Covid 19 Update / Home School Learning
This page will be updated regularly by the Headteacher.
Returning to School
All parents whose child is returning on 1st June will have now received an email with details of arrival times etc. If you have not received this, we do not have your child recorded as returning and they should not return on Monday 1st June. If this is the case, please phone us Monday morning after 9am and I’m sure we will be able to help.
Any eligible parent who is still undecided will need to let us know by 3.30pm on Monday 1st June if they wish for them to return the following week.
Guidance for Parents on the return to school
Thank you to all of you who are key workers or have children in Year 6 and who were able to let us know your starting intentions last Friday.
The aim of this post is to now provide parents, who have children possibly returning, with further guidance to inform your decision, and seek responses from those parents who were undecided.
Firstly let me assure you that the health and safety of your child and our staff is paramount as we consider the right strategy moving forward. We have assessed the size of our classrooms, routes in and out of the classrooms, how transitions will work and how we can equally support the health and well-being of those children not returning. On Monday we held our full first staff meeting in school, observing social distancing, and staff were all really keen to rise to the challenge of supporting every child, no matter where they are, on 1st June.
All that said, we cannot possibly ensure that children are 2 metres away from other children or adults all of the time. Obviously, we will not be encouraging the children to physically interact with each other but after seeing the children socially distance themselves really well over the last 9 weeks, I'm pretty confident the new children will rise to the challenge.
To support you in making a final decision, there are two guidance documents now available which I would encourage all parents to read irrespective of whether your child is returning. The first provides general guidance for parents and answers the questions you submitted (copied below). The second details standards of hygiene and safety that will be in place, both of which follow Department for Education advice.
Do please give s a call or email us for any further questions.
Can my child attend if only one parent is a key worker?
Yes. If you are a military family you will not need to provide evidence of being a key worker as your child will already be identified as a service child. If your child is returning for the first time and you have not yet provided us with evidence, please can you forward a letter from your line manager confirming you are a key worker or a copy of your work ID.
Can my child attend if they are not in year 6 and I’m not a key worker?
For the vast majority, we are unable to offer your child a place yet. Although the government have suggested they would like all children to return for a month before the end of term, this is not yet the case.
Can my child attend if they live with someone clinically vulnerable?
If a child/young person or staff member lives in a household with someone who is extremely clinically vulnerable, we do not recommend they return to Mayhill on 1st June as we cannot guarantee stringent social distancing can be adhered to by every child at all times. Please call the school to discuss this further if it applies to you.
If a child/young person or a member of staff who lives with someone who is clinically vulnerable (but not clinically extremely vulnerable), including those who are pregnant, they can attend school. However, please make sure we are aware of this as we will need to risk assess each individual case.
How will children be organised in school?
Children will be organised into groups (bubbles) of no more than 15 with other children from their year group.
Year 6 will initially be organised into 2 bubbles as there are approximately 12 pupils from each year 6 class returning.
Year 3-5 will be organised into three separate bubbles so that they remain with their year group.
They will then remain in these bubbles and have the same staff with them for as long as our ratios allow. There will be one Higher Level Teaching Assistant who will provide cover and release time for teacher(s) in that year group. Should additional children return, they will join those bubbles until such time where a new group is needed; this may require us splitting the bubble so that the one new child is not on their own.
We will always endeavour to keep friends together, but the make-up of the groups may change if more children return later in the term. As full-time staff will also be supporting home learning, children will be taught by two different teachers throughout the week.
All children returning will be given a thorough induction on their first day back so that they know the expectations and which staff will be teaching them on which days. We will also publicise this on our website as soon as numbers are confirmed.
Attendance queries: Can they return part-time?
For the vast majority of children, we would prefer them to return full-time, especially those in Year 6 so that they can fully benefit from the transition work being led in school. Full-time will help us provide continuity in their learning and help them access the full range of support and curriculum activities being planned.
The school has capacity for all key worker and vulnerable pupils to return.
We do however, appreciate that some parents are requesting their child returns part-time and we are currently able to accommodate this if requested as long as they are full days. All eligible families will be able to request full-time later in the term should we still have sufficient capacity to offer this. We will not be encouraging children to return for only the final day of term as an increase in pupil numbers needs prior consideration and planning.
Some children (due to pre-existing needs or as a result of increased anxiety/ emotional coping difficulties that have arisen during this time) may require a flexible or phased reintegration back to school. It will be important to have these conversations with us and agree plans as soon as possible so these can be communicated to your child.
Families who do not send their child in will not be fined.
What will children be learning in school?
Teachers in school will be utilising the National Oak Academy resources for English and Maths both in school and at home. Our aim is to maintain a sense of inclusion wherever your child is being educated and to find activities and challenges that bring the class together.
For those in school, the teachers will supplementing the National Academy resource with their own teaching in what will appear a more traditional lesson format. We will be helping children in school record work on Seesaw so that the shared platform remains throughout the summer term. Each week we will share a timetable of what is happening in school so that parents can choose to follow this at home. (There is no expectation – we still understand that the majority will be facing the huge challenge of working from home whilst trying to keep their child engaged in school work.)
There will be an hour of PE each day and dedicated PSHE time where teachers will lead discussions around the experiences they have encountered and support children with any mental health worries and concerns.
How will home learning resources change?
Children at home will continue to access home learning through SeeSaw. More often than not, for English and Maths, teachers will utilise the National Oak Academy resources. We will continue to provide a weekly Home Learning sheet with curriculum activities which children in school will also be following.
The reason for coming away from personally made flip charts is to enable teachers to have time to correspond with your child via SeeSaw. This personal feedback is going to be really important to keep them feeling part of the class, especially when some of their friends may have already returned.
Whilst we will do our best to prioritise this feedback, the responsibility may be shared amongst year group staff rather than your child’s own class teacher. Please discuss this through with your child.
Next half term all parents will receive a list of diary events planned for the summer term and we would like every family to make a special effort to get involved in these – whether this is in your garden, a public park or in school if your child has returned. They will include a sports day, camo day and shared assemblies amongst others. By supporting these events, it will help keep your child feeling connected with their class and support their reintegration back to school.
Miss Collis is leading the provision of home learning and should be your first contact if you have any queries.
How will lunchtimes be organised?
Children will remain in their ‘bubble’ throughout lunch, where opportunities exist to chat from a distance with other groups, they will be allowed. Times will be staggered and if two groups are out at the same time, they will have their own space i.e. splitting the field in two. Transitions will be carefully managed to avoid chance of transmission.
We will also be asking children to eat outside whenever possible. Packed lunches are encouraged but cold/hot meals are available to order.
Children will wash hands before and after lunch.
How will the school support mental health for children who return?
We will be asking all parents who are sending their child back for the first time to complete a short survey that will guide us in understanding the experiences and reaction your child has had to the pandemic. We will then plan our PSHE curriculum around this, providing either 1-1 time or facilitating small group discussions.
As there will be new school routines in place, the teachers will help them to learn about the new expectations and how they can take ownership of them (under the guidance of the teacher). This sense of ownership and responsibility is important in helping them understand how we all play our part in helping keep others safe.
Our ELSA, Christine Hicks, will also be in school to meet with those children she has previously supported, as well to provide guidance or opportunities to discuss worries and concerns with any child.
When they do return, our teachers will use plenty of praise, validation, empathy, kindness and compassion, all of which are invaluable in helping your child feel safe and supported.
Can you guarantee the children will maintain social distancing?
No, we cannot guarantee. Despite all best intentions, as with adults, there may be occasions where children forget. However, helping them develop ownership of this under teacher guidance is a really important part of helping them remain 2m apart. Reassuringly, over the last 10 weeks we have had children in school who have been able to demonstrate social distancing and I have every confidence the new children will pick it up quickly. In school it is reinforced through:
· Small tape markers in the corridors helping them gauge 2m
· Separate desks
· Children have lots of chances to discuss and review their own behaviours to help them take control of the expectations
· Constant teacher monitoring through small groups.
What are the protective measures in place?
Please see our guidance on Hygiene and Safety for more information on this.
What do I need to know for their first day back, do they need uniform?
As we are trying to encourage a sense of ‘normality’ (I realise the irony here!), we would like children to wear uniform Monday – Thursday. Fridays will be MUFTI days and children can wear their own clothes. If we start with encouraging uniform where we can, for those who are transitioning at the end of this year and have grown out of it, we can always find shared solutions (PE kit, white polo shirt etc).
They will need their own lunchbox, water bottle they can refill and their own pencil case, ideally with a glue stick, scissors, colouring pencils etc. We can provide them with their own bag of resources if they do not have this. As we will be spending more time outside, please could you apply sun cream before school if the weather demands it and ensure they have their PE kit with them.
Will there still be tests this year?
No. Year 6 SATs have been cancelled as have all end of tests in years 3-5.
How will transitions be managed for year 6 pupils?
This is evolving but over the next few weeks your child will have videos from staff and students (if they are attending RMS), a virtual Tour and information that will hopefully answer some of their questions and allay as many of their anxieties as possible. Later this week, Mrs Robson will be meeting the Head of Year 7 at RMS and so we will provide a lot of more guidance on how we will adapt our curriculum and help prepare them the best we can.
(We haven’t forgotten you if you’re heading to Amery Hill – again a more detailed update will follow)
How will transitions be managed for year 3-5 pupils?
At the time of writing, there remains a possibility children will be returning for a period of time before the summer holidays, specifically with the aim of supporting transition. However, as this remains uncertain, we are starting to consider how best to support this transition process. Miss Collis will be in touch after half term to share curriculum events that we would like your child to participate in and in the meantime, the more your child can engage with the rest of their class via SeeSaw the better.
As soon as we are confident we have managed the return of children on 1st June successfully, we will be in touch with more information.
Will SCL be available for childcare either side of the school day?
Currently this is not available and won’t be for the first week back. There are difficulties in making this financially viable for SCL and whether children who spend all day in their bubble, should then be allowed to mix. I appreciate there are a number of parents who have expressed how useful this would be and we will continue to look into ways of making this possible.
What happens if symptoms of coronavirus are spotted?
If any child or staff member is displaying symptoms of Covid-19 they will be sent home immediately and are advised to follow government guidance for households. Other members of the class and staff will not be sent home unless they are also showing symptoms. All staff and students attending an education or childcare setting will have access to a test which we ask is applied for that same day; if your child has a test please let us know the outcome as soon as possible.
If the child or staff member is confirmed as having Covid-19, the rest of the class and the classroom staff will be sent home to self-isolate for 14 days. Further advice regarding another family member coming into contact with someone with Covid-19 is available on the link above.
We will of course let you know as soon as possible if there are any confirmed cases of Covid-19 in school.
Testing: Government advice states: ‘Staff and pupils in all settings will be eligible for testing if they become ill with coronavirus symptoms, as will members of their households. A negative test will enable children to get back to childcare or education, and their parents to get back to work. A positive test will ensure rapid action to protect their classmates and staff in their setting’.
So what happens next…?
All parents with children returning on 1st June
If you have not confirmed your child will be returning, you meet the eligibility, and you would now like them to, please email or call us. For any parent who wishes their child to return part-time, please complete this form by Monday 25th May: https://www.mayhill.hants.sch.uk/form/?pid=2&form=26
Over half term we will write to you with final details about their return on Monday 1st June. You will be told times for pick-up and drop-off, which entrance to use and where to pick them up from. We will also answer any further questions that come to us.
Children may benefit from practice in getting themselves back into a routine before school reintegration starts; getting up early in the morning and getting ready for going to school and re-establishing a good bedtime routine so that when school re-starts this is less of an adjustment to make.
Remember that the final decision on the reopening of schools won’t be made until the end of half term week and we are waiting for the government to direct us to open the doors to more children. This will only happen when they deem it safe and we will confirm this is the case as soon as they make the announcement.
Useful DfE Links
What parents and carers need to know:
Scientific Advice about schools reopening
Myself and the leadership team will be available tomorrow to answer questions before the weekend – by all means get in touch if we can help.
I'm sure like me, many of you will have watched the Prime Minister's address to the nation last night.
You will have heard him indicate that they hope primary school's can begin a phased re-opening from 1st June, starting with pupils in reception, year one and year six.
What is unclear currently is what this actually means with clear guidance, all of which we hope will be forthcoming in the days or weeks ahead. Hopefully this will become clearer this week and as soon as we have any more information, we will let you know. In the meantime, it will be carrying on as normal in the same vein as we have been doing.
If in the meantime any parents would like to share their concerns or or ask any questions, I am available in school most days and would be more than happy to discuss this further.
Attached to the bottom of this page is a risk assessment that details the protective measures the school is taking for those children that are in school. If any parent would like to discuss thise further, do get in touch.
Link to the teachers video available here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zq5dGrWdEGg
Link to the children's response here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tzKoKkunMMOgAqiy4jqaRdOEqNgsmSTJ/view?usp=sharing
If your child is attending school next week, here is the key information you need to know:
- Although school will be open, it will be with a skeleton staff and children will be in a mixed age group setting. There will be two teachers in each day, a member of support staff and a senior member of staff.
- If your child has an EHCP, we have made the best possible arrangements so that they are with their 1-1 support adult or class teacher. Do bare in mind this may not always be possible.
- School opens at 8.45am and closes at 3.15pm. All children should enter and be picked up from the front entrance. The office is open between these hours, so do call us if you have any questions.
- On entry into school, throughout the day, and when they get home, the children should wash their hands. Their classroom and all touch points are cleaned daily.
- They may wish to bring in their own pencil case so that they only use their resources. If not, they are welcome to use the schools.
- Children can either order a picnic lunch when they arrive, or (preferably) bring a packed lunch.
- School uniform is not required and they can bring/wear clothes suitable for outdoor PE.
- Teachers are not being asked to plan separate lessons –they will supporting your child to complete the home learning packs available each week through SeeSaw. If your child has an EHCP, we will be doing our best to provide a more personalised curriculum using the staff available. Mrs Davies can discuss this with you further.
- Do return any reading books so we can help change these and hear your child read.
- Please notify the school of which days you will need support for the following week by Thursday morning the week before. If they are unable to attend on a day they were planned to, please notify us in the morning. Equally, if you wish to change the days they are coming in midweek, this should be fine but please call the office to confirm.
If your child is eligible to come in AND has free school meals, you will be have been provided vouchers. Please can we ask they come into school with a packed lunch. If you would prefer hot meals on site, please contact the school and we can discuss this further.
If at any time your circumstances change, please call the school office or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can reconsider staffing requirements.
I hope you have managed to enjoy something a bit more akin to a normal weekend before another week of home school begins.
This week's theme is 'Your Local Area' and there are some suggested activities available for each year group in the Learning Projects. If you prefer, feel free to stray away from the ideas and follow your child's interests around this topic - this is a unique opportunity to engage them in the week's timetable.
In the newsletter at the end of this week, we will provide a full list of really useful online resources that you might be unaware of to help over the Easter holidays. Equally, if you have found any your child loves, do let us know.
After Easter, the Home Learning Projects will begin to direct your child to the kind of curriculum content they would otherwise have been doing, but tailored for parents so that it is as independently accessible as possible. More on this at the end of the week.
Do have a lovely week and remember to call the school if there is anything we can help you with.
If your financial circumstances have changed significantly due to the impact of the coronavirus and you are applicable for universal credit please let us know as you may then be entitled to Free School Meals. This means that whilst school is closed you would be in receipt of £3 per meal that your child would normally be having in school, i.e. £15 per week which we are providing in the form of supermarket e-vouchers. If you would like to ask any questions please email the office at email@example.com, or you can call the school. The link for applications can be found here.
For those children who are coming into school, please be assured we are following the latest government guidelines to ensure their safety, as outlined here.
26th March: Maths Update
- Continuously tell them the time at first, referring to how you know this (it is half past ten, the minute hand is on the 6 and the hour hand is half way past the ten).
- Then start asking your child what the time is throughout the day.
- Ask them how long until lunch/break times.
- Ask them to make a timetable that includes timings, so they can refer back to this when working out the time.
- Explain and show them that the clock contains 60 minutes and that at the end of these 60, we move into the next hour. You can then start to introduce that 60 seconds = 1minute and 60 minutes = 1 hour.
I hope everyone is well. Today we had nine pupils in school, the third day numbers are significantly lower than anticipated which is good, and means I can now lower the numbers staff needed in school. On Friday, we will send our weekly newsletter with the pupil of the week identified and some lovely updates from the children - look out for it! In the meantime, a few important updates for those parents who are still sending their child in:
From tomorrow (26th March) children will only be able to order picnic lunches. Our aim is reduce the amount of time necessary for cooks to be in school.
For parents whose children are eligible for FSM, e-vouchers for Tescos have arrived in school and we will be distributing these tomorrow. If you have not yet received them by 2.00pm, please contact the school office.
Please can I remind parents that if your child is coming in to school, it might be a good idea to ask them to get changed as soon as they arrive home and then wash their clothes.
No SCL provision until further notice.
I hope you are all well and have survived Day one! First day back, with 13 pupils attending school.
We have had a few calls regarding accessing free school meals. Hopefully all parents will now have received a letter from us with two options, if you could reply to this by emailing the school we will be able to work on the best plan for your family as soon as possible.
Parents might also be aware, that the Government is requesting schools to remain open during Easter. This is something we are starting to work on by liaising with other local schools and working through all the options; it is most likely we will let you know by the end of the week.
And finally, if you are sending your child to school, and would like to still access services from SCL for wrap around care, please could make contact with them asap. Without the sufficient numbers it is likely they will be unable to sustain this facility for parents until we return fully.
Today has been a day waiting for answers, especially in regards to who the Government is defining as a key worker. I have written a letter to parents with further information in should you think this applies to you.
This afternoon, I met with the Headteacher from Buryfields and together we are really confident we can help support any family who will meet the eligibility soon to be set out by the Government. My staff here continue to amaze me. They have all worked so hard on producing some great home learning packs ready for next week and beyond (these will be available over the weekend) and by setting up SeeSaw, are hopefully helping to keep the children engaged in their learning. As the school closure begins, many of them will still be in school in order to support pupils who need 1:1 support, or to lead sessions, or change summer term bookings.
My thoughts are also with those families who may have a partner currently serving abroad, as if things are not already tough enough. I am waiting on news from RAF Odiham about the plans they are putting in place and am hopeful I can react to them tomorrow.
Do look after yourselves and remember school staff remain available through email to answer and support all families with any aspects of home learning over the next few weeks. All emails should be sent to the firstname.lastname@example.org and we will forward them to the best person.
18th March: Following Government advice, the school will be closed from 3.15pm on Friday 20th March. We will provide further information in how we will support key workers and vulnerable pupils as more information is provided.
Tonight, our staff watched the announcement together and are committed to supporting all of our families over the next weeks, or even months. In the short term, over the next two days, we will be working hard to support your child in being ready for home learning by helping them be confident in the online VLE.
A short update toady. We can now confirm the following decisions have been made:
- This will be the final week for clubs, including those run by external providers. There will be no clubs after school next week. This includes Maths booster sessions before school.
- Temporarily stopping parent volunteers until further notice or parent invites to performances e.g. Rock Steady or violin assemblies etc.
- Individual music lessons will continue until the end of term.
- Packs of work are available on our website under the 'Home Learning Resources'
- SCL continue to provide wrap-around care for those families that need it.
Letter from HT attached.
- There is a new page: Home Learning Resources under the 'Curriculum' tab
- The 'Supporting your child' page, also under 'Curriculum' has been updated.
With the latest guidance in mind, we have decided to make a few changes to forthcoming events. The Science trip to London and the Curriculum Exhibition, both on 2nd April are being postponed. Within school, teachers and learning support staff will be ensuring that there is an appropriate amount of online/digital work for children to access in the event of self-isolations, partial or full closures.
However, it is important to stress that Mayhill remains open and we look forward to seeing your child in school on Monday. Should any parent have concerns that their child is showing any signs or symptoms, i.e. my child has a cough, we would ask you call or email public health, or the Government advice line (number below) before asking the school whether you should bring them in.
Today, RMS have issued a statement which we fully support:
School closures have a direct impact on NHS workers’ ability to remain in work, emergency services, police and other essential services. There is a risk that older people who could be more vulnerable to Covid-19 would be carrying the burden of childcare, as grandparents, if key workers cannot stay at home. This is not desirable.
Our aim is to ensure that our students’ education and wellbeing is at the centre of all major decisions. We thank all our families for supporting us with this aim.
This evening the Government have issued new advice which I'm sure many of you may have seen: Anyone with a "new, continuous" cough or a high temperature is now advised to self-isolate for seven days. We are also continuing to follow the advice that schools are not advised to shut.
As you will be aware, the situation is constantly evolving and we are doing all that we can to ensure our visitors, staff, pupils and their families remain as safe as possible.
At Mayhill, there are no families who have informed us they are self-islolating and we are still recommending your child comes in. Clearly, if they do start to show any symptoms, we would ask you to communicate with us before sending them in. Today the media has also reported that some schools are preparing to close early, as is the case in Ireland, but currently we have no plans to close. Should it be necessary, we will let you know and there will be support and work available online.
The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
The Government action plan can be found here:
How to wash your hands video to share with your child: