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Parent Letter 5th January 2021

Dear Parents,

 

SCHOOL CLOSURE DUE TO NATIONAL LOCKDOWN – 5th JANUARY 2021 UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

 

As you are aware, the Prime Minister announced last night that a second national lockdown was being implemented with immediate effect. As a result, all schools are to close from Tuesday 5th January 2021 until further notice except for the children of vulnerable children and critical workers. All other children will be taught remotely from Wednesday 6th January 2021. The purpose of this letter is to outline the provision that will be in place for all children during this period of school closure.

 

Vulnerable and Critical Worker Children

We are remaining open to the pupils from families where both parents are classed as critical workers or where a single parent is a critical worker. This is to help minimise social contact for all members of the school community in line with government guidance. This also reduces the risk of infection.

There is full guidance for parents as to who qualifies as a key worker or vulnerable child, which can be found at

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision

 

If you consider that you have been identified as a critical worker, and require a place for your child in school, please contact the school office immediately so that we are able to make provision for you.

You will be required to evidence your request in the form of a letter from your employer detailing your job role and confirming you have critical worker status. Please only take up school provision if it is absolutely necessary.

 

Critical worker and vulnerable children who are in school will work in four phase bubbles – EYFS, Y1/2, Y3/4 and Y5/6 and will be supervised by support staff to access and complete the remote learning set by the class teacher.  There will be a cap on the number of places available in order to uphold the safety of children and staff in school. The school kitchen will be open daily to provide a hot meal for the keyworker and vulnerable children.  Alternatively, they may choose to bring a packed lunch from home.

 

Unfortunately, this time we are unable to offer flexibility around provision and if your child is offered a place, which is accepted, the expectation is that they will attend school every day.

 

All other children will need to stay at home, so we ask that you do not send your child into school until further notice.

 

Remote Learning

Between Wednesday 6th January – Friday 8th January, a range of learning activities will be uploaded onto the class pages of the school website, as was the case during the first lockdown. Some of this will be via national online platforms e.g. Oak National Academy.

 

On Thursday 7th or Friday 8th January, your child’s class teacher will arrange a short virtual meeting with the class via Microsoft Teams. Your child will receive an invitation to this meeting via the e-mail they were given in November.

 

From Monday 11th January, all remote learning will switch to the Microsoft Teams digital platform. Full details of this were provided in my letter of 10th November, a copy of which is available on the school website. Your child was given a password and explanatory booklet on how to use this in November.  Your child’s class teacher will be in contact via Microsoft Teams shortly with more information about their home learning. If you have any difficulties accessing Microsoft Teams, please contact your child’s class teacher.

 

The distance learning provision will consist of a short virtual meeting each morning and afternoon, as a check in for pastoral and support purposes.  Each day, there will be English  (phonics/spelling/grammar/reading/writing) and Maths learning activities, together with one activity based on one of the other core or foundation subjects such as RE, Science, History, Geography or Art. A weekly timetable will be available on the class page of the school website to show the planned sequence of learning. The majority of these activities will be based on new learning and with some activities planned to reinforce learning which has already taken place.

Exercise books are available for your child to complete any work which can not be done electronically, or if you do not have access to a printer at home. These are available to collect from the school office, should you need one. It is vitally important that your child engages with the learning which is set by the class teacher so that they do not fall behind.

 

Safeguarding

In addition to daily contact via Microsoft Teams, your child’s class teacher will contact any child working remotely child via telephone fortnightly. The purpose of this is to check on their well being as some children do not speak up during virtual meetings. As the designated safeguarding lead it is my duty to check in with parents and guardians of children who regularly access team around the child meetings during the course of the school closure. This will be via weekly phone calls. I will also be available to answer any safeguarding concerns via the school office or the safeguarding email which is safeguarding@stpeter.doncaster.sch.uk

 

Communication

As always, school will continue to maintain contact via e-mail and text message. Please check the latest news section of the school website regularly https://www.stpeterdoncaster.co.uk/stream/news/full/1/-//  and follow the school’s Twitter page @stpetersdon

You will be able to maintain contact with your child’s class teacher via Microsoft Teams and the class e-mail. Class email addresses are the class name followed by our domain name, for example year5@stpeter.doncaster.sch.uk Please use these as a method of communication with staff for academic queries only and for all other enquiries use the school office email.

 

Free School Meals

We are awaiting further guidance from central government around the arrangements for children who are working remotely who qualify for free school meals and will be in contact with families in due course.

 

Staff Working Arrangements

Initially, all staff will be working in school, in line with their current contractual hours. Teachers will be facilitating online learning and support staff will be supervising the key worker and vulnerable children. In the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 or staff having to self isolate, school will follow the current Public Health guidelines and bubbles may have to close at short notice. 

 

May I take the opportunity to acknowledge that all the school staff are working incredibly hard in these extremely challenging and complex circumstances. We are always fully committed to meeting the needs of our children and our community. I am sure that you are all fully appreciative of the level of their commitment. We appreciate your continued patience with 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’s far from ideal, but we’ll continue to keep in touch with any updates as the situation develops.

 

If you or your child feels ill and you want to know what to do next, please use NHS 111 online and follow the latest guidance. It is of the utmost importance that we all continue to follow government guidance around our safety and wellbeing during this challenging time. Please take great care of yourselves and your loved ones, stay in touch with us via the communication links and if you have need of any support whatsoever during this time of crisis please contact us directly. Please keep us informed of any significant issues in your families. We may be able to offer help and advice.

 

Once again thank you for your continued support and cooperation in working with us to do the very best we can for our community. God bless,

Mrs S Groarke

 

 

Headteacher

 

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