UPDATE 27/04/2020 - Letter to Parents & Carers - Coronavirus
Dear Parents and Carers
We are going through unprecedented times and as a community we must continue to support each other and ensure everyone stays safe and well. We are still not able to provide any dates as to when the academy will reopen as ‘normal’ for all students. There will come a time when it is deemed safe for all children to return. At that time we will work closely with you to support your child to feel confident and happy to return to Bradfields Academy.
Childcare for students whose parents are Frontline Keyworkers
As you know, the government has asked schools to provide childcare for Frontline keyworkers and the most vulnerable children who cannot make alternative arrangements for childcare.
Government guidance states: “If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading. That is why the government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.”
Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education has stated “You should only send your child to school, if you have to, because your work is critical to our COVID-19 response. If you are able to keep your child at home, you should.”
Full guidance for parents can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-informationfor-parents-and-carers/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers
In essence, we are offering childcare of last resort for Frontline key workers and the most vulnerable children, wherever possible children should remain at home. Should you need this provision, please make contact with the academy as places need to have been booked and agreed in advance of sending your child into the academy.
We also need to be very open about our ability to meet the guidance on social distancing. Whilst every effort will be made to deliver this provision in a way that meets the current government guidance on social distancing, parents and carers should be aware that in a school setting this is not possible to guarantee. For example, it will be impossible to provide assurances around maintaining 2 metre distance from others and touching surfaces that would not have been potentially contaminated by others.
Childcare will be provided by a range of adults including teachers and teaching assistants. Adults supervising your child will change each day as we are managing staffing on a rota basis.
Obviously, you should continue to follow government guidance on self-isolation in the event of your child or any of your household exhibiting symptoms of Coronavirus. In the event of your child displaying symptoms while in the academy, you will be contacted and required to pick up your child immediately. They will then be expected to self-isolate, along with all members of their household for 14 days.
Finally, as we provide childcare at this time we will expect children attending to maintain appropriate behaviour. We will, of course, work with children to support their behaviour, however, should a child’s behaviour be disruptive, unmanageable or unsafe then the offer of provision will be withdrawn.
Support for children at home
We are supporting all students who are at home in isolation through our website, social media and letters to provide access to home learning resources.
I would like to thank all parents and carers for their support in helping to encourage children to access what they can from the home learning resources on our website, and our online learning platforms such as IXL and Education City. However, we do understand that not all children will find learning from home easy. It is not their ‘normal’ school day and many children and families are suffering with anxiety. As such if your child is not able to access home learning, please instead focus on reading and on developing key life skills with them. These can be found in their planners.
Keep to a schedule.
When the children are at school they are on very structured schedules and that's what they're used to. Providing a structure to their days will not only help them feel in control, but also will allow all the people in your home to be productive. There is no right or wrong schedule and you should allow for some flexibility. Any home learning they do manage to do is amazing. Remember for younger children, you should incorporate lots of play, shorter blocks of time for activities to account for a shorter attention span, and lots of breaks. Older children may be able to cope with more independent work time and work in longer stretches per subject, we suggest no more than 30 minute blocks of learning at a time. You can create your own schedules but examples of schedules can be found below:
Keeping Children Safe Online
During this period of time it is likely that your child will be using their computer, mobile phone or tablet for lots of fun things, to complete their home learning and to stay in touch with their friends. Please can we ask that you continue to monitor their access carefully to ensure that they are staying safe while online. The academy are unable to monitor your child’s activity while they are at home.
There is a section on Bradfields Academy’s website which provides links to really useful advice on how to be careful when using the internet and some great tips to keep safe. E-Safety guidance can be accessed here: https://www.bradfieldsacademy.co.uk/page/?title=e%2DSafety&pid=84
If you are worried about anything you see your child looking at online or where people are asking your child questions about where they live or saying unkind things to them please follow any of the links below for help and advice.
Think U Know is a UK organisation which protects children both online and offline: https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/
Online Abuse can be reported to CEOP: https://www.ceop.police.uk/Safety-Centre/
Please talk with your children to ensure they know what to do if something or someone online makes them feel upset or uncomfortable.
Education Endowment Foundation Resources
I have included with this letter a number of resources produced by the Education Endowment Foundation on how to support your child at home with learning. Please find attached:
- 7 Tips for Supporting Reading
- Reading with the TRUST method diagram
- Reading with the TRUST method comic strip – to share with your child
- Talk with TRUST comic strip – supporting learning, again can be shared with your child
- Supporting home learning routines – checklist
They have also produced a helpful video clip which you could watch together with your child. It can be found here: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/public/files/videos/EEF_Supporting_daily_rou tines_during_school_closures.mp4
StarLine home learning helpline
A new sector-led initiative aimed at providing support for parents and carers who have concerns or queries about educating their children at home has been released today. StarLine – a new home learning telephone helpline - is now live to support parents and carers nationwide.
A group of partners including David Ross Education Trust, Freshworks, Future Academies, Inspiration Trust, Mumsnet, Oak National Academy, PLMR, StarAcademies, Triple P Positive Parenting Program and United Learning have come together to create and deliver StarLine. Each partner has pledged their people, expertise and resources to support StarLine. This initiative has been supported and welcomed by CST and also by the DfE.
StarLine will help in the following ways:
- By providing access to a team of qualified teachers, education and parenting experts.
- By focussing on providing practical ideas, support and reassurance.
- By offering tips, techniques and resources to enable parents to give their children the support they need to continue learning while schools are closed.
- By supporting family wellbeing and mental health.
- By covering all phases of education and subjects plus behaviour, pupil wellbeing and SEND.
StarLine is available to parents and carers of pupils from all schools nationwide. Free, confidential advice is available six days a week by phoning the StarLine team on 0330 313 9162. For more information, visit www.starline.org.uk or follow @StarLineSupport on Twitter.
The team behind StarLine will also be broadcasting a weekly programme on YouTube every Wednesday. In each episode of StarLive, a guest presenter will share practical ideas for home learning. Further details can be found on the StarLine website.
Should you require any further support, please call the academy or email the main office.
Ms M Sweetlove