Just over a week to go! It was a real relief to hear the announcement that all children are returning to school on March the 8th. This feels like a pivotal moment in our emergence from this crisis. A year in our lives that we and our children will never forget. I am holding on to the positives from this period and reflecting on what I have learnt as a dad, husband, teacher and leader of a school. We are now busy getting ready for the school becoming a fully functioning building again. Initially we will be following the model that we followed last time we were all in together. Effectively this will mean;
Staggered start and finish times
Sitting in table partners facing the front
Remaining in year group bubbles throughout the day
Hand washing throughout the day
Staff wearing masks in communal areas
Parents and visitors wearing masks when they come on site
I am extremely proud of the school's response to this crisis. Not having to close a bubble is remarkable and testament to the hard work of the whole community. While we recognise that infection rates are falling, we still need to ensure that the school is as safe as it can possibly be.
As such I will be updating our risk assessment. I can give you a sneak preview. All windows and doors will remain open so please send your children in with an optional extra layer! Please keep an eye on your emails next week as more guidance will be published.
I would like to thank you all for your support during this lockdown. I really mean this. You have been so supportive since the beginning of the crisis. Throughout this whole period there has been a huge amount of positivity expressed toward the school and I have always felt that you are supportive of what we are trying to do. We do not always get it right and are always striving to improve so, as ever, do contact us if you would like to discuss anything. The door (for ventilation and communication purposes!) is always open. Some of you may be feeling wary about your child coming to school. Please give me a ring next week and we can discuss further. If I am unable to answer straight away I will ring you back.
I have attached the guidance that we have given to our teaching staff. We are very keen not to see the immediate return to school as a time to worry about catch up. I am not sure who they would be catching up with and want to be more positive, look forward and prepare your children for their next steps in learning. As always, our first focus will be on welcoming your children back, making them feel safe and ensuring that they are happy in school. Learning will flow from this point.
I would like to end by thanking our magnificent staff team at Darell School. They are simply the best, better than all the rest (Tina Turner, 1989) I would also like to announce a new member of the team. His name is Michael Riaboi and he is our new site manager. He started at half term and when I arrived on Monday I could not believe how tidy the site looked. Please say hello to him if you see him.
Thank you for your time. There are beautiful blue skies across London and this excellent weather looks set to extend into the weekend. Please look after yourselves and your families and we really will see all of you soon.
World Book Day
World Book Day is taking place on Thursday 4th March and even though we are not in school, we would really like to ensure that we celebrate this wonderful day. On the day, we are inviting children (both in school and at home) to choose a word and dress up as that word. This is something we did really successfully last year and we'd like to do it again. There are some great examples of costumes included below. Keep an eye on the Google Classroom streams for more exciting book related events on the day!
SPARK Book Award
It has been a real pleasure to be a part of the initial long listing panel for the SPARK Book Award. The shortlist for each age category has now been announced and we are really excited to share these books with your children. They are now the judges and we are very excited about what they have to say about the range of books that have been shortlisted. Attached to the newsletter is the first SPARK Book Award magazine with lots of great content and information about the books and authors that have been chosen. We will share more about the books as well as some exciting virtual author visits over the coming weeks. If you want more information, please visit the SPARK Book Award website.
If you will be requiring breakfast or after-school club from Monday, 8th March. Please could you inform us by email at email@example.com or calling the office on 0208 876 6721.
Are you interested in making a difference to our school? Please see the link below to an advert for a position as Clerk to the Governing Body. Please don't hesitate to contact the school for more information.
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.
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 - How would you convince a mean granny troll to be kind?so
Mozart - Can you retell the story to someone at home? Remember the words we have been using, swishy swashy, splash splosh, squelch squerch, stumble trip, hoooo woooo!
Newton - ?(Look at the front cover) What do you predict the story will be about?
Thunberg - If you owned a monster hotel like the Nothing to See Here Hotel what would you call it?
Darwin - If you could have an animal companion to around the world with:
a. What animal would you choose and why?
b. Where would you go?
c. How could your animal help you on your travels?
Attenborough - : Do you think Lily's grandad is right and the Anubis jar is cursed?
Parks - Can you explain why 'young thingamajig' looks like he has 'swallowed a thundercloud'?
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.