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St Mary’s C of E Primary School

“Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34

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Coronavirus Information - School Closure

National Lock-down

As we enter another national lock-down, I would like to thank everyone in our school community for responding positively in very difficult circumstances.  Staff, pupils and parents alike have shown patience, understanding, perseverance, flexibility and great dedication.  School is now  closed to most pupils, who we are supporting to learn from home. 

 

Throughout the crisis, we have remained open for many children.  Once again, we are open to support 'vulnerable' pupils and the children of 'critical workers'.  The experience of accommodating many children during the spring and summer term lock-down last year, can give us great confidence that we can make a success of this situation.  It can be done!  

 

Please do make sure you look out for communications from school during this period of lock-down.  You will receive letters and emails from the school via Parent Mail.  The key letters sent home can also be found here on the school website.  Your child's teacher will use SeeSaw to contact you and your child and to send and receive messages.  SeeSaw is a useful communication tool, not just a means of setting work.  Please contact the school if you are having any difficulties with SeeSaw.  

 

The children will soon get used to different routines just as they did during the previous lock-down.  The children in school have adapted surprisingly quickly and are managing the new expectations well.  

 

Please note that we are continuing to operate staggered start and finish times.  This is currently common practice in schools to ensures that 'bubbles' of children do not mix.  Also, it reduces congestion outside school.  We are lucky to have several gates, which helps to reduce congestion further.  The times for each class are below.  If you have a clash and need to drop off siblings at different gates at the same time, we advise that you drop off the youngest child first; the eldest sibling will not be penalised for being late!  

 

Thank you for the ongoing patience and support of the school community.  Together, we can make the best of a difficult situation and give the children rich experiences both at school and at home.  We look forward to seeing all the children back at some point soon!

 

Year Group

Drop Off

Pick Up

Gate

Nursery (Saplings)

9:00am

12:00 or 3:10pm

Red – Main Front Gate

Reception (Ash)

8:50am

3:15pm

Red – Main Front Gate

Year 1 (Oak)

8:55am

3:20pm

Red – Main Front Gate

Year 2 (Elm)

8:50am

3:15pm

Blue – Playground Gate

Year 3 (Beech)

8:55am

3:20pm

Green – Top Gate

Year 4 (Rowan)

8:50am

3:15pm

Green – Top Gate

Year 5 (Chestnut)

9:00am

3:25pm

Blue – Playground Gate

Year 6 (Willow)

8:55am

3:20pm

Blue – Playground Gate

 

 

Supporting Anxious Children

 

If you or your children have any worries, please do not hesitate to get in touch.  You can email admin@stmaryshad.co.uk or your children's teachers using their class email address.  Also, you can contact our Pastoral Support Worker on pastoral.support@stmaryshad.co.uk.

 

If your children are anxious about coronavirus or worried about coming back to school, the links below may be helpful. 

Collective Worship in School

The children who have returned to school still have collective worship with all the other children regularly.  We use the interactive whiteboards in the classrooms to make sure we can see everyone.  Here is a story we shared in worship recently.  There are more examples of Bible story videos that you can use for worship at home on our page dedicated to the school's Christian vision and values.

 

Worship with Mr Frolish - 'Shipwrecked' a story about courage

PE This Term

 

If your child is currently attending in-school provision, you do not need to send in his / her PE bag.  This is to reduce the number of items coming into school and so that lots of children do not have to get changed together in small spaces.  Instead, we ask that your children come dressed in suitable clothes for outdoor physical activity every day they attend school.  They will remain in these clothes during the day and do not need a change of clothes.  Please send them in fresh, clean clothes every day.  Suitable clothes may include:

  • Trainers for outdoor sport;
  • T-Shirt and shorts (these are likely to be the school’s usual PE kit although this is not essential at the moment);
  • Long trousers (e.g. jogging or tracksuit bottoms) and a long-sleeve top (e.g. a sweater or fleece) over the kit because the weather may be cool.

 

At the moment, all PE lessons are outdoors, which is better for preventing the spread of infection.  If children wish to wear school their school jumper, please feel free to allow them to do so; it need not be a cause of anxiety. 

We strongly recommend that children bring a change of footwear, such as trainers or wellies, for breaktime as the field is very muddy but we are using all the available space to spread the children out.

We are not expecting swimming lessons to take place this term and will  inform you when these begin again. 

 

If your child is learning at home, we recommend that he or she takes part in physical activities and regular exercise.  Joe Wicks posts ‘PE with Joe’ exercise programmes online three times a week, from Monday 11th January.  Of course, many of his old routines can still be found on YouTube to fill the gaps.  Many of the children will be familiar with his workouts.  It’s fun and good for you!  You could do this every day!

 

 

How Can Parents and Carers Help?

 

With rising coronavirus cases, a new strain of the virus and nationwide concerns about the safety of school staff and pupils, I am asking everyone in the school community to support me in taking positive action to keep your children, you and the school staff safe.   The following advice is for parents who are continuing to use in-school provision.

  • Please do not share lifts to or from school with other parents who are not part of your household. 
  • Please wear a face covering at drop-off and pick-up times unless there is a medical reason not to.  Please do not remove your face covering to talk to other parents and carers or when you get into one another’s cars.
  • Please make sure that you maintain social distancing while in the queue for dropping off or picking up.
  • Please arrive at the right time and send your children through the correct gate.  We are really lucky that our school site has so many entrances, allowing us to keep apart different ‘bubbles’ of children and avoid large crowds of families at drop-off and pick-up times. 
  • Please avoid gathering in the park with other families before dropping off or after picking children up when it can get very busy.  As well as your children mixing with other ‘bubbles’ within school, there are also likely to be children from other schools.
  • Please move on quickly after dropping off or picking up your children and do not congregate on the pathways around school to talk to other parents and carers in groups.
  • Please do not drop off or collect children from another household unless they are part of a ‘child care bubble’.
  • Schools have been guided to ventilate classrooms by opening doors and windows.  This does make the classrooms much cooler than usual.  We recommend that children wear layers of clothing to keep warm.
  • Please minimise the number of belongings that children bring into school and avoid sending in toys.  However, it is important that the children from Year 1 to Year 6 have a change of shoes or wellies to use on the field.  We have to use all our outdoor space to accommodate the children and it is very muddy at the moment!
  • Please avoid speculating on the situation on social media.  Be assured that I will always share with you any information you need to know, such as school closure if this becomes necessary.
  • Please talk to your children about keeping safe and following the rules in school.
  • Please inform the school immediately if a child or someone in the household shows symptoms or takes a coronavirus test.  It is essential to let us know the outcome of tests straightaway as we are expected to keep records and liaise with the Local Authority and Public Health Teams.
  • Please follow the government guidance on isolation if your child or someone in the household displays symptoms or has a positive test.  Links to government guidance on isolating if you have coronavirus or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive can be found below. 

 

 

Home Learning

While the school is closed during term time, we still expect pupils to engage in learning activities at home.  As in the first lock-down, we encourage the children to use:

  • Times Tables Rock Stars to practice times tables through fun activities;
  • Accelerated Reader to complete quizzes on reading books (children in Years 2 – 6 and some Year 1 children are registered).

 

If you cannot find your child’s log-in details for these, please contact your child’s teacher and they will support you.  To further enhance your child’s learning, we also recommend the free BBC Bitesize resources for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/levels/zbr9wmn

 

Your child’s teacher will share a weekly timetable of learning activities.  Each day, there will English and maths tasks and an activity that relates to the broader curriculum.  All activities will be posted on SeeSaw, so that you only have to look in one place.  During the autumn term, we encouraged parents to ensure they were signed up for SeeSaw in case there was another lockdown.  If you are still struggling to register or use SeeSaw, please do contact the school for help.  Teachers have already been helping some parents to use SeeSaw this term.  Where families have significant problems with technology, your teacher will support you. 

 

For some learning activities, teachers will post videos or examples to help your child understand the tasks and be more independent.  This will also help them to feel more connected to school.  We strongly encourage children to share their learning with teachers on SeeSaw, for example by posting photos and completed work.

 

We strongly recommend for the wellbeing of you and your children that you try to stick to a daily home-learning routine.  A lack of routine could make it more difficult for your child when they return to school.  The Government clearly expects all children to engage with home-learning and teachers will communicate with you to offer support if your child is struggling to manage this.  We are going to try hard to move the children’s learning forward rather than just post revision tasks.  As this crisis extends further, the children cannot ‘stand still’.  We ask that parents work in partnership with the school to encourage children to complete these tasks at home. 

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