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Letter to Parents, July 2020

Edith Philipsen

Dear parents and carers of Redlands Primary School and Smithy Street Primary school.

My name is Edith Philipsen, and it gives me great pleasure to introduce myself as the new Headteacher to the parents of the children who will be attending Stepney Park Primary school. Many of you know me already, as I am the Headteacher of Smithy Street Primary School. I became the Deputy Head at Smithy Street in 2006, and became the Headteacher in 2010. I am very much looking forward to my new role, despite the fact that it will be under very unusual and difficult circumstances. Ann, the Headteacher of Redlands school who will be retiring at the end of this school year, and I have been working very hard to set up the new school, drawing on the best practice and knowledge from staff at both schools. We are putting the finishing touches to our plans, and will be ready to welcome our pupils from September. We had planned a number of transition activities for children and parents prior to the opening of the new school, but due to the pandemic most of our plans have had to be shelved. However, in order for the children to say goodbye to their current teacher and to meet their new teacher in their new classroom we have planned a transition week, which will take place in the week beginning July 6th. We will be inviting every child to come to school during this week for two hours each. There will only be two yeargroups a day, and we will do this in groups of up to fifteen children maximum, so we can maintain social distancing. We will write to you soon with more information about which day and two hour time slot we would like your child to come in. Each child will receive a new book bag, a school jumper and a t-shirt during this day; all free of charge. We will also give each child a brochure to take home, which will contain information for parents and carers about the new school. We have started considering what learning might look like in September, and are planning for the possibility that children may only be back in school on a part-time basis, as we need to maintain class sizes small. We know learning at home has been difficult for many of our children due to computer and ICT issues. We have therefore taken the very bold step to order a chrome book (small laptop) for loan to every KS1 and KS2 child who will be attending Stepney Park Primary school. The order is due to arrive before the end of the term, and we will be handed out to the children at the start of the autumn term. We are planning to set up a model of ‘blended learning’, so children can learn at school and continue their learning when they are at home. Lessons at home and in school will be linked, and teachers will be able to follow up home learning better. We will work with parents who would like some support with their ICT skills, and will invite them in for workshops when it is safe to do so. We will also be supporting families who struggle with connectivity issues. I am looking forward to meeting you all in person, when it is safe to do so. I will be writing to you all again before the end of the school year, with further Stepney Park Primary information. In the meantime, I hope you and your families are safe and well, All the best, Edith Philipsen Edith Philipsen Headteacher Stepney Park Primary School