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Corona Virus - latest

29.05.2020

Re-opening 1st June

A Parentmail will be coming out shortly. I can confirm that we will be opening for more pupils  from 1st June but have revised our opening hours. The Recovery Plan under Latest News has all the up-to-date details. 

12.05.2020

Re-opening of schools.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Sunday, the Department for Education published  revised guidance on Monday evening outlining a route map for the gradual and phased re-opening of schools for more groups of children. We are determined to do this in accordance with a key principle :

 To maximise the effectiveness of teaching and care for our students, whilst safeguarding the health and well-being of everyone on site.

 We are planning how best we can achieve this. As you can imagine, there are many aspects and details to consider and we are awaiting further guidance from Kent. We will contact all parents and carers before half-term with arrangements that could be  introduced from 1st June if the situation allows Year R, 1 and 6 children to return to school.

We are sure you share our determination to open again as fully as we can, whilst at the same time guarding the safety and well-being of our students and staff. In the meantime, thank you for your help in supporting your children's learning. 

20.4.2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope you all had a restful Easter break and welcome to our very first remote summer term!

We’ve all had to adapt to new ways of working, so I wanted to take the opportunity to say what an amazing job you’re doing supporting your child’s wellbeing and learning during this time.

It’s definitely been a strange and challenging time, so it’s ok if you and your child feel wobbly and worried at the moment. We’re here for you every step of the way as we figure this all out together. Remember, if you have any concerns about helping your child learn or you need any other support from the school, please let us know by contacting the class teacher through Seesaw or e-mailing Mrs Thomas: headteacher@marden.kent.sch.uk.

We miss the children very much, but we must follow the government’s guidance to keep everyone in our community safe. So, we’re carrying on with Seesaw learning for children at home whilst providing learning in school for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. Thank you for keeping children at home whenever possible.

But just because we’re not all in the same building, it doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun together! Your children will have lots of activities they can get stuck into over the summer term – so keep a close eye on Seesaw. Mrs Dady is getting in touch with families who had paper copies of last term’s activities and activities can also be found on our Facebook page. If you can’t do anything else, it would be great if you could encourage your child to read or listen to a story every day. You may have heard that the Department for Education is backing a national resource hub called the Oak National Academy. We will be integrating some of these activities into our learning as they become available. Further information can be found here: https://www.thenational.academy/

We also love seeing the children’s fantastic learning at home – please keep sending their work in through Seesaw as we would like to showcase it on our Facebook page and website in due course.

Don’t forget that the food bank is open at the front of the school from 9:00 to 12:00 on Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays. Delivery can be arranged for those self-isolating or for other special circumstances. Families whose children are in receipt of free school meals should have received supermarket vouchers today. We apologise for the length of time this has taken, the application process is long and the website totally unreliable. Please be assured that we are doing our absolute best to support children and families, both with learning and wellbeing. If you have queries about the food bank or vouchers please contact the office: office@marden.kent.ch.uk.

We can’t say yet when we’ll be able to open the school fully, but rest assured that we’ll continue to do our utmost to keep your child learning and our school community connected.

Let’s get cracking with our summer term!

With best wishes,

Mrs Thomas, Miss Chown, Ms Beckett and the Marden Team

1.4.2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

As we come to the end of Term 4, we wanted to send you an end of term letter, albeit very different to the normal ones.

Firstly, we would like to say thank you for helping your children to carry out their Seesaw learning and well done – we know it’s not easy! We have all really enjoyed seeing what the children have been doing.

Secondly, we wanted to let you know that the teachers have planned some optional activities for the Easter holidays. These are simply ideas that you might like to encourage your children to do to prevent boredom. There is no expectation from us that children will complete these activities over the holidays and teachers will not be checking daily. However, we would love it if children wanted to upload some of the things they are most proud of, whether it’s from our suggestions or something else! If you have any difficulties with Seesaw, the activities or anything else please feel free to e-mail Mrs Thomas on headteacher@marden.kent.sch.uk. This account will be checked daily throughout the Easter break. Mrs Thomas would love to receive e-mails from the children too and promises to reply!

We also wanted to say that we realise that it may well get harder to motivate the children to complete home learning as time passes. We are working on planning exciting activities for the summer term. We are also thinking about how we will support children when we can all come back to school, whenever that may be.

The school remains partially open throughout the holiday for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. Government advice is still that children should remain at home if at all possible and we are pleased that parents are continuing to follow this advice. As always, please e-mail office@marden.kent.sch.uk the days you are required to work, if you are unable to make other arrangements.

Hampers will be going out to children in receipt of free school meals today. After Easter, we are hoping to be able to provide e-vouchers instead of hampers. If your child does not have free school meals but you are struggling financially, please do get in touch and we will do all that we can to help. The people of the Marden community are doing a brilliant job of supporting each other and, if we can’t help, we will try to find someone who can.

Finally, we just wanted to pass on a plea from a local NHS worker who is still witnessing people carrying on their daily lives as if they were ‘on holiday’. With warmer days and lighter evenings, it is tempting to go out as normal but the government are still saying to go out only if absolutely necessary. We have not yet reached the peak of this pandemic and the NHS will come under increasing pressure. Please – stay at home and save lives.

We wish you all a Happy Easter!

With best wishes,

Mrs Thomas, Miss Chown, Ms Beckett and the Marden Team

24.3.2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

 I hope everyone is keeping well, physically and mentally. In such stressful and rapidly changing times, I wanted to offer some support and encouragement to our parents and carers. Some of you are key workers and therefore need to send your children to school. I want to reassure you that they are being well looked after with physical distancing and frequent hand washing in place. The catering team is on site and hot meals are available every day, we would ask you to encourage your children to take a school meal to keep this service viable.
 
The vast majority of our children are being kept at home, with parents and carers   helping them to learn at home.  There have been a lot of concerns and comments from parents and carers across the country, many with common themes, so I thought it would be useful to share our school perspective and to answer some common questions. If you have specific questions, please feel free to e-mail me directly: headteacher@marden.kent.sch.uk 

Lots of people may be feeling stressed, overwhelmed and under pressure by the work we are sending home for your children. We hope this information will help.
 
3 points to note first :
 
1) This is not home-schooling, where a parent chooses to be their child's teacher. This is an unprecedented emergency  situation impacting the whole world.   The current situation is at best distance learning. In reality, it's trying to separate everyone to stop the spread of Corona virus.
 
2) You are, and always have been, your child's primary educator. If you decide that your child isn't going to engage with anything sent home and is going to spend the entire days playing in the garden,  baking or watching TV, that is your choice. That is your right. There is nothing to get stressed or feel guilty about.

3) It is going to be very difficult for parents and carers to facilitate distance learning with a primary aged child and work from home at the same time. You can certainly have activities where your child learns, but your focus must be your job, and survival. 
 
Now on to a few Frequently Asked Questions:
 
Q: My school has sent home lots of work and is adding weekly work on the website. How am I supposed to get through it all?
 
You're not, don't try.  We are adding work for families that want guidance and ideas to do at home but it's not a race or a competition. 
 
Q: A child in my child's class has everything done and we've barely started. Will my child fall behind?
 
Even if everything were equal in terms of support, time spent, number of children in the home etc. (which it is not) children learn at different rates. In the class there is a wide range of levels in all subjects, children work at different paces and require different support.  
 
Your child will not fall behind. The work we are setting is for them to apply, and remind them of, work already covered : you are not teachers and we are not expecting you to teach your children new concepts. They will cover all of this again, multiple times.       
 
Q: Is it OK if I'm not doing any work with my kids? All they are doing is Lego, cooking and playing outside.
 
All of this is learning. Give yourself and them a break.
 
Q: How can I get three different lots of work done with 3 different children of different ages?
 
You can't, stop trying. If they're old enough, try to get them to do little bits independently. The teachers are trying to set tasks that children can tackle on their own. Otherwise try to do something they can all engage with, reading a story together, some free writing,  doing a puzzle, baking etc.
 
Q: So what's the bare minimum you'd expect?
 
This is about survival, emotionally and in terms of physical and mental health. There is no minimum or maximum. Our teachers will help you with this; even if you can't complete the activities they set, there are lots of other ideas such as joining Joe Wicks for his 9am workout, starting a project on a hobby or interest, making a natural collage or listening to music. 
 
Q: Why is there a 3pm deadline for completing assignments and what if my child can't meet it?

Our teachers who are not looking after the children at school are working from home to support the children in their class. However, they all have families and are trying hard to balance pulls on their time. Seesaw is a fantastic tool but we are finding that some parents are expecting teachers to respond late into the evening. By setting a target completion time for learning we are aiming for teachers to be free to concentrate on their own families from 5pm. If your child misses the deadline, please don't worry. The teacher will look at the work but may not respond until the next day. Please help us to keep our teachers fit and healthy by not contacting them after 5pm. 

Q: Am I doing all that I can to help my child?

You are doing enough. You are loving your children and supporting them through a difficult time. Look after yourselves too. Minimising stress is  absolutely vital in a time like this for mental health. Don't let this be something that stresses you. Only you can control that by accepting it is in your circle of control, you are the primary educator and this is all your call.

I have seen some wonderful examples of craft projects completed at home and it has been suggested that we celebrate children's learning with a gallery. Please send me photographs of any great learning whether it is art work, a lovely cake, some great writing or a maths problem. I will be updating the website and these can also be added to our Facebook page. Teachers are also sharing work produced on their class blogs on the website.
 
I also wanted to let you know that we are exploring ways of providing food or a voucher to children who are at home and would normally have a free school meal. ?We are awaiting further guidance from the government and the Local Authority but expect to be able to get something in place shortly. Please keep an eye on the News section of the website.

Marden is a strong community with our school at the heart of it. We will all pull together to support the effort to keep us all safe. Therefore, we will remain open for the children who need it, but we strongly urge you to think very carefully of whether this is necessary for you. These children are not learning anything different than you would be at home. They are not in classes or being taught traditional lessons.  We need to make sure our staff are well protected as key workers themselves, all of whom have families and many of whom have children of their own. 

I would like to thank our unseen workforce as well as our teachers and office staff today. As well as the catering team, we have two cleaners and our Caretaker, Mr Tarka, attending daily. 
 
We know that this is an anxious time for everyone and, as a result, we can all be a little more on edge. We all need to take care to choose our words carefully and be kind to each other. We know that we will all do our best to support each other through this time and we thank you for your ongoing support. We will get through this.

With best wishes,
Tracy Thomas
Headteacher

 

22.3.2020 - We are set up to receive vulnerable children and the children of key workers from 8:30 on Monday morning. Thank you all for responding to our questions so quickly; we do appreciate that we set short deadlines but this was necessary for us to plan effectively for next week. 

The school has been deep cleaned and we will be complying with the principles of social distancing. Children will be taking part in outdoor learning, craft activities and accessing Seesaw tasks. Staff have been briefed and children will be reminded about hand washing throughout the day.

I'd like to highlight Gavin Williamson’s (Secretary of State for Education) tweet from last night:

You should only send your child to school on Monday if you have to, because your work is critical to our COVID-19 response.
If you are able to keep your child at home, you should. #StayHomeSaveLives

Thanks to all of our parents who have been so supportive in these difficult and changing times. If you are keeping your children at home and have any difficulties with the home learning do let us know. The office and headteacher e-mail addresses are being checked daily.

I'd also like to thank my amazing staff team who have done, and are doing, an amazing job in my absence. 

All the best,

Tracy Thomas

 

 

 

 

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Welcome

On behalf of our pupils, staff, parents/carers and Governors, I have pleasure in welcoming you to Marden Primary School. We are a rural school in the heart of the community of Marden serving the village and the surrounding area. 

Marden is a school that welcomes everyone, with a family atmosphere and a desire to help every child do their very best. We do this through inspirational teaching with a range of exciting learning opportunities; a nurturing culture where all children feel they belong; and through working in close partnership with parents and carers.

You can find out all about the school through our website. If you have further questions please feel free to get in touch or come for a visit - we would love to see you!

Tracy Thomas, Headteacher

 

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