School Update

13th January 2021

I would like to thank all of those parents and carers who have helped to move their children’s learning online. This has enabled not only the children to stay connected with the children and adults in their class but has also meant they have continued meaningful learning much of which matches the learning they would be doing in school.

We know it is not easy, especially for those with more than one child at home, we do not expect you to spend all day everyday online doing work or supervising. If the technology does not work the first time please keep trying just as we would ask the children to in school. Thank you to those parents who are offering to help other parents who may be coming across problems they have already had this really helps and means the teachers can focus on their teaching.  We are all doing our best! 

Contacting the school

The Prime Minister was very clear last week that those that can work at home should. Much of the administration tasks for the school can be undertaken remotely. For this reason, the School Office will be operating on a skeleton time table. You will be able to contact the school office via telephone between 8.30am and 12noon on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The school email address enquiries@chapel-cit.co.uk will continue to be monitored.

Please also make sure you have downloaded the ‘eschools app’ to your mobile device. This means we can get messages and letters such as this out to you as quickly as possible. Details are here: https://www.chapel-cit.co.uk/website/parents_eschools_app/499441

Remote Learning

It is the expectation of the school that children will continue to access their full entitlement of education even though they are at home. In October, we sent out full details this included all of the login details, website addresses and suggested daily timetable. These were distributed to every child in a named white envelope. Now is the time that they come into effect! Again, all of the information you need is on our school website: https://www.chapel-cit.co.uk/website/remote_learning/507167 

The online platform that we are using is Microsoft Teams this can be downloaded onto tablets, laptops and mobile phones and can also be accessed through any internet browser (including those on an Xbox or Playstation!).

Generally, the teachers will organise a morning and afternoon meeting and will then be on hand to support with tasks, answer questions and mark and feedback on work. However, there will be times when they are having a break or are working with other children so feedback may not be instant. Teachers will also have their planning, preparation and assessment time (away from teaching) so there may be less contact during these times. Teachers will be available between 9am and 3.30pm each day but they will, just as you should be, taking breaks between those times. Likewise, we understand there will be times when children cannot be online they may be sharing a device with a sibling or may have completed work and having a break. It is important to take a break away from the screen regularly.

We will be contacting parents of those children who have not accessed their online learning yet to support them to ensure that the children continue to learn at home.

The guidance released from the Department for Education states that our remote learning should include the ability to provide meaningful feedback to children. For this reason, we will not be issuing printed work packs as teachers cannot provide feedback on this work. All of the work provided for children will be online through Microsoft Teams.

Devices and technology

We know that there are families with limited access to the technology required to learn remotely. We also know that many families have more than one child at home. We understand this and we have liaised with the local secondary schools to confirm that older secondary age children should not be prioritised for technology in a household all children’s learning whatever their age is important and we know sharing of devices will be needed.

If you are struggling with technology please contact the school office to request a device or some connectivity. We are keeping a list of those requests. We are prioritising those with the greatest need and we are in the process of setting up some of our school laptops so they can be used outside of school. Our allocation of laptops/tablets from the Department for Education is due to arrive shortly. Once you have contacted us to request support in this way you will stay on our list so please do not feel the need to call again – we will also make sure teachers know if you are struggling with a device. When we have a device for you we will contact you and arrange for delivery or collection and paperwork to be signed.

Free School Meals

If you think you might be eligible to apply for Free School Meals there is full information on our website: https://www.chapel-cit.co.uk/website/applying_for_free_school_meals/470344 

All of the staff understand that, once again, we are going through challenging times. One of the best ways of getting through this for our children is by pulling together to support one and other. Seeing you and your children online and trying your best has been truly amazing and we really do appreciate this. We hope that we can be back together before too long.