The Government has now informed us all that schools will not be reopening like we had hoped for before 8th March. They are going to assess the situation on the 22nd February and will indicate their road map to reopening schools. We will all get two weeks’ notice of this date. How this will look no one knows, so yet again we are and will be continuing with the remote offer and trying to ensure we can offer a place to those that are classed as key workers and for the vulnerable.
High View is currently open to 45% of the pupils on roll, this would be 59% if all eligible were coming to school everyday. This means that some of our class bubbles are now about to reach the maximum for which we have risk assessed, based on the size of the classrooms and safety of the social distance measures we have had to put in place. We are now entering the phase where we may have to relook at the list and ask for proof, and add additional criteria to ensure these numbers do not increase further. This is for the health and safety of all staff and pupils. This is not something we want to do as we know the disruption it may cause. If we do have to do this we will inform you, and endeavour to give you as much notice as possible. Therefore we are reminding you of the guidance sent from the government to keep following and staying safe.
With the hard messages out of the way, we just want to tell you how incredibly well everyone at High View is doing with the latest lockdown and all the other challenges that it brings. You, as families, have been given a huge task helping your children with their home learning alongside all the other demands you have - working, caring for others, ICT issues and all that this entails - and we just wanted to say thank you and that you are doing the best job possible. Most of us parents, like you, are all juggling our lives: us in school, our children being at home doing home learning, ICT issues, and internet crashing.
We, like you, especially with the news yesterday of lockdown being extended, were disappointed and saddened that the pupils will not be back sooner rather than later, and totally understand the pressures you are facing and feeling. It is ok to have moments of, ‘I can’t do this anymore’, and we too have moments like this. We just wanted to reach out and say we are here to support you, and your child/children. The work set should be accessible for your child. We can clearly state that in school they do their work with some independence so should not, and do not, need you sitting next to them all day long; they may need you to dip in, answer questions, check and give some explanation, but you do not have to feel you need to be by their side, as when they come back to school we will expect them be as independent as they were. If we could open our doors to you all we
really would. School is open, but it is not the same - we like every chair occupied, every coat peg used and our school full of all we love and cherish. Sticking together as the High View Family will see us come out the other side of this challenge.
At school, if things weren’t going well in a lesson or we saw someone struggling to engage, we would stop and take a breath, and we would do something else. It is completely fine for this to happen at home. Please make sure you are taking breaks, message the teacher to contact your child, and remember we are here to support you. It may not be immediate, but we will contact you, as we are in school, teaching our pupils, going out for our breaks and taking screen breaks. If children don’t finish their work in the normal school day, we would find them time later, and again this can be done with remote learning; most children feel proud when they have completed a piece of work.
With this in mind, the curriculum sent home is the curriculum we would be covering in school; it may look like a massive amount, but it is our daily timetable. We have set things that we must deliver, and in this lockdown we are more tightly bound by the offer we must provide. At High View you know that we thrive on delivering a hands-on experience-enriched offer, away from screens and with real purpose. Obviously, the remote learning has hindered that somewhat. However, through reflection, we have decided that one task a day will be a no-screen task; this may be creating something, physical exercise (outside preferably), science outdoors if possible or whatever the curriculum will allow. This will hopefully reduce the amount of time on screen; the children will be outside and active and will maybe reduce the pressures on yourselves. All the staff as you know are juggling the teaching in school and for those at home to ensure the identical offer is for all, and that our pupils, regardless of where they are learning, are making progress in all areas. We are adapting, improving and supporting everyone in any which way we can; it may not always be perfect or the outcome you or we would wish, but we are trying our best for each and every child no matter who, where or what they need. These are the core values and beliefs of all staff, parents and pupils, and as always we appreciate your patience and kindness as we continue on this ever untrodden path (well, since World War Two) in education.
If your child is struggling, remind them school is taking place; it may be in a different ‘classroom’ but they are still wearing the High View badge and their teachers and myself want to know, see and approve their work. They do matter, their education matters, and although we may not be in the room, ask them: What would their teacher be saying now? What would Miss Smith say? This may help them to feel part of school. Please remind them that although they are not in the building, they are all, and I mean ALL, in our minds and thoughts and that is why it is so vital we see them on Zoom calls and we see their efforts in their work. We may be in lockdown now but they WILL be back, we will be a complete school again and we NEED them to be their best everywhere and anywhere. Once a High View pupil, ALWAYS a High View pupil!
This leaves me to say: we have got this; you have this because we have got each other, so please keep going! We are determined, we are resilient, and by ‘we’ I mean ALL who are associated with High View. It is okay, we will be okay and this too shall pass. We need to continue to do what is asked of us, follow the guidance and the rules, and keep all our community safe. Once again, we cannot thank our families for all that you are doing, and we will continue to shout loud and proud about our amazing families and staff because you are all incredible, and we cannot wait for the opportunity to be together. We are, and always will be, forever grateful to you for this.
Miss T Smith