Please be safe
The latest message from the Government to Stay at Home will certainly be challenging for everyone but please follow the guidance to keep you and your family safe. You are a very close knit community and this will really help over the next few weeks. Support and care for each other and remember we are here for you.
I can't imagine how difficult it must be trying to keep children in the home and garden and keeping them from socialising with others but we all need to do this to keep safe.
We were all overwhelmed by the kindness shown today when we received the hamper and flowers. These are challenging times for not just us but you too so to receive this gift today was a really beautiful act of community spirit. From each and every one of us-THANK YOU.
Free School Meals
Many parents have been collecting their Free school meal packed lunches each day. Please remember that if your child is eligible for free school meals (not Universal free school meals that all children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 get), you can request this. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to order yours. These need to be collected from the school Reception between 10:30 and 11:00am. Please remember if you do not collect your child's lunch and do not ring to give a reason, we will have to remove your child from the list to ensure food is not wasted.
We are aiming to move over to offering weekly vouchers to use in supermarkets very shortly. It is expected that the value of these will be approx. £15 per week per child (this is still to be confirmed). We are currently working to get this in place as soon as possible (hopefully next week) although it is unclear if the Government will be offering these over the Easter holiday period. If your child is currently eligible for free school meals but is not already receiving packed lunches, please e-mail me to request this. If you would rather wait until the vouchers are ready, please also e-mail me and let me know this. I know there are a variety of supermarkets in the area and the school will need to choose one to purchase all the vouchers from so it would be useful to know which supermarket is your preference. I will only be able to choose one so I will go with the majority. Parents who are already receiving free packed lunches will also need to e-mail to confirm their supermarket preference.
Ask for help
I have already received e-mails and telephone calls from many of you asking for help and advice. Please continue to do this. We want to be there for you and help you in any way we can.
Your child's class teacher will be in contact with you frequently (unless they are unwell of course). This may be by telephone, e-mail or text message so they can check you are okay and see if there's anything you need. We are hoping that most children (not Early Years) will use the Purple Mash e-mail system. They will be able to e-mail their teacher and e-mail their friends. All messages to friends are checked by the teacher first so please be aware they will not get a swift reply from their friend. It would be nice for children to show their teacher and their friends what they are doing. They may give each other some good ideas. I have already received some wonderful e-mails with photographs of the wonderful things children are doing and these are a pleasure to receive. If your child hasn't yet used Purple Mash e-mail yet, please see the help guide on the 'Helping you child at home' page (Parents tab). It is really easy to set up.
Most children really benefit from having a structure/routine to their day. I have asked staff to put together a suggested timetable for each year group which should be uploaded onto your child's class page. This is just to give you an idea. It would be even better if you could sit with your child and decide what type of activities they would like to do and put together a timetable. It will be far more effective if the children have had a say in it. They could even make a visual timetable so they know what the day will look like. It is really pleasing to see how many different companies are making sure there are plenty of things to keep you and your child engaged and healthy and even more pleasing that they are free. I appreciate many of them require an internet connection but hopefully most of you have this. Our staff will continue to add ideas to the website, either on the class page (Children's tab) or on the 'Helping you child at home' page (Parents tab). Twinkl (a great site for all ages and all subjects) are offering parents a free subscription (Google Twinkl offer), YOU TUBE are showing daily phonics' sessions, David Walliams is doing a story telling daily session and there's loads of virtual exercise sessions. Please share anything you have found that is really good with myself or your child's teacher and we'll pass these ideas on too.
The order for the resources to make the packs has been placed and is expected to be received on Friday 27th March. I am not quite sure how to get these to you. We could have staggered collection times so not everyone is out together and it could form part of your daily walk/ exercise allowance or I may be able to deliver them to you (I'm not sure if this would be allowed but I will look into it and let you know.)
We are aiming to produce and send out another paper pack of activities and ideas next week. More details to follow.
Remember- we are here so please use if whenever you need us.