SCHOOL IS CLOSED
TUESDAY 24 MARCH (11:14pm) – Message from Miss Caplan
I hope that you are all well.
Please find below a video message from Miss Caplan
Best wishes to you all,
MONDAY 23 MARCH (7:08pm) – Message from Miss Caplan
These are unprecedented times and I wanted to take this moment to offer a short idea from last weeks parshiot of Vayakhel and Pekudei where we read about the continued building of the Mishkan. Today, when we don’t have the Mishkan, we often see our synagogues as its replacement; the place where people gathered together to be part of a community. However, I have always thought that it isn’t just the synagogue that is a modern-day Mishkan, but two other institutions as well: the school and the home. Both are areas where the Shekhinah rests and where we see the Jewish future in the faces of our children. The impact of the Coronavirus pandemic means that for the time being our synagogues and the school are having to close. But I have confidence that everything positive, even holy, about those two institutions, can also be found in your homes, and at least for the next few weeks, that is where the focus will need to be.
So, I hope that I can welcome you back to North West in the not too distant future. Until then, please continue to support your children in their learning, and please have patience with the school as we face this challenging situation. Please follow all the Government and Public Health England guidelines, stay safe and be well.
p.s. I saw the following post on Facebook from a teacher in America. I thought it was worth sharing with you because it contains a lot of practical wisdom for these difficult weeks ahead.
Dear parents with school aged children,
You might be inclined to create a minute by minute schedule for your kids. You have high hopes of hours of learning, including online activities, science experiments, and book reports. You’ll limit technology until everything is done! But here’s the thing…
Our kids are just as scared as we are right now. Our kids not only can hear everything that is going on around them, but they feel our constant tension and anxiety. They have never experienced anything like this before. Although the idea of being off of school for weeks sounds awesome, they are probably picturing a fun time like summer break, not the reality of being trapped at home and not seeing their friends.
Over the coming weeks, you will see an increase in behavior issues with your kids. Whether it’s anxiety, or anger, or protest that they can’t do things normally – it will happen. You’ll see more meltdowns, tantrums, and oppositional behavior in the coming weeks. This is normal and expected under these circumstances.
What kids need right now is to feel comforted and loved. To feel like it’s all going to be ok. And that might mean that you tear up your perfect schedule and love on your kids a bit more. Play outside and go on walks. Bake cookies and paint pictures. Play board games and watch movies. Do a science experiment together or find virtual field trips of the zoo. Start a book and read together as a family. Snuggle under warm blankets and do nothing.
Don’t worry about them regressing in school. Every single kid is in this boat and they all will be ok. When we are back in the classroom, we will all course correct and meet them where they are. Teachers are experts at this! Don’t pick fights with your kids because they don’t want to do math. Don’t scream at your kids for not following the schedule. Don’t mandate 2 hours of learning time if they are resisting it.
If I can leave you with one thing, it’s this: at the end of all of this, your kids’ mental health will be more important than their academic skills. And how they felt during this time will stay with them long after the memory of what they did during those weeks is long gone. So keep that in mind, every single day.
Stay safe. X
SUNDAY 22 MARCH (19:17pm) – Google Drive and Important Information
From tomorrow, school work for all children will be available on the Google Drive. Here, you will be able to access both Secular and Kodesh work, as well as some additional websites for educational games, as uploaded by individual class teachers. We do hope that this system is easy to use, but if you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact your class teacher directly.
This situation is a new one for everyone, so please bear with us if there are any teething problems. We are also looking into other platforms for opportunities such as video conferencing with the children, but please do appreciate that these things take time and we have to find the most appropriate way of communicating with the children during this time. The staff have been working exceptionally hard to get the Google Drive into action and will continue to work incredibly hard to ensure that they can best support your child/ren ‘s education over the next few weeks / months.
Staff are available on their emails and are happy to support your child’s learning as much as possible. Please do remember that this entire process is going to be challenging for the children too and it may take some time for them to settle and become accustomed to this new way of learning. If this means that they spend more time baking or running around in the garden this week as they settle into a new routine, that is ok too.
The link to the Google Drive is here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1aHTnaSO8S4goh1mmFZaaZZzF-BBVpGES?usp=sharing
Please also remember to follow the Government’s guidance regarding social distancing – children should be at home and not having playdates with one another.
SUNDAY 22 MARCH (11:32am) – PE lessons are home
I hope you are well.
I am writing as the PE coordinator, whilst Mrs Stone is on Maternity leave, to encourage the children and the whole family to keep up with their PE.
Joe Wick is doing a live PE lesson daily on YouTube for children of all ages ( and adults can join in to) starting this Monday at 9am. This is a great way to start the day. It is called PE with Joe and is a 30 minute session.
I also suggest doing a family ‘Wake and Shake’ later in the day. Pick a song and dance away!
Good luck and have fun!
Be well and keep safe.
THURSDAY 19 MARCH (12:22pm) – North West is closed
It is with a heavy heart that we close the doors to North West at the end of the day today in the midst of such uncertainty. As leaders, no amount of training can prepare us for what is happening and without the incredible staff and your support, it would make our jobs even harder.
Without a doubt, North West is a family and never more have we all needed each other than now. Over the last week, with all the uncertainty we have faced and the evolving decisions by the government, staff have worked tirelessly to provide an education for children, both to those in school and those at home. Some of the staff have done this whilst looking after unwell family members and being in self-isolation themselves. We take this opportunity to thank them for their hard work and dedication.
We are now transitioning to remote learning. Everyone has their own views on how we should be doing this. We have things in place currently and are looking at how we can help and support further however, we are mindful of a number of factors that you as parents face, especially in the coming few weeks.
We thank you for your emails of support and understanding at this difficult times, as well as all your suggestions, which we are looking into. We politely ask for your patience as we try to mobilise a large staff force to educate over 260 pupils remotely.
North West is a happy place for the children and the staff. They feel safe, nurtured and loved. My commitment to you is that all of my staff and I will remain working, albeit remotely, and continue to dedicate our time to ensuring the upkeep of excellent educational provision for your children.
These are unchartered waters for us all. I am mindful that many of you will be concerned about yourselves, your loved ones and the future, not forgetting Pesach is approaching. We are all in this together.
Please do follow the Government and Public Health England advice and use this opportunity to do all you can to slow the spread of this awful virus. Stay at home. Avoid public places. If you are unwell, do not leave your house – even to get groceries – and remain meticulous in your hand washing. If any of our families are struggling financially or emotionally, I urge you to remain in close contact with me and the school will endeavour to support you in any way we possibly can.
As always, we will show true North West grit, determination and enthusiasm and I am confident we can continue to maintain our academic excellence.
We wish you all only good health.
Thank you for your continued support. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the messages of support.
Miss Caplan, Rabbi Broder and Mr Radomsky
WEDNESDAY 18 MARCH (19:45pm) – NWLJDS communication
We hope first and foremost that you are well and looking after yourselves and your families.
Further to the Prime Minister’s announcement today, as part of the national response to the COVID-19 virus, all schools will be closing this week. However, following discussions between the Senior Leadership and Governors, in light of the reduced numbers of staff over the past few days, we have taken the decision to close North West London Jewish Day School from Thursday 19th March at 4pm until further notice. The Governors and Senior Leadership team will re-evaluate the situation on an ongoing basis, based on updated advise. We are aware of the announcement today with regards to ongoing provision for children with EHCP and children of parents who are ‘key workers’ and are awaiting further guidance from the DFE and the Government. We will provide an update as soon as possible. School will be closed for ALL pupils on Friday 20th March whilst we prepare for the next steps.
We take this opportunity to thank the staff for working tirelessly over the last week to ensure that we can keep the school running and education flowing. It has not gone amiss, what they have done for the school and our children.
We will be transitioning to our contingency plan for remote learning in the coming days – as you will appreciate, this is a logistically complex process, so we would ask that you bear with us as we action this. All communications will be made through ParentMail, at the present time, and you will receive these updates in the coming days.
Our contingency measures will allow us to continue to provide your children with school work to be completed remotely. Individual class teachers will be distributing this work regularly via ParentMail and we would appreciate your continued support and vigilance both in monitoring and in facilitating your children’s’ learning, as we transition to remote teaching. We will also be using online resources such as Mathletics for Maths learning in order to facilitate this. We will of course be investigating the best practices to deliver education remotely going forward.
We appreciate that the national situation is constantly evolving with advice rapidly changing and, as such, please bear with us whilst we work out the best course of action to take for the school community. We would like to reassure you that we are in close contact with all relevant authorities and are abreast of the current guidelines and will continue to provide you with regular updates on our wider contingency plans as the situation develops further.
Together, we must stay strong, stay measured and protect each other through due diligence and care.
We thank you all for your continued support during this time and wishing you all only good health.
TUESDAY 17 MARCH (11:21am) – Assemblies
Due to the ever changing situation, any assemblies that the school will hold in the coming weeks, will be without parents. All parents of a Nursery, Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 child who is scheduled to be at the ‘Shabbat Table’ in the coming weeks, will be contacted at some point to reschedule their turn at the Shabbat table.
Parents of Year 5 or Year 6 children scheduled to speak in the coming weeks at a Kabbalat Shabbat assembly, will be contacted at some point to reschedule their turn.
If we hold any demonstration Seders, then they will be held without parents in attendance.
Thanking you for your understanding and wishing you all strength and good health.
TUESDAY 17 MARCH (10:00am) – Accelerated Learning
Just to let you know that all the Accelerated Learning sessions due to take place tomorrow morning have been cancelled.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
TUESDAY 17 MARCH (9:42am) – Clubs after school today and this week
French and Basketball clubs will both be running today (Tuesday), EAL Homework will not be. Tomorrow (Wednesday) French club will not be running.
All other clubs are currently scheduled to run but we will let you know as soon as possible if anything changes.
TUESDAY 17 MARCH (7:52am) – I hope first and foremost that you are well and looking after yourselves and your families.
Following the government guidance yesterday (Monday 16 March) from the Prime Minister, please note that if any family member in your household is unwell with a continuous cough and/or a temperature – the whole family should stay home together. The Government are currently saying to isolate for a period of 14 days.
I am aware that this is a challenging time for us all and the advice we are receiving is ever changing and conflicting.
Together we must stay strong, stay measured and protect each other through due diligence and care.
I thank you all for your continued support during this time.
Wishing you all only good health.
SUNDAY 15 MARCH – We understand that this is a difficult time and that there is a lot of uncertainty with regards to COVID-19. Please be assured that we are closely monitoring the situation.
School will be open as usual tomorrow – Monday 16th March 2020.
I write this message as a follow on from the communication I sent yesterday evening to clarify a couple of points that have been brought to our attention.
- Anyone who is off school we will be sending work home
- If your child is not in attendance at school (whilst it is open), due to isolation or distancing, your absence will be authorised.
- At the present time Breakfast Club and After School Clubs will be going ahead.
- With regards to the point pertaining to those who were at the St John Wood Shul Purim party, to make it clear if you were at the party the advised time to be off due to the incubation period is 14 days the minimum time away in isolation is 7 clear days of any symptoms, for the whole household.
I sure that you understand that as a school we have to make a decision and we have made it airing on the side of caution for everyone. We understand that some people were at the party and may not have been in close contact with Rabbi Golker however, as we can not determine everyone’s distance and movements therefore this is why we have taken this blanket decision.
We have been informed by the Department for Education that new guidance should be coming out tomorrow and when we have this we will communicate further, in the next day or so.
We appreciate and thank you for your continued support at this time.
SUNDAY 15 MARCH – The Headteacher and Senior Leadership together with The Chair of Governors and Chair of Trustees have taken the decision that the following regulations will be in place at North West London Jewish Day School with immediate effect.
School will be open as usual on Monday 16th March 2020.
- Anyone with symptoms relating to COVID-19 is not allowed in the building or on the school grounds for at least 7 days and should be in self-isolation. They will also need to contact 111 before returning to school.
- Anyone living with someone in self-isolation is not allowed in school. Once this person is out of self-isolation and had the all clear, then they can return to school ONLY if they have not had symptoms.
- Anyone who was at the St. John’s Wood Purim Party last Tuesday (following the advice sent by the United Synagogue) should be self-isolating for 14 days from when they were last in contact with Rabbi Golker.
- All outings and trips are to be cancelled for the remainder of this term.
- All none essential events in school have been postponed such as: companies coming in for workshops, meetings etc.
- Swimming lessons and use of the swimming pool will be stopped at the present time.
- All parents to remain in the playground at the start of the day and end of the day. Lead teachers will be down to collect and dismiss classes so parents can pass on any messages then.
- If parents have an appointment or are collecting children early or dropping off children late, they are to remain by the school office.
- No water fountains will be in use – all children need to bring in their own labelled bottle of water.
- All visitors who need to be in school for any urgent meeting will be subject to an in-depth questionnaire given by security before entering the school building. This will include asking for details of counties they have visited, whether they have had symptoms or been in touch with anyone with symptoms.
- There will be no whole school assemblies taking place.
- Staggered Lunch sittings will be put into place.
- No parent is permitted in the school building. All meetings with teachers will take place over the phone.
If your child is off school then please email email@example.com as well as informing your child’s class teacher.
Please inform Miss Caplan immediately if a member of your family is suspected to have COVID-19. It is really important that you do communicate this so that we have a picture of what is going on to be able to put as many measures in place to protect the children, staff and whole school community.
Thank you for your understanding.
FRIDAY 13th MARCH – Headteacher’s Challenge – complete it today!
Instead of Wake and Shake in school this morning, children can do it at home. Play a piece of music and the children can dance to it.
As school is closed today, Miss Caplan is sending out a Headteacher’s challenge for all the children:
Imagine you get the opportunity to be Headteacher of North West for the day. What would you do to make the day special and why? You can produce the work either as a picture (with details) or as a written piece – the best work from each class will be included in the next edition of the School Standard and prizes will be awarded to the most original, and creative pieces of work.
You can email your work directly to me or bring it in when you’re next in school.
Wishing you all a Shabbat Shalom,
FRIDAY 13th MARCH – Firstly, we thank you all for your understanding and continued support. With the ever changing reality of COVID-19, when we received news, late yesterday evening, that a member of the wider community had received a positive diagnosis of the virus having attended a St Johns Wood Purim event this week at which numerous North West families were also present, we felt that we needed to take advice before allowing everyone back into school. Therefore, we took the decision in the immediate term to close the school today whilst we sought more comprehensive advice.
I want to take this opportunity to once again reassure you that there have not been any positive diagnoses within the school community.
We have spoken to the Department for Education COVID-19 Help line which is linked with Public Health England, who have approved our decision to close pending further advice. Having explained the situation to them, they have reiterated that the current national guidelines apply in this instance, as our school has not had any positive diagnoses, and that school should therefore remain open as usual from Monday. They have furthermore asked us to reiterate the following to the school community:
- Keep up the levels of thorough hand washing and hygiene. This will be reiterated to all children each day at registration. There will also be extra points attributed throughout the day where children will be expected to wash their hands. (see attachment)
- If you develop Symptoms such as: fever, dry chesty cough and/or shortness of breath you MUST self-isolate and call 111
The advice we have had is that unless you experience symptoms then you are fine to be in school. We remind you that if your child is off school unwell to please inform us immediately.
On a practical level, as we will continue to communicate throughout via Parentmail, could I ask that if you are not receiving or know of someone not receiving the Parentmail communications that you let the office know asap.
We remind parents that the Department for Education has launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
We are carefully monitoring the developing guidelines and while we appreciate there is understandable concern amongst parents and staff, in addition to requesting all parents and staff are compliant with most recent guidelines and self-quarantine where relevant, anyone with any concerns or queries should contact Miss Caplan directly in the first instance.
School is due to reopen on Monday, however should anything change in the interim we will inform you via text and Parentmail.
We thank you again for your continued support and working with us.
SCHOOL CLOSED – FRIDAY 13TH MARCH
We have been made aware late this evening (Thursday 12th March 2020) that a member of the wider community has been confirmed to have the COVID-19 virus and was attending a St Johns Wood Purim event this week. We are aware that there were North West families present at the same event.
Whilst there are still no confirmed cases within the school community. We have taken the decision, as a precaution, that we will be closing school on Friday 13th March whilst we investigate the situation and seek further medical advise.
We apologise for the inconvenience caused but feel that this is the best course of action at this time for everyone’s well-being.
We will communicate further as soon as we have more.
We are carefully monitoring the government’s guidelines for COVID-19 and will continue to update the school community as these guidelines develop.
We have already put in place a number of hygiene measures on school premises of which we have made the children aware and we ask that the parents and staff to please remind the children about personal hygiene specifically regarding effective hand washing. Please also find here a poster with further information regarding how to best stop the spread of the virus.
Planned school trips and visits are under ongoing review on a case-by-case basis as the situation develops and we will communicate our decision as to whether the specific children’s trip will go ahead closer to the date.
We are continuing to monitor the ever changing information and have formulated an action plan to be implemented should, as the Prime Minister outlined, the virus become more widespread.
The Department for Education has launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
We are carefully monitoring the developing guidelines and while we appreciate there is understandable concern amongst staff and parents, in addition to requesting all parents are compliant with most recent guidelines and self-quarantine where relevant, any staff or parent with any concerns or queries should contact Miss Caplan directly in the first instance.
Thank you for your continued support.