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Spring Newsletter 4 [Friday 29th January]

Dear Parents & Carers

 

The Prime Minister announced on Wednesday that pupils (other than vulnerable pupils & the children of critical workers) would not be returning to school immediately after the February half term break. He said the Government would publish a plan on 22 February with a view to begin opening schools from Monday 8 March. We will have to wait for the plan in order to find out how the return to school will look.

 

I think one of the major differences between this present lockdown & the one we experienced in 2020 is the weather – last spring, the days were sunlit, warm & blue-skied - currently it’s cold, wet & dreary (‘dreich’ as my dad says). So, it’s heart-warming to see the hours of darkness slowly lessen each day; today, the sun sets 46 minutes later than it did at the start of the month. As lockdown continues, it’s important to have something to look forward to – I can’t wait to be able to take my dog out for a decent walk on the dunes when I get home from work or just be able to sit & have a cup of tea in the garden – it’s hardly painting the town red, but it will be lovely to feel the sun on my face once again. All the staff desperately miss having our school full of children but those days will return &, once again, Woodlands will become the brilliant, bustling, vibrant place it usually is. We can’t wait.

 

This week, we have been able to distribute the Chromebooks we were allocated by the DfE; there was a slight delay of a few days in getting them out to families due to an issue with obtaining the licences for them – this was entirely my fault.

 

The teachers in Y1-Y6 love to see so many children attending the daily morning ‘welcome’ Google Meets. As always, we would ask you to ensure that families follow the guidelines set out below:

  • The Google Meet daily ‘Welcome’ session should take place in a living space, not reclining in/on a bed. If your child is sitting at a desk in their bedroom, this is acceptable, otherwise they should be in a communal area of your home. This also applies if your child jumps back on to the Google Meet to seek help from their teacher.
  • Children should be fully dressed (no pyjamas/onesies) but school uniform does not need to be worn.
  • Children should not be eating during the Google Meet session (they will have to have breakfast before or after the meeting).
  • Children should be on mute, unless asked to unmute.
  • Cameras should be on (feel free to blur the background or use one of the generic virtual background provided by Google Meet).
  • Parents should not try & log on to the Google Meet using their own Google account – they will not be allowed to enter the meeting.
  • Sessions should not be recorded by parents on any device, or shared, but will be recorded by school for safeguarding reasons (these recordings will be deleted after one month).

 

I have copied a few links to websites that will support you keeping your children online & this includes a link to Woodlands’ ‘E-Safety Information & Online Resources page on our website:

 
Next week is Children’s Mental Health Week. There are some lovely resources to be found at their website that will be worth looking at with your children: https://www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk/ Also, there is a good government publication with guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic – follow the link below:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-supporting-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-and-wellbeing/guidance-for-parents-and-carers-on-supporting-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-and-wellbeing-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak
 
I would like to take the opportunity to thank the staff we have in school each day. They are working so hard, some in unfamiliar year groups, & are facilitating the children’s learning brilliantly. It’s lovely for the children to be greeted by such friendly faces when they come to school. The children are so engaged in their work whichever bubble they are part of – this is down to the support of the staff in their classroom.
 
The children in school continue to behave brilliantly both in class & on the playground. I particularly love seeing how the Y3&4 bubble play together – every child joins in with whichever game it is they have chosen – usually Zombie Tag – the playground is filled with continuous shrieks of delight! The children are so kind & caring, everyone is included – zombie or not.
 

Thank you for all the kind words you have sent to our staff; you’ll never know the importance our teachers place on these messages – they mean the world to them.

 

Take care

KD Williams

Headteacher

Last word

I own the world’s worst thesaurus.

Not only is it awful, it’s awful.


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