We are back to a similar position as March of last year but in many ways it is more challenging as people know what to expect, it comes on the back of a holiday and we now have greater expectations of remote/blended learning alongside providing education in school (for at least 30 families so far). We will do our best and all of the team have stepped forward and, unconditionally, offered their support and help despite the fact that they know the risk is greater and they are putting themselves and their families in greater danger.
We did not have time to send books etc home as before but we will think about and try to address that in the next few weeks. We will provide paper packs from Monday if people are able to collect from the front of school (please do not come into the school building).
You will have your own challenges at home with devices, making things work and the balance of learning with screen time and active time. The aim of these updates is to give you feedback and some ideas that you can/may use.
The key message is 'do your best' and make it work for your family but we also need to be learning and engaging. Follow the structures that are given by the teachers (especially with writing, the weakest area we found from the last lockdown and a hard aspect to teach) and please follow the learning you are asked to.
Despite the Education Minister's announcement yesterday we had already agreed within the teaching team to provide up to 4 hours of learning for children via Seesaw and other ideas. It is more intense at home and 4 hours may be too much so please do not use that as a 'you have to do 4 hours' but as a general guide. It may be that you do 'sit down' learning in the morning then walks in the afternoon or they have projects etc, make it work for your family.
It was great to see and hear about so many children trying it out yesterday as we ease into using it. We had 97 people requesting a replacement log in as they couldn't find it so hopefully everyone is sorted now. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you still need it.
We will track the children using it and teachers will ring home if children are not engaging with it, just to check it is all working, see if you need support with devices and to ensure the children continue to learn.
A few 'not so gentle' reminders:
- the platform is not a social media platform for parental communication and is for the child and teacher. It is not a personal communication platform for parents to contact teachers.
- It is not Tapestry (often in a nursery/pre school setting a key worker would have about 5 children they are responsible for, whereas a teacher has 30 or more) and the response to your videos, comments or work cannot be the same. We loved seeing the videos of the children engaging with their work but not everyone will be commented on or liked (it is not physically possible whilst a teacher is planning, getting resources for the next day, recording videos for Madley TV etc).
- Teachers monitor things all the time and work in the evenings but they will only comment on work from 10am -2:30pm alongside everything else they are doing.
School website -
'Working from home' sections have been created for each class which will be populated with ideas and examples. The overall planning webs for this terms themes have been posted so you can see the learning that is intended, and you may wish to explore some of it yourself.
Madley TV - teachers will be posting videos of examples and teaching to assist you, especially with aspects such as phonics so we get the correct pronunciation.
Learning outdoors ideas
- Forest school - the 'booklet' of last terms learning is on the school website and it may inspire some ideas for walks or outdoor learning. Simple things like the stick tower challenge are easy and can be made as simple or as complicated as you wish, you can publish your resulting photographs or videos on SeeSaw.
- OS Maps have a good 'free' app (there is one you can purchase as well) to plan walks.
- Treasure hunt ideas - can you find something on a walk or in the woods or in the garden that begins with every letter of the alphabet (A to Z) - lay them out in order.
- Can you make every letter of the alphabet just using sticks ? They can be bent into shape or, raise the challenge, they have to be found in the correct shape !
Art idea - attached is a piece of work created by a child using buildings in a city and bringing them to life by adding faces. All ages could explore this idea and you can extend it but drawing buildings from different ages or linking character to buildings (e.g what character would be castle be ? Black and white house ? Wooden hut ? Bungalow ? ). If you wanted to extend it further they could (or you could do it together) write a children's book with text and illustrations.
More ideas to follow soon........