I am writing to inform you that, following instructions from the Department of Education, all trust schools will be closed from Friday 20th March at 3:15 until further notice except for selected key worker children and identified vulnerable children and children who have Educational Health Care Plans.
Many parents working in these critical sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be. If you are able to meet your childcare needs at home – please do this in the first instance. The fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society.
Families of vulnerable and EHCP children will be contacted directly by the school.
Key Worker Child Care
The schools have already texted out the process for the Key Worker Childcare Provision. The Department will shortly publish a discrete list of who this applies to. If you fall into anyone of the categories and haven't contacted the school, please email your school directly. The school is providing this facility but will be following the lists and criteria rigorously due to staffing considerations as well as ensuring capacity for our most vulnerable children.
We have limited places available and our own staff shortages may further reduce our ability to safely operate. As such, we will rigorously vet and review every application for additional childcare received.
Free School Meals
For children eligible for free school meals we will be providing a packed lunch each day next week that can be collected from the main school office between 12-2pm. Once the government voucher scheme is in place we will convert to that. We will text relevant parents with any updates. If by chance you feel you are eligible and have not been contacted please email the school directly.
To avoid any confusion the trust will be updating parents via the school and trust websites only to ensure communication around closures and openings is consistent and controlled. Please keep checking your school or www.lioneducationtrust.net for updates.
Whilst acknowledging that these measures are necessary to combat the spread of the coronavirus, we also recognise the negative impact it could have on children’s learning. Whilst the schools are closed teachers and staff have been set up for home and remote learning which is still the expectation for the children. The trust and school are well prepared through our online platforms and cloud based software so children can still learn at home. Each year group has, therefore, prepared a programme of home learning activities that we are expecting each child to complete during the period of closure. The details and expectations of what children need to do each week are attached to the letter.
Children will need regular access each day to a tablet or computer to enable them to complete activities on Maths Whizz and Bug Club. These will form the basis of their learning in Maths and Reading. For those children who have not got this access the school has provided paper copies. In KS2, children will be expected to complete writing tasks through Google Classroom which will be monitored on a daily basis by the class teacher. These will be updated each week. Children in KS2 have also been reminded in class this week how the system works and we will also put some tutorials for parents on the websites if they haven't managed to attend any of our workshops. For children in Reception and KS1, writing tasks will be completed in paper format and then given to the teacher on their return to school.
While the school is closed, we would also like children to complete some practical and project based tasks related to science and other subject areas like history and geography. These can also be brought in when the children return to school.
Please note that teachers will be monitoring pupils’ online activity each day to ensure that they are completing set tasks. If a child is not accessing or completing tasks, you will be notified by the school via a text message. It is really important that you encourage your child to engage in their home learning activities while they are away from school as it will help them to maintain a strong learning focus at this crucial time of the year.
We appreciate that this is a very challenging time, not only for you and families but for the country as a whole. We find ourselves in a set of very precarious and unique circumstances but, as a school and teaching staff, we will be doing our best to ensure that we provide you with the best educational service we can. We will be updating the website as more information becomes available and would ask that you regularly check the school website so that you are aware of any updates.
This will be the single source of information during the closure period. If you have any questions or concerns which need to be addressed urgently, you can always email the school and these will be passed onto the relevant member of staff. Please can these be of an important nature rather than in relation to closure or opening as this will be communicated via the websites.
Thank you for your understanding and support at this difficult time.
Chief Executive Officer - Lion Education Trust