Coronavirus 6 (Pot Noodle)

I’m sitting at my desk at school and I have just eaten my first ever pot noodle. I brought it in to school because the preparation and eating of it was so simple. I’m not sure about the taste but I do feel full up.

I see in the news that there is a little chatter about schools opening again. I am really not sure how that would be possible whilst maintaining the 2 metre rule (social distancing). If you need to be two metres away from everyone then each child would need to be at a desk on their own – which would mean class sizes about half of what they are at the moment… so I guess it would be one day on and one day off school. I also guess that we would not serve school dinners as that necessitates close contact – so I guess we would continue to provide vouchers and ask parents to give children a pack-up for school which hopefully could be eaten outside. There is lots to think about.

I have been recommended (By Rachel Simpson) the Oak National Academy, which is the website set up by the government to provide lessons for children. I have just had a look and it seems ok: real teachers giving real lessons – Rachel’s kids are really enjoying it and learning Spanish too!

I hope that everyone is keeping well – check out or social media link for all the things that staff and children are doing – and look at the pictures (that have replaced Picture of the Week) – and please keep sending them in to me at head@ivanhoeprimary.co.uk.

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Coronavirus 5

We continue to adjust to the new reality. I’m sitting in my office having just recorded another Michael Rosen poem for our YouTube channel – my fifth, I think. Poor Michael Rosen has been in hospital for a long, long time. It’s funny that we think the internet can tell us everything – I can’t find ANY new news about him at all…

One of the ways in which this coronavirus will change us is going to be the way we think about life. We all lead incredibly busy lives and even at the weekend, we are busy, busy, busy: I know for myself, I’m always trying to get my children out to experience this or that or to do this or that – but now I wonder if we shouldn’t all just chill a bit and slow down and enjoy what we have in front of us rather than going looking for experience. I have been walking (and running) in my local woods for over three weeks now (having never been there before) and it’s lovely to see how change occurs – even in a small time – so now I walk amongst a sea of bright bluebells, whereas three weeks ago, they were just green leaves…

I am sure that when we are all back to school again, our philosophy will change. I think that we need to help children value the here and now – really value it – as well as the learning to read and write: I think we need a more rounded approach. I think there is already evidence to suggest that people in the UK see positives in this massive and frightening pause for thought and don’t want just to go back to ‘normal’ life: I hear a lot of people saying ‘take care’ and I see a lot of people being kind – as well as showing appreciation for those who serve us, whether in a hospital or in a supermarket… perhaps schools will reflect these changes in the months and years to come.

Coronavirus 4

Easter Saturday (I missed Friday as I was in Sheffield Children’s Hospital with Jude, who had broken his leg on the trampoline: the trampoline we bought at the beginning of the lock down…)

It’s a beautiful day. At our house, we have planted runner bean, pea, snap-pea, broccoli, sweetcorn, radish, tomato, potato, watercress and herbs as the boys like planting. I have also been cutting the grass and looking for an excuse to cut it again as I want to do something!

School was quiet this week – it’s a big place when there are so few children. We are really disappointed that the government have gone on and on about vouchers for free school meals (including over the Easter holidays) but haven’t managed to communicate how we actually get them and then get them to parents – but the government are better at saying than doing things just now.

There has been some chat online about schools opening again, but it is obvious that we are still not at the peak of the virus and it will take a long time after the peak before it comes down to something manageable – and it seems to me that opening schools, especially for the very young children, will just start it right up again.

It’s been lovely to see every thing that children are getting up to on Facebook, twitter, the photos on the website and on our YouTube channel – I just hope that Jude is the only child who has broken something!

Take care everyone.

Coronavirus 3

It’s strange to think that the term, ‘social distancing’ was so little known until just recently. Looking at the term, it seems that the theory of social distancing really came into its own in 1918 when Influenza was raging around the world: Philadelphia had its first cases but then went ahead with a planned parade of over 200,000 people – and pretty soon the hospitals were full and many people died. St. Louis, on the other hand, had its first case and the city took two days to implement several social distancing measures, including closing schools, theatres, and other places where people get together. It banned public gatherings, including funerals. The actions slowed the spread of influenza in St. Louis and a spike in cases and deaths, as had happened in Philadelphia, did not occur.

Anyway, we are all social distancing now! I know there are lots of complaints about people not doing it properly – especially at first – but it seems to me that everyone takes it very seriously… people are keeping well away from each other.

The strange thing about all this is that at the end of it all, many people will be very much fitter than they have been in their lives (thanks to Joe Wicks, in part), the world will be much less polluted and people will be appreciative, especially of those people who serve us (NHS, bin collectors, shop workers, postal workers – even teachers!) and people will have been through a period of being kinder towards each other and much more spiritually aware – and it is a pity that it has taken a crisis to make this happen. I hope that schools and society can learn lessons about what really is important (love, decency, creativity – and not just testing!)

I hope that everyone is enjoying keeping in touch through the YouTube channel, Facebook, Twitter and the website. Stay safe.

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