Updates and Parent Information – COVID-19

24th March 2020 – Please do not come to the school

 

Dear Parents/Carers,

Due to the announcement made last night by the Prime Minister, we are asking that all parents who do not have their children currently with us under emergency school provision not to come to the school.

The announcement made it very clear that we must all stay at home in order to stay safe and save lives! Therefore, please do not pop in to collect home learning packs, PE kits, coats or anything else you or your child may have left with us.

Many thanks for your support with this during this very difficult time.

Kind regards,

The School Office

 

23rd March 2020 – Message from Mr Bowen

 

Dear Parents,

I hope you have enjoyed your first day of schooling at home! The teachers are ready to start sending you things via Tapestry and have been preparing tasks and ideas to try out at home. However, we have noticed that a lot of you have not yet activated your account. You should have received an email from tapestry (check your junk mail if you’re not sure) which will ask you to choose a password and code for your account. If you have not yet received this, or you need a little guidance please email (not phone) your school’s office and the admin team will reply as quickly as they can.

Keep safe

Wash your hands

stay healthy

Many Thanks

Mr Bowen

 

22nd March 2020 – Important Message from Mr Bowen

Dear Parents

On Monday morning, we will open the doors to support key workers, working on the front line, for those whom the impact of not leaving their home to work would affect the larger society during this national crisis. Thank you to those who have replied regarding your key worker status and letting us know if there has been no other option, but for your child to attend school  due to your employer giving notice that your job is essential in the current functioning of the country.

I would urge all parents to consider if they need to send their children on Monday. Key worker status is designed in order for schools to provide emergency provision, for those workers needed for essential services. There have been a number of replies, where the description of roles do not reflect our understanding of some of the key worker descriptors and we will be challenging those families to provide further evidence from their employer, that their service is needed directly to support the public during this serious current climate.

I would also urge parents, who are classed as key workers but have explained that they are working from home, to reflect and consider if sending your child in to school is the only option in order to undertake your job, especially where we are trying to social distance within the school. As mentioned in previous letters, we simply do not have the staff to keep all three schools functioning, which is why we have selected the school with the largest grounds in order to promote social distancing. However, it is key to note, the more children attending, the less the impact we will have on preventing the spread of the virus.

Hopefully, we have all heard the messages regarding social distancing and staff members have reported to me, parents who have openly made comments about sending their children into school because they will miss their friends and routines. This is not an acceptable reason to send your child to school during this period.

Before sending your child to school this morning, please consider the government key messages which have been shared before:

 If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.

Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.

For those attending in the morning, please be patient. We will need you to sign your child in individually for our registration process. This will take longer than normal, and we ask you to ensure a 2 metre gap from the family in front while waiting for your child to enter school. As mentioned in previous letters, we will maintain several systems, recently put in place, including a one in and one out system at the main office and no parents entering the school building.

If you have any questions, all our admin team are continuing to answer emails from home, and soon we hope to provide work mobile numbers for questions and queries. Please be aware that we will only have one admin member on site, who will be having to undertake several roles, so at times it will take time for calls to be answered.

This week there will be familiar staff in charge of each group of children. Mrs Flood and Mrs Godfrey will be caring for the children from Netley Marsh. Mrs Thomas and Mrs Woods will be looking after the children from Copythorne and Myself, Mr Bowen, along with Mrs Bond and Mrs Murphy will be looking after the children from Saint Michaels. Although the day will be very different to ‘normal’ school, we will ensure that your children are well cared for and looked after.

Please continue to keep an eye out for further information as it is released and thank you for your patience and understanding during a tricky time.

 

20th March 2020 – COVID 19 update

Dear Parents/Carers,

As parentmail is struggling to send emails with attachments as it is so busy please look at our website www.oakscelearningfederation.co.uk for Mr Bowen’s update on school provision next week.

Those key workers who require school places next week must also complete the parentmail form sent today which indicates which days next week you plan for your child to be in school. You may have to persevere as Parentmail is crashing a lot at the moment.

Thank you for your co-operation

Kind regards

School office

 

20th March 2020 – Important Letter from Mr Bowen

Dear Parents/Carers,

Once again, I can only apologise for what can seem like a slow response, please be assured that
we, as many other schools, have been anxiously awaiting further information, resulting from
Wednesday’s announcement. Finally, this morning we have been given further guidance to make
the best informed decisions and create a safe provision for children to help support those at the
front line, keeping the country going. I’m afraid that I have copied and pasted several segments, to
ensure clarity and precision in the key messages which need to be communicated. There is a lot of
information to absorb so please take your time to read and digest the following information, as
fully as possible. If you have any questions regarding the information in this letter, please feel free
to phone our admin team. For those parents at Saint Michaels and All Angels, you may be aware I
have been wearing my ‘admin hat’ and manning the front desk this week, If you have trouble
getting through on our main phone line, please feel free to phone one of our sister schools at
Copythorne 02380 813340 or Netley Marsh 02380 862009

The government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked
schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend in order to keep the
country running.

I have summarised some of the key guidance for you to think about regarding your child and the
provision we are able to offer.

1. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
2. If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable (has an attached social worker) or has a parent
who is a critical worker, then provision will be available for them.
3. Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social
distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
4. Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way
which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles
as adults.

Given the criteria above, if you are able to look after your child at home then that is what you
should do – the purpose of closing schools is to try and reduce/slow down/stop the spread of the
virus. We are absolutely not encouraging people to identify from the list and use this as a reason
to send their child to school, but as a set of instructions for those who need us to ensure that they
can do their part in this fight.

The Oaks Federation will make provision for key workers. This includes those who work in:

Health and social care

This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care
workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and
specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part
of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and
medical and personal protective equipment.

Education and childcare
This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education
professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.

Key public services
This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and
workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased,
and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.

Local and national government
This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the
COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits,
including in government agencies and arms length bodies.

Food and other necessary goods
This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well
as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary
medicines).

Public safety and national security
This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces
personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential
to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support
staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff
and other national security roles, including those overseas.

Transport
This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport
modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems
through which supply chains pass.

Utilities, communication and financial services
This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to
workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity
and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector
and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff
working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network
operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical
services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.

If you think you fall within the critical categories above you should confirm with your employer that,
based on your employer’s business continuity arrangements, your specific role is necessary for the
continuation of essential public service.

For those who have to send their child into school to support the continued running of the country
– here are the practical bits.

Because of the numbers of pupils we are predicting, we are unable to keep all three schools open,
with our current staffing levels. Therefore we will be closing two of our schools within the
Federation and keeping one school open. Those children currently at Netley Marsh Infant School
and Copythorne Infant School will be asked to attend Saint Michaels and All Angels Infant School
in Lyndhurst. This will allow us to maintain a safe ratio of adults to children, continue providing
meals and cleaning, and prevent us from having to close a school due to predicted staff shortages.

I’m sure you will not be surprised, that provision in the class will look different – and available staff
from across our Federation will be called to work at Saint Michael’s school throughout this period
of social distancing. Provision will be set out for children to work in school groups rather than year
groups, with two members of staff from their home school (where possible) facilitating provision.

The school will be run with minimum staff, in order to promote social distancing. Our staffing
structure will consist of 3 teachers (or HLTA), 3 teaching assistants, one admin staff and one
member of the senior leadership team from the Federation. The staff who are able to attend will
rotate over the coming weeks and we will endeavour to let you know who is planned to be in each
class, prior to the week starting, so that you can pre-warn your child before coming to school.

As from Monday, we would ask those attending school to bring their children through the main
gate and we will direct those unfamiliar with the school to the correct classroom. The children will
be greeted by a member of staff familiar to them and put their belongings away as normal. We
will not be letting any adults in the classroom. We will continue social distancing measures within
school, so children will be eating lunch in their school groups and having playtimes separate to the
other groups of children, to minimise numbers at any given time.

Because there will be a mixture of our pupils from across the Federation, it will be really key that
you sign your child in, everyday, with the teacher, and also record who will be collecting your child
at the end of the day. We would ask, that if your child has any medicine (inhalers etc) that you
bring them every day and take them home every day, should you need them in a period of selfisolation. The class teacher will collect these from you in the morning and keep them in a secure
place, using the current information held by your normal school regarding administering.

School doors will be open from 8.50 and close at 9.00 and collection will be at 3.15 from your
child’s morning entrance. Please note parking is tricky in the morning and you may need to arrive
a little earlier to park your car and walk.

School meals will still be provided, but at the moment we have been told a reduced menu will be
offered. We are not able to publish next week’s menu yet, so you may need to consider if you
want to send in a packed lunch on Monday.

We will still expect children to be wearing their normal school uniform.

All of our admin team will continue to work from home and we will ask parents to email questions
where possible.

Next week we will not be able to provide breakfast or afterschool club. We are currently in
discussions with providers from across the Federation and further information will be released as
soon as we have more information.

We will be running a reduced curriculum for the time being, which will mirror the work which has
been sent home for children to complete with their families.
We do not believe we will have our usual fruit snack delivered either. So please pack a healthy
fruit or vegetable snack ready for next week.

My child is of pre-school age
There is a pre-school on site at Saint Michaels, which is managed by an external provider. We are
unable to say, as yet, if they can offer childcare to key worker families from across the Federation,
but if you have a need for this, please could you let your office team know by today, so that we
can communicate this and allow the pre-school opportunity to plan and investigate possible
provision.

Pupil Premium
If your child receives pupil premium funding from the government, this does not constitute
eligibility to attend school. However, in this uncertain time, we will be sending out vouchers to
ensure that provision for purchasing food is available.

There is a lot of information to take in. The decisions we have made have not been done lightly
but has been made to help support the national effort to reduce the spread of the Corona 19
Virus.

For all those who will need and are eligible to send your children into school next week please
complete the online form on parentmail asap to let us know what days you require, to help us
plan.

If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading. We ask
parents to treat the current climate with the seriousness that it should be and to really reflect on
your need at the current time.

I would also like to send my thanks to the school staff who have worked tireless to create calm,
safe normality for our pupils during a tricky time.

For more information from official guidance, please click here .

Please keep an eye out for further information.

Mr Bowen

 

20th March 2020 – Home Learning March 2020

Dear Parents

We are looking forward to joining with you on an online learning adventure over the next two weeks. It is going to be a bit of trial and error and we thank you for the time it might take you to set this up for your child/children.

You will need: to make sure you have access to Tapestry. Year R this is all working and has been used since September 2019. Year 1 and 2 have all been sent a new email activation this week so please check it works and that we have used the correct email. Also please make sure you have access to parent mail for general school communication and check out our YouTube channels (details below).

The children will be bringing home some things to keep learning;

  • Books they have chosen from the school reading collection
  • A book mark showing our Christian and Learning skills
  • A seed and instructions on what to do
  • 1 blank book (to make into stories information books of their choice at a level appropriate for them)
  • A seed diary sheet .

We will be releasing daily activities via Tapestry of things the children can do to continue learning at home.

We are planning to theme the weeks with the first two being

  1. The Great Seed Challenge
  2. The Copythorne bake off (food supplies dependent!)

In week 1 we will be focussing on growing (please plant the seed that was sent home) and week 2 is about measuring/cooking which we hope will result in the production of a Copythorne recipe book of our favourite things to eat.

Some of the activities will be linked to our school YouTube channel – Oaks Federation which we are currently in the process of updating.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqzoBlkTPxjQ3QJ_meXzdqw

We also hope to share some videos and stories via this to keep connected to the children (but this will be health and technology dependent). Rev John also has set up his own YouTube channel

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA2ZurgFN6zhgcspQCxgn9w

To help you remember our Christian values of Love, Respect and Compassion the children have all been given a book mark with them on. Please add comments with your children about their amazing learning to Tapestry and the staff will be monitoring and replying to these when possible and during normal school hours.

We would love your feedback – or things that might be helpful as guidance for you. More general comments or suggestions (themes for week 3 after Easter onwards if we need to) can be sent to the admin email which will  be checked.

Finally, we are hoping that you all stay safe and well in these unsettling times. Our main aim at the moment is to keep connected to the children and involved in their learning and their lives. Relationships are important to us at school and in these troubling times we hope that some normality for our children can be maintained this way. As a staff we are trying to keep to a daily routine (for our own mental well-being, for example an online lunch time check in as a staff) and would suggest to keep a similar one for the children where possible. We are hoping we will be back learning together at school soon but if not we will endeavour to make distance learning as meaningful and manageable as we can for everyone.

Jan Thomas

 

19th March 2020 – Update from Mr Bowen

 

Dear Parents,

Thank you once again for your patience and understanding while we endeavor to forward any information or government decisions which have to be made. The Department for Education have written to say that more information is due to be released today, regarding the definition of key workers and to answer a host of other questions and queries which have been asked by schools. Until I have all this information, I am still not in a position to tell you anything more. I will endeavor to keep you all updated as things progress. Please keep an eye out for your Tapestry activation account and continue to wash your hands!

Yours Sincerely

Mr Bowen