School Closure Letter COVID-19
19th March 2020
Re: School Closure Update: Teaching and Learning
I am writing to inform you that based on government directives we have made the difficult decision to close the school from Friday 20th March 2020 at 12.20pm. This closure is indefinite and we will endeavor to update parents with regularity through the school website and social media outlets as more information is provided by central government.
Although the building is closed, we are still expecting your child to undertake daily learning activities. Due to this, high quality work will be provided for all pupils in order that their education should not suffer. Some of this will be provided to pupils in hard copy, with learning expectations as well as supporting and enhancement materials on the school Kanexion portal. https://www.kanexion.com/sportalnew/access/1/1/1/login.php
When the closure occurs, teachers will still be working from home, updating teaching resources and lessons on a regular basis through this system, or via email. Parent and carers are able to contact teachers if required through the Kanexion messaging service. All details and instructions to do this were sent home with pupils on 17th March 2020.
As stated previously at this moment in time we do not know how long the school will be closed for, so it is important that your child continues with their studies to keep their mind active. The education of all Our Lady’s pupils and support of families will always be an imperative for the school throughout the current national crisis. Consequently the school will be staying open for a selection of pupils in order to support parents in key areas.
If you are the parent/carer of an EHCP, Looked After, or vulnerable child a member of school staff will be in contact to establish any support needed. Additionally, the school will be open to the pupils of any key workers.
A school community is so much more than its building and as a Catholic school we have reminded our pupils of the importance of living out the gospel values within their communities and the need to look out for each other during this period of time. In the meantime, the best additional advice that we can give is to continue to follow all national guidance which are updated regularly. Please encourage your child to maintain good hygiene routines and regularly check the school website, social media and Kanexion for further updates.
Thank you for your support
How Parents Can Support Their Children With Home Learning.
“Home learning is one area where parents can play a very active and encouraging part in their child’s education. On a very basic level, it can help kick-start conversations between parents and children, especially in families where busy work and extracurricular commitments may prevent regular mealtimes together.”
While research has shown that regular family mealtimes is an excellent way to boost academic performance, this isn’t always possible for families to achieve. Therefore alternative times have to be manufactured to promote conversation and for parents to demonstrate interest in their child’s schooling. Home learning can also help parents identify areas of strength and those for improvement, potentially more successfully than the classroom teachers.
Home learning is also a lesson in independence and time management, and pupils need support to manage these commitments – developing a schedule and helping them balance their home learning with extracurricular activities and family commitments is important.
• Set up a space for your child to do their homework.
• While making this space in their bedroom is sometimes the easiest option, this automatically makes home learning a solitary activity.
• If there is an option for a space in a communal area of the house this helps promote discussions and it is easier to get involved without it feeling like an intrusion.
• Wherever the space, give the learner some ownership over it and make it an inviting space to spend time in. New stationery, a comfy chair and good lighting will also help.
Make it positive
• Make parental input a positive thing.
• Ask them about what they are doing and be interested, even if you don’t understand it.
• If your child has a question about their work, help them, but try not to tell them the answer. Use questioning to help them get as close to the answer as they can. Doing these practices in will mean that home learning a bigger part of their learning outside of school, your child is comfortable discussing it with you and values your input.
Let them make mistakes
• It’s OK for answers to be wrong.
• Telling your child the right answer and getting them to just write it down means that the teacher is none the wiser about which bits they are struggling with and which they excel at.
• Help but not too much and leave the mistakes as they are for a teacher to see. Any errors are very revealing and this helps teachers adjust their teaching to address these issues.
• The chances are, if your child doesn’t understand it, others in the class probably don’t either, and home learning is a great way of highlighting this to the teacher.
• Give them time to complete work set.
• It is ok if they don’t stick to the normal time constraints of a normal school day. Allow them some flexibility for other commitments if they need it.
• Allowing them some space in the family schedule means they will be able to start allocating their own time and gives them plenty of time to complete the work set. This will allow more time for discussion, greater conversation between family members and the learner, and an altogether calmer approach.
Insist work is finished
• Do not excuse incomplete work, if the requirements are for an appropriate amount.
• If your child is struggling, support them in finding support, either online or from friends.
Links to support independent home learning – if you would like to extend what is being asked of them
The Our Lady’s Kanexion Home Learning Portal
Subject Specific Learning Platforms and Resources
Maths – Dr Frost
English –Our Lady’s YouTube page, Instagram
History – Our Lady’s YouTube page
Geography – Instagram
Languages – Active Learn, Linguascope
Science – Seneca
RE – Seneca
Food – Seneca, Kahoot,
PE – The Ever Learner
Technology - Instagram