Headteacher’s News – Lockdown Week 1

Dear parents and carers

As if a national virus crisis isn’t enough, our politicians don’t seem to have any real idea of what they’re doing which, this week, has made life very difficult and confusing for us all. To go from expecting us to be open on one day, to closed the next, with no warning or time to organise anything, was quite astonishing and perhaps a new low point for the people in charge.

Anyway, as we all do, we try to make the best of it.

1. Remote Learning

My thanks to all you parents who have logged your children into Google Classroom and who have adapted to online learning so quickly. I’d like to explain our approach to remote learning a little more:

1. Teachers will set work each day designed to take around 3 to 4 hours to complete. Daily reading and any Lexia time will be included in this

2. Teachers will set maths, writing and some topic work each day. Using the Google Classroom terminology, all of it will be ‘assigned’ but not all of it will need to be returned. Teachers will make this clear in their instructions.

3. I have asked teachers, in line with government guidance, to provide feedback on at least one piece of work per week. This is to help keep a manageable workload.

4. You must make sure your child engages with the work that is set. Not taking part is not an option – and the Department for Education are being very strict with us about this. We will chase up parents whose children are not turning in work, or not completing it to a reasonable standard.

5. Get in touch with us straight away if there are any problems with Google Classroom or home learning in general.

2. Additional mobile data

As part of the necessary move to remote education, schools can request mobile data increases for children and young people who:

  • do not have fixed broadband at home
  • cannot afford additional data for their devices
  • are experiencing disruption to their face-to-face education

If any of this is relevant to you and you would like us to investigate this option on your behalf, please let us know.

3. Key Workers

The driving force behind the school closure is to reduce the numbers of children mixing together. This means you should send your child in only if you meet the criteria set out by the government as a key worker. A full list is available here.

Can I remind you that, when taking a day off, key workers should keep their child at home. We should not be used as a simple childcare facility. I ask you to consider the safety of other children and our staff by helping us keep numbers at school low. Please send your child to school only if you have no other choice.

4. Those attending school

Children should attend in school uniform, with additional items of warm clothing as you consider appropriate. It really is quite cold in school, so please dress children appropriately. They should bring their lunch, a water bottle and their reading book only. If you would like to order a hot school meal for your child, Local Food Links have now reopened their online ordering system and meals for Monday 18/1/21 need to be ordered by Monday 11/1/21 at the very latest.

Children should be dropped off as normal between 8.40 and 9.00am.

Children will be working together with those from the same unit, ie Y5/6, Y3/4, Y1/2. Reception children will be taught separately.

While at school, children will be carrying out the same learning as those at home, so will access Google Classroom on a school computer. This is so children at home and school can keep up with each other and no-one loses out.

The afternoons are less formal in school and parents are encouraged to collect their children whenever they are ready. There is no requirement to wait until the end of the day. This will help reduce the numbers of children in school together. Please come to the office to collect your child early. Don’t forget to wear a face covering or to restrict numbers to only one in the office area.

Those who are in school at the end of the day will be brought out to the gates in the normal way for collection:

Year 1/2: front gate at 3.05

Year 3/4: lower gate at 3.10

Year 5/6: lower gate at 3.15

5. Statutory Assessments

The government have also announced this week that all statutory assessments for primary schools have been cancelled. This means the following tests will no longer be taking place this year:

  • Year 2 SATs
  • Year 6 SATs
  • Year 4  Multiplication Check
  • Year 1 Phonics Check

We have no further information about how they will be replaced just yet.

6. PE and Sport at home

Our local School Games organiser has sent some links for you to help keep your child busy and active at home during the lockdown:


Youth Sport Trust after school sports clubs:

2 comments on “Headteacher’s News – Lockdown Week 1

  1. Nathan Ward says:

    Thanks for the update. Appreciate all the hard work that goes behind the scenes.
    Stay safe.

  2. Mrs Helen Lainsbury says:

    Well done to all Southill School staff, not an easy start to the academic year. I appreciate all the stress, worry, needing to quickly adapt and trying to keep up with the latest last min change in guidance and trying to answer questions about these when your still getting your head around it yourself. I feel your pain but on a much smaller scale!

    Keep going school staff and early years- you rock!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *