Despite the announcement earlier in the week in the news that schools would have greater “flexibility” over who can attend, we have no information as yet from the Department for Education on who should receive priority over the remainder of this term for attendance at school. We had been working under the assumption that children would be given the chance to attend school at some point because that is what we had been told. We are meeting tomorrow with our governing body to consider what options we may have moving forward but, without information from the government on who is now supposed to take priority, we may have to wait a little while longer.
Because of the reduced class sizes, all our teachers are required in the direct daily teaching of our Year 6s along with more groups of key worker and vulnerable children but they are keen to engage with their own class children who are out of school too. Children in Years 3, 4 & 5 are all working on the same lessons in school as the children should be at home so please send any pieces of writing or other work in on the class emails then teachers can provide direct feedback and encouragement. If you are struggling with anything at home, please contact your class teachers. We are already working with many families and our learning mentors are helping with anxiety issues and other problem areas that are presenting themselves as the lockdown drags on.
We have been in regular contact with families that we considered to be more vulnerable, like those involved with social care, child protection cases or those with EHCPs (Education Health Care Plans) and many parents have been in touch where they have needed something extra that has arisen during the time they haven’t been in school. We have provided bespoke learning packs, for example. Where a child is not working at the level of the rest of the year group or is struggling to access the materials online, we have printed individual packs for pupils that they have then collected. We have also purchased laptops and provided these for pupils who did not have access at home as the government scheme was taking too long to arrive. If you need help, please let us know via your class teacher.
We can’t do direct teaching live streamed into your homes, sorry. The NEU have advised against it for safeguarding reasons and a number of our teachers are teaching other year groups so trying to livestream their current class wouldn’t work logistically either. It is also something that would not have been sustainable as we opened up to a greater number of children.
Teachers will be sending out e-postcards to children as recognition for their hard work in keeping up with their online learning, sending work in and completing tasks on MyMaths and TTRockstars. The teachers will also be sending out videos to challenge the children with some tasks that are not just maths and English related, more along the lines of the creative tasks that we have on our home learning page:
It looks like we aren’t going to get to have a sports day this year so our PE leads, Mr Robinson and Mr Smale, are working on a series of challenges that the children can take part in at home and then send in their results to add to their house totals so we can celebrate team and individual performances.
We share your frustrations and wish we could have more of the children in school. We have already secured more staff for September, which means we will be in good position to have extra teaching hours available to us to help provide catch up lessons in school for those who need them in the Autumn term.
Thank you for your continued support.