Information Update: 22.5.20

As we enter the half term break, we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in our amazing school community for working together at this most difficult and uncertain of times. The staff at Myatt Garden have been on a huge learning curve and have worked tirelessly to produce quality tasks to engage your children at home, while keeping school open for the children of Key Workers and vulnerable children.

Equally, you have worked hard overcome a whole range of obstacles, such as working from home, establishing new routines, sharing laptops, collecting learning packs from school, refreshing your brain about fractions…. You have kept Myatt children learning! This learning will look different for every family, but we recognise that you have all, in very difficult circumstances, given it your best! Thank you!

Thank you to all who completed our questionnaire asking for your views about opening school to more children, following the Government’s announcements. We have been working hard to absorb all of the information from the Government, Lewisham Council, the unions and health and education leaders to consider how we approach things at Myatt. Please be assured that we are taking a very careful and measured approach and that we understand how difficult this is for everyone. The health, safety and wellbeing of everyone in our community is our first priority and we are completely supportive of your decisions as parents and carers about what is best for your family and when you are ready to send your children back to school.

This week, Lewisham Council’s Cabinet Lead for School Performance and Children’s Services, Chris Barnham, issued an open letter to school leaders in which he set out the expectation that ‘any decision to increase numbers in school and the timing of a phased return of year groups will be taken by individual schools, based on careful planning and risk assessment in the context of their school’. You can find out more on Lewisham Council’s website.

Nothing is certain, but we wanted to share more information about how we are approaching things at Myatt and how we might open school to more children. This will only happen if the Government’s Five Tests are met and, subject to our own careful risk assessment.

We are clear that we will not be in a position to introduce more children from the identified year groups back into school in the week beginning June 1st. Monday June 8th will mark the earliest possible date that we will open to more children.

The Government have asked schools to prioritise the return of younger children. We have decided that when the conditions are right, we will introduce Year 1 children first, to allow them to learn the new social distancing rules. Once we are confident that our systems are working, we will start to introduce Reception and finally Year 6.

We do not anticipate any other year groups rejoining us before the summer holidays. We will be working closely with families to support the return of their children to school; we are very aware that school will be very different and we need to prepare children for this – they will not necessarily be returning to their own classroom or be with their class teacher. At present we are anticipating that our classes will run from Monday to Thursday, providing Friday as a day for teachers to prepare both class and home learning as well as an opportunity to give classrooms a thorough clean.

No children will be able to attend school until arrangements have been made directly with the school. We will be making contact with Year 1 families after half term, when we know more, in order to discuss next steps. In the meantime, children of critical workers and those identified as vulnerable will continue to come in to school. If you are a critical worker and need your child to be in school, please contact us at: admin@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk

We understand that this is a lot of information to absorb and you will have many questions. We will remain open and transparent during this process and this will be the first of a number of communications over the next few weeks as we share arrangements in this ever-changing landscape.

It only remains to thank you once again for your support and to hope that you are able to enjoy the half term break.

 

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Information Update: 15.5.20

Hi Everyone,

What a week …… I hope you have all managed to get your heads around what you can do and what you can’t. Just as long as you stay alert we’ll all be fine!

As you can all imagine, this week we have been working hard to read, digest and understand all the guidance that is coming at us from a range of resources – the government, the unions, the LA and our H&S advisors to name a few! Most importantly, I want to assure you that we have the health, safety and welfare of pupils, staff and families very much at the heart of all that we are doing. We will only open, when we are confident that we can provide an environment that minimises the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

We know you will have questions about when your children will be able to return to school. It is important to remember that the date announced by the government is not yet confirmed and is subject to further decision making that its Five Tests have been met. The Cobra meeting to decide on whether the measures have been met will take place on the 28th May, and only then will the date to begin a phased return be confirmed.

Should the government measures to allow school opening have been met and subject to our own careful risk assessment,  June 1st could mark the beginning of a slow and gradual approach to the staggered return of some year groups in smaller class groups. Whilst it is always impossible to eradicate all risk, please be assured that we will proceed with extreme caution and care with safety our first priority.

In the meantime, children of critical workers and those identified as vulnerable will continue to come in to school. If you are a critical worker and need your child to be in school, please contact me at: admin@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk
As part of our planning, a survey was sent out to parents and carers of children in Year 6, Year 1 and Reception, as these are the year groups identified by the government as the first to return. Thank you to everyone who has responded; the results will inform our future plans. Ms Gray will be contacting nursery parents soon.  Once a date for a phased return has been confirmed by the government, we will be contacting families individually to discuss our plans. We anticipate a gradual return, one year group at a time. Children will only return to school when they have received a start date from us.

I can assure you that we are looking forward to welcoming children and families back and will do this in a thoughtful and measured way and we will continue to keep you informed every step of the way!

Calls home

This week teachers have been calling some families; it is always lovely to hear from pupils about their learning.  This time we have prioritised families where we have not had any contact with on Seesaw.

Family well-being

During this stressful and cooped-up time, don’t let the pressure of parenting get you down. Try these simple tricks and tips, formulated by Professor Edmund Sonuga-Barke and the POP-UP team, which are backed by science and proven to work with families. A really helpful list of 8 top tips, each one backed up with a short animation: https://maudsleycharity.org/familiesunderpressure/.  There’s something there for everyone!

Local Food bank

One in five Primary School parents are struggling to feed their children.

St Peters Brockley FOOD BANK will be connecting with individuals and families in our community to deliver weekly food parcels, which will include fresh and non-perishable grocery items

 

WHEN: Deliveries will take place on Wednesdays to their home

WHERE: St. Peter’s Church, Brockley, Wickham Road, SE4 1LT

HOW: Families will need to request a food bundle delivery by visiting: https://www.stpetersbrockley.org.uk/foodbank or ring 07405 136 249

You can support the food bank with a financial donation by visiting  https:// www.stpetersbrockley.org.uk/foodbank-donate or donate fresh or non-perishable food by dropping things off at the South entrance of St Peter’s building every Monday from 12:00 – 4:00  pm.  If you would like any further information, or wish to lend your support please visit: https://www.stpetersbrockley.org.uk/foodbank

 

Community Fund

We have a community fund which is there to support families in times of need. We know many families will be in difficult situations right now with incomes being lost overnight due to the lockdown. If you are struggling and would like some help, please contact the school at: admin@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk or 020 8691 01611. Remember we are here to help.

Take care everyone and stay safe.

 

 

 

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Information Update: Prime Minister’s Announcement – 11.5.20

I’m sure that you will by now have seen the key headline messages from the Prime Minister’s broadcast last night.

It is clear that the government are keen for schools to reopen on a phased basis – possibly as early as June 1st, with some year groups returning to school earlier than others. The Prime Minister cited Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 in his message. We heard this information at the same time as you, so currently have no further details – although we expect guidance to be issued over the coming days and weeks. The Department for Education (DfE) have said up until now that they will work with the sector to ensure the safe and appropriate re-opening of schools and we trust that this will continue to be the case.

I would like to reassure you that we will be working tirelessly to consider all those things that we need to plan practically for a safe re-opening, as well as how we support children as individuals in terms of their personal well-being and learning. As educators, we are in uncharted territory.

We do have concerns about how the reintegration of significant numbers of pupils in primary schools can be safely managed, particularly considering that Reception and Year 1 comprise of very young children with whom social distancing is extremely difficult. We are also worried that personal protective equipment in schools has so far been dismissed, leaving an over-reliance on social distancing in environments where this is inherently problematic, especially in a school like ours.

However, we welcome the Prime Minister’s assurance that this timescale is not set in stone, that it is dependent on a number of key factors he outlined and will be postponed if necessary.

We recognise that you and your children, like us, will have many questions or concerns about the ‘new normal’ when schools return at a future date. Whilst we cannot provide answers at the current time, as some of these will be dependent on the guidance or directives we await from the DfE, we will as always endeavour to keep you informed.

 

 

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Information Update: 6. 5. 20

Well finally it feels like we may know a little more about what the future holds for schools – I am sure we will all be glued to the television on Sunday to hear Boris’ plans!

I hope you will all help your children access my message this week. Through the use of the story ‘The Invisible String’ I have tried to help the children feel connected to school in these very strange times. To view just follow this link: https://vimeo.com/415192625 

Seesaw
We were delighted to be able to launch Seesaw across the school this week. I am so proud of our amazing team of teachers, who in a very short space of team have mastered this technology and rolled it out from the nursery up. Having listened carefully to all the feedback from parents, we felt that Seesaw would allow children to feel more connected with their class teacher and their classmates.

As a school, we always consider the implications of any new initiative and therefore we trialled the platform with Year 6 children for two weeks in order to get feedback from children, parents and teachers.

Feedback from families:-
• All children Seesaw have found the experience to be very positive.
• Parents have noted their child felt more motivated to do their home-learning as they now could have their work acknowledged.
• The comments the children have made on others work are all kind and genuinely supportive.
• They really appreciate being able to see each other’s work and being able to share their own learning.
• For many children in year 6, this was the first time they had seen their peers names and were excited to be able to respond and comment in this safe environment (teachers approve all posts).
Seesaw allows children to receive direct feedback and acknowledgement from their teachers and their peers. All comments are first vetted and approved by teachers before being uploaded. It doesn’t act as a social platform and does not allow children to ‘chat’ to one another.

We are clear that it is there for families if they wish to use it – you can use See Saw as a platform to share learning, or you can continue to learn in the same way as you have in previous weeks. As a school, we are constantly trying to respond to the needs of families who have different approaches to home learning and who have requested different methods of learning. For some families, we hope that Seesaw will be a great way to improve communication with the school, but please remember there is no expectation that you will be using it.

If you have any concerns about Seesaw, you could:

• Limit access to seesaw, it could be that the children post one thing at the end of the week.
• Children could post to seesaw, but ask that their work is not shared. The teacher can then comment, but will not approve it (meaning no one else will see it).
• Continue to record work in exercise books.
• Email work/ queries on your year group email address if they don’t think seesaw will be helpful to their child.

You as a family, need to do things in your own way. As a school, we understand that home learning may vary from day to day, family to family. We continue to stress that we are not expecting home to operate as a classroom.

Computational Thinking
Barefoot have produced a selection of home learning activities to support Computational thinking skills i.e problem solving. If this is something your child might enjoy, they don’t require a computer and are all achievable with minimal resources. If you fancy it, have a look at: https://www.barefootcomputing.org/homelearning?mc_cid=b8b438bf50&mc_eid=996596beb4

Staying well
This is a time of uncertainty and a lot of children and young people will be feeling anxious and worried about what is going on. This is a normal response to the current situation. There is a lot of information becoming available – this is great, but it can also be confusing. The attached document has pulled together some advice and useful links all in to one place.

Please continue to take care and stay safe.

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Information Update: 29 4 20

I hope you are all staying well physically and mentally – these are challenging times and it is understandable that we are experiencing a host of emotions.

I’d like to start by reiterating our consistent message. Home-schooling is not easy (that’s an understatement I hear some of you shout!!) and we are all learning. Please remember your best is good enough. Everyone’s circumstances are unique, whether you are cramped for space, sharing devices with the whole family, working from home or have no internet, it’s hard right now and we understand.

You might also be noticing signs of increasing anxiety in your child as they are spending more time indoors and out of their normal routines. These might include:

Pupils ages 3-6 years:

Regressing to behaviour they have outgrown, such as thumb-sucking or bed-wetting;

Showing greater fear at being separated from you;

Tantrums;

Trouble sleeping

Pupils ages 7-10 years:

Expressing sadness, anger or fear;

Wanting to talk about coronavirus all the time;

Not wanting to talk about the current situation at all;

Having trouble concentrating

Some suggestions that might help us all cope

– Be willing to answer children’s questions honestly and simply.

– Avoid discussing adult themes e.g. financial worries or worries about elderly relatives, around children.

– Remind children that this will soon be over and talk about the things that you are all looking forward to doing when this is over.

– Remind them often that their teachers still exist and plan something for their return to school e.g. what will you take in to show, make and send a card, bake cakes for the class.

– Tell then you understand how they are feeling – this and a cuddle is a great comfort.

– Try to spend some time together without technology – making models, playing board games, sharing stories baking or gardening. This is often the best time to find out what your child is really feeling.

If you have any concerns about how your child is coping or you need any other support from the school, please let us know by calling us on: 020 8691 0611 or emailing us at: admin@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk.  We know that children are incredibly resilient; we are here to support them and you every step of the way.

New ways to share learning – Seesaw App

We know that many of our pupils have been missing the regular contact with their teachers and we have been exploring how we can provide children with feedback on their learning and contact with school. Year 6 have been trailing a remote learning platform called ‘Seesaw’ with their classes. The feedback from teachers, parents and children has been brilliant and really encouraging. Therefore, next week we are going to be introducing ‘Seesaw’ from nursery through to year 5. Seesaw will have the same learning as the home-learning letters, so please do not worry if you cannot access Seesaw – your child will still be receiving the same home-learning as everyone else.

Seesaw

Seesaw is a safe, secure and easy way for children to upload work, photos, videos and audio files directly to their teachers. Teachers can then comment on their work or like their work and develop a direct dialogue with the children via Seesaw. Other children in the year group can comment on other children’s work with positive messages. Everything posted on Seesaw will be approved by teachers and cannot be seen before it is approved; this includes comments from other children.  We feel that this will really benefit the children, as it will give them the opportunity to share their work, it will show their work is recognised and allow teachers to encourage and motivate the children with positive comments and likes.   On Friday, when you receive your home-learning letter, there will be additional information about logging in to Seesaw. You will be given clear instructions as to how to log in, with an access code specifically for your child’s class. Make sure you look out for this. You can log on to this and make an account from Friday, but there will not be any learning uploaded until Monday.

On Monday, your child’s year group will post an activity from their home-learning letter. We’re going to start small next week and as we grow in confidence and we learn what the children respond to best we will be adding more. We hope that all children, who are able to log in, will respond to the task in some way. You could: take a picture of their learning, upload a video, record them talking about their work, or respond on Seesaw with a drawing or some writing. The children will only need to respond to the post once, and you may find you want to wait until the end of the week to do this.

It is important to stress that this is optional and is there for those that want to use it. Do not feel any pressure for your child to be posting lots of comments and work. Teachers will be accessing the site once a day, Monday to Friday, to respond to work.

Additional learning resources

Some alternative ideas if you want to try something different and you are finding online learning is working for you.

The Book of Hopes: Words and Pictures to Comfort, Inspire and Entertain Children in Lockdown is completely free for all children and families. A collection of short stories, poems, essays and pictures has contributions from more than 110 children’s writers and illustrators, including Lauren Child, Anthony Horowitz, Michael Morpurgo,  Axel Scheffler, Francesca Simon and Jacqueline Wilson.  https://literacytrust.org.uk/family-zone/9-12/book-hopes/. The collection is only available online and is dedicated to the doctors, nurses, carers, porters, cleaners and everyone currently working in hospitals.

Many of you will be familiar with Explore Learning. They  are offering some free resources at https://www.explorelearning.co.uk/the-club/ as well as 30 minute maths sessions with Bobby Seagull look good too https://www.explorelearning.co.uk/bobbys-mid-morning-maths/

STEM is the largest provider of educational support in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). They work with schools and colleges across the UK and are known for the quality of their resources in this field. If this is an area that you are interested in you will find loads of fun resources at  https://www.stem.org.uk/home-learning Watch a video of Tim Peake talking about life as an astronaut; turn the materials you would normally send out in your recycling into something that you can design, build and test; in a set of four activities explore the impacts of global warming and melting ice on Earth or code a virtual robot using a block-based coding environment. And so much more!

Get Carol Vorderman to help your child with their maths. You’ll find times tables checks, games, daily lessons, towers of achievement available at www.themathsfactor.com

And without the internet

We know that some of you may be struggling with or fed up with the internet right now, so we thought we would list a few things that your children could do without technology!

1) Keep a regular diary of daily highlights.

2) Learn to sew, knit or crochet.

3) Practise drawing skills

4) Learn how to cook or bake.

5) Using any recyclable materials or using lego, build your own magical kingdom

6) Learn a new skill – how to tie your laces, juggle, tell the time.

7) Draw a cartoon strip of your day.

8) Make a book mark for your book so you know what page you got to.

9) Create a mime, song or dance.

10) Create a scrap book about your time at home.

We’re extremely grateful to all our families for your support and the way you have all adapted to these new circumstances. Please remember none of the learning ideas we send home are compulsory and we are not expecting you to have completed everything. We are sending a wide selection of alternatives so you and your children can pick and choose, hopefully finding a variety of things that suit your needs.

Like many of our teachers, we appreciate many of you are juggling working at home, alongside supporting your child with their learning. Be realistic about what can be achieved and follow their interests when you need them to be more independent.

We can and will get through this together.

 

 

 

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Information Update: 27.4.20

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak while schools are shut, we have been able to provide food vouchers to families of children eligible for Free School Meals.

PLEASE NOTE: this does not include all Reception and KS1 children who currently get a free school meal, only those that qualify under the criteria sent out in last week’s email.

This week the government announced free school meal eligibility is being temporarily extended to include children of families who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF). These families will be able to receive food vouchers worth £15 per child each week.

Eligible groups are:

– children of Zambrano carers (A Zambrano carer is the primary carer of a British citizen child, where the child would be forced to leave the European Economic Area if the carer was forced to leave the UK);

– children of families with no recourse to public funds with a right to remain in the UK on grounds of private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights;

– children of families receiving support under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 who are also subject to a no recourse to public funds restriction;

– a subset of failed asylum seekers supported under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

If you believe your family may be eligible for free school meals because you belong to one of these groups, please get in touch with us by calling: 020 8691 0611 or emailing us at: admin@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk

Please be assured, we will keep any information shared with us about your family’s status confidential.

Stay safe and well.

 

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Information Update: 23.4.20

I hope you and your families continue to stay well.

Phone calls home
It has been lovely to hear from so many of you so far this week. Teachers have been busy making calls and if you haven’t received one yet, we will be in contact soon. Please note, these calls will probably show as ‘Private Number’ on your phone, so please answer we are keen to speak with all families.

We have had wonderful feedback from the children and you, about Sam and Sertac’s videos – another one from Sertac went live today. It’s lovely to know that their special talents are still being enjoyed by our school community. You have shared your home learning experiences, asked for advice, given us valuable feedback and hopefully been reassured. I cannot stress enough that we are here for you, so please don’t struggle alone …. pick up the phone or drop us an email and we will respond.

I would like to assure all of our families that we are working very hard to provide learning that is engaging, accessible and purposeful. As you can imagine this is new for all of us and we are trying to manage the expectations of families that would like everything online to others without devices or internet. All schools are doing this differently, but at the same time trying to meet their community’s needs. This is not made any easier by not knowing how long we will be learning in this way. As a result of your feedback, we are currently working on providing some packs for those for whom online learning is difficult that can be collected from school. Teachers have discussed this with individual families and we will keep you updated.

Important financial help for families
Across the country many families are finding themselves in very changed circumstances as people’s work is terminated. If you are a family who did not previously qualify for free school meals, but whose income has reduced or stopped due to the coronavirus crisis, you may now qualify for Free School Meals which would entitle you to a £15 supermarket voucher for each child each week.

I would encourage all parents and carers who have not yet applied for free school meals to apply if you think you may qualify.

Am I eligible to receive free school meals for my child?
If you are in receipt of any of the following benefits you may be eligible to receive free school meals for your child:

• Universal Credit – net earnings threshold of £7400 from April 2018
• Income Support
• Income-based Jobseekers Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance
• Child Tax Credit – net earnings threshold of £16190.00 from April 2018
• Guarantee element of pension credit
• Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

How to apply
Use this link to apply and confirm your child’s eligibility for free school meals: Free School Meals Support

If you are not eligible now, please be aware that any new Universal Credit claims may delay a result, in these cases Lewisham Council will contact you directly and advise you on the progress of the application

At Myatt Garden, we have a wealth of experience and contacts that can help, in addition to our Community Fund at Myatt Garden which is there to support any families experiencing financial difficulties. You can contact us in the strictest confidence via: 020 8691 0611 or email at: admin@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk and we will do our best to help.

Be kind to yourself
These are tough times and we can all benefit from advice and support sometimes. With this in mind, I have asked Rabiya McKeverne (mum of Nour and Farah) for some ideas to perhaps help families during this difficult time when we are all trapped indoors many hours every day. Rabiya has run free taster mindfulness sessions at school for us which parents have found really insightful.

I will send the helpful advice that she has put together in a separate email to everyone, so that anyone who feels that it is useful can easily access in times of need! Thank you Rabiya for responding so generously to my request.

And on that note I wish you all well. Remember you are not a teacher, you are doing your best and that is all any of us (including me) can do!

Stay safe and well.

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Information Update: 22.4 20

Hi Everyone,

I hope that you’ve all been able to get cracking with your summer term home learning!

I know your teachers are going to be calling you at some point this week and many of you will already have been able to talk to your teacher and share some of the things you have been doing in your time at home. I know that your teachers have enjoyed chatting with you – they miss you all! We have listened to what you have been telling us and will use that to help us plan for next week. If your teacher has not called you yet, they will be doing so this week.  We are all looking forward to seeing some of the amazing things you have been doing. We would like everyone to be choosing one or two pieces of their favourite work that we can display when you return to school. This could be art, a story, a photo of your cooking or gardening, a model you have made or some great maths or science – whatever you are proud of and want us to see! Keep it safe at home and bring it in when we return.

I hope you have watched Sertac’s wonderful music video this week – there will be another one tomorrow! Every week you will have a new challenge from Sam on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with a music lesson from Sertac on Tuesday and Thursday. We hope this will help you feel connected to school even though we are not all physically together in our school building.

Thank you to those of you that have sent in contributions for the Myatt magazine, they’ve been very entertaining! So far we’ve had a hamster update, a pyramid project, theatre workshop report, some Easter crafts and a quiz!

Please keep your ideas coming and send them to us at:  magazine@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk

Finally a few new resources that you may want to try:

The National Farmers Union and a host of celebrities such as Jimmy Doherty, Charlie Baker and Hannah Jackson, have teamed up to create a hub of home learning activities and videos linked to food, farming and the great outdoors https://eatfarmnow.com/ at Each week we will be choosing a different theme and releasing new resources to keep children busy during Lockdown.

Among other things, they share how children can grow their own ‘popcorn plants’ with celebrity botanist, James Wong; design and build a plant propagator from recycled materials; learn about the parts of a plant and sow their own vegetable seeds.    The BBC have also launched a whole host of new daily lessons that you might enjoy. You can find out more at https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/articles/zfwrcqt

Oak National Academy have also launched its online classroom offering over 180 lessons a week – I don’t expect you to do them all, but it does mean that you should find something you’ll enjoy!    Check it out at https://www.thenational.academy/

 

 

 

 

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Information Update: 9.4.20

As time goes by, I think it’s really important for us all to be looking after our well-being as much as we can.

If we as adults are managing, our children will benefit greatly. Apologies if some of these are obvious, but sometimes it is the obvious that alludes us.

Top tips for coping with isolation
Keep a daily routine going as much as possible, while also allowing for the fact that things will be different and trying not to give yourself a hard time about this. Getting your children involved in planning and preparing meals might help to structure your days, breaking up the time and giving your family regular opportunities to gather together.

Get some fresh air and exercise together every day – whether that’s walking, running, scooting, skipping, doing an online workout or an egg and spoon race in the garden! This is really important for wellbeing and helps to lift our mood. The government is currently advising that people can go outside with people they live with once a day for exercise – as long as no one in the household is showing symptoms or has a condition that means they need to isolate more strictly.

Connect online with family and friends. Having contact with our support networks is really important at the moment – and you and your children can keep in touch with people using free apps such as Whatsapp, Facetime, Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts and more. If you’re in touch with other parents from your child’s class, can you come up with some ideas together for staying connected?

Search online for free activities your children can join in with virtually – helping them stay entertained and giving you opportunities for a quick break. You can find free online classes for young people in dance, P.E. workouts, science, yoga and more. For more activity ideas and suggestions on how you can use this time together to start a conversation with your child about their mental health during these uncertain times, have a look at our page on: https://youngminds.org.uk/starting-a-conversation-with-your-child/activities-and-conversation-starters-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic/

Make a boredom jar. Ask your children what their favourite indoor activities are and use them to make a lucky dip or boredom jar. Write their ideas down on strips of paper and keep them in any container you’ve got, such as a bag, bowl, jar or hat. In moments of boredom or struggle, invite them to choose something they know they enjoy doing. Depending on their age, activities could include crafting, making playdough, dressing up, baking or cooking, watching their favourite film or playing a video or board game with you.

Exciting art opportunity
I’d also like to alert you to the Royal Academy Young Artist summer show which any child from 5 -19 years can submit work. More information can be found at: https://youngartists.royalacademy.org.uk/
There is no theme, is free and will be taking place online this year. The school has registered in order for our pupils to take part if they wish. So if your child would like to submit an entry all you have to do is register as a parent/ guardian and upload their artwork by 24th April.

Here for you
Please remember that we continue to be here for you. We are very aware many of our families will be managing on reduced incomes during this period. We have many contacts with support agencies, food banks and we have the Myatt Garden Community Fund which is available to help, so please do not hesitate to get in touch if we can help you and your family. You can contact us at: admin@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk , 020 8691 0611 or 07742 967605.

Take care, stay well and look after yourselves.

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Information Update: Happy Easter

A short message to wish you all a ‘Happy Easter’.

The sun is shining and I hope you have all been taking advantage of a walk every day and a run around some of the many open spaces we have locally. If you’re fed up with the same ones, perhaps this lovely weather is an opportunity to walk further and try somewhere new:

Hilly Fields
Luxmore Gardens
Telegraph Hill
Friendly Gardens
Ladywell Fields
Blythe Hill
Brookmill Park

I hope you have found the Easter activities fun and perhaps challenged yourself to do something out of your comfort zone. Remember that you have a growth mindset, so don’t just stick to the ‘comfortable’ tasks – you can get into the pit with art, science and practical activities as well as writing and maths.

I’m guessing many of you will have been thinking about what you might like to contribute to the Myatt Magazine. Once you are happy with your contribution you can now send it to: magazine@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk Make sure you include your name, your class and a heading for your contribution. Remember we want you to draft and improve your work. Perhaps you could share it with a grown-up to see if they can give you some helpful feedback on where it can be improved. This is what real journalist do!

I have also attached some information about Chartwell’s ‘cook-a-long’ videos: ChartwellsSuperYummyKitchen-comms.  These will be posted on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on their ‘Simply Delicious, Super Yummy Chartwells’ youtube channel. Try out their marmite twists or unicorn hummus – go on give it a go and learn some new skills!
Finally, if you love / loved Julia Donaldson books (The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom, A Squash and a Squeeze, Stick Man, etc.) then you will probably enjoy her reworking of many of these old favourites with COVID 19 in mind. Enjoy the images and chuckle at the messages at: https://www.theguardian.com/books/gallery/2020/apr/04/gruffalo-axel-scheffler-and-julia-donaldsons-coronavirus-cartoons

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Information Update: 1. 4. 20

 

As we head into the Easter holiday, we will be sending home some fun ideas, activities to help entertain your children over the 2 weeks holiday – we thought this might help whilst we are all still isolated. You will receive your next set of home learning on Friday 17thApril, ready for the first week of the new term.

 

‘Sam at Myatt Garden’ Youtube

I’m really pleased to let you know that Sam, our legendary Sports Coach, has launched his very own Youtube channel for Myatt Garden children whilst the school is shut. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday he will be posting challenges for your children to do at home, though I suspect once watched, this may become a family challenge. Most importantly it will be a way for pupils to stay connected with a friendly Myatt face.

Check him out today at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUJhUEZm04jKoV5UzSs6TSw

Free audio books

Audible have released lots of free audio books for children, for as long as schools are closed. You can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages, that will help children continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids. All stories are free to stream on your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet.  https://stories.audible.com/start-listen

Spelling Shed

Sadly, I have to report that a few Year 5 families have been in touch as some children have had their Spelling Shed account hacked by other children. In order to keep things simple, although user names are individual, everyone’s password is the same. It is incredibly disappointing, Spelling Shed is a learning resource which we hope children will enjoy whilst improving their spelling. However, I like to focus on the positive so I would suggest that this is a good opportunity to discuss online safety with your child and the importance of behaving responsibly online. This could be really useful to guide to look at together: http://www.safetynetkids.org.uk/personal-safety/staying-safe-online

Food Boxes

We have been informed of a local Covid/coronavirus support group who are working on a project with The Hill Station to buy food from their wholesalers and use their own fundraising efforts to deliver these boxes for free weekly to those suffering financial hardship due to coronavirus.

A typical box contains the following items:

Lentils, free range eggs, milk, sugar, porridge oats, rice, bread, some tinned food and a selection of fruit and veg (such as bananas, apples, oranges, lemons, broccoli, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots, and we try to put some of each in every box).

They are making up the first boxes this week and are very much responding to the local community’s needs as they go. They intend to do this weekly as long as the need exists and our wholesale supplier are able to deliver.  To get in touch if you need a box or if you want to volunteer, contact Victoria on 07462574516.

They are also running a parallel initiative to distribute these boxes locally at cost to people who are 70+/self-isolating/NHS personnel. These boxes can be ordered by calling or texting Tineke on 07748713212, by the end of Sunday each week, for distribution on Tuesday.

Top Trumps
If you have a printer at home, I’ve been told the attached  Times-tables—Top-Trumps top trump cards have been working well at home to help children with their tables. Simply print and hours of fun, whilst gaining rapid recall of key multiplication facts.

Free School Meals
If you are entitled to FSM, you should have received an email from us regarding vouchers. We need your permission to use your email address as a means of getting vouchers to you. If you haven’t done this already, please do it as a matter of urgency so the issue of vouchers is not delayed.  If you need help please email: admin@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk and we will respond.

A reminder that even though school is not open, we are here for you and are keen to help if you need advice or support. You can get in contact via: admin@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk or calling us on 0208 691 0611 or 07742 967605.

It will be an Easter like no other, let’s hope for some sunshine!

I wish you all a good one!  Stay well.

 

 

 

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Supporting our NHS

Some of the children of our key worker parents worked together to share some joy using the rainbow theme of #frommywindow campaign.

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Information: Update 25.3.20


Even though school is not open to the majority of children, I want to take this opportunity to reassure you that we are here for you and are keen to help if you need advice or support. Below I have included information on Free School Meals, Foodbanks and looking after our mental well-being. You can get in contact via: admin@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk or calling us on 0208 691 0611 or 0774 2967605.

Free School Meals
PLEASE BEWARE scam emails – there is one circulating asking families for bank details in order to transfer money for lunches. You will never be asked for this information from us, Lewisham or the DfE so DO NOT RESPOND.
Lewisham are currently working with Chartwells, our meal providers, to supply families who qualify for Free School Meals with lunches for their children. They are hoping that this will be in the form of a hamper each week that will provide food to make lunches for each child. We will let you know more details as soon as we have them.
Whilst this is being sorted, we are working hard to get supermarket vouchers to all FSM families, so please watch out for more information in your Inbox. In the meantime if you need help please email: admin@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk and we will respond.

Lewisham Foodbank Organisations
Due to the current crisis, Lewisham Foodbank Organisation are making changes to the way they work. They will, as much as possible, continue to provide services for those who need them in these very difficult times.

Requesting a voucher:
If you need to make a visit to one of Lewisham’s foodbanks please send an e-mail for the attention of either Orlaine McDonald or Elaine Dempsey with the following information to: admin@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk

• full name
• postcode
· Contact telephone number
· number of adults and children in the household

Alternatively, call 0774 2967605 and leave a voicemail for the attention of either Orlaine McDonald or Elaine Dempsey with the above information required. We will then e-mail Lewisham Foodbank Organisation with your request.

Changes to opening:

• Catford Elim (Saturday) – closed until further notice
• St James New Cross (Monday) – closed until further notice
• Lewisham Tabernacle – open Tuesdays and Thursdays 12 to 2pm, as usual
• Hope Centre – open Wednesdays 10am to 12pm and Fridays 12 to 2pm, as usual

In line with advice, they have also changed the way they distribute food at the centres to reduce the time spent there and contact with others.

Mental Well-being
Here are some useful sites that can provide helpful advice for you, your friends and your family to look after your mental health at a time when there is much discussion of potential threats to our physical health. You might be worried about coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it could affect your life. This may include being asked to stay at home or avoid other people which can feel difficult or stressful. But there are lots of things you can try that could help your wellbeing.

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/looking-after-your-mental-health-during-coronavirus-outbreak

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/

https://www.annafreud.org/what-we-do/anna-freud-learning-network/coronavirus/

https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/coronavirus-covid-19-staying-at-home-tips/

These are truly exceptional times, but we are all doing our bit to prevent the spread of this virus by staying at home and isolating ourselves and our families.

Stay well.

Sally Williams
Head Teacher

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Information: Update 24.3.20

In these difficult times, it’s important to keep our spirits up.

Thousands of families across the country are using art to spread some positivity despite many people facing periods of self-isolation. The #FromMyWindow campaign encourages people to create rainbow artwork and write positive messages that they can hang up in their windows. This week the theme is rainbows and people are being asked to display them in their street facing windows.

Myatt Garden will be working on their rainbow today and we have chosen to use our positive message to show our support for the NHS in appreciation for all they are doing for us.  In an attempt to keep a community spirit, we thought you might all want to join in at home.

To find out more and see some examples of art work https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-51988671

 

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Key Workers

 

As a country, we all need to do what we can to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This is why the government has given clear guidance on self-isolation. The most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of COVID-19 is clear.

If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.

The government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend. Next week Myatt Garden will be open to provide care for a limited number of children, whilst Lewisham plans for how best to provide care over the forthcoming weeks.

Please, therefore, follow these key principles:

  1. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
  2. If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
  3. Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.

If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response and you cannot keep your child safe at home, then your children will be prioritised for education provision:

Health and social care

This includes doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers.

Education and childcare

This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals.

Key public services

This includes those running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and those responsible for the management of the deceased.

Local and national government

Administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services

Food and other necessary goods

Those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).

Public safety and national security

This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel, fire and rescue service employees.

Transport

Those who keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes.

Utilities, communication and financial services

Staff needed for essential financial services provision, the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector.

Thank you to families that have already responded. Please email the following information to: admin@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk as soon as you can to allow us to plan:-

Your name

Your child’s name

Your role and place of work

The days that you require

We will be providing breakfast club (hopefully we will have food!) for these children each day next week. At this time I am unable to confirm whether Rocks and Pebbles will be providing after school provision, but we will organise cover for any children that normally attend.

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Coronovirus Update: 19.3.20

Most of you will now know that yesterday, the government ordered schools in the UK to close on Friday afternoon until further notice. I realise this is distressing news for the entire school community and will leave many anxious, but I want to reassure everyone that we have spent time preparing for this announcement and I feel very confident that we have everything in place to ensure that we continue to support you and your children in the coming weeks and months.

We know
• Myatt Garden will be shutting for most children on Friday;
• Some children e.g. if their parent is a nurse or care worker will still be able to come to school (not sure where at present);
• Even though many of you won’t be coming to school, school will still be here and we will be available to provide advice and assistance should you need it. You can phone us on: 020 8691 0611 or 07742967605 or you can email us on: admin@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk;
• We will be providing learning for you to do at home;
• Year 6 SATs will not go ahead

We don’t know
• How long school will be shut;
• Which children will be still coming to school

Our staff have worked tirelessly this week to ensure we have ‘home learning’ arrangements in place and to make sure this will be a seamless transition for the children. Home learning will be sent to you at the beginning of every week via ParentPay. Children will be bringing home an exercise book and pencil tonight. If your child is already off school, please come into school tomorrow (Friday) to pick up a pack; we will try our best to deliver packs to any remaining children.

During today and tomorrow we will be working hard to see if we can offer a service to look after the children of our key workers and other children that the government wants us to keep in school. At this point we cannot give you any more details, but we will let you know what our plans are as soon as possible.

Many of our children (and parents too!) are experiencing a whole range of mixed emotions – elation at finishing early for Easter; anxiety at being away from their friends; confusion at what’s happening; worry that they may get ill. We have been talking to the children today about what is happening and how things might be in order to reassure them. We have told them that if they are worried they should talk to a trusted adult, tell them how they are feeling and ask their questions.

More advice can be found at: https://youngminds.org.uk/blog/what-to-do-if-you-re-anxious-about-coronavirus/ 

I am sure that you will join me in thanking all our fantastic staff for working so hard at this difficult time.

Once again, I would like to thank you for working with us and for your continued support for the school at this time. I have had many kind offers of practical help from parents and governors, as well as staff willing to go above and beyond their normal duties. I will be in touch if/when we are able to put this help to good use. It is at times such as this that we are reminded what a special community Myatt Garden is.

Please be assured that we will continue to update you and communicate with you regularly during the closure.

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Coronovirus/COVID 19: Update

Thank you for your ongoing support as we steer our way through this unprecedented and ever changing situation. At the time for writing we have no new news with regard to closures, however I would like to assure all families that we will be providing home learning if the schools are closed. Whilst some schools have already closed, thanks to the wonderful team that work at Myatt Garden, we are still able to teach classes and have managed staff absence ‘in-house’ so far.

The latest guidance issued by the government means that

  • any child with a cough and / or fever will now have to stay off school for 14 days
  • any child who lives with anyone else who has a cough and / or fever also now has to stay off school for 14 days.

I appreciate that this is not easy for anyone, but it is critical that we all follow this advice in order to slow down / prevent the spread of this virus.  For those children who are already home from school, some ideas for home learning can be accessed from the home page on the school website at: http://www.myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk/

More detailed work will be coming via ParentPay if / when we close.

Please note before and after school clubs will continue as normal.

Some children have been reporting that their hands are sore due to the amount of washing that they are doing. In order to help, we are happy for a hand cream/vaseline product, clearly labelled with the child’s name, to be given to the class teacher who will keep these safe and supervise application.

We have had many families wanting to do something to support those that may find the next few weeks particularly challenging. In light of this, we will be putting a box at the main office, where anyone wishing to donate can place non-perishable food supplies. If you would prefer you can donate to the Myatt Garden Community fund by putting money or a cheque (payable to Myatt Garden School) in an envelope marked Myatt Community Fund and post at the school office desk. Alternatively, email us for details of how to transfer money directly into the fund. The food and money from the Community Fund will be used to directly support our families who are facing particular hardship at this time.

Thank you once again for your support. We will endeavor to keep smiling and keep you informed.

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Coronavirus: Home Learning Information

Please see below lots of information for learning you can do with your children during the coronavirus isolation period:-

Maths actvities

  • NRICH –  Click on the primary hub to access maths problem solving activities for children.
  • Topmarks – Daily Ten and other maths games.

 

Literacy activities

  • Reading Zone Live –  authors, writing and poetry
  • Spell Blast  – on LGFL – practise your spellings
  • Oxford Owl
  • Read a book and write a review
  • Write a diary entry as a character from your book

 

Computing resources

  • Dance-mat Typing skills – this is a great opportunity for children to improve their typing skills.
  • Code Club  – self-led coding projects using Scratch or HTML/CSS projects.
  • Scratch – children can watch the tutorials and practise their skills. They can set up their own accounts with parental permission. For KS1 we recommend Scratch Junior which is a free app on ipads and tablets (but not PC’s yet). You can view these free tutorials and activities to get you started.
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Coronavirus/COVID 19: Update

I am sure that you are all following the news closely and are aware of the new Coronavirus advice that came out on Friday.

Following updated government guidance, if any pupils or staff members develop the following symptoms, they must stay at home for seven days:-

• a high temperature
• a new continuous cough

If you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms

Do not go (or take your child) to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you are staying at home.

For most people, Coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild infection but if symptoms get worse or are no better after 7 days, contact NHS 111 online:

https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/urgent-and-emergency-care/nhs-111/

If you have no internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

Stay at home guidance can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance

Please let the school know as soon as possible if your child is unwell.

If anyone becomes ill during the school day they will need to go home and will be asked to remain at home for 7 days.  Please make sure that the school has up-to-date contact details for you and that you keep phones on so we can get in touch with you if necessary.

We do not have any confirmed COVID-19 cases at school, but we have been informed by a member of staff and a family that they are following the medical advice and are self-isolating at this time. We wish them all well.

Public Health England and Department for Education current advice for schools in London is that staff and pupils should monitor themselves for symptoms and self-isolate if they experience symptoms. People who do not have symptoms are advised to carry on as normal and do not need to self-isolate.

We understand that parents are concerned about the risk of their children catching Coronavirus and that some may want to keep children at home even though they are not required to do so by the medical advice. All pupils who are well enough to come to school and who do not fall into the two categories described above, should attend school as normal.

We continue to follow the advice of the Department for Education and Public Health England in school. We are encouraging all children and staff to wash hands properly and regularly and we are taking extra care with cleaning. We will continue to follow advice and we will keep you informed of the situation and what we are doing about it.

We continue to review our practice and in light of this at Myatt Garden we will:

• Continue to spend time talking about the importance of hand-washing and practice how to do it thoroughly;
• Make sure all children are being asked to wash their hands regularly throughout the day ;
• Remove all plastic cups from sink areas – please make sure your child brings in a labelled bottle;
• Give fruit to children by TAs once they have washed their hands;
• Stop any activities that involve objects are being passed around between the children e.g. Show & Tell

In addition, we will be cancelling all trips that require public transport. Whilst we are reluctant to do this, we feel that this is a sensible precaution at this stage.

Please make sure you check the NHS and government websites daily:

https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19

I realise that this is a very worrying time for all of us. Rest assured that the safety of pupils, staff and the school community remains our priority and we will keep you updated with any new information.

 

Sally Williams
Head Teacher

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Sports Relief 2020

We will be raising money for Sports Relief next week.

On Thursday 12th we will be inviting everyone to wear their sports kit to school and donate £1 to this charity.

Sport Relief supports people living incredibly tough lives, in the UK and around the world.

 

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