Sugar Hill Primary School

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Sheraton Road, Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, DL5 5NU


Sugar Hill Primary School

'Learning and Growing Together'

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  2. 19th May Update

19th May Update

19 May 2020 (by Vicky)

Update for parents of children in Year 6, Year 1 and Reception parents

Tuesday 19th May 2020

Dear Parents, carers of Y6, Y1 and Reception

First of all, I would like to thank you for taking the time to respond to the survey and for the very positive comments I received following the posting of the letter on the website and Facebook.

It is comforting to know that an overwhelming majority felt the way that I do, in that it is too soon to open without the evidence to back up that this is the right thing to do.

I have listened to everything that has been discussed and debated this weekend about the wider opening of schools and I have heard nothing that convinces me it is the right thing to do.

Again, if it was totally safe why the need for so much debate.

We were made to feel by Gavin Williamson, Education Secretary, on Saturday that by not following Government guidelines and opening to the three-year groups that we do not have the best interests of our children at heart and are not doing the best by them, I feel that nothing could be further from the truth. We are absolutely putting the best interests of the Sugar Hill children first and before any political or economic reasons for opening. We can all use emotive language when we need to.

Head Teachers are being told by County that:

“I think it’s important to stress that schools should only ‘reopen’…..when school leaders and governors are happy that this can be done safely, and this doesn’t mean this has to happen on June 1st, and it also does not mean that all pupils in the year group identified by the government will be in”

The decision has been firmly placed in the hands of Head Teachers and I would like to stress again that each school will make their own decision based on their circumstances and that will be different across the County following the above advice.

Yesterday my SMT and I spent time sorting out a Year 1 classroom for Reception children. The EYS area cannot be used as if we follow all Government Guidelines, all soft furnishings have to be removed, all toys that cannot be washed easily have to be removed and the sand and other exciting areas can’t be accessed.

There are 8 desks each with a chair behind it for them to sit with their own equipment. So sad. Good for their mental health?? My main concern is for the physical and mental wellbeing of our children and believe me this is not the best way to ensure they remain well in either way.

At this point in time no decision has yet been made as to whether we will open to these year groups on the 1st June. This will be made when the following criteria have been met.

· The North East ceases to be one of the highest risk areas in the country.

· I am sure that the outbreaks in the Newton Aycliffe factories are not a threat to us

· I have received the large orders of soap, sanitiser and other cleaning equipment that has been ordered.

· I am fully convinced that my staff and our children are safe.

I will keep you updated throughout the next couple of weeks and thank you again for your support and understanding.

Please take care and continue to stay safe. Mrs Paula O’Rourke