19.03.20: Coronavirus Update
Dear Parents / Carers
Reminder of Current Situation Following the announcement from the government yesterday that all schools in England will close on Friday 20th March, this letter is to confirm that we will be closed tomorrow after After School Club closes at 5.30.
A further aspect of the announcements last night was the reference to some exceptions to the closures. The intention is to provide a facility for children of key workers and for children who are vulnerable. We are expecting more details about this in the next few days but for now the Local Authority (LA) have asked us to send out details about how parents can notify them if they fall into the appropriate category of key workers and would benefit from support to ensure they can continue to work in the frontline fight against Coronavirus. The criteria for parents being eligible for support are:
If you are a frontline staff member in the NHS or Social Care involved in direct work with vulnerable people, AND Do not have alternative options at home to look after children if schools close, AND Would like to take advantage of the priority childcare offer
Yesterday, we emailed all parents with a letter from Dan Barton asking the parents of frontline workers to complete an online survey so that the CCC task group can assess the level of need in the local area. I you have not done so already, please complete this survey if this applies to you. We have pasted the link below for your reference.
Once this information has been collated, the Cumbria County Council task group will look to make provision available in the area of need. They are also identifying the most appropriate settings in communities so that children of frontline workers can still go to work. We will of course keep you up to date as we hear further information.
Preparation for Home Learning
Our wonderful staff team have been very busy preparing for home learning opportunities:
Teachers will be updating the class pages on our website with links to online activities appropriate for children generally within their class. Please see: https://www.shap.cumbria.sch.uk/class-pages/ All children have their own secure email address, allowing them to send and receive emails amongst @shap.cumbria.sch.uk accounts. Staff will begin to email your child with suggestions of activities that you can do together at home. These will be differentiated to individual children’s / group needs.
Your child will bring home (or be delivered) a pack of learning activities and resources to help with their learning.
When planning our approach to home learning, we have tried to take into account the needs of our children, capabilities within the home setting, and demands on our staff; as this is ‘unchartered waters’ for us, there will be teething problems. We ask for your understanding and patience, and most importantly, please feedback to us any successes and difficulties that you are having, and suggested solutions will always be welcomed!
Suggestions to help you include: Setting up a space in your home to support your child with their learning is clearly an important step and it is important that your child feels comfortable; working at a table or a desk with easy access to basic equipment may form part of a good routine. It is also important that your child maintains a balance between learning, being active, sitting at a computer and being creative or reading. Make sure your child gets some fresh air, build in normal breaks and don’t forget to arrange rewards for your child when they have worked hard.
We will aim to restrict communication to the hours between 8.30am to 5.30pm in line with ‘school hours’. This arrangement will enable families and staff to maintain a similar balance to a normal school day. Outside of these times, in line with normal school routine, teachers will be planning, marking and caring for their families and may not be available for communications. In the first instance, this arrangement is in place until 27th March 2020.
I am available by email: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com and I am happy to answer all questions and queries as they arise. You also have your class teachers email addresses that were distributed with your child’s email address.
Friday 20 March
We had a wonderful day today! Considering the upcoming restrictions that may be imposed upon them, we set up opportunities for our children to spend as much time socialising with each other, particularly in the fresh air and March sunshine!
Tomorrow, similarly, we aim to spend the afternoon outside in the school grounds! We had planned to take part in The Great Cumbrian Litter Pick, which has sadly been cancelled. We had however borrowed a school set of litter picking equipment, so we aim to continue with our plans on a smaller scale, to utilise this equipment! We will spend the afternoon improving our school grounds – collecting litter, sweeping the bark chippings and gardening! There may also be a small Easter reward for all involved! Please can we therefore ask children to bring their wellies in again! Unfortunately this will be restricted to school children and staff, we will utilise volunteers at a later date!
We are expecting updates from Cumbria County Council for staff and families tomorrow. I will update you as soon as I can once I receive this information. Thank you all for your understanding and support, over this last week particularly. We are blessed to be at the heart of such a wonderful community.
Take good care!
Katie Chappell Acting Headteacher