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Posted on: March 20th 2020

Letter from Chair of Governors re closure and key workers

Dear Parents,

As you are aware, the Prime Minister has announced that all schools will close from today.

However, the Governing Body has decided to keep the school open during term-time from 9am to 3.25pm for the children of key workers as defined by the Department for Education.

This will be a limited provision and will offer those children a non-educational programme as home learning arrangements have already been made for all pupils by the school.

The school provision is only for the children of key workers who “absolutely need to attend and cannot be safely cared for at home.” 

The government guidelines are very clear that it is “safer to keep your children at home.”

We will be reviewing this situation on a daily basis in line with any government guidance and the day-to-day situation on the ground with staff.

The school office will contact those key workers if provision needs to change.

We would like to thank you for your cooperation during this challenging time.

Very best wishes,

                                       Caroline Malley                               Jayne Penston

                                    Chair of Governors                           Vice Chair of Governors

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Posted on: 27/03/2020

Letter to Parents - update on 27 March 2020

Dear Parents, As we near completion of our first week, I want to say a big thank you for all your help and support. We are all coming to terms with this new way of working and none of us expected this level of intensity and interaction which is taking place. What a learning curve for us all! As Head, I asked to see all the work being sent out, as well as all the emails back and forth from the children and teachers.  It has been humbling to read the kind messages of support between the children themselves and the lovely messages and responses shared with their teachers. The unity of spirit and values of our school have truly been on show. As the week has gone on, routines have been embedded both with yourselves and with teachers.  It seems, from my view at least, it is becoming smoother! As you will have all encountered there have been a few glitches that have arisen:- - the use of 1 x PC being shared with sibling - parents juggling  their own work commitments as well as assisting with the teaching of their children -  a few concerns with downloading when teachers have used Word instead of Google Docs - issues around appropriate communication between children on-line - teachers trying to mark work when it is submitted sporadically - finally, with some of the older children not being supervised appropriately and work being submitted which is of a poor standard. Everything will be fine as we all get used to this ‘new normal’.  Please continue to support your children, in whatever way works within your household.  They need your support at this very unsettling time to ensure their levels of learning remain high. After the Easter break and once everything settles down, teachers will be able to facilitate a more flexible schedule but for the time being, we will continue as planned. Finally, it goes without saying I am missing the melee of school life and like you all, I am praying we can go back to the ‘normal’ sometime soon. If you have any concerns at all, please share with your class teachers and they will pass them on to me if necessary. Stay safe! Yours sincerely, SEAN SMALL Head Teacher
Posted on: 19/03/2020

Letter to Parents from Mr Small - Coronavirus

Dear Parents/Carers, Re: Coronavirus update – school closure to most pupils Following on from my last update, I’m now writing to let you know that we have now been instructed to close the school to almost all children after this Friday until further notice. As advised by the government, we will do all we can to stay open for the children of key workers (e.g. NHS staff, police, others in frontline services) and children with certain needs. We are waiting for the government to publish more information on what this means, but it would help us in the meantime if you could let us know if you think your child may fall into one of these categories.  Please contact the office with your child’s name by 12.00pm tomorrow. We’ll be in touch again as soon as we are sure who this does apply to. All other children will need to stay at home, so we ask that you do not send your child into school from Monday onwards. Please note that this is a national closure – as you may have heard in the news – so while it is a challenging situation, we are not alone. We’ll re-open fully as soon as we can and will let you know when this is by texting all parents. What we’ll continue doing while your child is at home Your child’s learning is of course important to us, so we’ll continue to help your child to learn. All children will now have their log in details for Google Home learning, which will start from next week. As explained, class teachers will be setting work daily for children to undertake at home.  Please do your best to help facilitate this learning. In addition, exercise books will be going home today with additional photocopied sheets from teachers. Additional Reading Books will also be sent home with children this evening. A parent’s guide to Google Classroom can be found on the school website under the News section (www.ourladyofgracecatholicprimaryschool.co.uk). If your child is entitled to free school meals (from low income families), we will also be in touch with more information about how we will continue to provide this, with support from a scheme that the government has just announced. What we won’t be able to go ahead with: Breakfast and afterschool club will be cancelled after Friday evening. As you will have also heard, all internal testing as well as external tests including Phonics and SATS for both KS1 and KS2 have been cancelled. This is as much as we know right now and we appreciate your continued patience with as we deal with this ever-changing situation. We understand that this latest news will have an impact on you and your family and it’s far from ideal, but we’ll continue to keep in touch with any updates as the situation develops. If you want to get in touch to share any concerns, please don’t hesitate to email the school (sao@ourladygrace.greenwich.sch.uk) or make an appointment via the office. And remember: if you or your child feels ill and you want to know what to do next, please use NHS 111 online. Thank you again for your continued support and we will be in touch with more information when we can. God bless you all. SEAN SMALL Head Teacher