Head’s Blog 07/05/20

I hope you are all continuing to enjoy life as best you can and are staying safe. I’m also delighted that so many parents have been in touch for information on the work set by teachers, passwords and other enquiries about access to our curriculum.

Kingsley teachers have been recording themselves reading stories on video. We’ve created a dedicated web-page for this and you can access it by clicking here. They’ve all done a fantastic job reading these stories for you! Do let your children know about the site – perhaps you could bookmark it for them. We’re adding new stories every day!

Each day, once pupils have completed their work, I hope they are able to get some exercise. The government recommends walking or cycling for an hour a day. Most people are doing this, including me! Today, I recorded a video assembly message on my daily hour-long walk. You can see it here.

With very best wishes for a wonderful bank holiday weekend!

Ian McCrae

Mr McCrae’s Weekly Lock-down Video Message 04/05/20

I hope you’ve all had a fabulous weekend and are continuing to stay safe, work hard and have as much fun as possible!

Mr McCrae’s weekly message can be found here

Please contact the school office if you are having any trouble accessing work from the school blogs (blogs can be accessed by selecting the relevant year group in the column  on the right).

With very best wishes,

Ian McCrae

We’d love see photos or video of you learning at home!

Dear all,

I hope you are all staying safe.

I’ve just been in school and it was great to see the 18 pupils we had in today. That said, we’re all really missing seeing all of you here and missing your wonderful work!

It’d be GREAT to see photos of you all working at home! If you’ve got any, why not send them to:

office@kingsley.croydon.sch.uk

We’ll keep the photos safe and won’t share them beyond or outside of school. Why not get your cameras clicking and show us how you all work at home!

In the meantime, here’s a video of me feeling sad at being in a near-empty school with none of you in it!

With very best wishes,

Ian McCrae

Head’s Update 28/04/20

Dear parents and carers,

I hope you are all staying safe and coping with the challenges of lock-down. There is still no indication as to when schools will reopen and, as soon as I receive any information, I will let you know our plans.

I also hope you are continuing to provide your children with access to our curriculum (please scroll-down to ‘Pupils’ Access to the Kingsley Curriculum’ for details). My colleagues are updating work for pupils each Friday (for the following week) and providing useful tips and advice. As ever, this can be found via the Year Group Blogs on the right-hand side of this page.
Thank you to all of you who have been in touch with queries on accessing the curriculum and I am very glad that all those issues have been sorted. If any of you have any further queries about your children’s work, please contact me at head@kingsley.croydon.sch.uk and I will ensure that the relevant colleague is informed.

Finally, things at home can be a strain in these unusual times and, if there is anything we can do to support you, please contact the school office on office@kingsley.croydon.sch.uk and they will inform our family team who will be able to help.

With very best wishes,

Ian McCrae

Update: Monday April 20th 2020

Dear Parents and carers,

I hope you are remaining safe and are in good spirits during these very unusual times.

Thank you also for your requests and suggestions for providing appropriate work for your children. We have taken these on board and I hope you have all managed to access the work provided by my colleagues via year group blogs – details for can be found by scrolling-down to my previous post.

As you know, the government has extended its lock-down for a further three weeks and it’s probable that this will be extended further. I will keep you updated of any further developments.
We have been open for the children of Key Workers and other pupils who need our support at present and this arrangement will continue for the duration of the closure period.

I am also pleased to share with you the report from our recent OFSTED inspection (February 2020). Following your involvement, suggestions, feedback and the school’s reworking of its strategy for improvement driven by the October 2019 inspection report, OFSTED are happy that ‘Leaders and managers are taking effective action towards the removal of special measures’ and ‘The school’s improvement plan is fit for purpose’. A copy of the report can be found here.

Pupils’ Access to the Kingsley Curriculum from 20/04/20

Dear parents and carers,
I hope everything is well with you and that you are able to work through the many challenges facing us all during these unprecedentedly tough times. Many thanks also for ensuring that your children access the work being set by my colleagues. The school is likely to be shut for some months and I’d like to tell you what we will be doing to ensure your children still have access to our curriculum after Easter (from Monday 20/04/20):

  • Each year group (from Y1 – Y6) will provide work for the ‘core subjects’ (English and maths) and half of the remaining subjects (the other half will be provided the following week – allowing all subjects to be covered fortnightly). This means that all pupils will have access to the full curriculum.
  • The work will be posted onto the Year Group Blog by 4pm the previous Friday
  • Obviously, as schools are shut, this is not a replacement for ‘normal’ schooling, but your help in ensuring your children at least have access to our curriculum is greatly appreciated and will maintain and develop their levels of knowledge.
  • Some parents have contacted me to express concern at the lack of structure for applying the work teachers are providing. To help with this, we have created a suggested and optional, morning-only timetable that your children could follow to structure their work over the rolling fortnight. The two week timetable can be accessed here.
  • With many of my colleagues already ill (some seriously) or tending to vulnerable people within their households, it is not reasonable to expect them to monitor pupils’ progress or check/mark their work during the closure period. When we open again, my colleagues (along with those in every other school) will be assessing how much pupils have learnt over the closure period and will be working tirelessly to fill any gaps in their knowledge. 
  • Some parents are very keen to use our curriculum to give their children relevant experiences and to even teach them themselves. To support this, we have put our curriculum on-line for you to access and bring to life in whichever way you feel appropriate. Our curriculum can be accessed here.
  • Our Early Years team will continue providing work in the same way as they have over the past fortnight

I hope that you all remain as safe as you possibly can and I hope that your children enjoy accessing our curriculum from home and we look forward to welcoming them back to Kingsley when the closure period ends.
With thanks and very best wishes,
Ian McCrae

Free School Meal Voucher Scheme and Tips for Healthy Eating!

Croydon Council have released a really useful guide to meal planning and healthy eating – it can be found here and is definitely worth reading

National Free School Meal Voucher Scheme

Launched on 31st March, although we are still awaiting confirmation and details, this scheme enables schools to purchase supermarket vouchers and issue them to individual families who would ordinarily be in receipt of benefits-related FSM. Full details can be found at the link here.

Schools can issue every family with a weekly shopping voucher worth £15 (per child) to spend at supermarkets, while schools are closed due to coronavirus. The vouchers can be spent on food at a range of shops including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose and M&S, with the Department working to get more shops to join the scheme as soon as possible.

Alternatively, schools can continue to provide meals for collection or delivery themselves, but where this is not possible, the scheme allows schools to provide vouchers directly to families.

Management of the grants scheme

This scheme is centrally-funded (by the DfE) and therefore schools do not have to pay for these vouchers. This funding is additional to existing free school meal budgets.

Schools can access the voucher scheme using the Edenred portal. Edenred will send schools an activation email, explaining how to access the portal and order vouchers. The email will be sent on Tuesday 31 March to the email address DfE holds for your school.

Before ordering vouchers, schools should check which pupils are eligible and currently in receipt of benefits-related free school meals. Vouchers should be made available to the adult with caring responsibility for that child.

Administering vouchers to families

· Schools can issue one £15 voucher, per child, each week, for families not currently attending school.

· Schools can set up a weekly £15 rolling voucher for families.

· Schools can combine funding where a family has more than one child eligible for benefits-related free school meals.

· Schools can issue vouchers for term-time only (please consider other support options for the holiday period such as issuing food hampers).

Vouchers can be issued in 2 different ways:

1. As e-vouchers – provided to a family via their email address. This enables a family to chose their own supermarket once the voucher is received.

2. As gift vouchers – the school would need to select the supermarket when ordering the vouchers and then print the vouchers for the family. Please consider how you will get these vouchers to families, as postal services are slower than usual in places. Consider whether some vouchers could be dropped off or collected.

FREE WEEKDAY HOLIDAY CHILDCARE FOR KEY WORKERS

If you are a government-listed Key Worker (list can be found here), we are able to offer free childcare for Kingsley pupils on weekdays (excluding the bank holiday) during the Easter Holidays.

Please complete this form (even if you’ve already been bringing your children to school during the closure period) to apply for a place before 5pm WEDNESDAY APRIL 1st

As before, please be reminded of the government advice that THE SAFEST PLACE TO BE IS AT HOME

FOR PARENTS OF THOSE PUPILS CURRENTLY ATTENDING

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THOSE CURRENTLY ATTENDING KINGSLEY DURING THE CLOSURE

I’m writing to tell you that a member of staff who was coordinating sports activities with all pupils yesterday (Monday 23/03/20) has a suspected case of COVID19.

Until this is confirmed, we are not permitted to close the school and I am currently awaiting advice from Public Health England.

As a precautionary measure, and in-line with government advice, we are going to seat all pupils who are in school tomorrow 2m apart on tables in the main hall and there will be no games that involve close contact. Pupils will have individual activities.
This is vital to ensure the protection of both your children and my colleagues.

It is also worth reminding you that THE SAFEST PLACE FOR PUPILS TO BE IS AT HOME and I urge you to consider this quite urgently. This is especially important if you know your children might struggle with this environment.

I will also communicate Public Health England’s advice and we cannot rule out closing the school altogether so that a deep-clean can take place.

Please would you contact the office if your daughter or son will not be attending tomorrow.

I hope you can understand our position in these difficult and unprecedented times.

With very best wishes,

Ian McCrae

Coronavirus Update Tuesday 24/03/20

Dear Parents/ Carers,

As you will be aware, the Government announced stricter measures last night to protect those who are either vulnerable or working on the ‘front-line’:

The single most important action we can all take is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.
Effective immediately, three new measures have been introduced:

  • Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes
    Closing non-essential shops and community spaces
  • Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public
  • The relevant authorities, including the police, will be given the powers to enforce them – including through fines and dispersing gather​ings.

You can read the full guidance here

Our staff are committed to providing daily care for those pupils identified by the government last week. However, you will appreciate that we MUST also protect our staff from unnecessary exposure so that we are able to continue to provide this care and that they are also able to protect their own families.

Therefore, I would be grateful if you could avoid bringing your children to school if at all possible as the safest place for them (and my colleagues) to be is at home.

Many thanks for your continued support and understanding in these unusual and unprecedented times. Please stay safe.

With very best wishes,

Ian McCrae