Update from Mrs Booker 27th March
Friday 27th March 2020
I hope that you and our children remain safe and well. At the end of what has been a difficult and strange week we find our country in Lock Down. All families will be wondering when this situation may end and some may be facing financial hardship until they can access government grants or loans. Some may be getting to know one another again whilst being forced into isolation. Unfortunately some of you may also be ill and you and all of our families are in our prayers.
There have been quite a few additions to our website this week www.stmaryshandsworth.co.uk – see the children tab. The intention of the resources provided is to support revision of prior skills and knowledge (especially times tables) so that the children don’t forget the skills and knowledge already learnt. The activities/ web links are also to support a breadth of curriculum so you can explore areas other than the core subjects. Most importantly they will develop general knowledge. As previously stated, it is impossible for staff to provide 4+ lessons per day as they would in the classroom.
Today we received a phone call from a parent asking when we would re-open; last week we were closed until further notice and as such we are obliged to follow government guidance. I do not know how long the government will deem necessary but in my estimations it may not be the end of April it could be the end of May, we just don’t know. With this in mind and having just completed week one I thought that a few pointers may be appreciated. Some of the points are adapted from the Key’s parent document and some are my own thoughts;
- Be realistic about what you can do.
- You’re not expected to become teachers and your children aren’t expected to learn as they do in school.
- Simply providing some structure at home will help children to adapt.
- You have experimented in week one – hopefully you know what is working and what is not. Ask your children – involve them too.
- If there is more than one parent in the home share the experience.
- Take care of your own health and well – being. This will be new for your whole household – give it time to settle.
- Keep to a timetable if possible – children are used to a routine so include breakfast and getting dressed in the timetable. Involve the children in setting the routine. Be flexible – if something is going well or needs more time let it extend where possible. Stick the timetable on the wall so everyone knows what they should be doing.
- If you have more than one child at home they do not always need to do separate work, combining for exercise, solving maths problems together, reading together or planting seeds may work really well – see what works in your household.
- Designate a working space so that it doesn’t take over your lives and so that the children know when the “school” day is over. Also distinguish between weekdays and weekends.
- If you have a garden, use it regularly or try to get out once a day as permitted by the government. Families can go out together but must keep 2 meters away from other people.
- Give the children chores to do to help them feel more responsible about the daily routine.
- Ask them to help you cook.
- Accept that they will probably watch more TV/spend more time on a phone or tablet – that’s ok but you might want to set/agree some screen time limits.
- Recognise that this situation is far from normal and that you are doing a good job because all children really want is your time.
In addition to all of the lovely online things that are available, Joe Wickes PE at 9.00a.m being my current favourite, there are a few things that would be useful for all children to do while they are at home. Whilst we are not in a situation as dire as Anne Frank, this is an unprecedented moment in history and writing a diary is a great way to record events. Younger children can draw pictures too. Children can also write to their grandparents/other family members. Reading everything and anything is important; it doesn’t matter if it is the newspaper or the take away menu. Remember some children still need to decode words breaking them down into sounds. Play board games to practice taking turns and following the rules. Practice self-care skills and look after any pets in the home to develop responsibility and embed care of others. There are opportunities to learn and have fun all around you.
Staff will try to add things to the website when they can, assuming that they are in good health themselves. They will also be contacting children by telephone over the next week to keep in touch.
Keep safe and God bless