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I would first of all like to thank all of you for your wonderful, supportive approach to this difficult situation.  You are so consistently sensible and supportive and that is just such a help!

 

We now finally have a better idea of the situation. Please rest assured that we are going to be here to support you in the best way that we possibly can.

 

Firstly, you will all know by now that the school will be closed from today until further notice. However if your work is critical to the COVID-19 response or you work I one of the critical sectors and cannot keep your child safe at home, then your children will be prioritised for education provision. Obviously, if at all possible for children to be at home then they should be. Other important points are that if childcare involves anyone in the vulnerable groups- over 70 or with an underlying condition- then the stringent social distancing should be adhered to.

 

We have already asked you for this information and there will be 26 children in school next week. This number is a little higher than one recommendation we have had, which is 20 children but we will do our best to ensure that they do keep a safe distance from each other. We are fortunate to have large classrooms and open spaces outside as well.

 

We will be keeping to our regime of monitored hand-washing at school, as well as constant reminders of the safety measures the children need to keep.

 

We know that all parents will ensure that children are not mixing socially in a way that might continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.

 

The Education Psychology Service have offered the following advice for supporting children.

 

Coronavirus; supporting children’s wellbeing

 

 

Wellbeing tips:

 

  • Talk to children and answer their questions.  Ask about what they have heard about the virus and the situation so that you can correct possible misconceptions and reassure them.

 

  • Avoid being too immersed in media coverage.  Be mindful of the amount of things you are reading and watching, including social media – as this may add to worry and anxiety.  Consider a few updates every day from trusted sources.

 

  • Remember that people react differently to significant events.  Some people – adults and children – may feel worried, some excited, some nothing much at all.  Be reassured that different reactions are normal and ok.

 

  • If a child seems worried, it may be good to distract themselves with something that takes their mind off their worries.  You might also want to set aside 10-15 minutes each day for them to talk about any worries, and to reassure them.

 

  • Remember to keep things positive and give children hope.  For example, tell children that now many people are working to make this better and that even though it is serious, everyone is doing their best to help people.

 

  • Try to keep familiar routines and set up new ones.   Well-known routines in everyday life provide security and stability.

 

  • Do nice things together and keep active.  Make a plan and suggest some regular family times where you can play games, do some exercise together, or do other things that you know most of you like.  Try to find a good balance between time together, and screen time.

 

  • Keep in good contact with family and friends (via Facetime, Skype WhatsApp etc.; following nhs guidance on ‘social contact’).  This will help children connect with others and know that others are thinking about them.  It will also reassure them that others are well.

 

  • Take care of yourself and make sure you have breaks, time to relax, and ask for help from others if you need.

 

 

 

 

 

Some useful links on the next page…

 

 

Some useful links:

 

 

 

Talking to children about Coronavirus

 

Child-friendly explanation of Coronavirus for Primary age students if you internet search ‘goats and soda coronavirus’

 

Information video on Coronavirus for older children/adults, by WHO:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOV1aBVYKGA&feature=youtu.be

 

Young Minds have useful ideas for older students: https://youngminds.org.uk/blog/what-to-do-if-you-re-anxious-about-coronavirus/

 

Carol Gray  has provided a social story about corona virus at https://carolgraysocialstories.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Pandemics-and-the-Coronavirus.pdf?fbclid=IwAR23zxNlbEumpw4oKlM7Xy3VlKnA25b8Gi53N6YiFIeKB9Vx0LQypSPYzzg

 

A simple social story is also available: Coronovirus social story

 

 

Your wellbeing

 

Coronavirus and your wellbeing, by Mind UK:

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/

 

 

Note: as the situation and sources of information are developing, the above tips and links may be updated.

HEAD’S BLOG

We are all continually excited about learning and aspire to improve our school all of the time.

Times are changing again!

There is a new Ofsted Framework with the focal points of ‘Leadership and Management’, ‘Quality of Education’, ‘Behaviour and Attitudes’ and ‘Personal Development’.

Lisa Moorhouse

Head teacher/ SENCo/ music/DSL/ Humanities

Christina Stirling

Teaching and Learning Lead/ Maths/ PE Year 6 Lead

Hannah Yates

Computing Lead

Katie Friday

Early Years/KS1 lead/ Forest School’s lead/ English/ Science lead

Glynis Taylor

Art/ D+T lead

Emma Bernasconi

PE co-ordinator

Anne Robinson

HLTA-SEN Admin/ TAF/TAC /Children’s Mental Health lead/ELSA/DSL

Sarah Harris

HLTA- School Council/ House/ ELSA

Louise Siddle

SNAST

Geoff Fitzgerald

Chair of Governors

Our School Improvement Plan for this year will therefore focus on these areas.

LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT

We have been building a policy for Learning and Teaching over the last 5 years and our Leadership and Management work will include a drive to completely embed this policy all the way across the school. We have a highly distributed leadership and each one of us will drive towards making our areas the best they can be. We will also endeavour to help you to develop an understanding of what your child is learning at school and help you to support them.

QUALITY OF EDUCATION

The new Ofsted Framework has moved the focus to the quality of education including ‘intent’, ‘implementation’  and ‘impact’ of the curriculum, with more of a focus on  how it can be used to support the development of a completely rounded child rather than just getting good results. At Dry Sandford we are delighted about this change. We are once again very pleased with our children’s results, but this will allow us to decide what wider outcomes are really important for the children and to continue to build our curriculum so we can provide these.

Every area of learning is already built into the class topics. We will continue to develop English skills by using a focus text so that children become totally immersed through the book into the topic, empathising with the characters so they develop a deep understanding of what they are learning about. Our curriculum is quite specific in terms of the core skills. Maths, English, Computing and Science skills are revisited constantly in a spiral of learning which is specifically targeted to meet the needs of all the children in every class. Children are excited by the challenges that their teacher provides, and they work their way up these with guidance from the adults who work with them. Our children have their own age-related targets but many are directed towards a greater depth through philosophy and higher order thinking in all or some areas, which is why many work above age-related expectation. Your child is being observed with great care and we assess their potential and provide interventions to move individuals or groups of children forward either emotionally or academically as required…we will let you know if these interventions are significant, and will involve you if necessary. None-core subjects - Humanities, Arts, PE are also taught through topics and it has never been the case that the topics are specific to particular year groups. What is required is that there is clear progression through each subject from stage to stage…we have a skills-based plan from Reception to Year 6 to ensure that children all make fabulous progress through their topics.

This year we have decided to focus on ‘Community’ through our topics so that the children reflect on what they have learned and how they might apply this to their future lives.

BEHAVIOUR AND ATTITUDES

We are very proud of our children and their attitudes to learning. We believe that behaviour is a communication and as our children are generally very happy, they behave exceptionally well nearly all of the time.

Times of free play are when children demonstrate how they can regulate their feelings and manage their behaviour so this year we are putting in some support to help them. Children in years 1-6 will all do 45 minute lessons of ‘Change4life’ which is designed not only to get children thinking about their physical and mental health, but also to support them to work together and build teams. Children will then be supported in designing games for themselves.

 

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

We have been using Philosophy for Children to get our children really thinking about the choices they make and the reasons they make them. You will  be getting a leaflet about this shortly. Philosophy is used in all areas of our topics but is also used to get children really thinking about the assembly and PHSCE themes.

This term our theme is 'Being me in my world' and thoughts for each week  are as follows…

 

Our Spring 2 assemblies can be found in our 'Philosophy' section (P4C)

 

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