April 17th 2020 Ebrill 17eg

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope you’re all continuing to cope with the situation in which we find ourselves, are keeping safe and have been enjoying the lovely weather over the last few days, while exercising social distancing protocols of course!

We’ve now nearly reached the end of the Easter break and you’ll be aware that the current arrangements for lockdown have been extended by at least another three weeks. This means that school remains closed other than for Key Worker childcare purposes, so I continue to appeal for your support in ensuring that the pupils access the range of home learning resources that we have prepared for them.

Once again, I acknowledge that there are challenges for all families with regard to home learning. However, there is an expectation from my teaching staff and indeed from myself that pupils are committed to applying themselves to the tasks set by their teachers. The teaching staff are also committed to monitoring the work submitted, responding to it and ensuring that there are new tasks set on an ongoing basis.

May I appeal for your support in ensuring that time is set aside for them to log-in and focus on the activities in order to ensure that their ongoing progress can be interrupted as little as possible. This of course needs to balanced carefully with keeping everybody’s physical and mental wellbeing as a priority. Perhaps a timetable for the day could be planned that helps you manage your approach to this.

Once again, I will share with you below the bank of online resources which are available for your child to access in order to support their learning. For many of these online platforms a user name and password is required and these were shared before school closed.

I fully understand that the level of access to the resources below is dependent on the ICT equipment you have at home, but most of them should be accessible via laptops, chrome books, tablets and smartphones.

1. Google Classroom
We are trialling Google Classroom in Years 4 and 6 initially.
Unfortunately, the setting up of Google Classroom has proved problematic for some households. This is because machines are becoming confused with multiple Google accounts and multiple Hwb accounts’ details in the computer’s browsing history.
Messages like ‘Class Cannot Be Found’ are seen, even though the class is there and functioning.
In order to ensure that Google Classroom works correctly please make sure you have followed these steps:
• Press ctrl H
• Clear all browsing data
• Shut down Google Chrome
• Restart Google Chrome
• Log into Hwb with child’s user name and password
• Open Office 365 in Hwb to access emails
• Follow the link from the email invitation
• Log into Google Classroom using the Hwb user name and password
Hopefully, following these steps will ensure safe passage into Google Classroom.
I’d be grateful if you could support your child if they are in Year 4 or 6 in following the above, so they can join the online classroom.
We are in the process of setting up a Google Classroom for Years 2, 3 and 5 and I will provide information regarding this early next week.

2. Manga High – https://app.mangahigh.com/en-gb/login
This is a Maths based learning environment, which is structured according to the curriculum. There are many age appropriate resources, which pitch the difficulty of questions according to ongoing answers given by your child. Tasks will be set by each class teacher from Reception up to Year 6. Within each topic, there are ‘teach me’ features which help explain concepts and processes. This is a perfect tool for home learning and I highly recommend it.

3. TT Rockstars – https://play.ttrockstars.com/auth/school/student
This is another tool, familiar to the children which focuses on times-tables. Regular brief visits to this website is what I would recommend. This for the use of Year 2 – Year 6.

4. Purple Mash – https://www.purplemash.com/sch/rhosstreet
The pupils also have had plenty of experience using this online environment. On this website, teachers from Reception up to Year 6, will set a series of ‘to-dos’ which are activities and tasks for the children to complete tallying with their thematic or Science work. Within Purple Mash, there are also a whole range of resources across the curriculum, which they can access and choose activities themselves. There really is a wealth of material available here! Please ensure that when work is completed, that pupils click on the button ‘Save and Hand in’ in order to submit the work.

5. HwB – https://hwb.gov.wales/
The Hwb platform is a Welsh Government learning environment, which again gives access to a range of resources. On logging-in, you will see that there are endless possibilities for home learning and through Office 365, which is available via HwB, resources such as Word Online, Power Point, Excel and Sway are available for the pupils to access for any written work or presentations they may want to put together as part of project work (see point 6) and these save automatically onto their ‘one drive.’
Other resources include Just2Easy and the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
You can also install Minecraft for Education for free via the homepage.

6. Paper Based Project Work – Pupils in the Juniors, have also come home with a workbook for them to produce a project of their own choice inside. There are guidelines included at the front of the workbook, with a list of possible activities they can complete in relation to their chosen context. They can use online tools as well if they wish via Hwb and/or Purple Mash. As this will be open ended, pupil led work which will of course be overseen by yourselves, we appreciate that there may be a variety of approaches and that is fine. All I ask, is that the pupils are guided to stick to the success criteria, but otherwise make the activity work for them, their interests and their preferences.

7. Reading – Foundation Phase pupils have had a selection sent home. Junior children will be expected to access their own collection of books at home and to read as regularly as possible. It would be beneficial to provide opportunities for them to talk to you about what they have read. On Twitter, I have also signposted links to some free online reading resources.

8. Twitter – There has been a wealth of content shared online that pupils and parents can access. The danger of course, is that there is so much out there that it can become a little overwhelming. However, I have endeavoured to try and pick out highlights that I have spotted or had drawn to my attention by staff, to share on the school’s Twitter account @rhosstreet. I will continue to do this from Monday and hope that these ideas are used as an opportunity to keep things fresh in tandem with the above activities.

It has also been a pleasure to see so many of you share activities on Twitter with us and I know that other families and pupils have greatly appreciated being kept connected via these means. Please continue to send photos and news for me to share with everybody. It really does lift our spirits. You may have seen that a tweet about Alys’ ‘Bedtime Welsh’ activities has caught the attention of Carol Vordeman, so you never know who is watching out there!

I very much hope that the structure and framework provided above gives our pupils the opportunity to continue their learning in an effective way, through these challenging times. Any ongoing queries you have, can be emailed to myself and I’ll refer them to the appropriate staff member. bryn.jones@denbighshire.gov.uk
Please remember that the relationship between our school and the families of its pupils remains a partnership, even if the nature of that partnership has become very different of late. My staff and I remain here to support, advise and help in any way we can, so please do not hesitate to get in touch with me and I will do whatever I can to help, or ask somebody else (usually Mr Davis!) if they are better placed to do so.

Yours sincerely,

Bryn D. Jones