Information for Parents: 21.7.20

 

We are looking forward to having all the children back in September and will be working hard over the holidays to ensure that we are all ready. We will be sending you more information about dates, times and places for staggered drop off and pick up before term starts.

Year 6 Leaver’s

On Friday we held our first ever virtual Leaver’s assembly and hopefully our last!! It was a lovely event with Year 6 children and families sharing memories, wise words and special performances. We are always sad to see our Year 6 children leave, but it was made especially hard this year, not being able to give them a hug as we sent them on their way.  We look forward to seeing you back, to collect your hugs and to hear all about your new schools when you’re able to return.

Year 6 remember you don’t have to be perfect to be amazing! You are good enough!

Reading over the summer

Please encourage your children to keep reading over the summer. This is such an important skill and if nothing else, the area of learning to focus on before returning to school! Please see document below for some helpful hints or use the library services online reading challenge to stimulate your child’s interest: 10 tips for encouraging reading at home

More information can be found at: https://summerreadingchallenge.org.uk/

Reports and next year

I hope you have all received and enjoyed your child’s report in the post – please let us know if you have not received yours and we will check your address and resend. It is important to remember that all reports were written to reflect where children were in terms of their learning in March when we went into lock-down.

We know that all children’s experiences during this time has been different; for some they will have made great progress from March and others will have struggled to do their learning at home. Whilst the children’s reports will provide us with useful information, we have clear plans for the start of the new year that will ensure that school is a safe and fun place to be.

All classes will be using our bespoke Recovery Curriculum. This will include :-

Pre-teaching: All families will be given information about what school will be like before their children return so they can prepare their children for the changes.

New routines: When children return, we will spend time taking children through the routines in a way that is clear, but not scary. There will be activities in the recovery curriculum documents to help children understand why the new routines are necessary e.g. the e-bug lessons, how far a sneeze travels etc… We want children to know that we have made school as safe as possible and to gain assurance from this.

Time to talk about/reflect on their experiences and to look forward: We want children to be able to tell us about their experiences and to actively listen to them. We will be using a number of stories/art ideas in the recovery curriculum to stimulate discussion. This will include the book ‘Here We Are’ which will be used across the whole school for the first two weeks of term.

Time to be together: Children have been away from each other for a long time and need to reconnect (with each other and with staff). Whilst we will be socially distancing as much as possible in class, it will be important to establish communal experiences e.g. shared story time, singing, sport, shared writing, shared phonic lessons etc.

Time to learn: We will gently assess where all of the children are with their learning, using our observations of how they tackle work in class.  Please note, we will not be testing the children to gain this information. Once we have this information, we will be differentiating all of our learning to provide support and challenge across the year group.

The most important thing for us, is that school is happy, calm, consistent and safe.>

Returning to school in September 

Wednesday 2nd and Thursday 3rd September will both be INSET days when we return to school.  Children will return to school on Friday 4th September.  

I would like to finish by thanking all of you for your support over this time. It has not been an easy time for any of us, but we are strong as a community and have got through it together. Please remember that if you need support over the holiday period, you can contact us at: admin@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk or designatedsafeguarding@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk

Have a great summer and we will look forward to seeing you all back at Myatt Garden in September.

 

 

 

 

Share |

Information for Parents: Donations to School

Last week in my weekly email to families, I shared our thoughts on gifts at the end of the year for staff. Whilst it is lovely to feel appreciated, we are keen to move away from gifts for staff; there really is no need! We would like to encourage anyone who feels they really would like to mark the end of the school year to do so in one of two ways:

  1. By making a donation to the Community Fund that we can use to support families that are struggling at this difficult time. You can donate by making a payment to: Myatt Garden School; Account number 46007393; sort code 601616. Please use ‘community fund’ as the reference.

 OR

  1. In light of recent events, help us extend the range, number and quality of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic books at Myatt Garden 

Like everyone, we have been reflecting on recent events and the Black Lives Matter movement. There is lots of work to do! We want to use this opportunity to ensure all young readers have a good range of books to choose from where they are able to see themselves represented in the stories and we are delighted that parents and carers at Myatt Garden have identified this too! We are really grateful to be able to choose exciting, diverse books to share with the children and it is such a positive way for the school community to come together at this time.

Onjali Raúf, winner of the Waterstone’s Children’s book prize for her story of a refugee, The Boy at the Back of the Class, says. “It is absolutely essential for all children of all backgrounds to be introduced to the many beautiful, hitherto hidden worlds which make up their own.” The Boy at the Back of the Class is just one of the books on Myatt Garden’s Wish lists.

We have attached some lists as a starting point for each age group. These books have been selected by staff to ensure a variety of stories that we feel will captivate our children from Nursery to Year 6. See list here: EYFS List and here: Diversity Books

A number of parents have already shown interest in supporting this. If you or your family would like to support us increase our B.A.M.E book stock by purchasing books, you can contact Moon Lane Books, a local not-for-profit shop that we work with, that is dedicated to raising the equality in children’s book. A 10% discount has been applied to all books.

For donations to a fund to buy more books please make a deposit to:

The Co-operative Bank

Account Friends of Myatt Garden R/C 1106997

Sort Code: 089299

Account Number: 65145874 00

Then please email: friendsofmyatt@gmail.com include:

  1. Your name and child’s year group
  2. The amount deposited

 

Individual donations contact Moon Lane Books directly:

QUOTE MYATT GARDEN

Moon Lane Books

300 Stanstead Road

London

SE23 1DE

Tel: 0203 489 7030    Emailinfo@moonlaneink.co.uk    Website:Moon Lane Books

  1. Pay over the phone
  2. Email the shop to pay by Paypal – you will be emailed a Paypal link
  3. Parents can visit the shop and pay

If you would prefer to purchase your books separately, we would be very happy to add this to our library.

 

 

Share |

Information for Parents: 15.7.20

 

All of our bubbles will be finishing this week. A big thank you to all of our families for supporting us so well with our many changes. The children that have returned have all been amazing in adapting so well to the new rules, working hard and being so happy to be back. It won’t be long now before we have everyone back in school. Rest assured, we will be building on what we have learnt with our bubbles this term to ensure everything goes smoothly.

 

Hello / goodbye meetings

We are looking forward to seeing many of you on Monday. Please check your emails last week to confirm what time your meeting is taking place and which gate you will need to use. In order to keep everyone safe and maintain social distancing, only children will be able to enter the site and only from the right gate and at the right time. We will be unable to wait for late arrivals or allow entry from the wrong gate.

 

Next year

As we approach the end of year, we are all thinking about the beginning of next year! We will be working hard over the summer to make sure that we are ready to welcome everyone back in the new school year. But who will be your new teacher – see details here: Class Changes – September 2020.

 

Support over the summer

As we head into the summer break, we know it is a break like no other. We want you all to know that we are ​here for you and whilst we are not in school, we are still contactable if you need help / advice / support.

You can email us at admin@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk or at designatedsafeguarding@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk

We will always do our very best to help.

 

 

 

Share |

Information for Parents: 10.7.20

Once again, we are hurtling towards the end of term! You will be receiving your final home learning pack for this term later today. I thought it might be useful to provide a summary of what’s happening in these last few days.

Next week

Children’s reports will be posted to all families

Mon 13th to Thurs 16th

  • The final 4 days for our current Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 bubbles

Friday 17th

  • The final day for Key Worker bubbles
  • Year 6 Leaver’s Zoom assembly at 11am

Last week

Mon 20th

  • All children from Year 1 – Year 5 have been invited back to close the year, collect their books and meet their new teacher (Please make sure that you are at the right gate at the time you have been given as we will not be able to admit late-comers or rerun the session. Please note, in order to maintain social distancing, parents will not be able to enter the school site.) We will keep children’s books until the new school year if they are unable to attend.
  • Year 6 children, who have not returned to school, have been invited in to say good-bye

End of Term Gifts

We never expect gifts from families at the end of term, for doing a job that we love. This year like no other has made us all stop and look at things differently, with many of our families finding themselves in difficult situations.

If you feel that you really would like to mark the end of the year in some way, we would suggest that this year you either donate to the Myatt Garden Community Fund or purchase a book to boost the schools BAME book stock. More details of how you can do this by purchasing a book from our wish list or contributing a donation to a book-buying fund will be coming your way next week.

Ms Dempsey is retiring

After over 30 years at Myatt Garden, the time has come for Ms Dempsey to retire. We are all very sad that she is going to be leaving us, as she has been a massive part of Myatt Garden. Over the years Ms Dempsey has had a number of roles, but in recent years you will have known her as our SENCO and Designated Safeguarding Lead – two senior roles that involve being the champion and advocate for some of our most vulnerable children.  You don’t need to say goodbye just yet, she will be returning in September for a couple of weeks to support our new SENCO, Jen Ingham.

Staff leaving us this year

Our lovely Janade (Reception class teaching assistant) will be leaving us at the end of this term to go and try something new. She is excited about making a move into Customer Services and we know she will be brilliant at it. We wish her well on her next exciting chapter.

We will also be saying a sad farewell to Helen Graham (Year 3 teacher). Helen is moving back home to Ireland with her husband to start a new life. Good luck Helen!

Flo (Teaching assistant in Year 2) will be leaving to train as a teacher in September. Who knows, maybe we’ll see her back at Myatt in the future! We know she is going to be a fabulous teacher.

Online Art project

We know that we have very creative pupils at Myatt Garden and so we thought you may be interested in an opportunity to celebrate all the fantastic arts and crafts activity that have been going on as part of your lock-down experience.   If you are interested in being a part of this exciting event, please see details here: Art 2020 Flyer. You can create in any medium and on any subject as long as it is inspired by your lock-down experience.

Myatt Quiz questions

Here are the first 10 quiz questions that you have sent in.  Thank you to everyone that sent in a question.

How many do you think you can get?

  1. What colour is a giraffe’s tongue and why?
  2. What two colours are on the Greek flag?
  3. Who is the youngest person to ever write and record a James Bond theme song?
  4. 4.Which football team plays at the Stadium of Light?
  5. What is the longest running soap opera in the UK?
  6. How many sides does a 20-pence piece have?
  7. What instrument can be bass, electric or Spanish?
  8. What sport would you see at Silverstone?
  9. What is the Roman numeral for 50?
  10. Do tigers run faster than lions?

 

Answers for the above can be found here: Myatt Quiz Answers 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share |

Lewisham Parent & Carer’s Forum (LPCF)

Lewisham Parent and Carer’s Forum, (LPCF) is a voluntary group of parents and carers of children and young people (0-25) with special/additional needs and disabilities (SEND) living in the London Borough of Lewisham.

For more information and details, please click link below to view the latest newsletter:

​https://mailchi.mp/d5b024f30d29/lpcf-newsletter-july2020

Share |

Information for Parents: 2.7.20

 

Thank you to all our wonderful families who have supported us so well as their children have come back to school, we very much appreciate it.

Another big thank you to everyone who is continuing to support their children at home with their home learning, you are doing a fabulous job and it has been really lovely to hear about your experiences.  If you have missed your phone call from school and would like us to try again, please email the school with a couple of suitable times.

End of Term Farewells

Please see timetable here for an indication of when your child will be invited to return to school for a catch up on Monday 20th July. This will include any Year 6 children who have not returned to school so far, who are invited at 2.30pm to say farewell.  We understand that not everyone will want to return, but we want you all to have the option. You will receive an email nearer the time, indicating which group your child will be in.

Summer Reading Challenge

The Summer Reading Challenge, presented by The Reading Agency and funded by Arts Council England, encourages children aged 4 to 11 to set themselves a reading challenge to help prevent the summer reading ‘dip’. Each year the Challenge is delivered with the support of public libraries and motivates over 700,000 children to keep reading to build their skills and confidence. This year the challenge has been launched as a digital activity to keep children reading over the summer and support parents and carers with children already at home.

The Challenge will run from June to September, launching with a week of activity from Monday 1 June and culminating in an official launch day of curated events on Friday 5 June 2020. The digital Challenge will be free to access, featuring games, quizzes and digital and downloadable activities to incentivise and encourage children and their families to take part in treading related activities at home. Although library buildings are closed, libraries will also continue to deliver the Challenge through virtual services and e-lending platforms

This year, Silly Squad, the Summer Reading Challenge 2020, will celebrate funny books, happiness and laughter. Children taking part in the Challenge will join the Silly Squad, an adventurous team of animals who love to have a laugh and get stuck into all different kinds of funny books!  Children can join the challenge on the Reading Agency website at: Summer Reading Challenge

Come on Myatt – we need you to contribute your ideas!

Don’t forget we’re looking for your ideas to help us:

  • Send us an interesting question (and don’t forget the answer) that we can add to compile a Myatt Garden family quiz;
  • Email us your contribution to the next Myatt Magazine. We’d love to have your book reviews, short stories, poems, art work, photos of your gardening, models, hobbies, etc. You could send us a favourite family recipe, a hilarious diary entry, jokes, riddles, a crossword, word search, recommendations for days out or an account of something you’ve achieved whilst we’ve been away from school. We’d love to include your work!

Support for families facing hardship

Lewisham Food Bank

Lewisham Food Bank support is available for any families that are facing financial crisis such that they can’t afford essentials like food. The crisis could be caused by increasing costs of having children at home, loss of income, reduced income, benefits delays and so on. They primarily provide short-term support and try to make sure that people are linked with agencies that can support them out of crisis. The Covid crisis has been particularly tough on families and they understand that the drain on resources increases as time goes on.

As the holiday approach and school will not be open, it is important that families are able to get food bank referrals during this time. There is now a new national food bank referral line run by Citizens Advice in partnership with Trussell Trust. As well as making food bank referrals, the staff on the line will also be able to discuss the caller’s financial situation and signpost to any agencies that could help with issues such as benefits and managing debt. The number is: 0808 208 2138

Lewisham Hardship Fund

Families who are struggling to afford food and fuel because of the Covid crisis, may also be able to apply for a new Lewisham Council Covid Hardship Fund. More information is available at: Lewisham Hardship Fund – Covid 19

 

 

Share |

Applying to Start Secondary School in September 2020

As a parent or carer of a child going into Year 6, you will need to apply for them to start secondary school next term.

Many of you will have been thinking about this already, but I would advise all families to sign up to Lewisham Council’s mailing list for parents. This will enable you to receive up to date information about the application process, secondary school open days, advice and tips.

For the secondary admissions mailing list, please sign up here: Secondary Admissions Mailing List

We will of course be sending you information as we receive it, as well as holding a meeting for families to talk through the process and answer your questions when we return to school in September.

More information can be found at: Applying to Start Secondary School in September 2020

Share |

Myatt Lockdown Magazine

Thank you to everyone that sent in material for our Myatt Lockdown magazine. Whilst we did not get swamped with items, we did get great quality and I am pleased to share the final version here: Myatt Magazine 2020.

A big thank you to Suzy Jenvey (Year 4 Teaching Assistant) for pulling everything together.

We are hoping that now children can see the final product, they will be inspired to send us more work so that we can create another edition before the end of term. If you would like to send in a piece for a second version of the magazine you should email it to: magazine@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk

Share |

Important Information for Parents: 25.6.20

We now have our Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 bubbles all in school, alongside our key worker groups. It’s been lovely to see their smiles and hear their laughter. After the government’s recent announcements, we are anticipating all of our children back in September in bubbles of 30! We will let you know more when we receive more guidance.

End of Year
We will be contacting you soon to share our plans for the last few days of term. All of our bubbles will finish on the Thursday or Friday of the W/E 17th July. We will then invite small groups of children, who have not returned to school, in for short meetings to meet their teacher in the playground. This will enable them to reflect on their year and say goodbye, whilst being introduced to their teacher for next year.

Well-being resources
Whilst we have all experienced lockdown, we have all experienced it in different ways and found different things hard. For most of us there have been good times, tricky times, frustrations and opportunities. None of us were prepared, but I have no doubt we have all learnt from it.
An organisation that we work with have shared some resources you may wish to use with your children – they focus on helping them think about how important it is to look after ourselves and others during these challenging times.

You can find out more at: CUES-Ed Parent Guide

During this time, we know parenting can be a real struggle. Try these simple tips and tricks, formulated by researchers and NHS mental health experts, which are backed by science and proven to work with families. They have also produced eight short films (all under a minute) covering topics like keeping positive and motivated, getting your child to follow instructions and how to limit conflict. You can find them at: https://familiesunderpressure.maudsleycharity.org/

 

Share |

Important Information for Parents: 18.6.20

We have now been away from school for almost three months. Whilst we have received a huge amount of thanks and praise for what we have been providing, we are also aware that there has been some discussion among families about our Myatt Garden offer during this time.

When schools were first closed , we had no idea what was in store and the early indications suggested an extended Easter break. I am so proud of the Myatt Garden Team who have worked so hard in a difficult situation to adapt to the challenges as they arose in a constantly moving situation.

Over this time we have:

  • Continued to stay open for key workers and vulnerable children.
  • Battled for many hours to ensure food vouchers for all our families entitled to FSM.
  • Supported families to apply for Universal credit and Free School Meals.
  • Provided well-thought out home learning.
  • Made phone calls home.
  • Produced regular PE and music sessions.
  • After the Easter holidays, when it became clear that lockdown was going to continue, we trialled See Saw in Year 6​ and rolled it out to the whole school.
  • Used Seesaw to respond to children’s learning.
  • Provided ongoing contact and support to families that have needed additional support.
  • Delivered food parcels.
  • Provided food vouchers to families that have suddenly found themselves in very different circumstance
  •  Provided printed learning packs for families without internet access
  • Visited families to deliver learning.
  • Shared our ‘Reach for the Stars’ video.
  • Provided weekly emails to families and the children.
  • Provided Zoom meetings for our nursery children.
  • Provided secondary schools with detailed information to support Secondary transfer.

Throughout this time we have tried to remain flexible, respond to needs and stay true to our values of inclusivity. As with all organisations, we have had to think carefully about how we deploy our available resources to best meet our school community’s needs, whilst managing staff sickness and the welfare of staff who have needed to shield or are carers for others.

We have tried hard to maintain a consistent offer, providing a range of quality learning tasks that enable families to learn in ways that make sense for them. Thank you all for supporting your children at home and doing your very best in difficult circumstances. Our priority alongside making learning accessible to all, is the well-being of our families; we are very aware that many of you asked for home learning that was flexible, did not require attendance at specific times of the day and was as stress free as possible.  We have a fabulously diverse school population and as always there is a wide variety of views within it. Sadly, we do not have inexhaustible resources and are therefore unable to provide everything for everyone. The government have bombarded schools with guidance and documentation, but there are no specifics about what should be provided. It is for each school to decide at a local level about what best meets the needs of their community and we have tried our best to do this.

I am hugely proud of what we have achieved.

In the last few weeks we have had to completely rethink how we teach and re-examine every aspect of the school day. The care and consideration we have given to this is evident in the manner that our Year 1 children have so successfully returned to school. A huge thank you for all the lovely messages from Year 1 returners this week. We anticipate the same smooth return for Year 6 and Reception next week. The vast majority of Myatt staff have been busy preparing for children’s return and will be teaching in one of our 10 bubbles from Monday.

Now that arrangements are in place and we are clear about the demands and the resources needed, we have been able to prioritise what we can provide moving forward.

Over the next few weeks:-

  • A member of staff will be calling all children that are not in school in June and again in July.
  • Despite the government’s advice ‘Now that primary schools will be opening more widely, larger numbers of staff will be needed to provide face-to-face teaching at school. This means that it may be more difficult to maintain the same level of provision for pupils in the year groups who are not eligible to attend, or for those pupils in year groups who are eligible to attend but who themselves cannot. In these circumstances consider how Oak National Academy or other remote education platforms can provide additional support for learning, as well as how learning delivered in school, if manageable, could be made available to pupils learning remotely.’, we will continue to prioiritise our quality home learning grids for all year groups.
  • Year 6 and Sertac will be producing a Year 6 ‘virtual extravaganza’ to mark their time at Myatt Garden.
  • Despite the majority of teachers who are able to attend school being in school teaching, we will continue to post learning on Seesaw and respond to children’s work. Much of this will  now be done by teaching assistants.
  • We will be producing quality transition materials for every year group and providing a specific video for year 2 children transitioning into Year 3.
  • We will be providing all children who have not been in school an opportunity to return for an outdoor meeting with their teacher to close the year and be introduced to their new teacher.
  • Our staff will also be offering additional support in school to some of our most vulnerable children.

It is important to note that life has been made more difficult for us, when a problem with our ceiling was identified. Remedial work is required and we have been instructed to not use any of these rooms on the top floor of our building until work can be undertaken in the summer holidays. This has meant four classrooms are out of action. Once our Year 6 and Reception class start on Monday we will only have one spare classroom available. I would like to assure everyone that we have done the very best we can with the resources available.

As a school we have not, nor will we be, prioritising live lessons via Zoom or any other online platforms. They of course have their place and can work  particularly well when motivated learners opt in e.g. my yoga class! But they can also be very stressful for young children and families and are not accessible by all. Whilst some families would like this, others have been clear that they do not. We have had to make decisions about what we can offer, what can be accessed and what we can sustain. We believe that the choices we have made have provided good quality learning, been supported by a range of resources, provide online options if desired, and the ability for families to pick and mix in line with what works for them.

Alongside our planning for this term, we have also been preparing for all children to return to school in the new school year, adjusting our expectations and focusing on how we will support, encourage and engage children. We have produced a specific Recovery Curriculum which we believe will support children as they return to school.

We have no idea what September has in store. We will certainly continue to re-evaluate our offer and adjust what we do to meet the changing needs of our community. Whatever it holds, we will be ready and we will do it well in our Myatt Garden way.

 

 

Share |

Information Update: 11.6 20

Thank you so much for your lovely feedback on our ‘Reach for the Stars’ video last week. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve watched it and every time it lifts my spirits and makes me smile!

What’s happening at Myatt Garden

There has been lots of stories about schools in the news in the last week as more children return to school. In line with the government’s guidelines we have prioritised our key worker groups and the younger year groups, taking a very cautious and measured approach to wider opening.

On Monday:

  • We will be continuing to support our key workers groups;
  • Year 1 will be returning in three bubbles;
  • Nursery will be welcoming back their children for a week each.

The following week:

Due to a reduction in staffing levels and space

  • Reception bubbles will be returning for 2 weeks each on the 22nd June;
  • Year 6 bubbles will also be returning for alternate weeks until the end of term.

Although everything will be different, we will be working hard to support all of these children as they return, alongside maintaining the quality home learning and Seesaw we have been providing for those children still learning at home. However, as more teachers will now be in school, we will be beginning to use more of our talented teaching assistants to respond to the children’s posts on Seesaw. Seesaw will be checked once a day and staff will prioritise acknowledging the work submitted! Teachers will be less visible on Seesaw.

We will also be working hard over the next few weeks to develop resources that will support all of our pupils transition into the new school year. We want all of our children to be excited about their new class, teacher and curriculum.

Whilst the government is making plenty of sweeping statements about all children being back in September, we have yet to hear any detailed plans. Who knows what is in store, clearly something will need to change as under present guidelines getting everyone back into school just won’t be possible! We will be doing everything that we can, to make the return of all our students a reality, but as always this will depend on the guidelines that are produced. Watch this space!!!

Celebrity Supply Teachers

A host of famous faces are now delivering fun-filled lessons to children in lockdown from the comfort of their own homes.  Each celebrity brings a passion for their subject and an insight from their own experiences. Geri Horner gives tips on creative writing, Gary Lineker teaches Spanish, Tim Peake discusses the science of space rockets, Kelis shares her cookery tips and Marcus Rashford teaches PE.

In Tuesday’s episode, world famous journalist Martin Bashir took a break from reporting on the big stories and interviewing top names to teach a history lesson about something very personal to him. He revealed why Martin Luther King Jnr is his hero from history, why he is inspired by him every day and how we can all learn from his fight against racial inequality in the 1960s.

You can find all of these lessons at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000jybt

Black Lives Matter

Following the death of George Floyd, there has been a huge increase in discussion about racism and how it still plagues us. Many people have been asking the world to wake up and work towards real change. We have had a number of requests from families to share some resources to help them discuss issues of racism and inequality at home. It’s incredibly important that we have conversations with our children about race and racism and children’s books are a great starting point to do just that.

Here are the links to books that didn’t work in last week’s email.  There are lots of ideas here and here.  These books all aim to help parents and children learn more about race and racism, to be able to have the ability to identify racial injustice and stand up against it.  Please additional books here which may be of interest: BOOK LIST

 

 

 

 

Share |

Black Lives Matter in Lewisham

A message from Pinaki Ghoshal, Lewisham’s Executive Director for Children and Young People and Angela Scattergood, Director of Education.

The Mayor of Lewisham, Damien Egan has published a statement on behalf of Lewisham Council in response to the killing of George Floyd in the United States. You can read the full statement here: Black Lives Matter in Lewisham

We believe that our schools and settings are key to tackling racism and other forms of discrimination. We will support all Lewisham schools and settings in their commitment to standing against racism and injustice, alongside and in solidarity with the local and global Black community.

Many of you will have watched news features about the shocking death of George Floyd at the hands of a policeman, which took place in America. Many of you will have seen pictures of people protesting against this racist killing and the #BlackLivesMatter campaign that has shone a light again on racism, injustice and prejudice in our world. You may be feeling shocked, scared, angry and upset. We want to let you know that we are all feeling this way here at Myatt Garden and that our strong reactions to such awful things are very normal and show how much we all care about ending racism and making things better.

We know that really positive things can happen in response to really awful things – people around the world are coming together to share their feelings and to call for changes so that this can never happen again. They believe, as we do at Myatt Garden that racism is wrong and that we need to stand up together against it. They believe, as we do, in fairness, respecting one another and celebrating the wonderful diversity in our world, in our school community, our local communities and everywhere. Our school community here at Myatt is united in love and respect for one another and we will always stand together.

Please talk about things. We want to encourage you to acknowledge your feelings and to talk about them and to share your thoughts about how we can all fight racism wherever we find it. All of us need to do this so that we can follow through our commitment to being anti-racist and to remembering and honouring George Floyd and all those who have been killed because of racism.

Our history is full of people who stood up and fought against injustice – lots of you will already have learnt about many of them at school. We can all lead by example, and we want you to know that we value and respect all of you, that we celebrate everyone and that we will fight racism, prejudice and discrimination wherever we find it, and work hard together to create a fairer, more equal, just society.

Share |

Reach for the Stars Video

The staff at Myatt Garden have been thinking about you all and thinking about a way they could reach out to you all! They got creative, they got singing and they got dancing …… and they have produced a little something that we hope will make you all smile! And you can watch it again….and again ….. and again!   Click here:  https://vimeo.com/423241868 .   ENJOY!

Share |

Information Update: 5.6.20

Returning to School
The government have said that it is now safe for schools to start to bring more children back to school. They have said that we should start with Year 1, Reception and nursery and then Year 6. We have been talking to Year 1 and nursery parents about a return to school on Monday 15th June and we are hoping that Reception and Year 6 can return from Monday 22nd June. We are very much looking forward to having them back into school.

We would like to have everyone back, but that just doesn’t seem possible right now. We do not expect any of the other year groups to return to school before the summer holidays, but hope that we will back to something more like normal in September when the new term starts. We are going to be very busy at Myatt making sure we have good plans in place to support your return after a long time away

Brockley Adventure Hunt
Thank you to Millie and Bea who have shared their fantastic family ‘Brockley Adventure Hunt’ see here: Brockley Adventure Hunt  They devised a local adventure hunt which a few other families have tried and it’s been a real success! It may be something that you and your family might enjoy.

Events in America
Many of you will have heard about and maybe watched the news features about the shocking death of George Floyd at the hands of a policeman, which took place in America last week. Many of you will have seen pictures of people protesting against this racist killing and the #BlackLivesMatter campaign that has shone a light again on racism, injustice and prejudice in our world. You may be feeling shocked, scared, angry and upset. We want to let you know that we are all feeling this way here at Myatt Garden and that our strong reactions to such awful things are very normal and show how much we all care about ending racism and making things better.

We know that really positive things can happen in response to really awful things – people around the world are coming together to share their feelings and to call for changes so that this can never happen again. They believe, as we do at Myatt Garden that racism is wrong and that we need to stand up together against it. They believe, as we do, in fairness, respecting one another and celebrating the wonderful diversity in our world, in our school community, our local communities and everywhere. Our school community here at Myatt is united in love and respect for one another and we will always stand together.

Please talk about things. We want to encourage you to acknowledge your feelings and to talk about them and to share your thoughts about how we can all fight racism wherever we find it. All of us need to do this so that we can follow through our commitment to being anti-racist and to remembering and honouring George Floyd and all those who have been killed because of racism.

Some top tips for talking together:

1. Talk about what you have seen or heard in your experience and in the news.
2. Encourage, listen and acknowledge observations, questions and comments – do not ignore, dismiss or sidestep them but be curious
3. Acknowledge that racism is real and that ideas about race matter, even though ‘race’ does not
4. Be clear that it is wrong to treat someone differently or unfairly or to reject them because of their identity but acknowledge that this happens
5. Encourage rounded views of others – people are rarely all good or all bad and we can always find both similarities and differences between people
6. Use books to start conversations and find out about diversity and social justice issues. There are lots of ideas here and here
7. Balance acknowledging the reality of racism with messages about hope for change, the availability of help, and the value of activism.

Our history is full of people who stood up and fought against injustice – lots of you will already have learnt about many of them at school. We can all lead by example, and we want you to know that we value and respect all of you, that we celebrate everyone and that we will fight racism, prejudice and discrimination wherever we find it, and work hard together to create a fairer, more equal, just society.

Share |

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.

 

Share |

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.

 

 

 

Share |

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.

 

 

Share |

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.

Share |

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.

 

 

 

Share |

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.

 

Share |