Dear Parents & Carers
Another academic year draws to close… 2019/2020 is one that we will never forget.
Due to COVID-19, school officially closed on Friday 20 March. Little did we know then that it would not reopen again for most pupils.
Throughout this period we having been looking after key worker & priority children. They have been wonderful & have been a credit to their families – they were coming to school at a time of great uncertainty without a single moan, whinge or word of complaint.
We were so pleased to have been able to have our Y6 pupils back at school, spending their last few days at Woodlands before embarking on their next adventure at Range, Formby, Birkdale & Merchant Taylors high schools. We wish them all the best for the future – we know they will do us, and their families, proud. They have made a positive impact on life at Woodlands in a variety of ways: house captains, playground pals, ecowarriors, sports leaders, tech crew, school councillors. They are the very best of Woodlands.
Going into lockdown prevented the children from experiencing a series of (what would have been) wonderful experiences: Y2 could not share their final production of their time in the infants (I’m told it was a 4 hour epic interpretation of the classic poem ‘The Iliad’ performed in Ancient Greek); Y6 missed out on their outdoor adventure trip to PGL; our ‘Olympic Sports Days’ were left unrun (tho’, like Tokyo, we will be able to have another go at holding them next summer); Y4’s overnight water activities visit to the Anderson Centre, Chorley, was sunk without trace. Our mini-topic to commemorate the 75 anniversary of VE Day was left unplanned, & our new history curriculum was put back on the shelf.
However, during the time we did have in school, we managed to fit an awful lot in before we closed. Red & Blue Classes (reception) produced a wonderful Christmas show ‘Ready, Steady, Elves!’ which brought smiles to faces & tears to everyone’s eyes in equal measure. Y1’s Nativity Play (The Inn-spectors) was simply brilliant – the children certainly all deserved to be given a judgement of ‘Outstanding’! Y1&2 managed to squeeze in a visit to Knowsley Safari Park only 8 days before school was suspended. Y3&4 hosted a wonderful carol concert for their families – everybody had a great time joining in with some classic Christmas tunes & some traditional carols – mind you, I am still hunting down which member of staff included a Michael Bublé song in the proceedings [#bubléfreechristmas]. Y5&6 kicked off the year with a memorable geography field trip to Easedale in the Lake District, and then a visit to the dunes on Formby beach, to study how these landscapes were formed.
Personally, one of my favourite events was World Book Day, again just before lockdown. We asked the children to produce a ‘model’ of one of their favourite book characters made out of a potato. We had worried that this was a half-BAKED idea but our families certainly sMASHED it! [sorry]
We’re now able to start looking forward to September. School will be a wee bit different as I described in my letter outlining our plan to return, but from what we’ve seen of the year groups that we have managed to get back into school, the children will settle in quickly & be as eager as ever to get on with their learning. We’ve got lots of exciting things lined up for the new school year – our staff are already beavering away to make sure everything is ready for September. Don’t forget to check the procedures & protocols put in place for our return – especially the drop-off & pick-up times – they are on the website. https://www.woodlandsschoolformby.co.uk/back-to-school-plan-september-2020/ Uniform is to be worn upon the children’s return.
To those children who have had possessions (e.g. PE kits, pencil cases, etc.) marooned in school during lockdown – don’t worry – we will be returning these to you at the start of the new academic year.
Sefton have raised the prices of school dinners, from September they will be £2.25 per day (£11.25 each week).
Thank you for all your understanding & support throughout this unprecedented year. So many of you sent your child’s class teachers messages of encouragement. The partnership between home and school is vital and we know that when this is strong our children will thrive – this is something that will hold us in good stead during the next academic year & beyond.
Please encourage your children to read over the summer – if they say they don’t like books it’s just because they haven’t found the right ones to read yet! There are so many wonderful books & wonderful authors who write about anything & everything – there’s no excuse not to read. It’s so important. Research has shown that children who read during the summer actually do better with their reading (& therefore writing) when they return to school.
I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge THANK YOU to all the members of staff at Woodlands. It’s when times are tough you see people’s true mettle. To put it simply, I am so lucky to have such an extraordinary staff – without their support I’d have probably run off to mid-Wales to join a commune & live in a tepee a long time ago. Their optimism has been boundless & their eagerness to help in any way has been inspiring. From teachers to TAs, from our office staff to Mr Inskip (site manager), from our LWAs (dinner ladies) to our cooks in the kitchen – they have all been magnificent.
I must say a final THANK YOU to Mrs Stark who, as you know, is retiring after 27 years at Woodlands. I can’t put into words how much we will miss her.
The summer term finishes at 2pm on Wednesday 22 July for both Y6 & our key worker & priority children.
Good luck to Y6.
We can’t wait to see the rest of you in September! [There is an INSET day for staff on Wednesday 3 September, so school begins for the children on Thursday 4 September.]
Have a lovely summer
I was struggling to figure out how lightning works…
Then it struck me