Dear Parents and Carers
COVID-19 Parental Update
As we enter week two of national lockdown, we wanted to send our heartfelt thanks for the overwhelming number of messages of support that have been sent to us over the last week. Last week was challenging but it was rewarding in equal measure to see how well the children have adapted to remote learning and how much our staff’s hard work has been appreciated. Your support and thanks makes the harder days all the brighter.
Year R/1/2 Work packs for next week will be available on Friday 15th January. Please return your current one on Friday when you pick up your new one. Support with Google Classroom (Years 3, 4, 5 & 6 only) is available on the school website at the following link: https://www.foundrylaneprimary.co.uk/home-learning/ Please ensure that your child is watching the Zoom input as this will need to be watched so they can complete their work.
We will be registering children as they attend live Zoom lessons so we can ensure all children are being reached and supported with their remote learning. In the same way that you would if your child was attending school, please call the school office or email firstname.lastname@example.org if your child is unwell. This will ensure we know not to expect them on Zoom calls.
Curriculum support will be available via the year group emails but please bear in mind that you will not get an immediate response to enquiries due to teaching commitments. For more general support requests, please continue to use the email@example.com email address.
Safeguarding & Remote Learning:
Mr Taylor, Mrs Baggott, Miss Aldred and Mrs Dowdell are just a few of our Designated Safeguarding leads in school. If you have any safeguarding concerns and need to contact any of them, you can reach them via email firstname.lastname@example.org
In School Provision
As you will be aware, in order to control the pandemic, the Government have restricted attendance at school for critical workers and other children identified within Government criteria as eligible to attend school during lockdown.
On Friday 8th January, the Government updated the guidance around provision for children of Critical Workers. The guidance now states: “ Children with at least one parent or carer who is a critical worker can go to school or college if required, but parents and carers should keep their children at home if they can.”
Please think about whether you need to send your child to school if:
Your partner / spouse / significant other is at home
You are not going to work due to shift patterns
You have a support bubble that your child could go to and complete their home learning.
If your employer can enable you to work from home as they should be making provision for staff to do this as much as possible
Those who have already registered their child for a place will have that place available unless you advise us that it is no longer needed. We will not be sending out weekly booking forms as we did during the previous lockdown.
As we did in the last lockdown, in line with our risk assessment, we have set a limit on the number of children in a class at any one time to ensure the safety of everyone in our school community. Once this capacity is reached, we would appreciate your understanding if we are unable to offer your child a place in school.
Children attending school should wear their school uniform please, PE kit on PE days. School meals are available to anyone who wants one and these continue to be free for children in Years R – 2 and children entitled to Free School Meals. All other meals booked will need to be paid for in the usual way via Scopay. Children are welcome to bring a packed lunch if they prefer this option.
Due to staffing levels, if a teacher is unwell and we are unable to cover them it may be necessary to close a class bubble at short notice until they return. We will do all we can to avoid this but it is something that parents should be aware of.
Snack for Years R – 2
We have been advised that the free fruit scheme has been suspended this week. We have not received any information about subsequent weeks but bearing in mind this service was suspended during the last national lockdown in the summer of 2020 we wouldn’t be surprised if this happens again. Please send your child to school with a healthy snack – a piece of fruit or some vegetables.
Grocery Boxes for those Entitled to Free School Meal
City Catering and Harvest Foods will be providing grocery boxes for families entitled to Free School Meals – this does not include children entitled to Universal Infant Free School Meals. If your child is entitled to free school meals, you will have been sent an email earlier today asking you to complete a form requesting these.
Grocery boxes will be delivered directly to your home and you will need to complete the consent form to enable us to pass your delivery information to Harvest foods. If your child is in school and is entitled to free school meals, they will not be able to have a grocery box as they will be receiving a free meal whilst in school.
• All boxes are vegetarian - to ensure food safety as much as possible in case of delayed collection / refrigeration
• Each box contains groceries for one child's lunches for two school weeks; the groceries will include hot and cold lunch options to make and eat at home.
• Exact box contents may vary depending on supply chain and availability, but typical contents will include: milk, bread, cheese, eggs, baking potatoes, carrots, onions, cherry tomatoes, red pepper, cucumber, dried pasta, baked beans, tinned tomatoes, tinned chickpeas, tinned sweetcorn, oats (high in protein), apples, satsumas, bananas.
• Where possible, boxes will also contain recipe cards created by City Catering, to support families to cook at home.
• Boxes will be delivered direct to pupils' homes (with GDPR compliance measures in place); this is to allow for whole-school closures and self-isolation issues around collection.
Absence for COVID Reasons
In order to track the impact of Covid-19 on the education of young people, the Department for Education has asked all schools to report to them daily on the number of students who are unable to undertake remote learning or attend school due to coronavirus related reasons. This could be for one of two reasons:
• A pupil has a suspected case of coronavirus and is having a Covid test
• A pupil has a positive test result which confirms that they have coronavirus.
If your daughter or son is going to miss online lessons for these reasons, therefore, please contact the school office via email or telephone as soon as possible to let them know.
Parents and carers should continue to confirm the reason for all other absences from lessons or remote learning as usual.
Support for Families
Everyone is finding this lockdown challenging, it affects everyone differently so please don’t worry that how you’re feeling is wrong. Please let us know if there is anything that the school can do to support your family. Some of the specific support measures we can offer include the following:
1. Free School Meals- It is important that any child eligible for Free School Meals (and therefore the school will also receive additional funding via the Pupil Premium) receives this support. At the moment we are waiting for further information from the government about food vouchers to our FSM families. To find out whether your child may be eligible, please follow this link which shows the criteria for FSM eligibility and which lets you apply online. You are also welcome to call the school and speak to us, we can check if you are eligible. We are working with City Catering to provide grocery boxes for families who would like to receive them. Further details of this will be available during next week.
2. School Food Bank- If you are not eligible for FSM support, but finding things financially challenging, please let us know and we will be happy to investigate ways we can support you through our small school food bank.
3. Data- If your child is using a phone for their online learning, it may be that we can apply for funding for data. We will be in touch with more information about this as soon as we can.
4. Energy- We can also signpost you towards support in paying energy bills, so please get in touch as appropriate.
5. Mental Health- If you are worried about your child's emotional well-being, the Young Minds website has a wealth of information and resources available - https://youngminds.org.uk/find-help/for-parents/
You can also call our lovely admin team who are in school and on hand to arrange support for your child with Mrs Baggott or Mrs Dowdell. They can help by talking with you and/or your child on the phone or arrange a Zoom catch up.
We have been sent details about how your child can access their music lessons online during the lockdown period. If you haven’t received this, please contact Miss Stevens in the school office. For children who are in school, the Music Service are working on arrangements to ensure they can also access music lessons outside of school hours.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.