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Priory Woods School & Arts College

Priory Woods School & Arts College A Special Place to Learn

New School Year

Dear Families,

Here we are, approaching the start of a new school year. I am sure there will be mixed emotions, with many desperate for their children to come back but at the same time, having concerns about what school will be like .

As you know, safety is our number one priority and this is safety for our pupils, our staff and colleagues from other services who support our pupils in school and for our families.

There has been lots of work going on over the holiday period to put measures in place to make sure we are as Covid secure as we can be. We have worked with Transport and Catering departments to ensure we take every measure we can to keep your children safe and well looked after. We have worked with the Local Authority to compile a comprehensive risk assessment which I will make available on the website when we return.

All pupils will be in their 'bubbles' and will remain with this group all day. This is a change to our usual way of working where we mix groups up for different sessions. Teachers and Teaching Assistants have been planning and adapting what they will do to ensure we still meet the needs of each pupil.

I believe that you have had information from Transport regarding the arrangements to get your child to and from school. We are making arrangements to ensure this runs smoothly here, with pupils remaining on their vehicle until they are collected by staff and taken to a specified door. This will probably take longer than usual but will reduce the mixing of children from different bubbles once they are in school. We will do the reverse at the end of the day.

For those families who choose to bring their child to school themselves, we are asking that you do not come before 9.20am so that we can have all of the buses out of your way. You will then be able to park in front of school. If you stand by your vehicle, school staff will come and collect your son or daughter from you. Please do not congregate with other families and please wear a face covering to hand your child over to a member of staff. At the end of the day, please do not come before 3.15pm, again, waiting until all the school transport has left before you park up. If you stand by your vehicle, we will bring your child to you. We will all be learning which vehicle is parked where, and which children are on them so I imagine this will be a slow process to begin with.  If you are dropping off or collecting your child, please bear with us. 

If your child is in Priory 16, please be aware of buses dropping other pupils off and wait until it is clear before you approach the path and door. At the end of the day, at 3.15 please wait at the path at the front of the building. Please wear a face covering in the morning and the afternoon.

Some pupils in Lower School will eat their lunch in the classroom and some will continue to eat in the dining hall. This will support us with keeping social distance not only for the children, but also for staff who will be supporting them. Upper School and those P16 students in the main building will eat in the dining hall, but dinner times will be staggered with only two groups in at a time and time allowed for cleaning in between each sitting. 

Post 16 dinners in Priory 16 will be cooked by our lovely Maureen and served over in their building, again in such a way as social distancing can be maintained. 

We know our curriculum is likely to look a bit different. What we do will be guided by what we assess our pupils to need. It has been such a long time since we were all together so we need to see where everyone is both academically and emotionally so we can support appropriately. We also have many pupils who are new to us so again we need to focus on getting to know them, which we are really looking forward to doing. We do want to get back to the exciting and vibrant curriculum that we all enjoy, but we will take it at the right speed for the children.

I am sure many may still be anxious and if you feel you would like some more details, we will do our best to get back to you as soon as possible if you email or phone when we return next week.

Staff are in for PD days on Tuesday and Wednesday and pupils return on Thursday 3rd September.

We really look forward to seeing them all.


Kind regards