January Closure Letter

Dear Parents and Carers

 

I hope that you are all safe and well and have all had an enjoyable Christmas Break so far. I trust that you managed to enjoy some of your normal traditions as well as create some new memories. 

 

Following the Government announcement yesterday evening you will know that pupils will be taught remotely via Google Classroom when we return in January. 

 

This is because Medway has been identified as a Tier 4 Hotspot Area. At the moment we believe primary schools are likely to return to face to face teaching from Monday 18th January but this cannot be confirmed until the Government review which is likely to be a couple of days before this date.

 

INSET DAY on Monday 4th January

Monday 4th January will now be a Staff INSET Day to allow staff to prepare high quality online learning via Google Classroom from Tuesday 5th January.

 

Children of Key Workers and Vulnerable Pupils

You may have seen from the government announcement that only pupils of key workers and vulnerable pupils can come into school to access provision between 5th and 15th January. This is a service for key workers to be used only if you have no alternative options for childcare. We already know the vast majority of families who may fall into these categories from the first school closure and there were on average no more than 12 children per day. However, we do not have the details for new pupils and know that circumstances change. Therefore I am issuing a form to be completed only if you are a keyworker . This will help us to plan the child care provision. The link for the form is here and should be submitted by Sunday 3rd January at 12pm . We will need to see evidence of your key worker role if we have not received evidence previously.

Vulnerable pupils, (pupils with Educational Health Care Plans and those with social workers), should attend unless personal reasons have been outlined by email to the Principal outlining why they will not be able to attend.

Childcare Hub details:

  • The hub will be open 8:30am-3pm from Tuesday 5th January via the main school office entrance
  • Pupils should come dressed to the Hub as they would a normal school day please. You will be advised if they need a PE kit on certain days.
  • The childcare provision will be led predominantly by support staff as teachers will be focusing on delivering the remote learning via Google Classroom.
  • We plan to lead the Hub in the school hall (depending on numbers) but each year group will have their own table area to reduce contacts with others. 
  • Pupils will be supported to access their home learning in the hub via Google Classroom, will take part in some physical activity during the day as well as have a morning break and lunchtime sessions.
  • Pupils will need to bring a packed lunch and drinks with them if they attend as there will be no caterers on site.

 

Free School Meal Provision

More details will be provided on this as I receive it. I understand that families eligible for Free School Meals will be able to collect a food parcel as arranged previously when there were year group closures. The details are being finalised on how this will be organised for you. 

 

Access to Devices

I am aware that the vast majority of our families have access to a suitable device to enable your children to access remote learning. However, I know that not having access to a device could be a barrier for some of our children over the coming weeks. We have a very small number of Chromebooks we can loan out-please complete this form by Sunday 3rd December at 12pm if you have no access to a device and would like to be considered. They will be allocated to pupils eligible for Free School Meals in the first instance. We will contact you if a device is available to you and do our best to support all families as soon as possible.

 

Please can I ask that you ensure your child can access Google Classroom ahead of Tuesday 5th January. It is important that they are logged in as themselves please, (not an adult’s account). Please look out for a post on the Classroom from your child’s class teacher ahead of Tuesday to explain how home learning will work for your child. There will be an element of live or pre-recorded lessons to support pupils with certain skills as well as learning to be completed independently that will be posted in the Classroom. It is an expectation, as outlined in previous communications this academic year, that pupils ‘register virtually’ on the Classroom stream by 9am each day. 

 

I appreciate that this is a lot to digest on New Year’s Eve! I will write to you again when further details are available but if you have any questions in the meantime please do contact me via the office@highhalstowprimaryacademy.org.uk email address as it will be checked daily. 

Thank you for your on-going support and understanding. 

Happy New Year to all of our families!

 

Yours sincerely

 

Mrs G Stangroom

 

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