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Posted on: February 11th 2021

End of Term Newsletter

Dear Parents and Carers

As we start our final week, we have the snow!  I do hope the children manage to go outside and have the chance to play in it whilst it lasts.

Online learning

Thank you for your continued support with online learning.  Lockdown fatigue is hitting us all, especially these last few weeks.

I keep saying it, but we all desperately want our children back in school. We heard from the Prime Minister that schools will not return until Monday 8th March at the earliest.

For most of the children online learning is going well.  For those parents, whose children are struggling, please just do your best with what you can.  Revisit work that has been uploaded or read with your children; this will help the teachers immensely. 

It is important for us all that when we do finally reopen the transition back to the classroom is as seamless as possible.  This week’s assessments will be invaluable in helping teachers plan for after half term and to address any gaps they have found.

We will be back soon, I promise. 

Following meetings with the teachers, they have asked me to highlight some pointers.  Though many are common sense, you would be surprised at the number of households not following these simple guidelines. 

  • Please read over the Home Learning Policy on the Website
  • Whenever possible, children should be sitting at a table or at least in an appropriate place when undertaking their work to be able to produce their best efforts
  • During the live sessions with teachers, the behaviour of the children is so important. Please ensure your children are in a communal area of the house and are supervised
  • Finally, the children should be appropriately dressed during Google Meets.

Online stars! 

Well done those children who have been nominated by their teacher for something special they have done over the course of online learning. We would normally give a range of rewards in school for impressive effort and attitudes.  This consistency and seeing so many different children receiving awards from the teachers makes me so proud that the learning continues to be strong.

Review of Online Learning 

We will be sending out a link to a simple questionnaire to gauge your views on the schools online learning.  It is important for us to recognise what is going well and what can be improved so please fill in the form when you receive the text. 

Lent

Ash Wednesday at the start of Lent is during Half term.  Please share some of these online resources in preparation for this special time: 

Resources to Download:

 

 

 

 

 

Holiday Dates 2021/ 2022:  Please see link to next year’s term dates on our website:  https://www.ourladyofgracecatholicprimaryschool.co.uk/196/term-dates

 

Finally

Over the course of these past weeks, I would like to thank all the Support Staff and PPA teachers who have come into school to work within the Key Worker and SEN Bubbles.

I would also like to pass on my thanks to the office staff who have been in school constantly and who have quite literally kept the show on the road, by giving parents the necessary information needed to access Home Learning.

To the teachers, who have tried their very best to keep the learning fun and interesting over these past 7 weeks.  Remember, this learning platform is new to them too!

Finally, thank you to all parents.  It has been a tough 7 weeks and its clear, we would not have been able to achieve the outcomes without your help and efforts. The juggling of your work, housework, cooking, being the teacher, the husband, the wife, the parent, and the shoulder to cry on.  I thank you all and say well done, you have all earned your stripes!

Have a safe and restful half term!

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Posted on: 25/02/2021

Headteacher's Newsletter

Dear Parents and Carers Following Monday’s announcement from the Government, we are delighted to see schools reopening for all children from 8th March. The guidelines for reopening are similar to those of the autumn term detailed in my letter to you on 16th July:  https://www.ourladyofgracecatholicprimaryschool.co.uk/198/letters-to-parents   These included:  staggered starts to keep groups apart as they arrive and leave school all children being taught in consistent group ‘bubbles’ packed lunches being eaten in classrooms.  (It will not be possible to serve hot food until the guidance changes) teachers and Support staff, including SEND staff, operating across different classes Additional Guidance Face Coverings will be mandatory for all staff and visitors, but this will not include the children. Weekly testing for all staff. NEW - Timetable for the School Day   DROP OFF TIMES COLLECTION TIMES ACCESSING GATE YEAR 6 8.20am 2.20pm CAR PARK YEAR 5 8.20am 2.20pm CAR PARK YEAR 4 8.30am 2.30pm CAR PARK YEAR 3 8.40am 2.40pm CAR PARK YEAR 2 8.50am 2.50pm CAR PARK YEAR 1 9.00am 3.00pm CAR PARK EYFS St Francis 8.45am 2.45pm LIME KILN DRIVE EYFS St Bernadette 8.50am 2.50pm LIME KILN DRIVE   YEAR PLAYTIME LUNCHTIME IN CLASSROOM   YEAR 5 & 6 10.25 – 10.40am 11.30-12.30pm (20mins in classroom, 40 min play) YEAR 3 & 4 10.45 – 11.00am 12.15-1.15pm (20mins in classroom, 40 min play) YEAR 2 10.30 – 10.45am 11.45-12.45pm (20mins in classroom, 40 min play YEAR 1 10.30 – 10.45am 11.45.-12.45pm (20mins in classroom, 30 min play) EYFS 10.30 – 10.45am 11.45.-12.45pm (20mins in classroom, 40 min play) To ensure the school is ready for the return of the children there will be a staff INSET on Friday 5th March.  The school will be closed to all children (including Key Worker children) and there will be no Home Learning on that day. Parent Questionnaire: Review of Online Learning Thank you to all those who filled out the online questionnaire.  We had 102 responses with the following results: My Child is spending too much time on a screen for learning. 56% of parents said their child spends the right amount of time on screen for learning. My child is completing all their schoolwork in the set time allocated. 57% of parents agreed that their child completed the schoolwork in the set time allocated.   My child receives too much work. 76% of parents thought their child received the right amount of work. My child doesn’t receive enough work. 88% of parents disagreed with the statement. All of us would agree that Home Learning has been challenging, this review highlights the contrasting views of our parents.  Teachers have done their best to continue educating our children in these very difficult circumstances.  We are all pleased to be returning to the classroom! Academic Review Day It is essential that the partnership between home and school continues after this latest lockdown.  In order to update parents on their children’s progress I have requested that Wednesday 31st March (last day of term) be set aside as an Academic Review day.  This will be an opportunity for teachers and parents to discuss their children via zoom.  Once this date has been agreed by governors I will contact parents to confirm. World Book Day On Thursday 4th March, we will be celebrating World Book Day.  It would be fantastic if the children could dress up as their favourite book character.  During the week children will also be expected to read in unusual places, e.g. in a cupboard, on a car etc.  Please could parents take photos of their children and post them on the class stream on Google Classroom.  These will be shared with the whole when we return. Lent As we prepare ourselves for Holy Week, please continue to pray with your children and to share bible stories with them.  Our faith journey during Lent is so important in these unprecedented times.  “Lent is a humble descent both inwards and towards others.  It is about realizing that salvation is not an ascent to glory, but a descent in love.”  Pope Francis, Lent 2021.  Finally, to make sure infection rates do not rise there needs to be minimal contact between parents at the start and end of the day.  In order for the school to remain open after the 8th March, we need the cooperation of all our parents and carers to adhere to the social distancing guidelines and to wear the obligatory facemasks. Yours sincerely Mr Sean Small Headteacher