Challenge presents opportunity here at Brightwell School and there’s no doubt that this has been an incredibly challenging time for everyone. Our dedicated and community-serving staff team have ensured that our school has always been open, and it has been a privilege to provide what school and the wider community has needed throughout this time.
Having already welcomed back our Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 in line with the government requirement, we were determined that a later announcement stating that the remaining year groups would not return to school before the summer would not divide our community. So we invited all children in every year group back to school.
We have been able to offer every child a return to school, in every year group, since early June. With 85% to 100% of children in all classes returning, staggered starts, handwashing and cleaning routines and zoned playground areas are now embedded. The ongoing changing advice on social distancing means we look forward to bringing our whole school community back together again in September.
In addition to this we have continued to provide childcare for the children of key workers and vulnerable children. This is regularly at capacity and we have offered an 8am-5pm day of care, including a school lunch. Having provided this throughout the Easter holidays, this support is not required by our families throughout the summer holiday and we are incredibly grateful for this opportunity to give staff a chance to rest and recharge ahead of the challenges and opportunities the new academic year presents.
Within the wider community, the Fairthorne Trust has provided a further opportunity to support the well-being and mental health of our children by providing a donation that has seen each child receive a game, puzzle or activity to support their well-being and mental health. We were delighted to recently receive a card of thanks for our cards and flowers from the wonderful team and residents at Sotwell Hill House, who have been in our thoughts throughout, and we enjoyed creating our very own scarecrow for the village competition having enjoyed the VE Day anniversary events so much.
We would also like to thank everyone within Brightwell who helped to cut our grass, hedging and general tidying up of the grounds – it was hugely appreciated by us all with former and current parents coming together. Our thanks also go to the wider community for your support in managing our staggered starts and finishes. With all children required to return to school in September this will continue to present us with plentiful challenges, and opportunities, but we have valued each and every “Good Morning”, enquiry on how we are managing and words of encouragement and motivation as you pass by our school gates. Thank you everyone.