I hope this letter finds you all healthy and coping with the constraints of the current lockdown. I know I am missing my long walks in the Lake District but I am keeping busy planning routes for when I can finally return. If you are struggling in any way, whether it be emotionally, financially or practically because you are isolating and unable to get out for food or medicine, then please reach out. I have a full staff team who are happy to help in any way. Mrs Jarvis provides emotional resilience support to pupils in school and has arranged to speak to some of the children she sees more often but, if your child is particularly struggling to understand the current situation or is feeling upset and anxious by it, please let me know and Mrs Jarvis can provide some support.
Myself and the teachers are very happy that home learning resumes again today. It is not only important for keeping the children on track with their school work and maintaining their positive attitudes to learning but it gives us that precious contact with them which we are missing. When we see their uploads and know they’re engaging with the material set, we know they are healthy and well. Teachers will continue to set English and Maths activities and there is a wealth of content online so if you could encourage the children to adopt some structure and routine into their daily learning, they will benefit enormously.
Each child has been given a Home Learning book with an access code that will allow them to interact with Seesaw in the same way they would if they were in school. This allows them to upload their own pictures or edit the pictures and documents that we upload. If anyone is having difficulties, then please let me know as this is the main method we are using for home learning. I have asked class teachers to make contact with any families that are not engaging with Seesaw so that they can help problem solve, but primarily, to check everyone is okay.
Free School Meals
You may have seen in the media that schools are obliged to continue providing free school meals to those entitled to them even when schools are shut. These are the school meals that are free for those on low incomes and an application must be made to Cumbria County Council. This is not the same as the school meals that are free to children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. If your circumstances have changed due to the current Covid-19 crisis and you think you may be eligible then you can apply by clicking on the link below:
To those parents who had children booked onto this year’s residential, we are currently in discussions with Fussells Travel company regarding refunds for the residential trip as they are determined to keep the deposit and second payment. We will be seeking legal advice regarding the terms and conditions of the booking and if they are entitled to keep the payment and, if this is the case, we will have to claim through the school’s travel insurance.
I am sure you will appreciate that this is not a quick process, especially with many businesses working less hours and having less staff, however we will keep you updated and you can be assured we will be aiming to refund parents as soon as possible.
School Games Sports challenge
Up until the Covid-19 crisis, we were seeing some fantastic achievements in sport this year and I have no doubt that we would have secured a place in the county competitions for more than one team. However, just because all competitions have been cancelled it does not mean we can’t complete. Oliver Carswell, the School Games Co-ordinator for Furness, has organised a virtual competition. He is uploading a challenge a day to his Facebook page and if you post a comment/photo/video of your child completing the challenge and name our school, we will gain points. You can see Oliver’s Facebook page by clicking the link below. Even if you do not want to enter the competition, the challenges are fun and simple and will keep the children busy.
Critical worker childcare
Just a reminder that we are open for emergency childcare for key workers. Any parents requiring childcare will need to provide evidence of critical roles and shift patterns for all adults who live in the household and verification of this from your employer. As long as we have enough staff willing to volunteer and those staff remain in good health, we can continue to open. However, should this situation change, our pupils requiring childcare will be directed to Dowdales or Dalton St Mary’s. If you are a keyworker and require childcare, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org to register and discuss shift patterns. All childcare should be confirmed by 6:00pm on Friday for the following week which will allow me to ensure we have adequate staff in place.