1 January 2021
I hope you had an enjoyable, albeit a quiet Christmas with your family this year. We keep in our thoughts and prayers members of our school community who are ill, are caring for the ill or who have been bereaved over the Christmas period. You remain in our thoughts and prayers.
By now you have most likely heard the news that school will not reopen for face to face teaching on Wednesday 6 January, as we had planned. With cases of the virus soaring, Education Minister, Peter Weir has stated that primary schools should fully restart on Monday 11 January. Nursery will be open to all pupils from Thursday 7th January.
Wednesday 6 January will now be a preparation day for all school staff. On Thursday 7 and Friday 8 January all children should engage in online learning through SeeSaw or Google. It is therefore very important that your child can access Seesaw. Those families who are not active on Seesaw will be contacted by the class teacher, to help you engage.
School will be open on Thursday 7 and Friday 8 January for essential key workers’ children only. (Please see the definition of Key Worker below). This will not be for face-to-face teaching, but will be for supervised learning.
Parents and carers who believe they meet the criteria and wish to avail of supervision for their child/children are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org before 3pm on Monday 4th January 2021.
Your email should provide the names, phone numbers, occupations of both parents if applicable, with details of how you meet the criteria. If your occupations are not clearly detailed in Minister Weir’s list, please explain in detail why you believe you should be prioritised for this service. Please include the name and year group of your child/children.
By Tuesday afternoon we will confirm if we can facilitate your child for supervision. A child of a key worker is a child for whom both parents (or a parent in a single parent family) is a key worker, with no other safe alternative.
These DE directed changes highlight that the safest place for our children right now is at home, limiting the contact your family has with other families.
The planned return for all pupils is now determined to be Monday 11 January. If further deteriorations to public health give rise to further substantial changes I will continue to be in contact with you.
In the meantime, thank you for your continued support over these difficult times. We wish all of our families a very Happy New Year and pray that 2021 will be a much better year for all of us.
DEFINITION OF KEY WORKER
Definition of Key Workers:
• Health and Social Care. This includes doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, home carers and staff required to maintain our health and social care sector;
• Education and childcare. This includes pre-school and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who will remain active during the Covid-19 response;
• Public safety and national security. This includes civilians and officers in the police (including key contractors), Fire and Rescue Service, prison service and other national security roles;
• Transport. This will include those keeping air, water, road and rail transport modes operating during the Covid-19 response;
• Utilities, and Communication. This includes staff needed for oil, gas, electricity and water (including sewage) and primary industry supplies to continue during the Covid-19 response, as well as key staff in telecommunications, post and delivery, banking and waste disposal;
• Financial Services - This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure);
• Food and other necessary goods. This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution and sale, as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (e.g. hygiene, medical, etc.);
• Retail. This includes those workers who have been working throughout the pandemic in food retail, for example, and will now extend to those working in other retail businesses permitted to operate by the Executive from June 2020;
• Other workers essential to delivering key public services such as the National Crime Agency; and
• Key national and local government including those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the Covid-19 response