17th April 2020 Claycots Weekly Update for Parents and Carers

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17th April 2020

 

Dear Parents and Carers,

Weekly Update - 17th  April 2020

I hope you and your family are all well and coping with these challenging times. I am writing to give an update on a number of areas and I am sorry for this long letter.

Last night the Government announced that the Lockdown will be extended for another three weeks. This means that the school will remain CLOSED for the majority of children, and only OPEN for those Key Worker families, identified vulnerable families and EHCP children.

These are difficult and uncertain times and we must ensure that we continue to protect staff, children and families and based on last night’s announcement, the Town Hall Campus will remain CLOSED.

The Britwell Campus will continue to be open from 8.00am to 3.15pm and we will be open for the Key Worker children and vulnerable children from 8.30am to 3.00pm. Most Key Worker families have contacted us to register for this childcare at the Britwell Campus, but if you are a Key Worker and haven’t registered for next week or the following weeks, please contact the school. The school has contacted all vulnerable families who have been identified and all EHCP children’s parents to discuss arrangement for the next few weeks.

These childcare arrangements at the Britwell Campus for Key Worker children and vulnerable children will continue for the next three weeks and therefore we ask that all other families Stay at Home and follow the social distancing guidelines outlined by the Government. Families should continue to support their children with Home Learning for at least the next three weeks of the Summer Term.

The school, families and children will now need to wait until the Government makes the decision about the Lockdown and social distancing. Any decision is likely to be sometime in May 2020, and we are still unsure at what point all schools will return to some sort of normality.

The school has been extremely grateful to the staff who have volunteered over the Easter Break and at the current time we have enough volunteers from our staff who are able to come to work at the start of the Summer Term to support our Key Worker families and vulnerable children.

I will continue to provide weekly updates via email and on the website. Please ensure that the school has the correct email address and mobile phone number as this is the only way to communicate with you.

The www.claycots.com website (in the News and Dates sections) continues to have regular updates and we will now be using a Twitter page to also update you on the latest activities and news. You can search on Twitter for: @ClaycotsSchool.

Enquiries, Safeguarding Concerns and Worry Box Worry Box

Children can continue to use the Worry Box if they have any concerns or worries. This Worry Box can be found on our website in the Stay at Home packs section:

/2241/stay-at-home-packs

If required, we will respond to the Worry Box and contact families and the children if we need to help or support the child or the family.

Safeguarding Concerns

Families or individuals within the family can contact the school if they have any safeguarding concerns. They can contact the school on 01753 521215 or email the Safeguarding team at the following address: safeguarding@claycots.com

Enquiries and contacting the school

Parents and carers can call the Britwell Campus on 01753 521215 between 8.00am and 3.00pm (Monday – Friday) or email the school at the following address: enquiries@claycots.som

Home Learning

At Claycots, we are conscious of the anxiety, stress and uncertainty that may be experienced by our children and parents and carers of our children whilst the school is closed. Whilst we have sent out Home Learning packs, we understand that your child may be unable to complete them for a variety of reasons. These packs are not compulsory and are there as guidance to support your child in their learning. We fully understand if your child is unable to complete the work in the packs and we would request that children only do what they feel they are able to and what they want to. It is important that they are not placed under pressure to complete the work. You may be very keen to help your child, but if you feel anxious, your child will take emotional cues from you at a time when they need to feel most safe.

Please find below some Do and Don’ts for Parents and Carers for Home Learning

Do’s

Don’ts

Monitor your own feelings and remain calm.

Overshare your fears and concerns.

Make note of your child’s feelings. Talk to them.

Insist that your child finishes some or all of the activities in the pack.

Walk away if your feelings are becoming unmanageable.

Insist that you child sits down at the same time every day to complete work.

Allow your child to be upset. Give them space and understanding.

Insist that a routine you have set must be stuck to. This

may need to change according to the needs and feelings of your child and your family.

Allow your child to tell you how they are feeling.

Reprimand your child for not attempting or finishing work.

Create a space for your child to try to complete home learning if possible.

Worry if you are unable to help your child. Let them do something else instead.

Timetable the use of technology to reduce squabbles.

Get cross or raise your voice.

Limit time for using technology. Think about other activities to do.

 

 

If you do not have the equipment /stationery to carry out a particular task, do not do the task.

Encourage older children to help their siblings.

Make a schedule or timetable with your child to ensure there is a routine and consistency.

Pick and choose from the activities provided or allow your child to pick and choose their own.

Allow your child not to complete activities.

Suggest that your child complete activities at different times of the day.

Do something else in place of learning e.g. exercise, take a walk, cooking.

Give your child lots of praise and encouragement.

Create a reward chart for your children.

Give your child lots of cuddles and love.

Unicef has a very useful website with information to support parents and carers: https://www.unicef.org/coronavirus/6-ways-parents-can-support-their-kids-through-coronavirus-covid-19

 

https://www.unicef.org/topics/parenting

The school will continue to provide Home Learning or Study Packs for the children. These will provide helpful guides like a daily timetable or routine, and weekly challenges. Further to this we will use our Twitter page to allow the teachers to deliver videos, story-telling and ideas to the children. All year groups will be developing these over the next few weeks. We hope that children and families will embrace our Twitter page also. On different days of the week, year groups will take turns to post activities on Twitter. Please look out for these activities for your children.

The school also hopes that you have now received your Mathletics login by the end of today. Children will have weekly Maths tasks from next week and this will enable the children to practise their maths skills.

Some parents have emailed the school regarding problems with other log-ins such as Bug Club and Spelling Shed. The school will contact them on Monday or Tuesday of next week to clarify these log-ins.

Staff and year groups are working creatively and differently to look at ways of supporting home learning and I ask that parents and children look at our website and Twitter page from Monday 20th April to find out the latest updates.

Edenred Vouchers and Families for eligible for benefits related Free School Meals

The school hopes that by Tuesday 21st April that all families eligible for benefits related Free School Meals have received their first round of FSM vouchers (£30 per child for the 2 weeks) for the Easter Period.

Please let the school know if you have not received your voucher code via email from Edenred.

There have been lots of issues with their website and we ask that families continue to be patient. On another note, it is absolutely essential that the school has the correct email address to distribute these vouchers.

Next week, the school plans to send out another voucher for all families eligible for Free School Meals. To make life a lot easier, the school will send this voucher out to cover the first three weeks of the Summer Term (ie £45 per child) covering from the 20th April until the 8th May.

The school will give further updates on vouchers and whether they will continue when the government gives us further information on the Lockdown.

Trips and Residential

The school has taken the decision to cancel all trips and residentials for the Summer Term. We have taken this decision due to the uncertainty around venues being open.

The school will begin to refund parents for these trips from next week. This will take a few weeks to process so please be patient. This is a difficult decision but we are dealing with so much uncertainty and our main aim is to ensure when we return to school, we are all safe and children get back into a routine.

Finally, I wish all families, children, staff and Governors the very best and my thoughts are with all of you during these challenging and unprecedented times.

Yours sincerely

 

Andrew Griffin Executive Headteacher