17th April 2020
Dear Parents and carers,
As we come to the end of the Easter holidays, I’m sure you will have already picked up the government announcement yesterday that the lockdown is set to continue for at least another three weeks.
During this time, we will of course be continuing to provide learning opportunities for the children, accessed via our school website https://henhamugley.essex.sch.uk/children/classes/
Learning materials, links and resources for week commencing the 20th April, will be uploaded by the end of this weekend.
If you haven’t already done so, please do visit the website where I have uploaded a selection of online resource links, these can be found at https://henhamugley.essex.sch.uk/online-learning-website-links/ I update this regularly as new material becomes available.
- Specifically aimed at our younger children, and even those that haven’t started school yet, The Department for Education’s Hungry Little Minds campaign features tips and practical activities that you can do at home with children to support their early learning. There are many simple ways to help your children learn and it does not have to feel like ‘learning’.
Having everyday conversations, make-believe play, and reading together, all make a big difference to your child’s development. You can find more ideas and content from the BBC’s Tiny Happy People campaign and the National Literacy Trust Family Zone (for all ages).
- A real concern for many families is how to maintain the family’s wellbeing while children are at home.
Social connections, alongside exercise, sleep, diet and routine, are important protective factors for mental health. Materials to promote and support mental wellbeing are included in the list of online resources previously sent out to you to help children to learn at home. In addition, Public Health England’s Rise Above platform supports young people.
The Department of Health and Social Care is providing £5 million of additional funding to support mental health charities to increase their provision for adults and children at this time. Social isolation, reduced exercise, and bereavement, may affect children’s wellbeing during this difficult period.
Resources to promote and support children and young people’s mental wellbeing include:
- MindEd educational resources for adults about children and young people’s mental health, which is relevant for parents and carers as well as volunteers, teachers, and other professionals working with children
- the Every Mind Matters platform which supports looking after your own and other’s mental health
- guidance on looking after wellbeing and mental health during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
- guidance on supporting children’s wellbeing and mental health
Full guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers
- A reminder of the information sent at the beginning of the week regarding the increasing concern surrounding the reduction in children attending A&E and families seeking medical advice during the COVID 19 crisis.
Much of this is due to the misunderstanding that all NHS services are focusing on COVID and normal services are not ‘open’.
The poster and video link giving further advice regarding decision making if you have a child unwell or injured at home, sent out earlier this week, has been uploaded onto the website should you be unsure of what decision to make when your child is unwell.
- Finally, free school meals vouchers – the new government system is struggling with demand at the moment, and although I have now managed to create the orders for families currently in receipt of free school meals, the system backlog means I am still awaiting the codes to be able to distribute to parents. As soon as I have these, I will contact you directly and deliver them to you. Hopefully by the end of the weekend!
If you are not currently in receipt of free school meals, but your financial circumstances have changed, you can check to see if you are eligible by looking at the criteria here: https://www.gov.uk/apply-free-school-meals If you do now meet the criteria, please get in touch with me as well as apply online so I can ensure you are added to the list. If you have a child in Years R, 1 or 2, you wouldn’t apply online, but send the evidence as detailed in the link, directly to myself, email@example.com or Mrs Hipperson, firstname.lastname@example.org Of course, any questions, please do get in touch.
Please continue to take care and stay safe,
Kim Hall, Headteacher