It feels like in the last two weeks you have been bombarded with letters and information as things have changed so rapidly due to the ongoing Covid 19 outbreak. This marks the last of the letters I will be sending while the Children remain in school. Communication from this point forward will be through Do-jo, our closed Facebook page and our website, email and phonecall.
There are numerous things to update you on, clarify where we can and to provide information before the school closes to comply with the governmental directive.
We have explained to all Children in school how to access their work and expectations for its completion over the upcoming school closure.
Children will be set work each day of the normal term through Do-Jo. This work should be completed in the exercise book provided. If they run out of room in a book they should complete the work on paper. The work will be checked on their return to school – in the weeks after Easter as it becomes clearer how long the length of the closure becomes apparent we will advise further. For the cohort of Children with no internet connection, work will be sent home in hard copy weekly. We will be monitoring the accessing of what is set and all staff will be available (illness permitting) during the school day by email to help support with work.
We cannot emphasise enough how vital it is that parents encourage Children to complete the work being set. Children need routine and structure. In a worst-case scenario, they could be working remote from school for a number of months. Together we have to try and ensure that they remain engaged in their schooling. You may want to start the period of closure by devising an agreed timetable of how the day will work. For example, it may be that from 9-9:30 you chose to take part in morning exercise, 10-10:30 English task, 11:30-12 gardening and so on
Staying Safe and being Mindful of others
I do want to remind all parents why the drastic step of closing the schools has taken place. It is to protect people and to try and stop contact between different groups within our communities and to allow people to look after themselves and their families.
Children will have work throughout the closure period as if they were in school and during the day some time should be spent inside, completing that work.
Children and parents should be mindful of the guidance around social distancing. We all have a responsibility to ensure that we follow that guidance. As tempting as it is to have sleepovers and play dates we all have a duty to limit social interaction.
Many Children have suggested how they could volunteer to help neighbours and elderly relatives and it is those stories we want to celebrate and encourage in the coming months. I would like to think every student would look left, look right, look across the street and help support the elderly and vulnerable at this time. That could be by tidying a garden, sending a letter or actually just calling Grandparents more often to keep them feeling supported and connected with us all.
There is no doubt that occupying the Children and ourselves at times will be difficult but it is certainly a challenge we can all meet.
We are acutely aware that we will need to keep in regular contact with parents and Children alike.
Initially we will be in touch with yourself and your children periodically through the normal term time within the closure period. If you have any concerns or indeed want to ask something about school then please do email me and/or Tracy. We do not know if any staff may at some point become unable to respond for a variety of reasons so please copy both contacts into any correspondence. A reminder of those contacts for ease are:
Mrs Lisa Bland – firstname.lastname@example.org
Tracy Morland – email@example.com
Reporting a Safeguarding Concern
As a school, acting in a remote capacity or not, we are always committed to ensuring the welfare and safety of all our Children. If any members of the school or local community have concerns about the welfare of a student, or if you have any safeguarding queries, please contact me on the above email and I will be in contact as soon as is feasible.
Child Care Provision for Key Workers
Provision has been made for those of you who filled out the survey as parents of key workers. You will receive a letter separately to tell you of arrangements.
The next couple of months will be odd – our school community will not be together but we will still all be connected. We will be here for the Children and you if you need us, supporting where we can
We are working closely with Tebay services and Fareshare to try and ensure everyone is safe, warm and fed. We are currently assessing whether the social club can be a place for this. As always, we are also planning and thinking ahead to when the school will again be allowed to return to its normal running. We hope we will see the Children at some time in the summer term.
The school for those of us who will be in, will certainly be a little more than an empty shell without that vibrancy each and every one of our children bring. I wish everyone the very best for those days ahead and hope that you and your families are all able to stay safe.