Dear Parents and carers,
Firstly, can I thank you for the positive comments received so far regarding the response to the current national lockdown https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home which is unlikely to see schools reopening in their usual way until after February Half Term - Monday 22.2.21.
Also, thank you everyone for once again taking on the not inconsiderable challenge of staying at home and helping support your child/ren with home learning. We have an appreciation of how challenging this is as staff often face the same challenges as parents- having to work as well as support home learning for their own children, often with limited devices and strained internet connections.
Like many others, we have been impacted by the current high numbers of positive cases of COVID -19. Several teaching and other staff members are currently isolating because they have the virus and are unwell or because someone in their bubble has tested positive or is awaiting a test outcome. This situation limits what can be achieved in some year groups however, I would like to publicly recognise the efforts of all staff, including some who are unwell, working hard to keep remote learning going. Thank you also to staff who have stepped in to cover gaps.
As a school, we have been able to welcome small numbers of pupils on site where there is no alternative provision and ask parents to only consider requesting a place as an absolute last resort - this is to keep staff and pupils safe and limit contact between groups of people.
Can I assure you that we will continue to do our very best to support you in whatever way we can but we are not superhuman! Like everyone in the midst of this global crisis, staff are struggling with all the emotions, anxieties and limitations that you are and we ask that you recognise this when communicating with us. I will outline below some of the key ways that we are keeping in touch and where information can be found:
Contacting the school
The school office (phone line) is open daily between 8.30 and 4.00 and office staff will endeavour to answer or pass on to the relevant staff member specific concerns or queries.
Pupil Contact and learning
All year groups are using Tapestry (EYFS) or Google Classroom (Years 1- 6) to set work and to communicate with pupils, parents and carers. Any problems with access, passwords etc. need to be sent in via the school office and we will do our best to assist you as quickly as we can. We will send out weekly timetables for each year group via Parentmail so please ensure that you keep checking your messages.
Our online learning procedures/ policy can be found here. South Benfleet Home Learning Guidance .
Issues and other problems
If there are specific problems with work, mental well being, safeguarding or other issues, please contact us via the school office. You will also find other useful information on our website. Please remember that the local school nursing team, your GP, CAVs etc. are also there to support you. Ask us to help/signpost you if needed please. Please be mindful that not all of our usual resources will be available at this time of national lockdown.
Support Explaining Covid to Children
We have become aware of a useful resource aimed at primary aged pupils which sets out to explain COVID in a child friendly way. The resource is here:
We would suggest you look at it first and then talk it through with your child/children if you feel it would be helpful to share and discuss.
Another useful local website can be found via this link:
As stated in our policy, we will be aiming to hold weekly catch up sessions for pupils via video- Zoom. The first of these will be happening tomorrow. Due to staff illness at this current time, these will be year group sessions for years 1 - 6. We hope to be able to start sessions for EYFS soon. The details will come out to you via Parentmail today. Look out for this and we look forward to seeing pupils tomorrow.
Our key message is: if we have concerns we will contact you. Likewise, if you have issues or concerns please contact us. We want to work together to provide as successful as possible outcomes at a time of global crisis.
We send our best wishes to parents/carers/pupils who are currently unwell and hope that you are soon feeling better.
Letter from Director of Education for Essex
Please find attached for your information below, a letter from Claire Kershaw, the Director of Education for Essex.
South Benfleet Primary School