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Swinton Queen Primary School newsletter 12th February 2021

What another strange half term and 6 weeks of lock-down complete! Whilst this has been a very tough time for everyone, it has been great to see the community rally together with everyone working together and supporting each other. As you know, school have had to close a bubble for the first time throughout this pandemic. Whilst this was not something we had wanted to to do, it does show how lucky we have been and how effective our school systems / risk assessment is, as many other schools have had large numbers of bubble closures. We will continue to do all we can to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19 and want to thank you all for all you are doing too.

As we move into the next half term we eagerly await the decision of the government with regards to schools and when / how they can start to reopen to more of our children. As you will see in a letter we are sending out today, school have planned for this and are making some changes to bubbles when school reopens after the half term. This will mean that we are set up ready to welcome all pupils back into school as soon as we are advised we can do this. In summary, children will be returning to their own classes and taught by their usual class teacher. Further details are provided in the letter we will publish to DOJO.

We hope everyone manages to have a lovely half term, despite the restrictions we all face, and look forward to hopefully seeing more of you in the next half term.

Mrs Cunningham & Mr Goddard

What has been going on at SQP this half term

One thing we are keen to do is to keep all our families up to date with what we have been doing as a school - both areas that we have previously shared and other things that have been happening in the background. Whilst we have been restricted with some things due to COVID e.g. school trip and events, there has been plenty going on. This is what has happened this half term;

  • Full review of how we teach early reading and the purchasing of new reading books to support our delivery of Phonics.
  • A refurbishment of both the KS1 and KS2 reading areas.
  • Review of key policies linked to teaching and learning, with new marking & feedback and presentation policies written, which will be implemented upon return after the half term break.
  • New display boards throughout school to encourage a love for reading and to improve the general environment.
  • The set up of a school blogging platform. This is currently being used by Yrs 5 & 6 and is being rolled out to Yrs 3 & 4 in the next half term.
  • Created a school Twitter account - @SwintonQueen
  • Purchasing additional Chrome Books - both for in school and to support home learning.
  • Full review of the ICT infrastructure and an action plan written to address any areas that need developing e.g. the internet.
  • Parent questionnaire sent out, results shared with our families, and areas acted on.
  • Online learning platforms set up with recorded videos, live check ins, story times, worksheets and activities.
Communication with families

After reviewing our current systems, and talking to parents, we are going to be making some changes over the next half term. We are doing this as we were sharing a lot of information on DOJO and some of the most important messages were getting missed.

Class Dojo

Class Dojo is an amazing platform to share information with parents as well as class based events. We are looking into how we can use this (once all children are back in school) to share work that is done at school with families as well. It has been great for us to see the work that is being done at home and we would love to be able to share with you some of the work being done in school as well.

If you need access to Dojo as a parent please contact the office. We can set this up so both parents have access on their own accounts.

Arbor

School currently use a system called Arbor to manage our pupil information and record attendance. There is also an 'App' that parents can download that also gives you access to some of this information and allows you to update your contacts details as well as being able to update various permission forms. This app also allows school to send free messages to families - both emails and texts. We therefore intend to use this messaging platform to send home key messages to parents instead of the text messaging system currently being used. These messages will be for things such as school closures and delayed school trip returns.

We will be deciding which features we will be using over the next few weeks and will offer as much support as we can to get this up and running. We will be setting up PC's in the community room for parents to use if they need help setting up access to the app.

Some of the features we will be unlocking, over time, include the following;

  • Key attendance information.
  • Edit your contact details.
  • Register for before / after school club.
  • Book parent evening slots.
  • Add / review medical information.
  • Manage payments / make payments for school trips etc.
Remote Learning

A huge thank you to our children and their families who have been working remotely. We know it has been a huge challenge for you all. Please remember to check the school website for some useful information. If you have any problems logging on or questions please don't hesitate to contact us. You should find that in your child's Dojo page there is now the option to message either us (Mr Goddard or Mrs Cunningham) as well as the class teacher. If you have general questions or ideas that could help please do message us and we will try to help as best we can. If it is a question specifically about the lesson content, logging in or a general class matter please message the teacher as we won't be able to help you with that.

https://www.swintonqueenprimary.org.uk/remote-learning

We are also working with other Primary Heads to explore the best practice so we can make our home learning as meaningful as possible. One area we are looking into is - do we have live teaching or pre-recorded lessons uploaded? We are trying to cater for a lot of families who may struggle to get online for the live sessions and don't want these children to miss out on the input completely.

School Holidays

Feb. half-term – School closes today Friday, 12th February 2021 and re-opens on Monday 22nd February 2021.

Easter – School closes on Friday, 26th March 2021 and re-opens on Monday, 12th April 2021.

May Day – School closes on Friday, 30th April 2021 and re-opens on Tuesday, 4th May 2021

INSET DAY - Thursday 6th May

Spring Bank – School closes on

Friday, 28th May 2021 and re-opens on Tuesday, 8th June 2021. The 7th June is an INSET day.

Summer – School closes on Tuesday, 20th July 2021.

Free School Meals

As many of you will know, those families who are entitled to free school meals (not the free meals the government provide for the younger children) will be receiving a £15 voucher every week during lockdown per child. We have now sent out these vouchers via email to eligible parents. A further voucher should be received for use over half term. Even if you have children who currently receive a free meal due to their age we would encourage all families to see if they meet the criteria for this.

If you think you are entitled to receive free school meals benefit for your child you can apply to the council using the link below.

HYPERLINK "https://www.rotherham.gov.uk/benefits/apply-free-school-meals/1" https://www.rotherham.gov.uk/benefits/apply-free-school-meals/1

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