Friday 15th January 2021 Newsletter

Article 15

You have the right to choose your own friends and join or set up groups, as long as it isn’t harmful to others.

Remote Learning

Thank you to all of the children and parents who have been completing their home learning daily.  This week, teachers have called a few parents of children who are not engaging with the remote learning and had positive conversations, to try and overcome barriers.  Some children are viewing the work set but may be forgetting to ‘hand in’.  Please ensure you click on the 'Hand in' button on the top right of the screen.

Teachers have planned remote learning and learning in school to mirror each other so that all children are getting the same curriculum. However, in school, teachers and support staff will be facilitating the learning through questioning, addressing misconceptions and immediate feedback throughout each lesson. Therefore, you may find that some children at home are telling you that they have completed learning that has been set. In school, the entire lesson is needed to deliver this learning and teachers have commented that the learning could continue for a longer period of time than they have available. Therefore, home learning will require some intervention from an adult to ensure that the child is completing all learning activities.

Some children are not engaging with the remote learning or learning packs that have been set by their teachers, this then makes it difficult for teachers to fully assess the coverage and assess the progress that children are making.  If you have concerns about this, please talk to your child’s class teacher or email info@blanford.dudley.sch.uk with the subject – Child’s name, class and teacher.  Staff will then try to resolve any issues.

All staff are currently in school teaching key worker and vulnerable children, they are also setting remote learning and marking daily.  Staff are working relentlessly on systems that are new to all. 

We have received many positive comments from parents – either via TEAMS or via the info box, acknowledging that school staff are trying their best to support children and their families in the latest lockdown.  This is very much appreciated by the staff throughout school.  Recognition of our efforts boosts morale!

Some children are completing other learning at home, which is wonderful, but has not been set by school.  If you choose to upload the work for teachers that has not been set by the school, then, unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that staff will have time to mark or comment on this.  The volume of marking for all pupils as well as the children in school is vast. It is commendable that some parents are encouraging children to be enthused by other learning opportunities at home as well as the work that staff have set, but we are sure that you will understand that staff may not have the capacity to mark this too.

Accessing remote Learning via PlayStation or Xbox

An alternative method of accessing remote learning during times of lockdown.

Xbox

  1. Plug a keyboard in to the Xbox USB slot
  2. Go in to my games and apps
  3. Find Microsoft Edge and select
  4. Type in: Office365 and log in as you would in school
  5. You can then access your work and use key packages including:
  • Teams
  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Your emails
  1. To move around you use the Xbox controller or plug in a mouse

PlayStation

  1. Identify the PlayStation internet browser icon (it is WWW with dots around it)
  2. Press the PlayStation logo on the controller
  3. Go to the library and find options for games and applications
  4. Go in to applications and you will find the internet browser
  5. Type Office365 into the browser and log in as you would in school
  6. You can then access your work and use key packages including:
  • Teams
  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Your emails

Pupils can access this learning with their device remote controls but may be able to engage more effectively with a keyboard / mouse.

Key workers

We have a large number of key worker and vulnerable children attending school currently.  We have to prioritise the safety and welfare of our pupils and staff, so unfortunately, we may not have the capacity to accommodate any future requests for places.

Dudley LA have stated:

“All of our schools are complying with the government’s policy of reducing the number of pupils who attend for face-to-face teaching, while at the same time ensuring that they try to support families who genuinely need places. Schools are managing the decisions in a way which seeks to balance these two issues and, as a local authority, we support them in the difficult decisions that they are having to make”.

During the National Lockdown the Government has stated:

Critical workers

“Parents whose work is critical to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and EU transition response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined in the following sections. Children with at least one parent or carer who is a critical worker can go to school or college if required, but parents and carers should keep their children at home if they can.

“The reason schools have been restricted is because additional measures are needed to contain the spread of the virus”.

 Free School Meals

We have continued to provide Free School Meals for all infant children attending school and those who qualify for FSM under the benefit scheme.  We have continued to provide free school meal support to pupils who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals and are not attending school. Hampers have been ordered for next week if you have requested one, so please collect as usual.

From Sunday 24th January a £15 voucher will be emailed to all families in receipt of benefits-related free school meals and are not attending school – rather than the hamper that we have provided the past few weeks. Please ensure you look out for the voucher.

Good work

Children are working hard both in school and at home. We are continuing to acknowledge this and celebrate success through our weekly ‘Good Work’ awards for each class. For children working remotely, this will be posted on TEAMS.

Parent Consultations week commencing Monday 25th January

We are holding our Parent Consultations this term during the week commencing Monday 25th January 2021.  Due to the National Lockdown and protecting our staff welfare, the parent consultations will take place, this time, during the school day.   Staff will use their Planning, Preparation and Assessment time to contact parents.  The consultations will take place at different times and days throughout the week. 

Unfortunately, due to the Coronavirus and the current Government guidance our Parents consultations will again take place over the telephone this term, not face to face.

For this parent consultation, all appointments should be made online.

It is really important that you are logged into the ‘SchoolLife’ app or can access the website via a ‘tablet’ or ‘desktop/laptop’ computer.

All appointments will be ‘active and live’ to book from Saturday 16th January 2021 until Friday 22nd January 2021 Yrs Nursery – 6.  Please note that Nursery consultations will only be available for the children who have attended in the Autumn term 2020.

When booking your appointment – please select your child’s name from the list for the time you require.  Can you then please ‘add a comment’ by adding the name of the parent who will be called and their phone number – please remember to ‘save’ the comment.  This makes is easier for staff to call the selected parent on the allocated number.

Each class teacher will put up appointment lists indicating the times that they are available. Please note that these will vary for each teacher.  This is a valuable opportunity for you to talk with your son or daughter’s class teacher about their learning from October to now.

Appointments allow a maximum of 5 minutes for each set of parents. If you need additional discussion time you may need to make a further appointment on another day.

Please note that staff will ring the mobile number of the parent who is stated on the booking form and the allocated number that the parent has requested to be call on.

If there is no response at the allocated time, then staff will call you again after they have spoken to other parents, if time allows.  If the selected dates are not convenient, please put a note in your child’s planner if they are in school or email info@blanford.dudley.sch.uk adding ‘Parent Consultation’ to the subject line and the member of staff will arrange a mutually convenient time to speak to you between 8.15 am and 4.00 pm

We would be grateful if parents did not ring the office to make appointments - we simply do not have the capacity to make appointments on behalf of parents.

Planners

Planners are an integral part of communications between home and school. The planner will be used daily to aid learning in school as they have valuable resources inside, messages can be written in the planner by parents, children and staff.         

We would like to thank you for your continued support in these difficult times.

Stay safe.

Mrs Miller and Miss Stanton

Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher

A School Life Website
School Life app download
School Life app download