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Lockdown haircuts, key workers' kids & the Soviet space race

Dear Parents/Carers


9 weeeeeeks. Is it me or are the weeks getting longer? I wonder how many of you have succumbed to the “lockdown haircut” for your children or yourselves. I do have some clippers that I could hire out at a reasonable price – get that ‘go faster’ summer buzzcut - because you’re worth it…

As you can imagine this week has been a wee bit hectic behind the scenes here at Woodlands. I would like to thank my staff & our governing body for helping put together our ‘back to school proposals’. Also, I’d like to thank you for your patience too – I know it will have been frustrating waiting to see what these proposals entailed. I’m using the word ‘proposals’ because that’s what they are – as I repeated ad infinitum in yesterday’s letter things could well change between now & the 15th June.


Our key workers’ children have been busy again this week from playing dodgeball to toasting the world’s biggest marshmallows during Forest School! Again, I have to thank all of these children for being so wonderful – they have a real ‘can-do’ attitude & have caused us no problems at all. They have adapted brilliantly to these unusual circumstances. Each & every one of them are a real credit to their families.


Parents in nursery (N2), reception, Year 1 & Year 6, please remember to complete the ‘back to school survey’ you were sent via ParentMail yesterday – it will remain open until 9am on Monday 25th May.

I have attached a leaflet from Merseyside Police [‘Stay Safe at Home’] which covers crime prevention advice on a range of topics:  domestic abuse, online safety for children, and fraud & cyber-scams.


Due to COVID-19 restrictions Mr Grant was unable to import the elephant he had purchased online from Big Al’s Pachyderm Emporium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Luckily, he was able to get a full refund, which he has used to fund his next project – or “alternate realities” as he’s started to call his historical re-enactments. I quite approve of Mr Grant’s next recreation: Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s flight to space On April 12, 1961, aboard the spacecraft Vostok 1. Gagarin became the first human to travel into space. He was launched into space in a spaceship that was only 2.3m in diameter – it was no more than a gloried fridge! Mr Grant has been busy hammering, soldering & welding in his shed & has completed a replica space rocket that will carry him 187 miles above the surface of our planet. The launch sequence will begin at 22:15 this evening with blast-off 43 minutes later. So, if you look northwards into the night sky just before 10 o’clock, keep an eye of for a small object hurtling towards the edge of the Earth’s atmosphere, Give Mr Grant a wave. His flight, like Yuri Gagarin’s, will last 108 minutes. He has calculated that he will splash down on the Marine Lake in Southport at 00:46. Mrs Grant will be waiting in a rowing boat to pick him up. He has promised that once he’s got this out of his system that his historical recreations will be over…


I haven’t issued a Mr Williams’ challenge for a wee while but it would be great if some of the children found out more about Yuri Gagarin – he’s one of my heroes. Imagine being the first person to leave Earth. How excited must he have been? How terrified must he have been? They could write a diary entry, paint a picture of Yuri in his spacesuit or even recreate some of the Soviet era posters celebrating his achievement (they are really impressive). I’d love to see anything they do related Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin.


Thank you for again for all your messages of support to the teachers & TAs at Woodlands – these mean the world to them.


Take care & stay safe

Keith Williams




If you look at this letter on the school website, you’ll be able to see a photograph of Mr ‘Yuri Gagarin’ Grant in his space helmet - we’re hoping to be able to post a shot of him in space at a later date…