I do hope that this letter finds you and your family safe, well and enjoying some of the recent sunshine that we’ve been having.
Support for parents and carers
It has been the most unusual of times and I know that many of our families are experiencing significant pressures. On top of the obvious worries about health, a number of people are facing financial struggles and the inevitable concerns surrounding social, emotional and mental health that often accompany such isolation.
It is no surprise that Social Care have recently experienced a huge increase in calls and referrals. I wanted to remind you that, as a school, we are here to support YOU, as well as your children. PLEASE get in touch with us if we can help, even if it is just a phone call to chat things through.
I want you to know the issues your family may be facing, are being faced by many – please do not let issues build up, we are here to help.
This week was officially the start of Term 5 and I think it hit us all quite hard that we were not returning to school. The staff are REALLY missing you and the children. A number of parents have been asking about home learning and what they can do to support their child at home. From the families that I have spoken to recently, I am very aware that “getting it right” is a big concern for many parents and most are very worried about their child being “behind” when they return to school.
By way of reassurance, let me be totally clear: I do not want you to turn your home into a school. Whether they are showing it outwardly or not, children will be experiencing significant trauma at this time. Almost all of the worries that parents are feeling are also being felt by their children, except children do not have the experience, maturity and capacity that we do to deal with what’s happening. I cannot stress enough how important it is that children are nurtured during this time. They need more attention, more support and a greater sense of security than they would normally. As adults, we are grasping for answers and reassurance - children are no different.
Anybody that has studied education or psychology will confirm that social and emotional needs must be met before a human can even begin to think about learning new skills. If you feel your child isn’t listening, needs something explaining over and over again or seems distracted, this will probably be at the root of the problem. I would therefore offer you advice, as a professional and as a parent myself, to fill your homes with fun, love and connections to other friends and family.
Consider activities such as:
Going on a nature walk (safely)
Sharing a book
Doing some decorating and DIY! (also safely!)
Making art together
Writing a letter or card together to a key worker
Making a shopping list for grandparents
Creating a poster together
Writing a family quiz for an online chat with loved ones
Making a diary or time capsule together
We have put a number of resources on our website, under the Parent Tab/Covid19 Home Learning Support. There are some nice projects and ideas for things to do at home, as well as some online games and activities to help children keep skills like reading and times table knowledge ticking over.
We have about 80% of children accessing and using our EDMODO online learning platform, helping our children keep in touch with their friends and teachers, whilst completing “School Work”.
I would recommend that children spend between 1-2 hours MAXIMUM on these skills per day and they should always be fun! Any other time that you have available could be spent on sharing projects together.
We know that the children have missed learning and we will adapt our planning accordingly for when school does eventually return.
In short – on our return to school, it will be far easier for our staff to fill gaps in knowledge for children that are emotionally secure and ready to learn than it will be to tackle potential social and emotional trauma. Do provide heaps of hugs, not countless worksheets. If you have any questions or concerns then I am always available via email or telephone (details above).
With the best of wishes to you and your family,