The Parish Council has acknowledged the various contributions that village enterprises have made to the wellbeing of Fressingfielders. The work and commitment of the school has also been impressive and significant in helping families as part of the community effort. As a most active part of the village community, the primary school has been quietly but extensive engaged in the local fight against Covid-19. From the point of lockdown, staff including catering and cleaning staff, have worked beyond the daily tasks, mindful of meeting the needs of pupils and their families in an innovative variety of ways.
Initially and immediately, teachers were delivering hampers and vouchers to families entitled to free school meals. Some parts of the country did not get this level of early support.
Teachers were, and still are, in daily contact with parents to support home learning. All teachers were even available during the Easter and half term holidays. Staff have also been printing off and delivering work to those children who could not access the work online or did not have a printer. At one point during the lockdown 14 work packs were being printed and delivered each Monday. Additionally, some very vulnerable children have received online one to one teaching via Zoom each week. All pupils learning at home, have had continuous ‘homework folders’ made available to them. Parents have made good use of these, individually prepared by teachers after the school day.
To supplement the home learning some staff of the younger children set up their own YouTube channel (see below) to help keep the link between school and home.
Staff supported key worker provision along with other schools in the local Multi Academy Trust using Laxfield Primary School as a base. To support some of Fressingfield’s most vulnerable children, staff attended the provision almost every day between 20th March and 22nd May, including during the Easter and bank holidays. This provision was staffed, along with other local colleagues, by Fressingfield teachers and support workers.
Safeguarding checks have been conducted by staff on a weekly basis for some of our most vulnerable children, either by phone or home visits, to make sure they are safe.
Staff have also stepped up and taken on extra responsibilities for looking after children when senior leaders have been ill with possible Covid-19 symptoms, ensuring no child was forgotten. As the schools reopened for Y6, Y1, YR and key worker and vulnerable children, wide ranging physical adaptations to the school were carried out by staff, to enable social distancing of 2m and ‘bubble’ management.
Parents have been very appreciative of the schools efforts and have emailed their thanks, noting the safe reopening of school for identified groups of children, high levels of organisation and communication, happy children and high turnout of pupils returning when they could.
The school is currently catering for 46 children and another 10 are expected to restart soon. 26 of the children have parents who are key workers and rely on the school being open so that they fulfil their essential roles in society.
The parents have demonstrated their confidence in the school, by committing (75%) for the return to school of their children, before the end of term. This may well be under the changing guidance for 1m plus social distancing. Staff have been most innovative in maximising safety as the expectations have changed.
It is expected that all children will get the chance to return to school in some part this term, a tremendous effort on the part of all staff at the school. As things stand, the school is confident that a safe full return for everyone is possible in September.
This quiet commitment to the children and families of Fressingfield is acknowledged and acclaimed by the village represented by the Parish Council. Thank you.