Hi everyone! Firstly, can I start this blog by thanking all of you for your patience and understanding over the last few weeks. These are testing and changing times where we have all pulled together in the best interests of the young people and families that we serve.
Please can I ask families that we haven’t got in contact with over the next few days to contact us? It really is important that we check in with you and yours to keep contact but, more importantly, to check that you are well and safe. If any of you are struggling with mental health, food or finances we might be able to help or signpost you to another agency who can help you. Please don’t feel alone, we are here for you.
With that in mind… where your child qualifies for Free School Meals we are sending out codes for vouchers. We can only do this via ParentPay or email. Please get in touch with our admin teams to receive your code. The government have agreed that £3 per day will be paid. We are sending you a voucher that will cover your child for four weeks. This amounts to £60.00.
We have been working hard as a Trust behind the scenes to ensure that, where possible, it is business as usual albeit in a slightly virtual way. This means that all statutory meetings will continue virtually. So, PEPs, LAC meetings, Annual Reviews of EHCPs, Child Protection Case Conferences and Child in Need Meetings will continue.
Learning has been set via Showbie and your children have been given iPads to access their learning. The code has been shared with you already. It is important that you encourage your child to access some learning at home. Learning at home is different to classroom learning. Try to break up the day as much as you can. Mr Hopkins has posted some really tough PE challenges, I know because I have been joining in the challenges each day. Or maybe I have found them challenging because of my age?
I have also been doing the Joe Wicks workouts with George before his home school day begins. Other activities to enjoy at home might be creative or cooking? I know that I visit the fridge way too much during the day! It is important to keep as active as you can, it really does help to improve your mood.
Mr Stewart has asked me to make a special mention of Kyle T. who has been doing amazingly well self-regulating at home. When things get too much, he has been taking the dog for a walk. Well done Kyle I might try this tip myself next week..
Mr Coldwell has asked me to give a shout out to Michael and James who have engaged really well with their online learning. Keep up the effort boys, we are all very impressed.
A message for you from Mr Southerington:
I hope this finds you and your family safe and well.
These are unprecedented times we find ourselves in and, due to the Government restrictions placed upon us about movement, I’m sure that everyone is having to establish and develop new patterns of working as well, as routines in the family home.
This is obviously the case for Spring Brook where we are now supporting the pupils with their education remotely via Showbie. So far, things seem to be working well which is a massive testament to the work that has been done behind the scenes from our staff and ICT support, especially if you imagine the speed in which this had to be rolled out, and the increased demand on the ICT infrastructure.
As you would expect, there have been a few teething problems reported by some parents in relation to distance learning, but with regular communication between school and home, these are beginning to be ironed out.
Can I encourage all families to ensure that their children are accessing some of the tasks that are set online, but also remember that home learning is different to the classroom – please don’t feel that you have to keep your child working from 9am-3pm. There are other things that can occupy their day – being active and promoting mental wellbeing is especially important at this time, and breaking the day up with a walk in the local area, exercising in the garden or living room is a good way to raise wellness – please see Mr Hopkins’ PE challenges on Showbie for ideas.
I know many pupils and parents are still anxious about what will happen with the Year 9 transition into Year 10, but rest assured that this is on our agenda, and we are looking into solutions to help support your child’s transtition from Spring Brook. With this in mind, we are also planning on the transition for ALL our pupils back into education, whenever that may be.
With regards to communication, staff are contacting families on a regular basis, although there have been a few instances where contact hasn’t been possible. Phone calls might appear as ‘No Caller ID’ or ‘Private Number’ – I understand that some families do not wish to answer their phones to these numbers, but please check your answerphone messages – staff will give an approximate time that they will ring back so you know when to expect a phone call.
Can I thank you all for your continued help and support over the last few weeks. We are all learning our way through this time and supporting each other as best we can. Some things may remain uncertain, but we will continue to do our very best to support our pupils and to look after each other.
Finally, if you are on the frontline, in the NHS, care homes, emergency services, food and distribution, working in a school, or any of the critical roles – thank you.
Thank you for your message Mr Southerington.
We have been passed details about ChatHealth, a confidential text messaging service that enables children and young people (aged 11-19) to contact their local public health nursing (school nursing) team. You can get in touch for advice about any aspect of your physical or emotional health. More information is available on their website here and the contact details are:
Advice for Teens in Manchester
Text: 07507 330 205
- Organisation: Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust
- Service: Manchester school health service
- For: Young people aged 11-19
- Response time: Within 24 hours, 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday (except bank holidays)
On that note, please can I wish you all well for the weekend? Remember to wash your hands and follow all advice given by our government at this time.
Stay safe and look out for the next blog for Easter Weekend.
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