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Headteacher's Newsletter

 Dear Parents,

 

What a week this is proving to be! We really are on a roller coaster but we’re all getting used to that as a community. As you know at 8pm on Monday Boris informed us of another total lockdown and all schools are now closed to most children. I have to confess I did not think it would last until half term in February and I am all still reeling from the shock.

 

However, ever onwards and we are busy delivering quality home learning and face-face teaching for the children who remain in school. The Key Worker list has grown enormously since the last lockdown and we have many more children in school, so things are very different for us this time. We’ve juggled staff to enable us to address both the needs of children in school and those at home. So, if you haven’t heard from or seen your teacher on zoom it means he / she is teaching the children who are here each day. Don’t worry we are all still going strong with the exception of two of our staff who have Covid-19 and are hoping to return to work next week. 


This lockdown is also different from the first one last March as bubbles will continue (in year groups), teaching will follow the curriculum and there is an expectation that children will engage fully in home learning. As you know we are using Seesaw for uploading home learning and this has proven a very effective platform when bubbles have collapsed over the last term. We absolutely recognise that this new lockdown is the last thing that we and parents would wish to happen, and we must remain realistic about how challenging it is for parents to work from home and support their children’s learning. Please do what you can and let us know if you are struggling in any way or if you need paper copies of work for your children. We are here to help, not to add to your stress levels! 


As in the last lock down, please do not send your children into school unless it is really necessary as they are safer at home. Hopefully, with greater understanding of the new Covid strain and the continued roll out of the vaccine we will all feel less anxious and schools will be able to reopen fully. All we know currently is that the Covid mutation is more infectious than the last one (50% – 70% apparently.) We need therefore to be very careful in terms of following the rules and we have reviewed social distancing for children and adults in school. I am pretty sure there will be new risk assessments and updated advice for schools very soon which I will share with you. 


This really does feel like déjà vu and who thought that we would be doing this all again so soon? We are all really sad and disappointed that it is necessary to shut Manor Wood, particularly as we were told how safe schools were on Sunday by our esteemed leader. Clearly the unions disagreed, and they were right as the next day all schools were shut. However, as a profession we are becoming increasingly used to expecting the unexpected and are trying to be as positive and optimistic about the future as possible. 


Please do contact us if you need any further information or support as we will be here throughout the lockdown. In the meantime, please look after yourselves and hopefully we will all be back together again soon. 


Best wishes, 


Deborah Kenny

Learning at home during the Covid-19 lockdown