Dear Parents and Carers,
You are all very much in my thoughts and those of my colleagues. I know this is a terrible time for everyone, especially as several of you have had to also cope with being ill from the virus and some have experienced the tragedy of losing loved ones. If you are one of those families, please accept my deepest condolences.
We know that many of our children and their family members are highly vulnerable; they must stay at home until this horrible virus can be kicked out of our lives. This is bound to be really tough but there will be an end to it. We will continue to do all we can to support you. I know it’s not what you would really like to happen or hear. Like yourselves we are longing to get back to how things should be, welcoming our children and young people into school every day. But if we stick at it, stay at home and stay safe, we will be able to get back to normal sooner than if we take risks now.
We are still here for you, but working in a very different way. The Home Learning areas on the websites are being updated regularly with new content. We have now added Attention All for you to access with extra work in Maths and English. The BBC Bitesize address has also been added and the Oak Academy is now on line. Both are supported by the Government and cover a myriad of subject and lessons from Early Years through to GCSE.
If you are eligible for free school meals, you will be receiving vouchers. If you don’t have a printer at home, or are struggling to access the Home Learning resources, mention it in the weekly phone call and we will post or deliver some physical resources to you. I have also seen guidance that says you can use Direct Payments to buy equipment/technology to support your child’s “education, entertainment and wellbeing”, by using Short Breaks allocation that you may otherwise be unable to use. We have also put forward access to the laptops etc that the Government have mentioned, but we are still waiting to hear about access to Broadband and Internet access via G4.
We are continuing to work, covering the social distancing remit directed by the Government.
Any children coming in to school will be in a single classroom with just one child and two members of staff. They will not mix with other children or staff because we have to keep the number of contacts to a minimum, so that the risk of them coming home to you infected is kept as low as possible. I cannot guarantee that the staff will be their class staff and the staff will change regularly because we are working a shift pattern so that staff are also kept as safe as possible.
For some children, this amount of change will be devastating and we need to consider very carefully whether your child could cope with it. They will expect school to be just as it usually is – and it will be anything but. We can arrange Transport if needed, but again, it is not likely to be the usual driver and escort and may change without warning. These are things we have to manage, because we are dealing with very unusual and difficult circumstances.
As always in dark and difficult times, there are wonderful, golden moments. Teachers are delighted with the photographs of the learning activities you are doing at home; you are doing some fantastic, inspiring things with your children. So many of you have let us know that you are using and enjoying the resources the teachers and staff have made for you. It really is heart-warming, thank you.
Of course, if there are any changes in the near or distance future, I will let you know and keep you updated about the changes, but for the moment keep safe and take care of yourselves. Our thoughts are with you all.