Letter to Parents
Updated: Jun 23, 2020
22 June 2020
We have had a lovely couple of weeks in school welcoming back some of our Year 1 and Year 6 children and soon we will have Reception children as well. We have had an excellent response from families wanting their children to return to school. We are settling into our new ‘normal’ with all the control measures of social distancing, smaller class/ bubble sizes, regular hand-washing, regular sanitising and cleaning, and reduced sharing of equipment.
The children have showed remarkable resilience and ability to pick up and follow the new routines. We are so proud of them all and how they have adapted! There is a calm, friendly and purposeful atmosphere in school and we are really looking forward to seeing more of our Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children next week.
Here are some of the lovely activities that have taken place in school since Monday.
Reception: We can’t wait for Reception children to return. To encourage social distancing, each child will be given their own special desk to work at. Regular handwashing routines will be built into the day and children will be given lots of their own resources to use such as stationery and craft materials. Resources that are shared will be washed regularly.
As well as focusing on key skills, children will do lots of fun activities linked to stories such as arts and crafts, model making and investigations. The children will also be given lots of opportunities to learn outside and to play outdoor games.
Year 1: We have ten children in the year one bubble. Children were a little shy at first on return to school but by Monday lunchtime, all children were full of smiles and laughter. You would think that they'd never been away from school! They have been busy this week sharing their thoughts about any uncertainties that they had about 'being in a bubble'. We have discussed ways that we can show that we care for others, without hugging or touching them. Grasping the concept of social distancing is quite difficult so we watched a video that showed us what it means to come back to school ‘in a bubble’. During our first week back we have read a funny book about the Queen and have written fantastic descriptions. The children have learnt about 2D shapes and 3D shapes through songs and games. They have danced and sang along to our favourite counting songs and we have even watched an assembly led by the Duchess of Cambridge.
Lunchtimes and playtimes have been such good fun because we have played with lots of different equipment- washing our hands before and after using them. The children have eaten their packed lunches together in our classroom whilst chatting. We all wash our hands throughout the day and the children have their desks 2 metres apart from each other. They have their own learning resources on their tables and enjoy having their own space. It has been lovely having the children return with happy, enthusiastic, smiling faces.
Year 6 Bubble - School is a very different place at the moment but the children have enjoyed their first couple of weeks back. There have been lots of handwashing, social distancing and work! We are back into our old routine of working on Maths and English activities each morning. In maths we are ensuring that the children keep practising all the different types of calculations, including using them in problem-solving activities. In English, the children are experiencing a mix of comprehension work and creative writing. We have been focussing on describing characters and settings and will then be moving on to exploring different ways to plan stories.
Our afternoons are spent focussing on topic work. In history the children will be looking at what life was like during WW2 and in science we are working on the topic of The Earth in Space, learning all about the solar system.
As the children will be preparing for their big move to secondary school, we will also be looking at activities to support their transistion including exploring their feelings and looking at ways to become independent and organised learners.
Staff and Keyworker children are also having a fabulous week time and enjoying seeing more children attending school as we continue our phased return.
Before the summer term Reception and Nursery children will also have returned and we hope for a full reopening in September for all pupils although of course this is dependent on following the Government guidance at the time.
Families with ‘key worker’ parents are able to access school and if you fall into this category and do not have available child care then you are entitled to a place in school. Please contact school if you need this provision.
Myself, St Joseph’s Staff and Governors wish you all the very best and hope you are keeping safe and well at this difficult time. We wish you a very happy summer.