Coronavirus

We have had guidance from the government about teaching at home.  You can find the information here   If you require any further information or support please do not hesitate contacting your class teacher.  


Going Back to School?



 

  

    Coronavirus

    What we can do to help ourselves and each other?
 








   Need some support with anxiety?  This document gives you lots of different advice and ideas.  











 

Friday 15th May 2020

Dear Parent and Carers,

I hope that you are well and staying safe in this difficult time. 

I am writing to you to give you an indication of our school’s plans in light of the Government’s announcement to start a phased reopening of primary schools from June 1st at the earliest.  As I have said previously, there is no change to the current guidance.  We will continue to provide care for the children of those parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response and those that cannot be safely cared for at home.  

The Government has provided their advice, but as usual, this needs to be interpreted into our school setting. The current guidance is suggesting that if the Government feel it is safe to do so, then schools should begin to make plans for the return of nursery, reception, Yr1 and Yr6 children, no earlier than the 1st June 2020.

There are many considerations that need to be thoroughly investigated before we can share our plans. I assure you that I have begun detailed planning with our senior leadership team, alongside Collective Vision Trust, to initiate our plans towards a phased return, based on the latest Government guidance.  We are working our way through staffing considerations, building changes and adjustments, timings of the school day and what we will teach.  These plans will not be finalised or shared publicly until we are sure that we have the right plan our Crackley Bank children.  Please be reassured that we will only reopen for the specified year groups when we are 100% prepared and our plans are based on what we as a school community need and want whilst ensuring that the school environment is as safe as we can make it. 

I want you to know that we miss you and your children, and we do want to welcome them back to school as soon as it is safe to do so.  We have enjoyed looking at the learning that your children have completed at home and thank you for all your hard work in supporting them.  We will continue to set work for your children during this period on our school website. 

The speculation in the press and on social media will now be about how schools can safely open and this will only intensify over the next three weeks.  As always, at Crackley Bank, we take the view that we need to consider all of our actions and communications to parents and children carefully, before making decisions.  These decisions will always, first and foremost, take into account the welfare and well-being of children, staff and parents in our school.  Once the school has made any decisions, we will let you know through our usual channels.  

Until then, please try not to worry or compare us to other schools – we are unique and will make decisions that suit our community.  We will continue to keep in contact with you and continue to support each other in these difficult and uncertain times.  

Thank you for your continued support, stay safe and take care.

Ms Sara Stevenson





Monday 11th May 2020

Dear Parents and carers,

I am sure after the Prime Minister’s statement last night, there are lots of questions that you have.  As a school and a Multi-academy Trust, we have lots of questions too.

At the moment, for us in school, there is NO CHANGE to the guidance, including the definition of key worker.  We will provide care for those parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response and only those who cannot be safely cared for at home.  The message is still that it is safer to stay at home. 

At this moment in time, we have not received any information to support us with this new plan to start the phased return of some year groups.  We will need clear guidance about how to keep our children, staff and parents safe; how we might start to phase groups of children returning and what this will look like.  We will work with all the schools in the Collective Vision Trust and be assured there is no way we will reopen until we are 100% prepared.

As always, we will keep you informed, but for now, please try not to worry.  Our plan for now is to continue to provide activities for learning at home, and to keep contact with you, our families and continue to support each other in these very difficult and uncertain times.

Take care, stay safe,

Yours sincerely

Ms Sara Stevenson

Headteacher

 

 

Our Latest Letter Home: 

Friday 8th May 2020

Dear Parents and Carers, 

I hope that you have found some way to mark VE Day with your household; we have beautiful weather and hopefully that is making these uncertain times more bearable. 

I know that we are all waiting for our Prime Minister to make an announcement at 7pm on Sunday, and although there is a huge amount of speculation in the press regarding when schools will return, I really do not know what Boris Johnson will say until I tune in at the same time as you on Sunday night.

What I do know is that when we return to school things will need to be organised differently. I also know that this cannot just happen overnight. Next week we will remain open for the key worker children who are currently booked in.  For the press to suggest that we will open for a wider group of children from Monday 11th of May is nonsense and simply impossible. 

As you would expect, we have a range of plans in draft so that once we know what we are doing, if required we will spend next week refining our best plan for the situation we find ourselves in. 

Many of you know that I sometimes mention my “mum hat” and my “headteacher hat” – please be reassured that both hats will be firmly in place for the decisions I make as we plan to finally reopen. As a mum, I share the concerns many of you have expressed to the teachers this week. As a headteacher I will ensure that I write to you to clearly explain how school will be organised when your children return. I will ensure that we will make sure the school is as safe as it can be – this will mean that we will have to have some very clear, new and non-negotiable ways of doing things and I ask for your support and your patience whilst we get used to this new way of working, that will hopefully pave the way to us getting back to normal in the months ahead.

It may be that we receive no extra news on Sunday however, it seems likely that my update next week will contain some clear information about how and when we are returning to school. When I share these plans please remember that our plans need to fit our school so comparing us to what other schools do wouldn’t be fair - schools have different school layouts, different numbers of staff, different sized classrooms, children with different individual needs, different numbers of children in each class…the list is huge! Each school’s plan should look very different to another school’s plan and hopefully you know me well enough to be confident that our plan will be as safe as it possibly can be.

I hope that you enjoy the sunshine this weekend and we’ll see what Sunday brings. Take care, stay safe. 

Yours sincerely

Ms Sara Stevenson

Headteacher








A book about worries and the coronavirus.

You can find upto date information on the government website here 

 

Our latest letter home: 

Friday 17th April 2020

 

Dear Parents and Carers,

 

The Summer Term…but not as we know it!

I hope you and your families are coping in this very difficult time that we are going through. I know that some of our families have been, and are being, directly affected by Covid 19 and I want you to know that our thoughts, prayers and best wishes are with you.

On Monday we should be returning to school for our Summer term – the term that brings sunshine, Sports Day, end of year reports, school trips, residential visits, leavers’ assembly, Year 6 Prom and many more wonderful events. So I write this letter to say that I just don’t know what the summer term will bring for us –that decision is way out of my hands!

I can only tell you what I hope for: I hope that we can return to school before the summer break but only when the Scientists and medical profession says that it is safe to do so.  I hope that we can return to school and take your children for story time in the sunshine under a tree or by the pond, that we can play rounders and practice for sports day. I hope that we can meet the children who will join us new in September and see our Year 6s off in the style they deserve (you will get a prom if it is in anyway possible!) I hope that we can greet every child back to school in the way they prefer –a smile, a wave, a high five or a hug…but if we have to stay a certain distance away then we will do as what we are told until we are allowed to hug again. I hope that we can look back upon this time and see some positives from this truly awful time and I promise you that our Crackley Team will be here waiting for your children to return.

I am, as always, very proud to be the headteacher of your child’s school and I am very honoured to have such a supportive school community – your kind comments to myself and the staff over the last few weeks have been amazing. To say “thank you,” we have made a little video for you to make you smile. We will reveal all on Sunday afternoon…keep your eyes open for a text!

Take care, stay safe, stay at home.

 

You can find upto date information on the government website here 

 

 
Latest Letter Home; 
Friday 3rd April 2020
 
Dear Parents & Carers,
 
I hope that you are all doing well and staying safe. The situation for schools is ever changing and I would like to update you as we reach the end of our second week of national school closures.  Today we should be breaking up for the Easter holiday, it seems hard to believe that so much can change in such a short amount of time. 
 
Our Admin team continue to work at home therefore it is very important that you email any queries to Mrs Timmis using the email address office@crackleybank.staffs.sch.uk and she will either be able to answer your query or she will direct it to the best person to deal with it. 
 
There are days when the teaching and support staff are on site but this is only ever two members of staff and on some days the school site is completely closed. It is unlikely the telephone will be answered if you call the school number – I am looking into acquiring a mobile number that I can send to parents to enable them to contact school when we are not on site. When I have done this I will text the number to parents. 
 
When they are not in the building, teachers have been working flat out from home, facilitating home learning, emailing, phoning and completing their other essential work.  They have had to adapt to their new role very quickly and have shown remarkable resilience and collaboration in doing so. The teachers have really enjoyed speaking to you and your children on the phone and we hope that the calls offered you reassurance and a way to keep in touch with your child’s teacher.  The Crackley Bank staff are a very dedicated team and I am proud to work with them all. 
 
As a school staff we have found the last few weeks incredibly emotional and difficult. We know that we are not alone in this, every other school in the country is experiencing the same situation and we understand that parents are under a huge amount of pressure too, however, I feel that it is important that the school staff have a mental and emotional break over Easter. 
 
With this in mind we are going to attempt to balance support for families with staff well-being in the following way.
Teachers will: 
• Set some activities to complete over the Easter break. These are to help you to keep your children busy if you wish to use them but if you have planned to have two weeks off remote learning then that is your choice entirely.
• Answer emails
• Call your child once or twice over the two-week break 
 
In return we ask that parents only email teachers if you really need support and please be patient if you don’t get an immediate response. 
 
It seems slightly bizarre to wish you a Happy Easter however, I do wish you all the very best in this difficult time. Stay safe and we will be here for you all when we are allowed to return to school. Take care. 
 
Yours sincerely
 
Ms Sara Stevenson
Headteacher

For our lovely children and parents who are working at home.  This is a letter home today. Wednesday 23rd March 2020  Also posted below the following poem. 

Stay safe everyone and keep in touch with us on our teacher emails. 

Wednesday 25th March 2020

 

Dear Parents and Carers,

Lots of people are feeling stressed, overwhelmed and under pressure by everything that's happening. This includes the work being sent home for your child. I wanted to just give my perspective on it all as a Headteacher and I hope this can help with that somewhat.

A few points to note first:

1) This is not home schooling. This is an unprecedented emergency situation impacting on the whole world. Home schooling is a choice, where you considered, you plan for it and you are your child's school teacher in whatever form you choose. This is, at best, distance learning.

2) You are, and always have been, your child's primary educator. If you decide that your child isn't going to engage with anything sent home and is going to spend the entire day playing in the dirt, or baking, or watching TV, then that is your choice. That is your right. There is nothing to stress or feel guilty about.

3) Schools don't know what they're doing either. They had no notice, no preparation time and we were NOT told to 'continue to plan lessons as normal and just send them home' – that’s NOT possible. If it were, we'd all be out of a job!

4) It is absolutely not possible to facilitate distance learning with a primary aged child and work from home at the same time. The very idea is nonsense. If you're trying to do that, stop now. You can certainly have activities where your child learns, but your focus is your job, and survival. Again, unprecedented. Please stop trying to be superheroes.

So, a few FAQs:

My school has sent home lots of physical work. Pages and pages, hours and hours. How am I supposed to get through it all?!

You're not, don't try.

Someone in my child's class has everything done and we've barely started. Will they fall behind?

Even if everything were equal in terms of support, time and number of children (which it’s not) all children learn at different rates. In the class there's a wide range of levels in all subjects, there's different paces and there are many children working on differentiated levels of work. It's almost impossible for teachers to differentiate at the moment, so you don’t have to do it either. Your child will not fall behind. This is all revision and reminder work.

Is it ok that all they're doing is building Lego, cooking and playing outside?

All of this is learning -very valuable learning. Give yourself and them a break.

How can I get three different lots of work done with 3 different children of different ages?

You can't, stop trying. If they're old enough, try to get them to do little bits independently. Otherwise try to do something they can all engage with, reading a story together, some free writing, baking etc.

 

My ideal for the children in our school?

- A bit of reading every day (independent or to them or via audiobook etc)

- Some free writing now and then. If they'll keep a diary or something, great. If not, would they draw a comic?

- Practical hands on maths. Be that via cooking, cleaning, outside or some maths games, physical or digital.

- Some fine motor work. Lego, cutting, playdough, tidying up small toys.

- Physical exercise everyday

- Some art/music where possible through the week. Doesn't need to be guided.

-Stretch goal, if old enough getting them to independently work on a project is great for keeping brains ticking over. Get them researching in a book or online and putting together something to present to you or family.

- If younger, lots of imaginative free play, the more independent the better.

You are doing enough. You are loving your kids and supporting them through a difficult time. Look after yourself. Minimising stress is absolutely vital in a time like this for mental health. Don't let this be something that stresses you. Only you can control that by accepting it is in your circle of control, you are the primary educator and this is all your call.

We want to support you as much as possible. Check our website for resources, ideas and support – www.crackleybank.staffs.sch.uk

Thank you,

Yours sincerely

 

Ms Sara Stevenson

Headteacher

 

Letters Home: 

The following letters can be found in the link and also below if you scroll down. 

20th March 2020  Covid 19/Coronavirus - School Closure 

18th March 2020 - Social Distancing and Remote Learning

18th March - Goverment advice 

11th March 2020

17th March 2020

17th March - School Event Changes

Date: Friday 20th March 2020

Dear Parents & Carers,

Covid 19/Coronavirus – School Closure

You will be aware that the Government has announced that all schools must close today until further notice.

We have spent considerable time preparing for this eventuality and aim to support you in ensuring that your children can still access education whilst at home. We have ensured that there is a mix of on-line activities and paper based activities.

Your child came home with a folder containing: a pencil, pencil sharpener, rubber and a variety of booklets to complete covering subjects such as Reading, Maths, Science etc. Where possible we have utilised existing resources and so you will find materials that have previously been used as tests but have been replaced by more recent test papers. Depending upon year group there may be other booklets linked to Health etc. You may notice that the year group on the booklet is not the year group that your child is on, please don’t be concerned about this – we differentiate in class every day, the teachers have used their knowledge of your child to ensure they have got access to work that they can do with little support. 

Your child has also brought home additional homework in their homework folder, sheets linked to their History and Science topics and a spelling sheet to practise. We will try to ensure that they have an extra reading book except where older children are reading lengthy books. You can also ask your children to read any home books.

We will ensure that the class pages on the website have a wide range of online activities for your child to access. The teachers will update resources regularly to ensure the children access a variety of resources. The teachers will not set any work that needs to be printed. Go to www.crackleybank.staffs.sch.uk – Home Learning.

If you require support with the work that has been set, please feel free to email your child’s class teacher. Email addresses will be text to you via teachers2parents.  The teachers will all be working from home and will aim to answer emails as soon as possible between the hours of 9am and 4pm. Please do not expect responses after this time or over weekends or the Easter holiday.

If your child’s class teacher is taken ill, we will endeavour to ensure that another member of staff responds to your emails but please bear with us – this is a unique situation for us all.

Once we return to school we will not require the return of the work that has been completed or the resources but we will require the homework and reading books to be returned. Of course, completion of work is entirely your choice, we are aiming to support parents to support their children and maintain their education during this extraordinary time. 

It may be that you require additional paper work, if this is the case please email your child’s teacher and we will create some, Work packs will need to be collected from school (we will tell you how when we know!) It may be that we cannot produce the work for the next day so please give us as much notice as possible. 

Finally, I would like to express my thanks to the many parents who have been so totally supportive and positive during this difficult time – your comments really have kept us going in these uncertain times. I have found it hard to process that we are closing our doors today until further notice. When we return to school full time we will return as strong as ever. Take care and keep safe. 

 

 

Wednesday 18th March 2020

Social distancing and remote learning

Dear Parents and Carers,

I know that I am sending daily updates re: Covid 19/Coronavirus but the information school are receiving is constantly evolving. Please take the time to read the information that I am sharing with you.

This is the most current information regarding social distancing for everyone and for protecting older or vulnerable people.

As always, if you are unsure how your individual circumstances relate to this guidance please telephone the helpline on 111 or seek further advice online. As a school we are not in a position to make these decisions for you or provide medical advice.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults

Thank you for the support and positive feedback we have received from many of you. All of our staff are working extremely hard and supporting each other with the full intention of keeping the school open. Your support in achieving this is important to us.

Over the coming days I will provide clarity on our home learning offer in the event of a national closure. Some families are currently self-isolating and we have provided home learning packs to support families during this time. We have ensured that the school website has a wide range of online resources for children to access. Visit www.crackleybank.staffs.sch.uk and follow the “Home Learning” tab.

 

Please find on the link an extract from the Government Guidance regarding social distancing and groups that are classed as vulnerable. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS GOVERNMENT ADVICE AND NOT THE ADVICE OF THE SCHOOL 18th March - Government advice 

 

 

Tuesday 17th March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

I am sure you are all aware that the Prime Minister announced a change to the self-isolation guidance at yesterday evening's press conference. It is no longer the case that children should attend school if they don't have a continuous cough or high temperature themselves. It is now necessary for everyone in a household to self-isolate for 14 days if any member of the household exhibits symptoms.

This change to advice could well impact on staffing levels. In these unprecedented times, our priority will remain the children's safety. This means that if we need to, we will combine or split classes to counter staff absence but not to the point that pupil safety is compromised. It could be the case that we are forced to partially close the school. For the time being, we continue to deliver the full curriculum.

I will send a separate letter detailing the changes to planned events.

At this point I think it is important to add context and reality. Despite the Education Minister’s announcement that schools will remain open for the time being, we are doing what we must, including preparing for a national closure. We are currently compiling work that will be shared with all children if the school is closed – I will send further details out regarding this should this eventuality arise. Work will be a mixture of paper and online learning. With this in mind, it is important that you make us aware if your child will not have access to a computer to complete school work and please make sure we have your correct email address and ensure you are checking your Teachers2Parents regularly. During this period, we will endeavour to use Teachers2Parents for only essential communication, so when you get an alert, please read the messages carefully.

Please can I stress the importance of staying out of the school building. We can communicate via phone and email but will heavily restrict visitors to school. All parents are asked to ensure that they hand their children over to staff at the door and do not come into the building - this affects Nursery and Reception parents in particular.

Thank you to everyone for your continued support of the staff team during this time, it is hugely appreciated.

 

Tuesday 17th March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

Covid 19/Coronvirus

Following further guidance issued by Boris Johnson yesterday the following decisions have been made to ensure the safety of our pupils, families and staff:

We do not have any guidance yet regarding the residential trips to Standon Bowers (Y4: May 5th – 7th) and Laches Wood (Y6 – 29th June to 3rd July) but when I have any information to share I will let parents know.

We appreciate that these decisions will be disappointing however I am sure that you will support them due to the exceptional circumstances we find ourselves in.

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Links that you may find useful: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19

https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/101-coronavirus-/resources

https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/schools

 

Letter Home 

Wednesday 11th March 2020

Dear Parents

                                            Coronavirus update

As events have evolved over recent days regarding the spread of coronavirus, I wanted to give you an update regarding our current actions and potential future actions, in-line with the government’s action plan.

Please note that we will act upon the advice of the DFE, informed by Public Health England.

Current Guidance

In light of the government’s action plan and the potential movement from the contained phase to the delay phase, please be advised of the following actions that have been carried out in school, many of which apply to both the contain and delay phases:

Preventative Measures

Potential Future Measures and Considerations

Please note that these are included by way of reassuring you of our capacity to quickly respond, if necessary, to any change in the advice to schools. Unless this advice changes, there is no intention of carrying out the following.

What Can You Do?

Please note that we are acting on the very clear advice of the DFE, informed by Public Health England.

Our message to the children has been around hygiene and germs and we are not overtly referencing coronavirus or sensationalising the situation in the way that some aspects of the media are. We are dealing in facts and expert guidance. There has been no advice to remove children from school or to self-isolate other than in the clearly stated circumstances. In that respect, it is ‘business as usual’ for us and the children other than the increased emphasis on personal hygiene, albeit with a clear understanding of how it might develop and how we would act, if necessary.