Sunshine and Rainbows
Aren't my team amazing?! Please see attached from Miss Bolton.
Aren't my team amazing?! Please see attached from Miss Bolton.
Mrs Robb sent this, this evening to a staff communication group and it made Mrs Sollom and Miss Parker crumble. It might be worth a watch with your child. It is especially poignant for those who are used to close contact with grandparents, about to have a birthday where parties etc are now not permissable or who are simply missing their friends. (Watch it first and see how relevant it is for your child).
If your children are used to seeing their grandparents alot and are currently not able to, it may be worth having a look at this app . This app has allowed my children to play games with their grandparents online as well as have them read a story, (allowing me to get on and work, but more vitally maintaining that personal contact for everyone). Whilst the school is certainly not recommending or endorsing it and advises that if you do use it you assess it for yourself as to risks versus benefits and supervise your child fully, I thought it may be worth making parents aware of it.
I have had finalised the plans for Easter holiday provision (and possibly thereafter subject to review) for St Nicholas, Codsall Middle and Birches First School pupils.
The childcare provision will take place at Codsall Middle from Monday 6th April. At the moment we will continue to offer breakfast club from 7.30am for those that require it, but we would ask that where possible children have already had breakfast (or bring something with them – croissant, toast in foil etc). We will continue for the Easter holidays to run until 4pm, but again this will be being reviewed subject to the numbers of children attending.
At present we have very few pupils booked in for this provision and this, as well as the consolidation of the provisions in to one school will certainly aid the continued effort to minimise adults coming out of their homes. Can I thank all of the key workers who have where possible prioritised this and managed to keep their children out of school, which safeguards my staff but also those children who have no other option but to attend.
We are in the process of relocating equipment, tables and chairs etc, to try and replicate St Nics at Codsall Middle and we will also have some of the advantages of the Middle School site whereby we may be able to use some of their resources and provisions also.
We will always have St Nics children with St Nics staff, although when number are low we may group in small groups of 3-4 children from Birches and their staff and St Nics together if this is feasible due to low numbers. NB this would be risk assessed and we would not have large numbers of children mixing who do not need to.
Safeguarding and medical arrangements will also be factored in and so we will have the required provision to have the children in school and safe. We will take over to Codsall Middle the school's medical items (inhalers etc) for children that require these, but please bring any additional items and sign them in on Monday as you would normally. I will be there on Monday to look after the children and will meet children and parents at 7.30am on the Codsall Middle School car park as I am aware you will not know where to go. As of yet the staff who will join me has not been determined, but rest assured there will be somebody there to meet you and your child and show you where to drop off and collect (albeit whilst maintaining a social distance).
As we will be on a different site and we have closed school kitchens can we ask that children bring a packed lunch and drink, a mid morning snack, a water bottle (named), sun hat (named), coat (named), a complete spare outfit change (including underwear) and scooters/bikes (in the same way as they have this week).
I appreciate that another change may be daunting for your little ones, please be assured we will do all that we can to love and cherish them as we navigate our way through this situation. Given that numbers of children attending the three site provisions continues to dwindle and the infection risk continues to grow as we move towards the peak of the crisis, it is essential that this is coordinated locally consolidated and rationalised to alleviate the need for catering, cleaning, caretaking and office staff to leave their homes where it is unnecessary.
Where our staff (who are key workers) are able to, they are leaving their children at home with partners who are working from home, however where this isn’t possible as they are families with two key workers, we may also have to accommodate staff children to enable them to come into work. Please do only use this provision if it is essential for you to do critical key worker activity to minimise the risk to your children, staff and their children.
Miss J Parker
In these difficult times where families are under pressure in all sorts of ways, least of all being confined in a house for the majority of the day, it is possible that some families and children will struggle.
With more and more children needing to log on to learn remotely and the need for parents to occupy children whilst working from home, there is inevitably going to be an increase in screen and internet time for children. As such this also can bring difficulties such as: exposure to inappropriate content, mental health difficulties (if on for too long), cyber bullying, peer on peer abuse and danger of contact from people pretending to be somebody that they are not.
Mr Gough has been working hard with Miss Parker to try and make more explicit the mechanisms for parents to report concerns to the school in these unprecedented times and access support either for themselves or other families. Please familiarise yourself with the attached and do not hesitate to let us know of any concerns however big or small. Information is also contained in our new weebly tab.
Mr Gough has also made provision for children to share concerns with school (much like they might do if they were actually in school), please do discuss this with your child and ensure their responsible use of it. Miss Parker doesn't want to be inundated with reports about parents not letting their children have the umpteenth packet of Haribo for the day! :)
Mr Gough has uploaded the following guides for parents to accompany the web resources on the weebly for you. We hope that they are of use to parents in supporting their child to learn from home.
Young Minds provide some great resources for supporting your child's emotional and mental well being. Please see below which might be of interest to parents.
Mrs Robb has asked me to ask parents to send their children in to school next week please with suitable outdoor clothing as the temperature is set to drop and the children will be spending a lot of time outside. Today staff have been issued with a memo to protect them from the ever increasing risk as based on union advice. Be clear this is not to be militant or obstructive, but this is in the best interests of all. Please see this information here which may be useful to read for parents who are key workers to help heighten their own measures at home (although I know most workplaces have communicated these already).
As was the case last week, children can bring bikes and scooters to school but should bring minimal personal effects outside of this in to school. Children will only be allowed to use their own scooter/bike for obvious reasons.
And now for a heartfelt plea...from a manager of a staff team with a responsibility to her staff but also as a mother with a responsibility to her family.
As you can imagine my staff are becoming increasingly anxious about the expectation that they are exposed to risk during the next few months. As you will know many NHS workers do not have PPE and there is none whatsoever in school, beyond soap and the remaining hand gel supply. We have no means of testing ourselves or verifying that we do not have asymptomatic children in school. By very nature of the age group of children we work with social distancing is almost as impossible for them as it is for us in working with them. Children aged 3-9 need a level of care and support that means inevitably physical contact has to be made. The children in school already feel very strange without their friends, being mixed with different age groups and with staff they may not know so well without us treating them as if we do not want to be near them. The children who are coming into school carry a high risk of being silent carriers by virtue of their parents going out into the community for work and I think we are increasingly aware that not just those with underlying health conditions are struggling when being affected by Coronavirus.
Many of our staff, including myself (Mr Parker has been put into self-shielding for 12 weeks as he has severe asthma) are putting our own families at risk to do right by the community and by others and will continue to do so. Can I ask again that only families where there are key workers out at work at the same time send their children in to school. If a child is able to stay at home (and this is even if the other parent is working from home, which will be the case for many of my staff also) then the government expectation is that the children remain with that adult.
We appreciate that this is disruptive and difficult, but we are all in the same position. Employers generally are being supportive around home working and making allowances for this, I appreciate that this may not be the case for all and for the self-employed. However by reducing the number of children who do not need to be in school (as this is the only option) from being in school, then we minimise the risk to all.
I am aware that there is speculation in the news about increasing measures coming into force, as the weeks continue as a school we are constantly risk assessing the provision. As you will appreciate it has much wider implications for spreading the virus when we have cleaners, caretakers, office and teaching staff all coming into contact in school and where I can reduce the staffing levels and only accomodate those children who have nowhere else to go then this would be the safest and most responsible option.
Please see attached in response to queries received from Year 4 parents. We hope to give you more information as soon as we can.
If any children who are attending school for childcare next week have seeds for gardening and hay or straw to donate, please send into school next week. Children will be making scarecrows so old clothes may be useful too to dress our creations (if not we will be raiding lost property!) This might be something that the children at home might like to work on too?
CMAT Schools (St Nics, Birches and Codsall Middle) are committed to supporting the key workers during the Easter holidays to allow them to get into work and do their essential work and save lives. Please see attached booking form below and return to school by next Wednesday or email to Miss Parker.
Can I remind parents to send their key worker eligibility forms back to me ASAP as these are being collated, but to date we do not have many received.
Miss Parker will be in a school (TBC which that will be) for the first Easter week and is contactable daily when working remotely. My staff have begun making contact with families by telephone and have appreciated parent discussions. Please don’t be surprised if you get a call from us. Equally please don’t wait and email in if you have a support need or a query. It may be that we can’t get around to calling every family, so if you don’t hear from us, then do not feel left out, it may be that you have been in touch with a class teacher through an email or we have seen you or dropped a hamper around to you. This is fine.
Thanks for your patience and understanding as we navigate our way through these difficult times together. I have staff working on plans we will share with you in coming weeks to celebrate the work that the children are completing at home. Please stay safe, stay in when you can and whilst things are undoubtedly difficult, try and savour little positive moments within the day. This time will pass and won’t be forever and amidst the worry and juggling of working from home and managing a family, cherish your little ones and make the most of this time altogether at home and use it to reconnect without all of the hurrying here and there.
A parent from St Nics shared her own grandmothers observations that I know our Year 4s may resonate with:
Nan not going to school
When World War 2 started in September 1939. My nan was in junior school.
She recalls that her school shut until December because they did not have any air raid shelters built at the school for all the children to be safe if there was an air raid. So for all those months they stayed at home with their families.
She said ‘The 2nd week after we went back, we all had our 11+ exams. I think more of us would have passed if we had of been in school but it was what it was, just like now.’
Many children in previous generations know what all the children now are,going through. Now though we have the wonder of the Internet.
If you need something a little bit more lighthearted, why not check out the free music lessons that all of the family could get involved with below. Thanks to Mr Gough for organising these for the children.
We have been made aware of this by colleagues at Perton First, as below. I am sure one or two of our children might be having slightly later bed times, so maybe this is something some of our families might want to do. I am aware this has also been shared with Lane Green, St Chad's, Pattingham and Birches First. How amazing would it be if the applause could be spread throughout our area as a token of our support? Please share on Facebook if you wish to.
Come on Perton First Family, let’s show our appreciation for our brilliant NHS staff & all carers TONIGHT at 8pm. The #clapforcarers campaign is asking for as many people as possible to clap their hands together on Thursday 26th March at 8pm to thank all doctors, nurses, carers, GPs, pharmacists and other NHS staff & carers who are working hard to help those affected by the coronavirus. You can clap from your gardens, front doors, and windows to show your support. Let’s do it - we owe them so much.
The school fruit delivery has run out for now. Can we ask any parents that want their child to have a midday snack to send their child in to school with this please. Whilst we have our school healthy eating policy in place, if at this time you want to sneak a naughty treat into their bag from time to time (as long as only little and no chewing gum or hard sweets or lollipops), we may not notice :).
We have had lots of lovely things for the children in school to do and have managed their feelings this week. However it is safe to say that it is such an alien experience for them being in a school that is almost empty, with staff that they may not know so well and in groups mixed with children from across the school's age range. NB where possible Reception and Nursery children are kept as a separate group. They are following a different timetable which is largely play and experience based and getting lots of exercise. Therefore a little treat will not be frowned upon.
We are happy to say that for those that will be attending next week we are happy for them to wear comfortable, weather appropriate clothes. If it suits parents to send children in school uniform instead this is fine. Either way parents should be mindful that the children may be getting a bit messier than normal (gardening and painting etc) and should not send children in best clothes.
Please see attached which contains a letter from Education Secretary Gavin Williamson to teachers. Whilst it is addressed to teachers, please read this as encompassing each and every member of school staff from the school and cleaning teams, to the catering, lunchtime team and office teams and all of our teaching assistants and support staff ( I hope I haven't missed anybody out here!). I have as you would expect shared this will all of my staff, but thought I would share as I know many of our parents also work in educational settings and may not necessarily see this as a matter of course.