Dear Marlborough families,

It is now almost twelve months since our world turned on its axis. This time last year, I couldn’t conceive that school would be closed to most pupils past the Easter holiday, never mind that we would still be in this position a year later.

I am pleased that we will be able to welcome Foundation Phase pupils back to school later this month. I really hope that it won’t be too much longer before we safely welcome Key Stage 2 children back too.

With half term approaching, I would like to thank you for your tireless support, patience and kindness. I really appreciate how difficult this half term has been for many you. I hope that you all manage to get some time away from the computer screens and enjoy time together as families.

Foundation Phase Return to school

The Minister for Education announced on 5th February that from Monday 22nd February pupils aged
3-7 would return to face to face schooling. Schools would need to ensure that before the end of the
26th February all pupils aged 3-7 would be attending school full time. This followed the publication of
the latest scientific evidence published in the report technical-advisory-group considerations.

However, at the time of writing, we still have not received updated operational guidance from the Welsh Government, which is hindering our ability to plan effectively for the pupils’ safe return and update our Risk Assessment.

In the absence of the guidance, we have formulated a plan for Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 for the first week back, as families and staff need to be able to make the necessary arrangements.

Foundation Phase Restart Plan Week beginning 22/02/21
Monday 22nd INSET Day – staff training
Tuesday 23rd Preparation – recommission Hub provision back to Foundation Phase classrooms.
Wednesday 24th 15 pupils per Foundation Phase class
Thursday 25th 15 pupils per Foundation Phase class
Friday 26th all Foundation Phase pupils return

Class staff will be in touch to let you know if your child will be in school on either Wednesday 24th or Thursday 25th. These two days with half the class present will be used to gently reintroduce the children back into their school routine. All Foundation Phase pupils will attend daily from Friday 26th February onwards.

It is advisable that where possible pupils do not mix across bubbles and attend only one setting rather
than several. This is particularly applicable to our Nursery pupils who may currently be attending private nursery. Where this is the case, parents will need to decide which provision they intend to send their child to after half term. Please could you inform Mrs Norton and Mrs Lloyd via SeeSaw messaging of your decision to send your child back to Marlborough Nursery. Mrs Lloyd will be in contact with further details.

Foundation Phase pupils will be kept in small bubbles,  I.E. class bubble. However, there is only one toilet block shared by all Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 classes. Where possible, we try to stagger classes using the toilet facilities, but you will appreciate that this is not always possible. The toilet block is cleaned three times a day. Wherever possible, we try to minimise the number of staff working with each bubble.

The Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 pupils will also continue to share the play ground at the same time. With pupils from the KS2 Hubs also attending school and using the playground we have no scope nor flexibility to give Foundation Phase pupils separate play times.

There will be no in-school catering provision for the return of pupils. All pupils will be expected to bring a packed lunch.

The school day will start at 8:50 a.m. and finish at 3:20 p.m. We will continue with the same arrangements as before Christmas, I.E. pupils will be met at the playground door by class staff and go straight into the building, rather than lining up on the playground. Parents will also need to continue to follow appropriate measures when dropping children off in school such as the use of face coverings, adhering to social distancing measures and exiting the school site as quickly as possible following the one-way-system. Please ensure that your children do not play on the outdoor equipment at the start and end of the school day.

In light of the new variant the existing control measures which have become part of our everyday school and that children are familiar with, will remain key.

Outside of school it is vitally important that all staff, children and their families continue to stay at home
as much as possible and limit their contact with others and ensure that national prevention measures
are followed.

The intention is to proceed cautiously to ensure rates of COVID-19 do not start growing exponentially again. Unfortunately, even with limited numbers in the Critical Care Worker / Vulnerable Learner Hubs, we have recently had a positive pupil case within one of our hub groups which resulted in staff and pupils needing to self-isolate for two weeks.

Key Stage 2 Hub

The Key Stage 2 Hub provision for children of Critical Care Workers and Vulnerable pupils will resume on Tuesday 23rd February after the half term break.  It is critical that places are only taken up when all other avenues of safe care have been exhausted. If there is a parent who is able to work from home, or furloughed or unemployed, then the expectation is that the child should remain at home.

We have set a ceiling of capacity in the hubs based on staffing availability as well as ensuring the provision of a consistent blended learning offer for all pupils is not compromised. We closely monitor the uptake of places on a weekly basis. If there is any capacity we release these spare places to children on the waiting list each Friday.

Key Stage 2 Blended Learning

Key Stage 2 pupils will continue to remain at home after the half term break. There is comprehensive guidance on the Blended Learning page of this website.

Specialist Resource Base

The Specialist Resource Base remains open to all pupils, as all pupils are in the Vulnerable Learner category. The majority of pupils have been attending daily since January and we would strongly encourage all pupils to return after half term. Cardiff LA continues to provide transport for those pupils eligible.

Pupils Eligible for Free School Meals

All pupils eligible for Free School Meals will continue to receive a weekly supermarket voucher.

Useful Websites to support Blended Learning

The team has compiled a comprehensive list of websites which complement Blended Learning for the pupils. These can be found on the Blended Learning page of this website (see link above).

 and in other news … Fit February

This month’s well being theme at Marlborough is ‘Fit February’. As a staff we have agreed that ownership of our own health and well being is more important now than ever before!
The whole Marlborough Team is making every effort to look after themselves in order to be in the best shape to look after our pupils, our community and our own families too.
The whole Marlborough Team are all taking part! We would love our Marlborough families, our wonderful PTA and our Governors to join in too!
Whether it’s daily exercise, walking the dog, gardening, yoga, running, mindfulness or a cycle ride…….let’s all get out there and get active! As the mornings get brighter and the evenings get lighter it is a great time get outdoors, appreciate the beauty around us and boost our fitness and well being.
Post your pictures on twitter using @MPSWellbeing to share all your ‘Fit February’ activities.
Good luck everyone … let’s get moving!