Dear Parents and Carers
It is now the end of term 3 and the majority of our children have not been able to return to school since before the Christmas holidays. I wanted to take this opportunity to say how grateful we are for all the support and help that you have given your children once again in this latest lockdown.
At school we are all very proud of the way that your children have adapted to our new style of online remote learning. They have risen to this challenge, coped remarkably well and learnt new IT skills which will benefit them into the future.
We are aware that this lockdown is in many ways harder and more complex than the first. With this in mind we have tried to support children with their engagement in learning through providing an increasing number of live lessons. This has allowed your children to see, hear and interact directly with their class teacher(s) alongside their friends and peers.
To benefit all learners, those that are remote and those in school, we have tried to establish a range of learning opportunities to suite everyone. Lessons are being developed and adapted daily, based on the children’s ability to comprehend and progress forward whilst allowing for them to have the chance to embed and consolidate their new learning through ‘over learning’ and ‘interleaving’.
All schools will be fully closed during the coming February half term holiday. This will be a good opportunity for families to have a well-deserved rest. If the weather stays fair then going out for a walk in the countryside and showing children the beautiful carpets of snow drops would be a valuable exercise.
We all hope that schools will return to normal soon and families can go about their daily work and business with greater ease and flexibility. Maintaining routines at home will help add a level of structure which children normally will settle into, especially if you are able to keep it consistent.
Stay safe everyone, at least the days are noticeably longer now and the signs of spring are becoming more evident.
Save the Children
While Christmas now seems a long time ago we wanted to share with you the success of Christmas jumper day when we raised £122.19 for Save the Children. Thank you for your support.
The term dates for 2020-2021 can be found on the school website. We are all hopeful for normal holiday patterns to be able to resume next year so please avoid booking holidays during term time to ensure no more valuable learning time is lost.
If you move house, change telephone numbers or wish to update your contact information, please ensure that you keep your record at school up to date. This applies whether your child is learning at home or at school.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
Our mental health is as important as our physical health both for children and adults. As you will be aware last week it was mental health week when the topic was highlighted. But we need to try and keep our minds healthy at all times.
Place2be offers advice and support to children and families: https://www.place2be.org.uk/coronavirus
Young Minds have created a useful ‘Supporting Parents Helpfinder’. By answering six questions, parents can find out how to support their child’s mental health during the pandemic (and beyond):
Young Minds have also created a useful poster highlighting ways to give support to children when they have angry feelings or outbursts and may help families start a conversation and talk about each other’s feelings.
Adults are in the best place to support their children when they are well themselves. It is important to ask for help when you need it. The government have put together information to support adults with their mental health throughout this pandemic:
Please do not hesitate to ask for help if you need it. Our Parent Support Advisor (Mrs Baker) is available to signpost you to support. Her details can be found on the website under family support and she can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org
The menu for term 4 remains the same as term 3. We return to school on week 1. The menu can be found on our school website.
For benefits based free school meal children vouchers will be issued for after half term.
If you are looking for good ideas for lock down lunches at home then the NHS Change for Life website contains lots of inspiration: https://www.nhs.uk/change4life/recipes/lunch/cheap-lockdown-lunch-ideas
Friends of the School
With the need to put reading books in quarantine since the start of the pandemic, school have been running short of books in certain bands of books. Thanks to FOS school are going to be able to purchase additional books to ensure that every child can have access to an appropriate reading book.
If your child is coming into school, please ensure that they dress up warmly, appropriate for the weather outside. To keep everyone safe we maintain high levels of ventilation in school so it is important that your child wears plenty of warm clothes during these winter months. Winter boots, extra layers, a woolly hat, fingerless gloves and a small blanket are all permitted.
Anita Taylor has now finished her term of office and is no longer a governor. We thank her for all of her work on the Governing Board and for supporting the school in many other ways through volunteering especially with Open the Book. We hope to continue to see her in school in the future. We welcome Helen Cawston to our Governing Board. Her term of office began on 1st February 2021 and runs for 4 years. We look forward to working with her and using the expertise that she will bring to the board.
Learning at school and home
Class 1 have been working incredibly hard and we are very proud of all the effort put in at home and in school. They have spent a lot of time learning about the outdoors and creating fun activities and memories with their families on walks. They have looked for birds, made wind chimes and dens, fed the wildlife and most importantly made precious lockdown memories with their family and friends (in school).
Class 2 have been learning about Creation and a wonderful display of their work has been created in school. Thank you to the home learners for sending the work in.
Class 3 have been imagining themselves as the Roman Army General, Julius Caesar and critiquing the Britannia invasion in 55BCE through letter writing. Well done for your hard work and getting into character.
Alongside their history work they have been busy reading The Iron Man as their class reading book.
Class 4 Poems
This term the children in Class 4 have been learning about space both through their science lessons and in English through the class novel ‘Cosmic’.
Engagement has been wonderful from pupils both in school and those learning remotely. Thank you to parents for supporting their children.
Here is a selection of their work:
Pupils in class 5 are engaging with the important issues facing society today through their geography work relating to climate change with cross-circular work looking at food miles, carbon dioxide release and extreme weather patterns. Texts in English have encouraged pupils to consider the use of coal and the consequences of plastic disposal.
They are absorbed in their current text of Pig Heart Boy, learning all about the heart alongside their enjoyment of the story.
Following their poetry unit of work based on Alfred Noyes atmospheric narrative poem, The Highwayman, they wrote their own stanza’s to fill in gaps within the storyline, letters posing as Tim the Ostler (to inform the Red Coats of the highwayman’s whereabouts) and used negative art to create ghostly atmospheric images. At the end of the unit of work, they had a Teams Rodents and Robbers meeting dressing up as either a rodent, a highwayman or both, as well as bingo, a snack and a reading of Julia Donaldson’s poem, The Highway Rat, which is a spoof of the classic.
We wish you a restful and healthy week and look forward to ‘seeing’ everyone in school or online on 22nd February, when schoolwork resumes.
Blockley School Staff