As you know, school is temporarily closed for all children except those who are either vulnerable or those whose parents are key workers; if alternative provision cannot be arranged.
As mentioned in an earlier post, the children who are in school will not be following the National Curriculum – the expectation is that schools are providing a ‘safe place’ for those children (NAHT). Children in school will be ‘looked after’ (DFE guidance) and will not be attending normal lessons. Therefore, if your child is not in school, they will not be missing out on their regular curriculum.
In order to minimise infection, schools are being asked to work on a rota system for staff – which will include working through their Easter break to care for the children who must attend school.
As you can imagine, when the news broke that schools would be put into this position on Wednesday evening, our priority was to work out which children would be attending school and which staff would be available to look after them from Monday 23rd March rather than the middle of the week. However, many of our staff fell into the vulnerable groups and were advised not to work in school from last week thus providing an additional complication. There were many pressing matters to attend to, as well as remaining a working school until the end of the day on Friday – therefore, arranging school work for those children who would not be attending school on Monday morning, was not our immediate priority.
School will not be printing and issuing ‘work packs’ for individual children – due to expense and logistics, for example: 8 sheets of paper for 22 classes of 30 children for 10 days would total 52,800 sheets of paper – printing/photocopying would significantly increase the cost. However, there are other ways that school can support you to help your children to continue learning at home through our website.
To access the links to the teaching websites, click on ‘School Bag’ and then ‘Kids Zone’.
Some of these will need ‘log ins’. Your child’s teacher will email you with the ones needed for ‘Purple Mash’, ‘IXL’ and ‘Oxford Reading Buddy’ as long as you have provided school with an email address. There will be English and Maths activities on these sites recommended by your child’s teacher. The log-ins for ‘Purple Mash’ and ‘Oxford Reading Buddy’ are the same. If you are asked for a school code for ‘Oxford Reading Buddy’, it is: hru4i. These activities should be regularly updated by your child’s class teacher. We have ‘IXL’ as a school for 30 days but after this we will try to find an alternative. In order to access ‘IXL’, you will need to follow the instructions given in this link.
For ‘Phonics Play’ (great for phonics games for Reception, Year 1 and Year 2), once you have clicked on the main link, click on new.phonicsplay.co.uk using the user name: march20 and the password: home.
Children in the Reception classes should be able to access work via the Tapestry App/website in the usual way.
The most important academic activities that children should be doing at home is reading (and talking about what they have read) and practising their number bonds (Early Years and Year 1) and their times tables (from Year 2 upwards). If you can get them writing about what they have read or what they have been doing in a diary, then would be great too. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to engage with your children in ways that you wouldn’t usually have time for – play some games, make some art, do some cooking, sing and dance.
We would like to say thank you to the vast majority of parents who have been very supportive and patient over the last few days. Some of the decisions that we have been forced to make are not always appealing to all, however, we are doing our very best in an unprecedented time.
We would also like to thank our staff: teachers, teaching assistants, office workers, lunchtime supervisors, kitchen staff and cleaners for their understanding and hard work, especially over the last few days.
We understand that these are difficult times and that many parents are worried about how to keep the children entertained and still learning. The information from the government is ever-changing and we are receiving it at the same time as yourselves, so if guidance changes, please allow us time to adapt to the new circumstances. We will do our best to keep the web site updated with any new information.
In the meantime, stay safe and healthy.