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News - 3 April 2020

Dear Parents/Carers

I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones well. At St. Mary’s we are all adjusting to our changed circumstances and the responsibilities we have as a result of the current crisis.

Prime amongst our responsibilities is to minimise contact with others and stay at home unless really required for either work or picking up essentials for home. St. Mary’s remains open for children of our key workers, and we are operating a rota system for school staff which ensures as many as possible are able to stay at home. Nevertheless, in true St. Mary’s style, my colleagues are incredibly eager to come to work and support where they can. My thanks go to you, parents, for only using this service when absolutely necessary, thus helping us to keep our staff, children and families safe.

Teachers are enjoying seeing what the children are up to at home and the creative ways they are spending their time. It is still early days for home learning; we all have to recognise that it is not possible to follow the curriculum as we do in school. Pupils and parents have to manage their approach to learning in the way that best suits their circumstances; work set by teachers should not be approached competitively and thought needs to be given to being able to sustain home learning potentially over a number of months. So please be kind to yourselves, we are all in the same situation, teachers will guide and support where they can, but do not stress about completing huge amounts of work as this is not a school expectation. Some days will be better than others and you should congratulate yourselves when that is the case but give yourselves a break on the not so great days.

We have seen a lot of memes out there, (some very funny) all alluding to the point you now know what it is like to teach children and the fact there may be a new found respect for educators in the future. Whilst I do hope, as I always have, that our teachers are given the respect and praise they rightly deserve, there really is no comparison between teaching at home and teaching at school. I for one would gladly have thirty of your lovely children in a classroom with all the resources and technology available than teach algebra at home to one very unresponsive and whining teenager! Yes, it has been one of those weeks! So don’t let them break you! We’ve got this!

School is closing for the Easter break. Key worker parents have been contacted with arrangements for child care provision over this period, and we will continue on line learning from Monday 20th April. 

Teachers are working hard to think of creative solutions for home learning in the summer term, with a view to finding opportunities to provide more structured individual feedback and guidance for children’s academic work.

We are currently, monitoring the situation with our summer term residential trips and in the event that these are cancelled, refunds will be given in due course. In the meantime, please do not make any further payments towards these.

Despite the worries and the uncertainty of the current situation, I have been overwhelmed with the kindness and generosity of people in our local community. We really are incredibly lucky to live in a village like ours. In times of crisis, people come together to help and support the community in so many ways, and for this I cannot thank you enough.

All that remains to be said is Happy Easter, stay safe, and please keep in regular contact to let us know how you are doing and if we can offer you any further support.

Mrs S Buckley

Acting Headteacher