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Newsletter 15th January 2021

Newsletter 15th January 2021
January 15, 2021 Sandy Pike

Dear Parents and Carers

It seems to have been a very strange start to the term, preparing for everyone to come back on our INSET Day, then having to change to remote learning for most children, with the rest in school, the day after. This is quite a change from the usual so I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff for all their work in getting this dual role off the ground. In many ways it is double the work, so I am very grateful for the huge number of hours that have gone into transforming what we do.

I would also like to thank you for your adaptability. Our use of Microsoft Teams has meant you and your children having to navigate around a new system to be ready to learn, and this hasn’t always been straightforward. If you are struggling with finding the resources for the sessions, please contact the class teachers via the class e-mail and they will point you in the right direction. If you have an issue with the technology, such as inadequate hardware or internet access that is so poor as to make the lessons unworkable, please let me know, as there are solutions I may be able to put your way. We are aiming to have a consistent look to each class’s Team, so no matter which class your child is in, it is obvious what resources you need to see, what would be helpful if printed off (which we are trying to keep to a minimum), and how to access any of the live or recorded lessons. If you have any suggestions as to how we might improve our provision, please contact me, but do bear in mind that our system is constantly evolving to keep pace with the guidance from the government. We have just purchased the licences for Real PE at Home and for the Bug Club series of on-line reading resources. Along with Charanga for Music, these are brilliant to keep your children’s experiences broad and fun. The Real PE is also a great opportunity to get outside and develop the fundamental movement skills in the fresh air.

It has been lovely to see the children’s confidence in using the on-line materials grow. Almost all the children are accessing the work on a daily basis, and it is clear they are trying hard. Now we have had our settings changed to allow the camera for our live lessons, we are able to support individuals more easily. Do please remember the protocols for engaging fully with the lessons, and it is particularly important to keep them safe on-line. Please help them work in a quiet, but not remote, location and remind them to keep their minds focused on the learning throughout the lesson.

For children eligible for free school meals but who are not in school, we are providing vouchers to support a healthy diet. If your circumstances have changed for any reason and, due to benefits you are receiving, you think you may be eligible for support, please contact me. Even if you don’t require the vouchers or your child does not want the school meals, if you register, a very quick and straight forward process, the school receives extra income, too.

Equally, if you or your children are in need of help in any way there is a wealth of support available. I have links to well-being agencies, support groups and many others who may be of use at this time.  All requests for support are treated in the strictest confidence.

The closing date for school places for next year’s Reception children is today. If you know of anyone who has a child who is four years old, or will be before September 1st, they can still apply for a place to the school, but after today will be treated as part of the second round. We do still have places available, so if they would like to contact me I will be happy to give them a virtual tour.

I hope you are able to make the most of a technology-free weekend and, during the week, to encourage the children to get outside for a run-around between lessons.

With best wishes

James Stanford