Update from Dr. Sue

17th July 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

Thank you all for your support and patience during this last 4 months. I know that it has been a very difficult and anxious time for everyone. As you know, we have tried hard to do all we possibly could to support the children of key workers and those of our most vulnerable children. During the last six weeks, we will have had close to 90 pupils in school, mainly part time. It is thanks to you, and the brilliant staff at The Dales, that we have now made it safely to the end of this academic year.

The staff at The Dales have been utterly fantastic during this crisis. In spite of their own concerns and anxieties, they have supported each other and stood together enabling us all to safely increase numbers to be able to support more children and their families. 

We all hope we will return to as normal a school as possible in September; however, due to the nature of the pandemic, it’s very difficult to predict exactly how things will be. Updated guidance will mean that some changes will be necessary and updated plans and risk assessments will be uploaded onto our website over the summer holiday following new local authority and government guidance. It remains an ever changing and a challenging situation for us all. Key things to be aware of now are:

  •          Transport – School transport are currently trying to arrange transport reducing interaction across pupil cohorts as much as possible. If your child is usually on school transport you do not have to do anything.
  •          Blythdale and Ashdale ‘Bubbles’ – Each class is part of a ‘bubble’. Each ‘bubble’ is made up of 3 or 5 classes. As our class sizes are small, the size of a ‘bubble’ can vary between 24 – 49 pupils (some mainstream schools have ‘bubbles’ of 100 or more children).  Most of our younger and more complex pupils are very much class-based; however, some pupils, whose understanding of social distancing is more developed, will still move around school at times to specialist rooms and have more interaction with other members of their ‘bubble’ at particular times; e.g. breaktimes/lunchtime. We will also have zoned areas for each ‘bubble’ at breaktime and lunchtime.  By restricting interaction across the school’s population, potential risks are reduced.
  •          We will follow the Government guidance at the time but currently, if one child or member of staff from any individual bubble becomes infected with a confirmed case of COVID-19, that bubble would close for two weeks. All children and staff from that bubble would need to self-isolate, at home, for 14 days.

The plans for drop off and pick-ups, and our risk assessments and any other updates will be posted on our Facebook page and website, so please check these towards the end of the summer holiday.

On behalf of all the staff at The Dales, thank you for your support during this last year. Today we also say goodbye to our Year 6 pupils - we wish them all the very best for their next steps in their new schools. Have a safe, jolly and restful summer everyone.

Very best wishes,