Message from Mrs. Castell
We hope you are well, apologies for the late cancellation of today's assembly. Mrs Castell was unable to be in school today due to unforeseen circumstances but hopes to resume her weekly assemblies next week. We are aware some of you had issues getting into the assembly last week and therefore the story “The Invisible String” which is so relevant to our present situation has been recorded and shared on our facebook page.
Congratulations on getting through the first month of the latest lockdown. It’s certainly been a long and difficult month for all of us. We are incredibly impressed with the engagement of the remote learning that is being offered to all of our children and are truly appreciative of the support and guidance you are providing whilst juggling your own jobs and family life.
The announcement that schools will not be reopening until the 8th March at the earliest may have filled you with dread but we will continue to support you and your children. We are upset and saddened too as we long for the time that our pupils can return. I am so proud to have the team I have at school and I am in awe of our staff at this time as they juggle full time teaching, remote support, replying to emails, making phone calls and supporting their own families too, including home schooling. They all share the same anxieties and concerns that you do for their families and friends during this pandemic and continue to give their very best to children in school and at home every day.
We understand how difficult it is to fit everything in during the week. The plans you receive mirror the learning in school and meet both the national curriculum guidelines and DfE expectations. Please don’t worry if you miss any online sessions or cannot complete everything suggested in our remote learning plans. Do what is right for you as a family. Your happiness and wellbeing is the priority and remember that we are here to help and support you. As part of our legal safeguarding procedures we do still have to follow up on pupil absence and any safeguarding concerns. Therefore if we haven't had any form of contact with you during the week our usual procedures apply. But rest assured we would exhaust all ways of contact before making any referrals.
We continue to attend our safeguarding and online safety training. I am aware that children may be online more at the moment, 9th February is Safer Internet Day and Miss Wilson, our IT Lead, will be sending out information which will help you monitor and keep your children safe online. We have attached details of a useful remote e-safety online workshop for parents delivered by 2 Johns.
Staying positive and trying to keep everything ticking over is a challenge at the moment. We have been made aware that there are several WhatsApp groups and know that staying connected to friends is vital at the moment. We know that these are private groups but just ask you to be mindful of the comments you post. This week we have received concerns from parents regarding some group messages. Some parents are feeling overwhelmed or worrying as their children are unable to complete as much work as others. We have also received a few queries regarding children who are currently in school but under GDPR regulations we are unable to answer questions about individual children. We can assure you that any children currently in school meet the government criteria.
Staff who are in school are now regularly taking Lateral flow tests. We are following the advice of the local authority so if a member of staff test positive, that bubble will have to be isolated while the member of staff takes a PCR test. Should the PCR test be negative the children and staff can return to school. If the result is positive Public Health will advise me further. Any staff displaying symptoms have to take the PCR test. With this enhanced testing and the rollout of the vaccine, it gives us hope that the school will be able to open as soon as it is able to do so.
A few reminders for you; next week is Children's Mental Health week and National Storytelling week, you may receive some activities for these via the class teachers and you may find this link useful Mindfulness calendar: daily five-minute activities Half term is 15th-19th February and the school will be closed to all pupils.
We would like to thank Tim Williams who has served as a parent governor and has resigned from his position due to work commitments. This means we have a vacancy for a parent governor, should anyone be interested please contact me to discuss details.
Just to remind you that the office is currently unmanned, therefore please email using firstname.lastname@example.org or the class email accounts rather than trying to call. I will of course answer calls if I can but am often not in my office or on online meetings etc.
Best wishes and stay safe