No. 210

05 February 2021

Dear Children, Parents and Carers,

I’m really enjoying seeing so many children each week joining in together in year group assemblies. How lovely that in some homes, parents and carers are taking a moment to pause and reflect along with their children; some are even lighting a candle and making it a lovely family occasion. Obviously not everyone can fit this in during a busy working day, but for those that do, I hope it brings a chance to slow down for a while and find some peace. If your child does light a candle, please do make sure that they’re supervised!

It was lovely to speak to some of you this week at the drop-in coffee morning. I was so glad to hear about all the success stories of home learning; please do let us know if you need any support in the coming weeks. We do understand that this is a really tricky time for some children and we can’t wait for them to be back in school; as I’ve said before, please don’t feel that you have to keep up with all the different tasks that are set. Every child is different and we all learn differently. If it becomes stressful, for either you or your child, take a break and adjust the expectations. Once the children are back in school, we’ll be able to fill in the gaps. Children showed us after the previous lockdown that they are far more resilient, adaptable and able to catch up than we’d ever imagine. So please don’t worry about them falling behind.

After the half term break, we’re planning to hold our usual parent / teacher consultations. Following the success of last term’s online meetings, we’ll be giving you the opportunity to book another Zoom appointment. Obviously, things will be a little different this term with so many of the children working at home. We are really keen to hear your thoughts about your child’s approach to the curriculum during this period of home-learning – what have you discovered about their strengths and where do you feel they need more support? As usual, your child is welcome to join you for some of the meeting, if you’d like them to. Look out for a parentmail about booking arrangements and if you’d rather take a phone call instead please email your classteacher.

Here’s an exciting opportunity for the half term break – we’ve decided to hold a house photography competition to refresh the art work that’s on show in the junior school staff room. Take a look at the flyer and encourage your child to take part. We’d love to showcase some of the most creative and eye-catching photos, as well as celebrate how our school values are lived out at HTPD. I’ve been amazed at the imagination, ingenuity and talent that has been demonstrated by the children in some of the tasks that they’ve had more time and freedom to complete due to the current restrictions. With less busy timetabling, fewer distractions and more flexibility, some of the children have produced work that is just beautiful. It’s great to see children flourishing in spite of the challenges of this time and I’m hopeful that a photography competition will perhaps capture this spirit!

With love,
Clare


Thought of the Week: Love is not jealous – are you content to be yourself?

Whole school notice:

The Great Big Art Exhibition
Antony Gormley launched The Great Big Art Exhibition in January to encourage people to make art/sculpture whilst in lockdown. It is a similar idea to the rainbow pictures which became popular during the first lockdown. Please click on the image below for details.
BigArt.png

Free printing
If any families are unable to print school work from home, Burns and Webber have very kindly offered to help do this free of charge from their Guildford office. Please contact them on either 01483 440800 or email guildford-bandw@curchods.com. The address for pick up is: Burns and Webber Estate Agency, The Clock House, 2 London Road, Guildford GU1 2AF.

Active Surrey Parent & Child Opportunity
To mark Child Mental Health Week (1-7 Feb), Active Surrey are pleased to launch our new Child Wellbeing Offer, which includes 3 training options (for staff, pupils, and parents) developed with Surrey CC Educational Psychologists and endorsed by Surrey School Nurses.
Parent Workshop: ‘Helping your child be their best: a focus on wellbeing’
Ideal for schools or organisations wishing to engage with parents and involve them in the physical and mental wellbeing of children. This virtual 75 minute workshop, developed with Surrey’s Clinical Lead Nurse for Childhood Obesity, includes the importance of physical activity, sleep and nutrition, as well as the 6 branches of mental wellbeing.
Pupil Training: ‘Wellbeing Warriors’
Developed in consultation with Surrey Educational Psychologists, this 2 hour classroom-based interactive training programme is for year 4 pupils to learn how mental health and wellbeing can be influenced positively through Physical Activity. Training will include understanding emotions & how physical activity can positively influence them.

Virtual Board Games in lockdown
This week we were contacted by a young student who asked if I would pass on her idea to the school community; I was really impressed and so here it is: My name is Alisha Pulham and I'm currently
studying at the University of Warwick. Back during the first wave of Covid-19, I adapted some traditional board games (such as Snakes & Ladders, Connect Four, Battleships, etc.) to play with my grandma, who lives alone in Wales and was struggling with the isolation during lockdown. She really enjoyed playing them and said they gave her something to look forward to in the week.

This inspired me to find a way to make these games accessible to other people in a similar situation, by designing a website called Quick Quarantine Games (www.quickquarantinegames.com). The games are ideal for children to play with each other during lockdown, or with other relatives who they aren't able to see in person because of the Covid restrictions. All the games are completely free to download and print out, can be played over the phone (with or without a video camera), and come with instructions provided on how to play without being able to see each other.

I've also just uploaded some new games that children can design and decorate themselves. My hope is that these games can help children reconnect and have fun with their friends and family during this difficult time, even if they can't be with them in person. I was therefore wondering if these games might be useful in schools, with children designing their own boards and then playing with each other over the phone or video call, thereby strengthening their communication skills by having to describe to each other where they are positioned on the board.

Take a look and see what you think! 


FOPS News

Hello everyone,

Two items from FOPS this week:

Half term sponsored read
Following Geraldine’s timely email about access to books ahead of World Book Day, and considering one of the school’s priorities for fundraising this year is to refresh the books across all year groups, we are organising a sponsored read taking place during half term.

Details of how to participate will be sent out next week by ParentMail so please do keep an eye out.

Easyfundraising
FOPS is signed up to the easyfundraising scheme, which is a very quick way of raising free donations for the school while everyone is at home and doing more shopping online.

It is simple to use – register for an account and then install a ‘donation reminder’ button on your web browser on a desktop, smart phone, or other device and that’s it.

Thousands of common retail outlets participate and will donate a percentage of the sale to your chosen cause. The ‘donation reminder’ will let you know if it’s a participating outlet when you’re browsing online and you simply click ‘activate’ and it’s all done.

While it may seem like a small amount, collectively it can add up to a lot so please do click the link below to sign up. https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/fopd/?utm_campaign=raise-more&utm_content=en-e1

Happy weekend all, Kate

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