A belated happy new year to you all. Today is the first day that I feel like I have been able to pause for breath and I am looking forward to sharing my thoughts with you. Nobody wanted to go into another lockdown and partially close schools. Your children need to be in school interacting with their peers and learning from their teachers in person. We will return to this, and, this time, with the widespread availability of vaccinations, there will be permanence to our return.
Today I am working from home and even though I am trained and have 20 years of experience in education I am floundering. My three children are doing their best but they still need supporting, encouraging and feeding! Parent as teacher is not a natural fit and I know many of you will be struggling with this. Please try, as I am today, not to be too hard on yourself. The most important thing to maintain is your relationship with your child/children and the school completely understand that this is a challenging time. We will help as much as we possibly can.
This morning I had the pleasure of being in Mr Shankar’s morning meet and it was lovely to see nearly all of Year 4 in attendance. I really think that this daily morning meet is going to support your children emotionally. The ability to see and interact with their classmates on a daily basis will help to maintain the feeling of a community working together.
The whole school community came together on Monday and Tuesday to deliver the chromebooks to all of our Key Stage 2 Children. We have governors, teachers, office staff and members of the SLT out on the streets ensuring that all our children will have the best possible access to remote learning. We have already seen participation in remote learning greatly increase as a result of this. The ability for your child to have their own allocated device throughout the lockdown period will be invaluable as we move forward. We know that a device is only part of the package. If you need any support with connectivity and your wifi please contact the office and we will do what we can to support. I have also just been told that we have now converted our existing laptops to chromebook equivalents and we will be distributing these to our Year 2 families as soon as we can.
As you know, we are only currently open to key workers and children classed as vulnerable. This is frustrating but in my opinion the right decision. Local and national rates of coronavirus have increased dramatically and I believe we have a pivotal role in limiting community transmission. We all saw the terrible news that over 1000 people died of the virus yesterday and the new variant will continue to result in these numbers for a period of time. This is the hardship before the reward and the increasing programme of vaccinations points to a brighter future. In the meantime, I do not want our school to be responsible for even one further case of Coronavirus in the community. While we cannot guarantee this, the low numbers we currently have in school and the further safety measures we have put in place give us the best chance of stopping transmission. I do not want all children in Year 2 and above to be wearing masks in class but feel that it is a necessary precaution at this time. I would also like to thank those key worker families who feel they have the capacity to care for their children at home. This has helped to keep numbers down. There will be key worker families that cannot cater for their children and we will continue to educate these children at school. We have our allocated rotas up until the week beginning the 18th of January. If you are a key worker family and are unable to care for your child at home please contact the office if your child is not already placed with us. I am really not keen on the narrative that some sections of the press seem to be pushing in terms of lazy teachers etc. it could not be further from the truth. This is simply about safety and saving lives and we all have our part to play.
I am sorry to finish on a sombre note but I know the difficulties you will be having with home learning and the inconveniences this may cause but sometimes actions need to be taken for the common good and my first priority will always be the safety of our community.
We are always looking to improve our remote learning offer and next week will be sending out a google survey to gather your thoughts. Last time we did this your comments and suggestions were intelligent and insightful and we changed our practice as a result. Please contribute to the survey. We are committed, as always, to working in partnership with you.
Have a lovely weekend and look after yourselves and your families. Stay safe.
Please note the office is closed to all parents and visitors.
We are contactable via telephone and email between 8am and 4pm on 0208 876 6721 or firstname.lastname@example.org
We just wanted to remind everyone that here at Darell Primary and Nursery school we feel that wellbeing, including your physical and mental health are extremely important. We want to support the whole family during this time.
It is important that our parents and carers feel supported and well in themselves so the tips and links you will find within this section are to support adults and children.
The Reading Corner
Welcome to our weekly section of the newsletter all about reading. Every week, we will share a question (or two) with you about the book your child is reading in school. Please use these questions to help you find out a little more about what your child has been reading in school and continue to develop their love of reading.
Packham - why did everyone want to squeeze, kiss, eat and fight the baby?
Peake - Why do you think the objects got stuck in the tree? If you were Floyd, what would you have done to solve the problem?
Weir - Do you think that Lazlo should go with the dark? Why? Why not?
Mozart - Where did Snow Bear go to find comfort and warmth?
Newton - What does this quote from the story mean - 'without water, there will be no life?'
Thunberg - What would your dream garden look like?
Darwin - If you could make your own planet to live on, what would it be like? For example would you keep the sky blue? Would the animals be the same as here on earth or different?
Attenborough - What would we have to change at Darell to accommodate superhero kids?
Would you rather be Kid Normal or a superhero kid?
Parks - Why did the 4 city children find themselves living in the strange house in the countryside with the mysterious old man and his servants?
Sitting down with your child and exploring their favourite app or game is a great way for you to learn more about what they like to do online.
You can ask them why they like to use an app or play certain games, as well as who they’re talking to and what sorts of things they’re sharing.
You can follow the online safety links for tips on how to keep kids safe on popular apps, sites and games.
Please click on the link below to find some useful information.
Today, one of our remote learning tasks in Year 6 was to create a poster to help support each other through this lockdown period. We loved this example from one of the children in Year 6. What a great message! #remotelearning #makeadifference https://t.co/2W3zDK2oH3