Parent / Carer Update 4th November 2020

Thursday 05 November 2020

Dear Parents and Carers, 


I hope this finds you and your families safe and well. I am writing to you to update you with the academies position considering Saturday's announcement from the government. Please be aware we have received no direct instructions from the Department for Education as of yet so these adjustments will remain subject to change.  


Opening: The academy is committed to remaining open as long as it is safe and prudent to do so. We would reiterate our request to parents to be considerate in their actions. If you or your child has a persistent cough and no runny nose you / your child must isolate until a test has been completed. We have already published our plan of action in the case of a positive test but would prefer that we did not have to take that action.  


Bubbles: the bubble size will remain at 90. We understand that it may be frustrating that a positive test in an entirely different class will bring your child out of school. However, the reality of the school day at Oval makes any smaller size bubble logistically impossible.  


Gate Times: We are going to amend the gate times as the system we currently have has reduced traffic to a safe level. The number of parents arriving at the end of each slot is negligible. Therefore, times for the morning gate will be as follows. 


Reception: 0845 - 0900  

Year 1: 0815 - 0835 

Year 2: 0815 - 0835  

Year 3: 0815 - 0835  

Year 4: 0815 - 0835  

Year 5: 0815 - 0835  

Year 6: 0815 - 0835  


As it stands, the afternoon gate will remain the same, but we will look to reduce this if possible shortly. 


Parent Consultations: We will not be holding parent consultations in school. Instead, your class teacher will be in touch with you before the end of November via phone for a consultation with you that will cover all the usual aspects of the parent consultation. This consultation will also detail what gap-closing strategies will be utilised to secure your child's progress based on their baseline assessment results. 


Home learning: On average, the baseline assessment is showing that the children are more than a year adrift of their expected point for the academic standard in their year group. As such, we are moving to COMPULSORY home learning. As we are in a COVID situation, this cannot comprise anything paper going to and from home, so all home learning will be electronic.  


Spell Zoo - will be used for spelling with a weekly spelling test on Fridays.  

Mathletics - an online system for setting Mathematics homework and unlimited mental arithmetic challenges (this also has a great feature where you can compete against other children from around the world safely and securely - in the past our pupils have been in the top 30 nationally for speed and accuracy) 

Times Table Rock Stars: A multiplication assessment and instruction tool - CRUCIAL for Year 4 as the National Multiplication Assessment will be going ahead as normal.  

At least 20 mins reading per day: we will be sending books home in due course and a pack of logins to online reading services. 


All logins will be sent home in one letter so that you have all the information in one place.  


Remote Learning/Self Isolation: As per the 23rd October it is a legal requirement that the school provide daily contact and appropriate learning for children self-isolating. As such please be aware if your child is self-isolating we will be calling you daily and be setting learning that we expect to be completed. 


Face coverings: We have requested that you wear face coverings for collection and drop off. In school, we have now extended that to staff wearing face coverings around the school and in all communal areas. We would request that children are also provided with face coverings to wear in communal places such as break and lunch and outside of classrooms. We prefer the non-disposable masks to limit the expense for you and environmental impact. This measure is not mandatory yet in school, but we feel it would significantly support the reduction of possible transmission.  


Visitors to school: Until there is additional clarity from the government, there are no external visitors allowed in school. Please be patient if we ask you to attend meetings virtually or via the phone. 


Thank you for your support.


Toby Martlew


Ark Oval Primary Academy