Following on from my last update, I am now writing to let you know that we have now been instructed to close the school to almost all children after this Friday until further notice.
As advised by the government, we will do all that we can to stay open for the children of key workers (e.g. NHS staff, police, others in frontline services) and children with certain needs. We are waiting for the government to publish more information on what this means, but it would help us in the meantime if you could let us know if you think your child may fall into one of these categories by:
- Telephoning the school office on 01746 762103 or emailing us using firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Letting us know the name and year group of your children needing supervision and your profession.
- Using Key Workers in the subject line of your email.
We will be in touch again as soon as we are sure who this does apply to.
All other children will need to stay at home, so we ask that you do not send your child into school from Monday onwards. Students who come into school will not be taught formally, but will follow the same remote learning programme as they would if they were at home. The school will be open from 8.00am to 4.00pm.
Please note that this is a national closure – as you may have heard in the news – so while it is a challenging situation, we are not alone. We will re-open fully as soon as we can and will let you know when this is through text, email and the school’s website.
What we will continue doing while your child is at home
Your child’s learning is of course important to us, so we will continue to help your child to learn. We will provide continuity of education in the following ways:
a) The setting of work by teachers that students complete at the times that they would normally have their lessons.
b) By providing a file sharing platform that will allow students to submit work and teachers to provide feedback.
c) By providing access to distance learning platforms, such as SAM Learning, MathsWatch and Britannica School (see details below).
If your child usually receives free school meals we will also be in touch with more information about how we will continue to provide this, with support from a scheme that the government has just announced.
The primary platforms that the school will use to deliver continuity of education are:
- Class Charts: through the homework setting feature, students and parents will be able to access all of the instructions and resources for each lesson via the internet or mobile app, helping them to organise their daily study routine.
- SharePoint: a private online space, accessed through the school portal, enabling students to submit completed work for checking and feedback from teachers.
- SAM Learning: an online study resource for all subjects and year groups, packed with quizzes and short tests for a wide range of topics which can either be set by the teacher or completed independently by students. Answers are marked within the software so students receive instant feedback and can compete against friends to improve their scores.
- MathsWatch: a complete online Maths platform which uses videos, online assessments, feedback tools, printable worksheets and so much more to independently develop students’ mathematical skills across the full range of topics they would be expected to cover.
- myON: an extension to our Accelerated Reader programme giving students unlimited access to as many books as they wish from an enhanced digital library and the usual quizzes to complete after reading.
- Britannica School: a citable, online encyclopaedia for teachers and pupils. Information is aligned to the national curriculum, updated daily and spans a range of media including video, images and audio content.
- Email: students should feel free to use their authorised school email accounts to communicate with staff on any aspect of the work set. Typically, these may be clarification questions but they may also wish to receive interim feedback on tasks that they are currently working on.
We will be in touch tomorrow with full details of our approach to remote learning.
What we won’t be able to go ahead with
We will be unable to go ahead with the following:
- School trips
- Breakfast or after-school clubs
- Internal exams or tests
This is as much as we know right now and we appreciate your continued patience as we deal with this ever-changing situation. We understand that this latest news will have an impact on you and your family and it is far from ideal, but we will continue to keep in touch with any updates as the situation develops.
If you want to get in touch to share any concerns, please do not hesitate to do so. And remember: if you or your child feels ill and you want to know what to do next, please use NHS 111 online.
Thank you again for your continued support, and we will be in touch with more information when we can.