When will school reopen?
This decision lies with the government as opposed to one that can be made at a Trust or school level.
Gavin Williamson (Education Secretary) has commented that there exist five "tests" which must be met before education establishments could reopen:
1. The NHS has sufficient capacity to provide critical care and specialist treatment right across the UK
2. A sustained and consistent fall in daily deaths from Coronavirus
3. Reliable data to show that the rate of infection is decreasing to manageable levels across the board
4. Operational challenges including testing and PPE are in hand with supply able to meet future demand
5. Confident that any adjustments to the current measures will not risk a second peak of infections that overwhelms the NHS
There has been much speculation around when schools could reopen. UK schools were closed to all but vulnerable children and those of key workers on 20 March. As a staff team we would like nothing more than to welcome our pupils and families back into our school, however we must act in accordance with legislation to safeguard staff, pupils and their families.
Is there a plan in place for transitions?
Staff have been working hard remotely behind the scenes to prepare several scenarios for transition. We are therefore confident that we can act re-actively once we are instructed by the government that it is safe to reopen to pupils.
We have made contact with junior schools for those due to transition from Year 2 to Year 3, have discussed 'internal' transitions for our existing pupils, and (as we would do ordinarily) have been in touch with parents of those due to join our school in September.
What is happening in terms of school lunches - my child currently receives a 'free school meal' - can they continue to be offered this with school being closed? (or a monetary equivalent)
Pupils who attend Lee Brigg Infant & Nursery School (Reception-Year 2) are eligible for Universal Free School Meals. Government guidance has advised that schools concentrate their effort and resources on supporting those who are eligible for income-related free school meals at this time. They have advised that there is no requirement to continue to provide universal infant free school meals to pupils in Reception, Year 1, or Year 2 who are unable to attend school. Children in those year groups who are eligible for income-related free school meals will be supported.
If you think your child may be eligible for a free school meal under the income-related free school meals process but you have not registered, you will need to complete the registration process before support can be provided. Further details and a form are available on the Wakefield Council website
Should you be ineligible under income-related free school meals, and experiencing financial hardship please contact school using the school telephone number (01924 893829) during school hours, or e-mail email@example.com and we will endeavour to direct you to agencies whom may be able to provide support.
Why have the school chosen not uploaded videos for e-learning - many other schools are teaching remotely using Zoom and YouTube
With reference to Zoom, we have received several safeguarding updates recently, on which Zoom has been criticised in terms of cyber-safety. The unpredictability of 'live streaming' causes the need for recording, and these recordings constitute personal data because they contain personal images of identifiable people. This means that under GDPR, keeping (retaining) these recordings requires consent and consideration. Briefly this means assessing what data is being captured, why it is held, who can access it, for what reason, and how long will it be kept. Furthermore, we have a duty to promote 'inclusivity' and protect our most vulnerable pupils for which Zoom is not an appropriate option.
With reference to YouTube, similarly in respect of cyber safety, we would discourage our staff from teaching from their homes as this could be considered intrusive. Staff may also not have the required infrastructure at home to facilitate such learning. We have therefore made the decision not to teach remotely using YouTube at this point in time as in order to facilitate we would have to open the school building, to allow 'remote lessons' to be recorded, thereby potentially placing our staff and their families under increased risk in terms of ability to adhere to current restrictions enforced. We have a small family of staff at Lee Brigg, who continue to provide support to keyworker children on a 'rota' basis - it is therefore unsustainable to expect staff to record online lessons during the time they are not on rota.
Nonetheless, we will continue to revisit and reconsider the subject of remote video learning during staff audio conference calls.
Will my nursery place be held when the school reopens as my child now accesses 30-hour provision at a childminder?
Please be assured that once school reopens we will welcome back our nursery pupils and will offer them back a place equivalent to that which they had before restrictions were enforced. Mrs Windsor and Mrs Hough will continue to make calls to parents/carers (and pupils) - should you have any specific query in regards to nursery places please mention to them or contact school using telephone, email or on Twitter (details below - see question 'how can I contact school?').
My child has read the reading book you sent home - am I able to exchange reading books? - what books should they be reading?
Unfortunately, owing to current government advice, we aren't able to open school to allow parents / carers to 'physically' swap reading books.
The general home learning page of our school website: http://www.leebrigg.wakefield.sch.uk/home-learning/general-resources
includes a phonics/reading section with suggestions for resources. For those pupils with Oxford Reading Tree books, the back of their current reading book will detail a book 'band' (Oxford reading tree) which will allow you to search for similar books or the next in the series using this link (scroll to 'browse the library'):
We will continue to revisit and reconsider the logistics of a potential 'book swap' during staff audio conference calls.
The amount of resource available on the school website is brilliant albeit overwhelming - I am unsure what exactly my child should be accessing and the expectations of the school on parents for home learning
All we would ask is that you do what you feel your child is able to. The happiness and wellbeing of our pupils should remain priority at this time. Any suggestions for learning made are done so as an option and should not be considered a 'tick list' for pupils to work through. Please don't worry about your children falling behind with learning, all our families are in the same situation and when things get back to 'normal', it is our job to ensure everyone is back on track. We will continue to support social emotional and academic wellbeing to allow our pupils to reach their individual potential.
We have received positive feedback on the following sites (Reception>Year 2):
Oak National Academy - thenational.academy/online-classroom
You can either follow a set plan of lessons across a range of subjects, or you can access particular lessons focussing on a certain subject.
BBC Bitesize - bbc.co.uk/bitesize/dailylessons
Daily lessons for home schooling in Maths and English for year groups, as well as regular lessons in Science, History, Geography and more.
Wandle English Hub - wandleenglishhub.org.uk/lettersandsounds
Join in daily Letters and Sounds Phonics lessons on YouTube. Designed and delivered by experts, using the Letters and Sounds programme. There are three sets of daily lessons to choose from and we suggest your child starts with one set of lessons most suitable to their year group and reading ability.
Mrs Windsor will continue to send out a weekly update and suggestion for learning to try for our nursery pupils.
Please also continue to read at home if you are able to. We know every family is different and every family will meet the challenge of school closures as they are best able to. We are here to help not judge. There is no 'right' or 'wrong' way.
How can I contact school whilst it is closed?
Our school telephone number (01924 893829) is operational during school hours
You can contact school by e-mail school using firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also contact school staff using Twitter (@Lee_Brigg)
How are school communicating with parents / carers?
We ordinarily send out messages (often daily) using Parenthub as default. Should you not have received communication via Parenthub for a few days there may be a problem with your 'app'. We would ask that you uninstall and reinstall your 'app' to see if this rectifies the issue. Should you continue to experience problems, please contact school and we will provide you with a helpline number direct to Parenthub.
We are also using the school Twitter account to communicate with our families. Thank you to everyone who has recently made a request to 'follow' the school on Twitter (@Lee_Brigg). We would ask that if your request remains pending for more than 24 hours that you contact us by e-mail (email@example.com) with your Twitter account name, as, for the safety of all we endeavour to only accept followers from those known to our school.
Our e-mail account (firstname.lastname@example.org) is monitored periodically and we aim to respond to enquiries as quickly as we are able to.
Staff have also been making telephone calls to pupils, should we not be able to reach you, we are leaving voicemails where possible. Please note, calls will display as 'private number' or 'no caller ID'.
I've been asked to return to work, although I am not classed as a keyworker - are the school able to provide care for my child?
The government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend. The fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society. Therefore, upon government guidance at this time, and until otherwise notified by the government we are currently only able to provide places to pupils whose parent/carer(s) are classified as keyworkers.