24.9.2020 Ms Gita Parent letter
I hope you are safe and well. I am writing this week to give you an update on safety at school, more guidance for home learning through MS Teams and a dress up event coming up soon for your children (9th October).
My apologies for the length of this letter……….but I wouldn’t write it if it wasn’t important.
What’s been happening this week?
By the end of this week our Nursery and Reception children will have all started school. For a few who are finding it difficult to leave their parents, we will carry on working together until your child has developed a strong enough relationship with our staff, and are familiar enough with the classroom to be able to leave you with as close to a ‘wave’ and smile goodbye as we can get. It is so important that your child has a positive memory of their first school days, as this will help them to settle better all the way through their school lives. Thank you for your patience.
The children are definitely settled now in all classes, they are enjoying being with their friends as well as learning in their new class.
As I have been writing this letter to you, we have had notification of a positive test outcome and will be closing 4 Slovakia bubble today. Whilst I think we have all come to terms with understanding that this will continue to happen and that each time it does it makes us worry. I know we will do whatever we can to protect each other, and ensure our children receive the education they need. There is factual information about the virus at the end of this letter for reference that I have included in previous letters to you.
Parents of children in 4 Slovakia, please read the section on home learning below carefully so your child is up and ready at 9am on Monday.
Pupil Attendance: Week 1: 86%, Week 2: 88%, Week 3: 92%
Numbers referred for testing since the beginning of term: 36 families, 49 children.
Outcomes: 34 negative test results, 7 Doctor/GP advised test not needed, 3 positive, waiting for results for 6 children.
Closed Bubbles and Teaching Online
We welcomed back 6 Italy on Wednesday, all children and their families being safe and well.
21 children out of 19 were logged in on MSTeams for registration on the first day. By the end of the fortnight of isolation, 3 children did not access any of the learning, and some were busy playing computer games when they should have been online learning.
8 of these children were trying to learn on mobile phones.
What do you need to do to be ready for online learning if your child’s class goes into isolation? Year 1 to Year 6.
Day 1: You are told your child needs to isolate.
Day 2: Teachers prepare for online learning.
Day 3: 9am your child needs to be logged in to MSTeams via their school email address and password.
Any issues phone the school. A register will be taken daily and if your child is not online we will phone you. They may have an unauthorised absence if there is no good reason for them not being online at that time.
Your child needs to be up, dressed appropriately and to have had their breakfast.
- Make sure your child is somewhere where there are no distractions – TV, radio etc. are switched off, adults aren’t talking loudly in the background etc.
- Sit them at a table if possible.
- Do not let them leave the table until the lesson is over (make sure they go to the toilet before the lesson starts.)
- Let the teacher teach – please don’t interrupt or talk to your child, they can ask the teacher if they don’t understand.
Some funny moments online…………….
- Seeing a child in their pyjamas
- Parent telling their child all the answers!!! (Please don’t!)
A not so funny moment………
- Knowing a child is playing games online through their expensive play stations etc. but not turning up for lessons online.
We are trying everything we can think of to help your child catch up as quickly as possible, so please help us by doing your part if your child’s class isolates.
HOW WELL ARE THE CHILDREN DOING?
Memory & Concentration
Now that your children are mentally ready, we need to build their memory and concentration spans again. Our brains are just like muscles, and without the practise over the last 5-6 months we need to exercise them and get them back up to speed.
We have noticed that children have forgotten how to remember, for example their spellings. We will be helping your children at school in lessons but you can help too.
Memory: How can you help?
With children in Reception and Year 1, can you help your child to speak in full sentences – it doesn’t matter which language as this is about memory. Try and get them to repeat a whole sentence back to you, and as you talk try and increase the number of words in the sentence.
For example: As you walk home you see a cat, you say, ‘What’s that?’
Your child says, ‘Cat.’
You say: ‘It is a cat. Can you say that? It is a cat.’
If your child can do that, you can expand the sentence, ‘It is a black cat.’ ‘It is a black furry cat.’ ‘It is a black furry cat going home.’ That’s 8 words in the last sentence!
Year 2 to Year 6 children will be bringing home spellings every week if they haven’t already. How do we learn spellings?
Follow this link and watch the video: https://www.shenton.leicester.sch.uk/parents/helping-your-child/ks1/ks1-spelling
This will help build your child’s memory.
Other memory games:
Kim’s Game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uebaFcd3g0E
Find some objects, show your child, hide them under a scarf/cloth and secretly take one away, take the cloth away, can your child identify what’s missing?
Pairs Games with cards.
‘One day I…..’ game.
First person: One day I went to the zoo and I saw…..(choose an animal e.g. bear)
Next person: One day I went to the zoo and I saw a bear and …..(choose a different animal e.g. tiger)
Next: One day I went to the zoo and I saw a bear, tiger and …..(choose a different animal e.g. elephant)
Keep going, if someone forgets the order or repeats an animal the person is ‘out’.
The children are finding it difficult to concentrate and are coping with between 5-10 minutes less than we would have expected.
We will be building the children’s concentration at school, but you can help by encouraging your child to do one thing for at least 15 minutes e.g. reading a book together, baking a cake, writing a family diary together, gardening etc.
Anything that does not involve IT/Laptops/ipads or anything else on a screen. Studies have proven that screen time has a negative effect on our concentration levels.
With rising rates of infection remember, please do not send your child to school with a temperature (don’t just give them Calpol) or any other COVID symptoms.
Tell us as soon as you know if you or any member of your household tests positive.
Lastly, pick up time. Whilst we are getting better at distancing, the area around Reception, 3 Poland and 3 Kenya can become congested. If you are waiting for children please try to distance as you wait (I know this isn’t easy) as much as possible, and always wear your masks.
Remember everything takes longer under the new ‘normal’ rules for safety so please be patient.
If you are especially vulnerable or cannot wear a mask, please wait until 2.55pm, this is not only for your protection but the protection of others.
I have put maps below of the ‘one way’ system, just in case you are not sure. There is a sticker for any parent who understands and can explain it!
Seriously, I do hope you understand it as our site is an odd shape so our one way system has become quite complex. Remember to pick your children up in the order of the classes you pass.
Friday 9th October – Mental Health Awareness Day
We are asking children to wear something yellow (non-uniform day) as we talk about mental health and how we can help ourselves. They will be learning that daily exercise, eating healthily, making sure we get enough sleep and having people around us we trust, all helps to keep us mentally healthy.
- Our school foxes still come by every now and then when we aren’t here, we have video footage.
- I am learning more ‘moviemaking’ skills than ever before, and getting faster so that we can share across the school, and at home!
- A child was asked:
Q: The digit 5 in 356 represents 5 tens. How do you know?
The child wrote: ‘ I know because the teacher teached me.’
Take care, stay safe.
(COVID facts and information are after the site map pictures below.)
Information about COVID:
Symptoms of COVID 19
The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:
- new continuous cough and/or
- high temperature
- a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)
For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.
If your child does develop symptoms, you can seek advice from NHS 111 at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/check-if-you-have-coronavirus-symptoms/ or by phoning 111.
What to do if your child develops symptoms of COVID 19
If your child develops symptoms of COVID-19, they must not come to school and should remain at home for at least 10 days from the date when their symptoms appeared. Anyone with symptoms will be eligible for testing and this can be arranged via https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.
All other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. This includes anyone in your ‘Support Bubble’.
The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.
Household members should not go to work, school or public areas and exercise should be taken within the home.
If you require help with buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication, or walking a dog, you should ask friends or family. Alternatively, you can order your shopping online and medication by phone or online.
Household members staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community.
If you are able, move any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period.
How to stop COVID-19 spreading
There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with COVID-19
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- wash your hands as soon as you get home
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- wear a face covering in shops and other public buildings, as well as when advised to in school https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own
Further information is available at: