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Dear parents and carers,

I do hope you are all safe and well. I wanted to update you with what has been going on and what we are planning for moving ahead. Further down and over the page is a summary of our main actions taken so far as well as what we have been working hard on in the past week. It is an ever changing situation and we may well have to amend our plans moving forward depending on government advice.

Summary of Phase One – Week beginning Monday March 20th up to and including Friday April 3rd:

All our youngsters have access to Home Learning, either via the One Drive or through a Home Learning Pack. This was sorted out the week before we had to close the school, although we are still open to identified Key Workers and vulnerable pupils, almost 400 packs went out. We are sending out longer-term Home Learning packs for the summer term.

Youngsters who are in receipt of Free School Meals, 315, have all had money directly paid into their parents’ accounts from now until the summer; this covers all holidays excluding the summer holiday.

We have had teams in school teaching and completing duties throughout the two week period and I am grateful to all involved. Numbers of youngsters have been steady and there have been 8 on average; I believe this number will fluctuate with changes in circumstances over the next few weeks and months. Even if we only have one young person in school we will remain open as this is the right thing to do to play our small part in keeping the country going.

Teaching staff are still uploading work on a daily basis & dealing with any queries remotely; I do hope that this has been useful and that all questions have been responded to quickly.

Registers have been taken for those youngsters that are in school and all have been in uniform and working on what their class teachers have set them. It is a normal start and end to the school day & as of this week they have had to bring in their own food due to scaling back staff as much as I can; there will be no food available on site for the foreseeable future.

Work on transition has started ensuring that we get as much information on those in Year 6 due to join us in September; although I’m sure you can appreciate that this isn’t going to be easy. We have been in touch with Uniform Wise who are our new uniform suppliers. They have a few issues due to production being halted in India but are working hard to make sure all are in some kind of uniform come September.

Summary of Phase Two – Week beginning Monday April 6th up to and including Friday April 17th (Easter break):

We will be open throughout the Easter break as well as on Good Friday & Easter Monday to allow our youngsters whose parents are Key Workers or identified vulnerable youngsters to continue with their jobs for the greater good; members of the Senior Leadership Team will be in on those two days.

The plan for the Easter break will be slightly different for our youngsters who are in school. Various activities have been put together and they will not be continuing with their Home Learning as we are meant to be on an official holiday. Those who are not meant to be in also do not need to do any Home Learning over the Easter break.

Summary of Phase Three – Week beginning Monday April 6th up to and including the last date we break up on July 17th:

This phase will evolve as we go along and we will continue with our current process of Home Learning and I am working on the basis that we won’t be back until September. I sincerely hope that this will not be the case as schools have had no official announcement on this but we have to be realistic.

Every few weeks I will meet with Senior Leadership Team to look at what we can change and improve upon. Asking how we can freshen things up and keep the learning relevant and pitched at the right level so all can access and are challenged in the right way. Not only focusing on the education but the well-being, fun, extra-curricular activities and all associated with Woodlands that our youngsters are just not getting from us at present.

We have set up various means of communication, mainly through staff school email or Show My Homework, so we can contact the vast majority of our youngsters to see if they are doing well and if we can help with any questions over learning or support any additional needs or worries which they might have; this will continue.

Summary of Phase Four – Week beginning Thursday September 3rd up to the October half-term Friday October 23rd:

I can fully appreciate how challenging it can be having your children at home with you for much longer than usual and getting them to do work is no doubt an additional challenge. I have asked staff to set a fortnightly progress check to give teachers an understanding of where the gaps in learning are come September. There has been, and will continue to be, a great deal of fantastic work set but an awful lot of the work does ideally need to be taught be a teacher whose day-to-day job it is.

This is why I have also asked Heads of Faulty & Heads of Department to put together an assessment for all pupils for the first week back in the autumn term. The thinking behind this is that if our youngsters do not have a firm grasp of the learning they need going forward this will adversely affect them throughout the rest of their schooling; we have a moral obligation to get this right as educationalists. The first half-term may very well consist of going over some of the content and skills that have been set as Home Learning ensuring that our youngsters fully understand this.

Should you have any queries or concerns of a safeguarding nature please to contact Hannah Tuna who is our Designated Safeguarding Lead via her email: htu@woodlandsschool.essex.sch.uk I have attached some useful safeguarding details as well.

I have also included, but I am by no means an expert in these areas, I just thought it might help:

How to apply for universal credit: https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit

Guidance on 0 hour contract support: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-could-be-covered-by-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Basildon council offering support to the community: https://www.basildon.gov.uk/coronavirus-business

https://www.basildon.gov.uk/article/8000/COVID-19-Government-and-NHS-advice-for-the-general-public

Thank you once again for your continued support in this very difficult time. We will all endeavour to our very best by your youngsters and please do contact the appropriate member of staff if there is anything we can help with. The very best of wishes and the kindest of regards.

Yours sincerely,

David Wright

Head Teacher

 

We are continuing to follow advice from Public Health England in respect of Coronavirus.

We have not been put on alert to close and at present we have no plans to close the school for any additional time.

We are working closely with the Local Authority and if we are advised differently by Public Health England and the Department for Education to close, we will inform parents and carers immediately.

At Woodlands School, every pupil will have the foundations laid for a lifelong love of learning, through a fully inclusive and appropriately challenging curriculum, taught by outstanding and highly qualified teachers. Pupils will have all barriers to learning removed, ensuring a safe and stimulating learning environment where all make outstanding progress, allowing them the opportunity to be excellent.

Academic excellence for all is sought to allow each pupil to fully engage in Higher and Further Education. We expect every pupil to work hard and be focused on leading their own learning, motivated by high aspirations and being mentally and physically fit to learn, having built up the resilience to cope with anything.

Through our extensive extra-curricula program we provide opportunities for each young person to enrich and extend their learning, developing confidence through enjoyment.

Pupils are expected to listen, try their best and never give up in their pursuit of excellence. To thrive at Woodlands all must be hard-working, polite and self-disciplined. We have clear boundaries which support all pupils ensuring that they maintain the highest standards in their own behaviour for learning.

We are incredibly proud of our school and as a learning community we work with all stakeholders to allow our pupils to have the highest aspirations, be resilient and seek out all opportunities to be excellent.

David Wright – Head Teacher

 

 


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