As we complete our fourth week of lockdown within the Three Hares, a huge well done to all of our children (and parents) who are home-learning at the moment! I have been delighted to share in some of the learning that is taking place and you should all be very proud of your achievements. It is no mean feat to take on this job, virtually overnight. Huge praise to our Three Hares staff who have up-skilled themselves, to ensure that our remote learning delivery has transformed since the first lockdown (as promised). You will have received a brief survey which I hope you will have a few minutes to complete over the weekend, which will help us to evaluate our current blended learning provision (teaching and learning for children in school as well as at home). Please refer to the separate email which you will have received to access the link to the survey.
Thank you to the parents who are trying to juggle time spent on home learning as well as working from home – we understand how tricky this must be, especially for those of you with younger children.
It has certainly made a big difference this time round, for children to engage in live teaching and / or sessions where they can engage with their teachers/teaching assistants. We are working hard, all the time, to make improvements to our provision, as we now understand that we will be continuing with home-learning at least until the 8th March.
It has been lovely to see the children in school engaging in ‘live meets’ with their friends at home e.g. assemblies, ‘show and tell’, small group work and so on.
I hope that parents are reassured that the children’s curriculum is continuing as closely as possible, to that which would be delivered if we still had everyone in school. We look forward to receiving your feedback and I will share with you the outcomes and any improvements we are able to make.
I am pleased to say that having taken delivery of large numbers of Chromebooks this week, we now have class sets of devices in all of our schools for children to use. South Tawton and Chagford have had a long wait, due to the redeployment of the original delivery of devices for families which were eligible for Pupil Premium. This means that children, currently attending, in all of our schools now have access to a device to work within Google Classroom or similar to access their learning too.
It is fantastic, thanks to the super work of the Trust, that all of our children, eligible for Pupil Premium, now have been allocated a device (Chromebook or tablet). If your child is struggling to access a device at home, please let us know and we will do our utmost to help.
As the days begin to get a bit longer, and as we enter into the fifth week of lockdown, please take time to focus on mental health and well-being. Next week, is a national Children’s Mental Health Week with a theme of ‘Express Yourself’. I know that our schools will be making provision for this in their activities, but in between times, I hope you will take time to enjoy the outdoors, have a walk with your family. We are always here to help, so please keep in touch with us if there is anything more we can do to support you. There is opportunity in the survey, to comment and we will be taking careful note!
Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust
As you will know, Dan Morrow is now four weeks into his new role as Chief Executive Officer within our Trust. He has certainly made an impressive start, not least faced with the challenges of lockdown. Having visited two out of three of our schools, with the third visit taking place on Monday, I have had the opportunity to discuss with him the challenges faced by our schools and our vision for school improvement.
Clearly, we have plans for building works and renovations at North and South Tawton and grounds development in all three schools. It is exciting to see that Dan is so supportive of the projects and is already impacting on the progress of planned works. He has been impressed with the progress made in all of our schools and the good work that has taken place as a Three Hares cluster.
The three Heads of Schools and I meet as a leadership team at least once a week to drive school improvement and share operational challenges between us. Since January, we have also met with the wider group of 14 primary schools across the Trust, sharing leadership development, culture, values and vision days. It certainly is an exciting time within the Trust and leaders are feeling tremendously positive about the imminent and far-reaching future. I am sure that the impact of this work will soon filter out to staff, parents and wider communities. Of course, the most important impact, is that which makes a difference to our children. I am looking forward to sharing more about this as we go forward.
Wishing you a happy and relaxing weekend with your families.
Elizabeth is the Executive Head of the Three Hares Primary Schools, appointed in 2019. Her role is dedicated to working closely with the Heads of Schools, in Chagford, North Tawton and South Tawton to drive school improvement.