Newsletter 31 – 7th May 2020

Dear Parents

VE Day! We hope that lots of you have decided to take part in some VE day celebrations tomorrow (Victory in Europe was declared 75 years ago on 8th May towards the end of the Second World War). Within our own living rooms and gardens, we can remember this day and celebrate the hope it gives us in our current situation.

We would love to see photos of your celebrations – bunting, posters, cakes and anything else you have done, and perhaps your garden picnic, or your tea party if you did something like this. We will share as many as we can on Moodle in our Sharing page on the Whole School part of the platform. If you send the pictures in, we will assume you are happy for them to be publicised on Moodle – only to the school community. If you send in photos that do not show identifiable faces, we will post some of those onto the school website and Facebook for the whole world to enjoy.

The Virtual choir made up of children and grown-ups from our school community will be singing “We’ll Meet Again” – this will be on Moodle and also on our school webpage shortly. Thank you very much to all those who took part in this challenge. And huge thanks to Patrick Williams who patiently prepared the music and conductor’s video and then stitched all our singing into a coherent whole.

My thanks to Mrs Twentyman who has done so much to make sure this is a special celebration of a victory long ago, and our hope for another victory soon, this time against the virus.

Gardening Whether you have a garden, a balcony or only a little window box on your windowsill, it would be a tremendous thing to encourage your children to grow some of their own food this year. It is a great life skill and a really good activity for them as they isolate at home. They could sow a few bean seeds, or peas, or they might like to grow some tomatoes, courgettes, carrots, lettuces or strawberries. Seeds can be purchased online quite cheaply, or even take a few seeds out of your tomatoes or red peppers and plant them into a little container of soil. You can use a large yoghurt pot as a container if you have no plant pots, or cut a milk bottle in half and use that. Make sure you have punched holes in the bottom so water can drain through. Neighbours might have spare seedlings they can give you, or, if you have lots of spare seedlings, perhaps you could offer to share them with others in our school community?

There is something really special about picking your own fruit or vegetables and eating them, warm from the sun, as you stand in the garden. If you grow peas, you will probably not get any of them through the door for cooking – they are so good to eat straight out of the pod as they are picked! It is not too late to start if you getting going straight away. BBC has a great gardening programme on Fridays, called Gardeners’ World, and they give easy tips on how to grow things if you are interested.

Covid 19 Isolation We await direction from the Government about re-opening schools – probably with smaller numbers of children in the first instance. We do not know what exactly they will tell us to do but we have contingency plans for all sorts of scenarios and are ready to launch the appropriate programme as soon as we know what we are expected to do. Our preparations include ensuring that every child will have their own pack of stationery, with their name on each item so that no child needs to use any equipment except their own, having rigorous cleaning and sterilising protocols and strict hygiene procedures. Any other direction given will be followed scrupulously.

Looking Forward! It will be a wonderful moment when we can welcome more children back into school, even under strict distancing measures. They will enjoy being back with their friends and will appreciate the routines and fun of school activities and we will enjoy welcoming back every individual – each one is missed. It will be a different kind of school but it will be as exciting and rewarding as ever.

Childhood Vaccinations We have been asked to remind parents that young children MUST continue with their programme of childhood vaccinations – the service is still running in the community. The last thing we need now is an outbreak of a preventable childhood disease which can cause such terrible suffering. Please contact your health visitor or the school nurse if you want further information. Phone 0300 247 0090

Help for you and your children The Government has given extra funding to the NSPCC so that they can support our families even more effectively at this time. If you need help with managing the Covid 19 situation or if you are feeling at the end of your tether with your parental role (there is no shame in this), please do contact them. They are experts in the field of helping families. Their details are on the link below:
https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/our-services/nspcc-helpline/

Reminder Please make sure you are monitoring your child’s online activities to ensure that they are safe and that they are not causing harm to anyone else. There are warnings about the increase in incidents of children being “groomed” online as they are spending more time on their devices. Primary school children should never have a device in their bedrooms unsupervised.

Don’t Forget! Wiltshire Local Authority has set up a Wellbeing Hub. You can make contact with them and they will signpost you to the most appropriate support for your particular needs, whether this is emotional, financial or physical. Their details are: “Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub”
Email: wellbeinghub@wiltshire.gov.uk or phone 0300 003 4576

Message from the school nursing service We are aware that it is a very anxious time and there may be concerns about where to access support whilst schools are closed or you need to self-isolate. As a school nursing service we would like to let you know we are here to support you during this time. We have duty school nurses available at the end of the phone Monday to Friday 9-5pm should you require any support with your school age child. This is available permanently for all parents to access for advice and support. If you would like support please call one of our nurses through our Single Point of access on 0300 247 0090.

Stay at home, stay safe and stay well.

Best wishes,

Mercedes Henning

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