We hope that you are managing well with the current lockdown restrictions and balancing your work, home and family commitments. We are here to help and if you have any issues that you think we could support you with, please contact your class teacher via Microsoft Teams or email the school offices.
The Department for Education (DfE) guidance on schools is constantly evolving and updates are being sent to schools on an almost daily basis. Our new risk assessment is now uploaded to our website here. This document will be updated regularly. Please continue to check this page for the most recent version.
In line with the Government guidance, we are asking parents to only use one setting where possible. Can you please inform us if you have to use more than one setting.
The guidance states:
‘Parents and carers should be encouraged to limit the number of settings their child attends, ideally ensuring their child only attends the same setting consistently. This should also be the same for staff.
There may be situations where a child needs to attend more than one setting, for example, children attending a childminder before their nursery opens so that their parent or carer may go to work.’
Critical Workers – Government guidance on restricting attendance
Over the weekend there have been a number of statements and interviews from Government ministers regarding the attendance in schools. We are here to support our children of critical workers and vulnerable children and welcome children into our schools if required.
The current guidance states:
Schools should speak to parents and carers to identify who needs to go to school. If it proves necessary, schools can ask for simple evidence that the parent in question is a critical worker, such as their work ID badge or pay slip. Parents and carers who are critical workers should keep their children at home if they can.
We have had questions from families asking if their children have to attend full time. The answer to this is ‘no’. We have organised our in school provision on the basis that all children attend full time and this is available for all attending children, but this is not required, and children are welcome to attend on a part time basis. Can we ask families to inform the school which days your child(ren) will be attending. However, we do understand that some critical workers have varying shift patterns and we are happy to be flexible on a week-by-week basis.
I would like to thank the school teams for moving quickly to implement our home learning plan. Their dedication and commitment last week was outstanding.
Our home learning approaches and the balance of live, pre-recorded and self-managed learning will continue to develop as we reflect and assess its impact over the coming weeks.
Our initial approaches have been based on what staff assess is the most effective method of delivering the various aspects of the curriculum. Live lessons, pre-recorded lessons and paper based activities were most requested in our parent poll, and we have adapted our online offer to take into account this feedback. In addition, our parent poll showed access to devices and technology were the biggest barrier to engagement; we have begun to address this through our new laptop loaning scheme.
We issued all our home learning devices last week and are expecting a supply of DfE laptops in the coming weeks. These devices are required for families to access live and pre-recorded sessions. As we overcome these technical barriers, we will again be asking families and staff for feedback regarding our blended ‘Home Learning’ approach. We understand approaches to learning may need to change as the impact of these becomes evident. We are working hard to achieve the most effective home learning provision possible in the current situation – thank you for your patience and understanding with this.
Over the coming days, we will be updating families on the variety of ways that teachers are giving feedback to the children, and we will be sharing how children can privately share their work with teachers.
As explained in my last email, a virtual drop in session is arranged for next week for parents to drop in and share comments about the first two weeks of home learning.
We will consider all feedback and continue to work hard to strike the best balance for all our families with their Home Learning.
The details of these drop in sessions are as follows:
Infant School Drop-In – Wednesday 20th January between 16:00 and 17:00
Junior School Drop-In – Thursday 21st January between 16:00 and 17:00
During these sessions, we will not be presenting anything or sharing new information, so you do not need to attend or joinat the beginning of the session. We will be available during this slot for parents to drop in and drop out as required. Please note that this will be a public forum and if you require a private conversation you can request one during this session and we will get back to you.
The two questions about home learning we would like feedback on are:
What is going well for you and your child(ren)?
Are their ways we could improve our practice to ensure ‘Home Learning’ is as effective as possible?
These ‘Drop-In’ sessions will come through as Teams events and appear on your child’s calendars later this week. Please accept and log in using your child’s account.
Free School Meals (FSM)
If your child(ren) is at home, you are now able to collect a free packed lunch from school on a daily basis. If your child is attending school part time you are able to collect a packed lunch on the days they are at home. This is currently a sandwich packed lunch with a choice of cheese, ham or tuna sandwich fillings.
We are anticipating that the Government Voucher Scheme will be implemented shortly and we are waiting for details. Until we know more, we encourage families to take advantage of the free packed lunch option.
To request a packed lunch, please click here to find out more and complete a request form.
This option is only available for children in receipt of Free School Meals (FSM) and this does not include Infant Universal Free School Meals.
Please don’t forget
Tomorrow (Wednesday 13th January) is our book and stationery collection day. More details can be found here. When arriving please keep the two-metre distance, wear a face covering (mask and/or visor) and be prepared to queue if you arrive during a busy time.
As always, thank you for your continued support. As the guidance changes, I will write to you again with further updates.
The full DfE guidance can be found here
St Saviour’s Infant Church School and St Saviour’s Junior Church School