March 2021: Lockdown and Beyond
After months away from the classroom for many pupils, we’ve been delighted to welcome everyone back to school – pupils have definitely been missed and it’s been really good to see the “bubbles” back together again, from EYFS through to Year 13.
We’re really proud of how JMAT schools have worked together and very appreciative of the efforts made by staff, parents, carers and all our pupils to keep learning very much on track throughout lockdown.
On 4th January, the government’s announcement changed our planning overnight, quite literally. We had to adapt and deliver both face-to-face and remote education, aligning all our work as closely as possible to the pre-COVID curriculum. Technology has been absolutely essential during this period and, in addition to teaching and support staff, the ICT team has played a critical role.
The digital divide is an issue which has been very well publicised during this pandemic and we are all too aware of the variation in internet quality across this area of Suffolk. However, we have succeeded in combining and deploying resources across the Trust, so that every child has had access to a laptop to work on and, where possible, families have been able to boost their internet connectivity.
We have also responded to Ofsted’s research on remote learning and staff have used a blend of pre-recorded lessons, live streaming, online tasks and also screen- free activities to give our pupils a broad and rich curriculum whilst away from school. ICT platforms have also enabled staff to mark and offer feedback on pupils’ work, providing additional support as and when required,
But for all the praise we can heap on technology, it has been the resilience of school communities which has really made the difference. The Spring Term has definitely been a steep learning curve – for school staff and families alike – but everyone has risen to the challenge.
As we move into the Summer Term, we know that we are building on strong foundations and we thank you for your continued support.
Karen D Grimes
Chief Executive Officer
Latest Trust Update
You can find all previous updates and information below:
Free School Meal Vouchers: WONDE
A guidance document on how to access the vouchers along with some frequently asked questions is here: How to access your vouchers and FAQs
For advice on travelling to school on the bus, please see the poster from Suffolk County Council here: transport Covid-19 Poster
Please find the Trust Risk Assessments here: JMAT Strategic Risk Framework for Wider Opening, June 2020; COVID-19 Educational Settings Risk Assessment- June 2020
The DfE updates their information on a regular basis and you can find a link to their website 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
There is also some advice on mental health and wellbeing here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-public-on-mental-health-and-wellbeing