Easter Break

Our last day of school this term will be Wednesday 31st March. School will finish at the normal time. 

We will be returning to school on Monday 19th April.

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Information for Families: 26.3.21

Thank you for all your continued support over the last three weeks as the children have returned to school. Our pupils have been so excited to be back, loving being with their friends and keen to embrace face-to-face learning.  As expected we have also seen many children finding the transition difficult. After so long off school, it is completely natural for children to feel anxious about returning and this can be displayed in many ways. We are working hard to support children relearn the rules, manage their ‘physicality’ and re-establish emotional connections with their friends.

If you are noticing changes in your children’s behaviour e.g. reluctance to try new things, lashing out, worrying at bedtime, emotional outbursts there is lots of helpful advice at:

https://youngminds.org.uk/find-help/for-parents/parents-guide-to-support-a-z/parents-guide-to-support-anxiety/

https://childmind.org/article/what-to-do-and-not-do-when-children-are-anxious/

https://healthyfamilies.beyondblue.org.au/age-6-12/mental-health-conditions-in-children/anxiety/strategies-to-support-anxious-children

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/sites/default/files/anxious_child.pdf

Please remember, we are also here to offer support and advice. You can contact us at: admin@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk or call on 020 8691 0611.

Easter Break

Our last day of school this term will be Wednesday next week (31st March). School will finish at the normal time.  We will be returning to school on Monday 19th April.

COVID update

The current infection rate in Lewisham is 29.4 compared to 35.8 in London.  Please make sure that you notify us of any confirmed cases over the Easter break. Please email us at: admin@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk with the following information:

  • Name of child
  • Class
  • Date when symptoms started
  • Date when confirmed test result received

As we approach 29th March (Monday) we are all hopeful that we will be eased into the next stage and be able to enjoy the lifting of some restrictions.

You will be able to:

  • Meet up with others outside as a group of six (rule of six) or as two whole households. You can meet in public places like a park and in private gardens.   
  • Take part in outdoor sports or use outdoor leisure facilities.  For example, this means you can play tennis, basketball and use outdoor swimming pools.     

But still can’t:

  • Travel outside your local area or go on holiday.  
  • Mix with others indoors that you don’t live, including in your home.

Play-dates and Sleep-overs

I have been made aware of a few families organising both play-dates and sleep-overs. Whilst I understand the desire, it is crucial that we are all abiding by the rules. We are having to make so many adjustments in school in order to maintain bubbles and enable children to socially distance as much as possible and we need you to do your part outside of school.

Even from 12th April (the next milestone) you cannot:

  • Mix with others indoors that you don’t live with either in your home or a public indoor place.
  • Meet up as more than a group of six, or two households.

School Street

I hope you saw yesterday’s email regarding the launch of our School Street straight after Easter on Monday 19th March. We are really excited that this will be operating between 8.30 – 9.45am and 2.45 – 4.00pm each day.

Parent /Carer Survey

If you haven’t done it already, please take a few minutes to complete our annual survey https://forms.office.com/r/vQ8rVqfARM. Despite everything that we have all been through this year, we are still committed to continual improvement in light of feedback from you, the pupils and staff. The information you provide us with is important in helping us evaluate our practice and decide on our priorities for next year.

Dogs

A polite reminder to avoid bringing dogs to school at drop off or collection. The reasons for this are two-fold:

  • Some children are scared of dogs.
  • Others are fascinated by dogs, but need to understand that not all dogs are approachable. This is hard to manage at the school gate.

  

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Lewisham School Street Programme

I am delighted that Lewisham have confirmed their plans to activate our School Street from Monday 19th April, the day we return to school after the Easter holidays. This will operate between 8.30 – 9.45am and 2.45 – 4.00pm.

Cameras have been installed at the entrance of Upper Brockley and Rokeby Road to enforce the closure. Once the ANPR cameras go live, anyone that is not exempt and is entering the School Street during the closure time, will be liable to either a warning letter or a fine.  

Residents with a car will be able to register their vehicles and therefore be exempt if they live on either road or are blue badge owners. This means that their vehicle registration number will be added to a database and they won’t receive a fine for entering the School Street.

We don’t want any of our school community getting caught out, so we will be sending lots of reminders.

This is a huge step forward in safer journeys to school, easing congestion and cleaner air!

 

 

 

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Parent Survey 2021

What a year we have all had! It has been a year like no other and has meant that many things have had to be very different this year.

But throughout, at Myatt Garden we have held firm to our commitment to a broad and creative curriculum, where we offer children a wide range of active learning opportunities to challenge them and encourage them to develop a growth mindset.  Our children’s well-being has been our foremost priority as we have welcomed them back in school and carefully considered how to support, nurture and challenge them.

Despite everything that we have all been through, we are still committed to continual improvement in light of feedback from you, the pupils and staff. The information you provide us with is important in helping us evaluate our practice and decide on our priorities for next year.

Please take a few minutes to complete our survey:

https://forms.office.com/r/vQ8rVqfARM

It is really important that the survey is representative of the whole school community, so please find a few minutes and give us your considered opinion.  We look forward to reviewing your responses and using them to inform our plans for the future.

 

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Comic Relief 2021

A huge thank you to everyone who supported our wonderful School Council’s Comic Relief celebration today. It was lovely to see so much red throughout the school and hear so many hilarious/corny jokes. The best of these will be displayed on class windows to cheer up our neighbourhood.

So far, our amazing community has raised £1,190 – WOW!!!

If you still want to give to our Comic Relief fund, please use: https://app.parentpay.com/ParentPayShop/Foc/Default.aspx?shopid=2733 .

This page will stay open until next week.

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Information for Families: 19.3.21

COVID Update

As expected with schools returning and more households mixing on the streets, the infection rate, although still relatively low has gone up slightly. It is currently 28.4 in Lewisham – the biggest percentage rise (up 42.6%) in any London borough this week. The overall London rate is currently 39.4.  I know I keep saying it, but it is really important that we all keep following the rules – this way we will have more chance of successfully moving to the next stage on 29th March where two households can meet outdoors.

From 8th March

You can

 Meet outside with one other person. This means you can now go for a picnic or a coffee outside.

  • Use wraparound childcare if needed for work, learning or appointments.
  • Become a named visitor to someone in a care home.

 You still cannot

  • You must continue to stay at home as much as possible.
  • Meet up with more than one person outside that you don’t live with or who is in your support bubble.
  • Meet up with anyone indoors that is not in your household or support bubble.

 From 29th March (at the earliest)

You can

  • Meet up with others outside as a group of six (rule of six) or as two whole households. You can meet in public places like a park and in private gardens.
  • Take part in outdoor sports or use outdoor leisure facilities.

 You still cannot

  • Travel outside your local area or go on holiday.
  • Mix with others indoors that you don’t live, including in your home.

 We need your help to find pupils from the 70’s

We want to build up some local history resources about our school and to help us, we’re looking for ex-Myatt Garden pupils from the 1970’s.  If you know anyone who went to Myatt or lived in the area in the 1970’s, we would love to speak to them and to hear and capture their memories. We’d also like copies of any photos people may have of Upper Brockley Rd and Rokeby Rd before the school was built, during the build or after.

RAFT Workshop

Year 3 are taking part in the first of three workshops today with RAFT (Retrofit Action For Tomorrow), to explore the fabric and services of the school buildings and develop an appreciation of its history. The day was kicked off by Harry, the architect behind the work, providing an introduction into the project and its aims. The children are spending today:

  • actively looking at the building & recording what they see;
  • researching old photographs/plans/letters & writing/drawing/annotating;
  • presenting and displaying the findings.

This is part of a much bigger project by Lewisham Council to create a zero carbon plan for five schools, one of which is ours!

We were delighted to have been chosen and are looking forward to working with RAFT to further reduce our energy bills and carbon footprint. The proposal aims to engage, educate and empower children and the wider school community to reduce energy and carbon use at school and home.

 Census

A reminder that the Census is coming.  The Census is a unique survey that happens every 10 years. It provides a snapshot of all the people and households in England and Wales – the most detailed information about our society. Without this information, it would be more difficult to understand our community’s needs and to plan public services including school places, doctors’ surgeries or cycle lanes. Because these things matter to all of us, we are encouraging everyone to complete the Census.

Census day is Sunday 21st March 2021. You should receive a letter with an access code in the post and you can complete the on-line form as soon as you receive it. Alternatively, you can ask ONS for a paper form to fill in. There is help available over the phone if you or anyone you know needs it, including in a range of languages.   If you need help or have any questions, please visit: www.census.gov.uk

 

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Information for Families: 12.3.21

It’s been the most glorious week. Having the children back in school has been such an uplifting experience for all of us – they have breathed life back into all parts of our building and nothing makes us smile more than hearing the yelps, laughter and excitement from the playground on a windy day!  I hope it’s been equally glorious for you!

We have made this a special week for all classes, choosing learning that has whilst not focusing on ‘lockdown’ has allowed children space / time to reconnect, allowed then to re-establish routines and relationships and to feel safe and successful back in school.

Please be assured that we have given great consideration to our next steps and approaches as we move into the rest of the school year. It is crucial that we balance the demands of children that have returned to class with such different experiences over the last 8 weeks – rebuilding self-confidence, providing appropriate levels of challenge and making them feel proud.

COVID
Whilst we know that it will be a little while before we notice any change in figures because of children being back in school, the current infection rate in Lewisham is down to 19.9. This is an amazing number thanks to everyone’s hard work following the restrictions.

The biggest risk at the moment feels like the end of the school day when lot of adults are in the same location. Please help us by maintaining the 2m distance from other adults. This can be achieved by waiting across the road until your pick-up time and then standing 2m apart as you wait in line at the gate.

Please continue to stick to the guidance out of school and hopefully we will all be moving towards ‘normal’ very soon.

Rapid Testing
Local councils in England are offering a new type of coronavirus (COVID-19) test to people who do not have symptoms.

Around 1 in 3 people have coronavirus without displaying any symptoms, therefore regular testing for people with no symptoms will help to find positive cases earlier and break chains of transmission.

These ‘rapid lateral flow tests’ are free and you get a result 30 minutes after taking the test. They are now available for people without coronavirus symptoms who are part of a household with primary, secondary and college-age children and young people, including childcare and support bubbles.  Rapid tests have been really successful in identifying those who have coronavirus with no symptoms, which helps stop the spread of the virus and prevents outbreaks.

You can access rapid testing twice a week:
1. Get tested at one of our rapid test sites in Catford, Downham, Deptford or Sydenham. You can book a rapid test in advance or check the website for walk-in slots that may be available.
2. Collect rapid tests from a local testing centre to do at home:
• Vanguard Street car park, Vanguard St, Deptford
• Molesworth car park, Molesworth St, Lewisham

FSM
Families that qualify for FSM will be receiving a voucher for the Easter holidays. These are no longer funded by the government, but have been made available by Lewisham council.

Red Nose Day
Our wonderful School Council have organised a Comic Relief event for next Friday. We’ve kept it very simple so that everyone who wants to can join in – no need to buy anything special!!! The school council will be sending out more information on Monday.

Travel Survey
A reminder to all families to please complete the travel survey we sent out this week. You only need to complete one on behalf of your family and it takes less than 2 mins.  The more families that complete the survey, the more accurate our information which will be used to help us look at how we can reduce our carbon footprint in the future.

Wellies
Our nursery is short of wellies!! These are really useful when it rains and children want to splash in puddles, etc. If your children have outgrown their wellies, please drop them off at the nursery gate and we will put them to good use once they have been quarantined! We are particularly short of sizes 8 – 12.

 

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Information for Families: Return to School Letter

Please see letter from the Director of Education and Director of Public Health at Lewisham Council here: ReturnToSchoolLetterMarch2021

 

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Information for Families: 5.3.21

Thank you for all your patience and hard work over the last 7 weeks. It has been a mammoth effort on everyone’s part to navigate our way through, but we’ve made it. I have no doubt we will look back at these times and marvel at our capacity to keep going in the face of such adversity.

I know we are all delighted that school will be open to all our children from Monday. As we re-open, it is critical that we all do our bit in ensuring that we do not contribute to any rise in infection rates. With more community contact in school and at the gates, we want to minimise any rise in local figures and keep all bubbles open.

COVID Update

More great news!! Lewisham’s COVID figures continue to improve as we head towards re-opening on Monday morning.  The local infection rate is now 37.6, with the R rate between 0.6 – 0.8.

Re-opening Information

Please make sure that you read the booklet below before your child returns to school on Monday. We have updated our risk assessments and issued new guidance to staff and families. Whilst much of this remains the same, it has been 11 weeks since the majority of you and the children were in school and we need to refresh everyone’s memory of our routines and procedures.

Updated Handbook for Parents

Key Points for Families

Symptoms

If anyone in your household becomes unwell with:

  • a new and persistent cough or;
  • a high temperature, or;
  • has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell;

 you must stay at home and not come to the school.

 If in doubt, keep your child at home and discuss any associated symptoms with us – loss of appetite, diarrhea, extreme tiredness, headaches, joint pain/muscle ache, runny nose, sore throat or sneezing.

 Drop off/Pick up

Be on time and ALWAYS wear a mask at the gate (unless you are exempt).

Keep your children with you and stay 2m apart from other families – avoid gathering for a chat.

Once you have dropped off your child, please cross the road and go.

If you are running late, you will need to phone the school and arrange an alternative time to drop off your child. You will not be able to just arrive at a later time with your child.

If your child is wearing a face mask to school, you must provide a re-sealable plastic bag to store the mask during the day.

 

PLEASE NOTE YEAR 3 DROP OFF IS NOW 9.10 – 9.20am AND YEAR 5 IS NOW 9- 9.10am.

ALL OTHER YEAR GROUPS REMAIN THE SAME (A reminder of times are included in the attached information booklet)

 

Water bottle

Make sure your child brings a named water bottle which can be refilled in school.

Bringing things to school

Please ensure that your child(ren) are only bringing essential items into school.

There will be a real temptation as more people get vaccinated and the weather improves, to ‘get back to normal’. This cannot happen soon enough, but I urge you all to please continue to follow the rules and not meet up outside of school in groups beyond the restrictions. I have included the most current restrictions and the changes scheduled for the 29th for your convenience.

From 8th March

You can 

  • Meet outside for recreation or exercise with your household, support bubble or one other person. This means you can now go for a picnic or a coffee outside. 
  • Return to the classroom. Schools and colleges are open for all students again. 
  • Use wraparound childcare if needed for work, learning or appointments. 
  • Become a named visitor to someone in a care home. 

You still cannot

  • Leave your home unless it is for a legally permitted reason.  You must continue to stay at home as much as possible. 
  • Meet up with more than one person outside that you don’t live with or who is in your support bubble.  
  • Meet up with anyone indoors that is not in your household or support bubble. 

From 29th March (at the earliest)

 You can

  • Meet up with others outside as a group of six (rule of six) or as two whole households. You can meet in public places like a park and in private gardens.   
  • Take part in outdoor sports or use outdoor leisure facilities.  For example, this means you can play tennis, basketball and use outdoor swimming pools.     
  • Attend a parent and child group of up to 15 people outdoors.

You still cannot

  • Travel outside your local area or go on holiday.  
  • Mix with others indoors that you don’t live or aren’t in your support bubble, including in your home.

School Street

Sadly, despite some work having been completed, I have been informed this week that there has been a bit of a delay with the start of our much awaited closures of both Upper Brockley and Rokeby Rad at the beginning and end of the day. I have been informed that they hope to have them ready for our return after Easter.

MHST Wellbeing Support Line

Our wonderful Lewisham Mental Health Support Team have decided to extend their Lockdown support package for parents/carers who have concerns around their child’s emotional wellbeing.

They will provide a telephone support service where you will be able to speak to a practitioner for wellbeing advice, support and resources for your child. (This is not for any urgent mental health concerns).

To contact them you should email: lewishammhst@slam.nhs.uk and tell them:

– That your child (ren) attends Myatt Garden;

– A contact phone number;

– What you would like advice or support with (for your child).

They will then call you back within one working week of making email contact.

 

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Information for Families: 26.2.21

Fantastic news!!!!

We are all so excited that the 8th March has been confirmed as the date that we will open again to all of our children. We will be here, smiling at the gate and welcoming you all back.   We’ve missed you all!   

We know some children may be feeling anxious about returning, it has been an unsettling time. A few tips:

  • In a calm, confident voice assure them that school is only opening because it’s safe;
  • Assure them that the school has put in a wide range of measures to make school safe (hand-hygiene, spacing tables, keeping bubbles separate, additional cleaning, children having own resources);
  • The staff and their friends can’t wait to see them;
  • We will be starting with a special week to ease them back into school;
  • We know we will have children that are at very different places with their learning and we are ready;

We will be sending out more detailed information about our procedures for opening next week.

 World Book Day

Next week we will be celebrating books and reading throughout the week as Thursday is World Book Day. Each year group has chosen a new book to provide a fun focus over the week. Our live assemblies will focus on favourite books and we would love to hear from your child about their favourite.  The children will receive their world book day tokens on their return to school.

Next week’s assemblies

As part of the celebration, David Walliams will be in conversation with Blue Peter presenter Lindsey Russell on Tuesday for an AMAAAAAZING ASSEMBLY for World Book Day! Many of the older classes are going to be joining. This means that we will need to move our regular Year 6, 5 and 4 assemblies from Tuesday to Monday next week. They will remain at the same time and use the same link.

Year 3, 2 and 1 will remain as normal on Wednesday.

Seesaw finishing on Friday at 12pm

Next week will be our last week of remote learning. We have been so impressed by the way families have committed to helping their children with this in such exceptional and challenging circumstances. In order to allow teachers to get back into school and prepare their classrooms, we will not be responding to any work posted on Seesaw after 12pm on Friday.

Brockley Ward – Can you Help

Brockley ward is looking for people who are in touch with their local community and willing to be a voice for them. They would like people who live, work or volunteer in the Brockley Ward to take part. The commitment we are asking is to attend 3 or 4 meetings a year. These meetings are one of the options available to discuss any concerns you and your community have with the police. If you are interested, more information available here: Ward Panel Appeal

 Sickle Cell

Do you or your child have sickle cell? The Sickle Cell Society wants to hear from families that live in South London.  Don’t miss the chance to tell them what new activities, information or support services would benefit you. They would really like your views to develop and shape their future work. The survey takes 5 minutes to complete (closing date 14th March).  Click here for survey

National Census

The Census is coming.  By taking part, you can help to inform decisions that shape your community such as healthcare, education and transport.

The Census is a unique survey that happens every 10 years.  It gives us a snapshot of all the people and households in England and Wales – the most detailed information we have about our society. Without your information, it would be more difficult to understand your community’s needs and to plan public services including school places, doctors’ surgeries or cycle lanes.  Because these things matter to all of us, everyone needs to complete the Census. 

The Office for National Statistics (PNS) runs the Census in England and Wales and is independent of Government.  Your details are protected by law and personal information is kept completely confidential, but statistics from all the answers are published beginning about a year after census day.  Census day is Sunday 21st March 2021. You will receive a letter with an access code in the post and you can complete the on-line form as soon as you receive it.  Alternatively, you can ask ONS for a paper form to fill in. There is help available over the phone if you or anyone you know needs it, including in a range of languages.

If you need help or have any questions, please visit: www.census.gov.uk

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Information for Families: 12.2.21

And we are there!! Together we have got through an incredibly tough half-term – a half-term like no other!

We started it fed-up and fatigued and yet we have done it. Thank you to you all for pushing through, knuckling down and keeping on going when the going got tough. Myatt Garden is such an amazing community – children were never meant to be taught at home by their families. You are their parents and carers and home is a place to chill and be snuggly … turning you into teachers and your home into a classroom again, was always going to be a big ask especially when this time round the expectations about learning had dramatically increased.

You and your children are all super-heroes …… these are unprecedented times. Please tell your children how proud you are of how they have coped, children have never been in this position before!!!

Hopefully we will hear good news on the 22nd February about the government’s plans for re-opening schools. Let’s hope that we will be able to begin opening up from the 8th March – only time will tell!

Thank you to the amazing staff at Myatt Garden

Our staff are amazing and I have felt so privileged to work with such a child-centred and committed team. Nothing has been too much trouble, as  teachers have had to rethink all of the planned learning, develop their offer in light of feedback, juggle being in school, plan remote learning, provide quality feedback, make calls, support families that are finding it particularly difficult and for many do home learning with their own children. From the office to the premises team, the pastoral team to our wonderful LSAs, TAs and AS Club staff, there has not been one person who has not be willing to do whatever has needed doing.

A HUGE and public thank you to them all from me – they have done the most fantastic job!

COVID Update

The figures continue to decline in Lewisham – the current rate of infection is 171 in every 100, 000. The R number is thought to be between 0.6 – 0.8.   Please keep following the rules and doing your bit; what you are doing is contributing to helping us get back to school.

 

Today’s Assembly

The link to this week’s Friday Assembly has beens sent to all parents via ParentPay (it will also be in Seesaw) – and will be an opportunity to find out more about Chinese New Year that starts today.  

Half Term Ideas 

Like most things, half term will be different this year.  We can’t go off to visit family or do day trips to the coast … so I’ve tried to collect a few ideas you may want to consider. See information here: Half Term Ideas and here: Sounds of Nature Bingo – hopefully there is something that will work for you.

FSM Half-Term Vouchers 

We have a few vouchers that have not been collected yet. You have until 5pm this afternoon to collect them from the office.

Free Mental Health Support for Parents and Carers

I’m pleased to be able to share a new online mental health & well-being service Qwell which has been made freely available to all adults to use in Lewisham. (More information can be found here: Qwell Letter to Parents)  This is an important mental health & well-being support service. It is a self-referral service. All adults can sign up here at: www.Qwell.io

Lewisham Hardship Fund

You may be able to get a one-off payment to help you buy essential food and fuel. There is an emergency payment for those eligible for Universal Credit who are facing further immediate, financial hardship due to COVID-19 and have no other assistance available. If you have no income as a result of losing your job or ability to work, you may qualify for a one-off payment.

The payment is a grant so it does not need to be paid back. It does not replace any other form of support from the Government.

To apply for the grant you must:

  • not have an earned income
  • have savings of less than £6,000
  • be a permanent Lewisham resident
  • be liable to pay rent, bills, a mortgage or council tax
  • claim or have made an application for Universal Credit.

The grant will be a fixed amount based on:

  • the number of people in your household and their ages
  • set amounts of money that the Government suggest you need to live on.

To apply, go to: https://lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/benefits/get-financial-help-if-you-are-struggling-due-to-covid19

 Community Fund

And don’t forget our own Myatt Garden Community Fund that is available to help families. If you’re finding it hard to make ends meet and need help please give us a call and ask for Orlaine or drop her an email at: o.mcdonald@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk

Among other things, we have supported families to buy things like warm coats or new bedding for their children.

I wish you all a relaxing, if not action-packed half term.

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Support for Parents – DROP IN VIRTUAL COFFEE MORNING Thursday 11th February 10-11 am

Is your child struggling to stay focused, trying everything they can to get out of completing their learning or rushing through it in a ‘slap dash’ way??

We are here to help!

Orlaine McDonald (Pastoral Support and Learning Mentor) and Jen Ingham (SENCO) will be hosting their second virtual coffee morning for any parent / carer who would like some support and an opportunity to discuss / share ways to support their child(ren) build resilience whilst learning at home.

You can join them on Thursday from 10 – 11am

Zoom details have been sent to all parents via ParentPay.

ALL WELCOME.

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Information for Families: 5.2.21

I hope you are well and have been able to think about your own mental health and well-being this week, as well as your children’s. Too many times we neglect our mental health until it is a problem. Please think about how you can take some time to invest in yourself, it is really hard to support your family if you are not feeling strong.

If you’re finding it difficult, remind yourself you’re human and no-one gets it right all the time. Be kind to yourself – the world and you, need more kindness!

Support for Parents and Carers

Our first support coffee morning went well this week, with people finding it really helpful just to talk and know that others are feeling the same. In response to the feedback we will be offering a regular weekly session and choosing themes for each meeting. More information next week.

COVID update

Good news everyone, the infection rate continues to fall and is now at 289 in Lewisham, just below the London wide figure. This has come down dramatically, but it needs to come down even more. What we are all doing is working, so please hang in there, push through and let’s see if we can get it low enough to be able to return on 8th March and keep school open.  We all know our children need to be in school, let’s help make it happen!

Friday Assembly

As I explained last week, in response to your feedback, we have now changed Friday afternoons. We are now providing the children with our whole school assembly to watch and the opportunity to catch up on any learning that they want to return to or follow their own interests. This week children may like to use this time to try some of the ‘Express Yourself’ ideas that are included in the assembly.  The link and details for Friday Assembly have been sent to parents by email.

Motivating your child(ren)

We are all fatigued by the present situation and as we approach half term, many children are struggling to keep up their enthusiasm. If you’re finding it difficult to keep your child motivated and finish work to an appropriate standard, you are not alone.

Here are a few ideas that might help:

  • Talk to your child about it and decide together on what you will try next week. Getting children’s ‘buy in’ by including them in the plan can really help.
  • Agree a timetable which chunks up the learning.
  • If your child spends ages on certain learning, agree that when the time is up, the learning is done and whatever has been accomplished is posted.
  • Use a timer – the day/task can feel endless without it.
  • Have a menu of options that your child(ren) can be chose from during breaks e.g. lego, drawing, dancing to music.
  • Use Friday afternoons as ‘Golden Time’ – every day an agreed target (keep it specific) is achieved earns 15 mins of free time on Friday afternoon.
  • Agree a target number and every time your child has tried hard, they earn a sticker or marble in a jar. Make sure it’s achievable – just a bit more than what you are normally getting and build from there. When the set number is achieved they chose a treat (agreed in advance) e.g. they choose movie or takeaway or decide on which park you visit.

Different things will work with different children. If in doubt, ask your child what they think would help them. Alternatively, we are here to discuss strategies – just give us a call on 020 8691 0611.

Parenting Courses

Ladywell Children’s Centre continues to offer a range of parenting support, only virtually. There are a range of sessions that focus on topics from bedtime routines, aggression from children at home and positive parenting skills. More information can be found at:

https://www.lewishamcfc.org.uk/our-parenting-courses/

You can contact them to find out more at: 07377 724 243 or email at: ladywell.cc@lewishamcfc.org.uk .

Even if a course has already started, you can discuss issues and find out when the next course will begin.

FSM vouchers

Whilst the government is not providing FSM vouchers over half-term. Lewisham Council is using some of their funding to provide these for Lewisham families. Because these are being funded from an alternative source, we are unable to provide the term-time Edenred vouchers. We will therefore be providing Asda vouchers, which will be available to be collected from school from Wednesday next week. 

Robin video

As part of RSBP Big Garden Birdwatch, Matthew Schellhorn (dad of two boys in Year 5 and Year 2), put an appearance he made on BBC Radio 3 playing a piece called “Robin” by French 20th-century composer, Olivier Messiaen on social media last week. Myatt Garden were happy to help when he was looking for some images to add to a recording. You can enjoy it too at: https://youtu.be/T322pH0-pkg

Children’s Mental Health Week

I hope you have found some of the tips and this year’s focus on ‘Express Yourself’ helpful.

5 tips for looking after your children’s well-being

  • “Teach them to be themselves” – Helping children to realise their strengths is a great way to build their confidence. Encourage children to notice and appreciate their own strengths, and those of others too.
  • “Be grateful”- Help children to bring attention to what’s working well in their life. To develop these skills, you can use techniques such as starting a journal, have a gratitude list on the fridge or a discussion at breakfast/dinner.
  • “Help them be more mindful” – A way in which we can help our children develop these skills is drawing for 10 minutes. Simply set a timer for 15 minutes and ask your child to draw something they can see. This activity isn’t about what the child decides to draw, it’s about whether they are able to focus on the activity and bring their attention back if they get distracted.
  • “Be kind” – There are thousands of ways children and adults can show kindness every day, it can be fun to sometimes turn these small acts into every day rituals.
  • “Teach them the importance of resilience” – One way to build resilience in children is to help them develop a growth mind-set. Children with a strong mind-set are more likely to try again when they fail, and also to attempt to learn how they can improve. There re plenty of resources online or you could revisit our assembly from the beginning of term.

Live Zoom Assemblies

We really value these sessions each week – they are an important opportunity for children to see their friends. The times and links stay the same every week for each year group.

The link and details have been emailed to parents.

A polite reminder that:

  • an adult should be present/in the vicinity during these sessions;
  • your child should be appropriately dressed, sitting up and not eating their breakfast/snacks;
  • Children should be respectful to the audience/speaker and be discouraged from playing with features, pets, etc. during sessions.

One week to go until half-term, we’ve got this!

Come on Team Myatt!!!

 

 

 

 

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Support for Parents – DROP IN VIRTUAL COFFEE MORNING -Thursday 4th February 10- 11am

Orlaine McDonald (Pastoral Support and Learning Mentor) and Jen Ingham (SENCO) will be hosting a virtual coffee morning for anyone who would like some support and an opportunity to discuss/share ways to cope with stress, anxiety and home learning.

You can join them tomorrow (Thursday 4th February) from 10 – 11am

Zoom details have been sent to all Parents via Parentpay.

Whilst we can’t open our doors to all of the children yet, we are really keen to help you get through this as best you can.

 

 

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Information for Families: 29.1.21

It’s been quite a week! We had to close our first bubble on Tuesday and we all learnt on Wednesday that school’s will remain closed until the 8th March at the earliest. Closing the bubble reminded us all that despite the level of infection moving in the right direction, the virus is out there and we need to remain vigilant. It underlines the need for us all to keep following the rules so that we are able to re-open at the earliest possible date. We all believe that children should be in school and please be assured we will be ready, willing and very able when we have a confirmed date.

In the meantime, we understand that this news makes a tough time for families even tougher!  In light of this I want to underline our message to you at home. Whilst the government requires us to provide 3 hours learning for every KS1 pupil and 4 hours for KS2, every family is different. Your circumstances will be different to others and will be affected by work and family commitments, health issues, available space, the internet and devices available, number of children at home and last but not least, your children’s attitude to learning. We know that you want the very best for your children. So, please remember that you know your child(ren) best and therefore you are best placed to make decisions about what is important on any one day and what is ‘doable’. Your best is good enough and we understand.

In an ideal world we would like every child to complete the reading, writing and maths activity to the best of their ability (and as independently as they can) each day. Some of you will be able to do more, some will do all of the learning on offer and some may not be able to achieve these tasks at all. If it’s hard one day, please ease off and then go again. Have honest conversations with your child(ren), if it’s all getting too much and perhaps construct a plan/timetable for the next day together – getting their buy in can work wonders.

COVID Update

The infection rate continues to fall and is now at 473 per 100, 000. 18% of people tested in Lewisham are positive and the R rate in London is thought to be below 1 for the first time for weeks. Let’s keep up the good work.

Changes to Remote Learning

We are making a couple of changes to our remote learning offer in response to feedback and to try to help busy families managing learning at home.

From next week:

  • On Wednesday afternoons all year groups will be provided with the same music lesson and PE lesson so that all children can do the learning together with the minimum of adult input;
  • Friday afternoons will be for watching the school assembly and catching up on any unfinished tasks they may wish to complete. You may want to use this time as a motivator for your child. Label it as ‘golden time’ and if they have applied themselves well (this will look different for every child) to their learning in the week/ achieved an agreed target at the beginning of the week, then this is their time to follow their own interests and hobbies.

Support for Parents

We can’t open our doors to all of the children, but we are really keen to help you get through this as best you can. Orlaine McDonald (Pastoral Support and Learning Mentor) and Jen Ingham (SENCO) will be hosting a virtual coffee morning for anyone who is struggling right now and would like an opportunity to discuss/share ways to cope with stress, anxiety and home learning.   This will take place via zoom on Thursday 4th February 2021 at 10am.  Details on how to join the meeting has been sent to all parents via email.

Mental Health Week

Next week is Children’s Mental Health Week and we will be embracing this at Myatt Garden.  This year’s theme is ‘Express Yourself’ more details and information can be found here: Children’s Mental Health Week

More wellbeing activity ideas for families can be found at: https://www.place2be.org.uk/our-services/parents-and-carers/coronavirus-wellbeing-activity-ideas-for-families/

INSET Day

Today all staff will be engaged in a day looking at diversity in our curriculum. Although the day will be virtual, we will be working with Shalina Patel, an award winning teacher, to look at racial literacy, how we can decolonise our curriculum, exploring good resources and then using this to plan for the summer term.

 Free resources you might like to try

If you haven’t tried these, here are some great websites your child might enjoy:

Please look after yourself. We have a minimum of 4 weeks more remote learning ahead of us, so please be the tortoise, not the hare, steady progress, taking one day at a time!

 

 

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Information for Families: 22.1.21

We hope you are all continuing to stay well. We have been busy calling home this week so that teachers can catch up with the children in their class, checking in and offering encouragement. If you have a missed call from us, someone will be back in touch soon.

COVID update

The lockdown is having an impact, with the rates of infection in Lewisham reducing to 700 this week. However, this is still incredibly high, but shows that what we are all doing is working. It’s tough, but hopefully if we all continue to do our bit to reduce this even further, schools can re-open to all children as soon as possible.  Many people are reporting symptoms that include headaches, cold/flu like symptoms and feeling generally unwell. There is much better availability of tests now and these can be booked at Vanguard car park, Molesworth car park or the Catford Lorry Park.

Assemblies

We continue to have good attendance at our weekly live assemblies. The link and times will continue to be the same each week.

Tuesday                                                                                      

Year 6 – 9.30am                                                                                       

Year 5 – 10am                                                                                          

Year 4 – 10.30am      

                                                                               

Wednesday

Year 3 – 9.30am

Year 2 – 10am

Year 1 – 10.30am

Early Years will also be meeting on Friday’s every week with Reception and then Nursery.

INSET

A reminder that next Friday (29th January) will be an INSET day. This means that there will be no learning posted on this day.

Well-being

We have been responding to a number of families requests for help this week. This is no surprise as remote learning is hard and presents all sorts of challenges.  If you would like to learn about ideas or activities to promote positive mental health and wellbeing for your child or, perhaps your child is worrying more than usual or feeling low and you would like some advice on steps you can take to support them, then  please see here: Parent MHST Support Offer  to find out more about the activities that Lewisham Mental Health Support Teams (MHST) are running over lockdown, including bitesize virtual sessions, virtual coffee mornings and their parent support line. They work in 19 schools across Lewisham, including Myatt Garden to put in place a whole school approach to support all children and young people in the school community, including those who are currently coping with their emotional wellbeing and mental health.

If you would like further information, please reply to: lewishammhst@slam.nhs.uk

I cannot emphasise enough that we are here to help. If you would rather speak to someone at school please call us on 020 8691 0611 or email us at: admin@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk

Flu vaccine

The School Health Service is offering catch-up clinics to children inadvertently left out of the childhood flu immunisation session due to absence, sickness or isolation. They will be offering the FINAL flu catch-up sessions for the season at our clinics at Waldron Health Centre SE14 6LD and Downham Health and Leisure Centre BR1 5EP, on Saturday 23rd January 2021 and all throughout the week from Monday 25th January to Friday 29th January 2021.  If you would like your child to be included, please see more details here: Flu Catch Up Clinic

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

Are your children feeling creative? The Young Artists’ Summer Show is a free, open submission exhibition for young artists aged 5 – 19 years studying in the UK.  Myatt Garden has registered as a school, so parents and carers are now able to submit artworks for their children. Each student can submit up to three artworks of any type and there is no theme. When you enter, you’ll be asked for images of your artwork plus some information about the piece such as title, size, and a little text about the artwork and why you made it. These artworks will then judged by a panel of artists and arts professionals with selected artworks displayed online and on-site at the Royal Academy of Arts.

The portal is now open for submissions and closes 26 April 2021.   More information can be found at: https://youngartists.royalacademy.org.uk/get-involved

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Information for Families: 15.1.21

I hope you are all staying well. I am so proud of our families, you are doing an awesome job of juggling work, home learning and childcare.

It has been great to see the amount of lovely work that children across the school have been posting this week – from creative dragons in Year 3 to fabulous Ice Trap! Work in Year 6 to ‘The Snail and the Whale’ in Year 1.  At Myatt Garden we’ve certainly been around the world and back this week.

If you want to see more, please join us on Twitter:@MyattGarden

It’s a great way to stay connected with the local community during lockdown.  At Myatt, we’re using it to show off the fabulous work that children are completing, both at home and in the bubbles in school. Reception have had their baking skills celebrated by Paul Hollywood, Cherish Finden and Benoit Blin and Year 5 have had an amazing video message from author Tony Bradman, who wrote their class book!

IMPORTANT DATES – UPCOMING INSET Day

School will be closed for an INSET day on Friday 29th January.

We will be working with a virtual visiting speaker to develop our work on further diversifying Myatt Garden’s curriculum so that it better reflects, celebrates and responds to the community we serve.

COVID Update

The infection rate in Lewisham has risen to 1080, with an 8.3% rise in cases this week. Lewisham’s Public health team have reported that there are now a wider range of outbreaks across the borough, with many people testing positive who are experiencing headaches and cold like symptoms.  PLEASE follow the rules and keep your interactions outside of the home to a minimum. Your children should not be having play-dates and you should only be using childcare bubbles as an absolute last resort, not as an opportunity to socialise.  We all want schools to re-open and it is your actions in the community that will help the number of cases to reduce for this to happen.

Assemblies

It was lovely to see so many of you on our live assemblies this week. These will happen at the same time every week with one change.

Tuesday                                             Wednesday

Year 6 – 9.30am                                 Year 3 – 9.30am

Year 5 – 10am                                     Year 2 – 10am

Year 4 – 10.30am                               Year 1 – 10.30am

The link for these sessions have been emailed to all parents.

Early Years will also be meeting on Friday’s every week with Reception and then Nursery.

These are great opportunities for the children to see each other and still feel part of the school community. They are not compulsory, but we hope that more children will join each week. Please note that we will only be able to let you into the meeting if your device is clearly labelled with your child’s name. This is a safeguarding issue and ensures that we keep everyone safe in the meeting, by knowing who we are letting in. We are also not able to record the meeting, as we do not have permission from everyone attending.

Hampers

There has been much in the media this week about the hampers being provided to Free School Meal children. We were initially told that for the 2 week closure we would be provided with food hampers and if we bought food vouchers the cost would not be reimbursed. As Chartwells were unable to provide hampers at such short notice in week 1, we purchased and distributed Asda vouchers for our families. For this week food hampers provided lunches for each child for 5 days.

Yesterday the DfE changed its guidance and we are now able to purchase vouchers each week for the remainder of this half-term, which we know the majority of our families would prefer. We will be providing Edenred online vouchers from next week, however the time-scale will not be confirmed until next week.

Local support available

Feed the Hill is a local community resource on Telegraph Hill which allows families to do a weekly shop for £2.

Please see leaflet here: Feed the Hill – social supermarket 

or follow the link for more details here: https://www.lewishamlocal.com/places/united-kingdom/greater-london/london/food-banks/feed-the-hill/

More information on local food banks can also be found at:

https://www.stpetersbrockley.org.uk/foodbank

https://lewisham.foodbank.org.uk/

https://www.trusselltrust.org/get-help/find-a-foodbank/lewisham/

As always, we are here to help, if you would like support accessing any of these resources or would like help on any other matter please call us and ask for Orlaine on: 020 8691 0611 or email: admin@myattagrden.lewisham.sch.uk

Laptops

We received 19 laptops from the government last week to help families that were struggling to access remote learning. In addition, we re-purposed a number of the school laptops in order to be ready to help when needed. We would love to be able to provide one for every individual child that does not have one, but this is currently impossible. We have prioritised ensuring all families have a device to use and know that many families are sharing devices.

If you or your work place, have laptops or tablets available for us to donate, please email us at: admin@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk. Devices need to be less than 5 years old, but we would love to find them a new home.

Online safety

With children being indoors more and spending more time online, it is really important that we are keeping them safe. Children may ask for your login details or borrow devices to download or access apps. It is important to set up parental controls and password-protect your devices.  Older children may set up new social media profiles to keep in touch with friends, family or peers. Again, it is important to set privacy and security settings on social media to prevent personal information being shared with strangers. We recommend a condition of allowing your child to access any social media is regular checking of their phone.

With children using new apps to communicate during the pandemic, it’s important that parents and carers continue to have regular conversations with children about what they are doing online and what social networks, apps and games they are using. You should listen to any worries or anxieties your children may have and let them know they can always come to them about anything.

The NSPCC website has advice for parents on:

  • screen time
  • livestreaming and video apps
  • and social media safety.

You may also find advice about inappropriate or explicit content helpful.

https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/news/2020/may/online-safety-during-coronavirus

https://www.net-aware.org.uk/news/8-tips-for-keeping-your-kids-safe-online-during-lockdown/

Stay safe everyone.

 

 

 

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Information for Families: 8.1.21

School Closure
We are asking everyone who can, to keep their child at home so we can limit any risk of spreading the virus. We know that whilst children have on the whole not suffered when they have had COVID, they are super effective at spreading it in the community. This puts all of our staff, your families and the community at risk. Based on the figures from Lewisham, it is likely that 2/3 people are positive in school this week. We would love to have all of the children back in school, it’s where they should be…. but it’s just not safe at the moment. These are hard times. I understand that many of you are juggling your own work and your child’s learning, as are many of my staff. It is a stressful time for everyone. Many of you will be anxious and finding life tough right now.

We are trying to help in every way we can. We have been continuing to get laptops out to families in need throughout this week, as well as vouchers for all our FSM children and food hampers for next week. We are all having to dig deep in these most difficult of circumstances. Please remember we are here for you and a call to one of us may help to ease the pressure you are feeling.

Critical workers
I am pleading with everyone to try all other options before requesting a critical worker place at school and to re-consider whether there are any options open to them if you have already been given a place. We are trying to limit the children in school for all the reasons already stated and we have a number of vulnerable children that really need to be in school despite the virus.

I know lots of families are having to juggle full-time work and having children at home – it is far from ideal! There is simply no way that we can have all of these children in. If there is any way that you can release a place or avoid asking for a place, I will be better able to meet the needs of others whilst keeping everyone as safe as I can.

Remote Learning
Thank you for the effort you have all put in to get to grips with remote learning. We have had some fabulous feedback about the learning your children are doing, but I’m also aware we still have some wrinkles to iron out! We are trying are very best and know that we will never be able to please everyone. Please bear with us we are only four days in.

Remember that it would be impossible to replicate what we do at school at home. Be kind to yourself as you support your child to do their best. Some children are getting through all of the work and posting it before lunch, others are finding the amount of work overwhelming. The government expects all children to do 3 hours (minimum) learning on line every day. Please prioritise the reading and maths, followed by any writing – we will understand if not all of the learning is completed.

In response to requests, work will now be posted so that it is available from 7am in the morning. This will allow those that want/need to, to scan the work for the day and organise their children before launching into their own work. Assemblies will also be shared via Seesaw next week.

Please note, this week Ms Fenton, Ms Smith, Ms Whelan, Ms Kerr and Ms Tracy will all be in school teaching bubbles.

Zoom Assemblies
Next week I will be hosting a Year group assembly/meet up for each year group so that any children that wish to attend, have the opportunity to see each other and we can maintain the sense of community that is so important in our school. More information and links will be sent out on Monday.

Zoom Choir
With the vast majority of students working at home, there has never been a better time to share the information about the Lewisham Zoooom Choirs see details here: Zoooom Choirs – spring 2021. As they start the new year, the choir will focus on songs which aim to raise spirits and inspire, bringing the joy of singing directly into the children’s homes. The choir is free of charge and open to all children living in or attending school within the borough of Lewisham.

Zoooom Choir will start:
Tuesday 11 January for children in Y2-4 at 4.30pm and Friday 14 January for children in Y5-8 at 4.30pm.

To receive the Zoom link for the sessions, families will need to register at:
www.lewishammusic.org/zoooom-choirs


Nursery Raffle
Nursery would like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who supported our Nursery Christmas Raffle by donating amazing prizes, by buying tickets and by encouraging friends and family to buy tickets too. We are overwhelmed to have raised £351.90 which is more than half way there to the woodwork station we are fundraising for! All the winners have been notified and either already have their prizes or have made arrangements to receive them. Thank you for your support!

Please take care of yourselves, follow the rules and stay safe.

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Information for Families: 4.1.21

Work for each year group will be available on Seesaw from the 5.1.21.

You will have already received an email with a handy ‘Seesaw Getting Started’ guide to using Seesaw and a code to use if you have not logged on already. You do not need to do this again if you have logged on before.

We have reflected on feedback from the last lockdown, compared systems and used the government advice and criteria to inform our remote learning offer.

You can expect
• Daily learning posted by 9am every day;
• 2 videos from staff to introduce the day and provide a short taught session;
• A range of learning each day:
o One reading activity
o One maths activity (White Rose – video link and worksheet)
o One literacy activity
o One foundation subject – Science, geography, history, art etc.
• Online feedback from staff on your child’s work

Please note that we will not be providing paper copies of learning.

Learning at home
We would suggest in order to help your child, that you establish a ‘school day’ feel at home with a routine following the order in the list above with short breaks in between.

During this closure, we are expecting ALL children to complete the set work on line. Participation will be monitored by staff and we will be available to help anyone having any difficulties. Please make sure that your child is accessing the current learning and posting responses on the day the work is set.

We would like you to encourage the children to work independently and do their best. These are important life skills and I will be reinforcing this message in my assemblies that will be sent home twice each week.

As we are also running four bubbles for critical workers’ and vulnerable children, this week Ms Mushtaq, Ms Corker, Ms Morgan (Year 4) and Ms Pons will not be visible on Seesaw whilst they are busy each day in school.

As always, we are here to help. Please email your child’s year group (yearx@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk) if you have any queries about learning and: admin@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk for queries regarding anything else.

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Seesaw – Online Learning

On-line learning will commence for all children from Tuesday 5th January 2021.

Information on How to Get Started on Seesaw, can be found here: Seesaw Getting Started

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