Dear parents/ carers and pupils. Well what a difference a day makes! As of January 5th we find ourselves in another national lockdown!
SMS staff will be meeting over the next few days to see how we can support our schools, pupils and parents during the next 6 weeks. Our one to one after school lessons will move online and SMS staff will be organising online lessons where possible for daytime students.
We ask for your patience over the next few days as we plan our course of action, but we are confident that we will be able to support the musical pupils of the borough as we go through this difficult period. We will update you as more information becomes available.
If you have any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org as the office phones are not manned at this moment in time
Saturday Music Centre and SMS ensembles will not be able to start until Solihull is placed back into a lower tier (2 at a minimum) and again we will update you as the term progresses. SMS staff have worked extremely hard to create free online resources for pupils to access and they can be found here: SMS ONLINE RESOURCES and SMS TEACHING YOU TUBE CHANNEL. Stay safe everyone and keep up to date by following us on Twitter @musicsolihull
As we approach the end of a long and hard term, we would like to thank you for your ongoing support and I hope (on top of school-based lessons, online lessons and 1-1 at SMS) that SMS Ensembles, Saturday Music Centre (SMC), Arden, Light Hall and St Peters can restart in the New Year The proposal to reopen SMC and SMS ensembles will not be considered until we are out of tier 3! We continue to work with Light Hall, St Peters and Arden to find a solution moving forward next term. However, despite the challenges we faced we thought I would share some of the highlights we have achieved this term.
SMS has continued to deliver in most schools this term despite the difficulties this presents. This shows the value schools place on music, SMS and our staff.
One to one lessons after school have continued at our Lyndon school setting and online lessons offered to those at Arden School.
Despite not being able to restart Saturday Music Centre and our weekly ensemble offer online sessions have been taking place to engage with those pupils and have been made into an online resource.
The SMS you tube channel continues to develop and is a great online resource.
Today SMS is sharing some really positive online performances to raise a smile and spirts as we head into the Christmas break. You can see these here:
After weeks of work and discussions, we are delighted to announce that our plan for the office to return, daytime lessons in schools and 1 to 1 lessons to recommence were signed off by the Solihull Council Covid Recovery Team on Friday. This means that we will be returning to teaching pupils week starting 5th October where it is safe to do so. This will require patience and understanding as we learn to adapt to the current situation.
Daytime lessons: SMS staff will start delivering PPA, WCET and 1 to 1 and small group lessons. SMS staff will be subject to both our own SMS RA and the RA of the school they are teaching in.
1 to 1 Lessons SMS will have a phased return to 1 to 1 lessons at Lyndon School starting on October 5th. This is subject to SMS RA and in discussion with Lyndon school. Please be aware that our RA may have to adapt as we start teaching. Process for 1 to 1 lessons: 1) Parents will need to drop pupils off. Parents will not be allowed on the school premises 2) For the first lesson pupils, will be greeted by a member of the SMS team and taken to their large classroom for their lesson. 3) Pupils will access their lesson via a one way system. When entering the building pupils will be guided through the double doors and follow a one way system to their room. When finishing the lesson pupils will exit the building using the SMS corridor. 4) Please follow the guidance that is displayed and use the NHS QR code on the front doors. 5) Pupils can use the school toilets but please remember to wash your hands before and after use.
Office staff return: We are phasing our office staff return so they can deal with any queries that arise due our return to work. There are clear expectations when you wish to visit the office that can be found here as part of the office RA. Please be aware that the office will not be fully operational as we cannot have all the office team in at once due to social distancing guidelines. Therefore we ask for your patience and understanding around this.
Phase 2 and 3. We will be working on plans to restart SMC (Saturday Music Centre – Phase 2) and SMS weekly ensembles (Phase 3). But as I am sure you will appreciate with Solihull under local restrictions and this area of our work requiring mixing bubbles from different schools this will take time and involve careful planning before we can present it to Solihull Councils Covid Recovery Team. However we are mindful that the pupils deserve and need a musical ensemble offer and we work very hard to achieve this.
We very much look forward to seeing you all over the coming weeks