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Parent Update 12.02.21

Dear Parents,

 

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

As you are aware, all schools have been closed from Tuesday 5th January 2021 until further notice except for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children. All other children have been taught remotely from Wednesday 6th January 2021. The purpose of this letter is to outline how we have revised the provision that will be in place for all children during this continuing period of school closure from February 22nd 2021.

 

Critical worker and vulnerable 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 critical 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

 

From 22nd February, key worker and vulnerable children who are in school will work in year group bubbles – EYFS, Y1, Y2, Y3, Y4, Y5 and Y6 in their normal classrooms. These pupils will be supervised by support staff to access and complete the remote learning set by the class teacher. The class teacher will be working in the normal year group classroom, from where they will continue to supervise the remote learning for pupils at home. In addition, the class teacher will be leading a morning meeting where they can work directly with all the children at home and at school. This is to enable all pupils to interact and to offer the opportunity for direct instruction from the teacher about the day’s learning.  An afternoon meeting will continue for the children working at home.

There continues to 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 critical worker and vulnerable children.  Alternatively, they may choose to bring a packed lunch from home.

Unfortunately, we are unable to offer flexibility around provision and if your child has a place in school, the expectation is that they will attend school every day.

 

All other children should continue to stay at home and access the remote learning, so we ask that you do not send your child into school until further notice.

 

Remote Learning

From Monday 22nd February, all remote learning will continue on the Microsoft Teams digital platform. If you have any difficulties accessing Microsoft Teams, please contact your child’s class teacher.

 

In response to feedback from the parent and pupil remote learning survey, the distance learning provision has been reviewed and modified. From the 22nd February provision will look slightly different for EYFS/KS1 and KS2. The daily morning meetings will continue for all pupils at revised times. The timetable for these meetings is as follows:

Time    Year Group

9.00-9.20         Rec

9.20-9.40         Year 1

9.40-10.00       Year 3/Year 2

10.00-10.20     Year 4/Year 5

10.20-10.40     Year 6

           

1.00     Rec

1.15     Year 1

1.30     Year 2

1-1.30  Year 3/Year 5

2.-2.30 Year 4/Year 6

 

Each meeting will offer the opportunity for reflection/ revision questions and direct teacher instruction.  The meetings have been extended in length for all pupils to afford more time for interaction.

 

In the afternoons, EYFS and KS1 will continue with short 10 minute meetings. Parents of pupils in EYFS and KS1 are asked to try to make sure their child attends at least one meeting each day.

 

For KS2 pupils, afternoon meetings have been extended to last half an hour. These will be drop in sessions where pupils are able to discuss any issues with work virtually and privately with their class teacher. This is also in response to suggestions made by parents in the survey feedback. Class teachers will remain available throughout the day to offer feedback and support to those pupils at home.

 

There may also be occasions where class teachers invite pupils to join live meetings such as story sessions or quizzes. Please encourage your child to access these. Occasionally teachers may need to cancel Teams meetings in order to attend meetings or complete training workshops. You will be notified in advance if this is the case.

 

Each day, there will continue to 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 is available on the class page of the school website to show the planned sequence of learning. The majority of these activities will remain based on new learning and with some activities planned to reinforce learning which has already taken place.

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.

From the 22nd February, Wednesdays will become Wellbeing Wednesdays where learning will be more focused away from screen time and instead concentrate on practical and wellbeing activities. There will be no afternoon meetings on Wednesday afternoons.

 

Safeguarding

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.

In addition, if a class teacher is concerned about a lack of engagement with remote learning from any pupil, they will contact parents to discuss how we are able to remove any barriers to learning.

 

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 and follow the school’s Twitter page @stpetersdon

Your child’s class teacher will continue to be available 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 and for all other enquiries use the school admin email.

 

Staff Working Arrangements

All staff will continue to work in school, in line with their current contractual hours. 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 continue to work 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.

 

As I am sure you are aware, the Prime Minister has tentatively suggested that schools may begin reopening on the 8th March. May I reiterate to you that this is a target day. There has been no communication with schools regarding a date for reopening fully to all pupils.  In the meantime, we will continue to review our provision regularly, seeking feedback from pupils, parents and staff to ensure that we are meeting the academic and pastoral needs of our community.

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.

 

Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do to support your children at home and in school. I understand how challenging it is to be trying to work at home and supervise remote learning. You are doing a fabulous job, please remember this and that we are here to support and work with you.

God bless,

 

Mrs S Groarke

Head teacher

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