Our Week(s) 17th - 1st May 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
I am writing to you following a successful period at Ark Oval; we have creatively and carefully surmounted numerous obstacles in the last few weeks. The new workbooks are available for you on the Parent Support page. They are reflective of the efforts staff are making to ensure learning is accessible and engaging for the children as well as the great feedback from parents and children. A few examples of the superb home learning exercises going on can be seen below. We are now recording and providing audio accompanied powerpoints to support children at home. We also have printed and posted/hand-delivered nearly 400 workbooks for those who told us they had no printing facilities.
We also had confirmation of our numbers of the new children for 20/21. We again will be maintaining our 3 form entry status (an achievement in a record low birth rate intake year). For the first time in many years, we have a waiting list! Which again speaks of the growing school reputation.
I have had a small number of queries regarding if we would be doing daily lessons via Zoom or another medium and could we make daily work available. In short - no. We have looked at everything that has been evidenced as most successful for children learning, parent participation and what is most sensitive to the needs of working/non-working parents as well as the welfare of our staff. We are making weekly welfare call, now supported by our teaching assistants to help spread the burden of what works out to be three days per week on the phone before time spent preparing resources and supporting colleagues and parents in need. We are looking purely at longer-term sustainable options where we can ensure the highest quality provision - the system we have now appeared to be durable and beneficial.
Also, there has been a lot of noise in the papers about our return to school. To be clear as it stands, you have as much information as we do. We have reopening and reintegration plans for a Summer reopening or a September start - we have considered and looked at this in detail as a leadership team. However, as it stands, this is nothing but plans and as President D.Eisenhower once said...
"Plans are useless, but planning is invaluable."
As soon as we know - you will know.
BOOKS OF THE WEEK:
Chapter book of the week: The Sheep-Pig by Dick King-Smith (Read by Mr Martlew) https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLk1TAPJ2DJXwrgyS_siwiy5KuI869Z3E5
The short story of the week: The Lion Who Wanted to Love (Read by Mrs Downey) https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLk1TAPJ2DJXy-UzjV_iGejNK5rVrxAp_M
Plus a whole load of fantastic phonics videos produced by our ever-brilliant Mrs Thomas that can be accessed here. Please make full use of our parental support page to access the remote learning workbooks, contact details for staff and links to all our videos.