There is little doubt that, at some point, we are going to have to go into a lockdown of some description throughout this school year.
Thank you to all of you who have already contacted the class teacher regarding internet access at home; it really is important that we know so that we can plan for how to continue your child’s education during a lockdown. Thank you also to all of you who have already accessed Google classroom. Please contact your class teacher if you need any help.
Your child will need to access home learning if:
- If your child has to self-isolate because of coronavirus
- If there is a local lockdown and the school is advised to partially close or your child has to shield
We’re determined to keep all of our children on-track this year and make sure no one falls behind if they need to learn from home because of coronavirus. So, we want to make sure your child can learn as much as possible at home. The following new guidelines cover our ideal expectations of what we’d like your child to do while learning remotely, and how we plan to support you and them. Of course, we know that everyone’s family circumstance is different and this needs to be considered. The following is our “ideal”.
What’s my child expected to do?
Each day we’d like your child to undertake at least three hours of learning. This will be a combination of teacher-led activities and videos for the children to watch as well as some independent work. We would like them to read and to learn their multiplication tables and division facts daily.
We will start the week with a whole class Google meet to check-in and see how everyone is. We will use this time to set the expectations for the week and to explain the main focus. Throughout the week, the teachers will post work in the classroom. This will be linked to what would have been covered in class and will be directly linked to the termly overviews which can be found under the currriculum tab for each year group. Year 3. Year 4. Year 5. Year 6
We will end the week with another whole class Google meet to reflect on the week, share a class story, and bring the week’s learning to a conclusion. We will also use this time to praise the children for their input.
What if I can’t access Google classroom?
If your child is unable to access the Google classroom, we will provide a paper copy of the work on a fortnightly basis. An adult will need to collect this from school at the start of the lockdown. You will be expected to hand in the paper copies of work. The teacher will call you at least once a week to check-in.
You will be expected to hand in the paper copies of work at the end of the lockdown. Your teacher will look at the paperwork you hand in and give you verbal feedback when you are back in school.
It’s important that your child engages with home learning. If they aren’t, the class teacher may call you, or contact you via Dojo to discuss ways in which they could help. They may also call to speak directly to your child. Please support this. It worked really well when we did it during the summer lockdown.
Please refer to the Remote Learning Guidance
We do appreciate that home learning can be very different from learning in a school environment. Classrooms are set up for learning. Family homes can be busy places with lots of people trying to access resources at the same time. There may be younger siblings around, demanding attention. The family pet may be excited to have the children around and won’t leave them in peace to learn. Children share bedrooms and computer equipment (if they have it) with other family members. They may not have a dedicated learning space within the home. Please remember that the above is the “ideal” – we do know that it may not work like that in practice!
There are some things that you could do, though, to help your child by creating a positive environment for your child to work in:
- Distinguish between weekdays and weekends, to separate school life and home life
- Designate a working space, if possible, and at the end of the day have a clear cut-off to signal school time is over
- Create and stick to a routine, as this is what your child is used to at school. For example, eat breakfast at the same time each morning and make sure they’re dressed before starting the ‘school’ day
- Stick a timetable up on the wall so everyone knows what they should be doing when, and
- Tick activities off throughout the day
- Make time for exercise and breaks throughout the day to keep your child active
The more preparation we all put in now, the easier it may be when the inevitable happens! Remember that we are all in this together.
Tracy and Mike
Attendance for the week beginning: 21st September 2020
Whole school – 92.8%
Year 3 – 97.4% – well done, year 3! Top of the leaderboard!
Year 4 – 93.0%
Year 5 – 96.1%
Year 6 – 85.4%
What’s happening next week? w/b : 5th October 2020 (click on the date to go to the school calendar)
#HelloYellow Day – Friday 9th October
In preparation for #HelloYellow Day on Friday 9th October, we are asking all Elmhurst staff and children to take part in Wellbeing Bingo! On the sheet attached, you will find numerous activities to improve and maintain positive mental wellbeing. It would be great if children and families could try to complete as many of the activities as possible by #HelloYellow Day. Please send any photos of you completing the activities to your class teacher via Class Dojo. Good luck!
The temperature in class and within the school building
There is no getting away from the fact that the weather is changing. The open windows and doors, part of the risk assessment and guidance for reducing the possible spread of Covid, means that the classrooms are cold. Whilst we have advised that children wear additional layers in class (gloves, hats, hoodies and leggings) we do know that the situation is going to get worse. As a school, we are seeking guidance about what we will be expected to do.
There is no minimum or maximum legal requirement for schools, as in all workplaces but there is guidance. We are currently monitoring the temperatures periodically around the school. We will also be putting the heating on first thing in the morning and at lunchtime as well just to try to take the chill off.
We will keep parents informed as and when we are given more guidance. We do understand, though, that it is not an ideal situation.
Parent teacher meetings
There are many things that we are all having to do differently.
Normally at this point in the year, we would be starting to prepare for the Autumn Parent-Teacher meetings. We would invite you to school to talk about how your child has settled in and their work etc. Due to the current restrictions, this is not possible.
Instead, your child’s class teacher will make contact with you to arrange a telephone conversation. These conversations will take place from Monday 12th October through to Friday 13th November and will be arranged for a mutually convenient time. We know it may be a little strange but we would really like for everyone to engage with this phonecall. Thank you in advance.
We do appreciate that this means that you will not be able to view your child’s work. We would hope, in the future, to be in the position of holding one of our open afternoons. Fingers crossed!
Covid or cold? Another useful graphic:
Helping your child to stay safe online
As we are asking children to do more and more work online, it is important that all caregivers know how to keep the children safe online. This handy little booklet may be of help:
Behaviour on the way to and from school
We have a small minority of year 6 children who are not behaving in the way that we would expect them to on their journey to and from school. Whilst the school’s responsibility for the children stops at the school gate, we can, and will, reprimand the children for their behaviour outside school if it impacts on their behaviour in school.
We would ask all parents to make sure that the children are supervised on their journey to school, especially during the current climate with the current restrictions.
Secondary school applications
If your child is due to start or transfer school for September 2021, it is now time to make your application.
The deadline for secondary phase applications is 31st October.
Please apply online by visiting https://www.somerset.gov.uk/education-and-families/
Unfortunately due to the current situation, this year’s ESA AGM will be held via zoom video on Monday 19th October at 8pm. If you would like to join us or require any further information please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for the details.
Mrs. Karen Smith
Yesterday we said farewell to Mrs Smith, the Finance Manager, who has retired after twenty-three years at Elmhurst. We all wish Karen the very best for her retirement.
We will be holding interviews next week for a new Business Manager but we would ask all parents to be patient and helpful in the interim. The new person will not be able to start straight away so there will be a period of time when Mrs. James and Mrs. Warden will be picking up the role in addition to their own roles within the school. We know that they will do the very best they can. They will appreciate your support. Thank you!
Forest school pizzas
And now for something not connected to Covid! Have a look at the wonderful Forest school pizzas made by some of the year 3 children:
“Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
Today, on National Poetry day, Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If” may be worth a read. You can find the full poem here: “If” A timely reminder for us all.