Dear Parents and Pupils,
I hope that you are all safe and well.
Friday night’s announcement introduced many additional restrictions for us all but hopefully, by following the guidelines, we will soon see positive results in the fight against the spread of Covid-19.
In the meantime, all staff here in NJS have been looking at different ways in which we can continue with teaching and learning. As I mentioned last week, this is not home schooling – it is distance learning. The school day is usually filled with hands on activities, class based discussions and movement breaks. Work sheets and textbook based activities usually only form a small part of lessons. Distance learning is a very different way of teaching and learning and we recognize the challenges it presents. We know that children miss the interactions of daily school life and we understand that working through activities can be tough for everyone.
Having considered the issues which have arisen in these unusual times, we, as a whole staff, considered many options. For now, we have opted to use a distance learning platform called Seesaw. Some classes have already begun to work with this tool. It is a tool which allows teachers to upload different activities to the platform including photos, worksheets and videos. Each child can view the material, work on it on or offline and then post to the platform. Teachers can give feedback to pupils and address any questions which parents or pupils have. We hope that this platform will help everyone to stay in touch with school.
Lots of activities have been made available to you but please remember each teacher is providing a menu of suggested activities. When we are in the classroom, we set different children different tasks. Doing this remotely is tricky so we are asking you for help in guiding your child and helping your child select suitable activities. Where possible, encourage children to work independently – they all have a huge amount of knowledge and skills but sometimes need a small push to make that leap and start tasks. If you feel your child is becoming stressed about a task, move on and perhaps send a message to the teacher. Please remember, we will catch up on topics once we get back to school.
This week, in the attached letters, as well as setting out some suggested tasks, you will see that each teacher has set out information to guide you on what you can expect if the school closure extends beyond the Easter holidays. We also include a Collect post and will continue to add one of these each week.
We would like as many pupils as possible to register on SeeSaw, even if it is just to send a message to the teacher to say hello. If you have issues in accessing the app, please contact us via email. Email is checked daily on school days.
This is an unprecedented situation for everyone. It comes with many challenges but, like every different situation, it gives us opportunities too. This might be a chance to put the school books and devices aside and engage in different activities. If there are things which you also hoped to do at home but didn’t quite have time, this might be the time to do them. Learning happens for children in lots of different ways and through lots of different types of activity! We know this and would be delighted to hear from children about the different things that they are doing so please send photos to us via email and we will post them here to share novel ideas.
Before school had finished, we had been encouraging Random Acts of Kindness – please see the post on this. Also, we are hoping to hold a Virtual Easter Bonnet Parade so please check out our post about that.
We will post a short update next Friday but will not be posting work for the duration of the Easter Holidays. We hope that we will see you at the end of the holidays but if the closure is extended we will post an update on Sunday 19th April. Should the closure continue, we will continue to follow the plan set out in the attached letters.
In the meantime, if you have any particular concerns, suggestions or queries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
The key priority for now is to stay happy and healthy.
Best wishes to all,