6th May 2020 parent/carer update

Good afternoon everyone.

I hope that you are all keeping healthy. The teachers have been keeping me up to date with all the telephone conversations that you have been having with them and it sounds as though everyone is doing really well in the circumstances. I’m very proud of the way that the St Mary’s staff are supporting you in keeping the learning going for the children and we all appreciate how hard it can be for you to negotiate your way through things with the children when you are alone at home. Even the most angelic pupils at school can show their darker side when it’s someone at home trying to get them to get on with their learning! All that I can say is, try not to worry too much, you can only do your best and some day soon we will all be back together and we can support the children with anything that they have missed.

As I said last week, I don’t have any special ‘inside information’ about the children returning to school. Many people are predicting dates and ways that schools will return, but I can honestly say that nobody really knows, except maybe Boris Johnson! The Local Authority have been liaising with schools to get their perspective and I know that the education unions have been feeding back to the government on the key issues that schools feel they will be facing. Of course, I am starting to get ideas together about the ways that we could possibly manage things at St Mary’s, but it really does depend on what is said by the Prime Minister on Sunday. There are lots of possibilities that could be suggested and I appreciate that you will all have different opinions and thoughts about whether it will be safe for your child to return to school, regardless of government guidance. We shall have to wait until Sunday’s announcement before we can make any further plans.

Having said all of that, I am guessing that we will not be making any changes at school next week, simply because we won’t be able to start getting proper plans in place until Monday. I am therefore expecting that we will continue in the week beginning 11th May with the critical workers’ children in school, the online learning continuing for everyone else and staff on a rota at school, phoning parents/carers and supervising children. As soon as I have any further news, rest assured that I will let you know.

It may seem irrelevant in the midst of the lockdown, but it is a VE Day Bank Holiday this Friday. The school will be completely closed as there are no critical workers’ children who require care that day. Staff will not be working from home either. The teachers have been providing learning connected to the VE Day celebrations, but I can’t help thinking how sad it is that we are not able to all be together to remember this important date in history. We would normally be all dressed up and sharing street parties at school this week, but sadly this year we have other things to focus on. Please do send the teachers any pictures or work that you do at home about VE Day through GC or Tapestry. I am sure that they would love to see them and I also like to check in on the learning that’s going on.

As always, please accept my best wishes. I am thinking of you all and I am here at school every day to keep things going and help with any questions or queries that you may have.

Kind regards,

Geraldine Denham-Hale