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December 2020 School Closure

Dear parent/carer


An update from Mrs Murphy


I wanted to write out to you to bring you up to date with the current situation in school.


Throughout the Autumn term we have had challenges in some areas of school relating to staffing.  We have worked really hard to ensure that the staffing has been sufficient to support your children in their learning.  However, since Tuesday of this week, the situation has changed quite quickly due to the number of staff who are required to self-isolate within school or who have been contacted by the Track and Trace Service. We are now in a position where we are unable to staff the classes for the number of children we currently have in the building.  Today, in consultation with Public Health and the Local Authority, we have taken the decision to close the school until after Christmas.


It is important that you understand that although we do have some cases of Covid within the Staff team, this is not the reason the school is closing.  It is simply that Wigan has a very high transmission rate and this is now having an impact on Willow Grove. We have always worked closely as a team with the Local Authority and with Public Health both of whom are very supportive. We will continue to do this.

Our priority in school is always the care of your children and I am sure you will agree that it will be safer to close school for a few short days in these circumstances.


Your child will return to school on Tuesday 5th January 2021


It is very upsetting for everyone in school that we are closing 2 ½ days early.  We have gifts for your children from Father Christmas and a lot of Christmas fun was planned that now can’t happen.  The staff have asked that we keep hold of the presents as they want to have a delayed Christmas with their classes when they return to school in January. 


Just on a practical note, please remember the following …


  • We have not gone anywhere!   We are still at the end of the phone up until Friday evening.  If you have any difficulties or need anything then just give us a call.
  • All the learning your child will need is available within the school website in the class pages or home learning sections. If you have any queries for your child’s class teacher then ring school and we will try to get you the answers you need.
  • You can expect a phone call from one of our DSLs to check in with you in case you need anything around mental health support or safeguarding.
  • We are lucky to have been supported by Greggs the Bakers this Christmas and they have given funds to school so we could buy family gift packs for you all for over the Christmas holidays.  Some of the staff will be visiting your houses over the next few days (socially distanced of course) to deliver the gifts to your families.


As we now get ready for our Christmas break we have no idea what the new year of 2021 will bring but we hope for more settled times both in your family households and within school.                                                        I would like to take this opportunity to publically thank all the teaching staff, kitchen staff, teaching assistants, caretaking staff, admin officers and the Family Partnership Team for their continued hard work under very challenging circumstances.  They are an amazing team and have always put your children’s best interests and safety first.    


I would also like to thank you as families, parents and carers.  You continue to support your children and the school setting amazingly and this is very much appreciated by myself and the staff in the school.

I hope your Christmas is peaceful and safe and that you can be with the people you want to be with over the holidays.


Take care and stay safe and we will see you all in what will hopefully be a healthy, happy 2021 x


Yours sincerely


Joanna Murphy