School re-opening information for parents
School and home learning May 2020
Newsletter 22nd May
Newsletter 15th May
Possible re-opening of school June 2020
Newsletter 7th May
Newsletter 1st May
Newsletter 24th April
School Closure letter - Coronavirus (170420)
Coronavirus update 310320
(previous letters at foot of page)
Message from PTA
In 3 weeks’ time we would have been defending our winning title of ‘Most Number of Participants’ at the St. Albans Half Marathon Fun Run, but since their plans have changed, we thought we could change our plans too. We, the SSAS PTA, thought you’d be up for the challenge of our very own fun run, whilst raising some money for charity at the same time.
What are we going to do? On or near Sunday 14 June, all you need to do is to run, skip or walk 1.5-miles (2.4km) in your School PE either at home or at a nearby open space (following the current social distancing guidelines).
We’ve chosen a very worthy local charity to support; the West Herts Hospitals Charity ‘Raise’ are in desperate need of funds to support their hard-working NHS staff and their patients during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Please make your donations to our Just Giving page which is linked to Raise’s page.
So, get your PE kit ready, get training, and share your fab fun run photos to your class’ WhatsApp group.
District Schools in Bloom 2020!
Due to the current COVID-19 situation, St Albans City and District Council has scaled down the District Schools in Bloom competition, which will hopefully encourage children to engage with nature and take part in some outdoor and nature-related activities at home during this difficult time. We have registered to take part.
We would love the children to take photos of their work including before / during / after photos of their sunflowers and fruit / vegetables. Please send us photos of all your entries, along with your sunflower and fruit / vegetable measurements by email to school with your child's name and category.
We will forward entries on to District in Bloom. Closing date for photos, sunflower and fruit/vegetable measurements to arrive at the Council is Friday 18th September 2020. Please send your entries to us a few days before that.
Competition details and categories: District Schools in Bloom 2020
Competition on Living Sustainably During Lockdown
Sustainable St Albans want to hear how you and your family are living more sustainably during lock-down. Enter the prize draw competition by sending them your creative artwork, writing or photos on the theme of sustainability. See the flyer attached for details or visit Competition on Living Sustainably During Lockdown. sustainablestalbans.org/lockdown-competition
Celebrating Colonel Tom More's 100th birthday
In school we celebrated Captain, now Colonel, Tom's birthday and thought about what an inspirational man he is. Below, see the wonderful wall display's the children made.
Praying the Rosary
The diocese has shared this link, and suggest we come together at 10.30am every Friday to recite a decade of the Rosary.
DOW (Education Service) - Praying the Rosary - The Ascension (24th April 2020)
Coronavirus Updates: Home Learning/Resources for the period of School Closure
Other home learning ideas on the School Life/Year Group Pages.
Some more links
Pearson – have given 90 day free access to Rapid Reading, Rapid Phonics, Bug Club and other curriculum resources.
Online reading books, listening to texts and following the words onscreen.
Oxford Owl - www.oxfordowl.co.uk
Amazon audible - stories.audible.com/start-listen
A Gospel Assembly for home
Please find the link below to a Gospel Assembly for this week. You may wish to share it with your children at home.
A couple of ideas
ITV art competition - ITV is calling on the nation’s kids to stay creative whilst at home during the Covid-19 crisis by submitting their artwork for a chance for it to be broadcast. Each child whose work is shown will be credited on screen. Parents and guardians can submit a picture of the child’s artwork via Twitter or Instagram using #ITVKidsCreate and @itv and as many creations as possible will be broadcast. More info here: www.itv.com/itvcreates/articles/itv-kids-create
Eat Farm Now – education resources
Eat Farm Now is a new website about the stories behind food – straight from people in the world’s fields, barns, plantations, kitchens and markets. It includes podcasts, blogs and videos created by farmers, chefs, journalists, foodies, and community groups all in one place. It includes resources for schools and parents to use during these times of remote learning: eatfarmnow.com
Prayers of Hope - every Sunday at 7.00 pm
During the Coronavirus crisis thousands of Christians across Britain are praying together at 7.00 pm every Sunday evening.
An Easter message from the staff at SSAS
Coronavirus Updates: Home Learning/Resources for the period of School Closure
Other home learning ideas on the School Life/Year Group Pages.
Fun Maths Games
Mrs Mannering from the Junior School says "There are lots of fun Maths games for ages 3-11. I would love to see what children do by posting their photos on our Twitter page." nrich.maths.org/14600
We are delighted to offer you the chance to use Clicker 8 for your children to use free of charge during the school closure period (initially 6 weeks). Full details have been sent by Schoolcomms.
If you are having any trouble with set up, try this link: www.cricksoft.com/uk/training/clicker/clicker-8/at-home
Little Acts of Kindness
'Little Acts of Kindness' know a lot of parents are home-schooling during the Covid-19 pandemic, so they’ve put together some activities and little lessons that teach children about the importance of kindness, the science of kindness, and the positive effect it has on our physical and mental health. There’s a quiz at the end, so pay attention!
Mrs Herron has kindly shared some more sites: Websites that offer learning opportunities and resources
This is a list of websites and resources from across the internet to support teaching and learning (predominantly EYFS – KS2 but there will be resources appropriate for KS3 and beyond). Feel free to share these resources with friends and family.
· BBC Bitesize- lessons and explanations for all subjects with videos and games to accompany www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/primary
· Twinkl- Learning resources for Foundation to KS3. Temporary free unlimited membership with code ‘UKTWINKLHELPS’ www.twinkl.co.uk
· Primary Resources- resources made by teachers for all subjects and topics (sorted by year groups) www.primaryresources.co.uk
· Orchard Toys- Activity sheets and games including maths, word searches and crafts www.orchardtoys.com/dept/activity-sheets_d0129.htm
· PlanBee Home Learning are offering free enrolment to their online learning sessions for primary-aged children discover.planbee.com/home-learning-enrolment?utm_source=Website+List&utm_campaign=d5ac0739a1-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_03_20_11_22&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_87cd3bfaf8-d5ac0739a1-107294705&mc_cid=d5ac0739a1&mc_eid=4ff7a3aa3f
· Purple Mash are offering free membership for schools and individual families. Not only for computing, it is filled with resources for most subject areas.
Note from Mrs Doherty: This is an updated version of the 2Simple programs that we use a lot in school! 2simple.com/blog/using-purple-mash-school-closure-update/?fbclid=IwAR3Tbd3TzvyioFC1jPnnOVNN-Zmhg0H0Rdj67jDBtTD7QybG3TSe0rPNRKM
· BBC Live lessons for Primary Schools www.bbc.co.uk/teach/live-lessons/primary-live-lessons/zmc9jhv
· Plazoom has made free home learning packs for all primary year groups www.plazoom.com/collections/home-learning?utm_source=teachprimary&utm_medium=20200320&utm_campaign=weekly
· Seneca- An online interactive revision guide. Free for students, teachers and parents! www.senecalearning.com/?fbclid=IwAR2K9M21FinSJVMwgAcTKyA57kNXvTyepUl-nGlwqSI-ByL98XYh2TV3cug
· Centre for Literacy in Primary Education has lots of free resources from their many programmes including free learning sequences clpe.org.uk/library-and-resources
· English games www.topmarks.co.uk
· Phonics activities and games (free to sign up at the moment) www.phonicsplay.co.uk
· Free videos of Shakespeare’s Globe play performances globeplayer.tv
· Authors reading books aloud www.weareteachers.com/virtual-author-activities
· Free eBooks www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/find-a-book/library-page
· Oliver Jeffers (author and illustrator) reads a book live on his Instagram page every day at 6pm www.instagram.com/oliverjeffers
· Free reading resources for 40+ books of classic and modern literature with related activities. Appropriate for Years 3-6 · cornerstoneseducation.co.uk/news/free-access-to-cornerstones-love-to-read-resources-for-home-learning
· Any author or illustrator’s website. They are FULL of free resources including word searches, colouring sheets and activity ideas
· Audible stories (audiobooks) are free for as long as schools are closed. They can be listened to via a desktop computer, laptop, phone or tablet stories.audible.com/start-listen
· LoveReading4Kids is a recommendation site for children’s books. Many of the books that are on the website also have free extracts and chapters www.lovereading4kids.co.uk
· David Walliam is releasing an audio story every day for the next 30 days for free. www.worldofdavidwalliams.com/elevenses
· Images with questions to inspire writing and support inference skills www.onceuponapicture.co.uk
· Images to inspire writing, with questions, grammar activities, story starters etc www.pobble365.com
· Mrs Mannering has found another site with good resources for Maths. She writes: This looks really good and links to the thinking we have through Maths No Problem. There are really clear videos and follow up activities with answers. Parents can use the Year group which also gives flexibility for those struggling to access their year group so that they can consolidate earlier learning before moving on.
. Times Tables Rockstars- Times tables fluency app/game play.ttrockstars.com
· Numbots- Number, number bonds, addition and subtraction fluency app/game play.numbots.com
· Maths games www.topmarks.co.uk
· White Rose Maths Home Learning whiterosemaths.com/homelearning
· Virtual tours of museums across the world www.boredpanda.com/famous-museums-offering-virtual-tours
· Joe Wicks – From Monday 23rd every weekday at 9am www.youtube.com/user/thebodycoach1
· Go Noodle is full of fun dance and physical exercises to keep you active. You’ll need to sign up to a free account to access their resources. family.gonoodle.com
· Live science streaming from Glasgow Science Centre www.glasgowsciencecentre.org/gsc-at-home
· Kew Gardens learning about the outdoors activities www.kew.org/learning/endeavour?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=psocial&utm_content=acqwinning&utm_campaign=endeavour
· Practise coding skills while playing games hourofcode.com/uk/learn
· Coding application scratch.mit.edu
· Dance Mat Typing- practise touch typing skills www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zf2f9j6/articles/z3c6tfr
· National Gallery Collection – Look at the National Gallery collection up close from artists ranging from Van Gough to da Vinci www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/search-the-collection
· A collection of art resources and creative ideas for children of all ages collated by Access Art www.accessart.org.uk/art-resources-for-home
PSHE and Wellbeing
· Resources to support mindfulness from litfilmfest.com/shop/breathe
· Free language learning website/app for over 20 languages from French to Arabic www.duolingo.com
· Name the notes written musical notes www.teachingfiles.co.uk/namethatnote2.htm
· Collection of music games www.musicteachers.co.uk/resources/funstuff
· Music making lessons learningmusic.ableton.com
· Band Lab- Online music making software. Free to sign up www.Bandlab.com
· Chrome Music Lab – mini music making activities musiclab.chromeexperiments.com/Experiments
· A game where you create melodies apps.musedlab.org/groovepizza
· New York Philharmonic Orchestra’s online game collection www.nyphilkids.org
· RSPB has an incredible website full of activities, hunts and information www.rspb.org.uk/fun-and-learning
· Give nature a home in your garden- full of loads of ideas on how to make your garden more wildlife friendly and encourage biodiversity www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/give-nature-a-home-in-your-garden
· A collection of resources curated by STEM Learning (Science, Technology and Maths) www.stem.org.uk/resources/curated-collections/primary-0
SEN and Support
· Signs and Symbols resources to explain Covid-19 and teach good hygiene practice www.therosehillschool.com/resources-for-parents-pupils/
· Free British Sign Language (BSL) resources www.deafbooks.co.uk/Free-Downloads_B5-5.aspx
· Free BSL course for under 18s www.british-sign.co.uk/shop/product/introducing-british-sign-language-enrolment-2020
Send a letter to hospital staff
The aim is to get children to make A4 size letters or posters to cheer up the hospital staff coming and going from work. The letter(s) need to be sent to Andrea Hone, Watford General Hospital, Vicarage Road, Watford, WD18 0HB. Alternatively they can be scanned or emailed to email@example.com.
Please put St Alban & Stephen Infant/Juniors as the subject heading or on the back of letters/posters for St Albans hospital staff. Thank you.
Message from Mrs Porter
I just wanted to drop you a message, having spoken to a colleague, and to reassure you all about home schooling. Many of you may be working from home, as well as trying to care for your children and I appreciate how difficult this may be, especially also feeling the pressure that you should be home schooling too.
If a child enjoys studying, which many do, they may happily do any of the activities that have been sent home. If however, you are finding it a battle, please believe me you are not alone! You may have seen lots of time tables and schedules and different approaches to how people are going to home school; my advice is do what is best for you and your child.
If a strict routine works for your child, then do that. If you see an impromptu opportunity to do some work when they seem engaged, then do that. Our children are all different and not every cap fits.
Try doing half hour bursts with some play in between and mix up the subjects each day. Please be realistic, you will not be able to hold their attention much longer than that when they are not in a school setting and with the sun shining! Keep up with the reading and of course don't feel guilty about screen time as there are some fantastic sites that are fun and educational.
Regardless of what you might read and how you might be feeling, we are all in the same boat and doing the very best we can with this mad situation. Don't stress too much - the children may be anxious, annoyed and frustrated- same as you - so just do your best.
Stay safe and stay home.
Kind regards, Mrs Porter
Head of School, Ss Alban & Stephen Catholic Junior School
Home Learning/Resources for the period School Closure
Other home learning ideas on the year group pages.
From National Curriculum.com - We know that schools are doing as much as they can to provide content and, where possible, lessons via live streaming. However, this is a difficult job, so to help out we have compiled a list of fantastic resources that are easily accessible via Amazon, and are packed full of engaging content for children to keep learning whilst at home.
Amazon has cancelled the subscription of books and audio stories for children and students of all ages as long as schools are closed. Children everywhere can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories across 6 different languages. All stories are free to stream on your desk top, laptop, phone or tablet using the following link: stories.audible.com/start-listen
Wellbeing Book of Wellbeing 2020
Easter themed Maths activities/competition for years 1 - 6
The Infant School will have the following home learning:
• There will be some English and maths sheets to complete
• They will also be given 2 reading books to work through
• We would also encourage you to continue with Reading Eggs
• You can also log onto Forest Phonics.
If your child is in Nursery or Reception, please could you ensure you have signed up to Tapestry and you can add any home learning activities that take place so we can see all the wonderful things you will do at home.
The Junior School will have the following home learning:
• 5 pieces set on My Maths
• Times table Rockstars practise
• They should also practise the statutory spelling word lists
• The children will be given a homework grid covering the topics for the summer term. As always, the children in Year 3 and 4 should do at least 3 activities as well as 1 R.E activity. The children in Year 5 and 6 should do at least 4 activities and 1 R.E activity. They can of course do more than this as they will have some time on their hands.
• Year 6 will work through the SATs packs and the grid homework if they wish.
There are many sites that you can use as well. Twinkl is offering free membership for parents and there is a wealth of various learning activities and online games that the children can do. www.twinkl.co.uk
Times table Rockstars are also offering free sign up so the children can practise their times tables. ttrockstars.com
There are several other sites offering free resources for you to use during this time. Here is a link to some fun, free educational sites.
Try to take the time to spend quality time together, play games, do puzzles, bake, have story time and enjoy each other’s company.
Happy Retirement Mrs Beynon
On Thursday (13th March) we said our farewells to Mrs Beynon who has been working in the Junior School for 23 years, 5 months and 16 days according to her calculations! She has worked with so many children over the years and had a great impact on their learning. Netty, you will be sorely missed and we wish you all the very best in your retirement. Please come back and visit!
A message from Mrs Beynon…..
“I’d like to say a huge thank you to Mrs Porter, the staff and the children at SSAS Junior School for the beautiful flower arrangement– it is truly stunning. Thank you also for the generous gifts. The children's scrapbook, which included funny quotes and kind words, will be treasured always. I have been
I have really enjoyed helping children over the years to be the best that they can be. SSAS will forever hold special memories for me including the children and staff, past and present. I will miss you all terribly. In the time to come, may the amalgamation of the Nursery, Infant and Junior schools go smoothly and be a tremendous success. These are great schools! Plans for my retirement? At the moment, I have none. I may take up horse riding, bungee jumping or trampolining! If Mrs Porter will have me, I am hoping to return on occasion to assist where needed. Have a peaceful and enjoyable half term.
Love and God bless from Netty (Mrs Beynon) xxx”
Everbridge Severe Weather Closure of Schools System
On rare occasions, such as heavy snow, it may be necessary to close the school. At such times, communications can become slow due to high demand. Central information is more reliable and should be faster. Everbridge is the Hertfordshire notification system for school closure which will inform you by text/email alert if the school is closed. This system, combined with website updates and school messages, should ensure vital information reaches you quickly.
Parent Registration: To sign up, please follow this link: member.everbridge.net/index/892807736725489#
This will direct you to the “Sign Up” page - click on the “Sign Up” button and follow the instructions. It should take no more than a few minutes to register and you can edit your information if you change mobile number or email address. If you have children at more than one school, you can register for these too by selecting the relevant schools.
Children in Need
We raised over £400 - thank you for all your support! Well done to all the staff from the Juniors and the Infants who took party in the assembly.
Previous School Letters
Closure of breakfast club
Closure of after-school club
Key worker parent letter
Newsletter 20th March
Key worker survey
Free School Meals
Supporting Families in Our School Communities
Miss Cannon Update
Child Friendly Explanation of Coronavirus
Coronavirus update 16 March
Letter for parents
Newsletter 13th March
School closure notification instructions
Coronavirus advice for educational settings
Department for Education Coronavirus information
World Book Day 2020
Newsletter 28th Feb
Newsletter 14th Feb
Parent Consultations - further information
Parent Consultations March 2020
Newsletter 7th Feb
Newsletter 31st Jan
Newsletter 24th Jan
Newsletter 17th Jan
Newsletter 10th Jan
PTA and Community letters
PTA Bush Fires Dig Deep - schools network
PTA Quiz Night return slip
PTA Christmas Jumper Poster
Flu letter 2019 - Parents
PTA Cristmas Treeasy
School Gateway Message notifications
PTA Christmas Hamper Poster
PTA Panto letter 2019
Dear Santa 2019 letter
PTA Wreath Making Return Slip 2019