These are, indeed, challenging times. Following on from the news brief yesterday, we have been advised to close the school from tomorrow for the vast majority of the children. At this point, we know little else. We do not know when we will reopen. This will cause considerable anxiety for all involved.
We also don’t know at this point the categories for the ‘key workers’ announced in the briefing yesterday evening, or how this will look in practice. If you think that you will “qualify” as a key worker, please contact the school asap and let us know. This could be done via email to TEdwards1@ejsch.co.uk / class Dojo to teachers/ Facebook/ personal contact, a phone call. We will post updates when we know more from the Government (tomorrow) on the school website over the next couple of days and into the coming weeks so please keep checking in and sharing information with other families if internet access is limited.
Our primary concern is the safety and well being of all our pupils, families and staff. Please stay safe.
We have been working on a contingency plan in preparation for this announcement.
The contingency plan has involved setting up Google classrooms from our end and ensuring all children know their passwords and login details. We now need to do some staff training on google classrooms, put work out there and see how it all works. We are all entering into a period of unknowns and uncertainty. Please bear with us while we sort this. We will aim to have actual activities/ lessons (of some description) in place by the middle of next week.
Here is a link which may help parents to set up classrooms at home: Google classroom tutorial. We are also looking into how we continue to support vulnerable families (food bank links, community support, checking in etc) – check the school website regularly for updates.
Everyone’s home circumstance is different. Some families have ease of access to the internet, others don’t. Some families have access to paper, pencils etc, others don’t. Some families have space for children to work in, others don’t. Some families will be able to help their children with the work, others won’t. All families are different.
The intention is to provide a range of activities, some online and some that are screen-free which could be used. Here are a few more ideas:
National trust announcement: The National Trust is closing its houses, shops and cafes but aims to keep its parks, gardens and open spaces in the countryside and coastal regions open free of charge.
We are also aiming to try to send a paper pack of activities home to those parents who request it. If you would like a paper pack of work sent home, please let us know asap – this will not be as extensive as the work online due to the time frame (by the end of today). You can do this by calling the school office (01458 442979) and providing them with your child’s name and class. Please only request it if you don’t have access to the internet and will use it – we do not have the budget to produce lots of packs which may not be used.
We completely understand that every family situation will be different. Therefore there is no obligation to complete these activities. Nor will they be able to be marked once we return to a sense of normality.
There is no replacement for your child receiving quality first teaching from the class teacher but the work provided is an interim solution to ensure that your child has continued access to the curriculum, should you choose to do it with them.
Let’s stick with the non-uniform day tomorrow for those children who attend. It seems so insignificant now.
Please check the news section on the website regularly. Head to the NEWS tab for a regular check-in! So much has been added in this last week: updates/ science week photos, maths activities to do at home and much much more!
A message for Rowan class parents and families
You will be aware that Miss Litchfield has not been in school this week. Miss Litchfield is well and her absence is not linked to Covid-19. We cannot go into the circumstances but suffice to say that sad personal circumstances are preventing Miss Litchfield from returning. She is on compassionate leave and will not be answering class dojo message at all. We are in the process of setting up google classroom for Rowan class which will be managed by the year 3 team and myself, Mrs Edwards. Please be extra patient with us during this time.
A moment to reflect…
We need to realise that we are all in this together, that no one should ever have to feel alone. As we continue to use social distancing in the coming months, we should also reach out in whatever safe ways we can, letting the ones in our lives know that, though perhaps physically isolated, they remain embedded in a web of care and concern.
Our health, both physical and mental, is linked.
When trauma strikes a society, it does not just strike a group of individuals who happen to live in the same place. In exposes how connected we are, and want to be. It is compassion and simply looking out for each other that will support health — physical and mental — in the days to come.
Please stay safe. We will see you when this has passed.
Our thoughts are with you all,
Tracy and Mike, the Elmhurst staff and Governors.