Headteacher Newsletter Issue 8
FORTNIGHTLY NEWSLETTER ISSUE 8: 15.1.21
I hope you are all well. Thank you for all the supportive messages, we do really appreciate them.
Congratulations Miss Turner!
Some good news to share, Miss Turner married Ashley Tokeley over the Christmas break and I am sure you all want to join me in sending congratulations and best wishes to them both.
Remote learning update
We are really pleased how well the remote learning offer is going. Well done to all the staff for organising it so quickly and thank you to the parents for supporting this transition and for working hard helping the children at home.
Now that we have been running the provision for a couple of weeks there are a few things that we need to tweak. There will be more in the future as we adapt and perfect our offer in order to provide the best for the children.
Current adaptations –
- Mrs Course has already been in touch with her Reception class of parents to explain how the structure has been recently adapted to make it more suitable for this age group. There will now be 3x 30 min slots with afternoon activities being included in their ‘Learning Journey’ via Tapestry.
- We are looking into how we can develop differentiation more fully and we are currently exploring how we can use the break out room facility. We will be in touch as this develops. In the meantime we are differentiating as much as we can through our delivery and resources.
- Marking is more of a challenge during remote learning and is taking up a lot of the time which would be better served spent on planning and acting on children’s next steps. The DFE only expect feedback “at least weekly, using digitally facilitated or whole class where appropriate”. We are looking at a level that works for both staff and pupils. To that end all work will be seen by the teachers and we will be providing more detailed next step feedback for a piece of Maths and English work each week. Other work will be marked at the teacher’s discretion depending on the learning at the time. All work will be acknowledged through the receiving and sending back process but it may not have a comment each time. Some work will be acted upon in the lesson , there may be times when children self-mark, verbal feedback may be given, or comments may be added. Our main focus will be on how well the pupils are progressing through their learning and acting on this.
- If you experience any problems accessing an on-line lesson, please contact the school office in the first instance. This will enable the teacher to concentrate on their teaching. If you are able, in the meantime, to access the work via Teams, we will endeavour to resolve any problems before the next lesson but your child may have to miss the live part of the lesson on that occasion. Teachers will invite all pupils before the lesson starts to help alleviate some of the problems experienced. I am sure this will get easier once we get more used to the process. Ipads can be more difficult. Class teachers are also reminding their pupils not to touch the screen to avoid them being cut off during the live session.
- If backgrounds are used during the live sessions, then it may be helpful to choose a plain one, especially for the younger children, to avoid any distractions during the lesson.
DFE and Local Authority support –
- Access to remote learning via games consoles: children are able to use an Xbox or Playstation games console instead of a laptop or tablet to access online schooling such as MS Teams or Google Classroom. You can do this on the following devices: Xbox One, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 4 Pro or PlayStation 5. You will just need a USB Keyboard to plug into that device to enable this function. It just needs to be a working USB keyboard.
- Further information for parents can be found here: https://www.pocket-lint.com/apps/news/google/155204-how-to-use-google-classroom-on-xbox-and-playstation
- Schools week article: Oak Academy free to access – Mobile networks EE, O2, Three and Vodafone have said they will move to “zero-rate” the Oak National Academy after the online education provider agreed to move all its content to a single domain.
- Data and Access to Technology – the Local Authority continue to receive queries regarding how to support families to access technology, in particular with internet access. Our suggestion is for families to contact their current internet provider if they have one, as many are offering free data to support children’s learning. This includes, BT, Virgin, Three and Vodafone.
Tik Tok and WhatsApp
As a follow on to my last communication re online safety. I am aware some children are accessing Tik Tok and WhatsApp. Please note that the age restriction for Tik Tok is 13+ and for WhatsApp is 16+.
Please see guidance for parents from the Two Johns (our esafety trainers ) –
Bad Weather – staff and children on site
In the event of bad weather we will do our utmost to keep the onsite provision open but if this is not possible we will contact the relevant families.
Class teachers will still be producing class newsletters for this term either this week or next and this will be related to the remote learning style. They will be circulated via Parent Mail, posted on Teams and the website.
From the next school newsletter we will start to include the children’s learning across the school both on and offsite. We will also include Star of the Week. I do miss the coffee mornings!
Once again thank you for all the support you are giving the staff. Together we are a strong team providing the best that we can during these challenging times.
Best wishes and stay safe