Monthly Archives: May 2020

Art Work

At school last week we had great fun creating a wide variety of art work, from aboriginal wall hangings, to pinch pot monsters and Optical Art hands! As you can see, we certainly used our imaginations well and we all learnt new skills. Well done everyone!

Year 6 Parent Letter

26th May 2020

Dear parents and carers,

I apologise for the delay in corresponding to you regarding the potential expansion of provision from 1 June 2020.  We have been waiting, for some time, for clarification from the Local Authority on their position in relation to social distancing in classrooms.  This information is vital to our expansion plans.

The Local Authority has confirmed today that their expectation is that 2 metre social distancing is in place in all classrooms.  This, coupled with increasing demand for Critical Worker places (which government guidance gives priority to), has a huge impact on our ability to extend our provision, as the academy’s classrooms are already undersized compared to the majority of schools.
Most classrooms in the academy can only accommodate 6 children under these criteria.   We are therefore not in a position to welcome all year 6 children back into school during this phase of the government’s plans to reopen schools.  

For Critical Worker families (including those of year 6 children), you should continue to book your places as you have done via the support@signhillsacademy.co.uk email.  If you received a text today confirming your provision you need take no further action, other than continuing to update us as to changes to your needs.  This provision will continue, but from 1 June will be located in a number of classrooms.  We will text you with the details of which entrance your child should use from 1 June.

For families of children in year 6 who do not currently access the childcare provision, we will offer as many places as we can.  We have been advised to use an admission criteria to support us in allocating places.  We will therefore initially use a needs based approach.  For all other children, we will continue to provide remote learning.

If you would like your child to be considered for a place, please email support@signhillsacademy.co.uk stating your child’s name, whether a family member is a Critical Worker and the details of your needs by midday Thursday.  From this point we will begin to allocate places, with an aim to begin welcoming the children in from 1 June.  We will inform you on Friday whether your child has a place and, if they do, details of their start / end time etc.  We understand that this timescale is incredibly tight, but the only alternative open to us is to delay starting the year 6 provision, which we do not wish to do.

I understand the frustrations that you must be feeling, we share these as we had been making plans to potentially accommodate more children, but the safety and well-being of children, staff and parents must take priority and the LA is clear in how we should interpret government guidance to do this.  

Yours sincerely,

Mr Steve Carr

Headteacher

Expanded Opening Update

18 May 2020

Dear parents and carers,

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement and the subsequent Department for Education (DfE) guidance releases, we have begun to make preparations for the return of more children to school, potentially including all year 6 children, from Monday 1st June.

We have, since the start of lockdown, provided care for the children of key workers and vulnerable children – as defined by the DfE.  This provision will continue to operate in a similar way to the current arrangements and we are aware that, as the government’s access criteria are amended and more people return to work, there may be an increased demand for places from those eligible.  If you wish to access the provision, please email ‘support@signhillsacademy.co.uk’, briefly outlining your circumstances and the days / times you require.  This provision may ONLY be accessed by booking places through the email as there are a fixed number available.

For children in year 6, as they prepare for the transition to secondary school, the DfE have stated that they ‘will benefit immensely from time with their friends and teachers to ensure they are ready’ and, as such, ‘are strongly encouraged to attend (where there are no shielding concerns for the child or their household), so that they can gain the educational and wellbeing benefits of attending’

We fully recognise, as do the government, that there will be high levels of anxiety for some families concerning a return to school at this time.  As such, we have been provided with some guidance about how we might prepare, including the operational systems we should aim to implement on 1 June.  Even with these systems in place it is acknowledged that some parents will not feel it is the correct course of action – as it will not be possible to enact 2m social distancing in the classrooms and children will struggle to maintain it on the playground / field – and they will therefore not send their child into school.  In light of this, the guidance states that ‘parents will not be fined for non-attendance at this time, and schools will not be held to account for attendance levels.’

The government guidance recommends groups of up to 15 children that do not interact with other groups in the school. As such, we will need to split the year group into distinct groups. Children will be allocated to these groups, which we envisage will be taught by the same teacher each day. The groups will not be able to mix at all, including during the start and end of the day and during break times. Lunches will be eaten in classrooms. The guidance acknowledges that ‘unlike older children and adults, early years and primary age children cannot be expected to remain 2 meters apart from each other and staff.’ However, as we have done throughout the lockdown, our planning and systems will be designed to support as much social distancing as is practicable.  This will include operating a staggered start and end to the day for the different groups.

If your child has a health condition which makes them ‘clinically vulnerable’ under the government guidance, you should be aware of this and consider whether you should keep them at home. Please follow any medical advice you have been given.

As ever, if there are ANY household concerns about possible Covid 19 infection – fever / raised temperature, new continuous cough or loss of taste / smell, children MUST NOT attend school.

We will continue to adjust our plans in light of new or amended government guidance and provide you with more detail about the year 6 provision as soon as we can.  In the meantime, can I take this opportunity to thank you for your support and positivity during this challenging time.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Steve Carr

Headteacher

Home Learning

Our children have been working so hard at home. As teachers, we have loved seeing pictures of their work and here is some we’ve been shown.

 

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Safeguarding hub for parents

 

Hub banner 

The Key (who we use to access professional guidance) have, through their Safeguarding Training Centre, created a safeguarding hub that allows parents to access interactive guidance on setting up parental controls on their child’s devices, as well as guidance on apps like TikTok, YouTube and Instagram and more.

Follow the link below for more details;

https://parenthub.thekeysupport.com?uuid=6fb6c515-f5cb-4c39-a882-270011f72842

Fortis Therapy Competition

We have an important mission for you…with prizes to be won!

Children! Your mission, should you choose to accept it 💪 is……

To design your very own superhero, a hero that represents you and your superpowers 💥

Really use your imagination and get creative! Draw, paint, build, craft – use whatever you love to do!

The most creative and amazing creations will win a tangle toy each week with the overall winner of the next four weeks winning a toy hamper!

Calling all parents and school teams! Please can you help? Send us a photo or the drawing of the superhero. To submit your creations, leave photos in the comments, send them in a DM, or email enquiries@fortistherapy.co.uk.

Ready… steady… go… and have fun! 🙌