No. 208

22 January 2021

Dear Children, Parents and Carers,

The whole school is really getting into the swing of the term now. None of us would have chosen to live through a global pandemic; however, it’s often said that in times of difficulty and challenge, human innovation and invention exceeds that seen in more settled times. We see this happening even within the school community with children becoming experts with technology, learning independence and finding ways to succeed through struggle. Well done to every child who hasn’t just given up at the first difficulty or hurdle, but been patient and persevered. These skills will be useful for the rest of your lives, not just when you’re learning at home.

We certainly see innovation on a daily basis amongst the staff. They have all risen to the challenges that we face with a cheerful and resourceful optimism. A year ago, few of us would have relished an opportunity for live, online teaching, we wouldn’t have thought about filming lessons or even known what Zoom was. And yet now, a year on, every member of staff is an expert Zoomer! Thank you so much for your words of encouragement to us all – it really has helped us persevere when we’ve been stuck or disillusioned! It’s been lovely to see how often we’ve solved problems together, sharing mistakes and passing on tips to save each other from falling into the same hole! We are all desperate to have a full school back together again, but I think you’ll agree with me, the team are doing a great job! Please keep being patient with us – this certainly isn’t the role that we trained for and it’s certainly pushing us beyond what’s comfortable…but the children seem to be making great progress in spite of the situation.

As the media starts to conjecture about a return to face-to-face schooling, it’s hard not to become frustrated with impatience, to wish away the weeks ahead and try to predict a timescale for school reopening. We’ve been thinking about patience in assembly this week, and this is a good example of where patience is needed - there’s nothing we can do, but wait and see. Hopefully, the infection rate locally will continue to fall and we will soon be back together. Until then though, let’s continue to make the best of this situation….and, where we can, find “heaven in the moment”. See the positives in this time together as families – even when you’re busy, have fun doing things together whenever you can.

I’ve seen the children show us how to do this; they are finding a zest for learning beyond the classroom – some of their art work, their Lego creations and their creative writing have been superb. Do keep sending the teachers examples of their work; it’s been so uplifting and an important reminder that for young children, time away from screens is where they learn the most and are most fulfilled! I’m going to be reminding the staff to keep this in mind in the weeks ahead as they set tasks to be completed at home. I’m really keen that we don’t forget creativity and imagination; the teachers are adapting topics to make home-school exciting and relevant, designing all sorts of creative learning tasks – so much more than just zooming. Building imaginary worlds under the stairs, performing a self-made play, setting up a school for your toys or experimenting with capacity and density in the bath are just some ideas for learning through play. Do challenge your children to spend time away from electronic entertainment. Please feel free to blame me if they tell you that everyone else is allowed to spend time online for so much longer than they are! Most importantly of all, make sure that they read often – and do enjoy books together. With more rain, or even snow forecast this weekend, I’ll be definitely spending time with a good book! And if it does snow, despite our technology and skills at remote learning, we’ll have a snow day!

With love,
Clare


Thought of the Week: Love is patient– who loves you enough to be patient with you?

Whole school notice

Opportunity to discuss ways to find hope
Throughout the pandemic, we’ve been approached by families commenting on our school values bringing them comfort and hope. Mike Norris, one of our parents and part of St Saviour’s Church in Guildford, has offered to run a couple of online sessions exploring this and similar themes. See the attached flyer if you’re interested in taking part.

Guildford Family Centre
The Guildford Family Centre remains open to support the local community. They are offering virtual courses, telephone advice sessions and support groups. Their on-site services also include: selling of vitamins (women and babies) and hiring of electric breast pumps. Information on courses and resources is available via their Facebook page: @GuildfordFamilyCentre.


FOPS News

Hello everyone,

Thank you to those who attended last night’s committee meeting. We had a great discussion about how best we can support the school during the next term.

We agreed that 50% of all funds raised this year will go towards the new pitch at Holy Trinity, which many of our children will be able to enjoy once they move on to the Junior school.

Clare and the teachers have also indicated the needs for the school that any funds we raise would support.

These include:

  • A new sound system for the hall – replacing the existing cassette tape and CD player
  • Updating the reading scheme with more titles for all year groups
  • Continuing the work in the Year 1 outside space and the Rainbow Room

We have a few ideas to help raise funds to put towards all this that will hopefully provide some light relief during lockdown. We’ll give details in the coming weeks.

Have a lovely weekend all,
Kate

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