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Update - Tuesday 12th January

Dear all,

Welcome to Tuesday ! Information, updates, learning ideas ..........

1. Staff absence

We have some staff who are absent from school at the moment as they are shielding very vulnerable family members  or they are unable to work at this time and are signed off. Mrs Johnson has also hurt her back badly and may be absent for a while. Team Madley always steps forward and the team are excellent at covering each other and going the extra mile. 

2. Learning in the event of a teacher absence

If a teacher was absent for a day then I would set some tasks for the class but it would be via Parentmail and not Seesaw and would not require any feedback. If the absence was to be longer then we would inform you of the processes. If the absence was Covid related and involved isolation for the teacher then we would inform you of the process at the time.

These are unusual, unprecedented  times and we are often encountering things we have no experience, guidance or training for so we make the best decisions and the ones we feel are appropriate. 

3. Establishing routines

Everyone is adjusting to new ways of working in challenging times (even if we have been through it once), schools have been given no training, proper guidance, budget or time to prepare for what we are experiencing now. This week is about adjusting and making things work with limited staff and resources whilst balancing home learning and in school learning (we didn't have this before).

We understand that some families struggle for devices and printers, we are trying to find some help for people but it will take time and I will contact people as we have more information or resources. 

We cannot post work out as we do not have the capacity in terms of people. 

Teachers are monitoring all aspects of SeeSaw and we may adjust the times we post work to make it easier for parents but changes will only come from next Monday

Something I saw on Twitter:

'In business you would have 3 days training on a new ICT system or software change then two days of self experimenting to use a new system but in education it is introduced in a staff meeting at the end of a full school day with the instruction of 'have a play' and, by the way, we are using it from 9am tomorrow morning !'    This may or may not be true but it resonated ! 

We didn't quite do that and had training in school before Christmas and we were prepared but this is something we have never done, we could not practise how to manage response or individual parental requests. 

These first few weeks of lockdown will be about

- finding systems that work for home and school but are collective not individual.

- all about schools promoting themselves and how great what they are doing is........ whilst forgetting that not every school is in the same locality, position, have the same parental approach or a raft of other things. We will comment on how things have gone here but 'we learn from others not compare ourselves to others. ' 

- dealing with the raft of paperwork from the DFE, all about tracking numbers but very little advice or guidance. 

Outdoor learning ideas/websites

The following is just the beginning and I will 'drip feed' you more sites as the weeks pass. Rooted Forest School is Herefordshire based and Sam has hosted courses for educators at Madley. These are all links copied from an educator who republished the list from last lockdown so, hopefully, they are all running again.......

LEARNING THROUGH LANDSCAPES have created two a Facebook groups, one for educators and the other for families during COVID 19. Both are really lively pages, so check them out. This UK school grounds charity have opened up much more of its resources to non-members. You can access the whole lot if you join – it’s very cheap to do so.

RENSSELAER YOUTH OUTDOORS is a network of partners whose mission is to introduce and engage the children and families of Rensselaer County in the wonder, science, and adventure of nature in an effort to create a healthier, more sustainable community in an increasingly complex world. But all their posting seem equally good for the UK.

CRISIS CRAFTS – KEEPING HANDS BUSY If you are stuck with activities to do with children at home The Smart Happy Project are here to help. They will be sharing some easy Crisis Craft activities that are all related to natures patterns, every weekday at noon, via their Facebook page. All activities, once aired, will stay on the page, so don’t worry if you missed the live feed. Lisa, the founder has also produced this download about the Number 5 and associated geometric patterns.

FRESH AIR LEARNING Jess Walton is posting a video or an idea every day on her Facebook page. She’s a qualified Forest School and Beach School Leader so useful for those who looking for this type of inspiration.

ROOTED FOREST SCHOOL Sam Goddard is sharing activities every few days which can be done at home with one or two children. Fantastic!

JEN’S FOREST SCHOOL A brilliant site for families and educators wanting to learn more about nature and not sure where to start. Good mix of suggestions, photos and videos.

Heart picture (attached)

An idea for when you are out on your walk or in the garden. Cut out the shape from card and then take a photograph of an amazing view (can be the ground) and share it via (this is one of the rare occasions you use the admin address for work as everything is on SeeSaw now and via teachers).  

Sunshine stones (picture attached)

Use natural resources to create a picture, can be photographed if you want. 

Best regards

Mr Batstone