January Restart Information

An open letter outlining and clarifying information following the Education Minister’s announcement, for pupils returning to school.



Dear Parent,


Re. January Restart: Open Letter to Parents from the Headmaster


First of all, a very Happy New Year, I do hope that this letter finds you and your family well and that you have managed to have an enjoyable Christmas break, despite the unusual circumstances.


Following the Education Minister’s (very) recent announcement outlining revised arrangements for the return of children to schools next week, I wanted to outline and clarify what will be happening in school for your child in the coming days and weeks, albeit that we are in a rapidly changing environment in which even planning for the near future is a challenge. Details of the Minister’s plans are on the Department of Education website but can be accessed using this link:


https://www.education-ni.gov.uk/publications/letter-schools-revised-plans-schools-reopening-afterchristmas-break


In short, this is what it will mean for us going forward:


  • Playgroup, Reception and Day-care will be open as usual

  • Primary school pupils will be taught remotely until 8th January, after which they will attend school for face-to-face teaching (although there will be some alternative arrangements in place this week for R7 pupils, in collaboration with parents)

  • Pupils in R12 and the Sixth Form will return to school as planned on Tuesday 5 January in preparation for upcoming external examinations

  • All other Post-primary pupils will be taught remotely during the first week of January and will continue to be taught remotely until the end of January (although there may also be some alternative arrangements in place for R11 pupils TBC)

  • Schools will accommodate vulnerable children and the children of key workers from the start of term.

  • Face coverings will be mandatory in all post-primary classes

Our overarching priority is that high-quality learning and teaching continues for your child, not just for those pupils who are heading towards GCSE and A Level examinations but for every child in the school.


Finally, I am acutely aware that this is proving to be a really challenging time for everyone, impossible as it is to predict what will happen in the days and weeks ahead. You should know that I appreciate your continued support and understanding and will of course keep you up to date about any further developments.


With every best wish,


George Vance

Headmaster