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Information Letter

Friday 3rd April 2020 
Dear Parents, 
It has been two weeks now since our doors closed to most of our pupils. We know they have been an extremely challenging two weeks not only for our pupils, families and staff, but for our entire nation. We hope that everyone is safe and well, and that you have been able to create some precious memories during this period too. There have been some great messages of positivity shared during these unparalleled times. Everyone has had to adjust to a new reality along with finding new ways of learning and working. Staff have been working tirelessly both in school and from home and are trying to find new and innovative ways to further support our pupils and their families. You may not see the outcome of some of this work immediately. Many of you who are now working from home will have in the past two weeks experienced the frustrations and challenges of having to change the way you work entirely.  
We hope that our families have been able to engage with the home learning set to some degree. Every family will be in a unique situation, every family’s opportunities and obstacles will differ immensely. This is why we have tried to avoid being too prescriptive in our instructions and expectations. Continue to do what works for you as a family unit, change what isn’t working. 
We have loved seeing examples of work submitted to teachers¸ it has been absolutely brilliant to see what is going well.  We are using all the feedback provided when we plan our next set of home learning and it is helping us formulate how we best deliver it to you. We have been making daily progress with setting up new and safe ways to be able contact our pupils more frequently and expect these to be ready after Easter. We will continue to adapt and change how we support you with your children’s learning as we all adjust to working in completely different way.  
Your patience and support has allowed us to continue to provide a vital service for the children of critical workers. The Department of Education has made it clear that supporting the children of key workers, such as NHS workers and care staff should be the priority for all schools. Diverting our resources to the prioritisation of providing safe and familiar provision for some children has therefore been a primary focus. We have not been able to be in contact with some of our pupils as often as we would have liked. We recognise that this is difficult for some to accept, we hope the majority of parents will understand. We wish we could do more and aim to address this given time. I also want to thank our staff who like all other key workers continue to go into work, all the while acknowledging the understandable risks that they face for themselves and their families. They have done so with their usual smile, positivity and care. We hope that over yesterday and today a member of school staff has been able to speak to your child over the phone. We know the children are missing their friends and the adults they normally work with in school, we are missing them too. We know everyone at home is doing their very best under difficult circumstances which were almost unthinkable at the start of this half term, rest assured we are too.  

Children should be able to take a break from their learning this Easter, as they normally would. For those of you who have established routines that you are keen to maintain, we have issued the home learning for the week commencing 20th April early, it is for you to decide how and when to structure the activities, but do please try to have a break from it at some stage, to help the children rest and recharge.  
This Easter, also perhaps take a moment to reflect with children on one of the definitions of sacrifice, an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy. Something I am sure we can all relate to during these trying times. 
Yours Sincerely,  
 
Rob Bothma 
Headteacher  

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