Dear parents and carers of Stepney Park Primary school,
As the end of the second week approaches, we are beginning to get a sense of routine. We have tweaked things here and there, and all staff and children are beginning to be settled into their new school.
The children are beginning to make new friends, which is lovely to see. There is a very nice and positive vibe across the school- a great start!
We are following the Government guidance on asking children and families with potential Covid symptoms to self isolate very carefully.
I can reassure you that we have no confirmed cases of Covid and that we would follow Public Health England advice if this was to happen.
Being very careful means that children and their siblings with a temperature or a cough are asked to go home, self-isolate for 14 days and get tested. If the test is negative, children can return. This is the start of the cold and flu season and it means that a number of children are at home at the moment. Of course we want to make sure that they are able to continue their education during their self-isolation time, so we are very busy implementing our ‘digital learning strategy’. This means that we are using the new Chromebooks in class daily and are introducing all children to the basics. If not already done: please remember to send back your parental agreement letter, so that your child can take their loaned Chromebook home too.
We are looking at ways to ensure that children who are self-isolating at home get their Chromebook too, and will be in touch when we have found a solution.
In the meantime, we are trialling blended/ digital learning next week. This means that teachers will set daily activities for children to complete on their Chromebooks. Children in school will do this in class, and children at home will do this at home. We are hoping to organise training for EYFS and Yr1 parents soon, and will offer both online and face to face training. We are in the process of updating our website and will add details about our Digital strategy, as well as technical support. This can be found in the Parents’ section.
We have ordered special Chromebook bags, and they are due to arrive in the next 3 weeks ( Year 1 will get theirs sooner). All of this has required a gigantic effort from staff, and I am most grateful to all.
Please remember the following regarding the Chromebooks:
Children should charge the Chromebooks at home daily, so the battery is full.
Children should bring the Chromebooks to school each day.
Children should use their Chromebook instead of a laptop/ PC, as it has all the relevant software and because this makes sense for educational purposes.
Parents should not message the teachers directly, using their child’s account. If parents would like to ask the teacher a question/ needs to communicate something , they must do so via the admin office, either by phone or by email. This is to protect the work/ life balance of the teachers. Here is the admin email: email@example.com .
Drop off (between 8.50 and 9.00)
There is no need to arrive before 8.50 and queue up. In fact, it is safer to arrive just before 9.00, so there is no waiting time.
Parents should not enter the area which is set aside for children, and should move on straight after drop off.
Parents should not approach staff at the gates, but should instead phone or email the school office.We have an extra member of staff whose only responsibility it is to deal with this every morning.
Pick up (between 3.20 and 3.40)
Although we open the gate early, there is no need to queue up and wait for this to happen. I would actively like to encourage parents to consider picking up at 3.30 or even a bit later, so we can spread pick ups better. There are so many parents queueing up from 3.10 onwards, that I fear it is not safe. Parents have a window of 20 minutes to pick their child up, so there is no rush to be first.
Rain is predicted next week, and our ponchos will probably not arrive before then. Please make sure your child has a good coat for pick up time, as there is not enough shelter in the playground.
Some parents have complained to me that other parents jump the waiting queue. I would agree with them that it is not a nice nor fair thing to do, so would like to politely ask those parents to join the queue at the back.
Some of our staff may need to self -isolate. We are trying to avoid asking supply teachers to cover, as it is safer.
This means that your child may be taught by a cover teacher or that the class may be joined up with another class in their bubble.
Self isolation for children:
Please do not return children back to school, until one of the following has happened:
14 days have passed
The child has had a negative test
You have given us a letter from a GP to state that your child does not have Covid symptoms.
Teachers are not doctors, and it is very hard for us to decide whether a cough is seasonal or Covid related. We do not want to put staff, children and their families at risk of catching Covid and potentially endangering their lives by making the wrong decision in allowing a child back to school too early.
I really do understand that it is highly likely that a minor raised temperature or a cough is the common cold, but bearing in mind the dangers and responsibility I have in keeping everyone safe, I believe it is best to follow this procedure, until the Government advice changes.
Please read the flow chart emailed to you for more guidance.
Parents are asked to not send a packed lunch in unless this has been agreed with school staff in the most exceptional circumstances. We are unable to ensure that home packed lunches are safe, if eaten around children with severe food allergies. We will be looking at choices for packed lunches in the next few weeks.
All children from Reception to Year 6 continue to receive a free lunch each day
My apologies to those parents who recently received a text message from school late in the evening. This was done due to a technical glitch.