Update 30th April
I hope you and your families are safe and well.
I am really missing all the children at school and seeing parents at drop off and collection times; a ‘normal’ school day seems a long time ago! I am ever hopeful that we will be able to welcome the children back into school at some point soon although I still do not have any further information, other than following the news like yourselves. Today’s press conference did not really ‘shed any light’ on the situation either. I do, however, think that the most likely return will be early June and I am assuming that it will be phased, ensuring social distancing where possible. I am very much hoping that, when the return date is announced, the logistics of that phasing will be made clear. If it is not, as a school, we will manage the return in a manner that will maximise the safety of pupils, parents and staff. As soon as I hear any news or have an indication of the return plans, I will be sure to let you know.
I am sure, like me, you are very keen to get the children back into school. I do know speaking to some of you last week, that the transition between the Easter holidays and the return to ‘virtual schooling’ was particularly tricky, especially if you are having to work from home.
I would reiterate my offer for the teachers or myself to phone the children and I do know that many phone calls have been made this week. Some teachers have begun to have ‘Zoom’ contact with children; Mr Baker had a very successful remote school council meeting last week. This means of communication at least allows for some ‘face to face’ contact and we are more than happy to use it. Please let me know if your children would like a Mrs Brown Zoom!
If your children are struggling with the work set or you feel that they are slipping behind, please be assured that, as a staff team, we are already planning how we can maximise time on our return to fill any gaps and catch up on work missed. The academic progress of the children is ultimately our responsibility; setting work and tasks remotely is no substitute for face to face, direct teaching. You, however, are teaching the children a whole host of skills that we would not be able to practise at school and which are ultimately still contributing to your child’s education. The gardening, crafting, baking, puzzling, bike riding and playing are, at this time, as important as the reading, writing and maths. Hang on to that when the home teaching is difficult!
Equally important is your child’s emotional wellbeing. We are still being supported by the Mindmap Charity. Under the Recent Letters section on the website, I have attached a letter from them and a copy of the Casey the Caterpillar stories. Feel free to use them if you wish. We will certainly be using the stories and ‘feelings flowers’ on our return. If you are concerned about your child’s anxiety levels, please get in touch and we can signpost you to resources or organisations that can help.
I will write again as soon as I have more information about a return to school. In the meantime, please get in touch if you need help or support or would just like a chat! Oh, and look out for a ‘Mrs Brown YouTube’ message from me to the children coming very soon.