This week has definitely felt like a challenging one at CCI as we have been forced to put pressure on families to keep children at home when we are hearing how hard you are all finding it. It goes against our nature to have to make such harsh decisions that we know directly impact on you and your children and we are so sad to be in this position. Please know that we would give anything to have your children in school but have to do everything we can to reduce numbers in school to try reduce rates of transmission in this area.
I want to reiterate what I posted on Facebook this week – you must do what you can to stay healthy and happy and if that means not completing all the remote learning that we are sending home then that is absolutely fine. Many of you have more than one child at home and new babies, have limited devices, are having to work full-time and you just cannot do it all. Last time we found ourselves in this position we caught up so much of what was missed Term 1 and 2 this year and I know our brilliant staff will help your children to do the same again this time.
Your mental health and well-being and your children’s happiness is more important than getting the school work done that we set. That is the reality. We are required to set 3 hours of learning per day and in an ideal world we’d like children to do it but if they don’t nothing terrible will happen - we’ll help them to catch up when they come back.
Even if they just watch the video inputs over breakfast and read to you at bed time some days - that will do. Join the daily class calls if you can so your children see their friends, but if you can’t get them to face time a friend at the weekend. Make sure you get time to go out for some exercise together. You have to stay mentally and physically healthy for your own well-being and in turn your children will feel safe and happy. A parent said to me this week that they are thinking of this as ‘emergency schooling’ rather than ‘home schooling’ and I thought that was a very good description.
Whilst we might not know when things return to something more like normality in schools, we do know we’re now another week closer to it. Well done - you got through another week!
Living the Values
This week the children’s awards go to Tillie-Mai for coming into school without her friends, despite not wanting to. Sophie in Tiger Class has also shown courage since the lockdown began and has coped so well with the changes in staff and children. The staff award goes to Miss Robbins for having the courage to overcome problems with technology and becoming a lesson recording whizz when your team needed you.
This week we have been thinking about how we can show courage when we are feeling nervous or scared. We talked about having the courage to do the right thing and not the easy thing. We also learnt about Paralympian Steph Reid who lost her foot in a boating accident when she was younger and went on to compete in the Paralympics. She talks about being able to live without winning but not being able to live without doing her best.
I wanted to say a big thank you to Luca in Cheetah Class and his family for spending Sunday clearing the weeds by the back entrance to the school. One of our neighbours told me they had done this and I wanted to say a very big thank you to them for being so community minded. Also a big thank you to Kennedy Publishing care of Cheryl Rudman for the children’s magazines that have been shared out around all the classes and to Mkhai’s dad for giving cheetah class a much needed outdoor storage box.
Hear us cry, ‘Fish Finger Friday on a Thursday!’ - 21st January 2021
During a usual school year, our school census is one of the biggest days on our school calendar, (from behind the scenes point of view) this is because it is where we get the school funding from for the next academic year. Based on the number of children on roll and the amount of school meals that are taken. This is because, as an infant school Universal Free school meals are provided for all children who are in school, the higher the take up, the higher the funding grant for meals. In a normal school day we have around 80% meal take up, which is fantastic and with your help, during a census day, the more meals taken helps ups pay for the meals, from our grant, without it coming from the schools main budget.
This year will be different, as a school we are ‘closed’ and there is no decision made as yet as to how our funding is calculated, fingers crossed it comes from last year’s figures!
Can we ask for your support, if your child is in school on the 21st January that they take a school meal, just in case this year’s numbers are used!
If any of you have a devices that you no longer use and would like to donate to one of our families that don’t have access to one we are starting a collection. This could be an old laptop or tablet, or even an old smart phone. If you would like to donate your old device please ‘restore the factory settings’ and make sure that none of your personal information still remains on it before bringing into the school office where we will allocate them to families in need.
ACCESS HOME LEARBING THROUGH YOUR PS4 OR XBOX
Anyone without a laptop or tablet may well be able to use their games console to access the home learning.
Here’s how to repurpose your Xbox or Playstation into an educational machine.
Step 1: Get connected
Both consoles are simple. For the Xbox, press the Xbox button on the controller to open the guide, and then select “My games & apps”. Here, you need to find Microsoft’s internet browser Microsoft Edge.
The PS4’s access is similar. From the PS4 home screen, scroll to the library. Then, click on applications. If you scroll down the apps you’ll see a “www” sign circled by small dots. Click on that, and you're online.
Both consoles can use a low-cost keyboard and mouse for web browsing – connect these through wireless bluetooth or USB.
Your school will likely already have put work and lessons online, as they did last lockdown, and anything you can access through the browser on a computer you can now access through your console.
If you’re redeploying your console as a learning hub, it might also be good to revisit how to set up parental controls, maybe to limit any games your child has trouble prying themselves away from.
On the Xbox One you do this through your child’s account. First, go into settings and find the family page. Now select your child’s account (if you don’t see their account, click “add a family member” and create or add an account for them.) You’ll now have access to a whole host of controls you can tailor to your kid’s needs, from privacy and online safety to web filtering.
For the PS4, use the web browser to visit account.sonyentertainmentnetwork.com and sign in with the email address you used to set up your account. Select your account in the navigation bar at the top of the screen, then select family management. Once you’ve added a child’s account, you will get a similar suite of options, from spending limits to restricting certain apps or games to daily screen tim