News update 1st April

1st April 2020
Dear Parents / Carers,
 
We hope you are well and are staying safe during this unusual and difficult time.  
 
As directed by the Government, we have opened up each morning this week but have not received any children from the vulnerable or critical worker categories.  So far we do not have any families that we know of who need us to be open at Easter either. 
If your circumstances change please let us know via the following contacts:
Email: admin@stmichaelsalnwick.northumberland.sch.uk

Or use our emergency number: 07753354529 and leave a message with your name, number and concern  
 
To avoid unnecessary travel and maintain social distancing we will not be opening up the school each day unless we have to.
 
A huge thank you to all the staff who have been so flexible and adaptable during this time.
 
We have had some further information about the eGift card scheme for children in receipt of Free School Meals. This will be set up to start after Easter. We will let you know how it works as soon as we find out.  If you think your circumstances have changed and you may be entitled to Free School Meals now, please let us know as we may be able to point you in the right direction of how to access the scheme (this may take time).
 
Online learning
Early Years (2YO, Nursery and Reception)
Many thanks to the parents who have managed to log onto the EYFS APP and post some amazing photos.  This is a brilliant way to share the activities the children are doing at home.  School staff are able to comment and even assess the children using this feature.  
 
In addition we have created a closed Facebook group to help us engage with even more families. We had 19 requests to join in the first day of this going live!  School staff are able to post tasks each day and add comments.  It is lovely to see so many children drawing, painting, writing, baking and getting active. Well done!  To join this group go to our usual page and request access. You must give your child's name and class to be accepted.
 
Key Stage 1 and 2
We are continuing to use Google Classroom to set work each day for the children.  The teachers are trialling a range of online tools including youtube videos, digital libraries, interactive games and more. Children get 100 points for submitting their work each day.  If you missed a day you can still go back and complete the tasks - we hope that children who have struggled to get online, will make up at least some of their work over the holidays if possible.  
 
Some difficulties have been ironed out this week as parents have been in touch. We have received some fantastic work including online tasks and photos of paper tasks or creative 'makes'. Can we stress that we are not accepting work through the admin email.  Work must be submitted through Google Classroom.
 
Many parents have had issues if using a tablet or a phone to access work.  With this in mind we are extended our IT loan scheme and have set up a further set of laptops. Teachers are identifying who needs one and we will contact you tomorrow to come and pick them up.  As with all loans we are expecting everyone to look after the kit which must be signed out by an adult before it is taken away from school.
 
We are evaluating our online learning offer for after Easter and will be contacting you to explain how this will work.
We are NOT setting normal school work over Easter but we will send out some fun tasks to ensure everyone gets used to working in this way and remains in touch with us.
 
We thank everyone for their patience and positivity at this time.  Keep in touch!
 
Gavin Johnston - Head Teacher