Belmore Primary Academy
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Weekly update from the Head

11 January 2021

Dear Parents/Carers

I hope that you and your families are staying well.

I am just writing with an update on what the school is doing during this new lockdown. These are serious times for us all. Infection rates in London are reported to be as high as 1 in 30, the Mayor has declared a ‘major incident’ because there is a very real risk of the NHS in London being overwhelmed and we are facing a new variant of the virus which is clearly much more infectious than before. The message is clear – we must all stay at home and the majority of children should not be in school. We must all do everything to reduce our contact with other people at this time.

School is only open to the children whose parents are critical workers and some vulnerable children. Given the seriousness of the situation we are all facing, I would urge all critical worker parents who have requested a place in school for their children to only send their children in when there is no alternative. The Government are saying that the national restrictions mean all children who can stay at home should stay at home and this includes the children of critical workers where there are other arrangements that parents can make. School is not the place for children to be at this time. While children may not be as at risk of getting so ill from the virus the problem is that they may be helping to spread it. While we are doing everything as before to make the school as Covid-safe as we can, coming in to school and mixing with children from other households and with a range of adults each day runs the risk of children then returning home and potentially passing the virus on to others. This is why schools are closed to the majority of children. For the sake of your children, yourselves, your families and my staff who are continuing to work in school I urge you to remember the spirit of the new lockdown and keep your children at home.

Staff have been in school this past week working hard at putting together meaningful learning that children can access at home. We are committed to providing high quality remote learning for all children and a comprehensive timetable of remote lessons and tasks is being posted on the school website in the Home Learning pages for each year group. This is more than just worksheets on the school website. It includes a range of resources, online lessons from the well regarded Oak National Academy and many lessons and messages recorded by Belmore staff for Belmore children. We are also planning to offer some live sessions for some children with their teachers. In addition staff will be regularly in touch with you and your children to offer support, provide feedback on work that children have done and sent in and just generally to motivate and encourage children to stay focused on their school work.

I fully understand how challenging it can be for parents having to support home learning and I must thank you for everything you are doing to help ensure children don’t fall too far behind. Where we can we have offered different types of support to parents, including providing a small number of laptops to families in need. Should anything be unclear in the work that is set, parents can communicate directly with class teachers through the year group email address.

I have already emailed all parents whose children are entitled to free school meals with an update on plans to support them while the school is closed. I will be in touch again once I have more information from the Government. In the meantime, email the school if you have serious issues at this time and we will do our best to help you. The email addresses that we have on file for Free School Meal parents are the ones that we will use for issuing vouchers when the Government get the scheme up and running so if you did not receive the email last week, check your Junk email box and if you still did not get it, contact the school at enquiries@belmore.school

I will aim to give you regular updates during the coming weeks. If you have any issues, requests, suggestions or ideas then please contact the school.

Please take care and stay well.

Paul Bateman
Headteacher