Where did that half term go? As I write, Lionel Ritchie is blaring out from the office. Not in person! I was a teenager in his heyday and dismissed him out of hand but he really is a powerhouse. There is a general feeling of optimism around the school and that is not just because of Lionel. The days are getting longer, we are seeing the sun on a consistent basis and it is half term next week. We also eagerly await the announcement on the 22nd of February. Let’s be honest we have all had enough of this crisis now. From what I am hearing, there is a chance that they may announce a full return in primaries. Please do not quote me on this. I have learnt not to take anything for granted but I feel sure a wider opening, of some sort, will be announced on the 22nd February. Two weeks notice has been promised so we will not be warming up our sound systems until the 8th March. As soon as we know you will know. Fingers crossed. It is nothing short of amazing that throughout this crisis we have not closed a single bubble. At any point. Ever. I do not know any other school where this is the case. Now I know there is a huge slice of luck in this but I also think the measures we have in place and particularly our insistence on good ventilation has contributed. The fact that I am sitting here in five layers, two hoodies, a coat and a thermal hat is not a problem! Just to reassure you we make sure the children are not freezing, even if the staff are.
Once again I would like to thank the amazing staff team at Darell. I have really enjoyed google classroom surfing and looking at the exceptional work your children are producing. From personal experience I know how hard it is to juggle home learning with your own work and busy lives. One of my three children has really struggled and I think it is just because she finds it hard to get into the learning zone without the human touch, the classroom, friends and the support that a real school offers. Please be kind to yourselves. You are doing a great job. Happy children make great learners and that is the priority at this time. Once again there has been a lot of political posturing regarding the loss of learning time. Of course it will have an effect but it is not as catastrophic as many are making out. When your children return we will be ready with smiles and warmth and we will ensure that they are happy. Everything will flow from there. Behind the scenes we are already planning what learning will look like for the rest of the year. Our focus will not be on catch up but on ensuring that your child is given the tools needed to progress into their next year group. Not all of these tools are academic as we will be working with the whole child. Ensuring they are confident resilient learners who are motivated. I am extremely confident that we have the staff team in place to achieve this. We really cannot wait to welcome your lovely children back into school. My biggest hope is that when they return it is forever.
Lionel is still going and he is now dancing in the street. Not our street! All that remains is for me to say have a lovely half term. Look after yourselves and your families and try to find some time to be kind to yourself.
Access to reading scheme books whilst learning at home
Whilst learning from home, we want to encourage children to keep reading to an adult on a daily basis. Collins Connect are providing free access to eBooks from their reading scheme. To access these books go to Collins Connect and click on the Teacher portal and enter:
Please find the right colour book band for your child and choose a book to read. Don't forget to record this in your child's reading record and put a dot at the back of the reading record. Please let your child's class teacher know when they have reached 50 dots so that we can ensure they receive their certificate.
Thank you for your continued support.
Google Classroom Clubs
Whilst we can't run clubs in person, we wanted to keep them going virtually! On Google Classroom you'll find our new Clubs class space. Here you'll find plenty of ideas for things to do to keep you busy. Please feel free to participate in as many of the activities as you like!
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.
Looking after our physical wellbeing is really important for our mental health. Follow the link for a PE lesson with a very special person!
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.
Weir - Would you recommend The Secret Sky Garden? Who would you recommend it to? Why?
Mozart - 'Then I will huff and puff and blow your house down. ' What would you build your house from and why?
Newton - What do you predict will happen next?
Thunberg - Do you think that the Giant was truly sorry?
Darwin - If you were exploring an undiscovered country, who would you take with you and why?
Attenborough - Do you think Imogen will make friends with Lofkinye Lolo, the brave huntress?
Parks - Do you think the Professor has been to Narnia? What evidence do you have to support your answer?
While the digital world offers a range of information and opportunities for young people, it’s also become harder to separate fact from fiction. As children are spending more time online constantly making decisions of what to trust, it’s now more important than ever for them know how influence, persuasion and manipulation can impact their decisions, opinions and what they share online.
Follow the link below to view a Safer Internet Day video showcasing children's thoughts on what to trust online.