Firstly, a belated sincere Happy New Year, and hoping for more peaceful and settled times ahead in 2021, and the excitement of very soon moving into our amazing new school building.
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday evening that the Country will return into lockdown, schools have received a barrage of changing information from the Government.
Harry Watts Academy has followed the given guidance and remains open for all pupils, with the staff committed to providing enriching experiences, even with some further added restrictions to ensure the safety of everyone. At a time, when a high number of schools have dramatically reduced the numbers of pupils on site, we have now increased in size, having welcomed a further 16 fantastic students and 6 staff to join us from Monday. Clearly, while this is a further exciting moment in the development of Harry Watts Academy, it means that we have had to even further address social distancing and reduction of movement throughout the building.
A measure we have taken is to temporarily stop teacher/staff planning & preparation time, in order to reduce the amount of additional staff going into the agreed classroom bubbles.
In order to provide this essential time for staff, who now also have to prepare all remote learning options for any pupils not attending on site, we will be introducing a temporary 4.5 day working week for pupil’s, commencing on Wednesday 13th January, and continuing each Wednesday until further notice and updated Government Guidance. This is in line with many other specialist schools in the locality and will aim to reduce the amount of contacts during the week and ensure increased safety for everyone.
The existing transport providers will pick up the children at 12.30pm, following the completion of lunchtime. All staff will remain on site to work, so can be contacted if required.
I hope that you can see the necessity for this decision, in the context of our rising numbers of pupils/staff and to maintain safety at all times. It is hoped that this action will mean Harry Watts Academy can successfully remain open for all pupils throughout this period of ongoing and unprecedented uncertainty, and I apologise if this will cause any unnecessary disruption for you and your families.
We have so much to look forward to in the very near future, and your continued support and involvement is so valuable and appreciated by everyone connected to Harry Watts Academy.
I sincerely thank you for your appreciation of this initiative, which I hope will not be required for too long ahead.