Is that really Half Term on the horizon…?

Dear Families,

I hope that you are all safe and well. I am writing to you to update you on our initial plan.

Just to reiterate what we are proposing to do:

School will reopen for children of keyworkers, Year 6 and Year 1 on June the 1st as proposed by the government. At this stage, there is still a huge degree of uncertainty about whether the return will happen from that date. Indeed, only on Monday, it was announced that the government will only make the final decision, when the latest scientific evidence has been reviewed on 28 May. However, we must continue to plan ahead in the very safest way possible.

I am aware that the guidance has asked for the children to be in groups of no more than 15, however, our classrooms can only safely accommodate approximately 8 or 10 children, when adhering to social distancing guidelines. I must make it clear at this stage that Mrs Tweedale or Mrs Whittet will not be taking the groups when we return and Mrs Courtman-Stock will only have one group for 2 days. The children will remain in the same groups, with the same member of staff, throughout the school day. If for any reason that we don’t have a member of staff for a group then we won’t be able to open for that group – again, only key worker children. We have staggered drop off and pick up times, as well as break and lunch times, to avoid large groups being in the same place at the same time.

As Parents we ask you:

  • Do not send your child into school if they are unwell or show any symptoms of illness and to inform us as you would do normally.
  • Do not enter the school with your child.  We want to minimise contact with others inside the building.
  • Children will not need to wear uniform but will need to be in clean suitable sports clothes each day.
  • Please bring a labelled water bottle and packed lunch (if not being provided by the school)
  • The expectation remains that children follow our school rules and this is now ever more important so that no-one’s behaviour increases the risk of cross-contamination.

In case you have forgotten, as all weeks are merging in to one at the moment, it is half term the week beginning 25th May. There will be no remote learning during this time and we ask you to enjoy this free time and make the most of the sunshine! FSM vouchers will not be supplied for this week. From the 1st June, this scheme starts up again and you will continue to receive the vouchers unless your child will be in school – where they can then access their normal school lunch.

Thank you for continuing to let us know how you are getting on with your Home Learning activities. I hope this continues to happen as it really does brighten myself and the staff’s day. As I have said, many children learn in different ways and it has been lovely to see and hear about all the things that you and your children have been doing.

I fully appreciate that these past eight weeks have been extremely difficult for everyone and we as a school have had to make lots of changes because of Government guidelines. Hopefully the changes to accessing unlimited exercise will help with getting outdoors more and enjoying the sunshine.

Undoubtedly, this initial plan will not satisfy everyone, but we must begin somewhere. The health and safety of our staff and children in school is our absolute priority and it simply cannot be compromised. We will, of course, continue to review things and as increased numbers of staff return to school, we can begin to welcome back children in other specified year groups, but only when it is safe to do so. What we all want more than anything is to welcome back every single one of our children with open arms and for life to return to normal. That will happen eventually, if we do the right things now.

Please remember that the return to school from 1 June is still only a proposal. Things are changing daily and I will keep you updated over the coming days and weeks. Thank you once again, for the overwhelming support that you have continued to show us.

Thank you for being so supportive of all that we have been doing and I hope that you feel that we have also been here to support you in many ways. As we move forward into the next phase, I know that this will bring new challenges but please be assured that everything we do as a school has the safety of all pupils, parents and staff at the heart of it.

Take care and be kind to yourselves. You are doing an amazing job!

Sinead Connolly

Life is better when you giggle…!

Yes, life is  certainly better when we giggle and we definitely need a giggle these days!

Today I just wanted to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to make plans to keep the children safe when they return to school. There is absolutely no doubt, nationwide and worldwide every school wants to return to a place where we can open our doors to all our children and staff, but this can only happen when it is safe to do so. Staff are missing your children desperately, I long to be able to talk to parents on the gate, greet children with a smile and a hug but we are not there yet.

However,  we will only re-open when we can be absolutely sure that children and staff will be safe. Any phased return at Little Hadham will be managed with extreme caution and care so that all necessary protective measures can be put in place. This may mean it becomes necessary to take a more gradual approach than the government has indicated. Since Sunday we have been tirelessly working on a plan on how to do this (with the guidelines changing every single day, it’s a ‘fun’ task as you can imagine!) and we will share this with you on Monday.

On another note, I know that some families are using video streaming technology to communicate with each other and I am pleased that you have found a way to stay in touch. However, in line with our e-safety recommendations, I would ask all families to observe the following guidelines to keep their children safe online:

– Children should be accompanied or observed by an adult when using a computer, especially when interacting with others via video stream.

– The instigator of the video stream must ensure that appropriate safety measures have been taken.

It is very easy for these streams to be ‘hacked’ and inappropriate and even pornographic material can ‘pop up’. Thank you to all parents who have invited our staff to take part in zoom meetings. Unfortunately, I have had to instruct staff not to do so, but they will continue to email to stay in touch.

If you have any questions about this, please do send me an e-mail: head@littlehadham.herts.sch.uk

In between the millions of emails about what to do after June 1st, it’s so lovely to get the emails of the children’s learning and what super learning it was this week. We certainly have some artists in the school- the pictures I have seen of Starry Night are amazing!

Well done everyone and I wish you all a fabulous, healthy and sunny weekend!

Sinead Connolly

 

Little Hadham Primary Foodbank

Here at Little Hadham we would like to continue to help people who are struggling in these uncertain times. Therefore, we have started another Foodbank collection. If you would like to support the Foodbank with donations, our drop-off point is in the playground of the school,  near the fire exit doors. The table will be out from 9am-12noon each week day and Lyndon our lovely school cleaner will collect and take to the Bishop’s Stortford Foodbank. Here are some ideas for the sorts of foods we collect: cereals, biscuits, dried foods, tinned food, jars, tinned meats, tinned meals, long life milk, pasta, rice, sauces, bottles of juice, tea, coffee, treats for children etc.  We also collect toiletries such as toothpaste, soap, shower gel, nappies, etc

Thank you

Sinead Connolly

Proud moments!

Congratulations to Emma who was posted in the Bishop’s Stortford Independent, for creating all the bunting – and cut out the soldier stencils on the windows and garage door – at her family home. We also heard Emma is the person to go to if we need to use Morse code! What a star… that’s one to be framed and forever shared!

Also, huge congratulations to Jess and Dylan for all their hard work painting stones to raise money for the NHS to help with COVID-19 (with all the distancing rules respected). What a great idea and looks like fun too!

Covid 19 update May 11th 2020

Dear All,

I am sure that many of you watched Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s speech last night and you will have witnessed in the media today the confusion and anxiety in response to the Prime Minister’s announcement last night that we should ‘Stay Alert’ rather than ‘Stay At Home’. You will have heard a plan was revealed to expect the return of certain year groups back into school. However, it was made clear that this would only be possible if the rates of Covid 19 infections continue to decline and there will be much watching, waiting and preparing before firm decisions are made about the return of larger groups of children to school.

There has been no change to guidance issued to schools and the clear message is that it is safer for children to be educated at home at this present time. We will continue to provide work for your child and endeavour to manage remote learning as best we can. We value your efforts to keep children and adults safe at this time and the support you are providing to your child.

We have, as yet received no further information from the DFE about how to manage a phased return of pupils and we expect this to reach schools very soon. As a staff and governing body, we are very keen to have all our students and staff return to school but only when we can be sure that we can keep everyone safe. I want to reassure you that we will only open when we have had clear guidance on how to ensure this safely. We will need very clear guidance on how to manage social distancing and we know that you wouldn’t want children to return to school unless procedures to keep adults and pupils safe were effective.

We will keep you informed of the plan for Little Hadham which will be worked out carefully over time and with regard for the particular needs of this school. We will inform you of any decisions made as soon as we can. In the meantime, may I thank you for your patience and consideration. Please be assured that we are working hard each day to provide education as well as manage the safety of pupils and adults at this time. Please try not to worry. We are fortunate to have caring committed staff and governors who strive for the very best for this community.

Thank you for your understanding at this time.

Sinead Connolly

Happy VE Day!

Dear parents and families,

I hope that you and your family are keeping well as we continue our lockdown period. It is Thursday already: amazing how quickly most weeks seem to be rolling by. Like the rest of the nation, we await further news about the government’s plans for any next phase of the lockdown. Obviously this is being regularly discussed in the media at the moment, with several possible dates being suggested. Hopefully the updates from Boris Johnson this evening, and then Sunday, will provide some clarity, and we will as always keep you informed.

Just to let you know if you or your partner have experienced a change in your financial circumstances due to Covid-19, you may now be entitled to apply for free school meals for your children. Your child will be entitled to free school meals if you or your partner get any one of a wide range of income based benefits including Universal Credit. If you need any help please email in to admin@littlehadham.herts.sch.uk

 Once again, I would like to say a huge thank you to you all for engaging so well with the online work that teachers are setting for your children; it is wonderful to read the comments and to see photos of what they have been doing at home – keep up the good work, it really makes us smile and brightens up our day! It’s been so lovely to hear how much parents are learning and enjoying the VE activities. Boys and girls… think how much you are teaching them!

Also, I’ve been really enjoying seeing all of your baking you’ve been doing! Don’t forget to send pictures so we can share them with all of your friends. Please also feel free to let me know where you’re all getting your flour from, I’ve not seen any for months! Thank you to those who sent photos and tales from their grandparent’s experiences. They reminded me of the importance of learning about World War 2 for all children. This could be no more relevant at any other time than now.

Tomorrow is a bank holiday. We don’t expect you to be doing school work, enjoy the break!

 Have a great weekend and for those of you who’ve told me they are camping out tonight, have fun!   

  • STAY AT HOME
  • PROTECT THE NHS
  • SAVE LIVES

Take care and best wishes,

Sinead Connolly

 

Happy May Day…

 

Although the weather has been grey and a little duller this week, I hope your spirits haven’t been dampened. As I’m sure you are all too aware, we are just finishing week 6 of lock down and week 4 of remote learning. Like many others, you may now be really feeling the impact and missing your usual lives, your families, your friends, your co-workers and your communities. We are too! We miss one another, our children and you. However, we must try to keep our spirits up, remain hopeful, and remember that this will end.

Just to let you know a number of NHS services have been ammended in light of Lockdown. Speech and Language Service have issued contact details of how parents and families can contact them, rather than use the drop-in service they are used to. If you have a concern about your child’s speech and language, attention and listening skills or voice quality contact them for support, using the school email.

Likewise if you have any concerns around your child’s health and wellbeing, contact your GP for advice. Whilst there are limited appointments, there is a wide range of support services that can help during this period of lockdown.

Once again, many thanks for all your messages of support for the staff who are working hard and supporting the COVID-19 response. They are testing times and perhaps a little overwhelming at moments as we try to balance family life, professional life and our responsibilities as members of the wider community. Staff are working really hard to provide interesting and appropriate learning for our children whilst keeping in mind that you are trying to work at home too. As I said before there are other resources out there but the lessons our teachers are planning have your children in mind. We absolutely love the response that we have been getting from the children and the learning they are sending in is amazing so please… take a moment to congratulate yourselves! And, please keep sending it in!

I am very conscious that as this pandemic continues, the context changes and we may need to change with it. Also, we are very conscious that many of our families may now be in really difficult circumstances. We have a number of agencies that we can approach for financial support for families or for food vouchers etc. Please, please do let us know if you need support and we will do all we can to provide it.

This morning I read an interesting article about Covid 19 principles and thought I would share as they were a good reminder…

  • Your personal physical, mental and emotional health is far more important than anything else right now.
  • You should not try to compensate for lost productivity by working longer hours.
  • You will be kind to yourself and not judge how you are coping based on how you see others coping.

Take care and keep safe

Sinead Connolly

Anyone for Cake!

Some members of Willow Class have accepted the invitation to enter a cake design competition, being run by a local company.  From rainbows to daisies and NHS heroes to some even ‘Stranger Things’, they all feature some wonderful detail.   Well done to Louis, Lilia, Victoria, Rozie, Sienna and Poppy for taking the time to create something fabulous. The winner will have their design made into a real cake for them to enjoy – good luck to our children!  

Mrs Whittet

But I would walk 2.6 miles and I would take a 26 challenge…!

Mrs O’s 2.6 Challenge

Wow,  so many of Willow Class are impressing us with pictures of themselves taking part in the challenge that Mrs Ogden has set for them… and what a challenge she set! I tried the Russian twists today and I may not be able to move tomorrow! Since these are so popular we thought we would share for everyone to take part, just click on the link!

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

Dear Parent/Carers,

Well we’ve had a strange start to the new summer term – definitely not how we expected it to be only just a few weeks ago. I would like to start by just taking a moment to thank all our front line workers and our key workers. Thank you all so much for protecting us at this time and risking your lives to protect others. Thank you to all, who are putting themselves at risk to provide and support us through this pandemic.

As parents you are doing a super job of working with the school to establish new routines and support children’s learning at home; we know you will have other demands on your time so we want to say a big thank you.

I am very proud of how remote learning has been so whole heartedly embraced across the school community! Thank you to the teachers for their excellent planning and hard work. I have read and seen some amazing learning this week, from art timelines in Willow Class, telling wonderfully scary stories in Maple, creative story telling in Beech and making your own playdough in Ash class. There were some amazing displays of garden art in Lime and some brilliant letters as headteachers- I did laugh out loud at, ‘if you put one toe out of line’, I might use this when we are back at school! It’s all of this and more that makes us miss school so much.

Finally and once again, we want to take this opportunity to say a huge thanks to our wonderful and supportive school community, who continue to send so many positive posts and emails to the school, saying how much they are all missing us. This is so appreciated! We know you are all doing an amazing job of not only keeping your children safe and happy but also supporting their educational needs. The key message is in this post is that we all have to be here for each other in a new world none of us have ever experienced before (and hopefully will not again!) With this in mind, please always feel free to contact us if you feel there is something else we can support you with

I wish you and your family good health and I very much look forward to the time when we can welcome everyone back to school. And I would like to leave you with this thought for the weekend…

And then the whole world walked inside and shut their doors and said…

“We will stop it all… Everything…to protect our weaker ones, our sicker ones, our older ones”…

And nothing…Nothing in the history of humankind ever felt more like LOVE than this 💚

Author – CD

Take care, Sinead Connolly

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