Dear Parents and Caregivers
We have been overwhelmed by the quality and the variety of the work the children have been sending in. Please head over to the Gallery to see a small selection of the work being completed. We can’t upload everything sent in but it is clear from the work being uploaded that the children, and you, are doing a great job of covering the curriculum they would have been covering had they been in school. This is not an easy task, so well done!
The school staff are working hard to ensure that the children have similar learning opportunities to those they may have had in school. Of course, we have had to adapt things along the way but it also means that, at times, we have had to ask an awful lot of you. We thank you for your support.
We know that home learning is not easy though so here are a few reminders:
- Don’t stress
As we said last week, you can only do your best. Things don’t always go to plan. Do what you can, when you can.
2. It’s the education that is important, not the school
Learning opportunities are everywhere. Not just in Google classroom or on worksheets. When you’re filling the kettle, ask your child to fill up to the 750ml mark, or when cooking, ask them to weigh out the 150g of pasta that you need. Go outside when you can, measure the garden or go for a walk and ask children to use great adjectives to describe the view.
3. Focus on maths, English and reading if you are finding it hard to fit everything in.
Children obviously cover much more than this in school but, if you can try to complete some work in these core areas, the other subjects are easier to catch up later. Read, read, read. Times tables and division facts. Different calculations. Spellings.
The core subjects are more linear in their nature so being able to progress relies on specific earlier knowledge, whereas subjects like geography or history are taught as independent, self-contained topics. Don’t forget to make time for the subjects that your child most enjoys whether that’s art and craft, PE or science.
Motivate your child with praise and by recognising their achievements. This will result in your child approaching their work with a positive attitude and the process will be less stressful for everybody. Please don’t be too critical: highlighting all errors in a piece of work will have a negative effect and will quickly demotivate your child.
5. Don’t do the work for your child
I was talking to a friend at the weekend who felt the need to confess to me that she had given up and completed her daughter’s literacy work herself as it was too painful trying to get her daughter to do it. Please don’t. We know it’s tempting but it won’t help in the long run. We need to know if they are struggling with it or need extra help. That is what we are here for.
6. ASK FOR HELP
It’s okay to admit that the work is hard. It’s okay to admit that you are struggling at times. It’s okay to ask for help. Either from us at school or from each other. Much of what you are trying to do with your child is very different from how you may have been taught at school. There is always someone who can help. Please see the note below from Kate Frapwell Roach and Sarah Slaughter-Ware.
We are here if needed,
Tracy and Mike
Important information: Fir class bubble closure
Due to a positive confirmed case in the Fir class bubble, we have closed the bubble.
Parents of children who have been in close contact with the confirmed case have been told to self-isolate for 10 days. Staff members who have been in close contact will also be self-isolating.
Parents of children who have attended the bubble but not been in close contact have also been contacted. These children do not need to self isolate.
Fir class bubble can reopen again on Tuesday 2nd February.
Please remember, for most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.
However, If your child develops symptoms of COVID-19, they must not come to school and should remain at home for at least 10 days from the date when their symptoms appeared. Anyone with symptoms will be eligible for a PCR test (the normally available test type) and this can be arranged via https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.
Communications – a reminder
Please make sure you read the newsletter. If you know of anyone who can’t access it, please share it with them. This is our only way of communicating with all parents and caregivers.
We will add links to any message posted on the website during the week. It should be your first port of call for whole school matters.
Class Dojo and Google classroom should be your first port of call for all classroom matters.
General questions about whole school queries can either be posted on the Facebook page or you can call the school office. If it is a matter of urgency, please call. Facebook messages may get missed.
Any safeguarding concerns should be directed to the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Mike Lawrence. The contact number for out of school hours is 07751 760627 which is also on the front of the website. During school hours please use the school number, 01458 442979. You may also email email@example.com at any time. Please remember that if you believe a child is at risk of significant harm you should telephone 999. If you are unable to contact anyone from the school the telephone number for Somerset Direct, where you may share any concerns, is 0300 123 2224
Website posts you may have missed:
Remote learning – this will also lead you to the safeguarding and SEN provision remote learning offer.
A helpful message from Kate Frapwell-Roach and Sarah Slaughter-Ware, parents and Governors
After a very informative Governors’ meeting this week we thought it might be an idea if we wrote a little message to the parents and carers of Elmhurst pupils.
Both Sarah and I are parents of children at the school and we simply wanted to say: we don’t know about you, but we are struggling. This lockdown is hard. There’s no sunshine, there’s limited outdoor time because it’s cold and wet, there are more demands from schools and workplaces and no one seems to be sure when it will all end. So, if you are feeling like this, you are not alone and we would like to remind you that you can ask for help; from the school and from us as governors.
We know the staff throughout the school are doing a fantastic job, in very challenging circumstances, and that they, like us, want the best for our children. The work that they are setting for your child each day is there to help you provide education at home but please do not feel overwhelmed by it. If it does not all get done in a day, don’t worry; if none of it gets done in a day, don’t worry. Even as a teacher myself, I am still finding teaching my own child incredibly difficult, so don’t assume you can change career overnight to become an outstanding primary educator.
You are however your child’s caregiver and that is what they really need from you right now. In the Governors’ meeting, we discussed how this lockdown is taking a toll on the relationship we have with our children and, while we are worrying that we need to keep pushing them to learn things, we are also aware that we really need to make sure that they are happy.
Yes, they should be keeping their minds busy, but this can be done in lots of ways. Use the school work as much as you can but if you are doing other learning activities as a family, that’s ok. Let the teachers know that your child is engaging in whatever they are via Class Dojo, but don’t let the stress of it all impact so much that you forget you are your child’s parent first and foremost.
Please also remember to make time for yourself, working from home or out of the home, helping with home learning, dealing with the multitude of other every day things that go on, it can seem impossible and doing it all at once probably is. So, step back, do whatever is necessary for you and your family to get through the day, the week, the rest of this lockdown.
We will get through it; we have a lovely, supportive school helping us all the way and waiting for us when we can finally send our children back to enjoy all that it has to offer.
We cannot wait for that day. Take care and stay safe.
Kate and Sarah
A message from Julian Wooster, Director of Children’s services
We have been asked to share this letter with you as well.
Half term update and Spring term 2
We have now received official guidance saying that schools will not be open over half term. Elmhurst will be closed to all children from Monday 15th February to Friday 19th February. We will reopen again on Monday 22nd February for key worker and vulnerable children – the children who are accessing provision now.
The latest update is that the Government hopes to open schools to all pupils from March 8th. This will be reviewed and is not definite; we will keep you posted. This means that we will continue with the current provision for the first two weeks after half term.
We will also share more details with you next week regarding the FSM service over half term and for the first two weeks back.
We have been asked to remind all parents, caregivers, and pupils that the Covid-19 pandemic is extremely serious and that social distancing should be maintained at all times whilst out in the community. Many concerns have been expressed about the number of young people congregating in parks and shared spaces. Thank you in advance for your support.
We are due for an OFSTED monitoring visit anytime from the 25th January onwards. These visits will take place virtually, in the first instance, and are focused on checking our progress from the previous inspection, how we have responded to the pandemic and the remote learning we have put in place.
Once we hear, we will let you know but as always your views are important.
If you would like to support us, please go onto the Ofsted Parent View website to fill in the questionaire.
If you have something that you are not happy with, we would hope that, as always, you talk to us about it first before putting it on the survey.
We conducted the survey last year just before our Ofsted and we were overwhelmed by your positivity and support. We had over 70 responses. You can see the responses here: Parent view survey
Each week, we will be sharing a little bit of information about emotion coaching – a strategy that may help during these times, especially with home learning. Have a look at this video which explains more.
For those of you who would like a quicker overview (5 minutes):
Photos for the website gallery
Please email photos (JPEGs) of any work completed through to me, Tracy Edwards at TEdwards1@ejsch.co.uk. Alternatively, if easier, you can send via Messenger. By sending them in, you agree to share them in the Elmhurst gallery on the website. Thank you in advance.
You can have a look at the gallery here: Elmhurst Lockdown Gallery 2021
Head over to the gallery to see the wonderful reading of Harry Potter by Finlay in year 3. Stunning work! It definitely made my day brighter.Thank you, Finlay.