Many thanks to you all for the great work you have done this week as we all adjust to the new 'old' way of working.
As I am sure you will have heard by now, the welsh Government have decided not to resume face to face teaching for the majority of the pupils from 18th and have instead indicated that they would review the situation on January 29th and let us know from there what will happen next.
We will continue to provide short units of work for pupils until that time and will be available during school hours to help the children, provide feedback and respond to any queries parents have. We understand it is not always easy for parents who are working at home to complete work with children and we can see quite a few pieces of work are being completed in the early evening. Please understand if staff are not able to respond immediately to work done out of school hours, we will get to it eventually. In line with other schools in the cluster we have suggested three pieces of work are completed daily. Again we are realistic and we know from the last time we had a period of home learning, some days it is just about all we can do to get the kids out of bed and dressed let alone persuade them to sit at the ipad and access Big Maths, so we will not be calling you daily if the right number of tasks are not completed. We will however, be checking in with you regularly to see how things are going and to offer 'encouragement' to your children to complete some home learning. There has been a lot of research about how different pupils learn at home and I would love to tell you someone has come up with a foolproof plan, but I can't. What seems to work is, keeping to some sort of routine in terms of going to bed and getting up, but not necessarily sitting down to work between 9-3. Getting some sort of outdoor exercise if possible is useful and giving children time to connect virtually with their friends. With regard to completing the tasks, the best way seems to be the one that causes least stress for you, fit the tasks in around what you need to do and choose the tasks that you can get the children to do with minimal impact on others. You can see that staff have tried to give a variety of tasks that do not always need pupils to complete tasks online. We would however love to see what they have been doing, so even if they have not done the task on line, please photograph it and send the work to the class teacher via SeeSaw or email so we can mark it and give feedback. Remember we are here to help whether it is a problem with school work or something different, we are at the end of a phone or an email.
The next few weeks will be challenging and I know many of you have family members who are currently unwell or self isolating, our thoughts go out to you. I hope you are able to have, and that your children also have, a relaxing weekend. With any luck you may even get some of the snow you can see on the hills above Holywell down here so they can do some sledging!!
Well the first proper teaching day of the new term....hopefully by now you will have received your mini project plan and I can see already some of the children have settled down to work. The unit of work will provide three tasks a day and lasts until next Friday. We understand how difficult it is to get children to work at home and are more than happy to give you a phone call to 'encourage' pupils to start working. We also know that there are days that working with the children is impossible so we are flexible in our three task suggestion. We know that many of you are hoping for your child to have a bit of a 'tech break' so we have designed the work so that much of it can be done on paper rather than as a worksheet or online. You may have to go to the SeeSaw plan to find it, but then it can be completed in a different way. Make sure to upload a photograph of any work completed (on SeeSaw or by email) so that the teachers can give feedback. These are tough times for all but we are here to help you all that we can. Julie is available as our Family Support Worker, class teachers can be contacted during school hours via email and I am available during school hours on 01352711496 and at all other times on email@example.com or by direct message through the Twitter account. We will be contacting everyone, one way or another in the next week. Many of you have been contacting us to ask about what will happen after 18th. Our answer is simply that we do not know. We hope that we will have all the children in school, safe and soon, but in the meantime we are here to support you and your children to the best of our ability. Thanks as always for your support and patience in these difficult times
WRITTEN STATEMENTBYTHE WELSH GOVERNMENT
Return to school and college arrangements
04 January 2021
Kirsty Williams MS, Minister for Education
The situation in Wales and across the UK remains very serious. Today, the four UK Chief Medical Officers have agreed that the UK is now at the highest level of risk, Joint Biosecurity Council level 5.
In the light of that decision the Welsh Government, in consultation with the WLGA and Colegau Cymru, has agreed that all schools, colleges and independent schools should move to online learning until January 18th.
As a government we will use the next two weeks to continue to work with local authorities, schools and colleges to plan for the rest of term.
This is the best way to ensure that parents, staff and learners can be confident in the return to face to face learning, based on the latest evidence and information.
Schools and colleges will remain open for children of critical workers and vulnerable learners, as well as for learners who need to complete essential exams or assessments. On this basis Special Schools and PRU’s should remain open if possible.
We had initially given schools flexibility in the first two weeks of term to decide when to reopen based on local circumstances.
But it is now clear that a national approach of online learning for the first fortnight of term is the best way forward.
We know that schools and colleges have been safe and secure environments throughout the pandemic.
However, we also know that education settings being open can contribute to wider social mixing outside the school and college environment.
We are confident that schools and colleges have online learning provision in place for this immediate period.
Universities in Wales have already agreed a staggered start to term. Students should not return to universities for face to face learning until they are notified that they can do so.
Wales remains in the highest level of restrictions. Everyone must stay at home.
I will continue to update members.
Happy New Year to you and your family. What a weird way to begin the new term!!
Just a reminder that we will have devices available for pupils to borrow to complete their on line work this week, should you need it. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will give you a time you can collect tomorrow.
Staff have put together a short plan with a variety of learning tasks for the pupils to work from at home this week.
This will be shared via SeeSaw on Wednesday morning.
We would expect your child to chose three activities a day to complete.
The activities will be a mix of online and other activities. Even if the activity is online, you can present it to your child for them to complete on paper if you think that would be more appropriate for your child.
Paper copies of the activities can be collected on Wednesday from the school office (please observe all the usual social distancing and hygiene procedures) if you prefer (9.30- 2pm to avoid congestion).
Please contact staff via SeeSaw if you need any further information, or use the email above to contact me.
Just a reminder that information regarding school reopening was sent out at the end of term. We will not be open for face to face teaching in the first week back. From Wednesday 6th teachers will be posting work online. Can I ask anyone who needs to access the childcare facility for key workers, who have no other childcare options, to get in touch via the email@example.com email so that I can send registration forms out for you for 6/7/8th January. Class teachers have been asked not to access their seesaw or email accounts during the holidays so please only use the email address provided here. No decision has yet been made by the Welsh Government or the Local Authority about the week beginning 11th January and we have been told we will not hear about any decision until Wednesday 6th, when they believe they will have sufficient data to work out of further precautionary measures are needed.
As we are coming to the end of a long, and somewhat unusual term, I would just like to say a few thank you or two! To all the staff at the school who have worked so hard to make our environment as safe as can be whilst still making it seem normal to the children. A thank you to the parents, who have been extremely patient, understanding and supportive as we are having to react to fast changing situations and to thanks to the pupils who have been truly amazing in their willingness to adapt to the weird world we find ourselves in, who make us laugh everyday and smile with pride at how they are thriving in the strangest of times. We look forward to seeing children again on Wednesday 6th January, whether in person as a Key Worker pupil or on line accessing our Blended Learning. A reminder that the only account that will be monitored until the new term is firstname.lastname@example.org so if you have any queries or (hopefully not) Covid related info, that is the address you should use. On behalf of all the staff at Maesglas I would like to thank you for your kind wishes and in return wish you are a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.
The letter below is sent from Claire Homard, Chief Officer for Education and Youth, FCC. I will be sending out further emails shortly to further clarify what will happen at Maesglas. Thank you for your patience whilst we try and make the necessary arrangements.
Dear Parents and Carers
School Arrangements for January 2021
In light of the Welsh Government’s announcement for new restrictions for Wales after Christmas there have also been national decisions taken about the provision of education when schools reopen in January. Welsh Government has advised local authorities that a more flexible approach will be needed to account for possible increases in the transmission of the virus, particularly after the Christmas holidays where there will have been greater mixing between families. They have advised schools to make greater use of remote learning approaches in the first few weeks of the new year, with an expectation that all schools will be back to delivering face-to-face learning by the 18th January, unless exceptional circumstances exist. Flintshire County Council has taken the decision, in consultation with its Headteachers and in line with Welsh Government advice, that Flintshire schools will not reopen for face-to-face learning for the week beginning 4th January 2021 and will provide online learning for all pupils. Schools are required to make appropriate provision for leaners who are considered to be vulnerable and this may include attendance at school for some pupils. All schools are also required to make in-school provision for the children of critical workers where alternative childcare is genuinely not available. It is essential that critical workers, as defined by Welsh Government, are able to fulfil their roles whilst schools are providing learning digitally. Each school will be contacting parents to identify which children may need to continue to attend school during this time. The legislation requires schools to make childcare available as a minimum from 8.30am to 4.00pm. Working within the regulations set out by Welsh Government, critical worker provision will be in place in Flintshire schools no later than Wednesday 6th January. Schools are not required to make provision if it is a designated school training day. The decision when to move schools back to face to face learning will not be made until the 6th January when the local data around the virus has been analysed and the level of risk determined. This will be communicated to parents as quickly as possible. The Council’s aim is to return to face to face learning as quickly as possible, but only when it is safe to do so. We appreciate this information is coming to you at very short notice but the Council has only been made aware of Welsh Government’s position within the last 24 hrs. Children entitled to Free School Meals will continue to receive direct payments for the period of remote learning. More details around catering arrangements for children who need to attend school either as a vulnerable learner or for childcare arrangements will be communicated as quickly as possible. Once schools have determined their opening arrangements for January, as some have scheduled training days, we will also be able to communicate arrangements for those who are eligible for school transport and need to assess if they will be physically attending school for the reasons outlined above. It is our expectation that all learners will receive the same learning offer from their school whether they are at home and engaged in remote learning or whether they need to be physically in the building. Whilst we appreciate that this decision may cause some anxieties and there may be some unanswered questions, we are working at speed with our headteachers on this last day of the term to put things in place for a smooth and safe start to the new year and will continue to provide parents and carers with information via letters from schools and on our website www.flintshire.gov.uk
Claire Homard and Cllr Ian Roberts
As we move to on line teaching for the next few days please be aware of the following-
In the event of your child testing positive for Covid -19 during the Christmas break period, please contact the school via email@example.com Normal contact via SeeSaw app, Twitter or by email with class teachers will not be monitored, so please only use the main email address here.
Class teachers will be available via email and seesaw up only until 3.15 Friday 18th. If you need to contact the school for any reason, please also use the firstname.lastname@example.org which will be monitored daily. The school mobile will be monitored daily also if you would prefer to message 07930499657
In all cases please be patient if we do not get back to you immediately.
Thanks for your understanding
As we today is our last face to face teaching day this term we have some goodbyes to make...
Firstly we wish Miss Johnson well as she leaves us to move to a job closer to her home town, the other side of the border!
Secondly to Miss Collins as she leaves working in education and embarks on a new adventure. We know we will still see her lots though and can't wait for the Spring when she will come back to see us to help plant a very special garden (more on that to follow).
And finally we wish our current Reception teachers, Mrs. Hughes and Mrs. Lloyd a very happy, early, retirement. They have been teaching here for well over twenty years and have taught not only all of our current pupils but a significant number of the parents as well! They have been dedicated to giving the children of Greenfield the best start in life and I am sure you will all join with me in thanking them for everything they have done for the children and the community generally. We will miss them both very much and wish them every happiness in their retirement.
Dear Parents and Carers
We all have a role to play in the fight against Coronavirus!
Over the past few months a number of Flintshire schools have been affected by pupils who have been forced to self-isolate, due to positive cases in their school ‘bubbles’.
The vast majority of families have complied with the requirements set out by Public Health Wales and the Welsh Government. However, with Christmas fast approaching it’s important to remind ourselves of why we still need to adhere to these rules.
Over recent weeks there has been a steady increase in the numbers of people testing positive to COVID-19 in the county. Colleagues in schools have picked up on some concerning trends and misconceptions, which goes against the current health protection guidance. Some of the main areas of concern are:
· Lack of adherence to self-isolation rules, when confirmed as a positive case or awaiting test results, some examples seen in Flintshire schools are:
o Adults with symptoms and whilst waiting for their test result to come through sending and picking up their children from school
o Childcare being provided by adults who are contacts of positive cases and should be self-isolating
o Particularly for older pupils, not understanding how a bubble and the need to self-isolate works. For instance, carrying on with part time jobs, socialising with the bubble contacts.
· Children mixing outside school time – sleepovers, birthday parties, play dates, park mixing, family parties. School bubbles only relates to the school – not outside.
o Shared childcare out of school time – unregistered childminders taking children back with their children from school, also grandparents, aunties and uncles.
o Lift sharing (both school staff and parents taking other people’s children to school) – this has caught several schools out.
With concern also being raised by Welsh Government and the potential for more lockdowns in the future, we ask that everyone in Flintshire does their part to keep our County safe.
We urge all families to be vigilant and stay safe over the upcoming holidays. The advice from Welsh Government remains in place and can be viewed here – https://gov.wales/coronavirus and advises:
Keep Wales safe:
o stay out of each other’s homes, except in very limited circumstances
o try to limit how many different people you meet
o maintain social distancing
o wash your hands regularly
o work from home if you can
Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Education and Youth, Councillor Ian Roberts, said:
“These are not “normal” times and coronavirus is active in all of our communities. We all need to work together to keep Flintshire safe and avoid meeting people from outside our household, wear face coverings and follow the rules that are in place to keep us all safe.”
Best wishes for a peaceful and safe Christmas.
Chief Officer, Education & Youth
Mr Cass, Headteacher