27th May 2020
Dear Telferscot Parents,
Thank you so much to all of you who have responded to our recent surveys - for some families there have been two surveys - as these have helped us to create our back to school plan for some of our children. Your responses have been useful - especially the ones about curriculum and I hope you see and hear echoes of this feedback in the plan that follows. The title of this term is 'Telferscot, but not as you know it!'.
Currently we have been keeping school open for the children of keyworkers and those who have an EHC plan or children we felt would benefit from attending on some days. We call this Telferlite and this provision will continue for keyworker children in Nursery, Year 2/3/4/5 and 6. Now, subject to confirmation from the Government on Thursday 28th May that it is safe to do so, we will be opening for selected children from Monday 1st June. We will send an email out to every parent to confirm this on the evening of Thursday 28th May.
Not every child will join us and not everyone will be starting on the same date. We have been working flat out to ensure that our plan is safe, sensible and meets all the Government and union advice and, most importantly, will feel as Telferscot as possible.
We will be offering school places to children of key workers (Telferlite), children in Reception and Year 1 and then children in Year 6. Not every child will be in school every day and we have made some tricky decisions based on:
- Children working in 'bubbles' of no more than 15 children maximum
- The number of staff available to work, and the school principle that every child will work with a teacher and a teaching assistant, so that there is support for the children in the classroom, but also to move safely around the school
- Meeting the needs of keyworker families so that they can continue to or return to work
- Restrictions in the number of rooms that we can run classes in
- Prioritising the socialisation and learning of Reception and Year 1 children, in line with Government expectations
- Ensuring that we can meet the needs of Nursery children who are attending Telferlite safely
- Providing a time when Year 6 children can come back to school and be with some of their friends to support their transition to secondary school.
This means that we will be offering the following:
- A Nursery class for keyworker and vulnerable children only, starting on Monday 1st June
- Year 2, 3, 4 and 5 Telferlite provision for keyworker children in bubbles up to 15, starting on Monday 1st June
- A temporary Telferlite bubble for Year 1 children will run on 1st and 2nd June
- Reception class in from Monday 1st June in bubbles of 15
- Year 1 classes in from Wednesday 3rd June in bubbles of 15
- Year 6 classes in two bubbles of 15 per class for two full days per week (either a Monday and Tuesday or a Thursday and Friday pattern) starting on Monday 8th June - we will email the pattern to you nearer the time.
This may not be what you are expecting. For example, if you are a parent of a Nursery child who has not identified as a keyworker, we are unable to provide you with any time in school. This is because we do not have the staff or the space to run provision safely for your child. Year 6 children are not attending full time - only 2 days per week: this is because we don't have enough staff to run a five-day provision, but the children do all get to spend time with their class teachers. We have struggled to make it work and also follow the guidelines - it has been really tough! Please know that we want all the children back for a term of 'normal' but this isn't possible now. We have done our best and we do all want to see all the children. We need our Telferfamily back!
If we are directed by the Government to admit more pupils, this will not be possible using the current model. We will of course use any guidance issued by the Government and adapt as necessary. We would need to combine bubbles or run a rota system offering selected days to pupils. We will know more as the term moves forward. We will also adapt any current plans where necessary to ensure that everything moves smoothly and safely. We will keep you informed every step of the way.
We are also sending out a FAQ sheet (please see downloads from this page) with all the information you will need on it. We hope that all the important bits have been remembered. Some key points are:
- Your child will find out which bubble they will be in on the first day that they start. They will be with a known adult, but not necessarily in their classroom.
- Uniform must be worn
- Packed lunch for Telferlite children and Year 6. Children eligible for Free Meals can have a packed lunch made by MaryAnn in the kitchen!
- Children must bring a NAMED water bottle and pencil case with writing equipment. There is NO SHARING of equipment allowed. Everything can be kept in a small bag (like a drawstring sports bag) that can hang on the back of a chair
- Parents cannot come on site, so communication via email or phone to the school office only please. If you need to drop something in the morning, it can be put in a named bag on the table at the entrance
- Social distancing will happen between bubbles but not within bubbles. Children need to be together and enjoy each other's company, but we will try to ensure that there is plenty of fresh air in classrooms and as much distance between desks as possible, as well as regular handwashing and cleaning of surfaces
- Children will have a time slot to arrive and a time to be picked up. NO ADULTS ON SITE! Please only ONE adult to drop children at the gate on Telferscot Road to ensure we can social distance as much as possible.
This will be Telferscot, but not as you know it. We are bringing all the children in on Telferscot Road. This is so we can control access to the site and have enough staff on the gate to receive the children safely. We may change this as we go along but for now all other gates will be closed, except Nursery, who will use their own gate on Telferscot Road. ONE adult must bring the children to school and maintain social distancing as they drop off on Telferscot and please keep the footfall one way. Please park away from the school and approach on foot, as we do not want drive by school drop offs! If Year 6 are coming to school unaccompanied after 8th June, can parents remind them NOT to stop in shops on the way to school.
I hope that all of your questions are answered by the accompanying fact sheet. We have tried to anticipate all of your questions and share with you what the new normal at Telferscot will look like.
Should you have any questions, please email me and I will do my best to answer them. Please remember that we are doing our best to follow Government guidance and make our offer as fair and safe as we can. Everyone will be anxious about the return to school and some will be disappointed that they are not returning too. Please know that we are all keen to be back to normal and look forward to the day when we can welcome all the children back to school. For those of you returning to school in June, it's time to get your uniform and pencil case ready!
Update: Monday 4th May
It's week 7 of the lockdown - how the time has passed in what can seem an incredibly slow speed and yet also as its already May; time has also flown by! I am sure that you are all feeling the pressures and strains of home education and the sheer effort it takes to do everything now. I hope that you are all managing as well as you can and that you are all looking after yourselves. Please know that we all miss the children and we look forward to seeing everyone as soon as it's safe.
First a huge thanks to the organisers of the Quarantine Quiz on Friday night! An impressive and clever bunch of parents and staff came together through the wizardry of the internet and people who could manage zoom and WhatsApp and thinking/answering questions all at the same time. Impressive! Mrs Guest has sent a special and huge thank you to the donations which are flooding in for St Georges - the total is at £1200 already! Thank you everyone!
We are continuing to hear through the press about the opening of schools. Please know that I am as informed as you are - all we can do is plan to open and continue to second guess government policy and advice. There are currently discussions around about Year 6 coming in first - and then how the rest of the school will open we are not sure. Presumably it will be a staged return - and we are thinking that we will continue to run Telferlite for eligible families and the home learning will continue to be posted for children who are at still at home.
Whatever the opening entails, we do know that it will bring with it some big changes to our routines especially around drop off and pick up. It may be worth thinking about how you might manage this too. We will all want to reduce adult footfall on site and encourage adult social distancing, and at the moment I anticipate some sort of staggered drop off on Telferscot Road, which may involve dropping children at the gate to staff on duty and using the pavements in some sort of one-way foot traffic system - with no car drop off capability. We would then run something similar at the end of the day. This is all in early stages of planning, but I wanted you to know what we might be thinking. We also don't think we will be running an extended day at the moment - certainly there will be no clubs before or after school. The office team are currently working on refunds for everyone for all of the clubs and TASC and additional payments made to school for the rest of the term.
Inside the school, we have made sure that deep cleaning of classrooms has taken place and we are stocking up on hand sanitisers and more cleaning equipment. As you can imagine, any form of social distancing in our late Victorian building will be hard. The new building isn't any better! Narrow corridors, limited toilets, small classrooms - we will be listening to government advice and planning appropriately about how to ensure that the children are safe. Parents will need to make their own decisions about the balance of risk and whether they want their children to wear masks in school. We do know that with supplies being what they are currently, we won’t be able to provide them.
As we are given information and are able to make decisions about how to manage things on site, we will of course be informing you all straight away. In the meantime, the blogs will continue to be the source of home learning for the children - however, at the end of the week, Year 5 and 6 are going to be the first to move to using Microsoft Teams! Watch out for an important email on Thursday and have a go with this new system if you are in Year 5 and 6. You will be our early adopters! The teachers are ready and really excited. Telferlite continues and as ever the contact for this is through the email: email@example.com
There is a Bank Holiday on Friday to celebrate VE day - 75 days since the liberation of Europe. I encourage all of you to spend some time with your family looking at the coverage in the press - TV and printed - of this event. Never before has it been so obvious that we are making and living in the middle of history - the children will look back on this one day, as we are really living in unprecedented times. It will be interesting to compare the times then and now - similarities and differences! We are inviting the children to submit to their teachers a picture or photo of themselves in patriotic costume or a decorated drawing so we can post them on the blog and hopefully display them in the school.
I wish you all well - remember to stay home, keep safe and sane. Home learning is a challenge, so just aim to do your best and remember to encourage the children to read! We will be in touch as soon as we know and firm up our plans here at school - we cannot wait to welcome the children back to school.
Update: Friday 17th April
Welcome to Summer Term 2020. It seems incredible that we have reached this point and at least another three weeks of closure looms in front of us. I hope that this letter finds you well and that you are all surviving the enforced family togetherness with a background sound of an incoming zoom call and the distraction of a queue at the grocery store, which sometimes comes a a blessed relief! I have enjoyed seeing all of the posts on the blogs - especially some of the spectacular Easter Bonnets (put them away for next year!).
Telferlite continues to run and we have a core group of lovely children who are in and enjoying all of our activities - and staff have enjoyed being with the children. At the time of publishing, all staff are well and have returned to health. A few are shielding, but otherwise we are in and out, with the premises staff more in than out - making sure that the site is safe, clean and running efficiently. The kitchen staff continue to provide hot meals every day for our small gang, and sometimes it almost feels normal and then we realise that it is very very quiet and we are missing about 420 smiling faces!
The blogs continue to be the main portal for home learning. We are working towards going fully interactive on-line with Microsoft Teams but what we thought was a simple job isn't; and we have an ICT staff team of 1! In the background we are working away to get things up and running, but I am keen that we don't go ahead until we are fully able to ensure that it works properly and that staff are fully trained. No easy task when we have to train remotely - I want the on-line lessons to work well! In the meantime the teachers are organising the blogs a bit differently. We want to be sure that we provide enough structured activities but equally don't put too much pressure on you all to suddenly turn into home educators! Please don't stress about being perfect - quality not quantity and I promise that your children are always learning no matter what - they learn from watching, talking and I hope they are reading - but they also just learn from laughing and having fun.
The teachers are emailing classes to explain everything in better detail and there will be a reflection sheet emailed out to allow us the chance to capture some of the learning too - again please don't stress about this. We are wanting to keep in touch and maintain the dialogue and teachers are happy to answer your questions via email.
On the blogs there will be:
- A daily maths lesson through the White Rose learning portal - this is the programme we are using in school and is DFE recommended and are advising even BBC Bitesize! There are lessons an activities and the teachers will link you to the ones your children can do daily.
- A daily English task - appropriate for the age group (i.e. phonics based for Early Years etc.)
- A daily Topic lesson or task
- Weekly extra activities that you can choose from including a weekly music challenge from Mrs Guest.
- Reading activities that are either from the teacher or from the Oxford Owls website - every class will have a log on to access some on line books and accompanying activities.
- We are still in the process of planning other activities/videos so watch out for further announcements!
Some of you might be wondering about the music tuition - guitars, cello and violin - which just abruptly ended. Please know that refunds will be processed for all lessons not received after school closed as despite trying to get on-line lessons organised through school (zoom is not the amazing resource at primary school as it is with family get-togethers and business meetings) we haven't been able to. The tutors are however, able to provide individual lessons via video link and if you would like to have these then please do contact them by Tuesday April 22nd indicating that you would like to have lessons. Please do note however that with on-line sessions involving children it is important that there is a home based adult around in order to safeguard both the teacher and the child. If you have any general music related questions please do contact Mrs Guest on firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the music tutors please get in touch with the school office.
Mrs Guest is also co-ordinating a fundraising appeal, George's Babies, to raise money for the staff at our local hospital, St George's, at this critical time. It is part of their own official St George's Coronavirus Thank You Appeal, and any money raised goes towards immediate and longer term support of staff, including 'accommodation and transport for key staff...equipment and supplies, plus mental health support and welfare initiatives now and over the coming weeks and months'.
As a veteran of treatments, births and operations at St George's, Mrs Guest is eternally grateful for everything they have done for her, her family and friends, and we know that many of you will feel the same. I also aware that the Telferscot community is made up of people who work for the NHS, at St George's and other healthcare settings, and I hope that any contribution we make goes some way to thanking and supporting them as they work around the clock to deal with the impact of Covid-19.
Please donate what you can, with best wishes and thanks - Mrs Guest
Help Sarah Guest raise money to support St George's Hospital Charity
We have no idea yet when we will return to 'normal' - whatever that will look like. I definitely think that there is a keenness amongst our political and business leaders to get schools back and the economy going again, and I really hope that they give us more notice than they did about the closure (two days?) but so far we have not had any communication about a return, and anything you hear is just noise. We have not had any official information about dates, and we are all just guessing too. Uncertainty isn't great and can lead to anxiety and I am worried about all of our Telferscot children and how they are coping. We have put a host of information on our website about wellbeing with a few signposts to services locally. The lovely Mrs Giuliani is available on email via the office and does run private sessions on-line and is happy to provide these to Telferscot families. As someone who has availed myself of her advice before, I can fully recommend her!
Please be sure to tell the children how much we miss them and that we are all looking forward to seeing them back again. I have had a few lovely emails and so has Flapjack - he is missing school and would like to send a big WOOF to everyone. Predictably he does spend far too much time watching telly and snoring! Please do no hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or concerns - my email is email@example.com.
I hope you had a good Easter break no matter what it brought your way and that you are ready with pencils sharpened ready to start the new term!
With best wishes,
Additional Wellbeing Information:
The attached PDF has been produced by the Lambeth Educational Psychology Service with advice and support for wellbeing and learning during the lock down.
You can also see additional information from the Department of Education, with further guidance and support on children's wellbeing.
Update: 2nd April 2020
Dear Telfer Families
We hope that you are all safe and well.
We continue only to be open to families of key workers - a few children are here each day with staff working on a rota to cover our 'Telferlite' provision.
Please continue to look at the class blogs, there will be some suggested activities for the holidays, plus an Easter bonnet challenge! I am keen to see your efforts, as the Easter bonnet parade is my favourite event - so please send photos to class teachers so we can share these on the class blogs. It is lovely to see that over the last few weeks parents have continued to keep in touch, teachers will also be contacting parents and children directly via email asap.
There is so much online for opportunities for family learning, and celebrity live streaming, which teachers have been sharing on the class blogs, and I know that parents have also been sharing these on their class WhatsApp groups. Please also remember to pay special attention to your child's online safety, and refer to the school website where there is additional guidance available.
Most importantly, please remember to enjoy the Easter holiday with your children. Continuing with structure is good, but please find time to play a game, do a puzzle and make an Easter Bonnet and have fun!
We still have no idea on what is going to happen, but wait to hear the outcome of the government review after Easter, and we will be in touch when we have more news.
Update: Friday 20th March
There is no easy way to write this letter as who knew we would have to be closing school and saying goodbye today. Or are we? So much isn’t known and please be sure that I will keep you updated with any information that I receive via the website. Please keep an eye on the yellow banner on the website for updates. I will try to get something there once a week approximately! PLEASE FOLLOW THE GOVERNMENT ADVICE! The whole point of school closure is that we practice social distancing and keep away from others as much as possible. Please do this and keep your families safe.
We will be open for children of key workers for the duration. We asked parents who felt they qualified to email under a separate email and we have contacted them separately about arrangements that we have put in place. School will close completely for one week after the Easter weekend so that we can all have a collective rest. Arrangements after that will continue as before unless we are informed otherwise.
During this strangest of times please know that teachers will be using the class blogs to post something every day during term time to keep in touch with the children, and we have been planning on uploading little videos and challenges so that we keep in touch. We will all miss you very much and we feel quite confused and discombobulated with the sudden change to our lives – we are certainly living in the strangest of times and we won’t forget this very quickly.
And finally because I cannot resist interfering in your lives please remember to find the moments of joy from this situation. The internet abounds with ideas – many of them very worthy – but remember to use the time to do the things we never have time to do:
- Turn off social media and read books or why not listen to an audio book?
- Do a puzzle or play games – introduce the children to a game you loved as a child
- Start a sketch book together and draw and create. No matter what your skill level you can make something interesting.
- Take time to look at family photos – make some albums and re-live memories.
- Cook together and enjoy family meals
- Make things! If you have access to outside space do some planting and build a den!
- Involve the children in all of those household jobs we need to do. Gloves, cloths and safe cleaning products are all great fun and those cutlery drawers will be clean in no time. Sorting out the spices alphabetically will be learning and useful too!
- Share all the hugs and cuddles that you need and remember to chat.
Home learning is a great opportunity to spend time together and it would be nice that as a result of all of this societal upheaval we also have fun. A final thanks to all who donated to the Food Banks – the food went off today - more evidence of Telferteam in action. We are blessed to have such a fantastic community.
Good luck, and please keep healthy and safe!
Update: Thursday 19th March
Dear Telferscot Families,
Message Number 2!
As you will know from the wall to wall coverage in the press, we have now been instructed to close the school to almost all children after this Friday until further notice. We were waiting for an announcement from the Local Authority at 11:30am, but no new information has yet been released.
As currently advised by the government, we will be making arrangements to stay open for parents of children who are key workers and children with certain needs, for example:
- NHS staff
- Delivery drivers
- Other frontline service workers
- Children who have a social worker
- Children with EHCP plans
We are waiting for the government to publish more information on what a 'key worker' means. In order to help us plan ahead, it would assist us if you could let us know if you think you/your child may fall into one of the above categories and you require your child to attend school because you do not have access to any other child care arrangements and/or you consider yourself a key worker.
Please could you reply with an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 3.30pm today. If emailing is an issue, you can phone the school office on 0208 673 7362. We appreciate your urgent attention with this.
Please remember that this will be a skeleton service. If your child has particular needs indicated in their EHCPlan we may struggle to meet them specifically and you could be directed to specialist centres, if indeed they are running, that are better equipped to meet their needs. If your family are already self isolating then we respectfully ask that you continue with this arrangement. To be clear, all other children will need to stay at home with appropriate care, so do not send your child into school from Monday 23rd March onwards.
If your child usually receives Free School Meals, we will be providing some support for the next few weeks and there may also be support from a scheme that
the government is due to announce.
This is as much as we know right now and we appreciate your continued patience as we deal with this ever-changing situation. We understand that this latest news will have an impact on you and your family and it’s far from ideal, but we’ll continue to keep in touch with all and any updates as the situation develops.
I am sure there will be more information to share again soon, meanwhile please reply to the email address above in order to assist us with planning.
Dear Telferscot Parents,
Message Number 1 for today (18th March 2020)! Who would have thought we would be at this point? While all around us feels in chaos, please know that we are doing our best to keep things normal and settled for the children. Year 5 are having fun at Osmington Bay in their seaside/countryside bubble, although we have moved the coach departure time to bring them back at about 1:30pm on Friday. School will close on Friday although it will be a normal school day – we are planning to have Fun Friday so we can end smiling!
We will be handing out the HOME LEARNING packs today from 2:00pm. Children in school will bring them home in their book bags today but if you are a family who is self-isolating or not well enough to be in school you can pick them up from a table in the playground near the gate on Telferscot Road today – at 2.00pm. If you cannot make this happen then please make arrangements for someone to pick your book up for you - they will be in the playground today, or in the school office tomorrow. If you are self isolating and/or worried about social distancing please be at the school gate before 3:15pm to collect your pack, as parents who pick up for the end of the school day will begin to arrive. Please be sure to pick up and leave promptly.
The Home Learning packs all include log-ins for online learning and suggested activities and project work. All pupils are also being directed to look at one year group’s blog every day as teachers will upload a daily learning task for children. Check the pack carefully for all the details.
Thank you for the kind food donations for Clapham Park Food Bank. We will continue to collect food up until tomorrow at drop off, and greatly appreciate any of the following:
- Cooking oil
- Tinned meat
- Sugar (500g)
- Fruit juice
- Rice/sponge pudding
- Long life milk
- Laundry tablets
- Washing up liquid
- Shaving foam and razors
- Items for self-isolating children, such as books, colouring books and felt tip pens
It’s probably obvious to you all that any school meetings and events are cancelled (or can we dare say postponed?) and this includes the RSE parent meeting organized for Friday.
I am expecting an update on the school closure situation later this morning and will email you all again soon! Please be aware that this email will be asking you for information about your childcare plans for the next few weeks which will help us plan our future provision. With a huge shortage of staff we will need to plan this carefully so knowing what will help all key workers will be vital.
Tuesday 17th March
Dear Telferscot Parents,
What strange times we live in! You will all be aware that there will be daily updates from the government giving us advice about how to proceed with regards to COVID-19. Current advice continues to be that we keep school open and encourage good hygiene – through hand washing and use of sanitiser (we have a small supply!). We met this morning and wanted to inform you of the following:
In order to reduce footfall on the school site, we ask for parents to think carefully about whether they need to be on site and to reduce and limit visits into the building.
This means that from tomorrow afternoon we will only open the gates at 3:30pm to reduce public gathering on site. We ask that parents who pick up from classes do so quickly and leave site promptly. Extended clubs will be picked up from the playground. Pick up from TASC and drop off at Breakfast club will continue as normal, but please do not linger on site. Please note that we are politely requesting parents to step away from the lines at the beginning of the day to encourage orderly lining up and of course that important social distancing!
All ‘public gatherings’ are now cancelled or postponed. This includes Remarkable Reading, Pop-Up Café, Stay and Play and assemblies. We are postponing the showcase and will announce another date. We are also cancelling the end of term assemblies and the Art and Literature trail, although we will film this and publish it on the website! Parents will not miss out on this amazing learning display.
Year 5 have arrived happily at Osmington Bay and will enjoy an amazing trip by the sea with the fresh air and gorgeous weather. However, we have taken the decision to cancel all other trips that use public transport or involve public mingling! So the theatre trips are cancelled – we hope that the Unicorn will re-schedule them.
We will continue with any in school gatherings that involve only Telferscot children. We are also currently intending to continue with Year 3 swimming. We are going to seek advice from the Leisure Centre and of course Public Health England, but current opinion is that swimming is a good idea! We will advise parents by Wednesday of any change to this plan.
Please know that we are doing everything we can to keep things normal and FUN for the children. We are reminding them about hygiene expectations and premises staff are cleaning door handles, doors in general, water fountains etc. throughout the day, and our cleaners have specific instructions with regards to cleaning the school every morning.
We are also encouraging staff to keep healthy and happy. This is crucial to the school working well – although we do have plans in place to cover staff absences. Hopefully this will not involve class closures or similar. It may however include combining classes if necessary. We also are awaiting any advice from the government, but so far there is NO NEWS about any school closures despite what local rumours say!
Should the school close we will have a home learning pack available that includes on-line learning possibilities. We will also circulate some guidance for any families choosing to self-isolate.
Finally, please keep safe and healthy. Follow the guidance and keep children at home if they have a high temperature and let us know. There are NO cases of COVID-19 associated with the school population and we have no more information than you do. The best advice, as ever, is to keep things normal, try not to talk about it all the time and make children panic, and to take care of the whole family as best you can. As a school community let’s all work together to get through these strange times!
I am sure there will be more updates to follow.
Further information on COVID19 guidance for educational settings can be found here.
& also further information for Government guidance for households with symptoms