- 30 Mar 2020
Message from Finmere School
As we begin the second week of school closure, I wanted to contact you all to send a message of support.
I know many of you have will have determinedly embraced the 'home-school' challenge whilst having to juggle many other demands in very difficult times. Sudden changes were thrust upon us all last week and I hope as this first week passed you were able to relax a little and find a new normal in your household.
There has been much attention across the media as to how to 'home-school' and in particular with regard to how much time should be allocated to this each day. Please be reassured we do not expect your home-schooling efforts to match the length of the usual school day. An hour or two, as and when best suits your child and your family is what is best.
Please do not feel you need to compare yourselves to others; be guided by your child, who you know best and follow their lead. PE, outdoor exploring, art, craft, Lego, junk modelling and cookery are all really valuable activities that develop independence and problem-solving skills, whilst also promoting general well-being. Please do not feel anxious about what your child is 'not learning' but instead celebrate how they are growing and learning whilst they have the freedom and opportunity to just 'be'.
This week would have been the final week of term. The teachers had planned to spend time focusing learning on Easter by revisiting the Easter story, singing Easter songs, making Easter cards and preparing for our church service which would have taken place on Thursday. You might like to use the Easter theme as an idea to support some learning or crafts at home this week, too?
Our values for the term have been Endurance and Forgiveness. Endurance seems particularly relevant at this time, but Forgiveness is as well. Ask your child what their understanding of our values for the term is, and how they can use them as guidance whilst they are at home with you.
Finally, the teachers are preparing further work ideas to continue to support you at home and these will be published on the school website on 20th April 2020, after the Easter holidays, and I will be in touch again then.
Please do take the time to enjoy the Easter break as best you can.
I hope you all continue to stay safe and well at home.
With love and best wishes to you all.
- 19 Mar 2020
Daily update 19.3.20
Dear parents and carers
Following the government's announcement that schools will be closed from Friday, we are currently putting plans in place.
They announced that, where possible, schools should remain open for children of key workers and also vulnerable children, who have been classed as having an EHCP or social worker. We do not yet know what this will look like and are in discussions with other schools about offering a local provision for all the children this applies to in our trust schools.
I'm sure many of you will have questions about this and we will communicate with you when we have further information. The Department for Education are due to publish a list of who are considered to be key workers but it would be helpful in the first instance if you could indicate to our school if you feel BOTH parents fall into this category (or you are a single-parent who is a key worker), and you intend to continue sending your child/ren to school. This will allow us to make initial plans.
I would appreciate it if you could send your email to the office if you feel this would apply to your household and you need your child/ren to be cared for in this provision. We will contact parents of children in the other groups mentioned in yesterday's government briefing. We will also be in touch with families entitled to free school meals.
Finally, could I ask that while we remain open, you continue not to come into the school office or building unless it is unavoidable.
Thank you for your support during these uncertain times.
- 18 Mar 2020
School closure information - From 1pm on Friday 20th March 2020
Dear Parents and Carers
Firstly, many thanks for all your messages of support over the past couple of days. It really has meant a great deal to all of the staff here in school - thank you very much.
In light of the government's announcement this evening, and with the support of our school governors and The Warriner MAT, we have made the decision to close Finmere School at 1pm on Friday 20th March 2020.
This decision is based upon having a reduced number of staff available to work on Friday. A closure at 1pm will enable staff who are in school to clean and close down classrooms properly, in preparation for an extended closure.
Pupils will be able to have their school lunches as usual and can then be collected from the playground at 1pm. Hopefully, all personal belongings should have come home by now, but please do mention to staff if there is something your child has not yet brought home.
Please do not hesitate to contact the school office should you have any questions or concerns.
- 18 Mar 2020
Daily update 18 March 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
In anticipation of an extended school closure, teaching staff have prepared home learning packs for each pupil.
We have been considering carefully the right time to send these home, not wanting to do this too soon, but also not wanting to wait too long to miss the optimum time of reaching all our children.
To clarify, whilst the school remains open there is no expectation for families to complete these learning tasks at home.
However, we do appreciate many families are already in the self-isolating stage and therefore do not want to delay any further.
Whatever decisions may come from government in the next few days, our aim is to support you in being as ready as possible.
With this in mind, today each pupil will be sent home with an exercise book and an explanatory letter suggesting a range of learning tasks.
For parents whose children are already off school, you may like to arrange to call to collect this from the school office, or let us know if we can send this via another family/pupil.
In addition, we are arranging for all our pupils to clear their trays and coat pegs today, so all personal belongings will be sent home too.
At this stage, we still do not have any information as to the expected length of school closure. This is an unprecedented situation.
In addition, please can I remind parents of the governments most recent guidance:
if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started
if you live with others and you or another member of the household have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community
for anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period.
Once again, many thanks for your continued support of the Finmere family.
'Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and staff, they comfort me'
Psalm 23 vs 4
- 17 Mar 2020
Tues 17th March - Update and cancelled events
Dear Parents and Carers,
We have two important updates today:
Firstly, in light of the updated government recommendations to avoid unnecessary social contact, and with the support of Finmere School governors and The Warriner MAT, we have taken the decision to cancel the Parent Evening meetings that were planned for Monday 23rd March and Wednesday 25th March.
We do appreciate many parents look forward to meeting with their child's class teacher and to have the opportunity to look through pupil school books. However, staff well being and safety must take priority at this time.
In due course we hope to be able to offer an alternative to Parents Evening meetings, but in the meantime, if you have any immediate concerns regarding your child's progress, please do email the school office.
Secondly, whilst current government guidance is to keep schools open, we feel it is important to be open with parents regarding the staffing situation in our school. Today, three members of staff have reported as either ill or as self-isolating with their own families. I do not expect these staff members to return to school for the next 14 days. With immediate effect, I will be reviewing the staffing situation on a daily basis. Please be reassured, the governors and I will endeavour to keep the school open for as long as possible, but if circumstances dictate we just do not have enough staff to operate safely, I will be forced to put a closure into place. In the event of this, the decision will be shared with you, using the usual channels, with as much notice as possible.
Please do not hesitate to contact me, should you have any questions or concerns. In the meantime, the staff and I wish to thank parents and carers for your ongoing support in these challenging times.
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