Supporting parents/carers to support their child and their learning during national lockdown and Coronavirus crisis.
The government has said that all children should be at home if this is possible. The Bridge School does have some children attending: children whose parents are key workers and are providing vital support to the country. The school is also providing placements for children whose families need safe-guarding/safety support. Risk assessments support those decisions. All school places we offer depend on week by week staff capacity. We have a large number of staff who cannot due to health needs/family situations be in school due to the government guidance on vulnerability or shielding.
Most of our parents/carers have their children at home. We want to do all we can to support the children and families. Every situation is different. Every pupil and their needs are different. We are offering the following bespoke support for all families:
- All families will have a regular phone-call if their child is not in school- this is usually weekly. It will not necessarily be from a school phone number.
- Teachers will offer a range of support. We do not want any families to feel under pressure as we know every home circumstance will be different and all needs will be different. Many schools will offer packages of work through organisations. We know this is not possible for your children so our support is bespoke and personalised to your child and your situation.
- Teachers can offer a range of things:
- A listening ear and advice on strategies and ideas of things to do to structure and fill the day or on routines or behaviour.
- Emailing (or we can in some circumstances print and deliver supportive resources) e.g. Social Stories, visual schedules that may help our pupils to understand the changes in their routine or their communities. This will be dependent on individual pupils understanding and needs.
- Advise on communication systems and check you have what you need. Most parents do have the same low–tech communication systems we have in school e.g. communication books, PECS resources, Makaton signs etc. We can though support with this and extend if this is needed.
- Email ideas for learning activities
- Provide work activities, again all dependent on pupils needs.
- Provide resources where we are able to: we have to take advice on things we can share due to infection control guidelines.
- Suggest projects and themes children could engage in.
We stress that we do not want any parent/carer
to feel any pressure but we also want parents to know that the support is there.
- We have sent to all parents/carers details of sites where parents can access online activities for their children. We have paid for subscriptions for some sites to give parents access. If you can’t find the information or passwords then please do let the teacher know or email us on A7017@taw.org.uk
- We were already developing a range of materials to support parents/carers with learning from home pre this national crisis. These can be found by going to Parents/Family Link Tab and then clicking Homework (Extended support for learning during the Coronavirus outbreak). We are about to upload a lot of ideas and materials that may be helpful and these will be extended over the next few weeks so please do keep checking in. We have to be mindful of licencing and copy laws. We have not put hyperlinks as we advise all parents to access sites used by their children via things like View Pure as these will filter more inappropriate pop ups etc. Please check the tab on Internet Safety on the website. Any parent who does experience any problems please email A7017@taw.org.uk and we will ask our IT Technician if he can offer any advice on any issues you are facing regarding safe use.
We have been asked by parents about potential use of apps for classes where parents can share what their children have been doing at home. We are currently looking at what can be used to support this and we will update on this as soon as we can. We know some apps have been hacked and unsafe material has then been accessed by those using the app.
We are planning to do a community Makaton sign of the week for all of our families to share- watch this space.
Sometimes, it might not be the teacher who can call as this can clearly be dependent on their own health and well-being as well and that of their families. We will ensure another member of staff continues to offer this support if the teacher is unable to do so.
The teachers calls also offer safe-guarding and well-being support for families. If we cannot consistently contact a parent/carer by phone or by email, we will contact emergency contacts so we know that all is ok. If we are still unable to make contact we will contact the local Family Connect organisation for advice as we want to make sure all our families are as safe as can be.
If you do want more advice in the meantime, as ever, please contact us on A7017@taw.org.uk
Thank you for the lovely comments that we have received.
In the meantime, we send a collective heartfelt best of wishes that our children and families are safe and remain safe. When we applaud the Key Workers, we also applaud you for your support of your children and your families.