In these unprecedented times of the school being closed until further notice, while the country deals with COVID 19, we want to have all the information for our community in one place. So please check back here daily - we will be adding information relating to whole school matters, and links to questionnaires and links where we might gather information. We will not be sending out information by text very often, except to remind people to check here. This is the best place to find out what is happening and will be happening at Batchley First School.
We are setting up system that is not reliant on individuals in school - school staff are just at risk of getting ill or having to self isolate, especially as we will be working with groups of children and mixing with more than the recommended five people at a time.
So during this time, the best way of contacting school is by an email to -
This will be monitored by a number of staff, who will forward your emails to the relevant staff, (or reply themselves if that staff member is unable to). Please put your child’s name and class, and a word or two about what you are emailing about to help us forward it to the right people. Can we add that, if you do need to ring the school, we may not be able to answer it or return a message for several days (or example, we might not be open or be prioritising care for the children we are begin asked to cater for.) The email address will have a number of people monitoring it between 7am and 9pm, so we will get back to you quicker that way.
Below will be a daily update (posted Monday to Friday by 10am) , even if it’s just a message to say that there is no news. So please keep checking back every day to keep in touch.
Friday 10th July 2020
Day 5 of phase 3 reopening plan!
Well it’s the end of the first week with all year groups back! It has been nice seeing more faces and all has seemed well! One more week to go before we do break up. It looks highly likely the heating work will happen over the summer and will continue when we get back out of hours. We will make sure it causes as little disruption as possible, as there has been far too much of that already!
Reports and information about September went out to those in school today and in the post box for everyone else tonight. Post workers are going to busy around Batchley delivering all the brown envelopes - keep your eye for them and please read the enclosed information carefully.
FSM vouchers - if the system works, vouchers for 1 week will come out Monday (13th) and then for the 6 weeks holiday on the 20th.
Tuesday 7th July 2020
Day 2 of Phase 3 reopening!
It’s been good to have all the years back with us! It is great to see all the classrooms with children all day - even if it is different children and staff in the morning and the afternoon. A big thank you to the staff who have worked so hard to make that happen... as far as we know, we are one of the only schools locally to have children back in every year group. We do know that it is difficult for some parents with children in different bubbles, or who can’t bring children back as it’s part-time, but we think it is fair to give everyone the same amount of time every day and it does seem to work well for the children being in.
YEAR 4 UPDATE!
Friday 17th July - Starting at 1pm. A weather dependent, a socially distanced picnic on the field for Year 4.
All Year 4 children and a parent are welcome to come, find a socially distanced space, and eat their picnics.
We will be running bubbles for the Year 4 children who attend school in the afternoon if parent can’t join us, they can bring a picnic, but please let us know by Wednesday if if they are attending the picnic with parents or in their bubbles. If a child comes without a parent that afternoon, they will be put in the bubble they have been allocated.
There will be presentation (socially distanced of course) which will be when children will be presented with their signed Leavers T shirt...
But the shirts need signing before hand, so if the children not in bubbles would like to sign the shirts, they are more than welcome to come and sign their leavers T shirt on Thursday 16th July at the following times.
They will need to arrive via the field gate, go to the Small Hall door and follow the one way system. Be really good if all the children can get to sign the shirts so we hope they will be able to make the sessions.
We also will be filming them when they come to sign, talking about their memories and making it into a film... So another reason to try and get to one of the sessions.
Tuesday 30th June
Day 17 of school reopening phase
Go for Phase 3!
Following our virtual Governor meeting this morning, we are going to start phase 3 of our reopening next Monday (6th July)
We will be contacting parents of Year 2s and 3s in the next few days, who completed the questionnaire below (which is now live again for last minute decisions...) to let them know which bubble their child is in.
After next Monday, we will only accept any more children for the last 2 weeks by prior agreement...You will need to email the Batchleycorona email or ring the school to arrange. We are very stretched staff wise and therefore may not be able to have more children than are already down to be here.
Year 4s - Last day celebration - save the date!
We are planing to do something to mark the end of the year for our Year 4s. Clearly there is lots we can’t do (We were due to go to Pioneer tomorrow... and a Leaver’s `Assembly is not possible...nor a disco....) but we do hope to do something on the last day....
We would like every Y4 who can make it to be there - we will be insisting on social distancing, and no one with symptoms can come... but please try and make it...
We will also have a day earlier in the week when those children not in bubbles can come and sign T-shirts (Yes, there will be Leaver’s T-shirts) so please keep looking back here for details!
Friday 25th June
Day 15 of school reopening!
Our Year 4 returnees have done their first week and the feedback to us is that they are happy to be back. We are finalising arrangements for some sort of leaving event for them which hopefully ALL Year 4s can come to.
Phase 3 is being planned, hopefully to start soon, Year 3 will fit into the morning bubbles and will come into school like Year 4 have done. Year 2 will be in afternoon bubbles and come in via the field side like Year 1. If you haven’t seen the video yet - Year 2 just need the main one here, but Year 3 need the extra KS2 one here.
FSM Vouchers - the next procession run has been done today for the next two weeks - people should get the email Monday all being well...
Wednesday 24th June
Day 13 of school reopening phase
Phase 3 Planning
After our super team of cleaners did a dry run of preparing all classrooms between the sessions, we can begin to plan in detail whether we can accommodate Years 2 and 3 into their bubble sessions in the near future...
So if your child is in Year 2 or 3, please could you fill in the questionnaire here so we can plan numbers in bubbles.
The main barrier to whether we can offer provision for all year groups is staffing, and specifically staffing of the key worker group. So we are going to ask that if arrangements can be made for children to attend their part time year group bubbles for a few weeks, then please can we ask that they do... If that isn’t possible, then that might affect whether we can have the final 2 years back with us... It really is going to be tight on numbers!!!
Friday 18th June
Day 10 of reopening phase
Another successful week of our bubble based work - the children all seem to be coping well with the new school ways and routines!
We welcome back our Year 4s on Monday afternoon. Many of the routines will be the same so make sure you've seen the main school video here and then watch the Year 4 (and maybe soon Year 3) entry and exit video here.
Have a good weekend! And we start all again on Monday!
Thursday 18th June
Day 9 of reopening Phase 1
Not real updates more than the information below - so why not have a look at the info from the previous few weeks to see if you’ve missed anything?
Wednesday 17th June
Day 8 of reopening phase
Key worker forms
With the end of term not far away, and things getting busier, the forms for all the weeks up to the end of term are now available. The plan is that they will close at 12.00 on the Thursday before the week of the form, and then parents will be notified (we are sorry for glitches this week - hopefully all sorted for tomorrow’s emails!)
So, click on the links below
wb 29th June here
wb 6th July here
wb 13th July here
And we are 99% sure that the school will not be open over the summer for any provision due to major heating work, so please make alternative arrangements.
Reopening - Phase 2
Year 4s bubbles are starting next week, and we are talking now about Year 2 and 3 too at some point in July. Please keep checking here as this is where information is posted. All children have been placed in bubbles for their possible returns, so if your child is in Years N, R, 1 or 4, you can change your mind and bring them in. But please check by phone or Batchleycorona email first for exact details.
Monday 15th June
Day 6 of school reopening
Phase 2 - Year 4
Last week’s phase 1 appears to have been successful with lots of smiles from children in Nursery, Reception and Year 1. Phase 2 is getting ready to go from next Monday with Year 4 joining them (Could parents in Year 4 please fill in the form here by Thursday so we can plan numbers) We will be ringing Y4 parents with their bubble colours and times on Friday.
Vouchers for the next two weeks should be going out today. We are still not sure how long the scheme will continue, but will let you know as soon as we do.
Friday 12th May
Day 5 of School reopening
Cash Refunds for Swimming/Clubs/Milk & Pioneer
As of Monday (15th June) and until Friday 19th June from 10.30am - 11.30am you will be able to collect any refunds you are owed for Milk, Swimming, Clubs and Pioneer Deposits. You will be or have already been sent a text if you have a refund owing to you. You are only able to collect your own refunds. If you are unable to do so and you would like someone else to collect it for you - we will require you to email firstname.lastname@example.org advising us who will be collecting the refund on your behalf.
The office (at the back entrance) will be manned for 1 hour a day all week which should give you ample time to pop down. Please remember to keep your safe distance if you have to queue.
Please also bare in mind that ONLY refunds paid to us in cash are being refunded. Any payments made to us via Parent Pay will be refunded via Parent Pay in the next week or two. You will be sent an email from Parent Pay when the funds are back in your account.
Thursday 11th June
Day 4 of the wider opening of school
Phase 2 of school reopening - Despite the media taking the announcement earlier in the week to mean schools weren’t back until September, the actual detail was that schools should try where possible. As we have said from the start of the planning for return, our plan was created to enable us to open to more children as soon as possible - which the part time sessions allow us to do.
Governors agreed today for us to move to Phase 2 of our return and have our Year 4s back in from 22nd June. There is a form here for Year 4 Parents only to fill in by early next week please. But please be aware, staffing the Year 4 bubbles will probably not include the normal Year 4 teachers, due to shielding requirements and in Ms Smit’s case - a broken shoulder (Get Well soon Ms Smit!)
That means the Year 4s can slot into the afternoon slot 12.30 - 3.00, when Reception are already in. There is a little difference as KS2 children will access school via the carpark side and onto the playground rather than the field side, but more details will come out next week.
Phase 3 is when we add Years 2 and 3 (3s in the morning and 2s in the afternoon), but that at the moment is providing quite a challenge as it will mean running 23 bubbles over the day, alongside the key worker provision, and clean the whole school in an hour at lunchtime. It’s theoretically possible, but staffing numbers could be a limiting factor... So let’s get Phase 2 in place and then finalise Phase 3.
Also, from the headlines yesterday about ‘Huge catchup plans over the summer’, it is highly unlikely that we will be offer any kind of school over the summer holidays. We are waiting for the final go-ahead from the contractors to have the heating work planned to happen since 2017. With replacement pumps and pipes being fitted across the school, and maybe some new windows around the playground, we will not have a safe space to host staff, let alone groups of children. And it would seem pointless to risk having to close for a month to have the work done as an emergency job at some point in the winter when hopefully things will be back to normal.
Tuesday 9th June
Day 2 of the return to school phase!
More children in today with Reception children joining in the afternoons with the Year 1s in the morning. Tomorrow we end the stagger of Phase 1 start with Nursery coming in. Hopefully there will be lots of smiling faces again tomorrow!
We are looking at Phase 2 plan in the next few days - while the Press are pushing that schools don’t have to plan to be back until September, at Batchley, our plan does allow for that for us to have more year groups starting their Bubbles. We will be discussing that plan with Governors on Thursday, and probably Phase 2 will be for Year 4s to come back - so watch this space!
Key worker group - still time to book for next week (Wb 15th June) here, and for those who want to get ahead, the form for the week after is here. We are going to group to 20, so please makes sure you book!
Monday 8th June
The start of the end of school closure...
Today is the first day of us beginning opening the school to more pupils. We had our first Year Group back today when our Year 1s came back at 9.00am into their new bubbles... They came out with smiles on their faces at 11.30 so all looks positive!
Don’t forget a plan means that we have places for all and every child has been allocated into a bubble for their return (whenever that is...). We add Reception tomorrow afternoon and then Nursery on Wednesday morning. This means that we will have our first changeover clean on Wednesday, so the cleaners are working hard to make sure the classes can be got ready and safe for the afternoon sessions...
I was asked several times today if I knew when the other Year groups are coming back - unfortunately the Government don’t include us in their thinking so we will probably find out the same time as you... But please be assured, our plan means that we should be able to move to phase 2 of all year groups quickly once that decision is made (as long as staff stay well).
Key worker group is getting busier so if you do need it, please make sure you fill the form for next week (here) in soon if you need to use it - we might get to a point when we have to say we’re full... The form for the following week (wb 22nd June) will be going live tomorrow...
Friday 5th June
Day 40 of school closure
Well the school is ready for more children to return (although a few extra bits of social distancing painting might have to wait ‘til a drier day!)...
So Monday is Year 1 in the morning, Tuesday is Year 1 in the morning and Reception in the afternoon and Wednesday onwards is Nursery and Year 1 in the morning and Reception in the afternoon. If you applied for a place, someone should be in contact with which bubble colour your child is in (YEAR 1 and RECEPTION were rung today, NURSERY will be rung on Monday).
An overview of the groups is attached as a pdf below.
It really is worth watching the video we’re made (link below) to see what the children need to expect... Thank you for the lovely feedback we’ve had! We’re glad you’ve found it useful!
Don’t forget to book key worker provision for the week beginning the 15th in the link below too.
Have a good weekend - next week it will be nice to have a few more children back with us - even in their bubbles!
Thursday 4th June
Day 39 of lock down
Back to school video -
A busy day filming an introduction to those year groups coming back. You now watch it on YouTube here. The nearly 9 min film has been fun to make as we have had to put many things ready to come back in place to film it. Please watch it and hopefully you will get a better idea of what to expect next week if your child is coming back. If you have more questions, please email the Batchleycorona email address above and we will do our best to answer them.
We will be contacting parents from Y1, Reception and Nursery tomorrow, if you have filled in the survey, to tell you what colour bubble your child is in and the slot to drop off and collect... But make sure you watch the video with your child too so they know what to expect...
A big thank you to everyone who helped with the film project - especially Mr Poultney for the drone footage, to the staff and our keyworker children who were our cast, and to the keyworker choir for the title song! It’s been a great team effort!
Key worker group for next week is now closed and we will contact parents tomorrow. The form for the week after (wb 15th June) is here. Remember we do have a new limit on spaces with more children in, so please make sure you book to confirm your place ASAP.
Tuesday 2nd June
Day 37 of school closure
Preparations are well underway to be able welcome back Nursery, Reception and Year 1.
Classrooms being made easy to clean, hand sanitiser dispensers going up and spots for social distancing - lots of spots!
We only have about half of the parents who have completed the form here to say whether their child is going to join one of our bubbles, so please spread the word and let's see if we can get a much clearer idea of how many we will be having - but please make sure they also read the details and plan below so they know what school will be like - it will be very different!
Key worker provision will also continue - as a separate bubble - in coming weeks. But please book on here to next week - we are limiting it to a maximum of 20 children on a first come, first served basis!
And we have working photocopiers at last! So new work packs for those children not in school are being printed today and we'll let you know distribution details asap.
Friday 29th May
We are GO for starting with our Nursery, Reception and Year 1s from 8th June. Obviously, we have a lot to sort to get the school ready (lots of lining up spots for example!) but we think we can get it all sorted as planned in the updates below! But keep your eyes on this page for all the latest news (and we will keep the reply Yes/No to coming back form here open til the 3rd June - please fill it in if you haven’t already so we can plan numbers...
FSM Vouchers - Another order - for next week wb 1st June and wb 8th June - is being attempted to be made today - So far I have been in an online hold for 6 hours in total! I will keep trying, but I would doubt they will be sent out before the middle of next week if the demand is so high that it’s causing this amount of delay.
Tuesday 26th May
Half term update
It may be half term, but we are still working hard to get things sorted. The school plan is nearly completed, but it still needs to be checked against new guidance that came out on Friday (from Worcestershire) and Sunday (from Government) before it goes off to be agreed by our local authority. So, we are still at the point of IF we open as we need the plan to be agreed by the LA and the Government have to agree that it is safe to open schools at all...
So in terms of what that means - We now will not open until the 8th June. This means our Governors will sign off the plan this Thursday, we then send it to Worcestershire who will probably return it on Monday (1st). We will then need a few days to put all the measures actually in school (lots of paint spots and tape!), prepare classrooms and train staff in new arrangements.
Therefore, IF we get the go, Year 1 will start their mornings on the 8th, Year 1 and Reception on the 9th and then Year 1, Reception and Nursery on the 10th. (More details of the plan are in posts below this one).
We will still be running key worker provision in the W/b 1st June - so remember to book here
But please can parents of ALL children in Year 1, Reception and Nursery complete the form here (if not done so already) by the end of this week.
And for all the other year groups - our plan means that we will be able to accommodate you as soon as the government allows us.
Friday 22nd May
Day 35 of School closure
Today is much shorter -
Phase 1 parents - Nursery, Reception and Year 1 - please can you fill out the survey here to state what your intention is when we can open for those year groups. Please read the information carefully (both on the survey and in the updates below) to help make what I know is a very tough decision.
Key Worker Provision for week beginning 1st June is here (and correct now...)
Officially half term starts today, but with all we need to do ready to hopefully open to more pupils early in June, please check back here regularly as there will continue to be updates with more information...
Thursday 21st May
Day 34 of school closure
Another long update!
Thank you to those who have sent questions and comments about the plan that filled the update yesterday. The questionnaire we would like you to complete to say fairly definite yes or no about coming back (for Nursery, Reception and Year 1 children) will be here tomorrow morning.
And please remember that this is still only a plan... We do NOT have a definite ‘go’ to open and there are still lots of bits that we need to decide and plan for. And that’s before we even get onto the arguments that are going on between the unions and Government and whether the five tests will be met... And whether the Government advice that we have used in the plan means that it is legally safe to open. I wish we all had more clarity and certainty from the people who make the decisions.
To be honest (and please, this is purely my personal opinion) using the analogy I used yesterday, we’ve put the shelf up on the wall, we need to tighten the screws up and sand down some rough edges, but now Stevie Wonder is coming to tell us that it’s level... Hopefully, being the genius he is, he will have a specially adapted spirit level for the blind, but in our analogy I’m not sure our supervisors are that organised!
Thank you to the people who spotted that the Government are making their final decision on 28th May, not 28th June as was on an early version of the update. However I’m not ruling out that I was correct and the 28th June will be date that we do get the go ahead to open.
But we will keep you up to date when we know anything for certain.
We do know that we will create a video guide so you can see what you will need to do and share it on here. We were wondering if we might have any parents and children who might be able to come and help be our ‘guinea pigs’ and be filmed coming into school, being in class, picking up etc. We probably only need 4 sets of parent and child (or maybe 2 children) and it would be one morning late next week (probably Thursday / Friday). Please email the Batchleycorona email above if you might be interested. And please don’t come without being confirmed - social distancing still applying!
Key Worker provision w/c 1st June
And as you will have seen, the key worker provision will continue come what may, so please book places here for the first week of June, even if your child is in the three years possibly coming back... We are going to have to limit the number of places to 20 as numbers increase - so make sure if you need it, book on soon before all the places go!
Wednesday 20th May
Day 33 of School Closure
The main focus today – and the reason for a long post – is to share our plan for when we are allowed to open. That way parents can make an informed decision about whether they feel it is safe to bring their children back.
The process to get to this stage has not been straightforward. I would liken it to trying to put up a shelf while standing on a football… The advice from Government and from our employers, Worcestershire CC has been coming drip by drip with different messages and guidance or none at all. The plan we put forward is one that we think will work for all Batchley children when they are allowed to come back – not just for the three year groups identified to start first by the Government.
The plan itself is below this post as a pdf so you can read it all for yourself. It has been agreed in principle by the leadership of the school (including Governors in a video conference yesterday) and staff had had the chance to clarify things.
I thought the easiest way to summarise it for you is a series of questions and answers…
What are the main points of the plan?
The plan is set up to eventually allow all children to be in school each day in small , but only on a part-time basis.
There will be two sessions each day around 9.00-11.30 and 12.30-3.00. Exact start times and end times will be arranged for each group to avoid crowding at the entrances.
We do not have the spaces or staff to run small groups full time every day, and lunchtime would be almost impossible to manage safely whilst maintaining the cleaning processes and group social distancing we need to put in place.
Nursery and Year 1 will come in the morning, Reception in the afternoon. (This will allow Year 3 to join coming in the morning and then 2 and 4 join the afternoon, as soon as the Government allow us to let them come)
Each child will be allocated to one of four groups in their Year group and have adults and space just for them. The Government advice is that by doing this, together with good handwashing, cleaning and isolating those people with symptoms, reduces the risk to an acceptable level. Once in that group, that’s where they have to stay and mix with just people in their bubble.
Children of Key Workers provision will continue as it’s own bubble (but we need to sort an upper limit as suspect more places will be needed over time).
What if I need full time for my children or the session time doesn’t work for us?
The only flexibility is if you are a key worker and we whether we then have space in the key worker group for everyone who needs it.
We do understand what we are setting up isn’t going to work for everyone. We are sorry that we can’t, but our goal is to be able to provide safe provision at school for all our Batchley community and that does mean part time for now.
As more social distancing measure are relaxed and we can go back to more class size groups, we can easily move back to that and go full time, but for now it’s small groups in Year groups at set times…
Will it be safe?
This is the key question. The Bubble idea is that social distancing doesn’t need to be rigorously enforced in the group as the group will be separate from everyone else (which is a good job as there is no way the youngest children will be able to keep 2m apart at all times!). We will try and keep the children as separate as possible, set things up to keep parents 2m apart when coming to and from school, and of course reinforce good hygiene and cleaning regimes in school. Staff will not mix with other staff either and stay within a bubble too.
Parents will need to help by putting children in new clean clothes every day and by not letting the children mix with others outside their household.
If school is to open safely then EVERYONE needs to do what is expected – as we are only as safe as the least safe person in the bubble.
When does it start?
Well, that is where this plan falls down as we don’t know yet– the Government have said their desire for June 1st, but have not given schools the definite go-ahead to open. That decision is said to be on 28th May… not a lot of time before the 1st…
And it is still IF we open. As a school we really want to, and that’s why this plan is ready to go and being shared. But it needs to be safe for staff (which is why the Unions are asking lots of questions) and Worcestershire need to agree as our employers, and ultimately the Government might not let us open yet.
If all goes to plan, I would think the best scenario would be Year 1 start 2nd June, then Reception 3rd June and then add Nursery on 4th June. And then hopefully Years 2, 3 and 4 maybe by 1st July…. Just don’t hold me to that! Things are changing by the minute – I’ve got the shelf, I’ve got the holes in the wall, just need to balance on the football to put it up… What can possibly go wrong!
But please don’t do any more than think at the moment – think whether you think the plan is safe and whether you can work with us to implement it. We will be sending out another questionnaire on Friday once you have had chance to think and ask for a definite Yes or No with names… While we will have places for everyone, know who we might expect will help with the detailed planning we will be doing ready to open.
If you do have any questions, please contact the Batchleycorona email address.
Friday 15th May
Day 30 of School Closure
Thanks to the over 180 of you who have completed the survey - it’s been really helpful. And a plan is starting to form - and from the start, we are looking at one that can a quickly include everyone when Years 2, 3 and 4 can start. We are planning to get that plan discussed and hopefully agreed by Governors on Tuesday to upload here on Wednesday, so as parents you can make the decision of what you are going to do... Watch this space!
Key worker provision - Getting busier by the week! Thanks to all the many staff who have been coming in to support the children. We are not going to open over Half term (we 25th May), so the questionnaire for the web 1st June, will go live on Tuesday, when we know what might be happening with the increasing numbers generally...
Timestable Rock Star World Record - please see below a poster for a World Record attempt for the number of correct answers in minute (All 12x12 questions!) They say that the record on the app is 150+ in a minute - which staff have real doubts being physically possible! - so they are asking for video uploads... details below. Have a go - we know we have some quick players here!
Thursday 14th May
Day 29 of School Closure
Thank you to all the parents who have already replied to the survey about when school reopens. (There is still time for people who still haven’t to do so here.)
The data already shows that about half of you are definite one way or the other. But that a lot of you are waiting to hear the plans before making a decision, and we get that! We are all dealing with this situation and are unsure what is safe and not safe and clearly that is our priority too.
I would love to say that there is clear guidance about exactly what schools should do, but there isn’t. We are asking for clarity of what is safe to do and what isn’t, from the Government and Local Authority, and are being told it’s coming soon... Once we have that, we can start finalising the risk assessment process to then form clear plans. Staff and Governors will be involved in turning those plans into procedures. Governors are meeting again next Tuesday to discuss what we have so far. Once we have something to share, we will put documents on here so you can make decisions about whether you feel it is safe for your child to return.
I would like to say at this point, that despite what some newpapers are saying, the staff here will do what we can to get Batchley open for all pupils as soon as we can and before the end of Term. That doesn’t mean we will definitely be able to, but that’s our goal. We know this new reality cannot be 100% safe at the moment, we just need to make sure it’s at least reasonable in terms of safety for everyone.
Key Worker provision - next week’s (wb 18/5) form is here to book places. We still haven’t been able to make a decision about opening it over half term (wb 25/5) as it will depend on whether we are opening to the other year groups the week after - we might need staff to be in to sort classrooms ready for very different ways of working. At the moment, our intention when we open is that key worker provision will continue to be one bubble - so children would just be in the key worker group, not with the rest of their year group. But still lots of plans to sort!
Wednesday 13th May
Day 28 of School Closure
Survey time - please read yesterday’s post, have a think and then fill in the questionnaire here... We will use the data to help us plan what we can do when we reopen, so please fill it in - one per child (even if the answer is the same). The questionnaire will close on Sunday to give time to think and fill it in. Please tell other parents about it too as we know some parents don’t check here regularly often!
Specific Year 4 update - Just to let you know, we know that Y4s are transitioning like the Y6s the Government want back in school, and we are working hard within the pyramid to try and sort something out. As soon as we have a firm plan, we’ll let you know.
However the bad news is that we have decided that the Pioneer trip can’t go ahead. Obviously we know, the children will be very disappointed, as the staff are (especially Mr Whiteley...) There is no way that we can run the trip safely and that’s our primary concern. Refunds of the total amount will be returned as quickly as we can, but it is slow process. Year 3s also get thinking - we need to book our place for Summer 2021 and so we will be asking shortly for interest from you for next year (when things will be back to normal PLEASE!)
Tuesday 12th May
Day 27 of school closure
I know that lots of you will be wanting information about what we are going to do from 1st June. We are still interpreting the guidance to schools (you can read the guidance to parents here) and trying to form a plan to see if we can deliver what the Government has asked us to do (for Nursery, Reception and Year 1) as well as thinking about what all our children need here at Batchley (like Y4 transition). This is giving us lots of questions and ‘what ifs’, but please be assured we are trying to make it both fair and adaptable to allow us to hopefully have all years back in some format by the summer IF we are allowed to. I think, if I am honest, it is still IF we open on 1st June... as all we have been asked to do is prepare a plan, not start making arrangements. We are co-ordinating with other schools locally to try and create a consistent approach if possible, which hopefully be as fair as it can be.
However, I suspect things will be very different for a while and when the doors do finally open it will not be the way we normally run. For example, I don’t think any year group will be here full time for a while, and there will be arrangements that will need to be followed very carefully (like routes into school and drop off / collections times) to keep everyone safe.
But, as parents, please can you give some thought about whether you intend to send your child back when we do finally open for that year group. One thing that is clear is that we will working in closed groups (or bubbles) of probably 10-15 children and an adult, in classroom where that number will not be able to stay 2m apart at all times.
This is clearly more risky than the advice for the general population, as we have been told we don’t have to socially distance the children (which would have been impossible anyway). We will share how we will try to manage that risk as best as we can, but I think, as parents, you need to decide how you feel about that.
We are going to create a questionnaire this week and then will ask you to fill it in to say what you think you will do. This will allow us to make more detailed plans on possible numbers that we might actually need to manage.
Monday 11th May
Day 26 of School Closure
Just in case you think we have a clear plan of what is happening next with school opening - we don’t! We’re hoping for some more guidance from the Goverment today - or tomorrow, or at least this week sometime (Who knows!), to able to plan what we can do. We are a little surprised that it is suggested that the year groups that will find social distancing the most `difficult are back first... but will do our best to work out a plan ready for when we need to come back... Watch this space!
Key Worker booking for last week - apologies that the places weren’t confirmed last week, but if you booked, places are there for you. Next week’s booking form (for wc 18 5 20) is here.
We have also got a link to lots of sporty ideas and things to do through our School Games Contact - the link is here...
Friday 8th May
Day 25 of school lockdown
75th Anniversary of VE Day
School is closed today for the Bank Holiday. In an ordinary world, we would have had a big picnic yesterday and celebrated the 75th Anniversary of VE Day, when World War 2 ended and the fighting stopped in Europe. We think about all those who died in the War and the sacrifice they gave. I am sure some of you will be having VE parties today and hope you are maintaining safe social distancing.
Thank you to everyone who came and collected packs in the last two days - we had lots collected yesterday and we will count up to find the percentage next week. It’s still possible that If you do have a genuine reason why one can’t be collected (eg self isolating reasons) please email the address above and we will post or deliver one to you sometime soon.
Thursday 7th May
Day 24 of lock down
Still time to collect packs - we will be here until 3.30pm today so please try and come and collect if you can...
Wednesday 6th May 2020
Day 23 of school closure
We’ve had 116 packs collected today, which is a good start to beating 75% collection. If you’ve not collected yet, and finding it difficult, why not get a group of friends to work together and come with a list of names to collect and then deliver them on the way home! The weather looks good again for tomorrow so get planning!
The next batch of FSM vouchers was ordered and authorised on Monday, for dispatch on Thursday to hopefully arrive early next week.
Key worker provision - don’t forget to book places by Thursday afternoon so we can sort staffing for next week.
Thinking about our return to school - We expect some kind of direction from the Government this weekend, but suspect it will be short on detail and plans left up to schools. Our thinking so far is that we would like all children to be in for some of every day while maintaining small groups for social distancing and giving time to clean the rooms between sessions (This is something we know another school in our pyramid is planning too). This will probably mean 3 year groups in the morning and 3 in the afternoon. We do know this will mean inconveniencing parents, especially if they have children in 2 year groups with different sessions, but it is going to be very difficult to maintain a safe environment anyway and therefore there are going have to be compromises made it we are to open. But we will share details as soon as we know more - we only know as much as you!
Tuesday 5th May
Day 22 of School Closure
Work packs are being printed as I type so the new packs will be available for collection 8.30am - 3.30pm on WEDNESDAY and THURSDAY this week (6th and 7th May). We had a great collection rate of over 75% last time, so let’s see if we can beat that amount this time...
The packs can be collected like last time from the car park side, but please help us social distance by waiting on the spots and using the one-way system set up... Hope we will see lots of you there - weather looks good again so use the excuse of the walk!
Monday 4th May
Day 21 of school closure
Happy Star Wars Day (May the 4th be with you!)
News about a change in September here. It’s good news that even in these challenging times, the future of leadership of Batchley First can be secured.
The challenge that is ordering vouchers begins again this week. Looking back at orders last week, we do have a few vouchers that haven’t been claimed. We know the system is as long and frustrating for parents as it is for us, but please, if you haven’t checked your email for one from edenred, then check inbox and junk...
Vouchers for wb 11th May until wb 1st June will be processed this week so should get to your emails by next week (hopefully!)
Key Worker provision is open again this week, although we will be closed on Friday for the VE Day Bank Holiday. The booking form for next week (wb 11/5/20) is here, and please can parents who need the provision next week please fill it in. It is easier to plan staffing and sort registers if the online form is filled in by Thursday afternoon.
Thursday 30th April
Day 19 of Lockdown
Another damp day - hope everyone is ok and keeping busy. The next learning packs are nearly ready to be copied, so looking like collection again next week - more details tomorrow.
We like to share ideas from other parents who have found fun things for children to do - so today, we have had sent in a link to a YouTube page showing how to draw things step-by-step. Good for children’s pencil control and fun too. The link is here.
Wednesday 29th April
Day 18 of School closure
No update yesterday - sorry, not sure what happened, but didn’t remember to post here like I usually do.
Easter Art - Well done to the winners of the Easter Art competition! Our six winners should have received their prize by email this morning.
Learning packs - We are preparing the next set of packs and will let you know the arrangements for collection again. It was great last time with 75% plus being collected so we look forward to seeing you all again some point next week. If they have finished the ones from last week - the BBC bitesize on the web and Red Button on the TV are good, as well as the Oak Learning (link below).
Seeing as you are here - why not have a look at class pages and science pages? More content has definitely gone up for Year 4 and on the science page, so have a look for ideas of things you can do at home.
Key worker provision - just a reminder for parents using the provision in school need to book for next week here. We only have 2 booked on so far, so make sure you book on before Thursday evening.
Time Tables Rock Stars Challenge - The Staff haven’t been beaten in a few challenges, although a few children have worked hard to make it close! In theory, the children should outnumber and overwhelm the staff so let’s see what happens when a new challenge starts tomorrow at 9am - No excuses!!
Monday 27th April
Day 16 of school closure
Another week starts in lockdown mode. We know that this life isn’t normal and is tough on lots of us. Worcestershire are offering some support through a website here, so have a look to see what they might be able to do...
FSM Vouchers - despite being ordered 16th April, the main block of vouchers weren’t delivered until this weekend. Announcement today is that both Aldi and Asda have joined the scheme so you should be able to get vouchers to use there now.. There were a few late applications that were processed last week, so I would expect delivery of those next weekend.
Key worker booking for next week is below - please book before Thursday afternoon when we plan staffing for the week after.
Friday 24th April
Day 15 of school closure
The end of another week! Hope everyone is ok and safe. We have been asked by a few people if we know when we are going to reopen yet, and all I can say is we know as much as you! We haven’t had any secret plans shared or been asked to consider it. We, of course, want to be back to normal as school seems very strange without everyone, but we need to think about keeping everyone safe. My feeling is that we will be open in some form in June and July, but suspect it won’t be everyone at the same time. I know how difficult it will be for parents, but I feel schools will be asking for a year group or two at a time on a rota over the week, and then maybe for half days (as lunch time will be the time where social distancing will be the hardest). So I would start thinking about how that might work for your family situation to be ready - I really hope we get more notice to open than the 46 hours notice we got to closer, but who knows!
Key worker provision booking form for w/c 4th May is here. We are booking about a week in advance to ensure we can staff the number of places required.
Thank you to one of our Mums who emailed to let us know that if you are having problems with logging on to the RMunify site the children can use for their home learning, it might be caused by your web browser not being up to date. So please make sure that you always do the updates for the apps on your devises (usually on the App Store app there’s a list of updates needed) because security settings on some websites we use don’t like out of date browsers as they aren’t as secure as the most recent updates.
FSM Voucher update - If you applied before 16th April (and didn’t get an email to say application not eligible) and / or had a voucher email over Easter, another order was processed last Friday for one voucher to cover the next three weeks. (UPDATE 3.45pm - ONE OF OUR PARENT GOVERNORS HAS LET ME KNOW THAT THAT ORDER HASN’T BEEN DELIVERED YET! NOT SURE WHY AS IT WAS PENDING ON MONDAY! - THEY ARE ON THEIR WAY!) If you applied since then, and haven’t had an email to say application not eligible, then we are trying to order that small number at the moment, which is proving a challenge.
Please can people only apply once - we have had a number of people who keep applying when they have been emailed to say that they aren’t eligible. If you think you are eligible, reply to the email or email the email address above and we can send you the link to apply to Worcestershire council. But if your child’s name is not on the list, or the parent’s name isn’t the one on the list, then we can’t authorise the vouchers for you.
Thursday 23rd April
Day 14 of school closure
Happy St George’s Day!
Today is the feast day for the Patron Saint of England, St George.
As someone with Welsh family who celebrate St David’s Day and having been involved myself in enjoying St Patricks Day, it’s a shame that St George’s Day isn’t celebrated with more enthusiasm. Because, as someone who knows the pride of playing wearing the England Rose on a rugby shirt (even if it wasn’t a capped match, and it was for England Students), I know what a positive force pride in a nation can be. During these times, I feel proud that the people of our country, from whatever background they are from, have come together to stand up bravely as key workers or stay home, sacrificing their freedom to protect everyone else. In this battle against the unseen Dragon of Corona, we all can play our part, and looking round, there is a lot to feel proud about what is being done by the people who live in this country. Well done one and all! And Happy St George’s Day!
Any keyworker places need confirming for next week (Link) - and the link for for the following week will here tomorrow.
Wednesday 22nd April
Day 13 of school closure
Thank you to everyone who came and collect the packs over the last two days - we had over 75% of the packs collected. And everyone stayed safe and socially distanced themselves - I think the nice weather helped! It was nice to see everyone in person too as it has been a while now...
We have had some additions to the Worcestershire FSM list this week, so there will be another small order of vouchers for those going in Thursday. So there is still 24 hours to apply if you are eligible. Link is in multiple places below!
Tuesday 21st April
Day 12 of School Lockdown
Apologies for the lack of update yesterday - I was in school and forgot!
Thank you to everyone who came and collected packs yesterday - we had about 150 collected yesterday and hopefully as many today. If you do have a genuine reason why one can’t be collected (eg self isolating reasons) please email the address above and we will plan to post one to you sometime soon.
We have done the packs to help at home, and are grateful for those who are working with them with their child. But we know how difficult life is for some people at the moment, so please don’t worry, just do what you can.
The BBC have started some good lessons on the Red Button on the TV every morning that I thought was quite good this morning, covering lots of what the children will have done. There is also some online lessons here from a Government promoted organisation.
Teachers are in school this week ringing classes to say Hi, so if the phone rings, it might be someone from school. We miss all the children and the school isn’t the same place it is normally...
FSM voucher Order Number 2 was processed yesterday so hopefully parents will start getting them soon. It is not too late to apply and I will be processing any eligible applications who have been recently added to the WCC list this Thursday.
Thursday 16th April
Easter Update Number 4
As I type this the work packs for each child are being copied ready for collection on Monday or Tuesday next week. More details and a request on this form.
The asbestos work is nearly completed so Key Worker provision for next week is in place and those who have applied should have had an email to confirm. Booking form for the w/b 27th April is here.
FSM Voucher for the holiday weeks should be arriving today. The Government have asked, due to the demand on the service (you would think that they would know the number of schools and the number of FSM children and set up a system to cope wouldn't you...), to order vouchers for 4 week period. So tomorrow we will try and process another order for the four weeks from next Monday. If you have applied already, you do NOT need to apply again, but if you have not applied yet, you need to do so here asap.
Tuesday 14th April
Easter Update Number 3
Still time to send Easter art photos to the Batchleycorona email address... been lovely to see the children’s designs that have been sent in so far...
FSM Vouchers - To our knowledge, the vouchers still haven’t been emailed out yet, despite being ordered last Wednesday. There was a final stage of agreeing to T&Cs that just kept saying there was an error. When we queried that we were told just to keep trying, which we did hourly from 7am - 10pm from Thursday to Saturday. And then on Saturday we were told that they had issues coping with the demand and were updating their system and to try again Tuesday morning. We were successful this morning so hopefully the vouchers will be dispatched soon. And we will be repeating the process of ordering vouchers for next week on Thursday, so if anyone who is eligible for FSM hasn’t yet filled in the form (If you have already and haven’t had an email to say sorry, you’re not eligible, you don’t need to fill the form in again)
Let's all Get Singing!
I think we need to sing while we are keeping safe! Here are some links to sing along to on the internet! Feel free to send in videos to the Batchley Corona address of you singing these songs.
Look at us in January!
Shiny Happy people!
Just believe in me
Don’t look back in anger:
Best of the West
Thursday 9th April
Easter Update No2
We are starting to get entries for the Easter Art competition to the Batchleycorona email address. This email will continue to be checked regularly, but please be patient over the weekend - we might need a bit of a break over the next few days...
Voucher applications have been processed and if the child was on the latest WCC list, then an order has been made and if they weren’t, then an email was sent to tell you.
We have requested that the vouchers are sent today (Thursday) but have heard that the system is struggling with the amount of orders and so it is taking longer than normal. Such is life at the moment I suppose! We can check the status of the order and it says ‘Pending’. We will post again when they are dispatched so you can check (vouchers might come to the Junk folder maybe!)
Tuesday 7th April
FSM Voucher update
The Government, in it’s infinite wisdom, has decided to change it’s advice about FSM vouchers at the start of a holiday. We have been told today we can issue vouchers to families eligible for FSM, who complete our form (and who are on the latest list from Worcestershire) over the Easter Holidays.
So, if you are eligible, haven’t completed the form and would like the vouchers, you have until 12.00noon tomorrow (8th April) to complete it. We do have over 100 eligible and less than 50 applied, so please share the information...
Friday 3rd April
Day 10 of school closure...
Today is the 10th day of our school closure, and our official end of term. It should have been our amazing Easter Egg bonnet parade and the weather would have been perfect! I was really looking forward to seeing all the amazing hats and had even volunteered to judge this year, in what would have been my last parade at BFS. It just shows the sacrifice that people are making at this difficult time.
Following the results of the school learning questionnaire, School work after half term will be another paper pack - details coming the week after the Easter Weekend, so please keep checking back here...
We are keeping the Key worker provision form open for the next 12 days as we know some people’s shifts aren’t clear yet. If you have already applied for the week beginning 20th April, your child has a place.
Also, FSM voucher application will stay live until 16th April, when we will process the first vouchers to be delivered by email on 20th April.
This is the last daily update until 20th April, but there will be some updates over the holiday so keep checking back!
This Easter holiday is going be different to any break we have had before, please remember we are dealing with a virus that can kill, and so, while it might be nice to go out and imagine that you can escape it, Covid 19 is something we just can’t mess with. Please stay safe - one and all!
Thursday 2nd April
Day 9 of school closure
Seems strange not being in, but we do technically break up tomorrow. School will have to be closed completely over Easter as it was confirmed yesterday that we having some essential work down to remove some asbestos in a part of school few people access, but clearly we don’t want anyone in the building in case! But the email will still be monitored (but maybe not as frequently) so please contact us if necessary and we will try and help.
Please, if you haven’t already, please can you complete the questionnaire on our next phase of home learning TODAY so we can plan. We have had nearly 40 replies (Thank you!) but would really like to have a bigger sample to make sure we are doing the right thing for most families at this challenging time.
Wednesday 1st April
Day 8 of school closure
Please, after reading this, please have a look at the class pages and the science section of the website for new ideas and information.
Please also fill in the home learning questionnaire here to help us plan the next phase of school work. We have had 20 in so far, but could do with 200 replies to get a fair picture - please complete today if possible...
We are still booking places for key worker provision after Easter here - please make sure you book by Thursday.
School Meals - the Government have managed to get the scheme sorted, so Friday will be the last day of packed lunches. We had hoped to offer a free lunch to every child in the school, but we do know that most people would prefer the vouchers. So...
The voucher scheme will run here from 20th April, and, because of the numbers eligible and to ensure that we can continue with the scheme as the crisis gets worse, will be an online application and email delivery only. There will be no alternative offered.
Applications need to be in by 16th April at 12.00noon for the first week of vouchers. Once set up, the vouchers will be processed weekly on a Thursday so parents will get an email the following Monday.
Please read the application form carefully.
Tuesday 31st March
Day 7 of School Closure
Home learning questionnaire - Seeing as this school closure lockdown isn’t stopping any time soon, we are looking at how we can develop learning in coming months. Please can everyone please complete the questionnaire here by the end of the week please.
Government have announced the National Vouchers we have been waiting for - information link here. - We will hopefully get details later today, but a few things are clear. It is what we wanted in that is is for multiple supermarkets and can be posted or electronic.
But the scheme will only be for children who are entitled with FSM status (and we will only be able to offer this to that group) when we have been offering a packed lunch to everyone.
We will look at the details as soon as we get them (the Government have a history of saying something and then not giving the detail for days) and will look to start the scheme for the w/b 20th April. It will mean our packed lunch service will have to stop after Easter too.
Please check back over the last few days update - especially if you need key worker provision from 20th April.
Monday 30th March
Day 6 of School Closure
The second week of school closure starts....
Well done to the staff who beat the children in the TTRS battle last week! Some very committed players on both sides, all of whom are improving their tables by playing! The rematch is live today until 10am Tuesday morning. Seeing as there are a lot more children than staff - it should be an easy win for them, but we will drop our best!
The booking form for our key worker provision for the week beginning 20th April is here. It will be open from today until Thursday 12.00noon. Please make sure that you book places by then as we will not accept any after extra after that time. Could we also ask that it you have booked and then you don’t need the childcare, please email the Batchleycorona email address, so we can plan staffing. We have had staff making unnecessary journeys because booked places haven’t been taken.
It was nice to catch up with some children and parents today during the pack lunch pick up. But again, we did have a number who didn’t collect today. Some people have asked about vouchers, and we too would prefer this system. We have heard that the Government intend to let us know this week about a National plan and we will roll those out as soon as we have any information.
Friday 27th March
Day 5 of School Shutdown
First week nearly done! Firstly a big Thank You to all the staff who have been in school covering the small group of children who need to be in school - great work all!
We continue next week with those children who are booked on, either from the questionnaire last week or the extra one this week.
Packed Lunch service has begun and will continue next week. Please, if you have ordered one, please come and collect it. We have staff from school in to distribute it, and the caterers have staff in to make then lunches - all who I am sure would rather be safe isolating at home. If you don’t need it, please email to cancel and we’ll take that off the order. (But you can still order a lunch from Monday on the link in updates below.
Mrs Wykes has been busy putting some excellent advice for those of our community with SEND. Please click here to read it.
And some of you are aware that there is a Staff vs Children Timetable Rockstar Challenge going on, which finishes today at 3pm. And staff are winning!!
There is no truth in the rumour that one of the classes were removed from TTRS to increase the staff’s chances.. We don’t know why Turtles class disappeared from the system this week - Mrs Smit has created them all again from scratch yesterday and if any of them want their log ons before the packs come out again after Easter, please email our Batchleycorona address and we will send them to you.
Thursday 26th March
Day 4 of School Closure
It’s such a shame that we can’t get out to enjoy this nice sunshine! Please remember the Government advice to only go out for one of the four essential reasons...
We have heard of a scam asking people to give bank details for FSM vouchers - there is no scheme at the moment, we are waiting for Government advice (!), and as soon as we know, we will let you know. But that will not involve bank details... Stay safe online too!
Please read down the chain below to keep up to date - next week’s key worker late application closes at noon, as does packed lunch ordering for Friday - links below...
Please remember that the email address above is available for you to communicate with us - We know it’s a difficult time for everyone, and if you need help or advice, we might know someone who can help.
Libraries have created an app www.borrowbox.com/ to add to children’s or adult’s book availability at home.
OUR VISION. Our vision has always been to create a digital experience for libraries and library members that rivals consumer brands. To create a user experience that is world class – designed to be simple and made to inspire.
Wednesday 25th March
Day 3 of Shutdown.
First day of Packed lunch service today - please can everyone who has ordered comes to collect them during their time slot, keep well away from other people, and quickly disperse. We have a list of what you ordered *in case you have forgotten!) and have only got the amount ordered.
People can still order a packed lunch for tomorrow onwards (orders close at 12noon for Thursday) here.
Thank you for the emails we have had about what’s happening with you. Some lovely things going on! We really are in strange times and are all learning about how to deal with this new situation. Any good tips or ideas - please tell us so we can share them.
The key worker provision link for next week is in Monday’s update below - we will be contacting those who applied later tomorrow to confirm details.
Tuesday 24th March
Day 2 of School Closure
Hope everyone had a safe day 1 of the closure. As predicted, the internet took a battering yesterday, making
some websites crash or be very slow. Hope it will settle down as people get used to this new way of life. But there is plenty of ideas in the packs we have provided if Minecraft is down!
If you would like to order a packed lunch from tomorrow, please click the link in yesterday’s update below. Orders for Wednesday close at 12noon, and the same time every day for the following day. We still think we can do this as it’s food, but please stick to the pick up time you choose and please keep socially distancing from others.
We have opened the Key Worker Provision for next week again til Thursday - again the link is in Yesterday’s update below.
We have updated some of the class pages with ideas... keep looking back.
And don’t forget our single communication email address for any queries or clarifications or just to say hello! We are trying to keep our Batchley First community so please use it for some two way communication!
Monday 23rd March Update
First Day of School Closure.
We are going to offer all our children a packed lunch from Wednesday this week. Please click this link to order them. Orders will close the day before, so please make sure you order in time.
You can order for all the days you would like them in advance, and it would help us if you do.
There is talk of the Government arranging a voucher scheme for children entitled to Free School Meal and as soon as we have details we will let you know.
Key Worker Provision
Please remember this provision is only as a last resort - the safest place for your child at the moment is in your home.
We will start booking places for after Easter (w/c 20th April) next week, with the form going live here from Monday 30th March until 12noon on 2nd April.
We have had a number of requests about additional places. We therefore want to see what we can do, so please fill in the form to request places for next week. There is no guarantee as places have already been allocated. The form will be closed at noon on Thursday and we will let people know on Thursday afternoon about next week.
If you have already had a place allocated for next week, you do not need to complete a form.