Useful Links

Useful Links

Daily Updates - 22nd January 2021

Dear Parents,

 

Firstly apologies to anyone looking at the website for the update - unfortunately I have had a few problems accessing the website management system from home, however I hope you have still received the updates.

Today we have been busy sorting out the tests that have arrived for school staff to use over the next few weeks. This will mean that we will be testing staff twice a week using the Lateral Flow tests, this should give us some benefits we hope. 

If we do get a positive test from a staff member using these tests we will initially close the relevant Bubble in school and ask families to ensure their child is self -isolating. Staff members will then be asked to take the more accurate PCR tests to confirm the result, obviously if it proves to be positive the Bubble will remain closed, if it proves to be negative we will re-open the Bubble and children will be permitted to return to school. I hope that makes sense and please bear with us, this is the most cautious approach that we can take.

The irony is that we are now talking about a totally different type of test to the ones we normally have to administer! Being honest I am not sure which one is worse!

This week we have also given out the first of our devices that have either been donated or one of the two we have received from the DfE. If you should be in need of a device because you are struggling sharing what you have, do please get in touch, we obviously don't have an endless supply, but we are working to try and get these to families who would benefit the most from using them.

It has been very enjoyable checking in on the learning in school and I hope that you are 'enjoying' the learning that your child is receiving. Moving forward I am hoping to do some whole school worship next week, which I will send the link out for. Unfortunately, our story telling may have to be put on hold this week as Mrs Manktelow is unwell so you might have to wait a little longer to find out what happens next.

We will be making a slight revision to our Remote Learning provision the week after next and we will let you know what that is next week.

Have a relaxing weekend

 

Steve Owen

 

2oth January 2021

Dear Parents,

I look forward to speaking to you this evening at our Remote Learning session. Just a reminder 7:30pm on Teams. The plan is to discuss what is working for parents; what needs improving; what you would like to see and any other feedback. I will also go through the school's obligations and how we feel we are meeting the needs of our children.

I'd also like to talk through: devices, connectivity and data

Once we have covered this, I plan to then talk through any other queries or concerns that parents have and answer any additional questions in relation to school life and resources.

I look forward to seeing you later - the link was sent via School Comms.

Thankyou to those who have already sent their feedback into school - much appreciated.

We will summarise the views and share them with you next week - we will then outline what we will do to move things forward should we need to tweak anything.

Just a reminder that I have 20 SIM cards with 30GB of data on for you to use should you be running out of data. PLease email me directly and I can post one out to you.

Kind regards


Steve Owen

 

 

January 18th

Dear Parents,

We hope you had a restful weekend and were able to take a break from Remote Learning. 

A couple of things to draw your attention to:

- Symptom Free Testing is available across the county - I know most staff have attended one of the sites over the past two weeks. It is fairly straight forward and wasy to book and recommended for anyone leaving the house for a necessary reason such as going to work or shopping for essentials. Please see the link below:

https://www.kent.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/health/protect-kent-and-medway/test-and-trace/symptom-free-testing

- Primary School  Staff Testing - this is something that is being launched over the next week. Staff in primary school will be able to be tested regularly from school. We are just awaiting delivery of our tests and the training to accompany this.

Staffing in school - Next week we are moving to a rota system for all classes so that we can minimise the number of adults in school on a daily basis. There will still be at least 2 adults for each group, however we will be making sure that where we have extra adults in school they are used to run the rota system. 

Not only will this reduce the number of adults in school, but should we have any staffing challenges that might mean we have to close a bubble, we have a little more flexibility.

I have sent a link to you to invite you to a Teams Meeting regarding Remote Learning provision on Wednesday 20th January at 7:30pm. If you have any questions you would like answered or are unable to attend and have some questions please email me in advance.

This week we have added some story time with Mrs Manktelow for Monday, Wednesday and Friday - please enjoy these and next week I am hoping to share some worship run by Rev Barry.

Kind regards

 

Steve Owen

 

 

Dear Parents,

At the end of an exceptionally busy and draining week, I think for all of us, staff, parents and pupils, it is time to just take stock of where we are at and what we have achieved!

 So this week we hope that all of you will have been able to access the Remote Learning that has been put in place; some of the Teams social events and also had check ins from the staff. We hope you have been able to acces Mathletics and Reading Eggs and found the balance of work has been about right.

Staff have quickly got to grips with SeeSaw and I think each day we are learning new aspects to it all; it would be helpful to have some more feedback regarding Tapestry from Year R parents, other than the challenges of logging on- which anyone who uses Tapestry has been experiencing! It has been great to hear and see what children have been up to across the school. A huge thankyou to parents who have embraced getting to grips with SeeSaw themselves!!!

The Parent Feedback on Remote Learning session and any other queries will be held at 7:30pm next Wednesday 20th January and an invite will be sent out next week. I hope this will give you time to reflect on what you have been provided with and to go from there.

We have had a total of 5 laptops and 1 tablet donated to school; the plan is for our technician to get these sorted next week so they are good to go and we will be in contact with a number of parents who have let us know they are struggling with devices. Hopefully, I can get these out to you by the end of next week.

My last reminder about this, but please just do what you can with your child, whether that is one piece of learning, or lots of pieces, don't feel guilty, just try to keep your family safe and intact. We all have a lifetime of learning ahead of us: just this week I have learnt how to use SeeSaw... I'm sure at present we are all learning new things about ourselves and our loves as well.

Fingers crossed we get some snow this weekend so we can at least enjoy the white stuff and I was thinking the other day - that actually this is probably the end of th 'Snow Day as we know it as kids will be given remote learning from now on!!!!

As ever if you need to get in touch please do so.

Kind regards

 

Steve Owen

 

 

 

13th January 2021

Dear All,

Many thanks to all those parents who have completed the forms questionnaire we have set up regarding Remote Learning. I hope that you have found it useful to share your experiences. Next week, I will be holding a Teams meeting for all parents to attend around the topic of Remote Learning and your experiences of it, as well as any other pressing matters you feel we need to be working on within school. If you have any thoughts before then please email me directly at: headteacher@lympne.kent.sch.uk

The teachers and I have met to day to discuss early impressions from the Remote Learning and any challenges they are facing, as well as taking on board the feedback we currently have from parents. So at present we will be continuing in this fashion.

1. No change to the amount of work set as yet - feedback is that it is generally taking the right amount of time and parents feel under too much pressure to get all of the work done. I will review this again after our parent meeting next week.

2. A weekly overview will be sent out by 4pm on a Friday to all parents so that they know what the following week's learning will look like. 

3. There have been a number of requests for work to be put out the day before for the following day so that parents can prepare. This is one of the biggest challenges to address because the teachers need to ascertain if the learning goals are being met before planning their next piece of work. If the teachers sent out the work the previous day they would not know if the kids were getting the learning and would be producing work that wasn't really meeting the classes' needs. The teaching cycle works by teaching a lesson, assessing the learning and then planning the next... it is a tricky juggling act. Instead we will look to release the work and set it a little earlier in the morning around 8am at the latest. We will look again at this moving forward.

4. A number of parents have requested spelling information - for KS2 classes this can be found on the class pages on the website.

5. In Maths there are a number of differentiated activities - Must, Should, Could - children are not required to complete all of the activities - children should attempt the learning that they feel meets their requirements. Often in class some children might try the Must and then move on to Could, other children might just work on the Must section. Just beware some of your children might be going for the easy option!!! Feel free to ask the classteacher.

6. Teachers have said it would be very helpful if you could indicate any additional support that you might have provided your child, sometimes it is difficult to judge if a child has got something or not, if they have been too heavily supported - if that makes sense!

7. Project work is to continue.

8. Teams teething issues - staff have had limited training provided in Teams, so please bear with them as they get their head around things. 

I think my over riding message to parents is to do what you can. The staff do not think any differently about a child that has completed 100 pieces of work and one who has completed 5; we do not know what is happening at home and most of you are not teachers. As long as we know your child is safe and happy that is our main concern. We will do out utmost to support you in this and I hope that we can get through this together.

Best Wishes

Steve Owen

 

 

11th  January 2021

Dear Parents/Members of the School Community,

I hope that you all had a good weekend and that you were able to have some time away from Remote Learning. This week marks the start of our Remote Learning proper (so to speak) and I hope that it wil work well for you and your families. As I said last week, we will need to carry out some revision of our provision in light of additional guidance from the DfE and we will have completed this by the end of the week.

Critical Worker and Vulnerable Children in school seems to be a very contentious issue at the present, not helped by the confusing messages coming from the DfE and ministers over the weekend. We are working hard balancing the conflicting demands of wanting to offer spaces and not over crowding, demand has surged from around 5000 in the first lockdown in Kent to over 20,000. We will of course, be evaluating our position on a weekly basis and I am caught in the middle trying to keep staff safe, families safe and to offer childcare/educational provision for some of our more vulnerable pupils. The message is if you are able to keep children at home then that is where they should be at present.

Just a reminder that  we aim to set work for the day between 9am and 9:30am - we are experiencing some problems on Tapestry at the moment - I think primarily to do with the demand, rather than an issue at our end, so Year R learning may well be uploaded earlier.

In terms of amount, it is really hard to judge how long a lesson will 'last' at home, it will be interesting to hear from you as to how long it is taking your children to complete. The 4 hours requirement for KS2 is being looked at this week and will be introduced next week. In terms of completing work - please complete as much as you can - if you cannot complete a task with your child, or they are finding it too much, just stop for the day. It is challenging at the best of times.

I will be sending a link out later in the week for parents to join me in an early review of Remote Learning to look at what is working well and what is not working so well. A Teams invite will follow.

I am aiming to carry out a 'live worship' each week - one to start with and I know that Rev Barry is planning on doing a weekly session very shortly, in someway we hope that our community can come together at this point, look out for a link.

 

Huggybear says Happy New Year

 

Best Wishes

 

Steve Owen

January 8th 2021

 

Free School Meals arrangements are being finalised as we speak, we will be in touch with families who are in receipt of this and will confirm the arrangements. In the first instance we will probably be supplying a voucher through a third party until the National scheme is up and running again. Vouchers will be backdated to Monday 11th January.

All children attending school at present are required to bring their own packed lunch and we would expect families in receipt of vouchers to use the vouchers to buy food for their child's packed lunches.

Numbers of children remain fairly static in school at present, however next week marks the first full week proper and we have a reasonable increase in numbers at this point. It is a delicate balancing act between having limited numbers of pupils in school and keeping staff safe. 

We are just starting to send out links to parents for pupils to join our once a week live social gatherings - this time on Microsoft Teams. I will be circulating guidance for parents as to what the expectations are for these live sessions. Any problems please email the classteacher.

I'd like to finish by thanking the staff, who have been amazing, in pulling together to provide your children with the best offer they can. 

Best Wishes

Steve Owen

 

7th January Update

It has been great to see the engagement with SeeSaw really showing on the number of anouncements being made in my admin account. I hope that you are finding it easy to use and our able to navigate your way around. I know that staff are really impressed with your engagement levels and I am really impressed with how well the staff have taken to working with SeeSaw. However, for most staff this is a totally new way of working, so please be patient with them as they seek to try new things and work in this different way.

Next week you should see the start of our Remote Learning proper - details of which have already been shared with you and which have now been added to the Covid tab of the school website. Tomorrow I will be tidying up this section of the website to make it a little more user friendly for you.

At the moment, I am doing the administration of SeeSaw and the teachers will be able to assist with Reading Eggs and Mathletics. Any problems please speak to either myself or the classteacher.

When we initially set up SeeSaw all pupils work was visible (not sure why that is the default setting) we have now amended this so that only your child should be seen by you and no one else.

We have also been working on revising our latest risk assessment and this should be completed by the end of the day tomorrow - again an updated version will also be uploaded to the website.

One of the things I would like to clarify with parents is the government assertion that there are laptops available for pupils. We (as a school) are currently not entitled to any laptops, prior to Christmas we were entitled to 1 if we had to close a Bubble, this has now gone down to 0. We are currently looking at what we can do to support those families with limited access to devices, hence one of the reasons for using SeeSaw. We have already registered for free data I am just waiting for the delivery and once we have this we will let you know.

Next week we will be putting exercise books in the bike shelter for anyone who lives in Lympne and needs some extra books. Obviously, we can't ask you to travel from further afield to collect books as this isn't really essential travel!

Best Wishes

Steve Owen

 

Dear Parents/Member of the School Community,

9 Months ago we were just entering our first official lockdown; here we are in Lockdown number 3 with children now being educated at home again. We thought we had seen the last of it!!!

Firstly, we hope that this finds you well and that if you need any support please email/call the school, while we have been incredibly busy, please do not be worried about getting in touch - we understand how tricky this time can be, but how important it is to get into a routine as soon as possible.

Today, we welcomed around 25 children into school under the Critical Worker/Vulnerable learner provision and while initially a little strange things seem to have gone well this morning. Thankyou for all those parents educating their children at home and for those of you trying not to use the provision where possible.

For those children coming into school PE sessions are as follows:

Maple Thursday

Elm Monday and Wednesday

Sycamore Thursday

Beech Monday

Cherry Tuesday

Oak Tuesday

Children should attend school in their PE kit.

Additionally, please note that school opens at 8:30am and children will be expected on site at this time and not before.

On another note, it has been very pleasing to see the large number of children already engaging with SeeSaw and Home Learning - I have an overview of the whole school so it is great to see. Any feedback please do send it on the teachers - obviously this week we are easing you in gently!

Next week we will be sending out daily tasks between 9-9:30am - as I said yesterday Maths/English and one other - around 2-3 hours work in total. This should give you a clearer idea of what the provision will be like. In addition, Mrs Sharp has had her arm twisted and will be providing weekly phonics videos for pupils to assist them with their phonics development.

Lastly, the social get together online we hope to be able to carry out through Microsoft Teams rather than Zoom. Links to this will follow on SeeSaw.

On a final note, a massive thankyou to Charlie and his family in Year 1 who raised over £1000 for the school with the Santa Sleigh over the holidays!

Happy New Year - please get in touch if you need us!

All at Lympne