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Latest letter from Mrs Harrison 29/4/20


Wednesday 29th April 2020


Dear Parents and Carers,


My husband has now started referring to the Stay Home advice as house arrest and is very jealous of the fact that I have been able to come to school this week! My family are even falling out as to who gets to go to Sainsbury’s for the weekly shop. That has never happened before!! The weather has been a gift to us all up till now. I just hope that the rain holds off and you don’t have to suffer too many wet playtimes indoors. It is something we dread in school!! Mr Dancer, Miss Pickles and I are taking it in turns to be on site to safeguard the children of key workers and working from home the other times. Other staff are taking it in turns too to be in school. I must admit it has been lovely to see the few children that we have, as well as one or two parents who have been passing- and I do feel very lucky. The school continues to be busy as we reply to calls and emails to the office, as well as supporting the staff who are working from home.


I am delighted that we will be welcoming 30 new children to Reception in September with quite a few already on the waiting list. Usually we are well into planning their transition visits which are sadly on hold at the moment. As soon as it is safe to do so, we will invite them in to school.


We have been heartened by the lovely emails that have been coming in either to the account or class accounts and are glad that you feel we are getting the balance right for our families. It means so very much to us. I have even heard on the grapevine that parents of other schools are accessing our class pages for ideas! As always, I will keep you informed of information that I get about how we will emerge from the present situation. It is becoming clear that the Governors and I will need to look carefully at any guidance that emerges over the coming days/weeks to see how we can continue to keep children, staff and families safe to make sure that it works for us.


At the moment the staff, whilst balancing home lives, are focusing on supporting children through the website, as well as developing the curriculum for when we are back in school. This has been our school development focus all year and whilst it is good to have some time to do it, it is tricky with us not being all together which is how we usually tackle things.


We are unable to plan how school will reopen until the Government gives us a timescale and guidance, but please do be reassured that we are already thinking about September (assuming we are fully open by then!) and how we can best support our children. Young children missing such a large part of their early schooling is a challenge and something that we will need to address. It is not just about what parts of the academic curriculum have not been covered but those social and emotional development skills that underpin our learning at Deighton Gates. Please be assured that this is something that we are planning for when our doors reopen fully.


Thank you to those who have sent pictures in. We have put some up the hall and blogged some. Unfortunately we can’t blog videos but I did enjoy seeing Darcey’s very professional book review video that she sent in! Please sign up for updates as it is the quickest way to stay in touch. Today I will be blogging instructions for a competition to design a Christmas card for the Mayor Wetherby. I think they have seen all our brilliant craft photos and want to make the most of the time the children have on their hands!


There is also a poster with contact details on for St Gemmas Hospice who are offering a counselling service for families affected by COVID-19. This is a desperately sad time for us all. Most of us have either been touched personally by this sadness or know of those who have. Please do let us know if we can support children in anyway if they have been personally affected with bereavement or serious ill-health of close family members.


Please can I ask that you check your emails from the class email addresses and just drop a line to the staff who are eagerly waiting to hear from you? You don’t have to email work in- just say “Hi!” There are still quite a few children who have not yet checked in. Please do.


Attached with this letter is a copy of First News. It is a newspaper for children that have in school. Please share it with KS2 children as there are some interesting and topical articles. We are looking to see if we can send it to you weekly for free.


Residential refunds. We are hoping to refund Herd Farm payments over the next couple of weeks. These will need to be by cheque that will be sent to home addresses. We have been unable to cancel the Y5 trip as of yet as, like with most travel companies, they are waiting for Government advice.


It was great to catch up the PTA on Zoom last week. Look out for their newsletter that will be coming soon. I hope to get to chat again at the next meeting.


Please take care of each other, stay in touch and I will write soon,


Best wishes


Claire Harrison