One of the key issues for me is that we keep our school community together even though we will not be physically in the same space. How this will work in practice:
- All non-teaching staff will be allocated a number of families to be this first point of contact over the closure period however long that turns out to be
- They will make telephone contact with you in the first week to introduce themselves and then arrange a suitable time each week when they could call (there may be greater regularity for some families who we feel might benefit from this)
- The purpose of these calls is to keep you and ultimately your children feeling that they are still part of the school
- We would hope to contact you at the agreed time each week (or more often) to speak to your children; this can be through video call if you agree to this
- Staff will spend time talking with your children, and you if you wish to be involved, about:
- how they are doing (physical and mental health),
- what they have been doing (enjoyment),
- how the activities they have been set are being completed (engagement),
- what other interests and routines have been maintained or started (motivation), and ultimately,
- keep open lines of communication with the school community so that the children still feel part of something wider (inclusion) which might be particularly important if they are limited to access to other people
- If allowable within the Government’s wider scheme, it might also be possible to arrange to meet somewhere such as the school field as a mixed age / mixed family get-together where, while keeping to social distancing, we can still engage in person
- Mrs Marsh & Mrs Graham are offering to be a point of contact to all parents who have children with SEND, for support or advice. Their e-mails are already known but it may be that after initial contact, they are happy to call afterwards
Teachers next send out a weekly plan of activities and tasks which give your children some structure to their weeks. It will be sent via ParentMail so it is vitally important that we have your correct e-mail address, more so than ever. If you have not received messages, please provide this to the LSA who calls you this week. These are also being uploaded to our website weekly under a tab "Closure Work". Within this are year group specific folders and more generic ones.
The intention with these tasks is that they revisit and build on work that the children have completed to this point, provide a range of stimulating ideas to keep the children engaged, motivated and challenged though also tapping into other areas which will be vitally important during this time and beyond in helping us come out of this stronger as a community. There will be 5 strands: “English”, “Maths”, “Get Creative”, “Keep Health” & “Show Kindness”.
Children will be asked to share their work with their teachers each week; this will enable the teachers to interact with the children, tailor following work more closely to what is being successfully received. Each year group will have a different way in which responses can be returned, but this will be explained in the first edition.
Finally, though this is very difficult for me to say, I will be taking the very hard decision based on my asthma to follow the Government advice to isolate myself. This will mean that I am not in school while this situation continues but I will, for as long as I am well, be working. I will be in constant contact with all of my staff to ensure they are well, will find ways to engage with the children that are in school – via video link – and of course, be in e-mail contact too. I can’t recall a more difficult decision that I have made, but it is the right one based on the situation we find ourselves in for me personally and also to model this to my staff, who for some face a similar dilemma. If during this time you need to contact anyone, Mrs Farran will be available too. She has my total confidence to act in the correct manner if I face a situation where I cannot work and I will be liaising with her daily.