SINCLAIR PRIMARY & NURSERY
Sinclair Road, Southampton, SO16 8GF
Telephone 023 8073 6663 www.sinclairlive.net
Executive Headteacher: Mrs G. Montague, M.A.
20th March 2020
Dear Parents and Families
Covid 19 Closure update
I am writing to confirm that following the Government’s press conference on Wednesday, 18 March 2020, all of our schools will be closing until further notice. Schools will not be open on Monday, 23rd March, with the exception of a few families without access to alternative childcare. The Government has been very clear. Home is the safest place for children, not school.
All families have been contacted re their ‘key worker’ status and where parents evidence ‘key working’ posts, and have no access to alternative childcare, school will work to facilitate a provision at one of our schools and contact will be made directly.
DO NOT COME TO SCHOOL ON MONDAY, UNLESS YOU HAVE HAD DIRECT CONTACT FROM SCHOOL.
This will not be as safe as children being at home. Families entitled to free school meals will be contacted re collection points for their child’s picnic lunch. EHCP children are having individual needs assessed and we continue to maintain full Designated Safeguarding Lead cover throughout this time.
We understand that this is a worrying time for all families, we are at war with this very dangerous virus. It is vitally important that all families continue to follow Public Health advice to maintain social distancing and all of the detailed advice to prevent the spread of this deadly virus. If you should have any health worries, please call 111 in the first instance.
How will I know when you are open again?
It is important going forwards, that all parents track school opening and closing notices via the school website, this is the key information site for all of our families. Should your circumstances change, or you have an urgent problem please email email@example.com. Please do not be offended by a delay in response. We will try our best to respond as quickly as we can.
How can I help my children structure their day and learn?
It is vitally important that all families observe social distancing rules. Government advice is that families should not be visiting each other, having playdates or mixing on the playground. Our teachers plan meticulously for deep learning and our broad curriculum is available to view online. We have added a broad range of free websites in the interim for you to share/use with your child.
Additionally, each year group teacher has suggested a broad structure for the day, with some hyperlinked activities which you may choose to use as you choose.
Providing daily high-quality lessons at short notice, for a range of year groups and abilities, takes time. We are currently working on providing online video lessons for each year group along with accompanying worksheets. These take time to make and we have already begun this process. Hopefully, these will be streaming after the Easter Holidays and will support learning should you wish to continue working with your child. We will also try to arrange for teachers to call home and discuss learning with your child if possible. In the meantime, there are many websites available to explore, please follow your usual strong parental supervision whilst your child is accessing any online materials. That being said… I would like you all to consider the very pertinent advice given by another Headteacher, which I applaud… I share it with you as it is at the core of all we do:
Our children are just as scared as we are right now. Our children not only hear everything going on around them, but they feel our constant tension and anxiety. They have never experienced anything like this before. Although the idea of being off school for weeks on end sounds exciting for some, they are probably picturing a fun time like the summer holidays, not the reality of being trapped at home and not seeing their friends.
Over the coming weeks, you may see an increase in behaviour issues with your children. Whether it's anxiety, or anger, or protests that they can't do normal things - it will happen. You will potentially see more meltdowns, tantrums, and oppositional behaviour. This is normal and expected under these circumstances.
What children need right now is to feel comforted and loved. To feel like it is all going to be okay. That might mean that you need to tear up your perfect timetable and focus on giving them lots of love and attention. I know this may be hard if you have the added pressure of trying to work at home with the children there. Please try to play outside and go on walks. Bake biscuits and paint pictures. Play board games and watch movies. Do a science experiment together or find virtual field trips of the zoo. Create a fitness circuit in your room or garden. Start a book and read together as a family. Snuggle under warm blankets and do nothing.
Don't worry about them regressing in school. Every single child is in this boat and they all will be okay. When we are back in the classroom, we will focus on their learning and meet their educational needs. Teachers are experts at this! Don't be sad with your children because they don't want to do any activities. Don't fret if your children are not following the timetable. Don't insist on 2 hours of learning time if they are resisting it. See if you can make learning fun through their play.
If I can leave you with one thing, it is this: at the end of all of this, their mental health will be far more important than their academic skills. How they felt during this time will stay with them long after the memory of what they did during these weeks is gone. So keep that in mind, every single day.
Take care and stay safe