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Tuesday 21 April 2020 Newsletter

Deighton Gates Primary School

https://deightonblog.wordpress.com/

 

 

Tuesday 21st April 2020

 

Dear Parents and Carers,

 

It has certainly been the strangest start to summer term that I have faced in my 30 years of teaching! We do hope that you continue to stay well and that you are managing the present situation safely. I am planning today’s update more as a newsletter style to keep us all in touch with what is happening around our wonderful school community because the longer that school remains closed in its usual form, the further children and parents may feel we as a community we become. Community is going to be the key to rebuilding when life begins to return to something that we all recognise.

 

Keeping learning going I do hope that you will have recognised that I have refrained from using the word “home schooling”. It has been a deliberate ploy and something that the teaching staff are discussing at length (remotely!). We are aiming to provide a menu of learning activities on the class pages of the website so that you can keep your children engaged if you so wish. It is not intended to replace school or direct teaching. I am acutely aware of the pressures that are on families, as well as on staff who have children at home. Some children will be able to have undivided attention during school hours, whereas others will have parents who need to work full time from home to keep the wages coming in. Some will have super dooper wifi and a range of devices so that parents and children can be online at the same time. Others will be restricted by data limits, poor connection or shared devices. You may have children that are keen to sit and apply themselves all day or you may have one (or more!) that just want to run around and make dens! We work with them every day so we know the challenge! The danger is that as parents we put ourselves under additional pressure when we see what others are doing on social media in particular or watch the celebrities home schooling their kids and doing Joe Wicks every day!

The truth is: what works for you and your family during this time is just fine. No-one is going to be checking up on what you have done. Other schools may be doing that, but we are not. Our decisions have been made for our children and our learning community only.

So… we will continue to

  • put weekly activities on the webpages
  • ask you to practise spellings or phonics (phonics play or Lexia or both)
  • read lots and lots of books. I hope you are continuing with the 20 books for 2020 challenge. It would be great to see some!
  • ask you to practise Times Tables Rocks Stars
  • ask you to send us pictures of you all doing amazing things! (to class email)
  • ask you to check in with staff on the class email pages. We really do want to keep in touch!

If you are looking for something different, can I direct you to a couple of other sources of activities? I would suggest looking at topics that the children have already covered either this year or in previous years so that they can recap or find out more. Don’t just be led by the keystage or year label – choose things that grab your child’s attention:

  1. https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/dailylessons
  2. https://www.thenational.academy/ - these are daily/weekly lessons that have been put together by 40 teachers for free!

 

Residentials and trips The Department for Education has cancelled all trips and residentials “indefinitely” and it is with great regret that we have had to cancel Herd Farm for Year 6. I have written to the Y6 children about that today. We are assuming that this will be the same for London for the Year 5 but we are awaiting confirmation. Class visits are also cancelled for this term. Once the school is open again, we will be able to look into how we best refund parents but we do ask for patience in this matter and understanding of the complexities of refunding so many families.

 

Keeping in touch Please do use the year group email address to talk to teachers and support staff. We are dying to hear what fun you are getting up to. If you send us pictures we will get them on the blog. Please do sign up for blog updates and then you get them as soon as they are posted: https://deightonblog.wordpress.com/  You will find all the amazing things we have been up to. We will have the fittest bakers in Wetherby!! Special thanks must go to Year 1 who have been taking amazing pictures and to Hannah Brooke for sending me them! (I made them into a card to send to Mr Bolton as he recovers from his recent illness.)

Tomorrow night (Wednesday 22nd April) the PTA will be holding its monthly meeting through Zoom. It would be great to see you there at 7.30pm if you can make it. Further details from Steve@dgta.org

 

Wellbeing I think it is safe to say that the first couple of weeks of lockdown were a bit of a novelty in some ways. We were all busy getting into new ways of living and working. As time goes on and we face the reality that this will go on for some considerable time, our mental well being, as well as that of our children, can take a hit. It is true in my house. We are adjusting to my children being back at home for the first time in years and my husband not working away during the week. One child is working all hours and the other who was due to start a new job recently faces the reality that he is now unemployed. There are days when it is fine but then others that are so much harder. You may find that your income has suddenly taken a big hit. You might need some help. Please do not suffer in silence. We are here to help. We can listen and offer support. We can direct you to services that can make a difference. Leave a message for me or Miss Elliott on 01937 584359 or staff@deightongates.leeds.sch.uk .

Below are a few numbers/websites that might be of help if you would rather speak to someone else:

 

  • Northpoint

Dear parent/carer

Northpoint have worked with Silvercloud Health to provide access to online support for parents and carers during the current situation. The site has been designed by clinical experts with the aim of empowering you to think and feel better. The website includes programmes that are tailored to your needs. It contains easy to use content and interactive tools.The online space is secure and anonymous. No identifying details are required apart from a contact e-mail address.

To access the site go to https://nhs.silvercloudhealth.com/signup/  and enter the code ‘north’ when prompted.

 

What next? Throughout this crisis we have tried to anticipate what will happen next to prepare and best support our children and families. The media is unhelpful with suggesting random dates when schools may or may not reopen to all children. This is unsettling for us all. As a school leadership team and Governing Body, what we do know is that we will only do what is safe for us all. We will continue to follow the guidance and plan as best we can. We are already thinking about September whether we are back before then or not. Please be assured that we will always put the best interests of the children first and look after our staff. We are in this together. There will be no quick fixes but as always, we are here for you.

 

Get in touch if you need to. I will be in school next week. If you want us to give you a call, leave a message or email us.

Take care of each other and stay safe,

Best wishes

Claire Harrison

Head Teacher

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