Dear parents and carers,

I just thought I’d keep in touch with you all and drop you a quick message.

Care and kindness

I hope you are all managing and coping, especially given the news on Monday night.  Life has certainly changed immeasurably in an incredibly short space of time. But we all just need to see some positives in it.  Be kind to yourselves and your families. This will become a new normal, for a while. But it’s not forever.  

Remember these little things when it’s tough, to feel better:   

  • Clean your space
  • Eat something healthy
  • Play some great music
  • Light a candle
  • Drink and glass of water
  • Sleep a little
  • Breathe

Then remember-this is NOT forever.

Contact with school and key worker childcare

Firstly, thank you to so many of you for the kind words, emails or messages into school.  Your kind messages mean a lot to us. We are missing you and your children hugely. We’re doing our best and I am incredibly proud of each and every member of staff.  Chris, our Site Manager, is furiously working away tidying up and painting our site. Mrs Miller and Mrs Brown have been in school this week, making sure the childcare for key workers is going well.  Myself and some others haven’t been able to be physically in school, for health reasons. But we’re very much in touch throughout every day. On that note, massive thanks to all our parents who have heeded the Government advice now to STAY HOME, which means that we only have the children in our childcare who really need to be there.  THE most enormous thank you to the staff who are working there, to enable our fabulous key worker parents to do their bit to fight Covid-19.  We appreciate all that everyone is doing to keep us all safe. 

Don’t hesitate to contact us using the contact details we have already shared.  For a reminder of the contact details, please click here. Please could I just politely remind you to contact staff during the hours of 9am – 4pm.  This is to protect the well-being of our own staff and families at this unprecedented and challenging time, many of whom are juggling looking after their own families like you, whilst managing to do their job the best they can.  

Teaching and learning 

We have set up a whole remote learning system for our children across school.  I am extremely proud of our staff that we have managed to do this. Overall, is it working fantastically well!  If you have any problems, don’t hesitate to contact Mrs Farrell on itsupport@kingedward.orgif you have any queries about accessing the systems.

Until the Easter holidays

Our main approaches to learning until the Easter holidays are as follows.

EYFS – Tapestry 

KS1 and KS2 – Seesaw, Google classroom and Timetable Rockstars 

Our families are all in entirely different circumstances right now.  

  • Families have different levels of confidence with IT and different levels of access.
  • There are very different demands on the adults in different homes; some adults have all day to focus on their child’s learning and many others are trying to work remotely full time.  
  • Some families are juggling supporting and managing the learning of 2, 3 or more children at home.  This might be while trying to work full time or having to share devices.
  • Your children will be approaching and coping differently with this life changing situation.  

What this means in practice, is that what one family needs or wants and what another family can cope with, are very different.  

We are very mindful of this as teachers and it is essential that as a school team, we don’t actively overwhelm or disadvantage some of our children and families, by giving out more work than is reasonable for all to manage.  This does NOT mean that some of you and your children cannot extend what we offer, through the wide range of other online or practical activities.  

The key is to be kind to yourselves, kind to your children and kind to our staff.

During the Easter holidays

We will not be setting daily work.  We will all be ready to stop and take stock.  It will be a chance for all our families to take time to be together; without the pressure of juggling the normal demands of home life, accessing learning and working from home.  It will be a time for us all to take in the events of the last week and whatever else is ahead. We will offer some suggestions though of some projects, in case your child would like to be kept busy.  There is also an increasing world of resources online, should you or your child want to access them. Many education suppliers have offered free access to their resources online and we will signpost you towards these through our school Facebook page and on Seesaw after Easter. 

After the Easter holidays     

It is our plan to then share some new APPs or online resources, which you may choose to explore.  This is simply to continue to engage your child if they are after more. This will be alongside what we are already doing. BUT we are extremely aware of the demands on the many, many families, who are juggling this extremely difficult situation. So these will be optional. 

We also have plans to share videos of staff sharing stories, sending messages and other things.  It has always been our plan. We know that for lots of children, being able to see and hear the familiar faces of our staff, will be just what they need emotionally.  We have waited as we have been busy setting up a system which is enough for many families, or even staff to cope with initially. But we are excited to be able to share videos, as we know it will be good for our children to see us…. even if we might be camera shy! We already love seeing your photos and videos on Tapestry and Seesaw!

We do not currently plan to set differentiated learning for children. Though we will review this.  We are in unprecedented times. This is an entirely different approach to learning, which we are doing our best to keep simple for all the reasons mentioned above.  But children with complex SEND who have an EHCP, will receive different work after Easter, where relevant.  

At Easter, when we review our first few weeks of remote learning, we will review the work which has been set and give staff some advice about the learning they set moving forward.

Please do not underestimate the impact of this event on our children. Yes, we are working hard supporting their learning. Yes, we all have to find a way to manage helping our children in school and managing our own families. But please don’t forget the emotional impact on our children. There will be some who are not coping. There are some who may not show it. Others may not appear to care. But this event will not go unnoticed by any of our children.

Don’t forget to take the time to give our children 

  • Hugs
  • Memories 
  • Quality time (that might mean not doing the work we set for one day-that’s ok)
  • Play and downtime 
  • Conversation – Talk to our children about how they’re feeling, but also have a laugh, tell jokes and just be silly!!!!

Give yourself and your children some time. Together.  Be kind to each other….. and to us.

We are here to help.  Don’t forget to contact us if there is anything you need.  We might not be able to be in touch immediately, but we WILL contact you.

Take care and stay safe.

Kate Byrne 

Head teacher 

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