No 181

15 May 2020

Dear Children, Parents and Carers,

Firstly, my weekly message to the children,

Earlier in the week, I wrote an important letter to your parents and carers about the government’s plans to try to start re-opening schools. You might like to read some of my letter…because I was thinking about you. This is what I said:

I hope that you are all well. As the weeks go by, I miss our school community more than ever. I’m particularly mindful this week of our Year 5 children who would have been heading off on their trip to Dorset….and our Year 6’s who would have been tackling their SATs tests. However, as I hear about all the different things that you are doing at home, I’m reassured that the positive spirit of HTPD remains. The ways that everyone seems to be “embracing the future with hope and confidence” fills me with optimism for the way ahead.

Then I went on to explain that in June children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 can return to school if their parents want them to. It must have been a bit difficult for those of you in Years 2 to 5 when you heard that your year groups have to stay at home for a while longer. I promise we’ll do our best to help you still feel connected. Even for those coming back into school, it’s not really going to be like normal school. Those back in school will have to be in a small group all day, and may not have their usual teacher. So I think it’s going to be a challenging time for all of us. I know that I can rely on all of you to be your usual hopeful selves though and that’s so encouraging!

When we think about being hopeful, sometimes we have to wait for things to work out well. Keep praying and asking God to show us how to look after each other while we wait for things to improve. I read Psalm 91 today and it made me feel better – “He will cover you with his feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge.” Even when it’s hard, God wants us to know He is caring for us like a mother hen gathers in her chicks. You might like to read it too if you need cheering along.

And now to our parents and carers:

Thank you for your patience as we work out how to respond to the government’s plans. As I’ve said to the children already, this is going to be a very unusual time ahead. With very clear instructions about keeping school safe and prioritising infection control, we plan to have small groups of children working apart from others, arriving and leaving in small groups at specified times. I’m sure for some of you it will be very inconvenient. For that, I’m sorry; we are not able to be flexible and it’ll involve a bit of a shift in our thinking. I’ll be able to write in more detail soon, but first will be sharing all of the planning process with our governing body. Like me, they want to be reassured that it is safe to open.

For those of you looking ahead to more home-schooling, I want to offer my encouragement and congratulations! If school does open in early June, we will need to make adjustments to our online learning ideas – with most of our staff in school to manage small groups, we will have a much smaller team working on the website. This will mean our daily updates become weekly, but we’ll still be providing a week of ideas. Your children are clearly still thriving, learning and connecting on Zoom with their usual spirit and energy. From the work that is being sent in, and the films and photos too, you’re obviously doing a great job. Keep going! Let’s hope it won’t be for much longer.

With love and prayers,

Thought of the week: “Bee Hopeful” – how do you overcome disappointments? “Happy are the meek, they will receive all that God has promised,” Matthew 5 v5

Friday Fun

Thank you for all your support since the launch on Friday 1st May. Issue 2 is now available here and is filled with a variety of fun activities to keep you entertained. You can find Friday Fun at the bottom of the Year Group JTLYK page on the HTPD Website on Fridays. Issue 1 is available here.

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