Happy New Year and Happy Friday to everyone, we hope you are all safe and well. These are very challenging times for us all and it is even more important during this National Lockdown to work together and keep our community safe. School is closed to help reduce the transmission of COVID 19, particularly this new variant which has seen a massive increase in cases for all age ranges across the country.
National Lockdown and School – As a school we will continue to stress the Stay at Home message and remind people that our ACCESS places for critical workers (as defined on GOV.UK updated 31/12/2020) should only be requested if there is nobody available at home, or in the family support bubble, to look after your child(ren) and as a critical worker you have to attend your workplace that day. As a critical worker if you are not working on a particular ‘school’ day then your child must stay at home with you. Please note this is NOT childcare provision and children will be in their class bubbles.
We share and empathise with everyone the concerns surrounding the mental health and wellbeing of their child(ren) during a National Lockdown – but the lockdown has closed schools. Staff are working hard to provide families with remote learning opportunities to support the children during this National Lockdown. School staff have had to operate under the most unrealistic timescales demanded by the government but they continue to strive to meet these timescales, minimising the disruption the short notice of this lockdown has caused. The message is clear from us as a school community- we will do all we can (as always) to support our families but this cannot be at the expense of the health and wellbeing of all who work in school. We are mindful of striking a healthy balance.
Google Classroom Remote Learning Platform – All Year groups have Google Classroom set up for your children to access the remote learning posted by their class teacher on a daily basis. The quantity of work provided is the amount we as professionals deem possible for each year group during a day/week and this will vary according to the age of your child(ren). It is impossible to replicate the school day and we will not be providing live lessons, as the teachers are in school every day working with children who have ACCESS places and also keeping up to date with their own Google Classroom commitments during the school day and beyond!
As leader of the school and Headteacher I am so proud of the commitment and dedication of all staff at St Matthew’s who are working tirelessly to ensure we provide the best learning opportunities for all, despite current ‘National Lockdown’ restrictions.
Free School Meals – the government has promised a national voucher scheme for those families in receipt of means-tested free school meals. We are currently providing packed lunches until this voucher system is launched.
Laptops/Tablets for schools – you will be aware of the publicity surrounding the access to ICT equipment for families across the country. If you as a family struggle to access remote learning due to the lack of broadband/internet connectivity and/or the lack of readily accessible equipment (laptop/tablet) – please email school with the subject: ICT Access to email@example.com providing details of your current means of access. We cannot make any promises but it will assist us when making a bid for St Matthew’s to the Department for Education (DfE).
Recruitment of Headteacher for September 2021.
The process to recruit a Headteacher to replace Mr Humble on his retirement this Summer has started.
The position has been advertised on
- Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle’s Education website www.edurcdhn.org.uk
- South Tyneside Council Website www.southtyneside.gov.uk
- Catholic Teacher’s Gazette website www.ctgonline.co.uk
We pray for the governors and their advisors during the process of recruitment.
Please take care and stay safe.
Stay at Home.
God’s Blessings on you all.
Martin Humble (Headteacher) on behalf of the staff and governors of St Matthew’s RC Primary School.