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Daily Update - Friday 11th January 2021

Dear all,

We hope you had a peaceful, calm and safe weekend. We hope that you have followed all of the rules in order to keep yourself and everyone else safe. 

Quite a lot of information today to work through: 

1. You may be aware that the Council has an information and guidance website on a number of areas, health, wellbeing, debt, activities which is called WISH.  The link below may be a helpful for parents as it provides information on obtaining laptops and internet access for home schooling purposes as well as details on educational programmes:

2. SeeSaw feedback 

- Interaction/engagement from the vast majority of children and classes has been excellent. 

- People have uploaded work, videos and photographs. 

- The interaction between teachers and pupils is individual and more personal. 

- Younger years (R and 1) is more video, photos and short pieces of work but more of them. Older children have longer pieces of work and less videos or photographs.

- Writing across the school has a better response and improved quality from the last lockdown. 

- Children in school are following the same work but it is in a book and not posted on SeeSaw so we have consistency. 

- There have been some wonderful comments and stories about home learning e.g younger children watching a teacher video on Madley TV and thinking it was a Facetime call. These are strange times for everyone but those moments are special. 

A really good start to the home learning journey, well done and keep it going. There are lots of challenges ahead and some management issues to resolve but a really positive start. 

'Teething issues and areas to address' 

- In school a teacher has over 1000 questions or interactions with children during any given day (these are often quick verbal feedback but teachers now have to write the response and read anything the child says, this takes much longer).

In each class we are currently receiving between 80 - 200 interactions with children over the course of a whole day and evening and we are trying to find ways to manage this without teachers working 24 hours of the day and having a break from a screen as well. Teachers are now marking things or commenting late into the night as they don't want to start the next day with 50 pieces of work or photographs to view before they start the next day.

Hopefully this will calm as working habits are formed but we may restrict when work can be posted to balance workload and mental health !

Teachers at Madley will do what it takes (and more) but often at the detriment to their own well being and we have a responsibility to manage that. 

- Some videos are recordings of the child doing something then it stops as they got something wrong then it is re-recorded with the correct answers. Children should be getting things wrong (you learn more from failure than success and it builds resilience). We would expect any child to get at least 10% of their work wrong or it may be too easy ! 

- Only the work set by the teacher will be commented on or marked. Projects are good but may have to be a little more independent. 

- If teachers set work for around 4 hours but it is all completed in 30 minutes then the quality or standard probably isn't good enough. Teachers will ask children to re-do or improve the quality of work if they know the child is capable of better. You may have to deal with the 'fall out' from that, they probably wouldn't react in the same way at school ! 

- Please could you check that photos, work etc are the correct way up when posted as SeeSaw does now allow rotation. Photographs can also be 'bundled' and not just sent individually. 

- Not everything needs to be sent in/posted as it may be practise and we don't need to see everything. 

- Commenting is not text messaging or social media so the teacher will probably comment once or not at all on every piece of work. 

- Please remember that SeeSaw may feel that it is just you, your child and the teacher but there are 30 other people who share that view ! All teachers have a weekly review meeting to look at what is working, work management, quality of working etc to make sure the system works for everyone. 

Did you know SeeSaw can also be accessed through an X-box (if it is connected to the internet) if you are struggling for devices. Not advocating that but just signposting it for parents. 

3. Attendance

Key worker attendance - this is a 'hot topic' at the moment and the DFE guidance was updated on Friday evening at 5:30pm to clarify that anyone  (including key workers) who can work from home and have their children with them, then they should. We fully understand that this may be extremely challenging !  

We currently have a fifth of the school accessing key worker provision at some point during the week (41 children from 31 families), in the last March lockdown it was a tenth of the school from around 10 families (we have had a  50% increase from last year). We still have some children to add. 

The processes and procedures for school all work but it increases the risk to school staff and to your family in bringing the virus home. Thank you to key worker families for their compliance with stringent safety measures around school. 

For all those working from home -

We have to report on absence, even virtual absence ! This is the most bizarre thing I have heard of so far but nothing surprises me anymore ! 

If your child is ill at home and cannot access virtual learning then you have to report it to school as we have to record it on our absence sheet each day ! We will leave this to your discretion !

4. Daily exercise -

Joe Wicks is the easy option but other ideas will be shared and children need to be getting outdoors and away from a screen for significant parts of the day. 

Plan a walk, do some exercise outside, go on a bike ride .........

I will give you some good links for outdoor learning opportunities this week. 

On-line bushcraft ideas with Ed Stafford

EVERY weekday starting Monday 11th at 10am (after Joe Wicks!) on our

@onlinebushcraft (You Tube)

YouTube channel Steven Hanton & I will be starting live forest skills lessons for kids and adults alike.

5. ICT headaches - 

- We are actively exploring ICT options for families who need it and fall into certain categories. We are approaching charities and other organisations in order to assist people who meet certain criteria. 

- If you do not have a printer don't worry and we try to set work that doesn't have to be printed or could be copied from a screen or can be drawn instead (without creating lots of extra work). 

6. 'Would you rather..... ?'  questions for the family......

Please don't sent your responses in as these are just for 'fun' or to stimulate conversation.

- 'Would you rather eat with a fork for the rest of your life OR eat only with a spoon for the rest of your life ?'

- 'Eat cold frozen food throughout the winter OR very hot food throughout the summer ?' 

7. Music resources

Attached are resources for all year groups from Encore Music (who teach 3 classes Ukele and Samba in school). I have added the Nursery one as you may have a younger child. 


Have a good start to the first full week. Establish a timetable and good routine (we know mornings are probably better to work), teachers will publish their 'outline' timetable as we have in school but remember home working is more intense and behaviours etc could be very different to school ! 


Mr Batstone