In these unprecedented times of the school being closed until further notice, while the country deals with COVID 19, we want to have all the information for our community in one place. So please check back here daily - we will be adding information relating to whole school matters, and links to questionnaires and links where we might gather information. We will not be sending out information by text very often, except to remind people to check here. This is the best place to find out what is happening and will be happening at Batchley First School.
We are setting up system that is not reliant on individuals in school - school staff are just at risk of getting ill or having to self isolate, especially as we will be working with groups of children and mixing with more than the recommended five people at a time.
So during this time, the best way of contacting school is by an email to -
This will be monitored by a number of staff, who will forward your emails to the relevant staff, (or reply themselves if that staff member is unable to). Please put your child’s name and class, and a word or two about what you are emailing about to help us forward it to the right people. Can we add that, if you do need to ring the school, we may not be able to answer it or return a message for several days (or example, we might not be open or be prioritising care for the children we are begin asked to cater for.) The email address will have a number of people monitoring it between 7am and 9pm, so we will get back to you quicker that way.
Below will be a daily update (posted Monday to Friday by 10am) , even if it’s just a message to say that there is no news. So please keep checking back every day to keep in touch.
Tuesday 7th April
FSM Voucher update
The Government, in it’s infinite wisdom, has decided to change it’s advice about FSM vouchers at the start of a holiday. We have been told today we can issue vouchers to families eligible for FSM, who complete our form (and who are on the latest list from Worcestershire) over the Easter Holidays.
So, if you are eligible, haven’t completed the form and would like the vouchers, you have until 12.00noon tomorrow (8th April) to complete it. We do have over 100 eligible and less than 50 applied, so please share the information...
Friday 3rd April
Day 10 of school closure...
Today is the 10th day of our school closure, and our official end of term. It should have been our amazing Easter Egg bonnet parade and the weather would have been perfect! I was really looking forward to seeing all the amazing hats and had even volunteered to judge this year, in what would have been my last parade at BFS. It just shows the sacrifice that people are making at this difficult time.
Following the results of the school learning questionnaire, School work after half term will be another paper pack - details coming the week after the Easter Weekend, so please keep checking back here...
We are keeping the Key worker provision form open for the next 12 days as we know some people’s shifts aren’t clear yet. If you have already applied for the week beginning 20th April, your child has a place.
Also, FSM voucher application will stay live until 16th April, when we will process the first vouchers to be delivered by email on 20th April.
This is the last daily update until 20th April, but there will be some updates over the holiday so keep checking back!
This Easter holiday is going be different to any break we have had before, please remember we are dealing with a virus that can kill, and so, while it might be nice to go out and imagine that you can escape it, Covid 19 is something we just can’t mess with. Please stay safe - one and all!
Thursday 2nd April
Day 9 of school closure
Seems strange not being in, but we do technically break up tomorrow. School will have to be closed completely over Easter as it was confirmed yesterday that we having some essential work down to remove some asbestos in a part of school few people access, but clearly we don’t want anyone in the building in case! But the email will still be monitored (but maybe not as frequently) so please contact us if necessary and we will try and help.
Please, if you haven’t already, please can you complete the questionnaire on our next phase of home learning TODAY so we can plan. We have had nearly 40 replies (Thank you!) but would really like to have a bigger sample to make sure we are doing the right thing for most families at this challenging time.
Wednesday 1st April
Day 8 of school closure
Please, after reading this, please have a look at the class pages and the science section of the website for new ideas and information.
Please also fill in the home learning questionnaire here to help us plan the next phase of school work. We have had 20 in so far, but could do with 200 replies to get a fair picture - please complete today if possible...
We are still booking places for key worker provision after Easter here - please make sure you book by Thursday.
School Meals - the Government have managed to get the scheme sorted, so Friday will be the last day of packed lunches. We had hoped to offer a free lunch to every child in the school, but we do know that most people would prefer the vouchers. So...
The voucher scheme will run here from 20th April, and, because of the numbers eligible and to ensure that we can continue with the scheme as the crisis gets worse, will be an online application and email delivery only. There will be no alternative offered.
Applications need to be in by 16th April at 12.00noon for the first week of vouchers. Once set up, the vouchers will be processed weekly on a Thursday so parents will get an email the following Monday.
Please read the application form carefully.
Tuesday 31st March
Day 7 of School Closure
Home learning questionnaire - Seeing as this school closure lockdown isn’t stopping any time soon, we are looking at how we can develop learning in coming months. Please can everyone please complete the questionnaire here by the end of the week please.
Government have announced the National Vouchers we have been waiting for - information link here. - We will hopefully get details later today, but a few things are clear. It is what we wanted in that is is for multiple supermarkets and can be posted or electronic.
But the scheme will only be for children who are entitled with FSM status (and we will only be able to offer this to that group) when we have been offering a packed lunch to everyone.
We will look at the details as soon as we get them (the Government have a history of saying something and then not giving the detail for days) and will look to start the scheme for the w/b 20th April. It will mean our packed lunch service will have to stop after Easter too.
Please check back over the last few days update - especially if you need key worker provision from 20th April.
Monday 30th March
Day 6 of School Closure
The second week of school closure starts....
Well done to the staff who beat the children in the TTRS battle last week! Some very committed players on both sides, all of whom are improving their tables by playing! The rematch is live today until 10am Tuesday morning. Seeing as there are a lot more children than staff - it should be an easy win for them, but we will drop our best!
The booking form for our key worker provision for the week beginning 20th April is here. It will be open from today until Thursday 12.00noon. Please make sure that you book places by then as we will not accept any after extra after that time. Could we also ask that it you have booked and then you don’t need the childcare, please email the Batchleycorona email address, so we can plan staffing. We have had staff making unnecessary journeys because booked places haven’t been taken.
It was nice to catch up with some children and parents today during the pack lunch pick up. But again, we did have a number who didn’t collect today. Some people have asked about vouchers, and we too would prefer this system. We have heard that the Government intend to let us know this week about a National plan and we will roll those out as soon as we have any information.
Friday 27th March
Day 5 of School Shutdown
First week nearly done! Firstly a big Thank You to all the staff who have been in school covering the small group of children who need to be in school - great work all!
We continue next week with those children who are booked on, either from the questionnaire last week or the extra one this week.
Packed Lunch service has begun and will continue next week. Please, if you have ordered one, please come and collect it. We have staff from school in to distribute it, and the caterers have staff in to make then lunches - all who I am sure would rather be safe isolating at home. If you don’t need it, please email to cancel and we’ll take that off the order. (But you can still order a lunch from Monday on the link in updates below.
Mrs Wykes has been busy putting some excellent advice for those of our community with SEND. Please click here to read it.
And some of you are aware that there is a Staff vs Children Timetable Rockstar Challenge going on, which finishes today at 3pm. And staff are winning!!
There is no truth in the rumour that one of the classes were removed from TTRS to increase the staff’s chances.. We don’t know why Turtles class disappeared from the system this week - Mrs Smit has created them all again from scratch yesterday and if any of them want their log ons before the packs come out again after Easter, please email our Batchleycorona address and we will send them to you.
Thursday 26th March
Day 4 of School Closure
It’s such a shame that we can’t get out to enjoy this nice sunshine! Please remember the Government advice to only go out for one of the four essential reasons...
We have heard of a scam asking people to give bank details for FSM vouchers - there is no scheme at the moment, we are waiting for Government advice (!), and as soon as we know, we will let you know. But that will not involve bank details... Stay safe online too!
Please read down the chain below to keep up to date - next week’s key worker late application closes at noon, as does packed lunch ordering for Friday - links below...
Please remember that the email address above is available for you to communicate with us - We know it’s a difficult time for everyone, and if you need help or advice, we might know someone who can help.
Libraries have created an app www.borrowbox.com/ to add to children’s or adult’s book availability at home.
OUR VISION. Our vision has always been to create a digital experience for libraries and library members that rivals consumer brands. To create a user experience that is world class – designed to be simple and made to inspire.
Wednesday 25th March
Day 3 of Shutdown.
First day of Packed lunch service today - please can everyone who has ordered comes to collect them during their time slot, keep well away from other people, and quickly disperse. We have a list of what you ordered *in case you have forgotten!) and have only got the amount ordered.
People can still order a packed lunch for tomorrow onwards (orders close at 12noon for Thursday) here.
Thank you for the emails we have had about what’s happening with you. Some lovely things going on! We really are in strange times and are all learning about how to deal with this new situation. Any good tips or ideas - please tell us so we can share them.
The key worker provision link for next week is in Monday’s update below - we will be contacting those who applied later tomorrow to confirm details.
Tuesday 24th March
Day 2 of School Closure
Hope everyone had a safe day 1 of the closure. As predicted, the internet took a battering yesterday, making
some websites crash or be very slow. Hope it will settle down as people get used to this new way of life. But there is plenty of ideas in the packs we have provided if Minecraft is down!
If you would like to order a packed lunch from tomorrow, please click the link in yesterday’s update below. Orders for Wednesday close at 12noon, and the same time every day for the following day. We still think we can do this as it’s food, but please stick to the pick up time you choose and please keep socially distancing from others.
We have opened the Key Worker Provision for next week again til Thursday - again the link is in Yesterday’s update below.
We have updated some of the class pages with ideas... keep looking back.
And don’t forget our single communication email address for any queries or clarifications or just to say hello! We are trying to keep our Batchley First community so please use it for some two way communication!
Monday 23rd March Update
First Day of School Closure.
We are going to offer all our children a packed lunch from Wednesday this week. Please click this link to order them. Orders will close the day before, so please make sure you order in time.
You can order for all the days you would like them in advance, and it would help us if you do.
There is talk of the Government arranging a voucher scheme for children entitled to Free School Meal and as soon as we have details we will let you know.
Key Worker Provision
Please remember this provision is only as a last resort - the safest place for your child at the moment is in your home.
We will start booking places for after Easter (w/c 20th April) next week, with the form going live here from Monday 30th March until 12noon on 2nd April.
We have had a number of requests about additional places. We therefore want to see what we can do, so please fill in the form to request places for next week. There is no guarantee as places have already been allocated. The form will be closed at noon on Thursday and we will let people know on Thursday afternoon about next week.
If you have already had a place allocated for next week, you do not need to complete a form.