During this difficult and unprecedented time, the staff at Drake and Little Pirates have worked to put in place a curriculum for pupils which goes some way to address their learning needs. Online learning can never replace a child's experience at school and we do not wish for parents to try to replicate the school environment with the resources they have at home. We also understand that unlike at school, every pupil’s home environment is different and access to online learning is not always easy, sometimes having to be shared with siblings or working parents.
All the teachers at Drake and Little Pirates are working with the children around the development of a ‘growth mindset’, this helps us to understand that we are not ‘stuck’ or ‘finished’ in our ability and can increase our capacity to learn in many different and varied ways. Through this, teachers and pupils learn to see the value of making mistakes, and that feedback is an opportunity to improve and learn more.
We are very conscious of the toll that the current situation may take on the mental health of pupils and parents. Children who are worried, isolated from their peers and friends and not able to access a normal routine may find this time particularly stressful. Online learning is one way that children can still feel connected to their school community and gain some sense of routine and normality. We hope that regular time during school hours spent doing a range of activities with some demands on children’s skills and understanding will help them to build some resilience. We will encourage teachers to support this online.
Teachers will share a regular calendar of suggested activities for their pupils each week and will be available for marking, feedback and support during school hours online. They are contactable through the Google Classroom or Tapestry (for children in Little Pirates, Reception and Year One) for work and learning queries or through the school office email address for other questions. We hope to build a supportive and successful learning environment for every pupil to ensure they continue to learn during this time.
When planning lessons, teachers will always refer to our Drake and Little Pirates Curriculum which has been designed to ensure coverage of the National Curriculum with the ambition and depth of learning required at Drake and Little Pirates. In addition, our curriculum map widens opportunities and makes connections between learning subjects across year groups and key stages. To achieve this, we have an expectation that work set will be attempted and completed. We are looking forward to the time later in the year when pupils can return to school, and the more we can ensure our children achieve at the correct expectation and level for their age, the better. Sometimes work may feel challenging or require several drafts or revisions after feedback from the teacher. Sometimes, pupils will need to complete extended pieces of writing which require focus and resilience just as they would in school. Throughout, teachers will remain positive, celebrate mistakes and model how to move on. However, learning new things does require THINKING, and that’s what we want to see, lots of thinking. We will endeavor to maintain our high expectations as a school for our pupils just as you would expect. Each week, previously-set work will be cleared into a folder, which we will be able to use as evidence of progress from starting points.
As the lockdown period continues, this online learning will grow into a Drake Primary and Little Pirates online community, a supportive place for children to learn.
I know you will join with us in thanking the staff that remain in school to ensure critical workers in our community have the essential child care provision they need.
We know it’s not easy at home but to have well over 80% of pupils logging in and learning is a huge achievement and really demonstrates how much our Drake and Little Pirate families value their children’s learning despite the unprecedented times we live in.
Thank you for your amazing support!
Stay safe and healthy.