Coronavirus update – April 29th 2020

Dear parents/carers

Welcome back to week 2 of the Summer term. Although it seems that we have been in this situation for a very long time, it is only 16 actual school days would you believe that we have been closed during a normal term time.

Firstly, we hope everyone has had a welfare call from a teacher. We have tried to ring everyone, and as we said we may withold the number for safeguarding reasons. We know that people may often not answer calls when the number is witheld, but please be aware it could be us. When we ring, we just want to find out how you are managing, and if there is anything you are having difficulty with as a family. We know some families may have adults who have been furloughed or lost a job, and we want to see if we can help by signposting you to different organisations that can help. If we have not been able to contact you, we have sent a text message or an email. If we still cannot contact a family, we may come to your home to see that everyone is OK as part of our duty of care. We just want to check in with everyone to make sure they are safe and well, and to see if we can help in any way. It has been lovely to read all of the comments, where parents/carers have said how lovely it is to hear from the school, and for some how it is the first adult they may have spoken to all week. 

If you are in financial difficulty, and finding it hard to feed your family, please do talk to us. We can arrange for the food banks to help you, or drop a couple of essentials round if things are hard. We don’t want any family to go hungry, but we won’t know unless you call us.

The food bank websites for our area are here:

midnorfolk.foodbank.org.uk

thetford.foodbank.org.uk

attleboroughmethodistchurch.org.uk/food-bank

Or you can ring the helpline number of 0344 800 8020 or you can ring Dave Pearson on 01362 850624. Or just ring the Junior School between 9 and 3.30 on 01362 694919.

Please remember that we have some staff here everyday looking after key worker children, and these staff include senior leaders and the pastoral care staff of Mrs Thompson our PSA and Mrs Feeke, one of our designated safeguarding leads. If you need advice and support about where to go for mental health needs, health needs, housing or other things that may be affecting your family at this time, then please contact us so we can be there for you as a listening ear and to signpost you to some relevant help.

We are pleased to see how many parents have signed up to dojo as this is the way for you to see what work has been set and for you to contact the class teacher. You can also, if you wish, upload your child’s work or anything they may wish to share through dojo. We like to see the things they have been doing. Please remember though that staff are also in school on a rota basis looking after key worker children, planning work and training on line. As well as some of the staff having their own children at home to offer advice to and support with their home learning. 

Home learning – the message is still clear. We set a basic menu of learning via dojo and it is also posted on the website on the coronavirus tab. There is nothing that needs to be printed off. You can do it on a whiteboard or on paper or chalk it on the patio! Reception are setting theirs via tapestry, so you do need to ensure you have an account for this. If you don’t, let us know and we can easily sort it.

Work is also set via purple mash, TT rockstars and Mymaths. These are all things they use at school, and often independently. Consider we have 30 children or more, and one teacher for all of those children in some lessons, so the children can do it. The teachers can see who is engaging with this online learning, and when we ring we may discuss this with you to see if you need any support to access it or know how it works. It is not a criticism if you haven’t, we just want to understand why and you may have something else that you have found works really well. Teachers can also give feedback through dojo and purple mash, so we can keep in touch better and directly with the children.

You can also do any of the following if you want to and if it is right for your child:

  • Order some workbooks on line for maths and English or any other subject – if you want any advice on what may be appropriate for your child, you can ask their teacher through dojo. 
  • Find some good websites for learning – we have lists on our website that you can choose from to suit your child’s needs and interests.
  • Carol Vorderman has a maths site that has good reviews, especially for children who may find maths a challenge. It is accessed via themathsfactor.com and is for ages 4-12. It is currently free
  • White Rose Maths also have a website that has free online tutorials for children. We use this in school and it is very structured and useful.
  • Corbett Maths have a primary 5 a day for children in Primary and Secondary. Five questions every day to help keep up their skills. You don’t need to print them, you can do them on paper or a whiteboard. We do retrieval practice for the children every day in school.
  • Vocabulary ninja! We do this every day with the children in Years 1-6. It has a different word every day for the children, and they write it in a sentence, look for it in their reading etc. Having a good vocabulary helps children improve their learning in all areas. They could have a book and make a dictionary of all the words they find. It is all free.
  • Joe Wicks – workout every day, keep the child physical and you can all join in, whatever your age.
  • BBC Bitesize. All free and all on the TV! Lessons, videos, things to do, all topics, all ages.
  • Oak National Academy. All lessons prepared and delivered online. All free. All ages.
  • Robin Hood Mat. They also have all learning material free on line.
  • Read!

You can choose one or more, or none of these activities. Do what works for you and your child.

You can also:

Read, draw, paint, make a den, write some jokes, bake, do some gardening, make some pictures for your window, listen to a story, go for a walk as part of your daily exercise, make something out of an old box, write a story (or a whole book!), do some yoga, do some mindfulness colouring, play a board game with your family, ring a family member. There are plenty of things that do not need a high level of support from an adult and all of which are valuable.

Whatever you do, keep the sessions short, have breaks in between and do what is right for your child. Any questions, please just contact the teacher through dojo.

Lots of families have signed up on our federation twitter account, and on here anything we see that may interest our families is shared. It is also lovely to have things sent the children have done, from Science experiments to gardening and beyond! Or just pictures of children playing in the garden, or reading a book. 

With very best wishes to you all, keep up the good work! 

Joanna Pedlow