessments. We will, however, continue with our own internal assessments as it is important to monitor the children’s progress and share that information with you. More information about this will be shared in due course.


In the meantime, if there is anything else myself or a member of the team can do to help and support you during this time, please do not hesitate to get in touch in the usual ways.


Best wishes


Gary Nichol

Head Teacher