Hopefully you are reasonably dry and avoiding the flooding. Thank you to the many parents who have sent many positive messages and helpful comments, everyone is working really hard at the moment and doing their best (there is no instruction manual for this).
Having been involved with both national (I am the Herefordshire President for the National Association of Head Teachers) and local headteachers within Herefordshire in the last week I think the work that we are offering through Seesaw and the personal nature of the feedback as well as teachers posting videos on Madley TV is often exceeding what many schools are offering. Remote learning does not mean 'live' lessons, as OFSTED have pointed out that is a fallacy, remote means you are not at school.
Times set for remote learning are set by the government not by the school and they are expecting children to be learning at home and schools to be providing that work (we have to report on it daily to the DFE). There is no instruction manual or national approach, it is down to each school to manage it.
1. The bigger picture -
More than a fifth of primary school pupils were in school last week in England, new government data shows.
The figure is about five times higher compared to last year, when schools closed during the first lockdown between March and May.
Overall in England, 14% of state school pupils were in class on 13 January. The figure was 21% of primary school pupils and 5% of secondary school students.
During last year's first lockdown, attendance was as low as 4% in primary schools and 1% in secondary schools.
Madley Primary Picture :
- We are slightly below the national figure but have a 50% increase on last year. Every parent/carer has been amazing with their attitude and approach to places - lots of adjusting, changes of hours/shifts and awareness. We are here for those front line workers who have no alternatives.
- We restrict the school adults on-site each day but teachers are working at home (often with their children present, like you), to reduce transmission risk, and work all day and into the evening. I am here everyday. LSAs work in teams to supervise the children in school with gaps in between to minimise the risk of transmission. There is minimal movement in school and it is extremely restrictive (not our normal approach but sensible at this time).
- We have not had any cases ........ yet ! We are prepared.
2. ICT update - amazing news !
- Our new Chromebooks have arrived thanks to the amazing donation from a very generous parent and also Madley Charities as well as the efficiency of NS Optimum who arranged delivery so quickly (even before we had paid). The donations are in (blown away by the generosity) and the criteria for applying is below (we will look at it in 3 phases).
We really hope that all parents appreciate the generosity and values of the benefactors in order to assist everyone, a truly amazing and heart warming effort. This is one of those real community and values moments that make our school what it is and make us proud to be part of it.
Only children currently at Madley Primary School are applicable and they are for school work -
- Children who do not have a device or are working on their parents/carer's phone or a very old, borrowed or re-vamped laptop.
- Families of multiple children who share one device.
- All Phase 1 and 2 children are covered.
- Anyone else who does not have a device suitable to do their work.
Please send a quick e-mail to email@example.com outlining your needs (we can also help with mobile data but not paying for wi-fi in your house). At the moment it will be one device per family until all families are covered then we will look at each family situation individually.
All applications come with the understanding that these are school devices and we will have an agreement to sign to ensure they are used properly and looked after.
Timeframes - we want to get these devices out and used as quickly as possible but Mr Freeman and myself will be setting them up and making sure they work properly. We will let you know when they are ready.
Sport and PE
We/you need to keep children active both for physical and mental benefits. Team sports/activities have gone so not it is about individual activity to keep the mind and body engaged and active (especially with a massive increase in screen time). At least 10 minutes a day is vital but it should be more like an hour of activity.
Remote learning ideas -
- Good teaching is based on relationships and this can never be replicated through a screen, via a microphone or on-line. As a school we do not use many worksheets/workbooks but home schooling is hard without the structure/scaffolding so we are adapting how we normally teach to assist you, we are giving you things/resources that do not come naturally to us.
Parents are also teaching children how they were taught and the expectations of the National Curriculum are different (many of you will notice that things you were taught in secondary school are now part of primary school).
- 'Free' online books read by authors through the Oak Academy - https://library.thenational.academy
The Oak Academy has a wealth of ideas and lessons, some of which have been used by our teachers.
- The amount of time that children and adults are spending on a screen is a real concern and is hard to manage. Teachers are finding this hard and are tied to their laptops managing SeeSaw, children must be doing the same. We have to strike a balance to make it manageable for everyone ........... We try to give a mix of on-line work and practical work but you have to develop a timetable for what works for you. We can't come into your home to assist with parenting and everyone has the daily battles (we would not have that in school but life is different at the moment).
- Whats App groups or social media - these can be great support or a forum for negativity. If you have a question then ask the right person and you will get the right answer ! Patience, sensitivity and awareness are core values that we teach to the children and are helpful from everyone at this difficult time. Parents can organise 'get togethers' using social media if they choose to, school does not need to be involved.
Have a good Thursday. There has been more than enough advice, ideas, clarity and good news this week so there won't be an update tomorrow (Friday) as we have 50 Chromebooks to get organised, distributed and in homes !