Good Afternoon all and happy 'the end of another week!'
We were sad to hear today, that schools will not be open to all pupils in the next few weeks. You will have heard they are hoping to start reopening to some children after half term but as yet we don't know what they will want us to do. We will let you know as soon as we can what arrangements are being allowed.
We have trialed live sessions over the past few weeks in the juniors and, having consulted with other colleagues, we think we have found a way to deliver sessions for your children safely. Details of how to login to the sessions will be coming to you today (KS2) or early next week (FP) but they are fairly simple to follow and will allow pupils and staff to interact safely and virtually.
Don't worry if you cannot make the live session because of lack of devices - we will record them and have them available for replaying. Sessions are Y3/4 9.30 daily Y5/6 2pm Daily Year 1/2 Story Session 1pm Wednesday and Thursday Reception and Nursery Story 12.30 pm Wednesday and Thursday There will be two members of staff present in the room with your children and the input will be recorded. A code of practice for taking part will be emailed to you along with login details.
Next week staff will be contacting you regarding parent's evening conferences which will be taking part, by video or phone call from Monday 8th February. Your child is welcome to take part in those conversations too.
We received notification today from the local MPs office, that we are having a number of brand new devices donated to school to help those of you who are struggling to access the online work at home, especially important as we move to live sessions. This is a fantastic boost as we were originally advised that any devices we got were likely to reconditioned units. These devices will be available for loaning out in the coming weeks. We will be contacting parents who have previously told us they do not have devices, but if your circumstances have changed or you do not have enough devices for the number of children you have, please get in touch via email@example.com to make me aware you would be happy to receive a device when they arrive. These devices are being donated through the Raspberry Pi Stay Connected Scheme and are being funded by MoneySupermarket and Kingspan. We are enormously grateful for their generosity.
New class topics start on Monday and the office will be open from 9-12 if anyone would like to come and pick up a paper copy of the work to support the online work.
And last but not least, for those who have not seen the messages already. Huge congratulations to Mr Oldfield who became a very proud dad to a beautiful baby girl this week. He has tried to keep up with his workload (he said it took his mind of the waiting!) but you may have noticed Mrs Orme and Mr Woodcock cropping up more frequently as they have taken the reigns in his class.
I hope you all have a lovely weekend - there may even be a little more snow!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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.
Mr Cass, Headteacher