Letter to all families 2020-05-15

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15th May 2020

Dear families,

We hope that you are safe and well.

We wanted to write to you to thank you for your ongoing support and to update you on some key information about our school community and the work we have been doing.

We appreciate just what a challenging time this has been for all of us and we have valued very much being able to stay in regular contact with you and your child through your child’s coach.

Our coaching system facilitates the maintaining of effective relationships between school and home, and we recognise how key this has been to enabling us to stay strong as a school community, remaining in frequent contact and able to support each other through these difficult weeks. We appreciate the feedback that many of you have given highlighting how helpful and positive this contact has been.

Learning at home

The school has been offering a number of ways for your child to stay connected and engaged with their learning. We recognise fully that it is not possible to recreate the same learning experience at home as your child would have at school and have worked to ensure that there are different ways that you can support your child’s progress.

The main point of contact to access learning is our school website. Here you can find online tutorials/presentations made by CMCS staff for our children, to ensure that they can learn new content and complete a mini assessment/quiz. Additionally there are multiple resources and links to websites and other online generic resources for all age groups that can support your child’s learning.

We understand that access to online learning and the use of IT equipment can be hard for families, particularly with siblings and/or adults needing to also access work from home. Therefore we have ensured that all the tutorials can be accessed from a smart phone and that also, work packs are provided every fortnight for all families to ensure that pupils can do work offline if needs be.

Your child should be accessing learning daily throughout the week and those pupils studying at KS4 should ensure that they use this time to support their studies for GCSEs and assessments as best they can. We recognise too that lots of activities undertaken within the family home can support learning and progress and have enjoyed hearing about crafts, baking, lego-building, reading and game-playing that many have been doing!

Additionally, our website has story readings updated weekly; regular Wake Up Shake Up routines added; daily class DoJo challenges; weekly Community Arts Challenges as well as latest updates for your information.

Support

We have been able to offer the loan of reading books and board games to families as well. Please do contact your child’s coach if you would like more information about this scheme.

The school has continued to ensure that all children entitled to a free school meal have had that entitlement met every school day and we continue to be committed to ensuring that our school support is available to families who may need a helping hand at this time. Please feedback through your child’s coach if you have any questions, queries or concerns.

Several staff and members of the local community have been part of a significant effort assembling face visors for the NHS. With over 400 volunteers attending one or more ‘shift’ we have been able this week to hit the 67,000 mark and we were truly humbled and delighted to see pictures of nurses at Leeds St James’ Hospital wearing PPE made here at CMCS in partnership with our wider school community – a really proud moment!

Additionally staff, with the help of some pupils, have been sewing and stitching face masks, laundry bags and scrubs all to support our NHS frontline key workers. It has been a true team effort and has encapsulated perfectly the community ethos that runs through our school.

There has been, and will continue to be, speculation about when and how schools will fully open. We will as always keep the safety and wellbeing of our pupils our priority, and we know how important it is that our children access their learning, their peer groups and the school community as soon as this can be undertaken safely.

Next steps

There will be periods of further change and adjustment as we move forward, and we know that this can feel difficult. We also know that we can get through it together, in partnership, working closely to support our children.

You can help prepare your child for returning to school by encouraging them to do the learning set for them by their teachers, ensuring they speak with their coach regularly and helping them maintain good habits and routines.

In the coming weeks we will be contacting families with children in Reception, Year 1, and Year 6 to outline how we will support these year groups returning to school safely from 1st June. We know that this will need to look differently to our usual school day and we will ensure that the wellbeing of the children remains at the heart of our decision making.

We will also be in touch with families of children in Year 10 to share with you the plans and structure of facilitating some face to face contact with staff in school and supporting their learning at home whilst studying for their GCSE courses.

We are looking forward very much to being able to work in more normal routines and in the meantime will work with you to maintain our school community whilst at home. We know that ‘normal’ school may not be back in session for all our pupils for the time being and we will continue to work with you to provide the very best support, guidance and learning in the current circumstances.

Best wishes,

Yours sincerely

Simon Flowers – Executive Principal

Lucie Lakin – Principal