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Friday 25th September - Letter from Mrs Harrison

Friday 25th September 2020

 

Dear Parents and Carers,

 

Well, we are at the end of our third week and once again it has been a challenging one! I would like to thank all involved in our Year 4 community for how they have responded to the closure of the bubble. In particular, I would like to thank Miss Pickles for how she is trialling the new Teams remote education from isolation and the parents and children who are helping us to iron out the bugs in the system. This is a huge learning curve for us all.

 

We are starting to set up our class email accounts again. If your child is not in a collapsed bubble, please do not use these for general contact. They are for school work queries only when the bubble is closed. We are unable to check them during the day if staff are teaching in school. Obviously if the bubble is collapsed, this will be the main source of contact between staff and families – as with Year 4 now. For all other messages. Please use the staff@deightongates.leeds.sch.uk address.

 

At the moment the work for children in a closed bubble is available on the website under the class pages. These are personalised for our Deighton Gates Curriculum and have been planned by Miss Pickles. Some are powerpoints that have the teacher speaking over them to explain the new learning, as well as other videos by the staff and videos from the Oak Online Academy. The Government has set the expectation that children will access this remote learning. We fully understand the huge the challenge of having to support your isolating child at home whilst managing your other commitments, not least your jobs. The videos will remain on the website so that you can access them round your schedule. The amount of work that is provided, is what we would teach in a working day and week and this requirement is set by the Government. We recognise that not all families will be able to complete all of the work and we will do what we can to support. It is important that children engage as much as they can so that learning opportunities are not missed.

 

The weather has thrown up additional challenges this week – not least me having to dig out the boots from the wardrobe to avoid trench foot! It is an additional pressure having wet playtimes and lunchtimes as I am sure you will appreciate, especially as we have other staff isolating and absent with their own families.

 

Thank you once again to those families that are adhering to our drop off and collection times. This helps to protect the staff in the class bubbles too and they are essential for us to keep school open. Unfortunately some children are being dropped off before their time in a morning, causing overcrowding in the cloakrooms and disrupting the procedures that we have put in place to keep us all safe. From Monday, children arriving before their time will be asked to wait until their given time before they come in. At home time, children will not be released until their given time. I know it is hard to pace the journey but we have to work together to keep us safe. Children who are going home with another child on an adhoc basis will have to wait until their given time.

 

I would like to draw attention to the phenomenal work that a small group of parents is doing to keep our fundraising going. I attended a PTA Zoom meeting this week with 6 parents who are wracking their brains and being highly creative about how we can raise money to support the children this year. With the cancellation of the summer and Christmas fairs, discos and other fundraisers and the loss of lettings revenue to the school from outside users, we will be really struggling to maintain some of the activities and resources that we usually have. I would ask you to support the ideas that the PTA have and to join them at the next meeting to share the load. Watch out for what is coming…

 

School Fund. Traditionally in September we have asked for parental contributions to school fund for trips and visitors who supplement our curriculum. We will be unable to do trips for a while so will be looking to bring in visitors (Covid securely). This will be more expensive as we will have to maintain our bubbles. We are therefore asking again for a contribution for the year of £20 per child if you can. This can be paid through School Money. Thank you for your support.

 

As I write this, it is looks like Leeds City Council will be joining other local councils in an increase in restrictions. That will mean that we cannot visit other households either inside or in the garden except for regular childcare reasons. Fines are now in place for those breaking isolation rules so please beware that any-one, including children, who is having to isolate should not leave the home unless it is for medical reasons. Please look out for further details as they are announced tonight. What is clear is that we are in this for the long haul. By working together we can make the best of a bad situation.

 

Thank you for your support again.

Mrs Claire Harrison

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