Welcome back to a new academic year. From September 2021 the government has removed the requirements for social distancing and exclusive bubbles in schools which means we can reduce some of our control measures. We must still take responsibility for our own proximity to others and ensure that we adhere to the hygeine and ventilation requirements.
It will no longer be necessary for adults who are double vaccinated and pupils under the age of 18 years and 6 months to isolate if they are a close contact. Isolation will only be necessary if an individual themselves tests positive ande we hope that this should result in less disruption to education.
We know that the control measures we have in place may need to be scaled up in response to an increase in transmission of the virus and we will liaise with the appropriate bodies to make decisions on how best to manage any outbreak in school in line with our Outbreak Contingency Plan.
Please see the documents below for further information relating to Covid-19 and how school is managing/responding to the pandemic in this new academic year.
Happy Half term!
Pupils, Parents and Staff you have all been STARS this half term, there have been many challenges but you found a way to manage them and I’m so impressed and very proud of my school community.
Safeguarding is always a key priority for us. We have had no face to face contact with some of our children since March and therefore don't know what their experiences of lock-down have been or how they have been affected by them. We do know that they need to be supported and nurtured so that they feel safe and secure in the school environment and that we need to be alert and ready to listen so that we do all in our power to safeguard them. The model of distance learning adopted by the school means that staff will have regular contact with pupils/families via SeeSaw if they are absent because they need to self-isolate. Teachers know that they need to remain vigilant during these periods of absence and have been advised that if they have concerns about a child they should speak to a safegurading lead. If pupils don't engage with learning during their period of absence staff should make a telephone call home. The call should be a 'check in' opportunity to see how the child/family are doing and to enquire if there is anything the school can do to support them. Staff should also ask to speak to the child so they can find out from them how they are finding being at home and managing their learning. All contact should be logged on CPOMs.
Distance learning may be a requirement for you child in the event of a whole school closure, a class bubble closure or them as an individula needing to self isolate. With a view to ensuring that pupils can continue to learn if they are required to be absent from school for Covid related reasons we have developed a remote learning plan
Our remote learning curriculum will be delivered using Microsoft Office 365 platform and SeeSaw. In Key Stage 2 staff will use tools including Sway, Teams and OneDrive to deliver, send and receive work. In EYFS & Key Stage 1, staff will use Seesaw to set and receive work alongside Sway to deliver certain teaching elements. Teams will regularly be used for catch up meetings, story times and drop in sessions.
We encourage each teacher to use a combination of methods which best suit the pupils in their class. This will include direct teaching through pre-recorded videos from the teacher, use of Oak Academy, White Rose Maths, BBC Bitesize or other teaching website, audio commentary on PowerPoint presentations, live lessons via Teams or through video clips/sequences. Children will then have the opportunity to complete and return independent work via worksheets, tasks to be completed in their exercise books (which were previously sent home), projects & research, photographs and videos or through oral clips.
In the event of a school or bubble closure teachers will post work daily and will be available to respond to queries and provide feedback to work throughout the school day. Please be aware that teachers may be responsible for working with a number of key worker/vulnerable pupils who may be accessing remote learning on site - so if you have posted a query please be patient teachers will respond as soon as they can.
In the case of a pupil isolating independently of their classmates, the class teacher will have 24 hours to prepare remote learning. The child at home will receive the learning which was delivered to the class the previous day. This will be sent to the child via Sway, Seesaw and/or Teams. Where appropriate, the class teacher may invite the child to a Teams meeting to support, advise or discuss learning.
In all cases work completed should be returned to the class teacher so feedback can be given, work assessed, next steps in learning planned and progress monitored.
Any questions or queries please ask via SeeSaw, the school email stmarysonline.co.uk or by calling the school office 0191 251 8080.