St Cecilia's News
School News During Closure - April 2020
I hope, more than ever, that your family remain well during the current pandemic and that you are coping as a family during this period of lockdown.
It has been wonderful to see, across all our year groups, the variety of home learning that has been taking place, both online and creatively at home. From Nursery to Year 6 we can see a tremendous commitment from families to home learning.
Earlier this week I met with 25 teachers online using Google Meet for the first time, we had a very productive meeting and the technology worked well for us. It also enabled the teaching staff to see the potential of video-based meetings for possible future learning.
It is very likely that the school closure will be for an extended period of time. Over the Easter break can I encourage all families to prepare for online remote learning. We can currently see the involvement of around 50% of the school community, once the home learning packs are exhausted and the Easter holidays are over we will need to see all children settling in to some online learning.
We are going to continue sending work home via Class Dojo for Nursery, Reception and Year 1. Each child has a portfolio where work can be saved and commented upon by the Class Teacher. If you have not found the Portfolio section yet please login and have a look,
Whilst Google Classroom was on our timeline for implementation across the school, and was in place in Years 5 and 6, it has now been introduced to Years 3 and 4 and we will extend it further to Year 2 after Easter. Google Classroom enables the flow of work between teacher and pupil. We can also add Google Docs and Sheets easily to a classroom workstream along with other systems like PearDeck and Quizlet to make the learning process more engaging. There are lots of help guides on YouTube around Classroom and Dojo.
IT Demands on Family Life
It can be difficult in the home for all members of the family to share technology, especially in our families with children of different ages and demands from different schools. We ask that the children do as much as they can to keep up with their school work and engage with their learning system, either Dojo or Classroom, each school day. In a time of pressure, with lockdown in place and parents working from home too, we understand that this may be difficult for some families, however we do want to see the core Maths and English tasks in particular completed by all pupils.
Let's keep writing going
It's important that we keep the writing process going, both online and offline - we do not want the children to lose the skill of writing, we need to maintain their dexterity and handwriting. I have asked class teachers to share with you the current writing targets for each year group. The teachers will continue to expect weekly pieces of handwriting and every three weeks or so we will continue to have our "stepping stones" pieces of writing. These are extended pieces of writing which children and class teachers can assess against the standards of the national curriculum.
It has been quite enlightening to pop in to the learning spaces online, to see what children are achieving at home. We are seeing a wider variety of experiences and opportunities for greater independence. We need to find the positives in the situation that we find ourselves, it looks like our pupils are greatly developing their self-organisational and creative skills. We hope that as a family you are seeing the positives too.
Checking in to Class
Over the Easter holiday, we will be pausing learning online from the school. It's a good time for all children to create a work space at home, somewhere that will enable them to focus and prepare for the new term ahead. If you have not logged in to Class Dojo or Google Classroom please ensure that you connect over Easter and will be ready for learning on Monday 20th April when school resumes.
Admissions to Nursery and Reception
We have mailed parents details of Nursery place offers for this September, please make sure to reply to Mrs Saunders as soon as possible so that she can send you the Pupil Information Form. Parents who applied for Reception places will hear on National Primary Offer Day on Thursday 16th April. We will be in touch with parents who have been successful in their application soon after that, we cannot currently confirm when induction meetings will be held.
Welcome back to Miss Fenner
Miss Fenner has returned from maternity leave and is now teaching Year 2, St Thomas More. She will be working with Miss Greenaway to keep the learning going on Google Classroom in Year 2, she has been added to Class Dojo for communication with parents.
There is a St Cecilia's tradition where Mrs Kolendo teaches the children the song below for our final assembly of the term. We usually have a prayer, draw our Easter raffle and then the children sing the song below as we head off for Easter. You may want to share it this Easter to keep the tradition going, they will be very surprised that you know about it!
It's a very tough time for all of us with many jobs affected and great difficulties for families in managing family life, shopping and playtime with the children. I hope that your family has not been too severely affected. Good luck and God bless to all our Keyworker parents who are working so hard at this time.
We send our prayers to all of you and look forward to the day when we can be back together at school.
With best wishes for a Blessed Easter,