Dear Members of the Bishop Ridley Primary School Community,
I hope that you are all staying home and staying safe.
Rather than send out lots of emails, I have put together a slightly longer update than normal with a number of links to services and information which you might find helpful.
I’m sure that it won’t all be useful to everyone, so please do scroll through and see if the sub-headings are relevant to you and your family.
1. Bank Holiday (8th May 2020)
A quick reminder that tomorrow (8th May 2020) is a Bank Holiday and as a result, no work will be set on line and emails will not be responded to by teachers.
We wish you all a restful day and hope that you have the opportunity to reflect on and remember the 75th Anniversary of VE Day. You may like to have a look at today’s collective worship which was about VE Day.
2. Home Learning – Keeping In Touch
Thank you to all families who are engaging with online home learning. When you have completed your work, please try to send it through to the teacher in one email each day. This makes it easier for the teachers to review your work and make sure that they give you all of your feedback in one go.
I recognise that some families are unable to support children to complete all of the work that is set. Please can I encourage you to send through any work which is finished, even if it’s not possible to do every day.
If your family are unable to do any of the work, please do keep in touch with the teachers so that we know that you and your child are safe and well. Our wonderful Teaching Assistants periodically ring families who we have not heard from for more than a week. Please support us in safeguarding every child and spare a couple of minutes to update the Teaching Assistant.
3. Pupils of the Week
Remember to check out our weekly Celebration Worship and see if your child has been selected as Pupil of the Week - https://www.bishopridleyschool.org.uk/collective-worship/
4. Information for Parents of Vulnerable Children and Key Workers
If you are a key worker and considering sending your child to school, please refer to the government’s guidance (if it is at all possible for children to be safely looked after at home, then they must be). If you would like your child to attend, please let us know before 3:00pm on the working day before they need to attend.
We take important steps to ensure that social distancing measures are applied and to clean the school every day, but this is still not as safe as children staying at home with a responsible adult.
There are certain roles (such as first aid, cleaning and safeguarding) which must be filled every day for the school to run safely. Up until now (and hopefully moving forwards) we have been able to cover these roles every day through a rota system. Since early April, we have had a backup arrangement in place for us to join a Hub school on a short-term basis (e.g. in case we had a confirmed case of COVID-19 and the school required deep cleaning, or we couldn’t fill essential roles).
I thought it sensible to take this opportunity to explain to you what would happen if we had to close in these situations.
The Senior Leadership Team would review the position and advise the teachers and TAs who were on the rota to attend the Hub school the next day. Parents and carers who had registered their children for the next day would be advised to take their children to the Hub school where they would be looked after by Bishop Ridley Staff.
5. Mr Keep’s Captain Tom Moore Challenge
A huge thank you for all of the responses to my Captain (Colonel!) Tom Moore Challenge. I started responding to every child, but I soon realised that this was going to be a huge task.
So… Well done to each of you who completed the challenge. I was delighted with the quality of the work and the enthusiasm which children showed to celebrate Tom’s fantastic and heart-lifting achievements (currently £32.7 million).
6. Information from Bexley Libraries Service
Although all our libraries are currently closed, Bexley Library Service has a whole host of free online resources that can be accessed by library members. These include a great selection of eBooks and eAudiobooks for children, from classics such as ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ to the popular ‘Wimpy Kid’ and ‘Tom Gates’ series . We also have a wide selection of digital comics on offer, including Disney and Marvel titles as well as Britannica Online which is perfect for topic learning.
Every member of Bexley Libraries can download up to 4 eBooks or eAudiobooks to their personal device for up to 3 weeks. Please see the links below to these resources and also one on how to join the library.
People who are not already a member of Bexley Libraries can Join Online with help from a parent/guardian. Remember to include an email address so that your card number and PIN can be emailed to you.
7. Additional Support for Families with Home Learning
Do you have concerns or queries about educating your children at home?
StarLine is a new home learning telephone helpline and it is now live to support parents and carers nationwide. A group of partners including David Ross Education Trust, Freshworks, Future Academies, Inspiration Trust, Mumsnet, Oak National Academy, PLMR, StarAcademies, Triple P Positive Parenting Program and United Learning have come together to create and deliver StarLine. Each partner has pledged their people, expertise and resources to support StarLine. This initiative is supported by the DfE.
StarLine will help parents and carers in the following ways:
StarLine is available to parents and carers of pupils from all schools nationwide. Free, confidential advice is available six days a week by phoning the StarLine team on 0330 313 9162. For more information, visit www.starline.org.uk or follow @StarLineSupport on Twitter.
8. Checking Eligibility for Free School Meals
Due to an increase in the number of families who are eligible for Free School Meals, Bexley have simplified the process for families to check their eligibility. If you think you are eligible, you can now call the school office, who will complete and submit a request on your behalf. You will need to know your National Insurance number and other key details.
9. New guidance on the temporary extension of free school meals eligibility
The government are temporarily extending free school meal eligibility to include children from some groups who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF). This guidance explains who is eligible and how schools can confirm eligibility and award free school meals. The guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance
10. Service Pupil Premium (SPP)
The Service Pupil Premium is extra funding for schools to support children and young people with parents in the armed forces.
Pupils attract the SPP if they meet one of the following criteria:
• one of their parents is serving in the regular armed forces (including pupils with a parent who is on full commitment as part of the full time reserve)
• one of their parents died whilst serving in the armed forces and the pupil receives a pension under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme or the War Pensions Scheme
If your child falls into one of these categories, please contact the school office so that this can be registered and the additional funding claimed