Monday 11th January 2021
I would like to thank you for your patience during such a confusing and difficult time for schools, parents and children.
As you will be aware, Knowsley has one of the highest infection rates in the country. As of 4th January the rate stood at 1,123 per 100,000 people and it is expected that cases will continue to rise. Therefore it is essential that we follow the Government rules and stay at home wherever possible.
Below is an update on Critical Worker places and the school’s remote learning arrangements. I hope this will answer any questions you may have and provide additional information on how you can support your child’s learning at home.
Thank you once again for your continued support in keeping the school community safe.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
Miss Julie Withey
Critical Worker School Places
All Critical Worker places have now been allocated and each of the teaching ‘bubbles’ are at the maximum capacity. The capacity has been calculated following a risk assessment to ensure safe staffing levels, social distancing and the school’s ability to also provide quality remote learning to those children at home.
Following the Government announcement that schools were closed to most children, we have been inundated with requests for Critical Worker school places. I apologise if you have been unsuccessful in your request but due to the high demand we had to prioritise places where both parents are Critical Workers, unable to work from home and have no other childcare options. Some of our teaching staff have also been refused Critical Worker places for their own children as most schools have used the same criteria to prioritise places.
I appreciate that this is disappointing for some parents as the Government guidance stated that at least one parent who is a key worker could request a place. However, this has to be dependent on the circumstances of the school and the demand for places.
At Eastcroft Park we are operating one teaching bubble in each Key Stage which caters for Critical Worker children and also vulnerable children. We currently have two teachers available in each Key Stage who alternate between teaching in school and providing remote learning for their class. Unfortunately, due to staff shielding and staff illness, we are unable to safely increase the number of teaching bubbles and also provide quality remote learning for the majority of children at home.
If you have been allocated a Critical Worker place please consider the following;
Please contact the school if you wish to discuss any changes you would like to make to your current arrangements.
I hope that you have been able to access the remote learning packages available on the website and Seesaw. As this is a new way of working for everyone, I anticipate that there will be a few technical issues to begin with so please do not hesitate to contact your child’s class teacher or Mr Youngman if you are experiencing any difficulties. You can contact these teachers either via email or through your child’s Seesaw account.
Each week you will be provided with a range of activities and a suggested timetable for each day. I appreciate that some parents may find it difficult to stick to the time table particularly if you are working from home or have more than one child to support. The timings for the activities are flexible and activities can be completed at the most appropriate time for you and your family. However, it is important that your child has regular contact with their teacher through live sessions and catch up meetings. Therefore we would ask that you make every effort to join the live sessions at the allotted times. Teachers will inform you in advance and send an email with a link to invite your child to the session.
Although all classes will receive the appropriate amount of quality work for the age group, the way in which this is delivered and responded to by teachers may differ depending on their teaching commitment in school. For example, teachers who are working from home due to shielding and therefore not required to teach in school, maybe able to deliver more live sessions and respond to children’s work more quickly.
We have now allocated all available devices for loan. We are currently waiting for the delivery of a small number of devices. If you do not have a way of accessing the online learning and genuinely require a device please email Mr Youngman (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will contact you as soon as a device becomes available.
Some parents have requested paper copies of the work. Although this is an option, we must stress that paper copies should only be used as a last resort. The online learning packages provide quality teaching videos and interactive learning activities which are an essential aspect of the remote learning package.
The BBC has announced that it will be putting materials on TV, iPlayer and online. These resources can be used to supplement (not replace) the remote learning that is set. TV programming for primary school pupils will be on CBBC between 09.00 and 12.00 every week day.
This may be useful for working parents who are unable to devote time to home learning during that time of the day.
Each week teachers will provide activities which will help to support your child’s well-being during such difficult times. If you have any serious concerns about your child’s well-being please contact the class teacher and we will do our best to support you.
Finally, it is important that your child engages with remote learning every day (Monday-Friday) and completes the work that has been set. It is essential that we work together to ensure that your child does not fall behind.
During the previous school closure in March, the number of children accessing remote learning was very disappointing. Teachers will monitor the work accessed by the children and contact parents when concerns arise.