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Lockdown Learning Update

Week 4 of Lockdown Learning. How are we all??

You all deserve medals for your efforts; the children for keeping up with their learning and you, the parents, for the help and support you are giving your children through this tough period. We know sometimes it's not easy to keep up with everything, but the children are doing well and therefore you're doing a great job.

This week the PM said he 'hopes' schools could start reopening to more pupils from March 8. This would depend on the success of the vaccination programme. The DfE confirmed later on that schools would be given two weeks notice to prepare for this to happen. No further details so far.

Depending on your expectations, you may take strength from this announcement because you see a distant light at the end of the tunnel; alternatively, you may feel the tunnel has just become a bit longer. When schools were first closed on 20th March 2020, who would have predicted that a year later, on 20th March 2021, most children would only have been in school for 15 weeks? If this lockdown lasts to the 8th March, we're precisely half-way through it.

Remote learning is tough on everyone and no substitute to learning in school. At school children learn together, away from any distractions, with lots of resources, a purpose built building with trained teachers and assistants. Recently, when taking my car to the garage, I made the comparison between remote teaching and remote fixing cars. By telling customers to fix their cars at home; using written or video instructions or zoom - but without the garage, the tools, the experience, etc, we should not expect to get all cars fixed properly. Although remote education is important, we need to keep a healthy perspective about what's possible at home and be ok with doing the best we can.

As headteacher, my biggest wish is that when the children return to school, they are well. Physically well, of course, but it's also important that they are mentally well. If the children return to school and are mentally strong, we will be able to pick up the pieces and use all our 'tools' and experience to help them catch up. Therefore, if aspects of remote education are causing stress, anxiety or friction then please stop! Do as much as you can, talk to us, but also remember to make the most of the situation - there may never be a better time to share time together or to try something new. The most important gift a parent can give a child is their time and full attention! Children never stop learning from you; please feel reassured that if you do whatever feels right for you and your children, and trust your instincts about what is important for your child, then you won't be far off...

Thank you for everything you do - great work everyone - be kind - be happy - that will do for now!

Ralf Smits
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