School Update 28th April 2020
Dear Parents and Carers
Hopefully everyone is now using our year group emailing system and finding it easier to upload things to. We have all loved seeing your home learning on the blogs and teachers have passed on to me some of the super learning photographs from home! Well done everyone. I am very proud of you all.
We have been asked by a few parents about having books from school. Unfortunately, due to unknown factors about the virus and how long it stays on surfaces, we will be unable to do this at the moment. There are links to online books on our site, if you would like to practice reading. At the moment, we are putting activities on daily, instead of in one big bundle. This is to encourage children to do something daily and not to overwhelm parents. BBC Bitesize is also up and running if parents would like more, and there are lots of links to fun games to reinforce learning and practise skills
The majority of parents have now had at least one telephone call home from their teacher. Some parents are not answering, and we will keep trying to contact you. We currently have 4 ways for children to keep in touch with us:
Year Group emails
I am very proud of the teachers who are upskilling their technology knowledge very quickly. We held our first Zoom staff meeting with everyone last week, and we will also be interviewing for a teacher in Frog Class and Maternity Cover for Bat Class at the end of this month via Zoom. We will also be having our first remote governor meeting and myself and Mrs Palmer set our yearly budget remotely with Hampshire's Education Financial Services last week. It is a steep learning curve for us all, but a challenge we are rising to. For parents struggling to blog, look back through our 'Latest News' section for blogging instructions)
We have now sent a welcome letter to all new parents of Year R children, using the email addresses they provided us, outlining our transition process for Year R children as it currently stands. If you know of anyone who has not received this email, please can you tell them to email the school office and we will resend to them.
We have had no further news of reopening, although there is lots of speculation on when this will be and what it will look like. I have no idea when it will be, but I do know that even with greatly reduced numbers, social distancing at infant level will be impossible to put into practice. We would obviously try our best if this is what we are instructed to do, but I, as an experienced headteacher, could not guarantee it.
Keeping up to date with current events takes a large part of my time at the moment, with lots of reading about how children's education will be affected and how to fill in gaps. I can speak a little from experience on this. When I was six years old, in Year 2, I had a major operation on my feet. I had the operation in the February and did not attend school again until I went to the Juniors in September, missing a lot of school. As well as a lot of physiotherapy, my mum and dad had to take over my learning. There was no internet and only a few channels on the television (yes I am that old!). My mum left school at 16 and had me when she was 19, so a young mum like many of you. With little direction from the school, she said she felt a bit overwhelmed, but concentrated on reading lots of stories and non fiction, writing anything: shopping lists, stories, labels, captions, instructions. She said she concentrated on things I wanted to write about and keyed into my interests. I used to love comics and wrote stories for the characters in them. My dad, when he came home from work, concentrated on setting me lots of number problems and learning my times tables.
When I returned to school, I hadn't fallen behind, in fact I was ahead. I slotted back in with my friends. I had really missed them, and talked non stop at school from that moment on (I am still a chatterbox now). I am sharing this story to try to help any parent who is feeling overwhelmed, to try not to worry. Whatever school looks like when we reopen, we will be there to support all of the children in what they need.
On that note, for anyone who is interested, I found an article about the children who live in Christchurch, New Zealand. For many months after the earthquake, they were unable to attend school. This article explores the effect on them and their education.
One last website-my son has recently taken to reading 'Beano' (obviously taking after me and his dad and our love of comics). I came across this website, which has lots of things to read and do on it. We are currently in the process of writing a new adventure for Bananaman. I am taking a leaf out of my mum's book: we are concentrating on writing things he wants to write about.
(I will also add the link to the the children's page)
With Best Wishes