27 August 2020

Dear all,

I do hope you have all had a good summer, and enjoyed the lovely weather before the storms began. As promised in July, I would like to outline to you the specific plans for the full reopening of CFS in two weeks time, building on the information sent out before the summer holidays. Fundamentally not a huge amount has changed over the summer in the Government’s guidance for the reopening of schools, and this has enabled us to spend time adding detail to our plans, testing our processes, developing risk assessments and preparing everyone for full reopening. That said, every day still brings an evolving picture – as we have seen this summer with the GCSE and A Level results, and with the current debates and altered guidance (just last night) about the use of masks in schools.

Our plans have been developed to ensure an effective balance between keeping pupils and staff safe, whilst enabling us to deliver our broad and ambitious curriculum on site. However, in order to do this we are inevitably having to make some temporary alterations to our normal practice at CFS. We have done everything in our power to minimise these changes and the impact they will have on you and your child, but we thank you in advance for your understanding and support.

On a personal note, I want you to know that I completely understand that there will be a huge mixture of emotions regarding next month’s return. As parents, some of you may feel very content and relieved that your child is returning after so long away from normal school, whilst for others you may have continuing concerns about safety and the global situation. Pupils will also be feeling varying emotions – excited to return, or worried about returning because of the virus, or reluctant to return because they have enjoyed being at home. 2020 continues to test us all, but we will truly work as a community to navigate this next stage. What we must do is respect the situation we are in, respect social distancing measures and respect that some people are still very concerned about the health implications, whilst of course reassuring the children in our care and creating as normal an environment as possible. Whilst much of the detail below and in the risk assessment has to focus on the health and safety practicalities, please also know that the mental well-being of pupils has also been at the forefront of all of our decisions. Not only in governing how we will enforce the safety guidance effectively whilst at the same time limiting any detrimental emotional impact on the children, but we have also put in place enhanced pastoral support, transition lessons at the start of term, a revised curriculum and an altered PSHE programme.

Despite everything we need to think about and do, I know that staff share the same dominate feeling as me – excitement that CFS pupils will finally be returning to the School properly after over five months away.

With very best wishes 

Mrs Louise New

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