Coronavirus Update Letter – 1.4.20
KNOWLEDGEABLE – SAFE – HEALTHY – EQUAL
Wednesday 1st April 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
I am writing to update you on how King Offa Primary Academy plans to continue to offer support to you and your child during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Since the Prime Minister ordered all schools to close on the 20th March, the whole staff team has been working incredibly hard to make sure that we do all we can to play our part in the fight against Coronavirus.
Our number one priority is to make sure that we do all we can to prevent the spread of the virus by following the governments advice on social distancing. We were asked to provide child care for the children of Keyworkers and those identified as vulnerable and have done this for the last two weeks. Staff have volunteered to continue to run this over the Easter break so that Keyworkers can continue in their roles. We have also made sure that teachers have been in touch with all families and provided ideas for things that you can do with your children at home whilst they are unable to attend school. In addition to this, we have provided meal packs to pupils who are entitled to free school meals.
It is not clear how long schools will remain shut for. We are working hard to make sure that we can continue to provide families with as much support as is possible. The information below is intended to provide you with clarity over how we plan to continue operating for as long as the school has to remain closed. It sets out what you can expect from us and what we expect from you.
Childcare provision for the children of Keyworkers
We will continue to offer childcare to children of keyworkers and vulnerable pupils in the same way we have been. You will receive an email on Wednesday 8th April asking you what your childcare needs are for the week beginning 20th April. We will confirm with you the sessions that we can offer by Wednesday 15th April (please ensure all request forms are submitted before or by 11.30am on this date). The cycle will then begin again for the following week.
Please remember that this provision should only be used as a last resort so that we can maximise social distancing. It will also be dependent on having enough staff available to run the sessions.
Learning at Home
All schools are exploring the best ways to support parents with helping their children at home. It is clear that it is not possible to replicate ‘school’ at home. We do not expect families to try and recreate a school day. Many of you are working from home and juggling many demands on your time. We want to help in the best way we can by providing ideas and resources that you can use at home but know that it is not possible for the school curriculum to be taught in the way it would have been if your child was able to attend school. This is the same for all schools and all children in the country. Schools are already considering how the curriculum will need to be adapted when things return to normal so that children settle back in and can pick up their learning from where they left off.
We will continue to add tasks and activities to our learning platform known as PURPLE MASH. These will be updated every Friday with content for the following week. Every two weeks we will also be emailing out to you a work pack that includes suggested activities that can be completed at home. We know that not all of you have access to a printer at home and that the ‘physical’ work packs have been appreciated by parents. We are exploring whether it will be possible to send these by post or if we will need to continue to arrange for them to be collected. If you need a physical copy of the pack please email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know that you would prefer the work in this format. Please make sure that the subject of your email is WORKPACKS.
Keep an eye on our school Facebook page as well. We’ll share any other ideas that we think you might find useful to do with your child whilst they are at home. At this challenging time children may miss their friends, consider ways to combat this… perhaps a monitored facetime call where your child could play a game or have a chat with their friend for example.
Please remember that reading remains just about the most important skill that children need to master. We’re sorry that we can’t allow access to our school library at the moment but the local library is able to lend E-books and there are many more options available online that you may want to investigate.
Also, don’t forget to use Serial Mash, a virtual library on Purple Mash.
Staying in touch
School staff will continue to contact you at least once a week after the Easter Break. This will either be by email or telephone. This provides an opportunity for us to stay in touch and see if there is any help or support that you or your child requires at this time.
We continue to check emails on a regular basis and can be reached here email@example.com
Please do not try to use the school phone to contact us.
Children entitled to free school meals
The government has indicated that it is working on a voucher scheme for pupils who are entitled to free school meals. We will share further details on how this will work as soon as we have them.
Please note that this will not apply to all pupils in Reception and Key Stage one who currently qualify for Universal Infant School Meals. In order to qualify for the voucher scheme you will need to meet the criteria here https://www.gov.uk/apply-free-school-meals and have registered with the school. If you need help doing this please contact the school office on firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your continuing support at these difficult times. Please take good care of yourselves and your families.
We very much look forward to reopening school as soon as is possible.
James Freeston Natasha Baker
Executive Headteacher Acting Head of School