W/B 11th January: online week.

I hope everyone is doing well on this chilly afternoon. Again, I can only apologise for this distance-learning week ahead for us all. Hopefully, those families currently attending have been able to find alternative cover. Tomorrow, Mrs Parkman will be in to give areas a deep-clean, so thank you to her. I will be in school to collect our Free School Meals hampers, as well as organising/discussing changes moving forwards, so we can ensure that we learn from this. It is incredibly hard to see what one can change in some situations. For example, a 4yr old puts up their hand and asks: “Can you please cut up my chicken?” or “Can you please open my yoghurt?”. A 6 yr old asks: “Can you do my shoe lace, please?” or “my coat zip isn’t working.”We have to accept that there are risks in what we do in this current pandemic, but we try and handle this on a minute by minute basis in school. One area is to look at our lunch bubbles, again, and enhancing our distancing. However, we have added pressures of more numbers, this time. To put it in context, we have had 3 TIMES the number of pupils in school during this lockdown compared to the original lockdown return for key worker pupils. This is a pattern replicated around the country and has meant all staff have had to be on-site full time, TAs help with classes while teachers deliver live lessons. Obviously, with more staff comes greater risks, but our hands have been tied by the parameters set this time around.
So, this week, your learning timetables will be available tomorrow morning for all families to follow. PLEASE simply do what you can / do what fits your family. We completely understand the pressures on you trying to work and juggle online learning. Consider the offer from your school like a supermarket: they put every possible option on the shelves and you walk around and pick and choose what you want! If those shelves were bare – and the school was offering the bare minimum – then we wouldn’t be doing our duty. The govt has now set rules for schools in how many hours they should set classes. What you do is up to your circumstances. So, please, choose what you can fit into your own day. You can always pop into another year group to get some of their resources should you want something harder or easier; again, it is there for you to choose. I would also like to mention those 3 ‘things’ we use for our own online offer (Class Dojo, Google Classroom and our school website). Class Dojo gives us something a little unique, as it not only gives whole-class access, but parent/teacher communication is at a much granular level and secure, too. However, we are looking at using the Google Classroom for resources as well as our live lessons. This won’t happen this week, but we are looking to streamline as soon as teachers have practised and done on-the-job training. I will communicate this to you and so will your teachers via Class Dojo. So, I am ‘in’ classroom lessons, tomorrow, will be commenting in Dojo and available for any family to ring me to discuss concerns, ideas or just listen. If anything crops up in your class messenger groups, could someone email me, please, as someone could have a great idea? Teachers and TAs are online throughout the day and are monitoring their dojos constantly.

For SAFEGUARDING reasons, this week only, teachers will be recording their lessons and, if working at home, their cameras will be switched off. At the end of the week, this video will be deleted from our systems. It is purely a protective measure for pupils and teachers. If you wish your child is NOT involved in a lesson being recorded, just tell them on their Dojo and they will record the absence.

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