Cardiff residential

Dear Parents and Carers,

Sadly we have had to cancel the residential to Cardiff. This has not been an easy decision as we were very much looking forward to it.
The next steps will be refunding parents but this will have to be completed as soon as possible when office staff are allowed to return to school. Please do not pay any further instalments. I understand you may have some questions and queries and we will hopefully be able to answer these as soon as we are back in school.
We thank you for your understanding and patience during this process and will keep you informed.
Kindest regards,
Miss Clough

Cancelled Residential

Dear Parents and Carers,

Sadly we have had to cancel the residential with Brenin Adventures for our class. This has not been an easy decision as we look forward to it every year as much as the children but with the current circumstances and the likelihood that social distancing will remain for a while we have had to cancel the trip.

We are in contact with Brenin Adventures and insurers as to next steps for refunding parents. This will have to be completed as soon as possible when office staff are allowed to return to school.

We thank you for your understanding and patience during this process and will keep you informed.

Kindest regards,

Mrs Hillidge and Mrs Kovach

Distance Learning – Don’t Panic!

Distance Learning – Don’t Panic!

We are all about to embark on something very new and very daunting. You have not opted to home educate your child, as some parents do, so many of will not have the set-up and resources to replicate school at home – and we do not expect  you to replicate school! Children work well in school, being taught, being led, bouncing ideas off each other; it will be impossible for them to do this at home and you mustn’t feel bad if what you try to do doesn’t work. Within school, teachers and children develop a very special respect for each other and this is how we get the best out of them. I know from having my own children that it can be a very different story at home when it comes to school work!  You must remember though, when you try and get them to do their homework usually, they have already done 6 hours work in school and are bound to be more tired and reluctant.

As well as you being thrown in at the deep end with this, so have the teachers. They have never had to provide learning in this manner before. They are trying to add resources and activities to the website BUT you don’t have to do it all! Some families will be in a position to do more, some less. You will not be judged on this. The teachers and TAs are also working in school on rotation to care for the children whose parents are vital in the covid-19 response. Some are very anxious and worried about doing this and the risk to their own families so I want to thank you for all your efforts to keep your children at home at this time and for the lovely supportive messages we have had send in to school.

If it works for your family to have other learning experiences such as art, music, cooking, sewing, board games, craft, sport or gardening then definitely do these! This time could be a rare chance in our busy lives to spend a lot of time with our children doing things we never have time to do.  We would love to hear from you and see what you’re up to, so please email photos or write to us at the school email addresses. We will all miss the children so much and are heartbroken that this is the way the year has potentially ended.

Good luck – we’re only a dojo away, so keep in touch!

 

 

Keyworker Information letter #2

 

20th March 2020

Dear Parents/carers

 

Following the update this morning in relation to key workers, we would like to update you as to how this will look for our schools in the first instance.  As I am sure you will all understand, these arrangements are constantly subject to change along with government advice.

 

We do need to be very clear to all parents; this is a very different type of provision than schools usually provide; for these pupils, it will be about care, not education. This is about keeping children safe and allowing key workers (such as NHS staff) to go to work and care for the sick, or to keep food supply chains moving. All expectations regarding educational provision (including personalised learning plans) have been lifted. Schools that provide this care will be free to determine what the provision looks like and what they deem to be best for the pupils they are supporting.

 

The government has made it clear in its guidance regarding key workers: “Many parents working in these critical sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be”.

 

This is an offer to parents and carers and there is no requirement for parents and carers to send their children to school if they do not need or wish to do so.

For vulnerable children, your child’s social worker will work with you to assess the best option for your child.

In order to have a clear system for parents / carers, governors and senior leaders will be prioritising those who are offered a place as per union advice;

“This list is exceptionally broad and poses significant challenges for schools. Schools may need to prioritise. Our understanding is that the highest priority will be for families where both parents are keyworkers or where a sole parent is a key worker, but the government Q and As does say that schools should try to make the offer where only one parent is a key worker. In reality, schools may need to prioritise based on their capacity. Our advice remains, a school can only open in so far as it is safe to do so.”

It’s important to reiterate that as a federation, leaders will still need to make individual decisions about whether it is safe to open each school. And that applies from now onwards.  We will need to keep this decision under daily review.

Our current priority list is;

  1. Pupils where both parents (or ‘sole parent’ households) are a member of NHS frontline staff e.g. doctors and nurses
  2. Pupils who school leaders have identified as extremely vulnerable (potentially at risk under our safeguarding policies)
  3. Pupils where both parents are on the keyworker list
  4. Pupils who have an EHCP or social worker (those who have already been placed in secure homes will be subject to discussion with the social worker and the family – the social worker will need to speak with school leaders to justify the reasons for pupils requiring a place in school)
  5. Pupils where one parent is on the key worker list

School will also try to stay in touch with individual parents who may normally seek face-to-face support from staff, through the time we are off.

Within the keyworker list we would also prioritise further (should there be a need) within a category.  Senior leaders will make the decisions on this, on a case by case basis within the boundaries agreed with governors.

Please email the school by 5:00pm today (or have made contact with us by telephone) to confirm that you will be applying for one of the hub places that will be available and your reasons for this. A copy of your work ID badge, contract of employment or other formal proof of your role will also be required.

Places will be allocated from this system.  If you are unable to access this system then please contact the office where the administrator will complete the forms with you over the phone. We may need to revisit this during the week next week ready for the following week.

All those who do have a place will have an email from school by Saturday 21st 6pm at the latest to confirm that they still require this.   The hub sessions will take place at Weston Lullingfields, Myddle or Baschurch Primary Schools and will be staffed by members of all three schools, so your child will not always have staff from their own school to supervise them. You will be sent a list of dates and locations if you are allocated a place.  The first day will be at Weston Lullingfields Primary School on Monday 23rd March.

Please do not place staff in a position where they would have to be turning families away from Monday.  You have to have a confirmed offer of a place before you turn up to the school site.

Please remember that this is part of a government strategy to safeguard not only our children but the whole community and the country.  We do need to be remembering that the key advice is school is no longer open;

Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.

With kind regards,

Mrs Clare Williams

Executive Headteacher

 

Keyworker Information #1

Good morning! Below is some information that came out over night from the DfE. Please read carefully and rest assured that there will be more information later:
It is important to underline that schools, colleges and other educational establishments remain safe places for children. But the fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society.
Schools are, therefore, being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children – children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.

Vulnerable children include children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans.
We know that schools will also want to support other children facing social difficulties and we will support head teachers to do so.
Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined [below] . Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.

Please, therefore, follow these key principles:
1. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
2. If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
3. Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
4. Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
5. Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.

If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed below, and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision. Contact the school by email including proof that both parents are key workers and you have no other alternatives for child care.
We will contact you if you are able to bring your child to school on Monday. Depending on numbers, this will be on a 3 tier priority system. Staff will be working on a rota in small teams to ensure that social distancing rules are adhered to.

If you have not been contacted, you must keep you child at home.
Later today we will send details to those families who will be using our child care option as to which days you will need to come to which school.
Below is some guidance for parents from the DfE for your information.
Thank you for your patience while we pull all the information together.

Will it be mandatory for all schools, colleges and registered childcare providers to remain open in some form?
We are asking schools, colleges, nurseries, childminders and other registered childcare settings to remain open for children of critical workers and vulnerable children where they can.
We understand that some may be unable to do so especially if they are experiencing severe staff shortages. We will work with local areas to use neighbouring schools, colleges and childcare providers to continue to support vulnerable children and children of critical workers.

I am a critical worker or have a vulnerable child but I don’t want to send my child in to school or childcare, do I have to?
Many parents working in these critical sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.
This is an offer to parents and carers and there is no requirement for parents and carers to send their children to school if they do not need or wish to do so.
For vulnerable children, your child’s social worker will work with you to assess the best option for your child.

I am a critical worker or have a vulnerable child – can you guarantee that my child will attend their usual school or childcare provider?
We are expecting the majority of settings to stay open for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children so they can continue to attend their usual provider, but we acknowledge this will be impossible for some – such as small rural schools.
Where a setting is unable to stay open, we will work with the local educational authority, regional school commissioners and neighbouring providers to find an alternative setting for their pupils.

Will registered childcare providers, schools and colleges be open over Easter holidays for holiday clubs and childcare?
Where possible, we would encourage childcare providers, schools and colleges to continue to look after critical workers’ children and vulnerable children throughout the Easter holidays.

What will happen with free school meals for those not in school and colleges?
We know that free school meals are important for many families.
To make sure eligible children can continue to be supported, we will give schools and colleges the flexibility to provide meals or vouchers to children eligible for free school meals. They will be reimbursed by the Department. As soon as possible, we will put in place a national voucher system.