Information for Parents: 16.10.20

We have been working really hard to make sure that despite new playground procedures, our children have been able to continue with the OPAL play we introduced last year. This provides greater autonomy for children; opportunities for them to manage levels of risks for themselves; a wider range of physical activities; greater access to natural materials; provision of loose parts to stimulate imaginative play; the chance to engage with the natural world and the chance to develop nurturing relationships with other children.

We will be continuing to develop our provision further this year to ensure even better play-times, thanks to the greatly appreciated help of FOMG.

COVID-19 update
Whilst we are continuing to have a number of staff and children having to have tests as a precaution, the good news is that these are now much more available and results are being received within 3 days. Please remember that if anyone in your household has symptoms, the whole household should remain at home and self-isolate until a negative test result is returned for the person with symptoms. You should not take a test unless you have symptoms.

As London moves to tier 2 tonight, it is important to highlight what this means for Myatt Garden and our community:

• Schools will remain open;
• A maximum of six people can meet outside in parks, private gardens, etc;
• Indoor parties and play-dates are not allowed – people must not meet with anybody outside their household in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place.

In line with this, I would ask all families to take extra care socially distancing at the gate and continue wearing face masks at drop off and pick up.

A plea to all families that drive to school
If you drive to school, please, please, please avoid driving down Upper Brockley Rd. We all know this is very congested at the beginning and end of the day, with families often having to walk in the road and the majority of the cars going along the road belong to Myatt families.

I would urge everyone, if you really have to drive to school and have no alternative, to please park your car in Vulcan Rd, Ashby Rd, Manor Avenue or other surrounding roads and walk the short distance back to school.

Books return
Children should now be in the habit of returning books to school regularly on their reading bag day and selecting new books if needed. If your child forgets their book bag on their day, please simply send it in on the following day rather than bring it to the office later.

Thank you to all families that have had a Myatt Garden book hunt at home – we will gratefully receive any books that have been hiding under your stairs that belong to us. We will quarantine them and get them back into circulation asap.

Thank you for your continued support, we really appreciate the way families have worked with us.

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Information for Parents: 9.10.20

I hope you are all staying well. Thank you for working with us during this increasingly difficult time, I really appreciate the way adults have responded to wearing masks at the school gate. The number of infections is rising in Lewisham – it has doubled in the last week and with more cases out in the community it is crucial that we remain vigilant.

I am only too aware that most coughs are not COVID related, however it is my responsibility to keep all the children at Myatt Garden as safe as we can, and this means that we cannot take any risks. If your child is coughing continuously, with a new cough, we will be sending your child home. It may be a cold, it may be asthma, but like all schools, we are not prepared to take any risks. 

We know it is not easy for any family to self-isolate, but it is important if we are going to keep schools, etc. open for us all to play our own small part. Whilst it’s frustrating, I hope everyone can appreciate why we are doing this. If your child is sent home with a cough, they and the rest of the household need to self-isolate (10 days for the person with symptoms and 14 days for everyone else) or until they have received a negative test result.

19 schools in Lewisham are currently closed to specific bubbles this week. In many of these cases the virus has been spread through parties and play-dates in the community. Please think very carefully about social gatherings of any sort outside of school and try to restrict any meet-ups to small numbers, outside and children within your child’s bubble. I have no doubt that at some point we will receive notification of a positive test, at this point I hope to be able to limit the number of children we have to send home to a maximum of one bubble.

Community Fund
For families experiencing some financial difficulties during these uncertain times, we have a Myatt Garden Community Fund. The fund is designed to provide practical help and support to the children and families who are most in need in our school community. 

Please contact Orlaine McDonald, our Pastoral Support Manager if you would like to discuss how we could help you, by emailing her at: o.mcdonald@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk

 Coats
As the weather changes and we move towards winter, please make sure that your child brings a rainproof coat to school every day, preferably with a hood. Due to our new procedures, children are more sedentary in our classrooms than ever before. This means it is particularly important that we can get them out in the playground whenever we can.

World Mental Health Day
Saturday 10th October is World Mental Health Day. This year’s World Mental Health Day comes at a time when our daily lives have changed considerably as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Every Mind Matters offers a range of resources that help spot the signs of common mental health concerns, offers practical self-care tips and guidance and, importantly, explains when to seek further support. It also has a free NHS-approved online tool Every Mind Matters, Your Mind Plan. This free online resource helps people take simple steps to look after their mental health, improve their mental wellbeing and support others too.

You can find out more at: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/

Please take care, stay safe and enjoy your weekend.

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Virtual Open Mornings for Prospective Parents 2020/21

If your child is due to start school in Reception in September 2021, we would be pleased to show you around our school.

This year our Open Mornings will be virtual and followed by a Q & A. They are a great opportunity for parents to take a look at the school and ask any questions they may have about our provision. We are really proud of our school and look forward to telling you more about it.

We have tried to offer a range of days and times to suit everyone. All open mornings will be led by the Head Teacher.

DATES:

Wednesday 4th November 10am

Tuesday 10th November 1.30pm

Friday 20th November 10am

Monday 23rd November 1.30pm

Please email the school office at: admin@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk letting us know what date you would like to book and a link will be sent to you in advance of the date selected.

If you do not already use Zoom then it may help to register with with Zoom in advance. We look forward to welcoming you into school (virtually) in the coming weeks.

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Information for Parents: 2.10.20

I would like to assure everyone that we are updated weekly by Lewisham’s Public Health team and are continually reviewing our procedures in light of the recent increase in cases.

We are trying hard to maintain the balance between having rigorous routines in place, whilst ensuring school is still a fun place to be with your friends and engage in exciting learning.

Small things can make a big difference, so a couple of reminders:

Dropping off at the school office

Unless it is urgent, e.g. my child has no lunch, please refrain from dropping things off at the school office. Every item sent in from home, is one more chance of the virus getting into school via surfaces. If your child forgets their book bag or water bottle, please simply send it into school the next day.

Arriving late in the morning

Thank you to everyone for working so hard to ensure that their children are arriving on time at the correct gate. Occasionally we know that extraordinary circumstances will mean that you may miss the 10 min slot allotted to your child’s year group.

Please aim for the gate opening time so as to minimise the risk of this happening. It is important that if on a rare occasion you miss the gate, you phone the office and arrange a time to drop your child off at the office. They will do their very best to accommodate and agree a time that suits you.

Ventilation

As we all know, good ventilation is really important at protecting us from the virus. This does mean that moving forward school will be colder than it normally would be. Please make sure your child has warm layers so they are comfortable in class, as well as coats and footwear appropriate to the weather conditions. We will be going out to play whenever possible and this will include light rain.

Masks

It is proving incredibly difficult to socially distance at the gates in both the morning and afternoon. As the infection rates rise and more cases are being reported, we are now asking all adults that come to the gate to wear a mask, unless of course they are medically exempt.

Please note, staff may not be wearing masks, as they will need to communicate clearly with children and families to ensure safety.

Potential closures

In the event of a positive case being reported to the school, we may well need to contact families in the evening or over a weekend. This will be sent via a ParentPay email home to the first contact of each affected student, informing the family that their class will be closed.  In order to support our contingency plans, we need all parents/carers to ensure that they have signed up to ParentPay and that their contact details are up to date. Simply call the school office on: 020 8691 0611 or email us at: admin@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk

Thank you to all families who have provided us with information about how you access the internet. This will be particularly important should we have a closure. If you have not received a form yet, one will be coming home soon.

Walking to School

Next week is Walk to School week and the beginning of Walk to School Month. This will be the focus of our virtual assembly on Monday. Please support us by leaving your car at home (the traffic is dreadful right now!) or if you really have to use the car, park further away from school and walk the last few streets. This is particularly important in keep all of our children safe on Upper Brockley Rd – please, if you are dropping off or collecting a child from Myatt Garden, park on a road away from the school and walk the last bit. This will really help keep everyone safe.

We know that walking to school is one of the best ways to start the day. But getting to school on foot isn’t always as easy as it should be. Whether you are exploring how walking to school can work for you, or want to campaign for better routes, please click on the following link for a Family Walk to School Kit:

https://www.livingstreets.org.uk/media/3561/family-walk-to-school-kit.pdf

Following our successful closing of both Upper Brockley Rd and Rokeby Rd in the summer of 2019, we put ourselves forward for a more permanent road closure under the School Street programme. Schools have been prioritised using a number of criteria and we were recently informed that we had been given the go ahead for Rokeby Rd to move to the final consultation stage for a closure for an hour each morning and afternoon. As a result of the changes we have had to make, we have asked for Upper Brockley Rd to be considered as our priority. We have been told that this is a much more difficult closure, but will now be considered by the engineers. I will keep you posted as I hear more.

Support for families

We have been through extraordinary times and no two families experiences have been the same. We have been notified this week of some new support for our school community’s emotional health and wellbeing.  Details about the services being offered to parents can be downloaded below.

Virtual Coffee Mornings – every Thursday at 10.00

This is a safe space for you to:

• Hear about the new service and connect with others;

• Share and/or listen to experiences;

• Think about challenges during this time;

• Discuss ideas

They are also offering some return to school support for parents. This is 1.5 hrs each week, over 5 weeks to focus on how you can build your confidence in helping your child(ren) deal with their worries.  If this is something you may be interested in, please contact Orlaine our Pastoral Support and Learning Mentor on: 020 8691 0611 or at: o.mcdonald@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk.

Covid-19 Community Champions

Lewisham is looking to recruit COVID-19 Community Champions to help share up to date messages.

In this new role, individuals will work closely with the Council and the Public Health Team to help share messages out in the borough. We know this is the best way to bring about positive change in people’s attitudes and behaviours towards COVID-19.

COVID-19 Community Champions will remind residents how to keep safe, answer questions, offer advice to local businesses on how to trade safely and support the safe use of our parks and open spaces. You can sign up with the link below:

https://lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/socialcare/health/lewisham-covid19-champions/become-a-covid19-champion

Lost glasses

We have two pairs of children’s glasses at the school office. Please give us a call if your child has misplaced theirs – we may have them!!

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Information for Parents: 25.9.20

Covid-19
We are all very aware of the increasing number of new Covid-19 cases and the need for us all to remain vigilant. 

We all want our school to stay open and so far, we have been able to keep all classes open at Myatt Garden. We are going to great lengths at school to keep everyone safe, but we need everyone who is part of our school community to work with us. This is particularly difficult when many children have very mild or no symptoms. Many children that have tested positive (not at our school!) have merely reported feeling a little unwell! We must therefore all follow the guidance and act as if others might be positive.

Some things you can do to help:

• A local primary school has had a number of confirmed cases following a play date. Please follow the new rules and do your bit to keep us all safe. This will mean limiting play dates, birthday parties and meet ups in the park outside of school time, as social gatherings of more than six people have been banned in an attempt to curb the rise in coronavirus cases.

• Provide your child with an additional layer of clothing e.g. jumper, fleece. We are having to keep windows and doors open to ensure good ventilation and therefore classrooms are not as warm as they would normally be. 

• If children are walking home alone, please discuss with them how they stay safe – walking with 1 or 2 children from their bubble and keeping a distance from others.

• Make sure we have your current contact details. It is really important that we can get in touch with you if your child becomes unwell.

Free School Meals (FSM)
Please make sure you have applied for Free School Meals if you think you might be entitled. This means that as well as a free school dinner, at Myatt Garden you would get a food hamper each week if the school had to close your child’s class/bubble, alongside free breakfast club if you choose to use it, free trips and clubs (this does not include our After School club) once they restart.

Part of our school’s funding for each year is calculated on our number of FSM children on Thursday next week. If you think you may qualify, please claim asap. Your child can get free school meals if your combined annual household income is below £16,190 (as assessed by HMRC) and you get one of the following benefits:

• income-based: income support or jobseeker’s allowance (not eligible if on contribution based jobseeker’s allowance);
• income-related: employment support allowance (not eligible if on contribution based employment support allowance);
• universal credit;
• income support;
• the guaranteed element of state pension credit;
• support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999;
• child tax credit only.

More information is available at: https://lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/education/student-pupil-support/free-school-meals-and-extra-support-for-your-child

Breakfast and After-School club
Both our breakfast and after-school club have got off to a great start this week. If you would like to send your child to either of these, please email us at: admin@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk or call on 0208 691 0611.

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Secondary School Transfer Information

The time has come for Year 6 families to be thinking about secondary schools and finalising their choices. Sadly, we are unable to hold our usual Secondary Transfer meeting for parents this year. Your child will be bringing home Lewisham’s ‘Bright Futures’ booklet tonight and I hope the Secondary Transfer Meeting sheet below will provide you with everything you need to help you through this process.

Top tips
• Visit Lewisham’s website as soon as possible to gather information at: https://lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/education/schools/school-admission/applying-to-start-secondary-school
• Sign up for Lewisham’s email alerts via the council website;
• Log on and register for an admissions account at: www.eadmissions.org.uk so it is ready for you when you know which choices you want to make.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you need further help and guidance.

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Information for Parents: Update

Good news – the new procedures that we have put in place are working well and the children are getting used to our new rules and routines. Thank you for all of your support in sticking to the new guidance.

However, as you will all have read/heard in the media today, infection rates are increasing and government guidelines are changing. We do not feel that we need to change any of our procedures in school, but would ask that all families follow the guidance strictly outside of school and at the school gate. PLEASE stay 2 metres apart from other families – we should all act as if other people may be asymptomatic and keep our distance. We desperately want to keep school open and to do this we need everyone in our school community to do their part.

A few reminders that will help us all support the school:

Arriving and leaving school
– Please note each year group has been allocated a 10 minute slot for arriving at school. This is designed to ease congestion at the gate and it has really helped that families are staggering their arrival within these 10 mins, rather than all aiming to arrive at the opening time. Children will not be marked late if they arrive any time within this time slot;
– Please maintain social distancing at the gate;
– There is a list at each gate that lists the order and times of classes exiting at the end of the day. Please line up in a socially distanced way at the side of the gate ONLY if your child’s class is being dismissed. Please do not gather in a group in front of the gate;
– If you have arrived earlier than your time slot, please wait on the other side of the road;
– As soon as you have collected your child, please move away from the gate and do not gather to chat;
– If you arrive late (we will be shutting gates promptly), you must now phone the school office to arrange a time to drop your child off.

Lunch
– Some of our KS2 children are now having a later lunch. Please send them with a piece of fruit if you would like them to have a snack during break-time;
– A reminder that children now need to be either school dinners or packed lunch and cannot change between the two options.

What do the children need
– All children need a named water bottle as there are no water fountains in operation. These bottles will be rinsed daily, but will be sent home each Friday for a thorough clean;
– Any child wearing a mask to school, must bring in a small re-sealable plastic bag to store it in during the day;
– Children should not bring a school bag, jewellery or a pencil case into school;
– Children should bring their book bag into school ONLY on their allocated book bag day;
– Children should wear their PE kit to school on the days they are doing PE. All KS2 classes have two PE lessons each week.

Monday: Year 4 & Year 3
Tuesday: Year 5 & Year 4
Wednesday: Year 6, Year 2 & Year 5
Thursday: Year 1 & Year 3
Friday: Year 6

Please make sure your child has everything they need when they arrive at school. We are limiting visits to classrooms and therefore want to avoid items being dropped off at the office to be delivered to class.

Thank you for your continued support.

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Zoooom Choirs

In line with the government guidelines, we are unable to run a choir at Myatt Garden at this time. However, since lock-down, Lewisham Music has provided Zoooom Choirs for all children in the borough in Y2-8. The choirs have been very successful and they have received some lovely feedback from children and parents/carers.

I am pleased to let you know that the Zoooom Choirs will continue throughout the Autumn term. The new term starts on Tuesday 8 September (Years 2-4) and Friday 11 September (Years 5-8), but children can join in when they are ready. They will need to register at: www.lewishammusic.org/zoooom-choirs

Let’s keep Lewisham singing!

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Return to School

I hope you are all well and have been able to enjoy the summer.

As we approach the beginning of term we are busy making final preparations for the children’s return to school. We have two INSET days planned for Wednesday 2nd and Thursday 3rd to ensure we are well-prepared for the arrival of our children on Friday 4th September. Please note, we will not be running our normal ‘Meet the teacher’ sessions during our INSET days this year.

Please see the timetable in the Handbook below, for the exact time and location for your child’s arrival / departure from school. It is essential that we all work together to make sure children are at the gates at the right time (not early or late) in order to maintain social distancing and not cross-contaminate our bubbles. Any family that misses their slot MUST ring the school office to arrange a time to bring their child to the main school office entrance. 

Please note that due to the number of classes and gates, we are unable to coordinate times for each family with children in different year groups. Our priority has been spacing entrances and not changing times too much.

We have clearly had to make a number of changes to ensure we are making the site as safe as possible. All of our changes have been made in light of both the government and union recommendations. Please take some time to read the new Handbook for Families which you can access below:

It will be essential that everyone follows these guidelines so that we stay as safe as possible and stay open. 

We are very much looking forward to seeing all of the children back in school having fun very soon. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or concerns. 

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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.

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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

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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

 

 

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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

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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

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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/

 

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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.

 

 

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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

 

 

 

 

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