School Closure Information January 6th - March 7th 2021
Dear Parents and Carers,
What a challenging half term this is proving to be!
Please know we really understand just how tough this is for families. Many of us, like you, are juggling work and family demands, many are parents of school age children too, with very varied home lives and responsibilities – trying to balance everyone’s needs and there seems to be not enough hours in each day. We know how tough it is, working while trying to support our own children with home learning and their (and ours as parents!) ever-changing emotions at this difficult time.
As you know, daily learning is uploaded to the class pages of the school website every day.
We are required by the government to ensure all pupils have access to 3-4 hours of learning each day. Teachers are working hard to provide these daily challenges for your pupils. We do have high expectations and would ask that all pupils engage with some learning each day.
However, we do understand families are juggling trying to earn a living, some families are supporting 1 child with learning, others are supporting 3 or 4 children, many have very young children in the home too, to care for and entertain.
All we ask is that you continue to do what you are doing, keep trying to make it work – we know you are doing your best.
Please do help us to help you by keeping in contact with the class teachers – by year group email is the best way. We will check in with phone calls too.
Some families will want to do all the learning set every day, some will only feel that they can manage the maths and English tasks as children are sharing devices. Other will only feel they can cope with some reading and Mathletics or times tables practice. You are all responding to different family circumstances and every day may look different… all options are ok. We are here to support in any way can – we really don’t want you to feel that school is only here to put pressure on you to ‘get everything done’. We only want to help families to help their children to continue to learn at home, in whatever circumstances you find yourself in.
We hope this doesn’t need saying, but please remember, if and when you can, take some time out to do fun things together - maybe going for a walk, do something crafty, baking and cooking together are all great learning experiences. As you know, activities like these will teach your children to follow instructions, use measures, learn time, develop patience etc.
You as parents know when your children (and you!) need a break.
Please remember our normal school day is filled with “learning breaks” – such as when we have assemblies or circle times, play times, lunch time, story time. All of these activities teach your children a variety of other skills and the other activities you will do with your children at home will be teaching them a range of skills too.
Can we timetable space for some more ‘fun’?
So, inspired by Ziah in Year 4’s questionnaire about 3 things that make you happy.
We have decided to make Friday. “FUN FRIDAY”
On this day your teachers will not post any newer learning. You and your children can, of course, still access and use the range of learning programs such as Mathletics or Education City, should you wish on this day. It could also allow you and your child time to catch up on any lessons or learning tasks you may have missed through the week, should you wish to. Teachers will still be on hand to support your learning on that day.
On the class pages, on a Friday, we will post some ideas and challenges for you to take part in with your family on this day. It might be things like:
- A bake off or cookery challenge (In readiness for next week you may want to choose a recipe and gather some ingredients in advance)
- A building challenge (start saving your recycling boxes and sticky tape)
- An art challenge (where only pencil and paper are needed)
- A fitness challenge…
… and so on!
We hope this day will bring some much-needed fun, a break for needing to share and access devices whilst encouraging and developing the children’s Collaborative Cara Super Learning Power skills too!
We will start this on Friday 12th February. Full details of the challenges will be posted at the top of the Class Page on Thursday 11th February.
Join in as many of the Friday Fun Challenges as you wish – you could even set your own!
Then send a photograph to your class email and we will create a gallery for us all to enjoy!
We would love to have all the children return to school but we now know this will not happen until at least March. So, while we are all waiting for the day we can all return to ‘normal’, please take care and remember you are doing a great job in extraordinary times!
The Lane End Team
Tuesday 12th January
We hope you are all well and coping with again with the lockdown. Please continue to do as you have been doing, and contact school if there is anything you think we may be able to support or help with. We will always do our best to help. Text, ring or send a message to email@example.com and we will get back in touch with you as soon as we can.
Home learning and contacting teachers:
Hopefully you have all managed to access the home learning tasks on the school website. Staff will be ringing families each week, to check in with how they are getting on and to give any support that you might need. A previous email gave more information as to where to find the daily learning tasks for your children on the website.
Basically head for the 'Classes' tab - then 'Class pages' - then click the class that your child is in, for example 'Aspen Class 2a'. The daily learning tasks are then to be found at the top of that page - by clicking on the purple swirl. Don't worry if you get a day behind - but please try to complete the daily tasks in order, rather than missing one out as some of the learning tasks build on day by day.
We are working hard at the moment, with the school's IT system and technicians, to build more features and options into the daily and weekly home learning. We are hoping to be able to include weekly face to face check ins, so that your child can have a virtual chat session with their teacher. We are also trying to build in even more tasks that your child will be able to complete and then click to send straight back to the teachers too. As soon as these are set up and working, we will let you know, and give you more information in how to access and use them.
We know how challenging it may be to complete remote and home learning at this time - especially when many families have more than one child to support with learning, sharing devices, much younger children to look after, you may be working from home yourselves too - as well as doing all the other things running a family involves! So please do it in a way that suits you and your family context. Lots of families find doing tasks in small, manageable chunks is the best way to get things done, and works best for children's attention levels in the home, as well as fitting around other family demands.
If you want to chat to your child's teacher about ways you can manage home learning, please don't hesitate to get in touch. If you child is reluctant to engage with any learning tasks for you, and you would like a teacher to give them a call and see what the problem might be - let us know!
The best way to get a message to your child's teacher is via the year group emails:
Reading books - unfortunately, with the current lockdown situation we are unable to give out or swap any reading books. Teachers will be trying hard to build in phonics and reading activities into the daily learning tasks, and give ideas and options for parents to guide their children to, for reading practice and opportunities.
Devices - thank you to those families that completed the form, letting us know if you needed extra help with remote learning access at home. We have currently loaned out all the laptops we were given. For those of you that enquired about extra data allowances - we have sent your details off to the Department of Education and we hope they will contact you directly soon, if that is something they can support you with.
If you need extra paper, pencils to complete home tasks etc - please contact the teachers on the email above, or by ringing or texting, so we can help out. If you cannot access the learning online at all at the moment, please let the teachers know that also, and we will try to support with alternative learning activities for you.
Free school school hampers
For children that are entitled to free school meals, a weekly hamper with lunch ingredients will be dropped off at your home each week. Schools have been told to provide hampers rather than vouchers where possible. To support you, and to minimise families having to leave their homes, we will drop these off rather than you needing to collect them. A text will be sent out on the day we are out on our deliveries to you.
Changing of training days
We are all desperately hoping that the situation both nationally and locally gets better soon, and that schools will be able to fully re-open after the half term break in February. We had planned to have 2 training days after the half term break, but have decided not to have these as training days now. We are hoping that we will, instead, be able to welcome all the children back in! So, school breaks up for the half term and is closed Monday 15th February until Friday 19th February. School will then be open on Monday 22nd February. So Monday 22nd and Tuesday 23rd February are not school training days as previously planned. Lets hope the situation is safe enough by then that the government can say that all children can come back to school!
Instead, we will have these 2 training days on Monday 26th July and Tuesday 27th July 2021. School will close for the summer break on Friday 23rd July 2021.
Mrs Britton and the Lane End Team
Following the Prime Minister's announcement tonight, Lane End will be closed from tomorrow onwards (Tuesday 5th January).
This applies to all children, in all year groups and classes.
Further details and information will follow tomorrow, via email, and on class pages of the website, as to the remote/home learning programme for your child.
If you are wanting to request a Critical Worker place for your child - please complete the form, as explained in the earlier email today, and details are below. Please do this by 1pm on Tuesday 5th January, so that we are able to see the demand for places, and how many we are able to offer, depending on our staffing capacity. Patents will be contacted later tomorrow, as to the outcome of this process.
We know this is a very stressful and challenging time for parents once again - please be patient with us if you are waiting for contact, or have asked a question via email, text or left a voice message. We will get back to you as soon as we can, and when we have been able to put systems in place.
Monday 4th January 2021
I hope you have all enjoyed a safe and restful Christmas break. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year in the hope that 2021 will bring us a return to some normality.
Potential school closure
As you are aware, all secondaries and some primary schools have been directed to close by the Government (mainly in the South of England at the moment) for the next two weeks. Some primary schools in other areas are also finding themselves unable to open, as reduced staffing issues has meant that they cannot safely open to either certain year group bubbles, and in some cases, to close the whole school.
Today, Lane End were in the position that we were able to open, but things are changing all the time and there is always the possibility that we might face a situation where we cannot safely open. Staffing levels may fall too low or the government change their position and we are directed to close, as we were in March last year.
If either of these situations happen, it is likely to be at very short notice. We are planning to be as prepared for this happening as we can, and so would like to ask you to provide us with information – specifically if you would be classed as a critical worker.
Please read the letter below, which contains more information about what to do, and has links to an online Critical Worker place application form.