Seesaw

Seesaw

Dear parents,

In order to provide a platform for parents to communicate with their child’s class teacher, we are launching an app called Seesaw. This will be for parents of children between Year 1 – 6 and Resource Base. Reception will continue to use Tapestry.

Seesaw will allow you to contact your child’s class teacher directly if you have any questions in regards to home learning. You can also send pictures and videos of your child’s work if you wish and in return, your teacher will provide words of encouragement.

We have put together a user guide to show you how to set up Seesaw on your smart phone. Please click here to view the user guide. If you do not own a mobile smart phone, you can access Seesaw online by clicking here and selecting ‘I’m a family member’.

You may send teachers messages between 8:45 – 3:15. Teachers will reply to your messages but please give them a day in which to do so.

Please make sure that you speak to class teachers in a polite manner as rude messages will not be tolerated.

School Meals

Free school meals for the week beginning 30/03/20 are now able to be ordered by parents online, the link is at the end of this post.

If you are ordering a free school meal it is a packed lunch provided by external caterers (Citiserve). It consists of a ham or cheese sandwich, a drink and a desert (cake/biscuit/yoghurt).

Unfortunately, due to the large numbers we are unable to deliver.

If you are a key worker, your child is in school and your child has a free school meal, please fill in the form as well so there will be a packed lunch in school for them.

If you are a key worker, your child is in school and your child has paid school lunches you can also order a meal (as above), this will have to be paid for as per normal.

To access the booking form clicking here.

Key Worker & Vulnerable Children Update

Firstly, can we say a really big thank you to all of those parents who are key workers – we are very grateful for all that you are doing.

Following the lockdown guidance from the government, we saw a decrease in the numbers of pupils attending school this week. Thank you to all parents who heeded this message and kept their children at home if they could.

Where possible, parents should be keeping children at home and away from school if there is an appropriate adult who can look after them. This is to protect everyone, but crucially it is to protect staff in school so that we are able to remain open.

We appreciate that shift patterns are constantly changing and parents are not always able to provide information in advance. However, it is useful for us to have an idea of the estimated number of children in school each day so that we can ensure that we have the right number of staff in school.

We are asking that Key Workers fill in a survey for next week, indicating which days at the moment that they wish to send their children into school.

During next week, if anything changes about the days you have booked your child in to school, then please telephone the office to let us know, or email school at: enquiry@meadowsprimary.org.

The link to the survey can be found by clicking here: https://bit.ly/2UjmaR9

Information for Parents

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.

Key Workers Information for Monday Morning

Those parents who are key workers will have had a text message confirming a place at school next week. As we have planned for a fixed number of children, do not bring your child to school as entry will be refused. Details for entry to school are listed below:

  • School will operate normal hours from 8:45am to 3:15pm (including children in Reception).
  • Mini-Meadows will be open only for those parents who have received the key worker text message.
  • The only entrance to school will be from School Close. The gate off the alley from Bodenham Road will be closed.
  • Parents and children can enter the school through the gate to the playground by the front office.
  • Parents and children should then go to the following places:
    • Reception and Year 1 to the Reception playground
    • Year 2 should wait outside Year 2 classrooms
    • Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 should wait by the ramp where Years 5 and 6 normally enter in the morning.
  • At the end of the day, parents should wait in the playground at the places listed above.

Home Learning Websites

The Meadows Primary School believe that children should always have the opportunity to learn. In these unprecedented times, to help parents and carers as much as possible, and to allow children to continue to learn and excel, teachers have set a range of online activities for children to complete.

The activities require logins which have been provided to parents via emails and are set on the following websites:

If you have not yet received your child’s login details, please be patient as they will be provided over the coming week, provided that you have given the school your email address.

We have also put together 22 other websites that children can learn from. These cover a range of subjects such as e-safety, English, maths, reading, phonics, history, art, french and PE. There is no need for children to sign up to these websites as the activities are currently freely available. To access these websites, please visit the Child Zone section of our website or click here.

Further to this, we have also provided links to more phonics related websites for younger children. To access these websites, please click here.

Phonics Play are currently offering a higher level of access then usual to their website for parents. Simply use the username: march 20 and the password: home to access the full website.

Home Learning

Online activities will be posted online for your child to complete whilst the school shutdown takes place. Purple Mash and IXL can be accessed through any browser through the following devices:

  • Mobile phones
  • Tablets
  • Laptops
  • Desktop PCs
  • Xbox One
  • PS4
  • Smart Tv’s

If you are having trouble accessing the online materials, we are able to provide a limited amount of printed work. Please email the office if you do have trouble: enquiry@meadowsprimary.org

Free School Meal Provision

In conjunction with CitiServe who provide our school meals we are pleased to be able to announce the details about the packed lunches to all of those children who are entitled to a benefits-related free school meal.

If your child is in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 they are currently entitled to a free school meal under the Universal Infant Free School Meal initiative. Only the children who are also entitled to benefits-related free school meal will be receive a free school meal packed lunch.

Free school meal lunch packs with be available to collect from school

Collection points will be in the following places:

If no-one in your household is self-isolating you can collect a pack from the school hall, entering via the door for mini-meadows (this will be signposted) between 10:30am and 11:20am.

If someone in your household is self-isolating then please indicate this on the survey for benefits-related free school meal families. We will then make a decision on how we ensure you have access to meals.

The survey can be accessed by clicking the link below.
https://bit.ly/2QvyL1e

Key Worker Update

Thank you to those parents who have completed the Key Worker survey, if you haven’t done this, please do it before 12:00pm today.

The government guidance is that schools will provide care to the children of key workers. At The Meadows this means the following:

  • Children will not be in their normal class groups during this time.
  • Children will be grouped in age-appropriate groups. For example all Year 5 children together or Year 5 and 6 children together.
  • The National Curriculum will not be being taught during this time.
  • Structured activities will take place for the children including:
    • Physical Education
    • Time in the computer suite to access materials that have been posted online.

A reminder to all key workers that the government have stated that where possible children should remain at home to be looked after by an appropriate adult. This is to help reduce the chance of the virus spreading.

We will be phoning key workers today to obtain further information needed to ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible next week.