No 175

27 March 2020

Dear Children, Parents and Carers,

What an unusual week it’s been! I thought I’d write my newsletter in two sections while we’re not all together. I wanted to connect with the children first and then update parents and carers too. First then to the children:

It’s been so strange in school without most of you here. If we’d been together, our thought of the week would have been about not being materialistic. That is, not relying on things, money and stuff to keep us satisfied. The person coming face to face with Jesus was the rich man who realises that money hasn’t made him happy (Matthew 19). Think about what gives you the most joy. What makes a person truly rich? Are you good at sharing your possessions? I think God is helping us to understand that all we really need is to know that we are loved.

I’ve really enjoyed seeing your amazing work that you’ve been busy with at home. The best thing is seeing you living out our school values, even when we’re apart. So many of you have seen “heaven in the moment” – the sunshine and flowers have been cheering us all up and lots of you are making the most of time outdoors. The optimistic and hopeful way that you’ve adapted to learning at home shows that your zest for learning is as strong as ever!

I’ve also been really impressed to hear stories of children “imagining the journey in another’s footsteps”. Do make sure that you keep the people around you cheery too. And if you can keep in touch with older family members online, I know that will make them so much happier as well. One girl in Year 6 has challenged her grandparents to learn the names of the capital cities, and to spell the top 100 most tricky words!

I’ll write again next week, but do keep letting us know how you’re getting on. I’m praying that you all stay safe and well – and I’m missing you very much!

Now, back to you parents and carers:

Firstly, thank you for your amazing support. Your messages of kindness have really buoyed all of us along. Thank you too for adapting so well to this new way of doing school. Please do call the school office (539033) if you’re having trouble accessing the work online. Our home-school link workers, Lucy and Bridgit are still working hard, albeit remotely. Please do email them (lucyc@htpd.surrey.sch.uk or bridgitb@htpd.surrey.sch.uk) or call Lucy on 07500 663277 (this is an old phone, so it won’t receive texts!) if you need any support. It’s been lovely to share photos on Twitter of all the different home learning activities that are going on so do keep emailing class teachers and me.

You’ll also see on our website and on Twitter that I’ve posted some of the amazing entries for the recent Royal Academy Young Artists Competition. We were so thrilled with the quality and chose a selection to go forward to the next round…let’s hope that some of them get selected to be exhibited at the Royal Academy later in the year!

We are starting to make plans for how we will move forward into next term. This first couple of weeks has been our first response – we had to adapt very quickly and make plans overnight about how to run a virtual school. We will continue to provide ideas for your children over the two weeks that follow (from Monday 6th April; these would have been the Easter break) – we intend to make these a bit different and more like a “holiday-club” approach. Each day, we’ll make some suggestions about what you might like to do to at home, but it won’t be as structured as currently. In this way, we can give the majority of our staff team a much needed rest. There will still be an update every day on the “Just to keep you going” pages – but there will just be one for HT and one for PD, rather than separate ideas for each year group. In school, it will be similar for our children of key workers.

Then, when the summer term starts (from Monday 20th April), we’ll be back with more ideas for keeping education a priority at home. That is assuming that we will still be staying at home at that point. We are exploring ways to use technology to keep in touch and will let you know about that once we have a plan. Our priority is to support you to keep your children well, to stimulate them into learning and to show them that we can still be connected and part of the HTPD community even in these challenging circumstances. Whilst it’s hard to understand the enormity of the crisis that we’re facing, I do feel that it’s reminding all of us of the things that really matter. Caring for one another, sharing one another’s burdens and walking together through the darkest of times is how we will need to live. I’m comforted by the words in the Bible that say “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.” He is, and always has been our ever-present help in times of trouble. With love and prayers,

Clare

Thought of the week: “Trust God and He will supply your every need,” Philippians 4, v 19

No 174

20 March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

Thank you for your words of kindness and support this week. As the school sadly closes for the majority of our children, I want to encourage all of us at HTPD to continue to find ways to look after each other. I am so proud of our staff team who are passionate about doing all that they can to continue to provide a caring, nurturing school where there is a creative, innovative and inspiring curriculum. Please do support them as they do their best at this most challenging of times. They have been remarkable. Like me, they are keen to support you at home and will be checking emails every day to stay in touch.

Our school values tell us to “embrace the future with hope and confidence.” This is hard at the moment, but please reassure all the children that we can make it be true. In God’s strength and love, we can continue to be a community, albeit scattered. We will gather again as a school at some point in the future and whenever that is, we will make a special effort to celebrate the contribution made by our current Year 6 students, as well as those moving up from Pewley. Help them to be patient as we wait for that time. If you are a family that prays, do consider praying for the staff as they provide support to the small number of children that are from key worker families. Pray too for this group of children as they adapt to a very different environment at school.

I wanted to take a moment out of the happenings of the past couple of weeks to thank you so much for all of your support to our Crowdfunding Pitch 2020 campaign this past month. You have helped us raise an astonishing £10 000 so far, which is amazing! With other fundraising on hold, if you haven’t yet had time to donate, the campaign runs until tomorrow (https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/htpitch2020). Please don’t worry though if you face uncertain times ahead financially. We do of course understand.

During the uncertain times ahead, we will continue to celebrate our learning on our school website and on Twitter. Feel free to reply to Tweets or send me photos of home learning that you’d like me to upload. And on our return we’ll anticipate hearing wonderful stories of children’s resilience, creativity and zest for learning!

With love and prayers, Clare


Thought of the week: “He lets you rest and renews your soul,” Psalm 23, v2. Will you let yourself be pampered?

WHOLE SCHOOL

ParentPay - as we approach the school's financial year-end, I would be very grateful if you could settle all outstanding balances by logging into your ParentPay account. All outstanding balances should be settled, but particularly those balances relating to Breakfast Club, Clubs+ and Lunches so that payments are recorded in the correct period.

FOPS

As we are all aware, these are pretty crazy times at the moment and we have taken the decision to cancel all forthcoming events until further notice.

This would include our summer planning meeting, the bake and stroll, the fun run and most likely the summer fair. Even if we are over the worst of this by July then we won't have any resource to plan whilst we are all juggling jobs, schooling and trying to remain sane.

If anyone does have extra time in their hands and fancies coming up with any online socials then it might be nice to have an online quiz or something. Please drop us a note if this is something you would be interested in!

I will caveat that with the fact that Jo and I may struggle to invest time into planning at the moment.....

Keep healthy and look after yourself and your families
Sam and Jo

HTSC

Hi Everyone,

Well, this certainly hasn’t happened before!

All we can say at this time is a very big ‘thank you’ for everything you have all done so far this school year. The response to the Crowdfunder has been staggering with over £10,110 raised so far for the Pitch fund, which closes tomorrow (21st March). The draw will still take place and we will find a way for the prizes to reach the winners.

Everyone’s lives are being affected by this virus in a multitude of ways, so until the children are allowed to return to school, it’ll be no surprise that we have to suspend all our fundraising events and activities for this school year. We understand how disappointing this is for the whole school community, but it is beyond both our control and comprehension. If you have paid for the Quiz, your payment has not been banked and if you would like your cash returned, they are with the School Office to be collected. Fun Runners will be contacted by the organising team.

You can still show your support for the school by shopping online through easyfundraising.co.uk and dropping off your old ink cartridges and batteries to school (while still exercising social distancing).

Over the next couple of weeks we’ll come up with some suggestions that could help raise some funds for the school that can be done at home.

Year 6 leavers book
Your children should have taken a letter home this week about how to fill out your information for the leaver’s book. There will be a Parentmail sent out with the documents (the site has been overloaded recently and haven’t been able to log on, but until I can send it, here’s the message from the Year 6 Year Book Team:

As we start to prepare our kids for leaving junior school, one of the lovely things we can do is to record the memories. Each of us can contribute a little bit to building the yearbook where photos, memories, fun times and thoughts about friends can be gathered. These are given to each child at the end of the summer term. Many former pupils have so enjoyed their books, helping them feel like they have roots, grounding them and making them feel part of something.

This is where you come in! In book bags today you will find a detailed set of instructions as to how to add your child(rens) details. They are also attached to this parentmail in case they are lost already or indeed you are self-isolating. It's quite straightforward, and most children love writing comments for others too as they look back on their time in the junior school.

There will also be other pages on house competitions, school plays and outings along with messages from the teaching faculty and photos. With regards to using such photos, the authorisation letter must be signed and returned to us. Should we be unable to return to school, an alternative return option will be made available.

It would be amazing if you could utilise the Easter break to upload your child’s details so that we can ensure our children do not miss out on this lovely keepsake of their time at Holy Trinity Pewley Down in this very challenging time.

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