Today’s email update to schools from the government says very little that’s new (they do keep stressing the importance of handwashing, though). You’ll know already that schools will close for the foreseeable future from tomorrow, and we’ve already communicated that we plan to be open on Monday for children of key workers and for children who are vulnerable in some way.
What we don’t know is what the key worker categories will be. Thank you to the parents / carers who provided us with an idea of this – it’s helped us with our plans. We now need to wait and see exactly which jobs are on the list.
If your child does come to school next week…
- There’ll be an expectation that they do similar learning tasks to those that we publish on the website for children at home. (We’ll tell you more about the home learning tasks separately.)
- Children will be encouraged to bring in a game, toy or book for some regular ‘down time’ during the day – we’d rather not electronic toys, but a board game for others to join in would be good.
- There won’t be an expectation that children wear uniform.
- We hope we’ll be able to offer some sort of support for children of key workers and a small number of other children during the Easter holiday period, too.
- In the longer term, things may change so that schools work together and provide this reduced provision as a group of schools.
We do have a few other brief updates for you…
- If your child receives free school meals because of low income (not just because they’re in Early Years or Key Stage 1), then a ‘grab bag’ lunch will be available to collect from school.
- There will be no tests or other assessments this school year.
- One of our great teachers is in the middle of preparing a really long list of top websites to support learning at home – we’re all loving DuoLingo (perhaps your child will return to school being fluent in a new language – I might even give Irish a go!)
- The BBC plans to increase the availability of educational programmes, which is great: ‘Educational programming for school children will be increased across iPlayer and the red button, with a daily educational programme for different key stages or year groups. BBC Bitesize will also be expanded.’
And a top tip…
- We’ve heard from a few mums and dads that they plan to restrict their child’s access to social networking and other online activity (other than learning) at home during school hours – we think that’s a great idea.
And finally for today, a big thank you…
- To the fantastic teachers, teaching assistants, admin team and cleaners – they’ve been truly amazing in these unsettling times.
- To all of you who’ve told us how much you appreciate what teachers have done, and how much you’ve appreciated these updates.