National Lockdown - January 2021 - Letter to Parents and Carers
Dear parents and carers,
Following tonight's televised broadcast by Boris Johnson, it is with great sadness that I am contacting you to confirm the closure of the school to the majority of pupils as we move into another national lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Only children of 'critical workers' and 'vulnerable children' will be able to attend school from tomorrow, Tuesday 5th January. I will explain some important details about those eligible to attend school and remote learning for those at home below.
Firstly, however, I wanted to reassure you that during the Autumn Term, we have been busily preparing for this possibility, either for an individual bubble or for the whole school. School staff have worked hard to develop remote learning, meaning that we can support your child's education on a daily basis, regardless of whether he/she is at home or in school. Obviously we all hope that infection rates will reduce and that school can re-open soon; however, we are confident and optimistic about what can be achieved during this latest lockdown period for every child with your help and support.
Our responsibility to your child is the top priority. The children lost a great deal of priceless learning in school in 2020 and we have been working to catch that time up since September. What we cannot afford is for the children's learning to stop now, but to work together to ensure the children's learning continues. We will do everything we can to support this.
Children eligible to attend school: Children of 'critical workers' and 'Vulnerable Children'
Below is the Government's definition of 'Vulnerable Children' and 'Critical Worker':
Vulnerable children and young people include those who:
Parents whose work is critical to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and EU transition response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined in the following sections.
Health and social care
This includes, but is not limited to, doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributors of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.
Education and childcare
Key public services
Local and national government
This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of:
Food and other necessary goods
This includes those involved in food:
Public safety and national security
Transport and border
This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the coronavirus (COVID-19) response and EU transition, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass and those constructing or supporting the operation of critical transport and border infrastructure through which supply chains pass.
Utilities, communication and financial services
If one or more parent of your child is identified as a 'critical worker' or your child is classed as 'vulnerable', he/she can continue to attend school. We will be open for these children from 9am tomorrow, entering through the front gate from 8:55am. School will close at 3:15pm, with children again collected from the front pedestrian gate area. If you are intending to bring your child tomorrow, please complete the online form below by clicking the link so that we can plan ahead for staffing and supervision.
Remote Learning (Learning at Home)
It is essential that your child's learning is not put on hold for this unknown period of time. Our teachers and teaching assistants are trained and ready to deliver high quality online learning and have been teaching the children in class before Christmas.
While some paper-based activities can be provided, I must stress that your child can make limited progress through the provision of paper-based packs. Children may be able to practice some skills (e.g. handwriting, sums, worksheets) but your child needs to continue to make progress and for that, we are providing dynamic learning through Google Classrooms, our online learning platform.
I will be holding another parent tutorial on Zoom in the coming days to help parents engage with their children online. Please take this opportunity to see Google Classrooms in use and ask questions (you don't need to show yourself on screen, you can just watch and listen). I will send out more information on this within the next 2 days.
Electronic digital devices for home learning
We have a number of electronic devices from the DfE to support home learning for households who do not have adequate technology to support their child's learning. This includes:
A number of our children have already successfully used these devices during bubble lockdowns. If you would benefit from a device to support your child's home learning, please fill out the online form by clicking the link below:
Free School Meals
As this is a very sudden announcement, we await further instruction from the Local Authority on distribution of FSM vouchers. Children in school will continue to receive a free school meal if eligible. I will update further on this as soon as possible. Only benefit-based free school meals are eligible, where application has been made through the local authority.
Over the last few days, this has been a very rapidly changing situation and I am sure that more details will emerge. Once we know the numbers of children in school, we will provide more details of how classroom arrangements, bubble organisation and staffing will work.
Thank you once again for your support during this difficult time. I am sure you have many questions and will do my very best to answer them if you reply to this email, however, please understand that there is a lot of work to do before tomorrow morning.
Good morning parents,
As mentioned in my newsletter, I will be leading a Zoom meeting for parents from 4:00 - 4:30pm on Monday 16th November to show parents our new remote learning platform, Google Classrooms.
Some children are already using Google Classrooms at home while isolating, with some excellent results! Most other children in school have at least seen Google Classrooms in use and practised so that if and when their bubble has to isolate for 2 weeks, your child should be able to get on with meaningful learning.
As a school, we are responsible for ensuring that all children are still engaged in high quality learning even when shielding or isolating at home during the Coronavirus pandemic. It is therefore really important that staff, parents and children feel confident about how to use Google Classrooms.
Here is the invite and link for the meeting today:
Rob Simpson is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Mr. Simpson's Google Classroom Zoom Meeting
Time: Nov 16, 2020 04:00 PM
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 937 5653 1764
(If the link does not work automatically for you, please copy and paste the Zoom address into your browser (Google, Bing etc.), or enter the Meeting ID and Passcode into your Zoom account if you have one)
I intend to show parents the following:
Mrs. McMaster will also be joining us and will share some of her tips from the teacher point of view, showcasing some of the excellent work from Y2 so far.
This is a completely new aspect of school life (for teachers and parents) so please do not worry or be nervous about joining us. I promise, I'm also a bit nervous about doing a first ever live Zoom with parents, but we need to make sure that all children are able to access this fantastic resource, which we will be able to use long after the Covid-19 pandemic has been and gone.
I hope to see you on Zoom at 4pm. I will 'Mute All' so that you don't need to worry about background noise in your house, you can just watch and listen on whatever device you have available.