As we start the next week of our unique term, we would like to say a huge ‘well done’ to all our children.
The EYFS children have been busy getting to grips with their new learning platform, Seesaw, and the rest of the school has continued to get to grips with the Microsoft Teams program. Last week we sent out log-ins to all our Y2 – Y8 pupils for two educational sites, ReadTheory and Times Tables Rock Stars/Numbots which will support your children’s development in basic skills.
We hope that the different tasks and activities, spread across the curriculum, from focused maths, English and science to the freedom of project work, music and drama have something for everyone to enjoy as well as learn. Taking time to learn and develop skills off-screen is important to everyone’s health and we advocate a balance of on-screen and non-screen time. Taking time to get outside is also extremely beneficial, having a break, and then being in an improved position to continue any learning.
So far, the work that has been handed in has been excellent with clear effort being put into every piece. We know that you know your child best and each of our families has its own personal circumstances that dictate what is and is not possible in their home. Please set your own limits and expectations as to what is achievable in your home and contact your child’s form tutor or teacher to discuss any concerns or worries. We want to support you as best we can, from a distance.
We have all enjoyed sharing your successes and looking at the Pre-prep Celebrate page and Prep Shoutouts. We think of you all every day and want all our pupils to know that will miss seeing them; seeing their smiles; feeling their energy and enthusiasm and watching them grow, but we are looking forward to seeing you all again soon.
Take care and please do not hesitate in contacting us as needed.
The new 'Enquiry' Grid is now online on each class page. If you complete any of the activities please email pictures or work to your form tutor or Mrs Topsey-Eaton so that they can be shared with The Woodland Trust and we can continue to put forward evidence for our 'Green Tree School Award'.
We were really delighted to give your children a chance to meet and chat each morning – we all know how important it is for their mental health and also that friendship is one of the joys our children really relate to when they are with us. However, recently we have noticed that they are chatting during lessons – which is something we dissuade them from as it distracts from their studies.
We are reminding the children as it happens but it would be helpful if parents and teachers had a common line of ‘no chat during lesson times’ (unless the teacher has asked that they discuss something). They can obviously chat when lessons are not happening but, as has been mentioned, any chat should be monitored.
We are delighted that some classes are actively engaging in the morning chatroom session. We know how much difference it makes to the children's relationships and mental health. However, we must remind parents that it is their responsibility to be in the room as this is happening as this is an online chat and sometimes things are said which might be regretted later, or hurtful to others. We are monitoring the written chat but not the video chat. Please keep in mind the expectations of the online platform use as agreed prior to starting this new way of learning and communicating.
We would like to offer Reception and Year 1 a ‘Library Service’ in which you can sign up to organise to pick up a pack of Reading Books for your child to read at home. These can then be returned, and a new pack will be available.
Please let Miss Topsey know if you wish to be part of this.
If your child is in Pre-prep and you need craft resources to support the work being set, we can offer craft packs which will be left in a safe place at school for you to pick up.
Please let Miss Topsey know if you would like one of these created for you.
17 April 2020
We have come to the end of the first (short) week of remote learning and I must thank you all for your patience with the technology and your commitment to carrying out all the learning we have set for your children.
We are reviewing where we are this weekend and working out how to make the experience the best it can be for your children – and for you, when we know that many of you are working full-time and well as trying to support your children in learning.
The first decision we have come to is that your children need time to chat. Some lessons start with a general catch-up between the children and proves their need for interaction. I have no doubt that they are using Skype and phone conversations but they are used to interacting with each other at school, so we need to do something to replace that each day.
At 08.45 each morning, Teams will be open for class chat time. Form teachers will be able to pop in and out of these sessions but will not be monitoring all the time. Please make sure your children know that we can review all conversations – and will do if necessary. This is a place for social chat and positivity.
There is also a need to ensure that the conscientious children don’t get overwhelmed. Some children are naturally compliant and want to complete every task set, whilst others don’t feel the same compulsion. We have therefore decided to prioritise tasks, with a 5* rating meaning this must be completed (usually maths and English tasks) and a graduated scale suggesting how important the task might be to a group of children. This is guidance and if you feel that your child needs a little space, you may suggest that they ask their form teacher, who will co-ordinate these decisions in association with subject teachers.
Please do look at the learning website regularly. We are updating it with topics of interest and items which might amuse the children so it’s worth exploring from time to time.
In the (inevitable) absence of one of our team, Religious Studies will be based on my assemblies each week. As teachers and their families are affected by the Covid19 crisis, there may be changes to the staff providing support for your child. However, we are a remarkably flexible team and, between us, can deliver teaching across the curriculum (you may well be surprised at which of us has which talents!)
I hope that you are all safe and well. Do keep in touch with us all and let us know if there is any way we can help you make the best of this unusual circumstance.