Post Easter Planning and Teaching
Firstly, I have to applaud parents for the way you have handled this issue. We have all been very impressed with the positivity and the approach everyone in our school community has shown. In particular for your patience with our learning platforms. We can all imagine that these platforms have seen a massive increase in volume over the last week and are understandably crashing.
I don’t know any more than anyone else, but it would be inexcusable for us not to plan for the possibility that we shall be closed for quite a number of weeks after Easter. So we are currently working on how to deliver learning remotely.
We believe in balance. We understand that many of you are trying to work from home and the last thing you need is to have your school dictate your timetable. We recognize that parents may well teach their children after work, during weekends or in the holidays. We are also aware that some of you have several children at different ages. We know and trust that you are doing the right thing for your children and leave those judgements to you.
Our thinking is that if we provided you a structured package, you can work through it at your pace and times. After Easter we intend to provide 3 distinct methods of learning:
New learning – which we will use youtube, powerpoint and other media to teach. We are working on the key elements that we need to make sure your children need to learn.
Revision – which we will use Education City and other platforms to teach. Revision is important to remind us of our previous learning.
Topic – which we will use powerpoint or just plain instructions. Pobble 365 might be an example but it could be science, art etc.
We are finding Class Dojo the best platform to teaching. It seems well set up provide feedback and for us to see you work. Teachers who have not already done so will be setting this up to start in the summer term. We shall continue to use other platforms such as Education City which I hope is now fixed (they were migrating over to a better ISP and didn’t do it for those who were running the trial).
We are trying to find a way to get new reading books and resources to you. We are exploring how to do this without conflicting with government advice. We understand that you may be getting short of resources and, I discover, you can’t buy them in shops as these isles are blocked in supermarkets. We shall be looking at this further.
In the meantime, have a good Easter everyone. Stay safe. Everyone at WAPS.
Update 25th March 2020
School remains closed to most pupils.
By now staff are organising resources for home education. We are aiming to avoid worksheets as, if you are anything like us, your printer is out of ink. With lockdown and the price of ink, we’re trying to avoid this. However, below is a link to additional resources you could use if you wished.
Also, we are getting Wellbeing communications from various agencies. They can be found here.
On that note – if you are in crisis; if you have any safeguarding concerns or need to discuss issues with me – please call me on my school mobile – 07927 077688 during school hours.
For education resources in addition to class teaching – click here
For wellbeing and helpline information – click here.
Following todays announcement and subsequent DfE round robin I can (or cannot) confirm the following:
The school will be closed on Monday indefinitely for most children,
Homework packs will be sent home today and/or tomorrow,
Homework packs have about 2 days worth of work and our online portal login details,
Parents of absent children can pick these packs up on Friday. On Monday, any remaining packs will be available after the school children have gone home. After that I will attempt to email login details to parents but this may take quite a bit of time to organise.
Who is a Key Worker or vulnerable child?
The official definition of vulnerable children and Key Worker children is not known to any school at this point. The DfE have promised that at some point tomorrow that definition will become available to us. At that point we will attempt to communicate that to all parents.
Truth is that we probably won’t know until well into Thursday.
Armed with information, we will INVITE children to attend school on Monday but we need to know which parent fits the key worker role.
IT IS LIKELY THAT WE WILL NEED TO HAVE EVIDENCE THAT YOU ARE A KEY WORKER AND THAT YOU DON’T HAVE ANY OTHER CHILDCARE OPTIONS. IT IS LIKELY THAT A NURSE WITH AN ACCOUNTANT AS A PARTNER WILL NOT BE INVITED TO SEND THEIR CHILD TO SCHOOL.
THIS ALL HAS TO BE DONE BY THE END OF FRIDAY IF WE ARE TO PLAN WHO IS ATTENDING ON MONDAY.
PARENTS ARE GOING TO NEED TO BE VERY PROACTIVE HERE. WITHOUT PHYSICAL EVIDENCE WE WILL NOT BE INVITING PARENTS TO ATTEND. IF YOU THINK YOU ARE LIKELY TO FIT INTO THE KEY WORKER ROLE YOU WILL NEED TO FIND A WAY TO ENGAGE WITH THE SCHOOL BEFORE 16.30 ON FRIDAY IF YOU ARE TO BE INVITED TO ATTEND SCHOOL ON MONDAY.
Other bits and bobs
Staffing levels at The William Amory are falling as we stick to the governments rules. Phones may remain unanswered and emails remain unanswered as well. We understand how frustrating this may be but if Mrs Pattinson and Lowndes are off and I am teaching all day I am not going to able to answer the phone and I’m unlikely to catch up on old messages.
PLEASE KEEP THE PHONE FOR CHILDREN IN SCHOOL. PLEASE EMAIL ME (email@example.com) if your child is not at school. I will get back to you as soon as my other duties allow.
From Monday our website will be our key method of communication for parents whose children are not attending school. All information from Mr W will be both emailed and presented on the COVID19 section of the website. Here you will know what we know. If it is not on the website, we don’t know the answer.
Please use the school website to find answers.
From Monday our Before and After School Club will be available to Key Workers and Vulnerable children only. All the conditions listed above apply to them as well. But there is one additional condition (because of absent staff):
THE CLUB WILL OPEN AT 08.00 AND CLOSE AT 17.00 from Monday.
From Monday our nursery will be available to Key Workers and Vulnerable children only. All the conditions above apply to them as well. But there are two addtional conditions (because of absent staff):
THE NURSERY WILL OPEN AT 08.00 AND CLOSE AT 17.00 from Monday.
IF STAFF ARE UNAVAILABLE, THE NURSERY MAY NEED TO CLOSE.
PLEASE ASSUME YOUR CHILD(REN) ARE NOT ATTENDING SCHOOL ON MONDAY AND ONWARDS.
Please rest assured, every one of us at The William Amory (and I know the other schools as well) are doing our very best to ensure the best for your child, for our staff and for the families of our children and staff.