5th January 2021
Dear parents and carers
I would like to wish you and your loved ones a healthy and happy 2021. The school year may not have started in the way any of us has hoped, but we must try to remain positive and support each other through this new lockdown. I am sure you are aware that the current infection rates in our community are extremely high. Now more than ever, it is very important than we follow the rules and guidance to help prevent further spread of the virus and protect each other and our families.
- Since September all children have been taught how to access their Blended Learning and should be able to do so independently.
- Teachers will email your child on Purple Mash at the start of each day, children need to reply to the email by 9am and then complete the learning set by their teacher. This is our official register.
- Failure to do this could lead to your child being recorded as being absent from school and puts them at risk of falling behind their classmates in their learning.
- We expect the same high standard of work as we do when the children are in school and would appreciate your support in encouraging your child to do their own work every day and to try their very best.
- If children are struggling with any aspects of their work, it is important that their teacher is aware of this so they can provide the appropriate support.
- Teachers will be available to provide online support during normal school hours and will be monitoring work and giving feedback to move learning on.
A very large number of families have given a huge amount of support with Blended Learning during the last lockdown and period of self-isolation and recent assessments show that children from these families have made tremendous progress.
Support from School
- Since the original lockdown in March, we have worked tirelessly to remove as many barriers for our children and families to make periods of lockdown or self –isolation as positive as possible.
- Teachers have designed learning so it can be accessed independently by children with little or no adult support needed, where children experience difficulties, they can email their teacher for support.
- Work has been highly differentiated so that all children are provided with learning which matches their individual needs.
- We have loaned over 60 devices and supported families with limited or no access to wi fi.
- In response to the three main barriers experienced by some parents supporting Blended Learning, in July, we devised online learning packages for ESOL, IT and Parenting. The 10 week courses have been presented in 3 different languages. Over a quarter of our parents have accessed the courses and feedback has been very positive. If yourself or a member of your family would be interested in any of these courses, information is on the school website.
- Families will receive a telephone call each week from a member of the Family Support Team. This will give an opportunity to discuss any issues and to provide any further support during this difficult period.
- Children and families will have access to fun activities on Well-being Wednesday. Activities will be on the website designed to support everybody’s well-being.
- Provide access to IT and Family Support every day.
- Support children and families to establish good routines, important for learning and family well-being.
Children of Critical Workers
I would like to take this opportunity to clarify the regulations around children of Critical Workers attending school during lockdown.
- The Government has stipulated that all people who CAN stay at home MUST stay at home. This applies to children, hence why schools have been closed.
- The Government has created a list of Critical Workers, essential to keeping the nation safe and healthy and the economy running. Schools are being asked to provide childcare for children of Critical Workers IF they have to leave their home to go to work AND no other childcare arrangements can be made (this includes being part of a support bubble for childcare purposes.)
- Childcare provided by schools should only be resorted to when every other option has been explored (e.g. asking employers for flexible working etc.) and only used for the maximum time needed (e.g. not all day if an adult returns from work at lunchtime or has a day off etc.)
- The safest place for children and their families is to remain in the home as much as possible.
- If you are a Critical Worker required to leave your home to attend work and you have no other means of childcare, please email school and we will send a form for you to complete which will allow us to see if a childcare place can be offered.
Free School Meals
We are waiting for information from the Department for Education regarding Free School Meals vouchers. We will be in contact with those families in receipt of Free School Meals as soon as we have an update.
If you require any help with anything at all, please do not hesitate to contact school.
Please take very good care of yourselves and stay safe.