I know I have been in touch with our parent body via numerous letters about our ongoing and ever evolving plans, so apologies to parents if this is something else to read from me, but I thought I’d just share a few reopening thoughts.
The three month COVID-19 journey has certainly been demanding for us all, but it is great for us to see some light at the end of the tunnel. I am very proud of the staff, children and parents for how they have coped and adapted to the situation, but I know there was a desire to be back in school. We’ve learnt a lot along the way, and the continuous reviews and reflections have enabled things to go as smoothly as they could. I certainly feel we can look in the mirror and know we have achieved our very best. We’ve now even added in virtual clubs in addition to things like our as charity sleepover last half-term. (On the charity front I hope you’ll all be submitting a recipe for our upcoming Charity Cookbook!)
To open our doors to every child is an amazing feat, and one we can be very proud of. We have ‘lit up’ the tunnel ourselves by finding creative solutions to the challenges that have been presented to us. There have certainly been many hurdles to jump and I am very thankful to have such gangly legs, even if they aren't as mobile as they once were! I’m sure lots of other parents will be looking on wishing their children were returning to school - it certainly will be great to have the Brabyns family reunited. As it stands we will have 84% of the children in school, with the majority who aren't coming back being Nursery children.
The learning curve we have all been on has been vast, and to have the support of so many people connected to the Brabyns family has been a delight. The staff of course have gone above and beyond, and I hope the relationships they have formed with you as parents over this period have blossomed.
To reopen for all we had one major challenge, amongst the many other obstacles, and that was our room space. So we are very grateful to Marple Sports Club for accommodating us. When I approached their Chairman Andrew Greasley, he showed true community spirit in helping us get ‘Pop-up Brabyns’ off the ground. So since Monday for the first time in our 121 year history we have a second site with Year 5 utilising their big function room and outdoor facilities, meaning we can safely accommodate all the other classes on the normal Brabyns site. I’ve certainly seen the challenge of reopening as something for us to safely overcome rather than prevent us reopening. Bellevue have been very supportive and proactive as well in helping make this happen. We have had inspections of the site along with other tests to pass and I have certainly learned a lot along the way, though I am not sure I have much more head space for any more!
During the whole COVID period we have had as much positive parent and community feedback and appreciation as I can remember in my 22 years at the school. I guess that's why at the time of writing I am preparing for a Friday night of a prospective parent showround, followed by two more in the morning!
Whilst I enjoy my weekends, I am eagerly looking forward to another week of school, and seeing everyone where they belong in their school, be that Pop-up or our beautiful setting on Arkwright Road.
Stay safe everyone.