• Friday Fun available now available

No 182

22 May 2020

Dear Children, Parents and Carers,

Firstly, my weekly message to the children,

Well done everyone! We’ve made it through a whole half term of learning at home. You’ve all been amazing. I’ve been so impressed with your “keep going” attitude and I have loved hearing that, for many of you, your zest for learning is still as strong as ever. And it’s now the holidays!

If we’d been in school, this would have been a Fluffy Friday, so I hope that at home you can invent some wonderful ways to enjoy the time. Doing something different is a really good way to spend these strange days…I’m looking forward to hearing about your new hobbies. I wonder whether we’ll need to set up some new clubs at school!

Over the half term break, we’ve come up with a great idea that you’ll find on the website. Instead of jetting off on a real holiday, we thought you would enjoy imagining a half term holiday of your dreams. Where in the world would you most like to go? With an adult to help you and make sure you’re safe, use the internet to research some wonderful far-flung destination! Or maybe you’d prefer to imagine somewhere more local. Wherever you decide, enjoy finding out about that place, and maybe enjoy some international cooking, a spot of language learning, and even a virtual museum tour! Let’s all get really creative! We will look forward to sharing the postcards that you email through to us after the break.


And now to our parents and carers:

Thank you so much for the messages of encouragement that you’ve emailed to me at this challenging time. I’m so grateful to you for your understanding when things are so uncertain; it’s been a busy week in school as we prepare for our wider opening. Many of the staff team have once again gone the extra mile to ensure that we can open safely with furniture, equipment, and plans in place to keep both children and adults safe if we do welcome some children back. I’m sure you’ll want to echo my thanks to them all; they are an exceptionally committed and resourceful team. Whatever the advice in the coming days, I will be in touch again, but for now, I’m so appreciative that your response to all the detailed arrangements was so compassionate and understanding. I am sure that you will have concerns and questions – please be patient and avoid calling the office if you can. We will write as soon as we have more information about detailed arrangements for after the break. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the bank holiday weekend.

With love and prayers,
Clare

Thought of the week: Bee satisfied! Are you too materialistic? “Blessed are those who put God first; they will be fully satisfied,” Matthew 5 v6.
 

No 181

15 May 2020

Dear Children, Parents and Carers,

Firstly, my weekly message to the children,

Earlier in the week, I wrote an important letter to your parents and carers about the government’s plans to try to start re-opening schools. You might like to read some of my letter…because I was thinking about you. This is what I said:

I hope that you are all well. As the weeks go by, I miss our school community more than ever. I’m particularly mindful this week of our Year 5 children who would have been heading off on their trip to Dorset….and our Year 6’s who would have been tackling their SATs tests. However, as I hear about all the different things that you are doing at home, I’m reassured that the positive spirit of HTPD remains. The ways that everyone seems to be “embracing the future with hope and confidence” fills me with optimism for the way ahead.

Then I went on to explain that in June children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 can return to school if their parents want them to. It must have been a bit difficult for those of you in Years 2 to 5 when you heard that your year groups have to stay at home for a while longer. I promise we’ll do our best to help you still feel connected. Even for those coming back into school, it’s not really going to be like normal school. Those back in school will have to be in a small group all day, and may not have their usual teacher. So I think it’s going to be a challenging time for all of us. I know that I can rely on all of you to be your usual hopeful selves though and that’s so encouraging!

When we think about being hopeful, sometimes we have to wait for things to work out well. Keep praying and asking God to show us how to look after each other while we wait for things to improve. I read Psalm 91 today and it made me feel better – “He will cover you with his feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge.” Even when it’s hard, God wants us to know He is caring for us like a mother hen gathers in her chicks. You might like to read it too if you need cheering along.


And now to our parents and carers:

Thank you for your patience as we work out how to respond to the government’s plans. As I’ve said to the children already, this is going to be a very unusual time ahead. With very clear instructions about keeping school safe and prioritising infection control, we plan to have small groups of children working apart from others, arriving and leaving in small groups at specified times. I’m sure for some of you it will be very inconvenient. For that, I’m sorry; we are not able to be flexible and it’ll involve a bit of a shift in our thinking. I’ll be able to write in more detail soon, but first will be sharing all of the planning process with our governing body. Like me, they want to be reassured that it is safe to open.

For those of you looking ahead to more home-schooling, I want to offer my encouragement and congratulations! If school does open in early June, we will need to make adjustments to our online learning ideas – with most of our staff in school to manage small groups, we will have a much smaller team working on the website. This will mean our daily updates become weekly, but we’ll still be providing a week of ideas. Your children are clearly still thriving, learning and connecting on Zoom with their usual spirit and energy. From the work that is being sent in, and the films and photos too, you’re obviously doing a great job. Keep going! Let’s hope it won’t be for much longer.

With love and prayers,
Clare


Thought of the week: “Bee Hopeful” – how do you overcome disappointments? “Happy are the meek, they will receive all that God has promised,” Matthew 5 v5


Friday Fun

Thank you for all your support since the launch on Friday 1st May. Issue 2 is now available here and is filled with a variety of fun activities to keep you entertained. You can find Friday Fun at the bottom of the Year Group JTLYK page on the HTPD Website on Fridays. Issue 1 is available here.

No 180

07 May 2020

Dear Children, Parents and Carers,

Firstly, my weekly message to the children,

I hope that you’ve all had a good week. I’m sure that I’m just like you in wishing we could be back in school, especially with this week’s news talking about how schools might get started again, but not until June! That still seems like a long way off! And we’ll have to make sure that all of us are safe when we do reopen, so we can’t really make any plans until we know what the scientists suggest. I promise that I’ll let you and your families know all about it as soon as I can.

Back to thinking about bees – they, like us, live in community…together. Their hives remind me a bit of schools with every single bee responsible for making the hive the best that it can be. Working well together is such a positive way to live, with each person, or bee, knowing that their contribution is valued. Even though we’re apart, it gives me strength knowing that we’re still a team!

When Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted,” I don’t think he meant that it’s good for us to be sad! I think instead, he means that when we are sad, if we live well together, we will comfort one another. I hope that if you feel sad about all that’s been happening in the world recently, you are given strength by being part of our lovely school. We can still feel comforted by belonging to such a supportive team. And through prayer, we can also know God’s comfort too. Let’s keep on looking out for one another and being kind! Maybe write to a friend this weekend and cheer them up, or give them a call.

I’m sure you’ll be excited to celebrate VE Day tomorrow. We’ve put together some ideas for learning at home with a VE Day theme. So it’ll be a bit different tomorrow without the usual year group pages! I hope you enjoy finding out what the 75th Anniversary of VE Day is all about. We’ll look forward to seeing your photos on Monday! Have a good time.


And now to our parents and carers:

As I’ve already said to the children, I’ll write to you next week once we have clearer information about our next steps towards reopening. It’s such a sad time to be going through as a nation – all of us will have had to face different challenging circumstances; some of us will have been bereaved, others are facing financial hardship, and many of us missing important family events or just normal life. And these challenges will possibly continue for some time to come.

While many of the children will just want to get back to normal, one important aspect of our return to school will be talking about it all together, supporting one another in our shared experience. Obviously for some this may bring up sad feelings. In order for us to support the children well, please do let us know about any significant sadness that your child may have experienced and that we would benefit from knowing about in advance. You can email me or your child’s class teacher with anything at all if it would help us to understand. As a school, we hope to be part of the comfort that’s needed at this time.

I do hope you have a really good bank holiday weekend; the weather is going to be wonderful. I’ve heard some amazing ideas for celebrating VE day, with people being really inventive with virtual street parties and family story-telling about their war-time memories. My own Dad has just sent me a photo and biography of his father’s war effort and his medals! I’d never seen these photos before - perhaps lockdown is having some really positive outcomes!

I do think it’s really good for the children to have learnt about being bored! They will surely be so much more inventive and imaginative as a result. Let’s keep looking out for the positives.

With love and prayers,

Clare

Thought of the week: “Bee Together” – who comforts you? “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted,” Matthew 5 v4.

No 179

01 May 2020

Dear Children, Parents and Carers,

Firstly, my weekly message to the children,

It was just lovely to see so many of you on Zoom this week. Thank you so much for putting a smile on my face! You are all so cheerful and hopeful, and again you proved to me what a fantastic school community we have, working so hard every day and living out our school values even though we’re apart. Well done to you all! You’ve made a great start on the summer term.

This week’s assembly theme is about being unique. In the Bible, Jesus talked about being poor in spirit. I think he meant that we each need to have a clear view of who we are…not being boastful or looking down on others but instead realising that each one of us is equal in God’s sight. He said that was how to become part of the kingdom of heaven. I think our school value that says that each one of us is treasured and loved as a unique child of God helps us to remember this. As part of HTPD, each one of us plays an important part. And saying hello to each one of you on Zoom reminded me of each one of your individual, unique characters. I hope that you know how special each one of you is!

Did you know that bees are pretty special too? The way that they make honey and pollinate blossom so that we can enjoy delicious fruit later in the year; how they build their hexagonal honey combs, and organise their beehives so that each bee has a different job; even the fact that they can fly…they are quite remarkable! Hopefully my little video on Twitter of a bee on my apple tree at home will help you to remember that you should “Bee special”!

I hope you’ve managed to view the toilet roll videos. It’s been fun for all the teachers to put them together – and the message at the end about how much we miss you all is so true!

Have another good week of learning at home.

And now to our parents and carers:

Thank you so much for your ongoing support through this tough time. It seems so much longer than the few weeks since we moved into HTPD-at home! Like you, I’m looking forward to hearing about how our lockdown is going to end. We don’t currently have any information about schools re-opening that hasn’t been shared on national news. I will of course be in touch if there is any further detail.

We know that for many of you, learning at home is exhausting, so we have added a couple of new features to our suggestions for things to do. Firstly, take a look at Laura’s information below about “real PE at home”. This is a new free online resource that might give you some ways to help the children stay active – all the login details are below.

Also, a team of staff has put together some extra ideas for optional fun activities. These will be available each Friday on the usual JTLYK pages under the title “Friday Fun”. Of course all of this is completely voluntary, just like our daily ideas pages. Feel free to adapt and use whatever works best for you.

One set of national survey results that I read earlier this week was surprising – apparently many families are so busy finding online activities, fitting in Zoom sessions, and trying so hard to keep up with tasks set by schools that they’ve not had time to hear their child read. If you do nothing else, this is the one thing that will help your child during this time away from school. Just snuggling up together with a book each day will be the best way to make sure your child is fine whenever we start back. Hearing children read, reading aloud to them, asking questions about their book and just showing how much you value stories will pass on a love of reading which has such a massive impact. And it’s great for our mental health too – getting lost in someone else’s adventure can take our mind off our worries and fears.

Enjoy a book this weekend.

With love and prayers,

Clare


Thought of the week: Bee special! Do you like yourself? “Happy are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.” Matthew 5 v3.

Whole School

Real PE at home:
Since schools closed many online PE resources have been made available to parents and schools for free and one that has caught our eye is “real PE at home”.

“real PE at home” is an online programme that families can dip in and out of to find something that will suit every child learning at home. The weekly activity timetable includes programmes specifically for children in Early Years (3-5yrs) and Key Stage 1 (5-7yrs) with over 250 activities and challenges. This programme looks great for family play and fun. For children in Key Stage 2 (7-11yrs) there are personal best challenges and skills and games designed specifically for the home and garden.

Here are the details to access real PE at home: The website address is: home.jasmineactive.com
Parent email: parent@holytrinit-1.com
Password: holytrinit

Key worker families
Sadly, our kitchen is now closed. We are no longer able to provide either lunch or a fruit snack. Please do send the children in with a packed lunch and with a piece of fruit or veg for their morning snack. Any queries about this, do get in touch with the office.

Other Notices

Family Games & Quiz Night
Many of you will know Michael, Geraldine's husband, from our wonderful school Quiz Night. Michael has asked us to share details of a Family Games and Quiz night on Saturday evening from 5-7pm that he is hosting on behalf of the Matrix Trust who work with children and young people across the town.

The format is going to be aimed very much at all the family stuck at home, and school years 3 to 8 - although hopefully it will be fun for other ages too. But, for reasons that will become clear, it is not something you can join with other families to form virtual teams. There is no cost to join in, but we will point out ways you can support them during the evening. Please go to the Booking Page to register so we they have an idea of numbers. https://thematrixtrust.churchsuite.co.uk/events/xlpwjy33

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