Right, here we go again, but hopefully not for too much longer now, one last effort and we will be on the other side.
I will begin by apologising for the length of this e-mail, however I wanted to get as much information to you as quickly possible as we as headteachers were given the guidance last night.
For those children having to stay at home over the next few weeks we will provide daily lessons for home working with an online element so we have daily contact with your children. There will be a weekly timetable sent out with a mixture of Power Maths, Oak Academy and other work set by the class teacher. There will be daily live 'keeping in touch' sessions on Zoom (the code will be the same every day and will be on the class pages (home learning) to introduce the day and touch base at the end. We expect all children, where feasible, to attend please. Your class teacher will be sending out some pre-prepared work which will be on the class pages of the website.
If circumstances change and the class teacher becomes ill we will still ensure work is available but the quantity and daily contact is likely to reduce.
As a staff we discussed how long to live stream and the benefits of daily contact. We talked about the problems surrounding the expectations that children can be "taught" for the entire school day via video. Obviously, this would cause issues for families with multiple children home learning and in households where parents need to work from home. However, more importantly than that, we do not feel that it is appropriate for children to sit in front of a screen for the entire school day. In school, children do short bursts of work, use talking partners, share ideas and have a teacher and TA walking round supporting constantly. We know, as teaching professionals that any more than half an hour's live input would be very challenging, even for our oldest children. We feel that primary school children will gain much more from regular daily contact sessions with opportunity to work at their own pace and at a time which suits the whole family.
You can get in touch and share work during the school working day through the class email and teachers and TA’s will respond regularly.
All home learning is under the home learning tab of the class pages on the school's website. I have decided that all of the Year 1 children will now be moved to Horse Chestnut Class (Mrs Tamkin's class), so the Year 1's will find their work there.
Your class names and teacher's email contact for each class are below.
Reception (Little Conkers) firstname.lastname@example.org
Year 1/2 (Horse Chestnut) email@example.com
Year 3 (Hawthorn) firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Year 4 (Sycamore) firstname.lastname@example.org
Year 5/6 (Redwood) email@example.com.
Can I add that these e-mail addresses are only to be used with regards to when the children working at home and other communication still needs to go direct to the school office at firstname.lastname@example.org
In my experience of virtual meetings and working from home I feel it is also important to give the expectations and protocols of Zoom meetings and interactive lessons, if you could please share these with your children, that would be great:
- Can we please begin sessions with all children muted;
- Can the children be dressed, ready and not eating whilst online;
- A prompt start for both 9am and 2:30pm sessions please;
- Mobile phones to be only used for zooming, no photos to be taken;
- Log in with the pupil's name (no changing of names);
- The teacher will control the mute option and will mute and unmute when necessary;;
- Can all adults refrain from talking on the meetings please unless instructed;
- Only e-mail the teachers between 8am and 4pm please. These e-mails will be checked over the course of the school day;
- Anything essential or after these hours please use email@example.com
- All work will be collected after lockdown after a quarantine period.
- If you require a printed pack of work please contact the school office and we will arrange a handover.
The zoom meetings will commence for each class daily and will always use the same id and passwords daily, there will be one for the morning session beginning at 9:15am and one for the afternoon session at 2:30pm. The id's will be on your class page for reference, but I will also put them below
(all passwords begin with a capital letter):
Year 5/6 Redwood class morning session
Year 5/6 afternoon session
Year 4 Sycamore Class morning session
Year 4 Sycamore afternoon session
Year 3 Hawthorn class morning session
ID: 943 4745 5981
Year 3 afternoon session
ID: 957 1669 0393
Year 1/2 Horse Chestnut Class morning session
Year 1/2 Horse Chestnut afternoon session
Reception Little Conkers morning session
Reception Little Conkers afternoon session
And the first thing you do when you try to log in is, don't panic! We have been using this for a while and we will get you on board, but like all things new, there maybe some teething problems at the beginning.
I completely understand that for some of you this is completely new, whilst some of you well may feel like you are 'old hats' at it. Please remember my expectations of you and of the children, just try your best, don't worry and if you need someone to talk to for advice, by all means pick up the phone and talk to me. You are now my proxy staff after all!
My golden rules for children's education have always been that they need to feel safe and happy for constructive learning. They will of course no doubt feel safe at home and as for happy, if they or you need to take a break, then take a break, I won't be dropping in to do any lesson observations, not just yet anyway! Do things at your and your child's own pace.
Also, please remember, being my proxy staff you can now nominate children through for weekly silver awards, this week's Project 25 value will be all about resilience. Just send your nominations through to the school office by 9am on a Friday morning at firstname.lastname@example.org
For all our pupils of critical workers, an email will be going out asap to confirm your child's place and the plans for the school day, starting from tomorrow.
I still continue to be your safeguarding lead so if you have any safeguarding concerns, please contact me via the school office.
I will no doubt see you virtually over the coming days and weeks and remember it won't be long until we are through this.