Update, Wednesday 1 April, 8 am
We have put together some useful websites that might be of support to you and your families at the current time. Please also note that we have made changes to the Students area of our website and lesson plans are now being uploaded on a weekly basis that are targeted towards your child's learning needs. This will be an ongoing development to enable structure to learning at home.
We hope the following is of help:
Update, Tuesday 31 March, 1pm
We know you will be awaiting updates on the food vouchers and we are too. We are awaiting a secure email from the Government on which we can register vouchers for you. We are now told that this could be another 48 hours (we hope not); Mrs Baker is closely monitoring her emails and we will activate this as top priority. Please note, these vouchers do not become valid until 20 April - the first day of the new term as the schools hamper offer covers the holiday period.
Update, Tuesday 31 March, 9 am
We just have received guidance this morning from the Government explaining how the new voucher system will work and giving us information about how to register all parents entitled to benefits-related free school meals on the Derbyshire County Council database (not KS1 'universal free school meal entitlement'). As soon as we know, we will let you know; we’ll place an update on this page again today.
The deadline for requesting food hampers is 10am this morning; sorry, we can’t do home deliveries but there are community groups set up around your area and someone should be able to help you with this. Please don’t miss this deadline as we will be sending the food request shortly after then and will not be able to help. Please share the message with any parent you think might not be picking messages up.
Update, Monday 30 March, 2.40pm
Derbyshire County Council are organising for food hampers for all families claiming Free School Meals to help support costs over the Easter holidays. We are happy to support this but we do need to know very quickly which parents would like to be included in this offer by 10am tomorrow. Please let us know, the cut-off point is 10 am on Tuesday 31 March and we cannot take late requests and we are only authorised to distribute these from the Shirebrook school site. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Update, Friday 27 March 3.15pm
We have received a message from a parent asking about vouchers for children on Free School Meals. Frustratingly, we are still awaiting approval on paying for these vouchers and we hope to have more information early next week. We are sensitive that this is a difficult time and are moving things along as quickly as we can.
Update, MESSAGE FROM THE HEADTEACHER, Friday 27 March, 12.30pm
If, like me, you stood outside your house last night and applauded care workers and the NHS, I guess you will have been moved by the outpouring of affection towards those who care. I was clapping for our parents and staff too. I was clapping for those who have been in touch and said they will do ‘whatever it takes’, for those who have sent warm messages of support and who are sharing their child's learning with us. I was clapping for colleagues who have worked long hours at home; the planners, the writers, the schedulers, the trackers and the communicators. I was cheering those who have come into school knowing the risks, made numerous phone calls, taken food to far-flung places and scrutinised for guidance that wasn’t there. Bravo!
We are pleased to confirm that we have gained free access to Education City (a web based learning platform) until the end of June. To access this valuable education resource, you will need a password.
We will send you the login and password by text message later today.
To win next week’s Gold Start Challenge, Mrs Baker would like students to dress up in a costume from their favourite book character and to send in a picture of them reading the book. Please send your entries to the Twitter page @Stubbin_Wood and email@example.com
Well done to the eight winners we have had this week; they will be receiving a gold star in the post early next week.
Mrs S. Baker
Update: Message Shared from CAMHS, Thursday 26 March, 5.30pm
As a service CAMHS must prioritise our urgent and high risk cases; therefore all teams have been asked to support the urgent care, intensive home treatment and eating disorder teams.
The Specialist Community Adviser team will be continuing to offer telephone/e-mail consultations to all professionals about young people who are not under CAMHS currently. If we are not able to answer immediately please leave a message and we will get back to you; we ask you to be understanding if there is a delay in this due to our priority duties. If you have an immediate concern about a young person that cannot wait please contact Duty or Urgent care in the usual way. Please note, the referrals system is continuing as normal for now.
We want you to know we are still here for you. We understand that this is an unsettling and anxious time for all, and that services will be having to adapt and find different ways to support young people. The CAMHS North Derbyshire website https://www.camhsnorthderbyshire.nhs.uk includes links to useful websites offering advice on managing anxiety due to Covid19. Please take a look and encourage anxious young people and parents to access these. For those of you in schools this link is for a service offering counselling support to teachers: www.educationsupport.org.uk
Due to the fluid and unpredictable nature of this crisis it is reasonable to expect that demands on our service and our capacity to meet these demands will change, possibly very rapidly. We will do what we can to keep you updated on these changes as they happen.
Head Teacher’s Update, Wednesday 25 March
It has been exactly 7 days since we closed the school to all students . It feels much longer!
I do hope that you and your families are keeping well and isolated. We have been working closely to the guidance and updates provided by the Department for Education and Public Health England and there is no doubting the ferocity and potential for grief that this virus brings.
We need to work together to make sure that we don’t spread the virus further and all the rules around hand washing and social isolation are critical. These practices are common practice for us on site. We are reducing numbers on site, the rota is working well and the students who are on site are coping.
We are increasing our outreach support and making constant revisions to the Learning Zone in the student area of the website. We have really, really enjoyed receiving updates of students involved in a range of activities from reading to back garden Olympics. If you don’t follow us on Twitter, please do so as we are sharing a selection of pictures and updates (@Stubbin_Wood)
Our Key Stage managers are still trying to contact some parents for updates and to offer advice and guidance if needed. If you haven’t heard from your child’s Key Stage leader, please do phone school and leave a message for us. It’s always helpful if you leave your phone number so that we can check we have your latest contact details.
Please continue to use email to contact us and do not call at the school premises.
Thank you again for your ongoing support,
Mrs S Baker
Update, Tuesday 23 March: FREE SCHOOL MEALS
Following last night's guidance, we have reviewed our current support to those pupils on Free School Meals (FSM).
A pre-ordered 'Grab and Go' bag will still be available to support pupils entitled to Free School Meals but we kindly ask if this is collected from school reception. The bags will be left in the reception area to avoid parents coming through into school. We need to consider the wellbeing of our staff at this time as well as our pupils and to avoid social interaction where possible.
We do ask parents that feel they need support with meals at this time to contact us and where possible we can work with other agencies and food banks to ensure our family needs are met during this time.
From Wednesday 25 March (tomorrow) pre-booked grab and go bags will need to be collected from school and not at the various drop off points that have been previously mentioned.
Update: Tuesday 24 March, 2pm
Following recent advice from the Government, we must alert you that the ongoing concerns about Coronavirus will inevitably have an impact on the deadlines that the team at Stubbin Wood School usually adhere to within the statutory EHC process.
We have a high staff absence due to illness, self isolation and 'shielding'. Staff coming on to the school site are doing so on a rota basis to ensure we can maintain appropriate distancing (clearly, this is not possible for the children we have with us). We are very grateful to the parents and carers who are keeping their children safe at home; we are keen to manage this current situation tightly and appropriately whilst we do our bit to support key workers. We are keen to stress that, where possible, children should remain at home to reduce the risks of Covid-19. If this happens, we are then able to ensure that families where both parents are key workers and single parent key worker families are able to fully utilise the supported needed to keep us all safe and healthy.
Some of our students have exceptional staff care needs; if we do not have the staff with experience and training to support their needs, we will need to discuss how we can best support you.
Staff who are not providing essential support in the classroom are being directed to work from home; health colleagues who provide support to our school are being redeployed within the NHS are unable to undertake assessment visits; doubtless we will fall behind statutory guidelines in some places due to all efforts being directed towards the threat of Covid-19.
We are currently attempting to meet statutory deadlines where possible, but we anticipate, at this stage, that the process will be significantly disrupted. We will continue to keep parents and carers updated.
Update, Tuesday 23 March, 9.45pm
Following this evening's update from the Prime Minister whereby guidance has been given to limit gatherings of more than two people, I wish to take the proactive measure to ensure as few pupils, staff and taxi drivers/escorts are coming into contact as possible.
All non-essential shops and retailers have been ordered to close, the public have been advised to stay in their homes apart from one form of daily exercise, for medical needs or to provide care for a vulnerable person and for travelling to work when only absolutely necessary.
Due to the changes announced this evening, if there is a reasonable adult at home who can look after your child, please do not send them to school. If you are able to make an adjustment, please email us to inform us, so that we are able to adjust staffing levels at school immediately. I would ask that if a family has two key workers they can assume we will remain open to support your child, however at this time I ask that families of one key worker look at supporting us further to adhere to the new guidance where possible.
Thank you for your ongoing support in this difficult time. We will ensure that lines of communication are kept open and we will continue to support you as key workers to our best ability.
Please keep safe and well
Mrs S Baker
Update Monday 23 March, 2pm
Our Key Stage leaders have been making phone calls home today to check that all is well and to see what additional support we can offer to support your child's learning whilst at home.
If we have not managed to speak to you today, please could you email us and let us know the best telephone number to call you on.
Our weekly calls are important to ensure that we keep in touch with you. Please take a few moments to email us and confirm your current phone number if it has changed recently.
Update Monday 23 March, 11.45 am
We are keen that all our students are safe and fed during this difficult time. Students entitled to Free School Meals can have a 'Grab & Go Bag' must be preordered and then can be collected from Stubbin Wood staff between 12 and 1pm, Monday to Friday.
The arrangements for this service are as follows:
This is a temporary service for this week only whilst we explore more appropriate options - it is intended to support any child in need of food at this time. We are awaiting further guidance from the DfE.
Update: Saturday 21 March, 9.00 am
The Nursery is at the heart of our Stubbin Wood School community and our correspondence in recent days includes our Nursery site. We are asking all parents, including those of nursery age children, to let us know if they are designated key workers.
We would be grateful if parents who are designated key workers and who need our support would contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can make plans to include your child. Please read our Coronavirus-updates and follow us on Twitter @Stubbin_Wood to keep yourself updated. This will help us to ensure that we are providing support to those wonderful Key Workers who need it.
I am sure that you will understand that we will not be able to take any unplanned students on Monday into Nursery without appropriate prior planning.
Update: 20 March 2020, 5.45pm
Website: Message from the Head Teacher
Whilst the school is closed, the ‘virtual’ school has been powered by staff who are preparing to offer care for the children of Key Workers and particularly vulnerable students.
My staff have worked very hard to make effective plans for the continuation of childcare over the coming weeks; we are pleased to offer the Key Workers provision on Monday and review staffing to avoid disappointment on Tuesday for other pupils who would require some sort of care provision.
I would like to reassure all parents and carers that we will apply our professionalism and training to keep those children in our care safe. I cannot maintain normal routines in these abnormal times; if their key member of staff is not here, we will need to provide alternative professional support. If staffing numbers drop and student demand rises, we will need to seek staff from other schools.
We are operating a ‘rota’ system of teaching staff. This will allow those with caring responsibilities to offer the help that is needed at home and to share the load across our team. The announcement by the Prime Minister and his team this evening emphasised the importance of keeping children at home and thinking of alternatives to play dates.
I will only use agency staff if they know us and have worked in the school for some time already. However, the demand for agency staff is rising and I may need to review this commitment.
I really do believe that the best place for our children is isolated at home with very little social interaction. This will not be easy for them and new routines need to be established where possible. There are some great on-line resources popping up which aren’t all about learning. I particularly like this advice shared by the BBC (click link) or this one for sensory students (click link)
These are extraordinary times and I wish you well in the days and weeks to come.
Mrs S Baker
Update: 20 March 2020, 12 noon
Thank you for your good wishes and appreciation to the team at Stubbin Wood – it means a lot to us.
Our work is focusing on making sure that Key Workers have a safe place for their child if they need it. We are also very focused on those children where staying at home may not be the safest place for them. We are setting up a care service, rather than an education service, starting on Monday morning.
We now have a list of the students who will be attending school on Monday; we have prioritised the children of Key Workers to ensure they can work. We have also prioritised those students who we believe may not be safe to stay at home. Those parents who have been allocated places have been contacted directly by us.
We also have a register of parents who have told us that they are keeping their child at home. We recognise that this is a sensible approach as children may not be showing symptoms but can be very effective carriers of Covid 19. We can keep groups small, children can be closely monitored for hygiene and we can provide staff to support them.
We have established a rota of available staff to respond to the needs of those who are now in caring roles at home. On preparing risk assessments were are mindful of the training/skills that available staff have. If we struggle to meet the demands of a parent, we will talk with them. We can’t promise consistency of staff that is linked to your child’s normal routines; circumstances require us to operate in a different way due to the varying needs of the students present.
If your situation as a Key Worker changes and you wish for your child to access our care service, please phone us before 10.30 am on the school day prior to their start date so that we can complete appropriate risk assessments and ensure transport arrangements are in place. We will be operating 8.30 am to 3.00pm, Monday to Friday.
From this point on, we will not repeat all the content of our previous updates but focus upon the immediate impact of the current situation.
Update 19.3.20, 9.00 pm
To quote our Prime Minister, we are able to ‘turn the tide’ on this pandemic if we all do what we need to do. We are juggling two main factors – meeting the needs of our students whilst we have a vastly reduced staffing team in place to support their needs.
Our role now is to provide caring support where it is needed. The NHS advise that vulnerable people should stay at home and self-isolate where possible. The Department of Education asks that we open our doors to every child with an EHCP*; as a school that specialises in educating young people who need specialist educational support, this is every child. Therefore, we could potentially have full classrooms of vulnerable students and a hot spot for the transmission of the virus. This is a worry for us.
* This advice has changed today and we are now advised to support children on an EHCP on a child-by-child basis.
We ask parents to keep their children at home if it is possible for them to do so safely. This will enable us to support the parents of children who are in Key Worker roles; this means they can get on with helping us as a society to recover, to keep safe and fed.
If you make the choice to keep your child at home, we will support this choice and mark your child's attendance as authorised.
Please inform us by 10.30 am on Friday 20 March so that we can contact you on an individual basis if you are intending to come in Monday morning; after this time we cannot guarantee that we will be able to organise designated staffing, review of risk assessments and transport. Keeping the school open will depend upon our ability to staff it appropriately in line with health & safety and the needs of our pupils.
We will continue to adapt what we do to respond to the high number of our staff who are not currently available for work. We are very mindful that our children draw comfort from familiar environments, whether it’s their home or classroom.
It is also worth noting that, in normal times, we have a team of specialist staff who have the expertise to respond to specific, complex needs. If that member of staff (or the support team in some cases) is not available to work, we will do our best to provide safe alternatives. Every one of our students has their own special needs, some are complex and some are straight-forward; every child is different and special to us.
Please continue to monitor our Coronavirus web page; we are currently waiting to hear about what the pupil premium students are entitled to and how we should make this happen. As soon as we know, we’ll share this information with you.
I am so sorry that we have needed to close for two days but the risks of educational operation were simply too high considering health & safety and meeting children’s needs. I am grateful to you for your support of this.
Parent Questions Today
My child doesn’t like being at home and prefers being at school where there is a regular routine. Therefore, I would like him to come to school.
We worry about those of our children who need a fixed routine; we will continue to follow the risk assessments in place but will need to know if your child is going to be attending so that we can make an amendment before they arrive on site. We may need to amend this risk assessment to enable us to provide support with the staff available.
The school cannot maintain the same routines due to staff absences and they may struggle to cope with their familiar school environment but different staff and possibly different staff rooms.
You said something yesterday about closing and now you’re opening. Why?
24 hours is a long time in times of a pandemic. We are opening as a care facility to support our students based on a much reduced number of staff. We cannot offer lessons as normal.
Several parents are requesting access to school to collect their child’s postural management equipment and a standing frame. Is the caretaker able to open the school for this purpose?
Yes, please do call in to school on Monday between 9 am and 3pm.
News Update: Beware of Scams
We have heard of reports from the North East where parents have been receiving scam emails suggesting their children’s school is closing and requesting bank details to pay for free school meals. Durham Constabulary warned schools about the fraud today posting online: “Parents are receiving emails suggesting schools are closing & all pupils are being given free meals followed by a request for bank details…” Please can we reassure you that we are still awaiting guidance on how this will work and there will be no need for you to give bank details.
Update: 19.3.20, 4.00 pm
We are awaiting the update from the Prime Minister at 5pm today after which we will have a clearer idea of the expectations upon us. We have a large number of staff who are self-isolating or isolating with family members and we will need to review what our supply staff needs are to support our remaining staff. It would be helpful if you could let us know your intentions by responding to us at email@example.com
A further update will be provided later this evening.
Update 19.3.2020, 1.55pm
Please advise us by email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are a designated key worker and you require access to school services during the school day. Please name your child and give us your job role.
The full definition of key workers should be provided by the Government later today but it will help us with our planning if you could advise us sooner rather than later.
Update: 19.3.2020, 11 am
We are now in unprecedented times. We are working hard to ensure we give our best to our school community.
The school’s Critical Incident Management Team (our CIMT) have been working round-the-clock to respond to the Government announcement that schools should remain open to provide a community resource to ‘key workers’ and to offer support to those students who are considered to be vulnerable.
You will see that we have provided a source of learning materials on our website to help your child to continue their learning at home. It does seem sensible to us that, where students can remain home they should do so. We are keen to reduce the risk of spreading the virus wherever possible.
Our reason for closing the school yesterday evening was based on keeping students safe and the reducing staffing numbers. Our rationale for doing this has not changed.
We are waiting for further information and developing plans to respond. Whatever happens in the coming days and weeks, it will be based on working together, sharing resources and taking responsibility.
Please understand that we will need to be adaptable; what actions we take will depend on what we can do in an ever-changing situation.
To find resources to help your child learn at home, please click on the Students tab, then on Learning Zone
We will be really pleased to see student work and delighted if your child will bring their home-working in to school when we reopen.