Latest Newsletter from the Headteacher :
Dear Parents, Carers, Governors and Staff
I would like to open this newsletter by saying a very big thank you to all the staff who have dropped everything to help. You are amazing. I know I have said this before about Team Thorpe, but it has been a fast changing, high stress task to respond to directives from central government at the drop of a hat and everyone has risen to the challenge. Thanks also to parents for your encouraging emails and support – it is very, very much appreciated.
Having said that, we have all been thrown into shock by this pandemic. It has at times shown the worst of humanity with people panic buying and hoarding to the detriment of others - but it has also shown people at their best; offering such compassion to each other that it has left me breathless.
I cannot stress enough that we are all here for you. We all want to support you and to support our children to thrive while we wait for the crisis to pass – which it will.
However, we need to take this virus seriously. “If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading”. We need to stay within our family groups and stay away from vulnerable people by social distancing and this advice includes children being very sensible and social distancing from their friends which we know is going to be challenging for them.
St Mary’s Church services will be online at 10am everyday. Please visit www.stmaryschurchthorpe.co.uk for more information.
On a lighter note, and inspired by our Y6 Thorpe’s Reports, our weekly newsletter will be largely created by our children both at home and at school. Please could your child email in an article, short story, poem, picture of their learning and creations, news article, essay/fact file and we will publish as many as we can… if they’d like to add a top tip for learning remotely or a suggestion to us that would be great. If they’d like to offer a political piece that would also be good.
My biggest message from this newsletter is that we are all 100% here for you.
We will aim to have teachers available via phone or email to answer your questions, queries, talk through any academic issues you may be having. If you would like to speak with a teacher between the hours of 1.30 and 2.30pm please call the office and we will do our best to support you.
Our ELSA, Lisa McLaren will be available to discuss any emotional worries you may have and will be able to advise or speak with children or parents. She also has a folder under ‘Class Information’ on the website which will contain ‘Top Tips’ and ideas to support your children.
Our SENCO will be available every Thursday if you need resources or ideas and we can send you bespoke/specific ideas if you need them.
I will be available as the Designated Safeguarding Leader if you have a safeguarding concern or you feel vulnerable or feel that you are not coping and just want to talk. I will do my best to support you.
This is a new way of working for us all and as the hours/days go by we will think of better ways of supporting you. Please know that you are not alone.
On the website we have set up sub folders for the specific weeks. Within those folders will be a rough timetable with links to online learning or worksheets for you to print off or complete on screen. Children should use the books we sent home – one side for English, turn it over and the other side for maths. When that runs out we will endeavour to order more to replace them which will be available to pick up.
Although we are sending home timetables and learning, we encourage you to use this to create your own schedule which fits in with your family routine and commitments. As much as possible, we have planned activities children will be able to complete with minimal adult supervision. If you are unable to do an activity or complete it fully, or you have a week when you are unable to complete any learning due to illness or circumstance, it would be useful for you to let your class teacher know so we can adapt the learning for the following week. We would recommend that learning takes place in small chunks of 20 minutes punctuated by movement breaks. If children are finding it difficult to be motivated it often helps to adopt a ‘now and next’ approach. ‘Now’ you will do this task/block of learning and then ‘next’ you can choose an activity of your choice.
Over the coming weeks, we will endeavour to find further ways to support you. Before the Easter break, we will reassess and ask for feedback using an online questionnaire to see how we can improve home learning. We do not want to add any further unnecessary stress at this time.
We have been advised by DfE that there is an expectation for schools to offer ‘care’ at school for key worker children and that they will not follow the National Curriculum. However, at school, we will be following the same learning from the website that you are undertaking at home.
For online resources, please see individual planning which we will upload this weekend.
We have also set up class emails with addresses CLASSNAMEClass@thorpe.surrey.sch.uk ie Sapphireclass@thorpe.surrey.sch.uk for learning queries. These will go directly to your child’s class teacher. For any general queries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We would suggest a couple of hours learning in the morning broken into an English focus and then a maths focus and the afternoon a topic focus ie geography, art, history project (poster, ppt, activity) within that plenty of movement breaks
Afternoon games (cluedo, monopoly possibly via facetime with a friend?) exercise in the garden/ living room to Jump start Johnny. Children to help with the garden, cooking eg weighing, measuring (real life maths). Have a jigsaw on the go, practice perfecting handwriting, artwork, sewing, DT project gluing or making, BBC Bitesize.
Research suggests parents shield under 10s from as much news as possible, especially searching online and instead they should watch age appropriate News Round or First News. If a CV-19 topic comes up be honest but don’t dwell, be optimistic.
We will be contacting Key Workers to let you know about next week. If you feel you qualify under the new guidance, please email the office urgently to let us know.
I’ve read much about tough times creating tough teams and hopefully we can be more resilient and stronger having made it through this together. We know the next few days and weeks will be challenging for us all but it’s an opportunity to show our children how to handle a crisis. It’s time for the world to take a breath, play games, be gentle with each other, let things go a bit, listen to each other and put others’ first.
Wishing you all a safe journey through this time.
With love and prayers from us all.