Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and managed to stay in touch with loved ones in ways we are allowed. Online zooms and quizzes have never been so popular!
Funny how things can change so quickly but I think we are used to that happening now. On Monday we started the term with a professional day for teachers and HLTAs. Miss Tansley and Mrs Edwards ran a session all about exciting sentences and how we can support the children to improve their writing in a variety of ways, and Mr Cowles shared an exciting project related to in-school competitions as part of the PE curriculum. At that point, we were still preparing to open our doors to all children on the Tuesday. Then, at 8pm that evening we were told schools would be closed the very next day to all but vulnerable children and children of critical workers. Although we listened to the advice and remained closed to all for another day, twenty-four hours was not a long time to get ready for Wednesday.
However, we had been here before and staff were prepared for what needed to be done and on Wednesday morning we welcomed into school those children who were unable to stay at home. It has been a week like no other but we have made it work and we are now set up ready for Monday.
Teachers across the school have been pleased with how well the home learning has begun and I know they are going above and beyond to provide quality learning for all those at home whilst still being in class, delivering the same content to the children in school. From next week, some year groups will reduce down to one bubble, giving some teachers more flexibility and time to concentrate on the home learning offer. In those year groups where we still need two bubbles, we are finding ways of supporting those teachers to do the same.
Thank you to everyone for their support and to those that have offered words of encouragement and thanks to the staff, it always means a lot. I think we are all ready for the weekend.
Take care, stay safe and look after each other.
Deputy Head Teacher
Updates on Achievements will recommence after the national lockdown ends.
The Digital Village
Have you discovered the Digital Village? It is a section of our website where you can get support for home learning and access documents and videos created by the teachers.
Since the first national lockdown in March 2020, OWPS has been proud to provide a comprehensive home learning offer for those children who are learning from home because they are isolating or because of a national lockdown. The Digital Village was created on our website to support parents and carers with home learning.
Each year group has an area in the Digital Village that contains educational materials and videos, as well as copies of letters and information that has been emailed home.
To visit your child’s year group area in the Digital Village, please visit the website or click on the following links:
The Digital Village also contains links to external websites, which provide online learning or activities for Maths, English (Phonics, Reading and GPS), Mindfulness and Keeping Active and many other curriculum areas.
A new addition to the Digital Village is an Assemblies section, which will enable those children who are home learning to watch the assembly each week. This week’s assembly by Mr Eardley is available to view here.
In Foundation Stage last term, we talked to the children about how much money we are spending in school on electricity. We linked our use of electricity to different places around the world including Africa.
We found out about life in Africa for some children including those who are unable to go to school as their parents are unable to afford to send them. We talked about trying to save electricity in school and then use the money we would spend on electricity for a better cause.
As the assembly was during December, we also talked about how we could help children in Africa and use the money our teachers would usually spend on their classes for Christmas and buy a school place for a child in Africa instead.
We contacted SOS Africa who sent us details of Charisna. They were delighted that we offered to do this and have sent us information about Charisna and her home life. We are pleased to inform you that the staff have raised £186 for this great cause. The children will be informed about this in my assembly, which you will be able to view later this month if you are learning from home.
In the meantime, here is some information about Chrisna:
Help with Technology
The Department for Education (DfE) is providing a range of support through its Get Help with Technology programme including help to get internet access.
The DfE is working in partnership with mobile network operators to help schools support disadvantaged pupils in years 3 to 11 who rely on a mobile internet connection when their face-to-face education is disrupted by coronavirus (COVID-19).
Disadvantaged families may be able to benefit from free increases to their mobile data if they’re a customer of either:
More providers may join the scheme soon.
You can read more information about the Get Help With Technology programme by visiting the government website at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/get-help-with-technology-for-remote-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19 or clicking her
Primary School Applications
Starting Primary School in 2021-22
Just a reminder that the application round for Reception in September 2021 will close on15th January 2021.
Date of Birth applicable for September 2021 start:
1 September 2016 - 31 August 2017 to start school in September 2021.
Google Classroom on Xbox and PS4
By Mr Marks, Deputy Head Teacher
Did you know that it is possible to use gaming equipment to access Google Classroom? If your child is in Years 3, 4, 5 or 6, they should be able to access online schooling services such as Google Classroom on an XBox or PS4.
How to use Google Classroom on Xbox One & Xbox Series X/S
The Xbox consoles each have access to Microsoft Edge - the web browser that comes pre-installed as part of the Xbox user experience. This can be used to access Google Classroom (or another online education service approved by your child's school).
1. Plug a wired keyboard into your Xbox One, Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S via one of the USB ports on the front or back.
2. Press the Xbox button top-centre of a game controller and head to "My games & apps" in the side menu.
3. Click on "See all", scroll down to "Apps" and you will see Microsoft Edge in the icons on the right-hand side. Open it.
4. Type classroom.google.com into the URL bar at the top and log in as you would on a PC using your school Gmail account.
5. You can either use an Xbox controller to move the cursor or a separate USB mouse plugged into one of the other ports.
How to use Google Classroom on PS4 & PS5
The PlayStation 4 has its own web browser that is easy to find on the PlayStation 4 (in the content menu as an icon with WWW written on it). However, it's currently a bit trickier on PS5, as there is no way to open the browser natively.
Instead, you can open the System Settings, then the User Guide. This will open up an online user manual inside a web browser page so you only have to change the URL at the top. Otherwise, the rest of the steps are the same.
1. Plug a wired keyboard and/or mouse into the USB ports on the PS4 or PS5 - each console should recognise them.
2. In the URL bar of the browser, type classroom.google.com and then log in using the details provided by your child's school.
3. You can now access Google Classroom.
In some cases, you might not be able to do everything you can on a laptop or PC, but you can, at the very least, access google Classroom and see what word your teacher has assigned for you to do.
Photo by Jeff Hardi on Unsplash
Updates on Children's Work will recommence after the national lockdown ends.
Total Clothing Closure
Total Clothing have asked us to let parents know that they will be closed during the national lockdown.
You can read more about their online arrangements by visiting https://totalclothing.co.uk. A letter has also been sent out to parents today.
Coming Up in School!
Full updates on what is Coming Up in School will recommence after the national lockdown ends.
From 15 Feb until 19 Feb
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