Coronavirus blog 2

Time is moving very slowly as events are travelling at breakneck speed. When I wrote the first blog, I suggested that parents made use of the outdoors so that children could explore nature: of course, we are now expected to stay indoors as much as possible with limited exercise in a day.

We have had our first week in school since the closures. It has seemed so strange to have the spaces of school housing so few children and strange to shrink back from each interaction to maintain that safe distance…

I think it is true to say that no one can guess what is on the horizon. Who would have thought that the heir to the throne, Prince Charles, and the Prime Minister should both contract the virus in the same week?

It perhaps isn’t strange that this time away from school has led to all sorts of creativity and innovation. We now have a school Facebook page and a YouTube channel. If you go onto YouTube and look up Conisbrough Ivanhoe Primary Academy, you will see a range of videos uploaded by staff for the amusement of children – and one (the most brilliant) created by a child. Please look and see.

We hope to move to a voucher system for Free School Meals after Easter, so if anyone is entitled to FSM but isn’t claiming them (some people don’t bother because infants get free meals anyway, but these are not FSM) get in touch with the office. I guess that some people may now be on benefits that weren’t before, so contact us if you think you have an entitlement and we can help. Currently, we are providing grab bags during the school term.

I hope that everyone is managing – it has been lovely to see so many pictures on Twitter and Facebook of children making use of their time.

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Coronavirus blog 1

How strange that just a week ago, we mentioned the coronavirus in a homework front page for the very first time – and now all schools in the UK are closed to most pupils.

This has been a strange few days for us all – on Monday of this week we were saying that we were cancelling ‘Learner of the Week’ and by Friday we were making plans to limit the school to only 38 children for the foreseeable future and to ration places even for key workers.

This school will be open over Easter, presumably for the first time ever, and staff are organising themselves to give whatever cover we can so that children of key workers have a safe place to go.

The world has turned upside down – my children kissed their Gran last Sunday for the last time for a few months and I shall only be dropping off a card for her on Mothering Sunday and I guess that even then, she will have to wash her hands once she’s opened it .

A lot of this week has been about preparedness for the school closure and partial re-opening. It has been very difficult because the government gave confused messages and then no messages (!) and we were left in the dark. It is really difficult to organise partial opening – there are a million things to consider – and then you get the situation where emails aren’t arriving as the broadband is really slow due to excess demand!

I hope by now that parents have been able to access the work that we have prepared for children at home – it’s on the class pages (and you can use the link in the green box on the homepage.) The most successful way in which your children can ‘work from home’ is to have established routines so that they know when they are working and when they are playing – please don’t make them work too hard, but at the same time, please keep them learning.

It was very sad in school today as the Y6 got their T-shirts signed, which is something they would normally have done on the last day in July. I really hope that we can at least have a leavers’ party and a last assembly in July (even better would be to manage to get on the residential at the beginning of July) but I am not holding my breath as it might not make sense to get back together just before a six week closure.

My message to parents and children is to stay safe – an upside of this is that parents and children will have to make much greater use of the outdoors that many would normally do – so it will be a walk by a stream rather than a play area. I hope that parents make full use of their time with their kids – it’s precious time, after all.

I will be blogging every Friday – please do blog back.

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