February Half Term Letter - Primary
12th February 2021
I hope that our whole-school community are safe and well. Although, it has been a busy and challenging half term it has also been a very rewarding one.
Remote Teaching and Learning
We have made great strides with our remote teaching and learning. Staff have worked incredibly hard to ensure our pupils continue to access high-quality teaching and learning through the use of different platforms across the primary phase to deliver pre-recorded lessons along with all supporting resources required by pupils to succeed in their learning. This approach has ensured all learning content is available for pupils to access should they not be able to be online at the timetable lesson time. This has given our families a great degree of flexibility, especially where devices are being shared.
This is what some of our pupils say…
As part of remote learning, Adam created a 3-D rocket and measured items around the house using the rocket as a non-standard measuring tool. He then created a 3D rocket and measured how tall his family members were. For his challenge task, Adam wrote sentences out exploring both maths and literacy. What a star!
AB from Reception
“I like bond bubble on games. I like it when the teachers say I have done well and give lots of stars and trophies. Purple mash is fun because you can do all the work on the computer”
ZM from Year 1
“I like reading and practising my writing on the writing app”.
IU from Year 1
“I like the Maths games and I find learning my number bonds easier on it”.
lA from Year 1
“On purple mash I like that I can do all my work on one app and it is really easy and fun to use. I also like that If I finish my work I can press the home button and find more work on English, Maths and Topic to do. I like to email my teacher if I am struggling with my work, my teacher replies and helps me understand my work better.
The work completed is exactly like normal lessons and I really like that, for example Topic is about Ancient Egyptians which also includes fun quizzes about the Tutankhamun.
I like that the Power-points are the same as the ones I would see in class and that I can hear my teacher explain the work, which helps. Also, I like that when I upload my work I can leave a little comment so my teacher knows how I found the work.”
SH from Year 3
“I really enjoy remote learning because it has really improved my computing skills. I receive English, Maths and Topic work daily by my teachers to work through and complete. If am unsure what to do, I can simply post a message to my teachers through the Microsoft Teams chat feature and my teachers respond with help and ideas. I can always complete extra Mathematics work through My Maths or complete a quiz through Accelerated Reader, which is really easy to access because my teachers have setup a folder on Teams with login details and easy instructions to follow.
My favourite subject is English. Recently, we have been reading lots of different examples of non-chronological reports and exploring the language and structural features. I am now planning and writing my own report about arctic foxes which will include an introduction, what type of habitat they live in, what they eat (diet) and much more!”
IW from year 6
MZ from Year 5 shares some advice on how you can learn effectively from home:
- Have a timetable for the week
- Get out of your pyjamas and have a good breakfast!
- Create a quiet work space
- Cancel out any distractions you might have (TV, games, etc.)
- Always contact your teachers if you are unsure about your work – don’t just leave it!
- Work as hard as you would when in school
“I can’t wait to get back to school and see my teachers, I really miss them. In the mean time I can talk to them about my work through the chat feature on Teams.”
Senior leaders have put together training videos on logging in, accessing learning materials and submitting work which are available on our school YouTube channel. If you have not viewed these videos, you can do so by clicking on the following link and subscribing to our channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVZst3I8v48jccRrwOKO2xQ
This half term, pupils in school have had the opportunity to bake banana loaf, great for not only baking techniques but to also understand the food journey and processes from banana plantations to banana loaf! “I loved it!”, responded one young baker – Mary Berry has some competition in the next few years!
Birmingham City Football Club have supported us through regular fitness sessions where pupils are raring to go – thanks Mr Whitehouse!
At home, our pupils have had the opportunity to explore what it means to be safer online through the global celebration and awareness of digital safety, whilst surfing the internet or using online gaming devises. Our younger pupils read the story of Detective Digiduck, with older pupils writing about internet safety through persuasive and explanation texts – capturing key learning points through the vehicle of high-quality writing!
The focus is always to put our pupils at the heart of what we do, and outstanding teaching and learning is our priority! Some of our in-school learning opportunities have been captured on Twitter, through our school’s dedicated Waverley School’s Twitter page, using the handle, @WaverleySchool: have a look today to see if you can spot Primary’s tweets!
World Book Day
This falls on Thursday 4th March. To celebrate this important day, we are planning a fun day of activities around developing a love of reading. Reading with your child now can have long-lasting benefits for their future, by reading together for JUST 10 MINUTES a day can make all the difference.
This year will be a little bit different as we will be running it remotely, so to raise excitement we have set up some competitions:
Competition – guess the reader.
Can you guess which member of staff is reading part of their favourite children’s book?
Competition – best dressed.
Although, we may not be in school, we know lots of you have already thought about and started to make your costumes, so please send photos of your child dressed up in their World Book Day outfit to their teacher. Best dressed will get a certificate, prize and to be celebrated on our school twitter!
Competition – write a short story.
Let your imaginations run wild and write a short, fictional story. To be sent to your class teacher by Friday 5th March. The best entries to be published in Waverley newsletter and placed in the school library for everyone to see.
Visit your local bookshop and help your child choose their FREE World Book Day book with their £1 book token. They will be learning about one of the books as part of the day so why not use the token to get the one they have learnt about.
The £1 book token can be exchanged for one of the exclusive, new £1 books OR for getting £1 off any book or audiobook costing £2.99 or more in participating bookshops and supermarkets – please print the voucher first for Asda and Sainsburys, £1 book token, school can provide a printed version.
A love of reading is one of life’s greatest gifts - so happy reading together and happy World Book Day!
For more information and ideas why not visit the World Book Day website.
Primary Parents’ Evening
Parents’ Evening will take place on Tuesday 23rd and Wednesday 24th March 3:15-6:00 – these will be telephone meetings. Further details will be shared early Spring 2.
Distribution and Loaning of Devices
We appreciate that not all pupils have access to their own personal ICT devices to support their learning at home and many students share devices with other family members. In recent months, in the range of 350 devices have been loaned and distributed to our most vulnerable families across the Primary, Secondary and Sixth Form phases. Devices have been distributed in our endeavour to ensure that families have one device that children can work on. It has just been confirmed that Waverley have been given a further 100 devices from the DfE and we aim to distribute these to those of you on our waiting list.
Half Term and Wider Re-opening of Schools
The Department for Education announced earlier this month that February half term will go ahead as planned. This means that our remote learning provision and critical worker provision will be unavailable from Monday 15th February. School will reopen on Monday 22nd February to critical workers only. At this present time, schools have received no further advice or guidance on the full reopening of school. There is indication that schools will re-open on the 8th March but we await further DfE guidance.
Free School Meals
We have been able to send out the vouchers to all our eligible families. If you newly acquire FSM eligibility and you receive the email from the online free school meal service to say you have been approved, be aware that families receive this immediately; however, there is always a time delay for this information to reach school and communication can often take up to 3 working days to reach us because the government use a third party company. Please bear this in mind if you receive your FSM confirmation.
Thank you to everyone for continuing to play their role in protecting families and the community by following all social distancing and hygiene advice and guidance, especially regarding when to self-isolate. Please do also get in touch if you require any guidance or advice on specific circumstances – we are always happy to provide this where we can. All Government advice regarding Covid-19 can be found HERE
Finally, on behalf of the Waverley team, thank you for all the positive feedback, support and encouragement you have provided this half term. I wish you all a happy, safe and restful break.
Mrs S. Dosanjh
Head of School - Primary