I hope you are all fit, healthy, and managing well in this very unusual time.
Firstly, I would like to thank those parents who have heeded all the government advice regarding whether to send their children in to school or not. This sensible approach has enabled us to minimise the number of staff and pupils in school and maintain safe distances within classrooms.
I would also all like to thank all the staff who are coming in to ensure we can support key workers in their vital roles in managing this situation.
Learning at home
We will be putting up a new set of home learning on the website today and will continue to do this on Fridays from now on. The learning tasks and activities set are to support learning and provide structure for the day. Many of the activities are designed to be completed independently which is good for your child and will hopefully allow you to get on with other things.
We would suggest, depending on your child’s age and maturity that, activities should only be for between 25 and 45 minutes at the most. Then it will be important to change the activity and/or have a break. Some children will only be able to manage much smaller chunks of time.
We will continue to set activities for what would normally be the Easter school holidays. This is because we appreciate that many of you may have already given your children a break from schoolwork (which is important) and that you may find it beneficial to maintain a sense of consistency!
For those of you who like a bit of structure in your lives; here's what various celebrities are offering you and your children for free to help with their education and enjoyment while schools are closed:
9.00am - PE with Joe Wicks https://youtu.be/6v-a_dpwhro
10.00am - Maths with Carol Vorderman www.themathsfactor.com
11.00am - English with David Walliams https://www.worldofdavidwalliams.com/elevenses/
12.00pm - Lunch (cooking with Jamie Oliver) https://www.jamieoliver.com/features/category/get-kids-cooking/
1.00pm Music with Myleene Klass https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQh2wgJ5tOrixYBn6jFXsXQ
1.30pm - Dance with Darcey Bussel
2.00pm - History with Dan Snow (free for 30-days) https://tv.historyhit.com/signup/package
4.00pm - Home Economics with Theo Michaels (Mon/Wed/Fri) https://www.instagram.com/theocooks
Non-daily events include:
Science with Professor Brian Cox, Robin Ince & Guests https://cosmicshambles.com/stayathome/upcoming-schedule
9.30am Wednesday 25 March - Geography with Steve Backshall https://twitter.com/SteveBackshall/status/1242058846941712385
Free School Meals
At this difficult time I understand that some families may be losing their income streams. I would like to direct you to this section of our website where you can find application forms for Free School Meals: https://www.craneswater.portsmouth.sch.uk/statutory-info/school-meals-1 The local authority are still going to be processing these forms.
We are in discussion with the local authority who may be adapting how meals are provided for those eligible for Free School Meals and not attending school. This may be in the form of food boxes/parcels. As we receive more information, we will let you know.
On a final note, please do contact us if you have any major concerns that you think we may be able to help with. Whilst we may not be able to help directly, we may be able to direct you to another agency who can.
The Government has taken the decision that all schools will be closed from the end of the day today, Friday 20 March. They will remain closed until further notice, except for some vulnerable children and children of parents or carers who are critical workers and who absolutely need to send their child to school. This is a key part of the Government's measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).
Government's advice is that if children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading. They have set out the following key principles:
- If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
- If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent or carer who is a critical worker who cannot look after their child in any other way, then educational provision will be available for them.
- 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.
- 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.
Portsmouth City Council have put a significant amount of relevant information about a number of these current issues on their website. Please visit this through the link below.
Key workers and vulnerable pupils
Parents and carers of vulnerable pupil, as defined by the government, are being contacted directly either by Miss Turner or Mrs Braham so you will not need to read the following as arrangements are being made.
Overnight, the government has updated its advice to parents and schools regarding key workers and who should attend school.
The main message remains that: “If it is at all possible for children to be at home then they should be.” However, if this is not possible, the list of key workers broadly covers the following: Health and social care, Education and childcare, Key public services (justice system charity workers etc.), Local and national government (if essential to delivery of Covid-19 response), food and other necessary goods, public safety and national security, transport or utilities.
If workers think they fall in the critical categories above, they should confirm with their employer that their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service. Please see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers for further guidance.
If, once you have checked the above and you qualify for this, please email . And include the following information:
Name of child:
Parental occupation and name of employer: (We may need to see evidence of this such as an NHS card or contact details of your employer)
Once this information is received, we will contact you with confirmation of a place for Monday or a request for further details such as your role in a business continuity plan for an essential public service.
Before and after school childcare for key workers
As part of the government directive, they have indicated that it would be preferential for schools to support key workers with before and after school childcare. As this is normally provided through an external provider, we are currently exploring options. If you feel this would be supportive, please indicate this in your email response along with useful times. Whilst we cannot guarantee wrap-around childcare at this point in time, this information will help us formulate a response.
Thank you for bearing with us in this challenging time and for all the messages of support that we have received for our staff.