Back together again…

Look at us, big chairs, big tables and big on social distancing! We just love the little legs swinging while they are doing their learning!

Ooooh this looks fun…

Dear All,

I know that lots of children (and adults) have been making use of having some extra time at home to get stuck into a good book. I have heard that some have been working their way through Harry Potter whilst others have been enjoying nonfiction books. This year’s Summer Reading Challenge was launched last week. Many children usually take part in this through their local library however due to Covid-19 this year it is online. Do take a look and sign up: https://summerreadingchallenge.org.uk/.

It is important to make sure that children are reading each day. It can be a combination of you reading to them, and them reading to you. Oxford Owl have access to lots of free online books if you are running short of reading materials. They have books for children at a range of ages not just younger ones. https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/find-a-book/library-page

For some children that struggle with reading, reading for pleasure is often difficult. It is possible to access some audio books that are free via https://stories.audible.com/discovery so children can enjoy listening to a book.

Have fun…

 

The Art of Social Distancing…

Look at us socially distancing learning, yet more together than ever!

Forget that drop in temperature… nothing stops us!

Dear all,

As you know we have welcomed back children from Year 1, Year 6 and some key worker children this week and despite school looking very different they have been very brave in the way they have approached the new way of operating. We always say children are resilient and these last few days they have shown us how true this is!

You’ll be pleased to know that we are finding time between cleaning and handwashing to continue to deliver our remote learning, and we even managed to fit in some excellent social distanced sports- that was a fun task which ended with lots of red and sweaty faces!

Thank you again to all of those who are sending in work and lots of kind and very supportive messages at this difficult time, it is appreciated by all of the staff and we love to see what you are doing at home. It definitely makes the daily guidance trawl and constant reading of new updates from various sources go quicker when you can see what the children have been doing (and, in all honesty, it is far more interesting and beneficial to our mental health!).

Keep going everyone – we’ve come this far and I’m confident that the Little Hadham spirit will carry us all through this next half term!

Keep safe,

Sinead Connolly 

 

 

From a distance…

Welcome back to the second half of summer term, week 8 of remote learning for some classes. We hope you have had a lovely half term break – what a treat to have had such lovely weather!

It has been an eventful week politically both nationally and internationally. We have also had greater clarity on a number of issues. As of today, we can cautiously enjoy some easing of the restrictions and are able to meet our loved ones and friends outside in small groups of no more than 6, ensuring social distancing. There is a cautious optimism in the air but we must play our part in being collectively responsible and ensuring that cases of the virus do not increase again. I urge you to remind our children to be responsible and to continue to be cautious and to adhere strictly to the guidelines about social distancing and hygiene. It is a tricky balancing act for us all.

Today, here at Little Hadham, we opened our doors to our Year 1 and Year 6 children and although it was not ‘business as usual’… it was a very good start! Small steps for man… and it was so lovely to hear the school beginning to fill up with cheerful chatter again. Our adopted model of keeping pupils and staff in ‘bubbles’ (ie keeping the same group of pupils and staff together and not mixing with others) worked well today and we have stringent social distancing in place and hygiene is paramount ie regular hand washing, sanitisers available and regular cleaning of communal areas. I think some of the Year 6s were afraid I might disinfect them if they moved!

Please remember, these are very early days and we have no news yet as to when other classes will return in the next few weeks so I ask you to continue to be patient. We will, of course, continue to review things and we will begin to welcome back children in other specified year groups, when it is safe to do so.

Please keep one another in your thoughts and those in countries where there is civil unrest and suffering. I know that some of our families may have been affected personally by the events in the USA and Hong Kong and so we are thinking of you too.

Best wishes,

Sinead Connolly

 

 

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

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