Guidance for home learning

24th April 2020

Friday 24th April

Dear Parents and Carers

I hope this letter finds you and your family well.

The summer term has begun and we are still no closer to knowing when school will open again, but I think it is safe to say that a ‘fully open’ school is still many weeks away. Therefore, I write to share some guidance on home learning expectations to help guide us all through the coming months.

It is important to recognise that every family is different. I read a quote this morning which said “We are sailing through the same storm but we are all in different boats” and I think that describes our circumstances perfectly. Some families will be enjoying lockdown as ‘bonus’ time with loved ones, with parents at home and a regular income. Some have parents on the frontline, working long hours and dealing with risk and anxiety. Others will be dealing with loss of income and sick relatives, and there will be hundreds of other scenarios in between.

The following guidance is ‘the ideal’ but it is impossible to create a ‘one size fits all’ solution. We recognise that it will not be achievable all of the time. Mrs Oades and I have 44 years of teaching experience between us, but home-schooling 3 kids whilst working from home and entertaining a bored puppy, is still a huge challenge at times!

We understand that things might not go well every day and the main priority is to stay safe and happy. It is not essential to follow this guidance exactly, but it is important that all of our pupils are engaging with their learning and maintaining an active body and mind during this time.

Ideally, we would like to aim for 2 hours of daily active learning for Key Stage 2 pupils and 3 hours for Key Stage 3. This will involve regular English and Maths sessions, supplemented with other subjects; alongside regular reading, wellbeing activities, exercise and life skills. The children of key workers who are attending school daily will be following these guidelines too.

We will share a timetable for the following week every Friday as a guide to plan your learning. Our website is full of good quality resources, which have been updated today with new content for the summer term.  Daily maths lessons for Key Stage 2 can be accessed using our website link to White Rose Home learning, where a video tutorial and worksheet to complete will be available. The worksheets are designed to start off easier then become more challenging. If these cannot be printed, then children can record responses in their exercise books. Each session should take no longer than 20 minutes. Key Stage 3 should do the same for the 4 lessons of maths each week. For English, each year group has their own set of instructions and guidance on spelling grammar, punctuation, reading and writing. Supporting resources are all found on our website, with some links to other websites or online video clips. Paper copies of work packs can be requested if necessary.

We would like to see what children are learning too. Many of you have been sending in fantastic photos of your activities over the last few weeks and we have loved seeing them, keep them coming! We ask that, next week, every child sends an email to their form teacher, including a photo and/or description of the piece of work they are most proud of since lockdown began. This could be anything at all … a maths worksheet, the book they have been reading, an arts project or the shed they have built with dad!

We will now also be offering the opportunity for pupils and parents to contact their teachers for help with their work. This will be done via email to form teachers, who will either answer your questions directly, or forward them on to the relevant member of staff. We will answer all questions as soon as we are able, but please be understanding that teachers have their own families and circumstances to manage too, and that we may not be able to respond immediately. Please make sure that pupils’ names are clearly stated in any correspondence.

We would also like all children to keep a very simple learning record and email it to their form teacher at the end of every week. This will help them to manage their own learning and help us to tailor their learning when we return to school. A copy of next week’s timetable and learning record is attached to this letter.

Here is a list of form teacher emails for you to use:

5RbM               Mr Mills                                    rob.mills@highfield.northumberland.sch.uk

5SM                 Mrs Moore                                siobhan.moore@highfield.northumberland.sch.uk

5GP                 Mrs Gibson (Mon – Wed)            lyndsay.gibson@highfield.northumberland.sch.uk

                        Mrs Platt (Wed – Fri)                 angela.platt@highfield.northumberland.sch.uk

5CB                  Mrs Bell                                    clare.bell@highfield.northumberland.sch.uk

6KB                  Mr Bell                                      keith.bell@highfield.northumberland.sch.uk

6GB                 Mr Burt                                     gavin.burt@highfield.northumberland.sch.uk

6AL                  Mr Lillie                                    andrew.lillie@highfield.northumberland.sch.uk

6HC                 Mrs Hook                                  laura.hook@highfield.northumberland.sch.uk

                        Mrs Carnegie                            clare.carnegie@highfield.northumberland.sch.uk

7EA                  Mrs Andreou                             esther.andreou@highfield.northumberland.sch.uk

7JLx                 Miss Lomax                              june.lomax@highfield.northumberland.sch.uk

7RM                 Mr Mills                                    rodney.mills@highfield.northumberland.sch.uk

7RS                  Mrs Sims                                  ruth.sims@highfield.northumberland.sch.uk

8TH                  Mrs Hetherington                      teresa.hetherington@highfield.northumberland.sch.uk

8RW                 Mrs Richardson                        jennifer.richardson@highfield.northumberland.sch.uk

8JB                  Miss Bird                                  jennifer.bird@highfield.northumberland.sch.uk

8DB                  Mr Boddy                                  daniel.boddy@highfield.northumberland.sch.uk

You can also use the school admin email (admin@highfield.northumberland.sch.uk) for general enquiries and support, and to request paper copies of learning packs if required.  

If you do not use email you can photograph learning records and message them directly to the school Facebook page (where they can be forwarded to the appropriate teacher), or alternatively, post or hand paper copies in at the school reception.

I appreciate that we are asking more of our families with this guidance. I am keen to reiterate that we understand that this will not be possible for all families, all of the time. However, we do want every child to email their form teacher next week as described above, and then weekly with their learning record. We are keen to stay in contact with every child during school closure and these messages will form part of our safeguarding responsibility to all of our families. You can also expect a friendly call from one of our teachers to see how things are going in the near future (many of you will have received this already). If you receive a call with ‘no caller id’ it is probably us, so please do try to answer.

Thank you for your continued support. Please don’t feel pressured by this new guidance, it is intended to support you all, not add to your worries. As I have said previously, the most important thing is to stay safe and happy. Do what you can, but be realistic, be kind and look after each other.

 

Regards

Richard Oades

Headteacher