Parenting Special Children are a local charity that work with many families to support a whole range of Special Educational Needs. I wanted to contact you to share a link I had today to a series of online workshops linked to help families during the lock-down, they may interest some of you.
Advice for parents, carers and people that work with children and young people.
This is a time of uncertainty and a lot of children and young people will be feeling anxious and worried about what is going on. This is a normal response to the situation and below we offer some advice about what adults can do to help and support children and young people.
There is a lot of information becoming available – this is great but may also be confusing, so we have pulled together some advice and some of our favourite links in to one place. We hope this will be helpful.
The government have just released some updated and important guidance on safeguarding now that our children are mostly at home due to the Corona Virus. I therefore wanted to take this opportunity to highlight a couple of key themes and recommendations within this guidance for your reference and information that relates directly to children and their online safety whilst away from school:
Should your children experience any concerns online, it is really important that your children tell you and that you are aware of reporting routes either to school or to a professional body who can support the concern, e.g. via one of these links:
CEOP – for advice on making a report about online abuse
Keeping your children safe online is one of the key messages that we regularly teach and revisit with all children at school through e-safety lessons and now that we are not able to regularly remind children in school, we are asking for our families to do so at home. Please could you additionally be aware of what your children are being asked to do online, including the sites that they are asked to access. Additionally, you might be securing additional on-line support for your child beyond that which we are recommending at school. I would like to emphasise the importance of securing online support only from a reputable organisation or individual who can provide evidence that they are safe and can be trusted to have access to children. Government recommended support for parents and carers to help keep their children safe online includes:
Internet matters – for support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online
Additionally, many children may be accessing apps such as House Party and TikTok . We will be sending two documents (1 to follow) highlighting the risks if children access these resources, which have a 13+ age guide.
It may sound obvious, but do also check your home internet safety filters are active to additionally protect your children.
Good morning, I hope you were able to enjoy the sunshine this weekend and are all still keeping fit and well.
I’m sure many of you will have already navigated your way around our school website and found your child’s learning activities which have been uploaded for today. If not, you can find them on our Beechwood Primary School website by going to the pupils tab across the top, then to the classes tab in the drop down list and then to your child’s year group. You should find everything there. New learning materials will be posted everyday by 6pm for the next day for you to access. We are fully aware you will all have different forms of technology to view, access and complete work so please remember there is no requirement for you to print everything out or to return everything completed to school.
Remember learning at home is new for both you and your child, and it has all come about without too much warning. Please try not to put too much pressure on yourself or your child to get everything done. Everything is just so different and new at the moment for everyone which in itself takes lots of adjusting to. That in itself is enough to deal with without any stresses around learning taking place at home. We realise this isn’t easy for families. Please just do what you can, when you can but also enjoy some family time and engaging in all the other home activities you can be doing together e.g. baking, making, reading, constructing as well as enjoying time in the garden while the sun is shining.
Finally, I just wanted an opportunity to say a huge thank you and well done to all the staff here at Beechwood. It has been a far from easy time in education over the past few weeks and they have all been absolutely amazing.
We will be sending out a newsletter later in the week so please look out for that too
Keep up the good work. You’re all doing brilliantly!
We look forward to welcoming your child into school next week. As you will have seen in the press and government guidelines, the primary focus going forward is care rather than education, and the provision your child will receive from us during this period will look different to normal. We plan to support the children with the English and maths activities set by your child’s class teacher in the morning but will be focusing on more creative and practical activities in the afternoon. To protect our staff and promote social distancing, we will be keeping staff numbers to a minimum.
Children should arrive at school at 8.35am and come in through the main school gate. Please can we ask parents to hand their children over at that point rather than coming onto the school site.
All Year 6, Year 5, Year 4 and Year 3 children should proceed to Woodpeckers classroom. All Foundation Stage, Year 1 and Year 2 children should proceed to the Foundation Stage classroom. Staff will be available to support the children with this.
Unless you have told us otherwise, your child will need to bring a packed lunch with them each. Please ensure all children also bring a water bottle with them.
There is no requirement for the children to come to school in their school uniform. Please send them into school in comfortable clothes and a pair of trainers, as we will be taking them outside to carry out some practical activities during the day.
At the end of the day, 3.15pm, children will be brought to the main school gate to be collected, so please can we ask that you wait for them there.
Any children who have indicated they will be coming to breakfast club or staying for after school club are able to arrive from 8am and be collected up until 6pm from the main school office. Children will need to bring breakfast with them for the morning and a snack to eat during the after school session. Unfortunately, you will not be able to attend breakfast and/or after school club without prior arrangement, so if your requirements change please do let us know.
We will be reviewing our provision on a week by week basis based on staffing levels and the most up to date government guidelines, and will of course let you know if anything changes.
Unprecedented seems to be a word we are using a lot at the moment but today really does feel like an unprecedented and surreal day, when schools across the country will be closing to the vast majority of pupils for the foreseeable future.
Whilst the school building will be closed and most children will be at home, we will be working hard to try and ensure learning continues.
Each day we will issue a reading, writing and maths learning activity for your child to engage with. We will also supplement this with other topic activities and online resources your child can be accessing. There are a number of educational websites such as Phonics Play and Oxford Owl which are providing free access. We well aim to upload the work for each year group for the following day to the school’s website by 6pm every weekday. Year 2 and Year 6 children can begin using their CGP books and any topic related activities can also commence.
We will also remain on the end of an email, and where possible at the end of the school phone. If you have any questions or queries please do contact us at email@example.com and we will aim to answer them as soon as we can. However, we cannot guarantee an immediate response.
I cannot take credit for the following quote but it struck a chord and is definitely worth remembering at this time to maintain a reasonable balance;
‘Arguing with your children to do work is not what anyone needs right now. Instead, cuddle up together and read, read, read. Take turns reading. Read them your favourite novel (yes you can read novels to small children). Do a puzzle. Build a fort. Bake. Watch TV together. Paint. Get out the Lego and build together. Set up a tent in your living room and camp out. Look at photos of when you were a child. In other words …. Don’t stress about them forgetting. Don’t stress about home schooling them. Just spend time together. Your kids won’t learn much if they are feeling stressed. Though this is a scary time, it could very well be a time they remember as the best time in their life.’
It is our aim to continue sending out a weekly newsletter on a Wednesday and would welcome photos of what the children are up to at home. It is our aim that we would then share some of these in the newsletter, on our facebook page and on our website, so please only send in photographs if you are happy for this to happen.
A lovely idea I saw online was encouraging all children to draw or paint a rainbow to stick up in a window at the front of their house. When children and their families are out walking they can spot as many rainbows as they can. Like a giant neighbourhood game of eye-spy!
Please just do what you can. Wishing you all the very best over the coming weeks. We will keep in regular contact and look forward to seeing you again in the future when we can welcome you all back into school.
Thank you once again for your continued support and understanding at this time.
As you will be aware the Government have announced that schools will close to everyone except children of key workers and vulnerable children from the end of Friday 20th March. At this stage we have not been given a full
list of key worker categories or any further details about what the Government is expecting from schools but this information should become clearer tomorrow. We will of course update you as soon as we know more.
Following the latest government guidelines about protecting older people and vulnerable adults, I am writing to let you know that we do now have some staff who are self-isolating at home as a precautionary measure. As a result, this will undoubtedly result in some changes needing to be made in school. Where possible our aim will always be to keep the school open, but the reality may be that we do face partial or full school closures in the coming days or weeks.
We will be reviewing staffing levels on a daily basis and we will update you as soon as we can regarding any changes.
In the first instance, this does mean that there will be no Breakfast club or Handy club until further notice and all nurture and Speech and Languages sessions will take place at a class level.
Thank you for your continued support and understanding at this unprecedented time.
We are therefore writing to say if your child develops symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from the onset of their symptoms. Please let us know, as usual, if your son/daughter is needing to be absent from school.
Keeping you updated
Please be assured we continue to take advice from Public Health England and at any point they tell us there is a risk to our school community we will let you know as soon as we practically can.
Thank you for your ongoing support for the school and wider community.
We are working hard to keep our families as informed as possible around the changing landscape of the Covid-19 virus.
With this in mind, but not wishing to cause unnecessary worry, we would like to make you aware of a local update so that the information you receive is as accurate and timely as possible.
We have become aware that some of the school community are self-isolating following advice from 111. Those concerned are in contact with NHS 111 for any health advice and progressing testing where needed.
We have been in touch with Public Health England to ascertain next steps and have been reassured that there is currently no immediate risk to other children/ parents/ staff.
We have been reassured that no additional action is needed and that we should continue as normal, with staff and children coming in to school and a continued focus on good hand washing techniques.
We will keep you advised when we have more information.
As I am sure you are aware from the news a member of staff from Willowbank Infant School has tested positive for the Coronavirus, Covid 19. The effected school has taken the appropriate steps in response to this and has temporarily closed the school.
We have been in contact with Public Health England (PHE) to seek guidance on the matter and have taken their advice. At this time, we believe there is no immediate risk for Beechwood Primary School and we will be open as normal tomorrow. This also follows PHE guidance.
We have already been taking steps to encourage children to wash their hands regularly, but from tomorrow we will be taking additional steps and precautions. We will have a whole school assembly on hygiene and hand washing, actively encouraging children to catch their coughs and sneezes.
We will continue to ensure there are plenty of soap and tissues in classes and toilet areas, as well as ensuring there is anti bacterial hand sanitiser in all classes. We will also be encouraging hand washing at regular intervals throughout the day. This will be supervised for our youngest children.
Advice and information about Corona virus can be found on the Public Health England pages of the Government website. You may also find the links below useful.