Newsletter: 27th March 2020


I hope everyone is keeping safe and well at the end of this, our first week of closure. The weather has been absolutely lovely and I couldn’t help thinking just how wonderful the Heatree Residential would have been on Dartmoor this week!

It’s times like these when I think we feel the truest sense of our community, and I have to say our school community has been just wonderful – thank you. Teachers have been overwhelmed by the messages they’ve received in response to the Remote Learning, video messages and other communications they have put in place at short notice and very much appreciate your solid support. It’s as hard for us to be away from your children as it is for your children to be away from school, and I know all of the staff appreciate any feedback, photos or comment to keep their spirits up as well.

Remote Learning

As mentioned above, almost all families are fully engaging with Remote Learning and have now found ways through the technical issues different platforms and systems have thrown up. This is brilliant because one of our biggest concerns is that should this situation continue for as long as many suspect, children’s attainment and progress across the UK could slump quite considerably. By keeping the core curriculum running, we are hoping to maintain basic skills and keep the children’s work stamina up so that when we all get back to normal life we can pick up where we left off.

However, next week should have been the start of the Easter Holidays and we are very mindful that everyone is very tired after an extremely busy term. Therefore, I have asked staff to only set “fun” activities for the two week holiday period which your child can dip in and out of as you want. Teachers will not be setting a daily maths and English task until Remote Learning re-opens fully on Tuesday 14th April.

One issue teachers have found is that it is difficult for them to see when a child’s work is complete and requires no further marking. This is because the process of sending work back to children for them to re-Hand In looks the same at the teacher’s end as work that’s been totally completed. Therefore, teachers will be using the “Marks Out Of 100” feature on assignments to keep track of work as it progresses. It is important that you and your child realise we are not actually awarding arbitary marks for pieces of work as this won’t be at all useful and won’t help your child move on in their learning. However, when the Teacher considers that your child has followed up on all their marking points and has truly completed their task to the best of their ability, they will award 100 marks purely as a way of showing the completeness of the process. I hope that makes sense!

This is a new feature for our Newsletter – a chance for you to showcase particular successes your child has had, both in school-set and not school set learning experiences. We’ve had a few submissions for this week’s Newsletter, but please keep them coming for the next edition – email pictures directly to me, please.

Well done to Ravi and Chester who have worked with their family to investigate how to produce their own food during the present crisis, and how this could be shared with their neighbours. They have planned a brand new vegetable plot and have even been learning about how to teel eggs that have been fertilised and those that haven’t…

Meanwhile, Henry and James have been making apple bird feeders from the RSPB links we sent out via Google Classroom – well done, boys, they look great!

As promised, we are continuing our weekly Headteacher Awards through the closure period. A huge well done to everyone who has a (virtual) Headteacher’s Award for this week’s Remote Learning:

  • Cranford Class: Arthur – Amazing Maths work; Ollie – Super model of a Tractor
  • Burscott Class: Harrison – Having so much fun with his Remote Learning and his own creations; Finley– having huge patience with Remote Learning this week
  • Stroxworthy: Rave – A brilliant start to his Remote Learning; Faris – a beautiful poem using figurative language
  • Alminstone: Alyssa – a really lovely piece of writing based on the Owl and the Pussycat – using expanded noun phrases without being asked!
  • Ashmansworthy: Chester – fully embracing all aspects of Remote Learning; Lilly for doing well with her pie chart maths work and understanding how they work.

Kennerland Club

The Kennerland Club is the name we’ve given to the daily provision we’re running at school throughout both holidays and term time for families of Critical Workers. This week, most members of staff have been on duty at one time or another, but from next week, we will be folling updated guidance and having a weekly team who will deliver sessions every day for the whole week. This is to reduce the risk of large-scale cross infection should someone at the Kennerland Club contract Covid-19.

Next week, Morning sessions will be staffed by Miss Butler and Mrs Newell and Afternoon sessions by Mrs Kersey and Mrs Eavis. Tina will be on duty at mealtimes.

The second week of the Easter period will be staffed by Mrs Phillips and Mrs Appleton in the mornings, and Mrs Oyarzabal and Mrs Stevens in the afternoons. Mrs Van Santen will be on duty at mealtimes.

Stay At Home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives.

Have a safe and healthy Easter Break. Please remember that although school is closed, the staff are all here to support you and will respond during the Easter period if needed. Remote Learning will re-open on Tuesday 14th April 2020. Happy Easter!

Mr Cole

1 response on Newsletter: 27th March 2020

  1. Thank you for the newsletter, it’s nice to feel part of school even though we aren’t physically there at the moment. Chester and Ravi are delighted with their awards. Thank you to the teachers for all their hard work and communication with us. Ravi particularly enjoyed Mr Davies taking the register over video message. Keep safe everyone x

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