Dear Parents & Carers,
Apologies for the mid-week letter hitting your inbox but I have had a few conversations and emails recently that have caused me concern. The lockdown and the horrendous death toll are affecting us all. Every single family is struggling in one way or another; missing the love and support of family and friends; worrying about everything; juggling home and work responsibilities and all the conflicting emotions that we have at the moment. I know myself, and from staff in school, we are all on the verge of a ‘wobble’ much of the time and can go from sad to angry to despair in a matter of minutes!
There have been many positive emails and conversations about the Google Classroom work and the phone calls made by staff but there have also been grumbles and some families are clearly feeling under pressure. This is never our intention. We are legally obliged by the DfE to provide at least four hours ‘work’ for pupils at home and are expected to monitor and support children to engage. On the whole this is working well and the children who are logging on, doing some or all of the work and interacting with their teachers and classmates are enjoying this and are benefiting from it. The phone calls encourage children and sometimes iron out technical problems.
However – pupil and family well-being is more important than the curriculum. You know your children, your situation and your capacity best and that is a judgement only you can make. If completing the online work is causing you or your child undue anxiety please ask for support, but in the end it is more important that you are safe, well and as happy as you can be in a national crisis. The solution is not asking for a critical worker place – we need to keep numbers in school as low as possible if we are to reduce the time spent in lockdown and to keep places open for those absolutely on the front line. We know all children are better off in school – but we just can’t do that at the moment.