January Remote Learning
31st December, 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
I know it is normally very unusual for a Headteacher to be emailing you on New Year’s Eve, but, again, this is another element of the unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves in.
Some of you may have heard the news that some primary schools will have a delayed physical opening to the start of the new term. These are schools in a high-risk category. I am writing to inform you that Waltham Forest is one of those areas and, as such, the start of our school term on Tuesday 5th January will now be remote.
You may recall that the last week of term was fraught with lots of challenges and lots of high-pressured last-minute organisation. Some of you were also probably able to surmise that operationally, as a school, we were at a very volatile stage of how the virus was presenting itself. I wrote to you then that I had a great deal of respect for the leaders in Waltham Forest for making the call they did to keep our children, and us, safe. Again, I must reiterate this message and say that I believe the right call has been made and that this is the right thing to do for us as a school and for the whole of Waltham Forest.
For ease of reference these will be the arrangements for the first two weeks of school (5-15th January):
School will only be open to children of key workers and those classified as vulnerable (EHCPs or social care involvement)
Nursery - Y6 children will have remote learning. Children have packs which they have taken home which will be used to support online teaching
A timetable of when lessons will take place will be posted by class teachers on Google Classroom by the end of the day on Monday 4th January
Children who are eligible for a free school meal will have more information provided to them in the first few days of term as we sort out arrangements. Our intention is that all children who are eligible have access to what they are entitled to- we are yet to determine what this will look like.
One of the things I have been really pleased about is how we have always tried to be as prepared as we can be. Some of you have been in touch with us to say: how impressed you have been with the resource packs and the practical equipment we have provided to aid online learning; the structures we have put in place re timings for live teaching elements; and how ready the teachers have been to deliver lessons. We have been really appreciative of the time you have taken to make contact with us and that you have recognised how strategically we have planned for varying scenarios. As well as being prepared and ready to move to remote learning at short notice, we are again pleased that as a school community we have had a short run at whole school remote learning; this will now stand us in good stead. Reception to Y6 have all had a chance to ready themselves and everybody has had a chance to familiarise themselves with how it will work for you in your homes.
If your child does not have a pack which was taken home when we moved to remote teaching, then please get in contact by calling the school office on Monday 4th January and please request one.
I would also ask that at this stage families, who have new members of staff teaching classes, are mindful that this is the first time the teachers will be meeting their children and that they may well be apprehensive; it is a tall order to deliver remote lessons when you haven’t even met your class properly. I am sure our community characteristics of kindness and consideration for everybody will be at the forefront of the minds of those families. We will, of course, support those members of staff settle into our remote system and the life of our school in general. Please support us with this as well.
I will be in touch when I have more information; particularly in regards to how we will organise meals for those who are eligible for Free School Meals.
I hope you all have a peaceful and safe New Year. We look forward to seeing the children, remotely, on Tuesday 5th January.
With our very best wishes,