Following recent guidance from the Government and the Department for Education, I am writing to tell you that we have been instructed to close our schools for almost all children from Friday 20th March 2020, until further notice. I am also writing to outline our plan to help our children’s learning to continue.
As advised by the government, we will do all we can to stay open for children with certain, additional needs and the children whose adults are key workers (we believe both need to be key workers, or single parent families). At this time, it seems NHS staff, police and others in frontline services will be considered key workers; however, we are waiting for the government to publish more information on what this means.
In the meantime, please let us know urgently via email or phone if you think your child may fall into one of these categories. We need your child’s name and your name/s, together with your occupation and days of work. We will be in touch again as soon as we are sure who this does apply to and what arrangements we have been able to make. This may be travelling to our sister school, or another local school.
All other children will need to stay at home, so we ask that you do not send your child into school from Monday onwards.
Please note that this is a national closure – as you may have heard in the news – so while it is a challenging situation, we are not alone. We will re-open fully as soon as we can and will let you know when this is by the school website; we will also email you directly.
What we will continue doing while your child is at home
Your child’s learning is of course important to us, so we’ll continue to help your child to learn and have detailed below how we aim to support children’s learning to continue.
We will be aiming to email work regularly through admin email addresses, and also post it on the school website. The school admin email will act as an interface to send your child’s work through. There will be a weekly sheet with a timetable of activities for your child. In addition, we will be expecting that you and your child will complete a weekly record summarising the work your child has completed. This summary timetable is to be sent back weekly to the admin email address. If your child is ill, please log it on the summary too. We will put our guide to grammar on the website and also our maths booklet. All online links will be on their task sheets. For the few who are unable to access on-line learning, parents have already been in touch and we will send a learning pack.
The work will be a combination of the following:
- Daily reading – logged in home-reading diaries – about half an hour per day minimum for Key Stage 2, varied for younger children as appropriate.
- Online maths learning activities such as TT Rockstars.
- Maths and English activities shared through email.
- Materials suitable for preparation for assessments, particularly for Y6 – also suitable tasks for Y2 children and phonic activities for Y1.
- Longer-term, open-ended projects that can be undertaken or researched without requiring trips out, or the need to purchase additional resources.
- Activities to complete in the whole range of curriculum subjects.
- ‘Dance Mat Typing’ https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zf2f9j6/articles/z3c6tfr or other learn to type programmes would be terrific.
We will do our best to make this as productive a time as possible and appreciate your support in enabling your child’s progress to continue. We know this is a challenging time for everyone and that it will not be appropriate to get out and about quite as much as you would normally during a school holiday period. We have tried to set this up in a way that minimises the need for trips out and without the need to purchase resources. Of course, you are welcome to be as creative as you like with these activities and hopefully they will help you to use the time productively. It will not be possible to provide detailed feedback on everything during this period, so please discuss your child’s work with them where you can. If you make anything, we will not be asking you to bring things in after the period of closure, but we would love to see photographs.
We believe that it will be good for children to maintain a sense of the normal school routine. Work set will bear this in mind. We would encourage children to begin their work at or around 9 am, take a break mid-morning and then come back to their learning until midday when they have lunch and another break. In school, most children would be learning Maths and English in the mornings. In the afternoons there would generally be a combination of different subjects, with a break-time. Physical exercise, playing and learning outside if possible are important for children, so do try to keep them active as much as possible. For this purpose and for fun, we have given every child in the school a brand-new skipping rope! Children should finish their learning around the normal time of 3:30pm if possible. If you find tasks are taking longer than the allotted time, try to avoid keeping children working longer to finish. We would prefer that they stop and come back to it the next day.
Please send email communications between the hours of 9:00 am and 12pm; each class has specified the days teachers will be expecting to receive them. Please note that no additional materials will be posted or emailed during the normal school holiday period as this is officially time off for staff. Teachers will, in the main, be working remotely. Please also be aware that we are not able to guarantee continuity of provision of work, given that staff may be unwell themselves during this period, or may need to be caring for their own children. If this is the case, you will be informed.
Please remember that time talking with you and playing traditional family games like snap, snakes and ladders, chess, monopoly, charades, word puzzles, playing shops, hopscotch, learning to skip (adults and children) and I Spy, are really important. There are also some fun, free origami sites to really get the finger coordination going! Other life skills such as learning to tie shoelaces, do their own ties, get dressed and undressed quickly without having clothes inside out, learning to sew on a button, making beds, vacuuming, baking and washing & drying-up are really important too!
This is as much as we know right now and we appreciate your continued patience as we deal with this ever-changing situation. We understand that this latest news will have an impact on you and your family and it is far from ideal, but we will continue to keep in touch with any updates as the situation develops.
I will update you as soon as I am able. If you do need to contact me, please do so via the school office.
Please remember: if you or your child feels ill and you want to know what to do next, please use NHS 111 online.
I would personally like to thank you for your help and support during this challenging time for us all and I sincerely hope you and your family keep well.
Executive Head teacher
A copy of this letter is found under Parents>Documents