MAPS Newsletter 27th MaRch 2020

Thank you for all the amazing things families have produced, we are very proud and about how everyone is supporting the current situation by social distancing and staying at home #stayhomesavelives

Please check your child’s Google Classroom to see more amazing things based on #stayhomesavelives

You said

We listened

You said “there was too much general chat on the stream and it is being used like a chatroom.”

We listened and we have reminded children that the stream is a learning platform and they can use it to communicate with their friends if they wish in a sensible and appropriate manner – this is, for most children, their only way of communicating with friends whilst not in school and school staff are monitoring daily and challenging anything that isn’t appropriate.

You said “I am finding the quantity hard to keep up with.”

We listened and we are looking at providing choice activities. We will highlight the main activities and state where it is choice. We have also reminded through our stream and on phone calls or emails that it is not expectation that everything is done, the activities are there for you if you wish to use them all – some parents are loving them for a routine. As long as the children are doing some form of learning, we are happy. Some children are going off piste and doing their own projects which is great for us to hear about.

You said “due to our working from home arrangements we are struggling to get things done and then there is a backlog of work as we feel everything has to be done.”

We listened and we are reminding parents and children that this isn’t the case and that as long as some learning takes place, this is all we can ask for. Prioritise reading, writing and maths in the morning and then see what the afternoon offers. We understand the arrangements are difficult and so we are ensuring that we provide more activities that are easier for the children to manage and access independently.

You said “we cannot teach as we are not teachers.”

We listened and are trying to make the activities more engaging and interactive for the children whilst covering areas of learning that the children have already been taught so they are recapping and practicing so they don’t lose their basic skills. Raise particular areas you would like support with, in your weekly phone calls with your class teacher. However, there will be lots of life skills and activities that you will be able to teach your children and we actively encourage this too.

You said “we are finding it hard to get set up on google classroom and it doesn’t find out class code.”

We listened and Miss Brown has made contact with you either through call or email to get you set up and you have been provided with DRET IT support from home email address where it is an issue Miss Brown hasn’t been able to solve.

You said “we are finding it hard to create a routine”

We listened and a routine has been to get you set up and you have been provided with this by class teachers in the overview. We encourage you to find a routine, but one that works for you and your family.

You said "We like resources where young child can do for themselves."

We listened and will continue to look out for these opportunities. Please share any you find with your class teacher via an email. You will have seen Joe Wicks and RWI- both allowing even the youngest children some independence rather than relying upon parents to teach the entire day.

You said “thank you”.

We listened. To you also, our brilliant MAPS community, thank you for your ongoing support and positivity. The endless kind emails, calls, offer or help and general positivity is fantastic.

To all of the MAPS community,

As we come to the end of the first week of 'closure' I certainly have felt that, despite social distancing and the need to be apart, there is a unity within this community.

To all of you who have asked questions to help us grow and improve, to all of you who have persevered, to all of you who are juggling this new situation, to all of you who have thanked the team, to all of you for being open and welcoming to our calls, to each and everyone of you - thank you.

There is no doubt that things will change as time passes. But, we are all collectively working towards regaining normality, by staying home, and being able to enjoy those things we perhaps have taken for granted before.

I urge you to embrace the learning, but equally embrace the opportunity to do things you may have put off for so long. Teach people the family recipe, finish that book, even use that bath bomb you've had for months but never quite got round to using! Although my tone may be frivolous, my attitude is not. In times where there is uncertainty utilise the space and the time if you can.

To any of our MAPS community who are key workers, including our teachers, you are all doing amazing things for the greater good and we applaud you. Please know that we are all entirely grateful for the work you are doing in unprecedented circumstances.

Finally, seeing the learning, the love and life from your response is testament to you all.

Stay home, stay positive.

J.D. Hives