Parent and Carer Update – 5th January 2021

Dear Parents,

Here is the promised information about how we move forward as a school following last night’s closure notice announced by the Prime Minister. First I will describe some important differences in the nature of this closure compared to the one we experienced between March and May, and the partial reopening between June and July. After that, I will describe how we expect our systems to run going forward.

Main Changes:

There are some significant changes to note – the first is that Remote Learning will look very different to the last lockdown and will be much more around “taught content” rather than tasks for children to complete at home. The DfE have set an average time of 3 hoursĀ  learning per day for all primary children, including Early Years. This will be led by a Teacher or Early Years Practitioner and the vast majority of children will be expected to participate in their learning in “real time” – i.e. as if they were in school. There is no opportunity for families to elect to not take part in Remote Learning this time around but we will of course work with you to help resolve technical issues which may prevent your child working effectively. Most of this 3 hour allocation will be timetabled in the mornings, more details below.

The second difference is around Vulnerable Children and Critical Worker groups. Last time our offer was called “Kennerland Club” and was essentially a holiday club with some supported learning. This time, children attending through this provision will be taught in their usual class by their usual staff. They will follow the same content and timetable as their remote learning peers. Outside of the 3 hours directed time, children in school will work in other subject areas which remote children may or may not choose to take part in as well. However, this time around there is no provision for part time attendance – so if your child/ren qualify for Critical worker or Vulnerable Group attendance, we will expect them to be in school full time from tomorrow unless you have already told us (through yesterday’s survey) that you are declining a place. You do not need to book in advance, and if you said yesterday that your child won’t be attending but is eligible but wish to change your mind you can do so today. The critical worker list can be found HERE.

For those who are able to attend, school will be running our full range of services, so for example, our lunch menu will continue as advertised for children who are attending and children’s routines will be very much the same as they were last term – arrival point, playtimes, cloakrooms, toilets are all unchanged. However, because there will be far fewer parents bringing children to school, we no longer need to run a staggered start to the day. Your child can arrive betweenn 08:45 and 9am at their usual gate (and go straight to their class) and all children will be dismissed at 3:15pm. Older children should still walk to school unaccompanied, and I will still be supervising the crossing point on Old Market Drive.

Finally, all children must be registered each day (see below for how that will work for Remote Learners) and absence will be followed up in the same way as when the school is operating normally.

Remote Learning

The DfE have been very prescriptive about what Remote Learning will look like and we are very well placed to deliver a strong Remote Learning offer to you. A main difference you will see from last time is that your child’s teacher will very much remain as “the teacher” setting expectations around completion of work, standard of work and engagement in learning. This will be achieved by:

Key Stages 1 and 2

  • Holding a daily live Google Meet Registration Meeting which all children must attend. Staff will be contacting you via your Facebook pages to advise what time this will be every day. We will stagger them to make it easier for you to manage this at home. Your child will be marked in the register at that time, and their teacher will set aside time to discuss any issues with the class, set out work for the next lesson or two and so on, in the same way as if they were in school. If your child is in Sunflowers, Cranford, Burscott or Stroxworthy Classes, there will also be a taught Phonics session which will be delivered live. Children who are attending school will also take part in the Registration Meeting. Parents of children who don’t appear at the Registration Meeting (either face to face or virtually) will receive contact from the school office team to ascertain their whereabouts as we would if your child didn’t show up for normal school.
  • Pre-recorded lesson introductions, by both Woolsery staff and from other providers, will be used to teach core lesson content before children will be released to go offline to complete tasks within a lesson-like length of time.
  • Live teaching using a shared screen in Google Meet.
  • Assignments set on Google Classroom as in the previous Lockdown.
  • Feedback and discussion with all children about their learning, either in written form or via Google Meet.
  • Children who are on Remote Learning will be able to access some wider curriculum tasks which the rest of the class are following (for example, Art, Music, etc) but these will be optional.

Google Classroom will be the main vehicle for the delivery of the Remote Learning offer for Key Stages 1 and 2. Your child should already be familiar with the Google Classroomm environment, but please read the support HERE if you have any difficulties

Reception and Preschool Children

We’re aware that our Early Years curriculum is very different from that in Years 1 to 6. There are some important differences in what your child will experience in their remote learning:

  • Your child will have a daily phonics session and a daily number session which will be delivered live via Zoom (rather than Google Meet). If your child is booked in to a Preschool session on that day, we will expect them to attend, but if your child isn’t booked in they’re welcome to attend too!
  • Other work and tasks will be set through Tapestry

Free School Meals

We are working with DCC to obtain vouchers to support families on income-related Free School Meals who are not attending school. More information will be circulated as soon as possible, but this will hopefully operate in the same way as your vouchers did over the Christmas break.

Children who are attending school can still receive Free School Meals (income related and universal infant types) as usual

I am sure this situation will develop more in the coming days. Please remember we are all learning a new way of working (yet again!) and there are bound to be hitches along the way, but we will do everything we can to support you. Our aim is to reduce the pressure on your to be the “Teacher” and be better at keeping your child’s learning behaviour, stamina and core skills through this half term.

I completely recognise that some families will be struggling with technology but these are very few of you in that situation so the above plan will work for almost everyone. If you do have problems, please speak to your child’s teacher as soon as possible so we can find a way around. We are not permitted to accept parents simply electing to not engage with school and our Remote Learning offer and very much want to work with you to resolve any issues which develop.

With very best wishes


Matt Cole




8 responses on Parent and Carer Update – 5th January 2021

  1. Hi how are u managing registration and classes if you have children in different classes? Is it going to be staggered so you can use the same laptop for each child?

    1. Yes, staff have worked out a timeslot each day for that critical registration meeting so there shoud be very few overlaps. They should be in touch with the appropriate time, either via the class facebook page or through Google Classroom (for the main school). If there is a clash of timings for other lessons, it’s the daily Registration Meeting that is most important. hope that helps. M.

  2. Many thanks to all at Woolsery who are working so hard for our children. This expectation now placed on parents is ridiculous!! How can we possibly school the multiple children we have, ensure their mental well being, exercise them, feed them nutriously and maintain our jobs?? I am lost for words at absolutely at a loss of how I can possibly achieve this!! I have never felt more that is now parents vs schools!!

    1. Sorry you feel that way, Michelle. However, as I have said we will do everything we can to work with you to resolve any issues you have. I do not agree that it’s Parents Vs Schools – we are all working in very difficult circumstances to keep an education system running in a way it was never designed to do. But we will do our very best for the children in our school. M.

  3. Thank you! Please could you maybe email details about the registration to me/those of us not on Facebook?
    Best wishes, Debbie

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