Dear Parents and Caregivers
We would like to take this opportunity to say thank you and well done to everyone for the calm and settled start to the school week on Monday and Tuesday. It was really lovely to see so many children smiling as they came through the school gates. Of course, this feeling wasn’t shared by everyone, but even the children who were feeling apprehensive soon settled into the classroom routines once they were with their friends.
It is important to remember that, unlike the adults who are having a gradual reintegration into society through the pathway out of lockdown, the youngest members of society have just gone from 0 to 60 overnight! For some children, the only people they have seen over the last two months are immediate family members; for some children, this is one parent. They have, overnight, been thrown into a class of up to thirty people in a school of over three hundred children and sixty adults! As adults, some of us are struggling with the easing of lockdown – we can only imagine how some of the children may be feeling.
Added to the return to school and the anxiety surrounding this, they are also acutely aware that there has been much talk in the media and in families about “lost learning” and the need to “catch up”. There has been a huge disparity in the home learning that families have been able to offer. This isn’t anyone’s fault – just a matter of circumstances – and the children should not be made to feel that they have failed or done something wrong. We need to move forward.
Over the next couple of weeks, the staff at school will be working with the children. getting to know them again and the areas that they have remembered and forgotten. They will spend time reminding them of the basics and working out the next steps. They will help them to socialise again. They will be there to support them when they fall out with class friends and remind them how to rebuild relationships. They will resume learning again and they will “catch up”. Each child is different and will need to go at their own pace. Give them time!
For now, we are enjoying the buzz around seeing the school full again. Even one of our neighbours, a long time friend of the school, commented on how lovely it was to hear the playground “noise” again!
Tracy and Mike
Website posts you may have missed:
There are some really lovely, easy-to-access resources on the childline website to help with anxiety and calming.
Uniform and flexibility
As promised in last week’s newsletter, the concerns raised by families about uniform was discussed at the Governor meeting on Monday. Whilst the Governors are sympathetic to parents’ concerns, there is still a need to create a sense of community in the school. One of the ways we achieve this is through our uniform.
We have always had a flexible approach though so during this period of transition, we will allow for greater flexibility.
We do not expect children to wear jumpers with logos but we would wish to stick with the school colours: navy or black trousers/ skirt and the appropriate coloured top: white, light blue or navy. Shoes are difficult to purchase at the moment so children will be allowed to wear trainers. Please ensure they are appropriate colours.
Nail varnish, however, a joy of lockdown, needs to be removed!
Social distancing at the school gates
Thank you to everyone for supporting social distancing and face coverings at the school gate. It is appreciated. Please could we remind parents and carers, though, to not gather in front of the entrances? We appreciate that the school run is a good opportunity to see friends and catch up, but please do this to the sides of the entrances so that they, and the pathways, aren’t blocked. Thank you!
School lunches, WAP and Parent Pay
Abbie Laffan will be based in the school office (10458 442979) between the hours of 10.00 am -12.30 pm on Mondays and 12.30 pm -3.00 pm on Fridays. If you have any queries about lunches, WAP or Parent Pay, please call the school office and ask to speak with Abbie.
Outside of these hours, Abbie can be emailed at ALaffan@ejsch.co.uk. She will reply to emails during working hours or during her admin time for WAP.
Thank you to everyone who has already returned the loaned Chromebook. Please ensure that all Chromebooks are returned by the end of the day on Friday so that they may be quarantined over the weekend, ready for use in school on Monday.
Information from Public Health
A really useful fact sheet about Coronavirus aimed at children:
Another great idea from Steet Community Support
Photos for the website gallery
Our gallery will continue whilst we are in school. You have been sharing your work with us, we will continue to share our work with you. Please remember, though, that we can not share every piece of work with you.
You can have a look at the gallery here: Elmhurst Lockdown Gallery 2021