Head's Blog

Remote Learning

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!

Critical Worker Request

Following on from last night’s/this morning’s email, I am now in a position to update you further with a plan for the next few weeks and to provide the link for booking critical worker provision. The list if those occupations that fall into the critical worker category can be found via the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision?utm_source=4%20January%202021%20C19&utm_medium=Daily%20Email%20C19&utm_campaign=DfE%20C19

We will be running the provision from one setting, alternating weekly between Yardley and Denton, to be fair to the families from both schools. This will ensure we can reduce staffing and consolidate learning and expertise. We will be creating 4 ‘bubbles’ based on the groups and staff from existing school arrangements. Our bubbles will therefore be: Early Years, Years 1 and 2, Years 3 and 4 and Years 5 and 6. The existing teaching teams from all year groups will share the remote and ‘in school’ teaching to ensure consistency of planning and delivery. Staff availability permitting, for each session, we will ensure there is at least one member of staff from each school who the children will be familiar with. The teaching content for the ‘in school’ provision will be based on the remote learning being prepared for all children and will cover the full curriculum. More information on the precise details of the remote programme and expectations will follow shortly.

We are able to offer a part-time take up of critical worker provision which can be indicated on the link and we are aiming to run wrap round care from 8am until 4.30pm.

As I said in last night’s email, please only use this provision if you really need to. Schools are shut for a serious reason and, to quote the Department of Education:

 “In the face of the rapidly rising numbers of cases across the country and intense pressure on the NHS, we now need to use every lever at our disposal to reduce all contacts outside households wherever possible.”

We have an amazing team of staff who, without exception, are all prepared to come in and support this provision but it will only be viable if we can keep cases amongst staff and children low. In other words, we are here if you need us but only use us when you really have to!

This form to complete is found via the following link :

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=1H5lr2x-AkuoGAJeI3gMRFzzVWRvSMhAmRWujldDFutUQjZCTlo5WTQ0TkFFRDVLSVZPOVM1TDdFUS4u

In the event of us being unable to open due to staff shortages, you will be directed to the local authority who will provide you with an alternative provision.

We will be able to run the provision from Denton tomorrow. Please confirm your requirements as soon as possible and by no later than 3pm today. Please do not send your child into school tomorrow until we have confirmed via email that we have allocated you a place.

Unfortunately, Nursery will not be open other than to vulnerable and critical worker children. Early Years Settings within primary schools are not meant to be open and fall under the primary closure. If you are a critical worker please book a nursery place via the link above.

Upcoming Events

22 Apr
Class Photographs
Date Thu, 22 Apr 2021 - Wed, 21 Apr 2021
10 May
KS2 SATS week
Mon, 10 May 2021
9 Jun
16 Jun
Move Up Morning
Wed, 16 Jun 2021
22 Jun
Move Up Morning
Tue, 22 Jun 2021

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