Thomas Harding Junior School
Thomas Harding Junior School closed towards the end of March 2020 along with all other schools in the country as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Key worker children continued attending throughout the Spring and Summer term while remote learning took place for all other pupils. During this time, we used the website to deliver our Remote Learning offer and delivered paper, writing materials and reading books to pupils' homes as requested.
In June, we were able to invite Year 6 back into school in the final half of the summer term. and approximately 70% of children in this year group attended. We did not feel at the time that we had the space or capacity to invite other year groups into school, so we continued our remote learning offer to the end of the term for years 3, 4 and 5. We carried out a Parent Survey at the end of the academic year 2019-20 that confirmed that our response to the lockdown, particularly our support for parents and children and also the regular, open communication throughout the period was . The report of this survey is available below.
We prepared comprehensively for the full opening of the school in September 2020. We produced detailed risk assessments which were shared with all of our Staff, Governors and the ODBST. Throughout this time, we have also taken great care to ensure that we communicate openly, honestly and often with parents and staff in order that all members of our community were able to feel confident that school was as safe as possible on our full return. Prior to the reopening in September 2020, the curriculum was completely reviewed in light of what had not been taught face to face and wherever possible, this formed part of our Recovery Curriculum, details of which can be found on the Recovery Curriculum page. Where content did not meaningfully fit into this work, subject leaders (supported by SLT) have plotted missed content into the curriculum sequence at relevant points, to ensure that all learning cumulatively builds on prior knowledge.
Of course, in January 2021, a second national lockdown was announced and again, the school was closed to all children, apart from the most vulnerable and those of critical workers. During this second lockdown, we were relentless in ensuring that all vulnerable children, including SEN, EHC and PPG were in school. This meant that in total (along with children of critical workers) we had around 45% of children in school on average across the week. Additionally, during this second lockdown, we had a relentless focus on ensuring that all children were in receipt of quality first teaching, whether they were at home or at school. This meant that our most vulnerable children in school, received live lessons with a teacher, whilst children at home, were provided with pre recorded lessons delivered by one of our teachers, accompanied by all day access to a live adult via google classrooms. We also had a minimum of two live sessions every day in each class (although in reality this was much higher) We distributed 64 devices to families across all year groups, to ensure that all pupils were able to access our remote learning provision. Additionally, we placed reading books, paper, writing materials and other resources on tables at the front of the school for families on a daily basis. Regular, sharply focussed monitoring of engagement allowed us to intervene quickly when children were not turning in work, or appearing on camera - and in these instances we called parents, conducted home visits and ultimately offered children a place in school. Engagement data at the time showed that 97% of all pupils were engaged in our remote learning provision.
On the second reopening of school in April 2021, we conducted a Parent and a child Survey about the Remote Learning provision. We received an overwhelmingly positive response from both surveys. (these are both published below) On this second reopening, we did not plan a recovery curriculum, as pupils had been continuing with the ASPIRE curriculum throughout the lockdown. Instead, subject leaders audited their curriculum areas and again adjusted the sequence of learning as appropriate for the academic year 2021-22 to ensure that all learning builds effectively on prior knowledge. This will of course continue to be reviewed through our monitoring this year.
Letters and Updates January 2022
Letters and Updates September 2021
Letters and Updates March 2021
Letters and Updates September 2020
Coronavirus Explained for Children
Please see below a list of links and web pages that will help you explain Coronavirus to your children.
Axel Scheffler has illustrated a digital book for primary school age children, free for anyone to read on screen or print out, about the coronavirus and the measures taken to control it. Published by Nosy Crow, and written by staff within the company, the book has had expert input: Professor Graham Medley of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine acted as a consultant, and the company also had advice from two head teachers and a child psychologist.
The book answers key questions in simple language appropriate for 5 to 9 year olds:
• What is the coronavirus?
• How do you catch the coronavirus?
• What happens if you catch the coronavirus?
• Why are people worried about catching the coronavirus?
• Is there a cure for the coronavirus?
• Why are some places we normally go to closed?
• What can I do to help?
• What’s going to happen next?