Newsletter 29th January 2021

Article 31

Every child has the right to rest and leisure and to engage in play and recreational activities.

Dear all,

It is the end of yet another busy week!

Remote Learning – Thank you.

We are now at the end of the fourth week of lockdown. We know, as each week goes on, that many parents are feeling the strain of the pandemic. We are aware that so many of you are ‘juggling’ - trying to keep going out to work or working from home, trying to support your children with remote learning and keeping your families as positive as possible in these most challenging of times.

As a school, we are trying hard to support you; we have offered as many places as possible to children of key workers or vulnerable children in school – we have accommodated well above the national average and almost at capacity in some year groups. Staff are doing their best to help parents with the technology and the remote learning – you are doing an amazing job by helping your child ‘hand in’ their work to TEAMS daily. Remote learning is new to all of us – a learning curve as we all strive to make the technology work to give children access to continued provision.

We all want to say ‘well done’ to all of you for the support and help that you are giving your children. We know that some of you are struggling to help your child complete the work set. We know that we have high expectations and set plenty of work each day, following the government guidelines – we want to ensure that learning continues whether your child is at home or in school, which is why we are delivering exactly the same curriculum for children wherever they are completing the work. However, we know that some of you are finding it hard to motivate your children and that for some children it is taking them a long time to complete work set. Please do not feel under pressure – all we ask is that children do their best. If children cannot manage all of the work set, then please encourage them to read each day and prioritise the English and Maths work as these basic skills underpin the rest of the curriculum. We suggest that establishing a new daily routine will help; it is also important to encourage your child to have regular breaks away from the screen.

Good Work Assemblies

It has been wonderful to see and hear from children who are working remotely. Staff and children alike have really enjoyed coming together to celebrate the wonderful efforts of our children at home and in school. Most of the technical issues that we experienced in the first week have now been resolved. If you are still having issues with these at home, TEAMS appears to work better using the App rather than the desktop/web browser.

Please follow this troubleshooting guide if necessary:

(https://confluence.uconn.edu/ikb/communication-and-collaboration/office-365/microsoft-teams/troubleshooting-microsoft-teams/i-can-t-hear-others-in-teams) and hopefully any issues will be resolved for this week.

Parent Consultations

Thank you to all parents who signed up for the parent consultations this week. Teachers are contacting all parents to discuss their child’s progress. Teachers have enjoyed their conversations with parents this week and staff have really appreciated parents who have commented positively about school organisation, communication and the quality of the learning provided.

Parent Questionnaires

At this point in the school year, we ask parents to complete a short questionnaire to give us feedback. This year, we would like you to complete this via the school website. To complete the form please log on to the school website or use your School Life App. Click on the purple ‘forms’ pencil, parent questionnaire 2021 – please read each question carefully and select the most appropriate answer from the drop down options. There is also an option for you to tell us what we are doing well, how we can improve or leave a general comment. This should take only a couple of minutes and is extremely useful for us. The parent questionnaire will close on Wednesday 10th February 2021.

Forthcoming dates

As a school we care deeply about all of our children and their wellbeing.  Staff have regularly called, emailed or responded to parents’ questions via TEAMS to support with remote learning or have provided learning packs, where they have been needed.  Next week, your child’s class teacher (Rec – Yr 6) will call to have a quick chat with your child, so that they know that they have not been forgotten and that we care about their welfare and learning. We want help you to keep your child motivated to continue their learning remotely.

Staff will try to call at the following days, either am or pm.

Day

AM

PM

Monday

 

Rec J

Tuesday

2B and 2P

3/4D, 3/4O, Rec C

Wednesday

1C

1W, 5/6B

Thursday

 

5/6R, 3/4 C

Friday

 

 

Children's Mental Health Week 2021

From 1-7 February 2021, we’re taking part in Place2Be’s Children’s Mental Health Week. This year’s theme is 'Express Yourself'. Place2Be has created activities and resources to help children (and adults) to explore the different ways that they can share their thoughts, feelings, and ideas.  There are lots of resources on the Children’s Mental Health Week website that you can use with your child at home; including activity ideas, tips for parents and carers, and an online assembly which will be available from Monday 1st February. 

Children’s Mental Health Week is taking place on 1-7 February 2021.This year's theme is Express Yourself. All of our free resources can be adapted for use in school, for home-schooling, online lessons or independent learning.. Please add the dates to your calendar and sign up for email alerts for the latest Children's Mental Health Week news.

https://www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk/

Dress to express!

Monday 1st February 2021 Pupils can come to school in their own choice of clothes/costume.  They can wear their favourite colour or choose a range of colours that express how they’re feeling. Colour can be very personal and mean different things to different people, so this is a great opportunity to encourage self-expression and celebrate a diverse range of emotions.   Children at home can join in too and upload their photos to TEAMS.

Visit the website to find out more.

TTRS dressing up day Friday 5th February

Next Friday 5th February, all children who have achieved Rock Star, Rock Legend or Rock Hero status (for the 1st time) will be allowed to dress as a Rock Star or come in their own clothes.  All children who are able to dress up will have a sticker in their planner.

Rock Star (3s - which is 20 questions in a minute), 

Rock Legend (2s - which is 30 questions in a minute) 

Rock Hero (1s - which is 60 questions in a minute).

Children who are at home can also dress up as a TT Rock Star if they have moved up and we may see them on the Teams Assembly, or they can post a photo to Teams if they wish to.  They will still be allowed to dress up again when they are back in school.


Any child who has achieved Rock Hero status will always be able to dress up on TTRS days. Please encourage your children to go on TT Rock Stars.  All children can go on TT Rock Stars, but it is aimed at children in Years 1-6. TT Rock Stars helps children improve their times tables when used regularly – it is recommended that children use it for at least 3 minutes per day.   

There is no download needed and it works on PC and Mac, but there are free APPs available for Android, Apple and Amazon phones and tablets.

Please remember to use Mathletics too, as homework will continue to be set weekly on this. Thank you for your support.

Mr Baker

Tuesday 9th February is Internet Safety Day. We always mark this event at school and this year it seems particularly relevant since so many children are learning remotely. This year in the UK, Safer Internet Day explores reliability online. The internet has an amazing range of information and opportunities online, but how do we separate fact from fiction? Learning opportunities set for this day will reflect the importance of children keeping themselves safe online, both at home and in school.

February half-term
The DfE has confirmed this week that schools will close as usual over February half-term and are not expected to remain open to vulnerable children and the children of critical workers during that week. Therefore, school will close at the usual time on Thursday 11th February (don’t forget that Friday 12th February is an Inset day).

Proposed full re-opening of schools

You may have heard that on Wednesday, Boris Johnson announced a delay to the reopening of schools in England until at least Monday, March 8. This date has not been confirmed and is the earliest that schools may re-open.

The prime minister had planned to reopen schools earlier than this, but high infection rates and uncertainty over the vaccine's ability to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, mean the date has been pushed back.

He told MPs reopening schools was a "national priority" and that other lockdown restrictions may be eased by February 22 if the government hits its target of vaccinating the top four priority groups by the middle of next month.

Mr Johnson told the Commons:

"The first sign of normality beginning to return should be pupils going back to their classrooms. I know how parents and teachers need as much certainty as possible including two weeks' notice of the return of face-to-face teaching.

We know how frustrating this is for pupils and teachers who want nothing more than to get back to the classroom. Also for parents and for carers who have spent so many months juggling their day jobs, not only with home schooling but meeting the myriad other demands of their children from breakfast until bedtime.”

Unfortunately, schools do not have advance warning of government decisions – we hear at the same time as parents do when announcements are made on television. We have been assured that schools will receive 2 weeks’ notice of a planned re-opening – this will give us the chance to give parents plenty of notice about arrangements rather than having to react to announcements with no notice. We will keep you informed as soon as we have any information.

Snow

I am sure that many of you felt that we could have done without the added pressure of the snow at the start of this week – I know that staff here felt exactly the same! We are acutely aware of the pressures on families whose children are attending school which is why we remained open. In snowy weather we will remain open as long as we have the ability to open safely (whilst most of our children are local and can walk to school, many of our staff live further away and have difficult journeys to get to school). Please make sure that you are logged in to the School Life App so that you receive all updates from us.

A reminder of our procedures.

If a decision is made to close the school, it will be announced on local radio

Free Radio BC - 97.2

Free Radio—B’ham – 96.4

Black Country Radio

  • We will also update the school website and send out a group text.
  • To keep the school open we have to have enough staff in school to care for the children as well as premises that are safe enough to enter (gritted pathways etc.)
  • Please do not ring the school. We are unlikely to be able to make an early decision as many staff live a distance away and will be experiencing difficulty getting to school. As soon as a decision is made to close the radio stations will be informed.
  • As you know, where possible we do our best to stay open. However, if conditions are unsafe for either children or staff then we have no option but to close. We will do our best!

Have a lovely weekend,

Best wishes,

 

Mrs Miller and Miss Stanton

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