Government abandons plans to reopen primary schools to all pupils in England before the summer holidays.

Dear Parents/Carers,

Gavin Williamson has abandoned government plans to reopen primary schools to all pupils in England before the summer holidays.

Instead, the education secretary said schools will be asked to take in whatever children they can while sticking to the rules on maximum class sizes of 15 pupils and social distancing.

I will be working with the leadership team and Governors to look at best and fairest way of organising the remaining weeks of this year for our pupils, whilst still keeping everyone safe.

We will research any new guidance, adapt our action plans/risk assessments and will be in contact with our plans as soon as possible.

We would all like to thank you for your continuous support and patience.

James Procter

New AMAZE Support for Parents

Amaze has a brand new section on our website all about Coronavirus and children and young people with SEND in Sussex.

The Amaze SENDIASS team worked closely with the local authorities in East Sussex and Brighton & Hove to get accurate information about the way services are running during the pandemic and give advice about some of the complex questions and decisions that parents and carers may need to face. The sections include education, health and wellbeing, social care and safety, money and essentials and getting support from Amaze. We’ve also got a section just for young people that focuses on their needs and worries.

The new SEND Coronavirus advice section is here: amazesussex.org.uk/coronavirus-advice

Safe Reopening Arrangements

Dear Parents and Carers,

We hope you are all well. Thank you for your patience & understanding whilst we have been working on the arrangements for how we will potentially reopen the school.

Please refer to this letter detailing the measures being taken at East Hoathly School to ensure, ​as much as possible, a safe reopening could occur from June 1st 2020, provided the government confirm their 5 tests have been met.

We appreciate that this letter contains a great deal of information, but please do read this carefully so that you are aware of the measures being taken in school to keep pupils, parents, staff and the wider community safe.

The detail in this letter is applicable for the first phase of the reopening, only. Subsequent information about any changes that we need to make following further government guidance will be sent out in the same format, with changes clearly highlighted. You will see the letter is called ‘Version 1’ and any subsequent letters will be numbered so it is clear for you to see changes or updates. Click here for the full action plan.

Also available is a guide for children aimed at preparing them for the changes they will see in school, allowing them to be part of the risk assessment for opening and ensuring they are clear on boundaries before they come into school. If you are choosing to send your children to school, please share this with them to help them understand what school will be like. In addition, there are a number of stories and animations that are great for helping children to understand the pandemic which you may find useful to share:

We ask that you email the school office by Monday 25th May to let us know if you are planning to send your child to school in the week beginning 1st June so that we can prepare for numbers and registers.

Please do not hesitate to get in contact if you have any questions or concerns about the potential reopening of the school and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

We hope you have a lovely half term,

Mr Procter and Miss Lewis

School Reopening Update

Dear Parents/Carers,

I hope you and all your families are keeping well and staying safe during these challenging times.

The Government have said that schools may reopen as early as the 1st June to Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children if we are able to do so.

I just wanted to reassure you that although we all want your children back in school as soon as possible, we only want this if it is safe for your children, your families and our staff. Yesterday we received more guidance from the government and we are in the process of planning how we can open safely to those year groups in the coming weeks.

I also wanted to let you know that when we do open to those year groups, it will be up to you to decide whether you wish to send your children in or not. You know your family situation best and if you decide to keep your children at home, we will support that decision. We will keep you updated with all our preparations for making sure the school is as safe as possible so that you can make an informed decision.

We would all like to thank you for your continuous support in helping your children to learn from home. I hope you all continue to remain safe and well and we look forward to welcoming you all back when it is safe to do so.

Yours sincerely,

James Procter

Possible Reopening in June

Dear Parents/Carers,

I am sure many of you will have seen or heard the Prime Minister’s message to the nation yesterday, encouraging people to return to essential work if they are not able to work from home.

In the same speech, Boris Johnson suggested that primary schools could potentially reopen to children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 from Monday 1st June, after the half term break.

We will need more detail from the government about how it plans for schools to operate during any phased return and we plan to communicate this to you as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely,

James Procter

Children with Speech & Language Needs

Dear Parents of children with speech and language needs,

To support your children’s speech, language and communication needs, Speech Link and Language LInk have fast tracked the launch of their new Parent Portal to help with this. The site will be live from Friday 20th March and will provide parents with FREE speech and language advice, resources and activities.

Parents can be reassured that the support for their children, who have SLCN, doesn’t have to stop once their school closes.

The site can be found at https://speechandlanguage.info/parents

Education for Children of Key Workers

Dear Parents/Carers,

We have now received further guidance from the government around which children will still have education provided for them.

Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined below. Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.

Please, therefore, follow these key principles:

  1. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
  2. If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
  3. Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
  4. Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
  5. Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.

The first question that must be considered when making a decision about where your child should be as of Monday 23rd March

is outlined by the government. They are recommending that:

If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should beWe ask that you consider this carefully so that no child, adult or family is put at risk.

The list of ‘Key Workers’, as defined by the government, is as follows:

Health and social care: This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.

Education and childcare: This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.

Key public services: This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.

Local and national government: This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies.

Food and other necessary goods: This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).

Public safety and national security: This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas.

Transport: This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.

Utilities, communication and financial services: This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.

We appreciate that this is a concerning and rapidly changing landscape and so will aim to keep you as updated with school arrangements as we can. Please inform your child’s school office if you are not receiving emails. Updates will also be posted on all schools’ websites.

If your child is eligible for Free School Meals (not including the Key Stage 1 provision), please contact your school to indicate whether you would like this service to continue throughout this closure period. We are liaising with Chartwells (our catering provider) about their plans to be able to provide food packages which can be delivered to you.

The arrangements for Chiddingly and East Hoathly are: If your child currently attends one of these schools and you require provision for them, these children will all be based at Chiddingly School. Please ensure they arrive at school for 8:50am and are picked up no later than 3:15pm. There will be a catering team on site if your child requires a hot meal and you should inform staff as soon as possible if this is the case. School uniform is optional during this closure period.

The arrangements for St Mary the Virgin are: From Monday 23rd March – Friday 27th March, the children who require provision should attend the school from 8:50am and should be picked up no later than 3:15pm. Please note, there will be no catering team on site so your child will need a packed lunch. The continunation of this arrangement very much depends on the advice we receive from Local Authority. The likelihood is that, over the coming weeks, children from smaller local schools will be asked to attend another larger school in the locality and we will keep you as up to date as we can with details of this. School uniform is optional during this closure period.

We would ask that you continue to refer to the government’s advice that children should be at home where it is at all possible, and that you regularly review your situation regarding your child(ren).

Staff across the Federation are working extremely hard to ensure that we play our part in fighting COVID-19 and it is a difficult time for all. Thank you for your continued support, understanding and patience at this time.

 Stay safe and we look forward to welcoming you all back to school soon.

School to Close after 20th March

We are writing to inform you that we have been instructed to close the school due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) to the majority of pupils. The school will be closed at the end of Friday 20th March and most pupils should not attend school until further notice. We will let you know when the school is fully reopen via a message through ParentMail and on the school websites.

The pupils who the government have said could attend school are listed here:

  • Children of ‘Key Workers’ who need to be at work to support the country’s fight to tackle the Coronavirus – please note we are awaiting a full list from the Government but this is the information we have so far:
    • NHS staff
    • Police officers
    • Supermarket delivery drivers
  • Vulnerable children – please note we are awaiting a full list from the Government but this is the information we have so far:
    • Those with Educational Health Care Plans (EHCP)
    • Those who have a Social Worker

If you, or your child, are in one of the listed categories, please could you inform us as soon as possible and by 9am on Friday 20th March whether you will be sending your child into school so we can plan ahead for this.

Please refer to the letter sent out on Wednesday 18th March regarding pupils’ activities and work set over the closure period.

Staff emails have been set up specifically for the closure so that you and children can contact staff during this time. Staff will be accessing their emails during school hours. These email accounts will be deleted when the school reopens.

The staff email addresses for the closure period are as follows:

Reception Miss Denney and Mrs Smith eh-reception@pioneerfederation.co.uk
Year 1/2 Miss Williams, Mrs Pattenden and Miss Hillier eh-year12@pioneerfederation.co.uk
Year 3/4 Mr Lulham, Mrs Pattenden and Miss Roberts eh-year34@pioneerfederation.co.uk
Year 5/6 Mrs Healy and Mrs Thompson eh-year56@pioneerfederation.co.uk
Inclusion Manager Mrs Levey senco@easthoathly.e-sussex.sch.uk
Thrive Mrs Smith eh-thrive@pioneerfederation.co.uk

Wellbeing and Support

Safeguarding continues to be a priority, especially when the school is not open to pupils. If you have any worries related to welfare or safeguarding issues, please contact us using the email addresses above.

There are a number of organsiations that can support families in a variety of ways:

We appreciate that a closure is going to have an impact on you and your family and it’s a far from an ideal scenario. We will keep in touch with any updates as the situation develops. Please continue to check the Coronavirus tabs on each website. If you want to get in touch to share any concerns, please don’t hesitate to do so via the Office email, as usual.

Please use NHS 111 online if you or your child feels unwell and you want to know what to do next.  For government updates: www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

Thank you for your continued support.

Stay safe and we look forward to welcoming you all back to school soon.

Possible School Closure

Dear Parents/Carers,

If we need to close the school due to the Coronavirus, we would like to provide clarity now about how we plan to support pupils in their education during the closure period.

Your child’s learning is important to us, so, during the closure, we’ll continue to support pupils as follows:

  • You will find work set for them on the class pages on the school websites. See specific details below for each class.
  • There will be staff emails set up specifically for the closure so that you and children can contact teachers during this time. These email addresses will be sent out soon. Staff will be accessing their emails during school hours. These email accounts will be deleted after the closure. If we don’t hear back from you, we will assume that you are giving your consent for email correspondence during the closure period.
  • Leahy & Mrs. Levey (the Federation Inclusion Managers/SENDCOs) will also be available to contact through their emails: sleahy@pioneerfederation.co.uk & senco@easthoathly.e-sussex.sch.uk
  • Each child will receive an exercise book to be used to record work in.

Nursery

There will be a weekly updates for activity ideas and websites on the Nursery website.

Reception

  • Each week, the Reception teams will upload a weekly planner of activities to the website for you to complete with your child. This planner will be updated on a Friday for the following week. We have suggested a timetable with daily activities, however these can be carried out in any order and whenever you have time to complete them.
  • We have tried to include activities using resources that you are likely to have at home. We will also supply each child with a small home learning kit to support these. There are a range of activities to include daily household resources and clips of short learning, and all of these activities are designed to be short and manageable.
  • Please use your home learning book to record any written tasks. We look forward to seeing these as soon as we can. Feel free to email us photos or messages to the class email address and we will respond between 8.40-3.15, Monday to Friday. It would be great to receive a weekly update from the children so we can share their home experiences!

Year 1-2

There will be weekly PDF files to cover learning in Maths and English which will be put on the class pages on the website. From these, daily tasks will be set which will be linked to Purple Mash or work to be completed in their exercise books. The tasks will be across the both Year 1 and 2 grouped in challenges from cool to spicy for the children to access.

There will be ‘2Do’ challenges on Purple Mash and a home learning task sheet which will cover other subjects.

Year 1: Phonics tasks will be sent home alongside the sound mat and common exception words which the children are working on daily. You will find these in their exercise books and they will also be on the website. Please have a go at a section a day and practice reading and spelling a few common exception words each day.

Year 2: SATs question sheets will be sent home in their exercise books which help the children to revise all the learning they have covered so far and keep their new knowledge fresh in their heads. The children can do 10 mins a day on these sheets; please remember the children can use objects to count and draw their learning if they are stuck. They will also have a common exception word sheet for them to continue spelling and reading the words.

Year 3-4

  • A document with suggested activities for curriculum areas will be uploaded to the class page on the school website. Children should choose 2 activities for each area of the curriculum to complete at home over a three week period. These can be brought back into school (once the school reopens) for sharing with their teachers and other children.
  • Maths will continue to be set through MyMaths with a task being uploaded daily. There are also plenty of ‘lessons’ that can be accessed for assistance if the children are finding a task difficult to complete at home. Children should continue to practise times tables regularly (at least 3x weekly) and the times table challenge that the children use in class will be uploaded to the class page on the website.
  • For the first two days of a school closure, Literacy will be set through ‘2Dos’ on PurpleMash and extension tasks will be uploaded onto the class pages. After this, a weekly powerpoint will be uploaded detailing grammar and a writing task to be completed over a week. All Literacy work completed should be put into the exercise book that we have sent home with the children, or they can be emailed into the class teacher for some feedback.
  • Spellings patterns that would be the whole class focus are already on the website for the rest of Term 4 and children should continue to learn their weekly spellings. There are a variety of resources on PurpleMash under English – Spelling Resources and these are then listed by year group.

 Year 5-6

  • A suggested daily timetable will be provided on the website class page.
  • A document with suggested activities for curriculum areas will be uploaded to the class page on the school website. Children should choose 2 activities for each area of the curriculum to complete at home over a three-week period. These can be brought back into school once the school reopens for sharing with their teachers and other children.
  • Maths will be set via MyMaths the expectation is to do a daily lesson and the task and aim to achieve a green percentage score before moving on. Pupils should also complete arithmetic practise on MyMaths – this is on the home screen.
  • Literacy will be set via a weekly PowerPoint uploaded to the website class page detailing a writing task to be completed over a week. All Literacy work completed should be put into the exercise book that we have sent home with the children. There is also a separate grammar & punctuation PowerPoint on the website class page, of which children should use to complete one of the activities a day.
  • Daily reading tasks will be based on ‘The Explorer’ – on the website class page you can find PDF of each chapter and accompanying questions.
  • Pupils should also continue working their way through the Year 5&6 statutory spelling list – recognising patterns, understanding definitions and using them within a context.
  • Pupils can also use the back of the exercise book provided to keep a journal, giving them the opportunity to share how they are feeling, how they are keeping healthy, what you have achieved each day, what are you grateful for, what problems have you solved today etc.
  • Year 6 – continue working through their CGP books regularly and you can also find a link to previous SATs papers and answers on the website class page.

If you need reminding about the logins for any of the programmes mentioned, please see your child’s Class Teacher as soon as possible.

The links below also have a range of free resources:

We appreciate that a closure will have an impact on you and your family and it’s a far from an ideal scenario. We will keep in touch with any updates as the situation develops. Please continue to check the Coronavirus tabs on each website. If you want to get in touch to share any concerns, please don’t hesitate to do so via the Office email, as usual.

Please use NHS 111 online if you or your child feels unwell and you want to know what to do next.  For government updates: www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

Thank you for your continued support.

Yours sincerely,

James Procter
Executive Headteacher