In the normal routine of things, we would have been coming to the end of another half term, one that would have been full of inspired learning and achievements. While there are moments of great sadness for what has been lost, we must also look to what can lift our spirits. Your support and your children’s enthusiasm for home learning have been such a tonic. It is difficult to articulate the intangible feeling of how bonded we are, going through this as a school community – I feel blessed.
As we prepare for the first phase of reopening, parents/carers are going to be full of mixed emotions and no one should be judged for that, but this has to happen and we are ready. I strongly believe that the impact on the mental health of our children is far greater a concern than the risk of Covid-19. That said, I am in no way dismissive of the absolute importance in following the medical and scientific guidance to ensure that children are as safe as they can be at our school. We have completed a rigourous risk assessment and made many adaptations to our routines and practices to safeguard children and staff. I appreciate parents may feel that they don’t want to send their children to school but unless there is an evident medical reason, I urge you to let them return. I am here to support and build confidence and trust, so let’s continue to work together on this.
A reminder that from 1st June, there will be no school-directed home learning for Rec, Y1 and Y6 – this is unfortunately just not possible for our amazing teachers who themselves are now having to adapt again to another way of teaching. We are sorry not to be able to accommodate all of Reception class for the full school day, but we will keep the possibility of reviewing it at the forefront of our minds.
Please can we also remind parents/carers to ensure they are clear about the procedures for after half term in the letter that was emailed out to each class – we really need you to follow our requests with due diligence.
We are sorry that we will not see most of our lovely Y2, Y3, Y4 & Y5 children for a while longer but school-directed home learning will continue with the communication being solely with class teachers (support staff will be in school). We will communicate with you after half term about replenishing home learning packs.
Finally, we are mindful that there is still so much national uncertainty about schools reopening and even if there is any last minute delay to schools opening, as I said before we are ready and very much looking forward.
“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited.” (Plutarch)
We will be thinking of our Muslim families this weekend as they prepare for Eid celebrations without the closeness of family and friends. I hope that they are at least able to share experiences via various social media platforms.
Y6 perform with the Primary Shakespeare Company
I am delighted to share a link to Y6’s part in the retelling of the final scene of The Tempest, as part of a wonderful project the Primary Shakespeare Company have been running on their website. You will see that there are weekly stories and activities for your child to enjoy linked to The Tempest.
On Shakespeare, the Globe Theatre has just released more shows for you to enjoy during half term.
Mental Health Awareness Week
This week has been mental health awareness week and while there were some additional activities suggested this week for children to do at home, it is something that teachers have been supporting children with in various ways since lock down.
Reception took part in a five day guided relaxation programme for children called Peace Out.
Y1 have been exploring feelings in their Zoom chats including: how they show people they care, what makes them happy and why.
Year 2 talked about special friends. The children then planned and wrote letters to friends that they haven’t had a chance to see over the past few weeks.
Year 3 practised mindfulness methods to use when they are feeling anxious. They listened to their favourite songs that make them feel happy, and then drew pictures of what images these songs bring to mind for them. They also had a mini dance party during their Zoom call and shared these happy songs with each other!
Y4 thought of ways they had shown kindness, both to others and to themselves, over the last couple of months at home. They showed this with an illustration and a caption explaining. On a Zoom call they had a kindness story time, enjoying some books around the theme of kindness.
On Tuesday this week, once Year 5 had finished their school work, they were asked to switch off their electronic devices and do an activity that they loved for mental health week. The children then shared what they got up to which included going to the park, going on a bike ride or a run and playing games with family.
Y6 have a kindness wall on their class blog and are sharing acts of kindness that they have done during lock down, from cooking for family members and neighbours to making cheerful phone calls to grandparents.
We were delighted to receive notification this week that Camden are fast tracking the road closure that the school, some of our parents and local residents have been working on. When we return on 1st June, there will be bollards across Hartland Road – allowing access only for emergency services. This measure will be in place for 12 months and will then go to a full consultation, after which we hope that it will be a permanent closure.
Jacqueline Wilson Story and Illustration Competition
The Foundling Museum has teamed up with children’s author Jacqueline Wilson to run a story-writing and illustration competition for children aged 6-16.
It is free to enter and each week a winner is picked and the story continues! More information can be found here: https://foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/story-writing-illustration-competition/
If you have not done so already, don’t forget that the Literacy Trust is hosting a free book for children on its website called The Book of Hopes. It is a compilation of stories and poems written by well-known authors, with the aim of building hope through ‘delight, comfort or new ideas, ridiculous jokes, wild heroic tales.’
Your school misses you….
I am leaving up the reminders of what we are looking after for you, until you are all able to return in the not too distant future…..
Don’t forget to look on our school website where you will see a range of updates:
- Teachers’ video messages to their classes
- Mr Williams’ drama activities & storytelling
- Mr McIntyre’s storytelling– scroll down the drama page.
- Coach Steve’s fitness videos and challenges
- MORE NEWS on Music links from Camden Music : Our friends at the Camden Music Trust have put together a celebration of our RAH festival
- My weekly newsletter
We are mindful of not overloading you with too many websites and links but thought that we would just remind you of a few that may be helpful:
www.archive.org/nel (National Emergency Library – free online borrowing library for thousands of books, including children’s books)
https://www.britishmuseum.org/learn/schools (online resources for a number of history topics)
https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/visiting/virtual-tours (virtual tours of the National Gallery using Google Street View)
https://www.tate.org.uk/kids (activities, games and quizzes from Tate galleries)
https://www.bl.uk/childrens-books (British library online resource featuring stories, activities and articles about children’s literature)
https://www.musicteachers.co.uk/resources/funstuff (music notation-themed games)
https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize (there are links to creative activities)
Pie Corbett Russell Prue and Ian Rocky for daily English lessons at 9.30 am.
Watch The Wind in the Willows stage production online.
The Vatican has opened up its digital tours so the Sistine Chapel can be viewed.
NASA Kids is perfect for space fans. Learn all about the universe we live in by viewing these online videos.
Well-being & Mental Health
A reminder of websites that may help maintain calm and relaxation when needed.
|https://www.youtube.com/user/CosmicKidsYoga||Loads of yoga videos for children with themes. Eg. Frozen, superheroes.|
|https://www.childline.org.uk/toolbox/calm-zone/||Mindfulness and movement breaks, suitable for younger children|
|https://youngminds.org.uk/blog/what-to-do-if-you-re-anxious-about-coronavirus/||Calming activities and resources for young people|
|https://www.kooth.com/||Young people’s mental health charity|
|Daily 30 minute PE lessons released at 9am Monday – Friday|
Donations via ParentPay
We would like to remind parents that they can donate to our appeal for classroom iPads on ParentPay.
As we end our half term focus on compassion, be reminded that it is more than sympathy, which simply means that we feel bad for another. In a way that implies that we pity them – compassion goes much further. It means that we enter into their sufferings and carry their burden with them. It means we should try and reach out and take action in relieving the suffering of others. Let us never forget that compassion has a powerful ability to heal; both to the one giving and to the receiver.
“Clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)
Term dates for 2019 – 2020
SUMMER TERM 2020 – PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE TO THE EARLY MAY BANK HOLIDAY
|Children start school||Monday 20th April|
|No school (May day bank holiday)||Friday 8th May|
|Half term||Monday 25th May – Friday 29th May|
|Children start school||Monday 1st June|
|Last day of summer term||Friday 17th July|
|Staff INSET||Monday 20th – Tuesday 21st July|