Good afternoon families
We are writing to you all just to touch base and let you know what we have been doing both in school and after hours to prepare for the unknown circumstances that are taking place. The Department for Education CEO has described it like ‘building the plane whilst flying it’ and we think it sums it up perfectly.
At school we are maintaining consistency and routine. We are trying to have lots of fun and are being creative in our approaches to social distancing. We are taking hand washing and hygiene very seriously, but most importantly the adults are remaining calm, caring and connected with how the students are feeling. We are trying to find the elusive balance of reacting enough without over-reacting and causing alarm for students.
The older students have had many conversations about Covid-19 and we have spoken with them in a matter of fact way drawing upon medical facts to explain to students what is happening. The teachers of younger students have chosen not to discuss Covid 19 with the class as they feel many of them are not yet mature enough to understand it in a school setting.
We are sure in your own homes you have talked about this in a way that you feel your child can best process the information. What we have done school-wide is talked about our responsibilities to keep each other safe from germs by keeping our hands clean and our bodies a safe distance from each other. As you can imagine, this is terribly difficult to do with young children as they seek each others physical contact and want to hug, hold hands and generally just be kind, caring and comforting with each other. We are choosing our words gently when reminding them saying ‘remember we all need to use safe hand which means at the moment no touching’.
On Friday (our Pupil Free Day) we have the day dedicated to a dual approach to teaching that is supporting home learning and quality at school learning. For the last week or two, after hours, we have been sourcing online activities and materials that we think could be useful for supporting at home learning and have been trying to work out the best way to deliver these to you all. This is time consuming and whilst we still have face-to-face contact with students, we can not give this all of our attention. We ask that you are patient with us. The Department for Education also has key personnel working on this at a central level.
To those families that have chosen to keep your children at home, we respect your decision and ask that if you make contact with queries or questions, we will attempt to reply to you in a timely manner but this may be the next day.
For those of you who are still sending your children to school, thank you for entrusting us with your children. We assure you that we are doing our very best to maintain a calm, happy exterior and to deliver curriculum and care that is of the highest quality. At this time, routine is the key. Our mantra has been ‘as normal as possible for as long as possible’.
We need to work together on this so when our kids are grown up they remember this time as a strange but happy time where their teachers and parents cared so much for them that they could forget there was a virus. We believe that is our responsibility.
Please stay safe
Gumeracha Primary School team