I did not envisage writing a newsletter today, least of all from home due to the fact the school is closed and empty of children. However, I thought it was important to write as there have been some significant developments over the last week and also because I wanted to say how amazed I am by the effort our children and parents have given to home learning.
Critical worker childcare
The local authority have been working behind the scenes to identify a reduced number of schools to act as childcare Hubs for the children of critical key workers. Dowdales Secondary School is the hub that has been identified for many schools in the Dalton and Furness area. However, myself and other Headteachers, who form the Furness Primary Collaborative, would prefer to provide childcare for our pupils within our own schools where this is possible. This will be possible for as long as our numbers remain low and, our staff who have volunteered to provide this childcare, remain healthy. Should either of these factors change, we would only then have to direct our parents to the Dowdales hub.
The Furness Primary Collaborative have agreed that the following conditions must be met in order for childcare to be accessed:
Children of two parent families must have 2 key workers living at home
A registration form must be completed
Evidence of critical roles and shift patterns must be provided by the employer for all adults who live in the household.
There is NO alternative childcare that is safer for your children
It is a very clear message that the safest place for everyone is at home. However, the keyworkers and essential workforce that are having to go to work and put themselves and their families at risk each day are doing an amazing job and I want to do everything possible to support them. If you are a keyworker and require childcare over the Easter break and the weeks following, then 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.
We have now done our first week of home learning and I am unbelievably impressed with the level of engagement. Across the whole school there are very few pupils who have not been regularly accessing Seesaw and completing activities set by their teachers. This is amazing and fills me with confidence that, when we finally do return back to the classrooms, the children will have maintained their excellent attitudes towards school and resume their learning with much less impact to their progress and academic development. This is because of the wonderful support and encouragement that our parents continue to give; it is what makes our school so special.
Because the pupils have all been working so hard, myself and the teachers felt compelled to recognise their efforts with our usual weekly certificates, photographs of which have been posted onto each class’ Seesaw. Enjoy your Easter break and home learning will continue from April 14th. Class teachers may set some optional Easter activities to keep the children busy but we know how hard teaching children is so know that you definitely deserve to have two weeks off!
A massive well done to everybody!