I hope you are all well and, like us, are beginning to adjust to the sudden change of plans since Monday. Thank you for all your kind comments and patience to date. Our plans and staffing are now pretty much in place and, as promised on Tuesday, I am now writing with full details of our remote learning provision. This is already under way but we wanted to clarify our online learning offer and expectations. All the details listed below will be operational from next Monday (11th) but many are happening already.
All home learning will be communicated via Google Classroom for which you should now all have received a class code. If you have not received one, please contact your class teacher directly.
We have formed 'bubble' teams for each year group across both schools. These are made up of teachers and teaching assistants who already work with children of this age so you may meet other staff from Denton on a call! This system should ensure continuity of staffing even if some members of our team are unable to work. Over the next day or so, teachers will provide a list of all staff working in their bubble, together with contact details.
The teaching teams will also be working in school in the critical worker and vulnerable children provision. We have devised a rota, which means each team will split in two and have one week in school and one week working from home. Please bear with us if your teacher is on an 'in school' week as their availability for email responses may be limited. There will however, always be a member of the bubble team on remote 'duty'.
Each day, activities and lessons will be loaded onto Google Classroom for the children to complete. These may be in the form of pre-recorded videos made by the teacher or PowerPoints that the children can follow. They will cover the whole curriculum including topic work. We have tried live Zooms from school and whole group on line teaching sessions; these are very tricky and not productive. A pre-recorded teacher video will allow for children to replay and also listen at a convenient time.
Twice daily, teachers for Years 1 to 6 will schedule a live Zoom question and answer session during which the children can talk to their teachers about any areas with which they may need help. Children do not need to attend if they are confident with what they are doing. These sessions will provide a good opportunity for teachers to gauge understanding and if they feel that there are misconceptions, the teachers may organise additional 'one to one' or group sessions. Even if the teacher is in school that week, they will hold the Q and A session.
In recognition of the difficulties you may have scheduling Zooms for more than one child, we have agreed a timetable for each age group which is as follows:
Year 1 and 2: 10.30 to 11.00am and 2.00 to 2.30pm
Years 3 and 4: 11.00 to 11.30am and 2.30pm to 3.00pm
Year 5 and 6: 1.30am to 12.00pm and 3.00pm to 3.30pm
Early years will be holding Zoom sessions (phonics etc.) outside these times and will be running their provision slightly differently to reflect the age and needs of the children.
Many of you have already collected learning packs. If you have not done so already they are still available at Denton until Friday and from Yardley next week. Please let us know if you need help with printing resources and contact your class teacher for support with this.
We will be expecting all children to engage with home learning daily and are required to keep a register of involvement. We completely understand that sometimes it may be difficult, especially if you are working from home and understand that the children may feel disengaged with this process. The key here is to make it a routine – not a schedule. Be flexible, but with boundaries. It does not mean timing every second of the day with military precision, unless that works for you of course! Please contact your teacher if your child is not engaging with home learning. We will provide support or encouragement, as you need it.
I would also like to say that the last things we want is for children to be 'tied' to a laptop or screen all day. Make sure the children take a break and try to factor in free time without screens. Physical exercise and down time is just as important as on screen learning! Online safety is also very important here and your teachers will be directing you towards activities to complete on this over the next few days.
I completely understand how difficult home schooling can be but we are here to support you and I am always on the end of the phone or contactable by either school email address.
Please ask for help if you need it and, very much more importantly, stay safe and well!