Corona Virus Update -
Letter from Headteacher
Friday 20th March 2020
Thank you for all you are doing in support of the efforts to manage the spread of coronavirus. Please note, if children are able to stay at home safely, they should. The fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society. The guidelines are clear that the closure of schools is in place to limit the spread of the virus.
As a school, we are happy to support you in any way we can.
With regard to sending your children to school from next Monday the government have issued the following key principles:
- If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
- If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
- Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
- Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed below (see link), and you cannot keep your child safe at home, then your children will be prioritised for education provision. A full list of those considered to be Key Workers can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision
We may need to limit the places available to ensure we do not have too many children together. We have taken this difficult decision to limit the attendance in schools, as supported by Bracknell Forest Council and the Department for Education, to best protect our local community. We need to ensure that we are supporting those key workers who really cannot provide childcare at this very challenging time.
For the next two weeks, until the Easter holidays would have started, we will prioritise those children where both parents are key workers or where in single parent families, that single parent is a key worker.
You will be required to provide evidence from your employer to identify your role and that you are not able to work from home. This should be provided directly to us as soon as possible to arrange for a supervised study place.
We would be grateful if you could complete the information required below if you are intending to send your son/daughter to school noting the priorities we are having to put in place ie where both parents are key workers or where in single parent families, that single parent is a key worker. If this could be done by the end of the school day, it will allow us some time to make the arrangements. We appreciate that many of you will not be able to do this by but we would be grateful for the information as soon as possible.
To request provision for your child please email the school office as you as you are able, with the following details:
• Your name
• Your child’s name
• Employer details for both parents including evidence from your employer to identify your role and that you are not able to work from home.
• Your job roles/titles
• Whether you wish to take up the offer of school provision for your child
• Any shift patterns that may dictate which days your child would be in school
I understand that many of you may have already provided some of the information and apologise for asking for it again. As you can imagine after some further guidance from the Local Authority, I am required to ensure that we are prioritising fairly and providing a school place to those children who really do need it.
The school day will operate on normal times, but starting from Monday we are unable to offer our breakfast club and any after school clubs.
In terms of provision, please be aware that:
- We will be offering childcare provision, not teaching or following National Curriculum planning, nor individual tuition
- You will still need to provide a packed lunch and snacks, or order a paid lunch from the school kitchen
- We will not be fully staffed and some of the provision will be provided by support staff, rather than teachers
- If your child is ill with suspected Coronavirus symptoms, they will need to be collected from school, as per Government guidelines
The school kitchen will run one service providing a main meal at lunchtime. This will operate using the normal payment system.
We appreciate this is a difficult time for children and parents. We also need to ensure that school staff are able to provide the service required. These are the current plans. Further arrangements are being made for the Easter holidays and the summer term. We will continue to keep you informed as much as possible as the situation continues to be reviewed.
Thank you to everyone in the community who is following the government advice in these unprecedented times and for your understanding and patience.
May I personally thank you for your patience and understanding as we have awaited details of the key worker provision and in supporting us to process this as promptly as possible. Our aim is to confirm at the earliest opportunity whether your child has been allocated a place and I will do so by email later today, though not necessarily by 3.15pm, providing we have the necessary paperwork back from you. For all parents please note: Your child should only attend school on Monday if you have received an offer of a place by email.
As always, thank you for your ongoing support during difficult days. As a school, we greatly value the messages, comments and acts of kindness towards our staff and children that have kept our spirits high. In return, rest assured that we will do all that we can to support those vital key workers amongst our families; I know that I speak for everyone when I offer our thanks to them for all that they are doing for our community. I will be in touch with any further updates as and when we receive them.
EA Cole (Mrs)
Letter from Headteacher
Wednesday 18th March 2020
Dear Parents/ Carers,
This letter outlines our plans for remote learning in the event of school closures, or partial closures. As I am sure you will appreciate, we have not had much time to prepare for this situation and simply do not have the technology / resources available to be able to replicate the learning experiences the children would receive at school. However, we have put together some suggested activities that the children can do at home to keep their brains active and continue with their learning.
We understand that families will all have very different circumstances over the next few weeks if schools do close. Some parents may be able to support their child with home learning; others may still be out at work/ working from home, or trying to juggle looking after other family members as well. As a result, we have designed a programme of home learning intended to have the flexibility to fit in around your own circumstances - we do not want to add any extra pressure to parents at this time. As such, we have divided the home learning tasks into four different categories:
- ‘Essential’ – key tasks we would like all children to do daily as far as possible
- ‘Recommended’ – tasks that can be done as frequently as is feasible, perhaps a few of these per week
- ‘Supplementary’ – suggested tasks for those families who are in a position for their child(ren) to complete more activities
- ‘Extra-curricular’ – optional tasks that may prove to be helpful for parents trying to think of ways to keep the children entertained over the forthcoming weeks.
The suggested activites are as follows:
Guide - complete daily
Maths: EYFS - Practise counting forwards and backwards to 20; Y1-Y6 Times Table Rockstars https://ttrockstars.com/ (all children should already have their log in details).
Daily reading for all children, using school reading books and books at home – please continue to log details of their reading in their reading record. A wide range of Ebooks for ages 3-11 are available at https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/ (parents can join for free).
EYFS & Y1 - Phonics activities from https://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/ (free website), and practise teddy, penguin and rocket words.
Y2-Y6: Spellings practice: use the ‘look, say, cover, write, check’ method (on paper) to practise the spelling of 5 different words from their year group list each day, practising until they can spell the word from memory (these lists will be sent home in reading records). Children should also find out the meaning of any unknown words, and put the 5 words into full sentences.
Guide - a few of these activities per week, or more frequently if able to
Activities from Twinkl home learning packs, covering a range of subjects.
To access these, you will need to create a FREE Twinkl account at https://www.twinkl.co.uk/offer
Use this code to get 1 month FREE access: CVDTWINKLHELPS
Once you have an account, visit our school’s website: https://www.owlsmoorprimary.com/ and click on your child’s year group. A colourful PDF file will open up which is labelled with days of the week. Each colour block is a link - click the box and it will take you to the relevant activity for your child’s year group, you will need to download them to access.
BBC Bitesize maths and English games (and other subjects if you wish to use them) for KS1 and KS2 https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/primary
English and maths activities, including interactive games, available on Oxford Owl website https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/ (parents can now sign up for free).
Y4-6 - Mathswatch: online maths video tutorials and activities (with additional worksheets along with answers - can be printed or displayed on screen) https://vle.mathswatch.co.uk/ (children will be given their own log in details).
Guide - only if you have time
Watch BBC learning clips (short videos spanning several different curriculum subjects) https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/1vYCLNlGK2wdM8R9FqhVxhV/class-clips-primary (or Google ‘BBC Learning Clips’)
Complete personal projects - some suggestions below:
Guide - just for fun
Art/ crafts/ sewing activities
Write letters to friends/ family members
Jigsaws / puzzles etc
Learn new games - cards, chess etc
Stay active e.g. going for walks, playing in the garden, or using online ‘workouts’ videos for children - some suggestions are ‘The Body Coach TV for Kids’and ‘Cosmic Kids Yoga’ which are both available on youtube, as well as Super Movers https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/supermovers and Go Noodle www.gonoodle.com
Please see the ‘100 thing to do inside’ poster overleaf for further ideas.
I hope you find the above information helpful. To reiterate, we understand that the amount of work your child is able to complete will be dependent on family circumstances; there is no expectation from the school for children to complete all of the tasks above. How much your child is able to complete will also be affected by their age and ability, and older pupils may well be able to complete more than younger pupils. Please note - if you find your child is struggling with any of the content for their year group and you are not able to help them, it may be advisable to look at content for younger year groups or select a different activity.
If your child has an EHCP for additional learning needs, it may be appropriate to look at the resources for a younger year group or alternatively you may wish to contact our SENDCo via the school office or email email@example.com who will be able to discuss some appropriate home learning arrangements for your child.
To be able to complete their home learning as detailed in this letter, you will need the following items:
- Several reading books
- Paper and pens/ pencils
- Internet access and a device such as a tablet, laptop or computer
- A printer (if wanting to print the Twinkl home learning packs and/or other worksheets)
Please talk to your child’s teacher ASAP (or contact the school office) in advance of us closing if you are not equipped with any of these items at home, as we may be able to provide them or provide suitable alternatives. We do not want resources or equipment to be a barrier to children continuing with their learning at home.
Assuming schools do close, children are welcome to bring in their home learning to share with their class and their teacher when we do return.
Please speak to you child’s class teacher if you have any questions regarding home learning. We would advise you to try to keep your child in some form of routine as far as possible, so it may be worth creating a timetable with your child to plan out when their home learning will take place and which activities it will involve each day, and when they will have ‘free time’. We will keep you updated with any further information regarding home learning by email and/ or on the school website.
Thank you for your support and understanding over the exceptional circumstances we find ourselves in. Please take care of yourselves and your families.
E A Cole (Mrs)