19.6.2020 Parent letter
I hope you are all well and safe.
In this week’s letter I will be talking to you about:
- The current situation
- The new academic year
- Home Learning / IT / New Homework Packs
- Reports for your child
- Classes in school
- A story book to help you talk to younger children about the pandemic
The Current Situation
With rising numbers of positive tests for COVID-19 within our city, we know that we have made the right decision to be very careful as we reopen, and the decision of whether to send your child to school will continue to remain with you.
The Government has encouraged more of us to return to work if social distancing of 2m can be maintained and working from home is not an option. I know many of you are returning to work.
It is clear that some sections of society have, through protests, and shopping or just socialising, not adhered to these guidelines.
In school, we will insist that social distancing and one way systems are followed as we all need to know that Shenton is a safe place.
Together we will continue carefully, and in stages, so that we can keep any risks to a minimum.
The New Academic Year - September
The Government are expected to publish information for schools over the next week about how we will should proceed.
Whatever happens, IT and Home learning will still play a very important part in your child’s education.
By September your child will have lost 6 months of school learning, and if we do not fully open in September, because social distancing is still in place, your child could potentially have lost up to 9 months of learning by December in different subjects.
We need to teach your child and are planning to do this through the internet on days they may not be in school or for catch up group work. You must make sure your child has access to a tablet (all children) or laptop (Y5 / 6). I have also explained later, that IT will continue to have a hugely important place over the Autumn Term and into the future, so any investment on your part will be ‘worth it’.
I am looking into how we might be able to support some of you facing financial difficulties, although we have limited resources. We are only likely to be able to help a small number of you. Over the next couple of weeks I will contact those families so that your child will have some kind of access over the summer.
IT / Home Learning / Homework Packs
New home work packs will be available next week. 90% of you collected them last time and are now completing work set. Thank you, and please come back next week to collect your new set, returning anything your child has completed.
For the 10% who haven’t collected packs, I hope you will get to us next week, your child needs to be doing something so that the gap in their learning isn’t any bigger than it needs to be.
Those children that are completing work will get ‘special mentions’ through the school website etc. to encourage them to keep going.
Don’t forget, your child should be reading every day too……………….
Shenton Emails for Your Child - Online Teaching
All children will be receiving Shenton email addresses and accounts over the next week. Make sure you login and follow the instructions sent. (This approach will ensure safeguarding and GDPR compliance.) Also, write down the password you choose for your child, as it could take up to a week to reset if you forget.
I will also place the instructions on the website so you can use ‘Google translate’ by the end of next week and send you a link.
Once this has been done, teachers will be sending you ‘lesson’ times, so that we can teach your child over the internet. This will continue into the Autumn term. Over the next couple of weeks we will be able to work out any issues so that we are all ready for the start of the new year, whatever that looks like.
In the future, all homework including reading will be set ‘on line’, to ensure your child’s IT skills are excellent, and to ensure they have those resources at home too. This is the digital world of today, and making this shift is only helpful to your children in the future.
We have written reports about your child’s learning for you, based on the period between the start of the year and the date we ‘locked down’.
These will be ready for you as you collect with your child’s homework, or if your child is in school, will be sent home for you.
We will not be making any end of year assessments as advised by the Government, so you will not receive the usual letters in Y6, Y2 or Y1 about SATs and the phonics screen.
Classes in School
We are teaching groups of 8 children so that each child has a 2m space. We are calling each group a ‘bubble’ as when they are in school, they stay in this ‘bubble’ and we ensure the children are not mixing outside of their group.
We have 4 bubbles running this week, 2 in Y6, 1 in R/Y1 and 1 ‘key worker’ group. Some more of you have asked for your child to come to school, so we are opening a new bubble in R/Y1. If you have a child in any of these groups and feel it is the right time for your child to start please call us.
Our older children have now settled, they are building their fitness levels and they are beginning to remember and build on what they learned before ‘lock down’.
Our younger children have been so excited to be back! They are beginning to get back into routines and as for Y6, we are helping them to remember what they have learned before and then building as they remember.
In all year groups our focus is rebuilding relationships, making sure the children are happy and getting fitter, and also focusing on Reading and Maths until the end of term in a few weeks.
From my point of view it has been wonderful to see the children again, after all that’s why we’re here and why we became teachers.
What if I want to send my child to school……
If you would like to send your child to school, but have said ‘no’, you must contact us first. You can phone, come in to the office or email.
It may take up to 1 week, but we will then notify you when we have arranged for your child to be taught. We need to ensure the teaching space is ready, that your child has all the resources they need and that your child will feel happy & safe as they return.
Thank you for your help with this.
End of Term Event
We are planning an end of term event which I will inform you about soon. It will be an opportunity for Y6 children to come and say ‘goodbye’ to their teachers and the school.
There will also be an opportunity for all of you, as families, maintaining 2m social distancing throughout, to make a short visit so your children can see and chat to their teachers before the school break.
I will update you next week.
COVID-19 Story for Younger Children
This story has been designed to help your child understand about why we are staying at home etc. and is suitable for children in KS1 and lower KS2.
Please talk to your child about what’s going on if you haven’t already done so.
As always we are here to help so please contact us if you need anything. The school office will be open every day, 8.30-3pm until the end of term.
Take care and keep safe,