Garratt Park School

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Update on arrangements at Garratt Park School

3rd April 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

We are writing with some further information about our approaches to home learning as we move into the new term. The normal school day will not resume until we are instructed by the government to do so.  We are supporting the efforts to combat Coronavirus by promoting the ‘stay at home’ message and that every child who can safely be cared for at home should be.

 

Our priority in the first two weeks of school closure has been to make sure all of our families are safe and as well as possible in the circumstances.  We have also been ensuring that everyone is able to access Google Classroom because this is the platform we will use to communicate with your child.  These first two weeks have been an ‘offer’ of work in line with our homework policy. 

 

Now that we know that we will be close for several weeks or months we have reviewed our expectations.  Rest assured, we do not intend to run a normal timetable. Nor do we expect you to deliver our curriculum at home.  However, we feel it is important that students continue to keep their learning live and keep their minds active so we do expect all students to engage with Google Classroom every school day, provided they are well enough to do so.

 

To support this learning:

  • There will be a ‘classroom’ for every subject your child has on the timetable.
  • Each subject will set one piece of compulsory work per week.
  • In addition, English and Maths will set a task on IXL or Education City.
  • There will also be optional creative/practical tasks.
  • The expectation is that your child spends approximately 2 hours per weekday on their school work. This can be broken up into manageable chunks.
  • Teachers and TAs will be available to answer questions posted on Classroom Stream which will be open during 9am and 3pm. Please note, Stream is really intended for students. If parents have questions they should email the tutor.
  • If your child would prefer a phonecall to support their learning, they should request this on Classroom Stream. For safeguarding, we will ask for another member of the family to be present as well when we make this phonecall.
  • Teachers will provide feedback on your child’s work once per week.
  • Timetabled interventions will continue in some form which might be through Google Classrooms, phonecalls, Reading Eggs (for literacy) or similar.

 

In addition, the BBC are putting together a package of daily online lessons with supporting TV programmes for all subjects at all levels.  They will also include sections on how parents can support students with SEND.  This is due to start on 20th April.  For more information go to: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize 

 

Ideally, all of this this is built around a range of other activities with you and your family.  These might include cooking, household tasks, gardening, playing board games, arts and crafts, reading together, watching good quality television, playing/listening to music, singing, dancing, playing board games,walking and other exercise...all of these can be valuable experiences and teach your child a variety of skills from communication to resilience. The BBC are putting together a package of TV shows and online learning for all subjects are all levels.  They will also include sections on how parents can support students with SEND. 

 

To support general wellbeing:

  • You will receive at least one welfare call or email every week (including one over the Easter holidays). This is just to check how things are and provide support where we can.  Please respond to these emails promptly.  Also, staff will be making these calls from their personal phones so they will appear as ‘number withheld’.
  • Every tutor group has a ‘classroom’ where tutors will post some general activities and answer questions. Students can ask questions to their tutors.
  • There is a Wellbeing Classroom for each Key Stage where students can ask for advice or request a phonecall. The details of the safeguarding team are also on this page.
  • If your child regularly sees a Learning Mentor, they will continue to receive support from them.
  • The PE classrooms contain links to a range of activities (including Joe Wicks PE lesson) to help your child take care of their physical wellbeing and stay active whilst remaining at home.

 

We are aware that your internet access may be limited, several people may be sharing one device and you may have your own working from home commitments.  This is why we have reduced the amount of expected hours.  It might also be helpful to note, Google Classroom can be accessed from any device including a phone.  Just download the app and log in in the usual way.  You can also choose to receive notifications by doing this.

 

Whilst we expect your child to engage with Google Classroom, we do not want to place unnecessary burdens during this time.    If your child or a family member becomes ill, we completely understand that they may not be able to work.  Your health and wellbeing remain our top priority.  We would, however, ask you to inform the tutor about this as you would do in normal circumstances.

 

Next term begins on Tuesday 21st April and although you will receive a welfare call over Easter, nothing will be posted on Google Classroom until then.  We will continue to review our approach to home learning and provide you with regular updates.  Please check our website for the latest information and additional resources. We hope that we can work together to make this as valuable a time as possible. However, primarily we wish you good health and urge you to follow the government advice to ‘stay at home and stay safe’.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Sharon Gladstone

Deputy Headteacher

 

Here are a few more links for you to try.  We will continue to add more to Google Classroom and our website.

 

https://www.allkidsnetwork.com

https://www.12storylibrary.com

https://britishmuseum.withgoogle.com

https://www.3dbear.io/3dbear-free-access-education-coronavirus

https://stories.audible.com/start-listen

http://www.exercisebuddy.com

 

If you have any problems with online behaviour or want to report an incident.  Please go to:

https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/

 

Enter the full Garratt Park School website