The current national situation is complex with huge pressure on families to complete home schooling and trying to manage that with work and caring commitments is hard. Some parents have contacted me to say that they would like more work, other parents have contacted me to say that they would like less. It can be challenging trying to balance those requests and meet the needs and expectations of all families, without causing any additional burden for either parents or children.
I am writing to let you know about changes we are making to our remote education provision after our review of the first two weeks. Feedback from parents and staff has been very helpful in informing our review.
1. This will be the timetable from next Monday 18th January for ALL classes in relation to live-streaming. We recognise that all families and children are in different situations and work may be completed at different times outside of the suggested timetable below. However, the live-streamed sessions are set times and cannot be moved. If the timetabling causes difficulty due to the number of devices you have, please email CSpanton@williampatten.hackney.sch.uk and we will do our best to support, as we have some old iPads which can be borrowed.
Children will access Google Meet via the link in their Google Classroom. We will no longer send the parents a link via email, which should make it easier for everyone. We will send an email on Friday detailing how to access this (it’s easy!)
2. Next week will also see the start of live-streamed music lessons with Alison and Health & Fitness with Jim. They are both very excited at seeing all the children! Please see the timetables below.
Music with Alison
Children will access their lesson on Google Meet via the link in their Google Classroom.
Health & Fitness with Jim
Children will access their session on Google Meet via the link in their Google Classroom.
3. Children who have instrumental music lessons – brass, keyboard, saxophone, clarinet and violins will be starting their online lessons next week and the week after.
4. Children who would usually receive additional interventions in school time with Billy will also start their online sessions next week. Some Speech and Language interventions that can be delivered successfully online will start next week too.
5. Phone calls to every child will start next week. We have allocated a member staff to each child, except those in keyworker provision. Staff will call from their own home or school. Therefore the number that comes up may be caller withheld, so please do answer! The calls are to check in with children and to continue their connection with the school, during school closure.
Queries from parents have been similar, so I thought it would be helpful to include the question and the answers here.
Why is WP just doing ‘homework’ on GC?
All work set on Google Classroom is work that would be taught in school. I appreciate that because we called it ‘School Closure Homework’ it may have been seen as homework. We have now changed the wording on GC to avoid any confusion.
Other schools are doing live teaching. Can WP do live-streamed lessons?
Schools are offering a wide range of provision depending on their community and capacity. Different approaches to remote learning suit different types of content and pupils. For example, live teaching with very young children can have particular issues which cannot easily be addressed in the same way as those of other pupils in a live lesson.
We are starting live-streaming Literacy, Music and Health & Fitness lessons next week. We will review the provision at the end of the first week and look at the capacity for more live sessions or recorded sessions that children can access in their own time.
Can the deadlines be changed so that families can complete work over the weekend?
Work is set with a deadline to enable teachers to manage marking and to support by providing an ending for the work to be completed. We understand that with work and caring commitments, completing remote learning work by the deadline can be difficult. Work can be submitted after the deadline.
• If Monday’s literacy or maths tasks are submitted by 3:30pm on Monday, a teacher response will be given by the end of the following day (Tuesday).
• If Monday’s literacy or maths tasks are submitted after 3:30pm on Monday, a teacher response will be given by the end of the current week (Friday).
• If any tasks are submitted after 3:30pm on Friday, a teacher response will be given by the end of the following week (Friday week).
Can we have a technical support session?
Maya, our Computing subject lead and all round tech maestro will be available this Friday for any questions relating to technical issues, such as logging on, accessing the Google Meet via Google classroom, setting up devices etc. The session will start at 9am and finish at 3.30pm. The link is meet.google.com/oah-ktwh-bka
Please can children’s work be rotated on the school Instagram account, so all children have their work celebrated?
I keep a record of which children have their work posted on Instagram. I usually work my way through GC in the evening to look at the amazing work our children are doing. Teachers share great work they have seen, but I am also happy for parents to email to say ‘look at this!’
Can we have the answers to the Maths activities?
Yes. From next week all teachers will attach the answers to each Maths assignment on Google classroom.
Some children are finding it hard to write their answers directly onto GC. Can we have the worksheets to the Maths?
Teachers do use text boxes for the answers, but we are aware that on some devices there are some issues with writing answers directly. Providing worksheets would be logistically very difficult. Children can complete their work on paper and then it can be photographed and uploaded. If parents would like paper / exercise books, we have packs like we did in the first lockdown. They are available to collect on Thursday and Friday this week between 10 and 11am. There are KS1 and KS2 packs of books and stationery. Please come to the Church street gate. The packs will be on the table outside the office.
How do we upload Craig’s Maths Challenge?
Please upload the response to Craig’s Maths challenge to your child’s Maths activity for the day or include it in the class stream. Teachers will let Craig know and he will respond to your child!
What happens if we can’t get all the home learning completed?
As I have said before, this is a hugely difficult situation. We will provide you with as much support as we can to support remote education. Please do contact us if you have any questions about work that has been posted on Google Classroom and don’t feel guilty! Do what you can for your child, you are doing an amazing job! The language on Google Classroom can add to that guilt because it says ‘done late’ even if it’s two minutes after the time. Ignore that!
Can the school use Zoom as opposed to Google Meet?
We were advised by Hackney Education to not use Zoom due to safeguarding concerns and Google Meet aligns to Google classroom, so it is the medium we will continue to use for our remote learning provision.
Can teachers remind children about protocols for the Google Meet?
We have updated our remote learning protocols with clear expectations for teacher, children and parents and that is attached to this email. It includes reminders about muting, taking turns and all children being given the opportunity and encouragement to participate.
Are the Headteacher Awards being done again?
Yes we are starting those this week. EYFS are also starting their Super Achiever awards too. Look out for the post!
Will you be doing the Kindness Award?
Yes we will be starting that next week too.
I am worried that my child is going to fall even more behind. What should I do?
This is a very common question raised by parents and one that I will answer in more detail next week
Please find attached our Remote Learning Protocols and advice from Young Minds regarding positive mental health for yourself and your child during school closure.
Once again, apologies for the length of the email, but I hope you find the information useful. We will review our remote learning provision at the end of next week and I will update you of any changes accordingly.
And finally, a very big thank you for the continued messages of support and appreciation of the fabulous work done by the entire staff team, whether it be our keyworker provision, home learning or answering a query. The messages mean a great deal to us and are very much appreciated. Thank you.
We hope our families stay safe and well and I will write to you again next week. Please do get in touch in the meantime if you have a question.