No. 209

29 January 2021

Dear Children, Parents and Carers,

Wasn’t it great to see the snow last Sunday! It was just lovely to hear from the children at the start of the week about how much fun they’d had over the weekend, playing in the snow.

I am sure that you’ll have had mixed feelings about the latest government announcement regarding school closures and lockdown. With infection rates still high, it is so important that we continue to follow the advice to help reduce transmission locally, and there is no doubt that hospitals are still really under pressure. However, all of us recognise how challenging this is for parents, carers and children. It was certainly disappointing to hear that our freedoms will continue to be curtailed at least until March 8th and that school will not be reopening straight after the half-term break. Thank you so much to all those families who are making sacrifices to keep the children at home; we really appreciate how tricky home-schooling is, especially if you’re also trying to work yourself. As a school, we’ve kept our numbers on site relatively low. Thank you so much for making this possible; it will certainly help reduce infection locally, as well as hopefully shortening the local lockdown. If your child is coming into school, we are keen to continue to support you, but do let us know if you are able to reduce the number of days that they are on site so that we can have fewer staff in each day, with those at home focusing solely on the remote learning provision.

I’ve been so impressed by the children’s determination to continue learning in spite of the challenges. Let’s all make sure we congratulate them on their efforts, and also be ready to be flexible if it doesn’t always go smoothly. Some days will always be harder than others…don’t make it a battle; encourage your child to do something different instead if a particular task appears too hard. You can always have another go later on, if that seems like a good idea. Keep in touch with class teachers if you want any advice or support. Working alone is really tricky, even for adults and we know how much motivation children give to each other in the classroom, spurring one another on, and providing peer to peer feedback. Of course, the physical presence of a teacher is important too – but I think everyone is doing so well in the circumstances. We also mustn’t overlook the skills that are being developed because of the challenges we’re facing: resilience, independent learning strategies, expertise in use of digital technology, as well as sheer gritted determination to succeed in spite of adversity. These will stand the children in good stead whatever the future holds for them!

Next week, I will be hosting a virtual coffee-morning (11am on Wednesday 3rd February) together with our home-school link workers, (Lucy Cray and Bridgit Beynon). This will be an opportunity to meet Lucy and Bridgit, hear about the support that they’re able to offer, find out about local sources of parenting support, as well as share with other families in our school community. It’s a really informal event providing another way for good communication between home and school; just make yourself a coffee, and turn up! I’ll send the Zoom link by parentmail next week.

You may have spotted in the calendar that we had planned an INSET day for Friday 12th February. In order to best support families, we have decided to postpone this to the end of the academic year (which will now finish one day earlier with the end of the summer term now being Tuesday 20th July). Both remote learning and in-school provision will therefore continue right up until the half term break.

With love,

Thought of the Week: Love is kind– who needs your kindness today?

Guildford Family Centre
Due to the demand for the Parenting Puzzle Course, additional dates have now been added. Please find details here of the Parenting Puzzle Course.  Further information on their virtual courses, telephone advice sessions and support groups is available via their Facebook page: @GuildfordFamilyCentre.

Lockdown opportunity to support RSCH staff - "Buckets of love"
Some of your school's neighbours are putting together buckets full of presents to say thank you to the amazing doctors, nurses, carers and cleaners at the Royal Surrey Hospital (the ones who work in the Intensive Care Unit and look after patients with Covid-19). They’ve been working really hard and are probably tired, so we want them to have something special to open on Valentine’s Day. Each bucket will have a pebble painted (hopefully) by you, with the words ‘YOU ROCK’ on it, and lots of love hearts too. The examples were painted by someone in year 5 to give you an idea. Acrylic pens are the easiest to use apparently, but nail varnish and acrylic paints are good too. Maybe your parents would like to do one too? Pebbles and stones should be small enough to fit in the palm of an adult hand. Please paint your pebble before the 10th February and deliver it to the plastic boxes on the drives of:
38 Pewley Hill, Guildford, GU1 3SN
or 36 Warren Road, Guildford, GU1 2DH

Big garden birdwatch - this weekend!
Here's a good way to spend an hour with the family this weekend. Either in your garden or local park, sit for an hour with a checklist of which birds you spot. Visit the website for more information and for a handy identification guide (

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