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See our re-opening RESET plan on our website in Newsletters , advice is available under Parents, CoronavirusSupport. Also see Newsletters for updates. A range of online learning activities are available on our website. Go to Children, Class Pages, and click on our Year Group Pages & Distance Learning. Eid Mubarak to all our families celebrating in these unusual times.
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Mrs Walsh Messages

Dear Parents and Carers (and of course children!)

 

Well this is surreal isn’t it? My role appears to have changed over the past week! 18 years as a Headteacher ensuring everything is in place for your children , I feel rather adrift, I feel strange, but then I suppose we all are feeling like that. Families are feeling overwhelmed, stressed and under pressure as their daily lives have changed too. (My son, William 18, has even asked if he can join me on a ‘daily walk’ …so things definitely are not normal.) 

 

I have gathered together a simple to do list of things we could to try to be doing whilst we are ‘learning from home.’

 

Be realistic in what you can achieve please, here is my advice to you all.

(I have borrowed some elements from another Headteachers post and added a Palfrey perspective):

 

  1. This is not home schooling. This is an unprecedented emergency situation impacting on the whole world. Home schooling is a choice some parents make, you plan for it and you are your child’s teacher by choice. This however is NOT your choice, it is at best distance learning. The Palfrey Staff have joined together to support you as best they can, from afar…they have put suggested ideas on the school website. We ask you use Rising Stars Reading, Purple Mash & Education City as the core options. We are here to support if you need us, use our expertise.

 

  1. You are, and always have been, your child’s primary educator. If you decide your child isn’t going to engage with the activities and wants to spend the day playing in the garden, or baking or watching tv, then that is your choice. Please take each day as it comes and don’t stress about it.

 

  1. School staff are finding this hard too! We had no notice, no preparation time and we have been told NOT to continue to plan lessons as usual and just send them home- that’s NOT possible. If it were we’d be out of a job! Trust us, we will support your child once things return to normal.

 

  1. You cannot facilitate learning with a small child AND work from home at the same time, it’s not possible, and it’s nonsense so if you are trying please stop that now. Your focus must be your job, your survival.

 

  1. I would suggest you set aside a time to work with your child daily, short bursts…let them become independent, let them be creative and arrange some of their own time, you are not a constant entertainment show!

 

  1. Also think of your own well-being, please make sure you take the advice and go for a family walk, jog, bike ride get outside in the garden or park while you can , just remember no gatherings and a 2 metre distance from others! This is so unusual for all of us and I feel our mental well-being could take a hit if we aren’t careful. Living together with no escape time could become quite stressful.

 

  1. Keep in touch with your loved ones, that’s going to be hard too. We take these things for granted, luckily we have mobiles nowadays, Skype, face time, google duo to name a few. Just be careful to supervise your children whilst on their gadgets.

 

To answer a few frequently asked questions…

 

QUESTION

MRS WALSH’S ADVICE

School has sent home a pack.

Am I to do it all?

We sent it home to support, especially those families who can’t access the internet. It’s an optional tool for you to use if you want it. The RML booklets & sheets are very useful as they are all at the correct level of learning for your child.

 

I keep getting emails with more work ideas and the internet is full of it.

How do I do it all?

You don’t …they are suggestions and ideas.

We will update our website each week on a Monday, in Class Pages. The teachers have been told to be realistic and set key tasks.

Phonics (sounds), Reading, Writing (suggestions to write a few sentences), Maths. The rest is just there for you to choose from.

Someone in my child’s class has texted me to say they have done everything and we’ve barely started. Will they fall behind?

Children learn at different rates. In each class we have children working at different levels and we differentiate work. That’s not possible at the moment. Take your time, be selective on what you do with your child. It’s not a competition!

We will be there to support once things return to normal.

I’m not doing the work with my children, they want to build Lego, cook and play.

All of this is learning. Allow them to play, but then introduce a little reading practise. Your child may be taking a while to adjust to this new world. (See key tasks.)

How can I get three lots of different work done with my children who are all different ages?

You can’t, stop that, you are adding pressure on yourself. Let them do some bits independently, get your older children to read with the younger ones. Do things like family baking, it’s fun and you get to eat the things you make.

What is the minimum you expect?

We are in an adjusting period of time.

Firstly ensure you child is understanding why we are doing this. 

We have the social story on our website…it’s a bad germ that we are trying to stop making people getting ill and we are working together to do this.

Reassure them they will see their family and friends again once we have done this. That’s essential they understand this.

Mrs Walsh’s Weekly expectation ideal would be

A bit of reading everyday

Practise your phonics & reading your key words.

We have Rising Stars Reading, you have the logins, and teachers can change the books regularly. The books also read aloud to the children too so they can have a go independently. Teachers can see who is reading and earning their stars. We will give certificates when we are back in school.

If you want to read real books, just write them in your reading diaries. Sharing books together is very important.

Free writing

Simple sentences using the key words and common exception words we sent home. The teachers will be giving you an idea weekly.

Maths

We will have ideas on the weekly sheet. Or do real life maths, cooking, cleaning, outside games.

Fine Motor Skills ( this supports writing)

Lego, cutting old magazines or newspapers, playdough, tidying up.

Physical exercise / keeping fit

The children are used to their daily mile. If you can’t go out they can dance, jump, star jump, hop, stretch!

Joe Wicks is doing a daily 30 minute workout for everyone to join in. Look him up! PE with Joe/ The Body Coach. Go for your fresh air walk.

Physical Exercise is good for mental health as well as physical health.

Some art / music / other learning task

The class pages will give you some ideas.

Free Play

Let your child have LOTS of imaginative free play, the more independent the better.

 

You are playing a vital role, loving and supporting your children through this very difficult time. As adults we are finding it hard, so imagine what it’s like for a small child. Look after yourselves, minimising stress is absolutely vital at a time like this for mental health. Don’t let this be something that stresses you. Only do what you feel you can manage. We hope to see you back at Palfrey soon.   

 

Best wishes from Mrs Walsh and all the Palfrey Infant Staff. X

awalsh@palfreyinfant.co.uk

 

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