Update following the Prime Minister's Statement
11 May 2020
I wanted to write to you this morning with a brief update following the Prime Minister’s broadcast last night. Unfortunately, the information you heard is exactly the same as we have had as a school; we have had no clarifications and were given no information in advance to help us respond to the announcements. We are expecting the Department for Education to publish more information for schools today and so we will be reading that carefully as soon as it is available. All we know is that the school will be partially open for Year 6 pupils from Monday 1st June.
We will be in discussion with the Derbyshire County Council Advisory service, as well as catering and cleaning services, to ensure we make the school environment safe for Year 6 pupils to return. We will obviously be taking the next few days to create clear guidelines on how children will enter school, move around school and how we will ensure transition; celebrating their time at Wirksworth Juniors. As you will expect, school will not be normal as we know it, and we will still need to keep to the social distancing rules, which is what we will be working through in the next few days. For the rest of the school, home learning will continue as normal, until we feel we can accommodate the children safely in school. We will be ensuring children in Years 3, 4 and 5 get to meet their new class teacher for September before we break in the summer. Please bear with us as we navigate ourselves around the new guidelines, but at the same time I want to reassure you that we have the children’s safety and wellbeing at the forefront of our minds. Things have been difficult, and they will continue to be so as we slowly come out of lockdown, so please be patient as we work through the best course of action for your children’s safe return to school.
** Guidelines have not changed on who is a key worker at the moment, so if you require childcare for next week, please let us know by Wednesday evening. **
Expectations on home learning
It has been eight weeks since schools closed to everyone but the children of key workers, and we have had six weeks of home learning. I know the home learning has been hard and I want to remind you that if you are struggling to teach a lesson to your child, or you are getting frustrated because your child is losing motivation and concentration, then please do give yourself time and space and pause the learning for a day - try to enjoy this time. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to complete the work if this is creating too much anxiety. Speak to your child’s class teacher and they may be able to advise another way into the learning. Teaching can be very rewarding, but at times very frustrating, particularly with your own children. So take some time out and try again on another day.
If there is one area to continue to work on at home, it is reading. Get your child to read at home on their own, read with a younger or older sibling or read to them yourselves. Try to enjoy this time together. Mrs Meehan, our fabulous new deputy, has produced a helpful video on how to help your child to read from home. Reading is so important for every subject and if your child can read well it increases their opportunities in later life. So, get a pen and paper ready, as you may want to take some notes, and follow the link below to give you hints and tips on what you can practically do. https://www.wirksworth-junior.com/english/
Mr Bunting has created another celebration assembly. To see this please follow the link. https://www.wirksworth-junior.com/assemblies/
Thanks to everyone who has got on board and signed up to Class Dojo. We do encourage everyone to do this, and Class Dojo will continue to be our communication system with parents once we all come back into school. For those of you not yet signed up, your child’s class teacher will be getting in touch to see if you need any help with this.
Year 6 Transition
AGS are currently looking at transition arrangements and are hoping to send out a video of the school introducing key staff and give a brief tour of the school, but for now they have asked if we can share their Spring Newsletter to you, so again follow the link to find out more about the school.
Finally, as we come out of the lockdown – I can now say I will look forward to seeing some of you, at least, on Monday 1st June.