Update 3 - 24th April
Dear parents and carers,
Please share the following with your children:
I hope you all had a good Easter break and welcome to our very first remote summer term!
We’ve all had to get used to a new way of spending our time and different ways of learning and, so I wanted to take the opportunity to say what an amazing job you’re doing! It’s definitely been a strange and challenging time, so it’s ok if you feel wobbly and worried at the moment. We’re here for you every step of the way as we figure this all out together. Remember, if you have any concerns your teachers are available through Seesaw.
We all miss you very much, but we must follow the government’s guidance to keep everyone in our community safe. But just because we’re not all in the same building, doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun together! You have lots of activities to get stuck into and I love to see what you are all getting up to at home – remember, you can send me a message, photo or video via email - firstname.lastname@example.org. I have missed the time spent together during our Friday assembly, so have decided we should have a virtual assembly next week. I will send you a link on Friday via Seesaw.
We can’t say yet when we’ll be able to open the school fully, but we’ll continue to keep you learning and our school community connected. Behave for your parents, be kind to each other and know that I think of you often
With much love,
Welcome back to the summer term. It is all still very strange but together we are going to make this work for the children and to keep ourselves positive. I hope that you had some enjoyable family time over Easter and enjoyed the wonderful weather – even if you could only enjoy this during your daily exercise. It did help tremendously that the sun was shining. The teachers are all set up and are ready to get going with the home learning as we did before the break.
We continue to support the children of Key Workers back into school and are ready to continue your learning journey with you.
This week saw the start of our slightly revised approach to home learning. We think trying to maintain the suggested timetable is important for many reasons – for the children’s mental health and well-being and for their education. The idea is that the children complete some learning each day to help them consolidate and practise key skills by accessing the activities and tasks the teachers share. We see it as our moral duty to provide a structure to the children’s day and to guide parents to support them with their home learning. To remind you, this is our suggested daily timetable:
Area of learning
Up to 60 mins
The vast majority of you seem to have set up a structure to the day that mirrors some of the elements of a school day and have established home learning habits. Some of you have asked us for more learning. Some of you are finding it hard to cover all that is being posted. Although the expectation is that children will complete some learning every day while they are not at school – how this will look and how it will be practically achieved within each family is going to be very different. You will all have different pressures and will have to come up with a plan that works for you. You can organise home learning in any way you like. We suggest you are guided by the teachers’ daily videos and messages but if you want to devise your own learning plan that is fine too. How long your child works for every day is going to be determined by what is practical for your family. You don’t have to do it all – do what you can.
The situation we find ourselves in is a new one for all of us. We are all striving to do what we believe is best and are incredibly appreciative of every email or message which is sent into us recognising this. Where our approach may not be working perfectly for your setup or your child/ren, please do what you can to work with what is made available to you and remember, we are here to support you. We are fully aware of the challenges that online learning presents; not having a reliable internet connection, enough devices or a printer. We are also aware that many parents are working from home, as well as, supporting their children to learn at the same time. If you are struggling with any aspect of home learning, I urge you to contact your child’s teacher for advice - they will be only too happy to help in any way they can. They will also be able to reassure you that you are doing a great job. Please remember, your best is good enough!
Paper-based resources have been sent to a very limited number of families whereby they:
- do not have access to the internet,
- are not able to engage using Seesaw
- have multiple siblings and very limited access to technology
Due to Government guidelines, the number of staff in school each day is very limited and focused on the childcare of the children of key workers. Therefore it is not possible to prepare and send paper resources to all families. If you do feel totally unable to engage with online learning and as a last resort under the above circumstances, please let your child’s teacher know.
Keeping in touch with the Leadership Team
In order for you to let us know how you are getting on at home and to make sure you can easily keep in touch during this period of school closure, we have created a contact form. I would urge you to use it, as your feedback is important to us. Your messages of support and gratitude are especially appreciated by staff at this time. If you think your child's teacher or TA is doing a great job, please let us know.
Please click here to give us feedback:
- Give us feedback on home learning
- Share good ideas, activities and tips on thriving at home
- Ask questions
- Praise staff
- Raise a concern/request further support
Specific matters related to your child and home learning should be directed to their teacher.
DfE educational resources
On the 7th April, the Government produced this for us to share with you:
Educational resources to support remote learning: Over the last two weeks, schools and teachers have stepped up to the challenging of keeping children learning remotely. To help you with remote lesson planning and support learning at home, we have published a set of high-quality resources, which will be updated over time.
You can use these sites to supplement the learning we provide but be warned there are quite a few!
Please see a new page on our website for detailed age-specific advice on supporting your child.
I copied the link below in my last letter but I wanted you to have it again to refer to. Keeping positive is hard when things are as unsettled as they are at the moment. Everyone wants to know when this is going to be over and when we will return to ‘normal’. At the moment no one has those answers so we have to do our bit by sticking to what we have been asked to do and taking care of ourselves and our families. Talking about the situation can really support young people as can avoiding too much ‘news’.
“Children's mental health (for Parents/Carers): COVID-19: guidance on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing”
I want to reiterate that we are still here for all our families and, although we will be working with a much smaller team in school, you can still contact us using the school email or phone) – we might not always be available straight away but we can support you and someone will get back to you promptly. Please don’t hesitate to call if you need someone to talk to.
There was a section about this in my last letter but since then WSCC have also published the links below.
Below is also a selection of resources that could be useful for both staff and parents:
- NSPCC Net Aware provides a useful guide to social networks, apps and guide.
- Thinkuknow is the education programme from NCA-CEOP, a UK organisation which protects children both online and offline for different age groups and parents.
- Childnet has produced a Parent and Carer Toolkit which is a collection of three resources designed to help you talk to your child about their online life, manage boundaries around family internet use and point you in the direction of where to get further help and support.
I would like to remind you that there will always be a Designated Safeguarding Lead at school that you can speak to if you are concerned about the health, safety or well being of any child. Please do contact our team of Designated Safeguarding Leads at: email@example.com.
Entitlement to Free School Meals
This week, the government scheme to provide supermarket vouchers began. We are aware that there was a significant delay in families receiving their vouchers - this was due to a problem with the DfE system and the large number of requests being processed. We are very sorry about this but it was beyond our control. We are hoping that these problems will be resolved before next week.
If you have any queries regarding FSM vouchers or are struggling with being able to afford food, please contact the school office. These vouchers are only available to those who are entitled to free school meals. If you think that you might now be eligible, please apply here .
Our school is a drop-off point for donations (9-2:30pm Mon-Fri). Mrs Durnford will be taking what is collected at school to the Foodbank every Monday morning. Please could you keep in mind the foodbank when you do your weekly shop and consider donating. Alternatively, if there is a drop off point nearer to you, please drop off there if you can; Bolnore Village Co-op, Whitemans Green Cuckfield Co-op, Lindfield Co-op, Cuckfield Parish Office - Queens Hall between (10.30am-2pm), Waitrose, Franklands Village Office (between 8am-10am).
A message from Jonathan Morris, CEO Sussex Learning Trust
West Sussex County Council
A letter from Paul Wagstaff, Director of Education & Skills, West Sussex County Council
Other links provided by WSCCC which you may find helpful:
DfE guidance on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing
Parents' Toolkit: SEND - BBC Bitesize - useful tips and activities for families with children with SEND
Getting in touch:
If you need to contact us for any reason, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01444 451264.
You are doing a brilliant job of managing through this really difficult time. It has been great to see how creative you and the children have been and how you have risen to the challenge. I very much look forward to seeing you all soon but, until then, seeing how busy you all are in our virtual world.
Take care of each other, Mr Davis
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How and when will my child return to school?
My honest answer is that I really don’t know. I would hope that schools would be given a good amount of lead-in time from when announcements are made by the Government to when children do return. This will be necessary so that systems can be put in place to ensure a safe learning and working environment. Whether this will be at some point this term or in September, nobody knows. However, what I do know is that when I hear, you will too. You will be provided with ample opportunity to share any concerns with us that you may have around your child’s transition back to school. We will be actively seeking your input on this as we work together, in a closer than ever home/school partnership, so that the return to school can be successful for all.
Q: What will induction/transition look like for children starting in Reception at WPPA in September 2020?
We are in the process of contacting the parents of our New Starters, welcoming them to the school and reassuring them that a robust and appropriate induction process will take place for their child. This is incredibly important and vital to each child’s early success with us. Currently, we don’t know what this will look like, or when it will happen, but I will make sure it does happen and that all children will have a fabulous start to their time with us at WPPA.