Monday 20th April 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
I do hope this letter finds you well and that you managed to enjoy some rest time over the Easter break. You should have received or will be receiving a well-being phone call from one of our staff members to check everyone in your household is safe and well and to answer any queries.
I thought it would be a good time to write to you all to reassure you and to remind you of the intent of the learning that we have put in place for the children, via the class pages of the website:
1. This is not just home learning. This is an unprecedented emergency situation impacting on the whole world. Home learning is a choice, we have prepared tasks for each year group that are age appropriate but at a standard level for that year. You can however access other year group activities if you wish. More able children might want to have a look at activities in the year above; however if your child is finding a task too challenging because they would normally have TA support, then they can try tasks from the previous year.
2. You are, and always have been, your child's main teacher. If you decide that your child isn't going to engage with anything sent home and is going to spend the entire period playing in the garden, or baking, or watching TV, then that is your choice. There is nothing to stress or feel guilty about.
3. Schools are learning as well! We had no notice regarding home learning and no preparation time so we are still trying to find the best ways to engage with all families during this unprecedented time (we are aware some families do not have the technology needed to access some of the learning materials). However, staff at Whitehouse are dedicated, committed and desperately trying to do the best for the children in our school and also keep their families safe too. We will continue to work together to get the best outcomes for your child.
4. We are aware, it is absolutely not possible to facilitate distance learning with a primary aged child and work from home at the same time! You can certainly have activities where your child learns, but your focus may not always be on teaching. That’s fine. Do what you need to do to make things work in your family.
5. If you are finding the work difficult to implement, don’t panic. Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to help. While you are waiting for a response, play in the garden, read a book together or just relax. Our teachers are working hard to make sure you and your child get the support you need, at the right time. If you want to email any work to school, please do.
6. If you are finding the amount of work overwhelming, just pick and use the bits that your child can cope with now. All the rest of the work will be archived and accessible at a later date on the website, if you wish. The teachers are just trying to make sure you have everything you need, when you need it. Today, BBC Bitesize have launched daily lessons from 9 am https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize
7. Remember children are only ready to learn when they are relaxed, happy and worry free. Don’t rush learning – your children may just need more reassurance. If you need any additional wellbeing support please visit our pastoral web page https://www.whcps.org/pastoral-support/ or email email@example.com for advice.
8. 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/challenges. Follow your child’s pace and don’t worry if messages from other parents tell you how much work their child has completed. Your child is doing just fine.
9. If you want to prioritise two activities everyday then encourage your child to read and learn the times tables.
Please be assured that what you are doing right now with your child/children is enough. You are loving them and supporting them through a very difficult time. I would like to add that whilst not always easy, it is important to look after your own well-being and mental health so that stress for the whole family is minimised as much as possible.
Thank you for your continued support and look after each other.
Mrs Andrea Hall