Lockdown School Updates – Friday 29th January
Next week is well-being week and given the current situation we think now more than ever it is so important to ensure we are taking care of ourselves. Teachers will be planning activities around this theme and you are welcome to do more things that support your wellbeing at home too!
We are looking forward to talking about this more and hearing what you have done to support your wellbeing in next week’s ‘Hot Chocolate Friday’ and Huge St Saviour’s Assembly.
As you are aware, we have been reflecting on Home Learning, listening to feedback and making changes to best meet the needs of the children working at home. We are now at a point where we want to embed our approaches and give stability to families and teachers.
This week we published our Home Learning FAQs that can be found here.
We will continue to reflect and adapt but, at this stage, any changes will be tweaks and fine tuning. Any necessary large-scale changes, within our control, will be implemented over a longer period of time.
We hope this approach gives teachers and families a chance to establish effective and sustainable routines.
Absence from live lessons and home learning
We will be checking in with families who are not engaging with home learning, as we want to make sure you are safe and offer support as necessary.
Sometimes children will be absent from home learning just as they are absent from normal school. For example, a child may be ill or have a doctor’s appointment. Please can we ask families to email the appropriate school office (JuniorEnquiries@stsaviours.bwmat.org or InfantEnquiries@stsaviours.bwmat.org) if your child will be absent from Home Learning. Currently, some parents are using Teams chat to share absence with teachers. This is not a private platform; please avoid using chat for this reason.
Teams Chat at the Junior School
Teams chat between the children and teachers is a really useful tool to discuss learning and we encourage children to use it for this reason.
However, in a minority of cases, children are spamming the chat channels and using them to share non-school related material. Usually, the children don’t realise they are doing this and stop as soon as the teacher or teaching assistant brings it to their attention. However, there are some examples of children continuing to spam channels and continue discussions that teachers have asked to stop. To support teachers and keep these chat channels useful and relevant for the children, the following system will now be implemented:
- All comments which are unrelated to home learning will be deleted
- Teachers and TAs will remind children of appropriate Teams chat use when they are spamming or sharing non-school related material
- If a child continues this behaviour, they will be ‘muted’ for the rest of that day
- If a child continues this behaviour the following day, they will be ‘muted’ for the rest of the week
- In extreme cases children might have a longer or permanent ban from Teams chat
If a child is ‘muted’ they will be unable to contribute to text chats on the year group channel. They will still be able to access live sessions, submit ‘assignments’, read comments and download work.
Breakfast Club at St Saviour’s Infant School
If children attending the Infant School need to access the Breakfast Club, you will now need to book this a week in advance on School Gateway. The Breakfast Clubs at both schools will remain open, however as uptake during lockdown is very low we are organising staff on a day by day basis.
Bringing in toys, games and things from home
Can we remind families that children should only be bringing in essential items from home.
Teaching Your Monster to Read
One of our wonderful parents runs the website Teach Your Monster to Read (part of The Usborne Foundation) and has made over 50 high quality books (soon to be 100) available for free via a new web game.
At the moment, the game (and the books within it) will only be accessible on laptops, but they will be bringing out an app version later this year.
The game is called Reading for Fun and is available via teachyourmonstertoread.com.
The game is currently in beta (i.e. it's unfinished) but he is happy for St Saviour’s children to sign up now and is really keen to start getting these books into the hands of kids ASAP. If you would like to sign up follow the steps below:
- Go to teachyourmonstertoread.com and sign up for a free web account
- Make a player (and pick any of the three Teach Your Monster to Read games)
- On your dashboard, in the players table, tap More Games and choose Reading for Fun from the drop down list
You will find all the books in the village library, and you can do jobs around the village to earn books to keep on your monster's bookshelf.
SEND updates – a reminder!
Please keep checking the school website page for Sara’s updates/uploads during lockdown. There are useful tips for parents and children about working remotely that Sara has uploaded this week.
If your child is on the SEN register you will have been invited to book a slot to speak to Sara about any concerns or questions you may have. Please remember to only book a slot if you feel you would like to discuss something with her.
The slots are on a Friday morning and an email was sent directly to parents of children on the SEND register. If you feel you have been missed off the list, or did not receive an email, please contact the school office.
The link to Sara’s page is here
February half term – a DfE update
The Department for Education confirmed this week that schools will close fully for the February half term.
A thank you from the Team
The teachers and staff have asked me to say a huge thank you to our families for the support, understanding and kind messages you have passed on to them. It always means a lot to the team who are working so hard in an ever changing and tricky situation.
We hope you find these updates useful and informative.
Please have a restful and enjoyable weekend.