Firstly, I must thank all of the parents who have taken the time to message or email the school or leave a message on various Facebook pages. I have shared them with the staff and we have all been overwhelmed by your support. In times like this, these little things make such a huge difference.
In the short term, all learning will be from Mathletics, Bug Club and then the sheets that will be uploaded weekly for children to go through. If the closure seems like it will go on for longer, we will ensure that children can receive actual lessons from the teachers via a distance learning app or through recorded lessons on YouTube. We have yet to finalise this but we are looking into it. Below, you will find the plan for the coming weeks.
- School will be closed from the end of the day on Friday 20th March, indefinitely.
- School will open up at 7am every morning for staff to prepare for the day ahead for key workers’ children and select others.
- We will be remaining open for key workers’ children only. There has yet to be a clear definition of what ‘key workers’ are. Police officers, NHS staff and delivery drivers have been named but it is likely to be others also. It has been made very clear that both parents have to be a key worker for a school place to be made available.
- Once this list has been published, I will send a text out to all parents asking them to inform the school that they qualify. We will then have a better idea of numbers.
- School places will also be available for children who have an EHC Plan and for those children involved with social care.
- The plan is to run a skeleton staff on a rota basis due to the fact that many staff have their own children to look after (number of children will dictate number of teachers and TAs).
- As directed, the emphasis will be on ‘care not education’. It will be more like a holiday club with forest school, arts and crafts and PE etc. There will still be daily reading, writing and maths linked in too.
- Office staff will work on a rota basis.
- Kitchen staff will work on a rota basis.
- Lunchtime supervisors will still be required but on a rota basis.
- Cleaners will be deep cleaning the areas that the children and adults will not be in (we will restrict the areas available).
- The plan for the FSM children is to provide a ‘takeaway’ meal. The menu will be available by the end of the day tomorrow.
- If your child is eligible for free school meals, you will need to text the school mobile number (07763 196176) with your child’s order for the week.
- More information about the free school meals will come out tomorrow.
- All children will be taking their English books, Maths books, extra reading books and reading records home. Please promote pride in their books – no doodles, neat writing, straight lines with a ruler etc. These exercise books are our pride and joy. The children’s individual targets are also in these books so this will give you a focus too.
- Every child’s log ins for Bug Club and Mathletics will also be sent home (new passwords in some cases, please make a note of these). If you lose these, contact school and we will provide them for you.
- Volunteers will be coming to school at 10am on Friday morning to deliver books and reports etc to self-isolating families.
- Longer term, we will be aiming to deliver lessons in a more ‘teacher-style’ as it will not be left to parents to monitor this for months (if it comes to this). Zoom, Google Classroom, YouTube etc will be investigated for this reason.
- We will be opening over the Easter holidays (only for the children of the key workers still). School will however be closed on Good Friday (10th April) and Easter Monday (13th April).
We are all so disappointed that the school has had to close. We have so many great things planned, from topic launches and trips, to Celebration Assemblies and Learning Hours. For so many children, although they might tell you otherwise, school is something they look forward to everyday and that routine and security has been whipped out from under them, with little understanding of why. They will be understandably worried, sad, unsettled and missing the social aspect of school – time with their friends. Children who regularly receive Thrive and intervention from the Autism Champion will receive a postcard from their Thrive practitioner/class teacher fortnightly to remind them that we are still thinking of them and that we are there for them when they return. The children can reply to this and post into school.
That is why I would like to encourage all parents to treat this school closure as the opportunity for more family time. We have to try and turn this worldwide negative into a positive. Have a laugh, watch a funny film together, dance in the rain (there will be enough of it), go for a walk on the beach (socially distancing yourselves obviously), swim in the sea, draw a flower, build a Lego model (my favourite), play a board game, bake a cake, help out an elderly neighbour, Skype a friend or a grandparent, do the boring chores together, run as fast you can for no reason, bounce on a trampoline, make a Bug Hotel, learn a musical instrument, and don’t spend too long on those screens!
In short, have fun and be kind!
Who knows, we might come out the other side of this as better people than when we went in!
All of us are here when you need us. If you run out of tasks on Mathletics, if you complete all of the home learning online, if you get stuck, if you can’t cope with the children for a moment longer (!!) please contact me via my usual email, email@example.com and I can pass it onto the correct member of staff.
The Torpoint community is a wonderful group, a little thing like a Coronavirus is not going to get the better of us, and before you know it, you’ll be wishing those children who have done your head in for the past 6 weeks didn’t have to go back to school.
Take care everyone, be well and contact us if you need to, no matter how small the question.
Key Workers Letter to copy into email and send to firstname.lastname@example.org
As discussed during various texts this week, the school will be remaining open for certain groups of children, one of which being the children of parents who are considered to be ‘key workers’.
The Department for Education has published a list of “key workers” whose children will be prioritised for schooling during general closures because of coronavirus. Schools are being asked to continue to provide care for a number of children but will be closed to the majority from Monday 23 March.
Health and social care
Frontline health and social care staff such as doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, as well as support and specialist staff in the health and social care sector. In addition it includes those working in supply chains including producers and distributors of medicines and personal protective equipment.
Education and childcare
Nursery, teaching staff and social workers.
Key public services
Those required to run the justice system, religious staff, as well as those responsible for managing the deceased, and journalists providing public service broadcasting.
Local and national government
Administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the Covid-19 response or delivering essential public services, including payment of benefits.
Food and other necessary goods
Those involved in the production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery of food.
Public safety and national security
Police, support staff, Ministry of Defence civilian staff and armed forces personnel, fire and rescue staff, and those responsible for border security, prisons and probation.
Those who will keep air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the Covid-19 response.
Utilities, communication and financial services
Staff required to keep oil, gas, electricity, water and sewerage operations running. Staff in the civil nuclear, chemical and telecommunications sectors. Those in postal services and those working to provide essential financial services.
It is still unclear whether it is one or both parents who have to be a key worker so please indicate the profession of both parents. Thank you. If you are a single parent family, and you have one of these roles, you will be eligible. If you feel that this does apply to you, please complete the information below and email to email@example.com before the end of the day on Friday.
Child/Children’s name/s: …………………………………………………………………….
Name of parent 1: ……………………………………………………………………………
Occupation of parent 1: ……………………………………………………………………..
Date I would like my child(ren) to start: ……………………………………………..
If you would like your child to attend school from 8.50am to 3.15pm, please indicate below.
My child can walk home from school.
My child will be attending school from Monday 23rd March.
My child will have a packed lunch/school dinner. (Delete as appropriate).
I will send my child in mufti (with welly boots and a waterproof coat).
My child will not be attending school from Monday 23rd March.