We are in week 4 of national lockdown, but I think it feels much longer than that. The news about schools this week reopening still did little to provide clarity for parents, children and staff. We want nothing more than to be able to have all children and staff back at school as soon as possible, but this cannot happen for a while yet and we all sincerely hope that this is sooner rather than later.
I would like to take this opportunity, at the end of week 4 to thank the amazing WP staff team, who are working so hard, doing a great job and remaining cheerful and happy, despite these challenging times. I would also like to thank our families for your continued support. I know how difficult this situation is for you all and we really appreciate what you are all doing with regard to home learning and are very grateful for your lovely messages of thanks, encouragement and support. They are hugely appreciated and as I have said before, keep us going!
Many of you have expressed your gratitude for the way the staff have worked very hard in such a short space of time to put in place remote learning. Parents have shared that they are very appreciative of the live Literacy sessions, which have had such a positive impact on children and their engagement and motivation to complete tasks. The attendance at the sessions is record breaking!
We are constantly seeking ways to improve how we teach remotely. For many of us, as for you, this is completely new and a steep learning curve against a background of changing Government guidance and huge pressure placed on families. We have reviewed our remote learning provision and will be making some changes after feedback from staff and parents.
From Monday 8th February, teachers will also provide a live Maths session. The session will last approximately 25 minutes (the session may be shorter for our younger children).
We have made the decision to stop using the slides for children to complete work on. The slides were very time consuming to make and adapt, particularly adding textboxes for answers. Children often found they could not input their answers.
Children will use White Rose Maths workbooks, which were ordered this week, from Monday 8th February. We will group the workbooks and ask families to collect their packs for each child. We will send more information out early next week about when to collect.
Completion of the creative mat activities is low, which is disappointing considering the effort that goes into its planning. From the week beginning 8th February 2021, the creative mat will run for 2 weeks and will be topic based. The activities will also support cross curricular learning and have a focus on creative activities and outcomes. Teachers will provide a live session on Monday at the start of the fortnight, introducing the activities to the children.
Word of the Week assembly
The pre-recorded Word of the Week assembly will be shared with the children during their Google Meet session each Monday, as well as being uploaded to GC
The timetable will now change to include the changes we are making
On the day the creative mat is shared, the introduction time would be 11.40 -12.10pm so lunchtime would be from 12.10 – 1.10pm.
As I have said before, the sessions are not compulsory, we would hope that the children would be present during their teacher’s explanation at the beginning of the sessions, so that they are well prepared to complete the tasks. However, it will be up to parents to decide what is most appropriate for their child. All the work for the children is still being assigned on Google Classroom, to enable families to manage their own timetable, particularly if they have established a family routine that works for them or have work or caring commitments.
Virtual School Library for children in Years 5 and 6.
The Oak National Academy together with The National Literacy Trust has created the Virtual School Library. It is a service that provides children with free books every week from popular children’s authors or illustrators, as well as access to videos and interviews.
The current author is Nizrana Farook, who is the author of The Girl Who Stole an Elephant. We think this is a great platform to alert our Year 5 and 6 children to, as I know so many of them missed having access to our school library. Harriet, our Literacy lead, has created a classroom titled ‘Virtual School Library’ on GC for each of the Year 5 and 6 classes. It will provide information for your children on how to access the links. To ensure the children remain up to date with the new author every week, Harriet will update this information weekly too.
Technical training for staff
Maya will be running two training sessions for all teachers on Tuesday 2nd February. One session will be at 1pm and the other session will be at 2.15pm. Therefore work will not be marked by the usual specified time, it will be marked the next day.
Many of you have shared concerns about children falling behind with their learning. Please try not to worry too much about this. The situation is out of our control and everyone is in the same position. If there are days that seem challenging or your child doesn’t want to engage with remote learning, then that is ok! We are here to listen and support however we can, so please do get in touch if you need us.
Once again, I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing all the super work the children have been doing with you at home and uploading to GC. Looking at the work and sharing on the school Instagram account is one of the highlights of my day! Do take a look. Seeing the creativity, imagination, perseverance, individuality and sheer fabulousness of our children will definitely bring you a little bit of joy!
If you have any questions, please email me at KLaw@williampatten.hackney.sch.uk
Have a lovely weekend!