Update 24.4.20

24th April 2020

Dear parents/carers
COVID-19 Coronavirus update 24/04/20
I hope you are all well and staying home where possible and most importantly staying safe.
First of all, I would like to thank you for completing the questionnaire regarding home learning. We had 50 responses which has enabled us to analyse the data and get to work on improving learning and support where required. We were really pleased to find that 82% of you think that we are providing the right amount of learning and support for your children, 96% of you can access the home learning and 98% are confident in how to contact staff if they have a problem or question. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for all of your lovely comments of appreciation and thanks. It was also great to hear how our children have adapted well to home learning and to hear of their resilience and determination, loved the one of the family who pack their school bags every night so they’re ready to learn the next day.
Of the 18% who didn’t think we were providing the right amount of learning and support, some thought we were providing too much and some thought it was too little. What I will say here is that although we have set our expectations at 2-3 hours a day, we understand that this is not suitable for every family. We understand that some parents are working, some have internet issues, some have more than one child wanting to use the chromebook etc., so if you are having difficulties then please do what you and your child(ren) are comfortable with and try not to put too much pressure on them or contact us and we can provide extra support and try to sort out any technical difficulties for you. If you find the set work is not enough then please go to the topic webs on your child’s class page under the home learning tab on the website and choose from the objectives there or you could go to the useful websites and choose to do some activities from there also.
I would also like to address a couple of the worries some parents have and try to ease them. One or two were worried that they were teaching wrong methods and another was afraid of their child falling behind. I want to make it absolutely clear that children are home learning, not being home-schooled or home educated. There is a huge difference in terms of expectation here; we are not expecting you to ”teach” your children at home but to support their learning, to prompt them with questions, to guide them if they are having difficulties personally or academically. The activities we are providing in the form of Maths and English are a revision of what they have already covered in class rather than new learning, practising the skills they have already learned and putting them into context. The intention of the Inquiry topic is to build on existing knowledge in order for them to make natural progression, starting with what they know and moving on (in their own research) to what they wonder or want to find out for themselves (see Inquiry cycle diagrams from last week). They will not fall behind because we are not introducing new concepts, just revisiting to keep their learning simmering. Allow your child to lead their learning where possible. If you are unsure about how we do things and need to support them in Maths for example and need more guidance yourself then please have a look at our Calculations Policy under the Maths section in the Parent Information section of our websites, same for phonics under the phonics section.
Some parents would like to see more videos are have “live” teaching. You can imagine the implications of live teaching…some children not able to log on at the times of teaching, teachers’ own children wanting snacks, everyone talking at the same time etc. I am in regular contact with our partner countries and some have tried this and not had success and as the majority are happy with what we are doing at present then we will keep it the same at the moment. Videos however, are easier to manage so I have asked for more narratives of stories to be put onto Seesaw and Tapestry.
Resources – some parents asked for more books so we have set up a mini library at each school. There is a selection of books under Mrs Nicholas’ shelter at Boskenwyn and in Miss Symon’s shed at Germoe. Please help yourselves. There are also many free books available on websites such as Literacy Shed, Oxford Owl and Teach your Monster to read. I have also asked staff to upload resources which don’t need printing to tackle the printing problems.
Finally, for the parent who, in answering what we could do to help further, wants us to “RE-OPEN ASAP,” we would love to! We are missing you all and can’t wait to get back to normality but will continue to follow government and scientific guidelines of staying home where possible and staying safe. Take care
Paula Blackburn