Coronavirus and School Closure Updates

Enjoy the sunshine and home learning update 27.3.20 

Dear Parents and Carers,

Hope you are all well and enjoying the sunshine! Let’s hope you are all settling into your new routine and managing to find some calm within this rather surreal situation we have found ourselves in. The staff at St. Peter’s have found it rather difficult to adjust to this new way of living; we are missing the children and school life, but the lovely weather is certainly helping the adjustment period!

I wanted to communicate with you over the next few weeks so that no-one feels alone or isolated.  The future is so uncertain and there is no doubt it will be difficult to keep positive, active and well, both mentally and physically over the coming weeks. From talking to family, friends and colleagues it is quite clear that many people are feeling stressed, overwhelmed and under pressure by everything that is happening. This includes feeling worried or concerned about work that is being ‘set’ for your child to be completed at home.

I just wanted to reassure you during this uncertain time that the responsibility for your child’s education does not fall solely to you, as always it is a team effort between parent, child and teacher. The teachers have provided paper home learning packs for all children that should last for these two weeks before Easter. I’m sure you are now all on top of this, but if you wanted some more guidance about what this could look like, this might help –

  • Physical exercise everyday- Joe Wicks or yoga, bike riding, running or walking
  • Reading everyday (independent, reading together or an audiobook etc)
  • Extended writing a few times a week – (diary, comics, stories, making books, sending letters to grandparents etc)
  • Maths (basic skills, adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing)
  • Some fine motor work for younger pupils (lego, cutting, playdough, colouring)
  • Some art/craft/music, entirely led by the children’s interests and enjoyment
  • If old enough, you could try to encourage them to work independently on a project of their choice/or one given by your child’s teacher
  • Completing the online challenges set by teachers (see twitter for details)
  • Lots of imaginative free play
  • Around half an hour of online activities – spelling shed, TT rock stars, other things recommended by the teachers, including the online lessons (links through the Facebook and Twitter site)

After next Thursday, we then expect all our staff and families to have a normal break – as they would have done in the Easter holidays. (The exception to this is the small number of children who are still being educated on site). For the vast majority of our families, next Thursday will mark the start of our Easter holidays.  Do take time to have a break in education, it is good for children to play and be self directed, in most play based activities there is so much learning (but the children don’t realise it). There is so much learning that can go on at home without the need to formally educate your child. Time can be spent playing/helping in the garden, exercising, baking, and being creative, or using technology in its varied forms. All of this is learning – valuable learning. Counting whilst blowing bubbles in the garden is still Maths, writing a postcard to grandma, completing a shopping list and following a recipe are practical English activities. I strongly believe there is a lot of value in getting children to help with the routines like setting the table, putting on the washing and helping to cook. Please do not feel guilty or stressed about whatever you choose to do and what form the learning in your household takes. Give yourself and them, a break!

After Easter, we are working on lots of ideas that might support home learning, we will communicate these with you. There are some brilliant week by week plans on our fantastic school website which can be used. We may well send home additional paper resources to further support you too.

Minimising stress is absolutely vital in a time like this for mental health. Please don’t let this be something that stresses you. Should you need any support at all please ring the school number within work hours and we will all be so happy to help and support on a personal level or for all things educational. We are all in this together and our staff are so dedicated to helping support you during these difficult times.

So in short

  • Life is short, enjoy this time with your family and keep it as stress free as possible
  • Keep the learning going until the Easter holidays using the paper copies
  • Use Twitter and Facebook to share your successes and share which challenges your children have enjoyed
  • Use our ‘home learning’ section – Mrs Bradley has done an amazing job of collating all the relevant information
  • Enjoy a well earned break over Easter!
  • Keep in touch if you need any help or support, it is our job to support you at this time!

Take care and keep in touch as much as possible. We are still here very much to support all our children and families in whatever way we can.

Mrs Hickerton

 

 

School Closure/Key Worker Update –  20.3.20

Dear Parents and Carers,

Re: Coronavirus update – school closure to most pupils

Following on from my last update, I’m now writing to confirm that we have now been instructed to close the school to almost all children after today until further notice.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers

For parents who think their child may be entitled to come to school

As advised by the government, we will do all we can to stay open for the children of key workers which the government has now classified in the attached letter. Please note priority will be given to single parent families and those where both parents are keyworkers.

Even if you do fit into the key worker category, please bear in mind that government advice advocates social distancing in order to minimise the risk of infection. In order to protect pupils, families and staff, I would suggest that if you have a viable alternative to continuing to send your child into school it should be considered as a first resort.

A form will be sent via ParentMail today to those parents who have been identified as Key workers and to parents of vulnerable children. It is essential that you complete this form before 12:00noon lunchtime. If we do not hear from you or receive the form after the deadline we may be unable to accommodate your child.

Please DO NOT send your child to school without receiving confirmation from us that a place is allocated as we will be unable to accommodate them.

For children who do attend school during the closure period, the day will look quite different:

  • We are unable to offer before and after school care. The school day will start at 8.30 and finish at 3.15 for all children. Please drop your children at the main entrance, you will not be allowed on to the school premises. Please ensure your child has a coat and a PE kit (which we will then keep in school) but avoid bringing other items from home to reduce the risk of transmission.
  • We have arranged a rota of staff for different days and will continue as long as we can provide a ratio which enables us to keep the children safe. In the afternoons Lincoln City will be providing sports based activities for all.
  • The children will be kept as one group for the most part (including Little Learners) and we will only be using the hall,  Year 5 classroom and playground.
  • They will undertake a range of learning activities including English, maths, PE and the wider curriculum however, they will not look like traditional lessons.
  • We will provide breakfast and a free hot school meal for all children regardless of whether they would usually be entitled to one. You need not send your child with a meal unless they require a particular diet.
  • If you, a member of your household or your child show any signs of a high temperature or a new persistent cough, you will need to keep them at home for 14 days as directed by the government. Please DO NOT send your child to school.
  • If, for any reason, you are not sending your child to school you need to notify us via enquiries email or by phone on 01522 880071.

For parents whose children will not be attending school from Monday 23rd March

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’ll re-open fully as soon as we can and will let you know when this is by ParentMail. Please listen to the national news and check the website periodically for updates.

What we’ll continue doing while your child is at home

Your child’s learning is of course important to us, so we’ll continue to help your child to learn.

  • Learning packs have been sent home. We anticipate these should last until Easter to keep the children’s learning going. After Easter we have published on our website a series of weekly overviews for each year group. In addition, teachers will email through Parentmail bi-weekly to give updated information and challenges. We’ve already sent blank exercise books home with the children to put their work in and we look forward to seeing these when we return. As always, there will be a huge range of ideas and support available through Twitter.
  • Parents will be able to contact teachers if essential through the twitter messenger function, or through the enquiries email address.

Children Entitled to Free School Meals

  • 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.

Safeguarding for all Children

  • If you have any safeguarding concerns during our closure, our DSLs will still be working as the school’s safeguarding lead and can be contacted via enquiries@st-peter-gowts.lincs.sch.uk. Any concerns will then be directed to our DSLs within school. For those families working with Sammy and Kinga, our Family Support Workers, or who are open to TAC or Child In Need, we will aim to get in touch with you at least once a week to check in with how you are and offer any support that we can. In the meantime if your concern is urgent or you believe a child is at risk of immediate harm, please contact the Children’s Services team on 01522 782111.

What we won’t be able to go ahead with

  • Breakfast Club and After School Wraparound will not continue
  • National Tests – Y1 Phonics Screening, Key Stage 1 SATs, Y4 Times Table Checks and Key Stage 2 SATs have been cancelled by the DfE

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’s far from ideal, but we’ll continue to keep in touch with any updates as the situation develops.

If you want to get in touch to share any concerns, please don’t hesitate to do so via the contact details already mentioned above.

And remember: if you or your child feels ill and you want to know what to do next, please use NHS 111 online.

For those children worried about missing out on Year 6 transition activities – I can reassure you that all the fun things that were planned will go ahead as soon as is practical!

Thank you again for your continued support, and we will be in touch with more information when we can.

Take care,

Charlotte Hickerton

Headteacher

 

 

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