Mrs Fryman's message to Parents and Carers,
Friday 1st May 2020
I hope you are well and bearing up still?
Thank you all for persevering and continuing to work with our different way of operating and for bearing with us as we try to anticipate and adapt to your child’s needs – albeit remotely. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all St Matthew's wonderful staff again for their positive attitudes and readiness to respond to requests and go ‘above and beyond’ to make sure that we do the best we can for the children. Unknown to parents, many of the staff continue working until late in the evenings to provide resources, words of encouragement and to explore new activities and resources that we can offer. It’s a huge team effort with you fantastic parents, children and staff and governors all working together … our St Matts family in action looking after each other!
In the main, feedback from parents suggests that most of you are positive about how you are coping with this huge 'educational' change that’s come about. We recognise that it isn’t always easy for you at home; adapting to this new way of working. A few parents do continue to remain frustrated that teachers are not phoning and speaking to children individually, so I have attached a document - our school’s Core Principles for School Provision during COVID-19 Pandemic – for you to read which explains our rationale for the way we are operating.
If you feel that you would like additional support, please do email the class email address and your child’s teacher should be able to help you by suggesting ways to help you with the challenges home-learning has created for you and your child. This will be via email though, not by phone.
ADDITIONAL READING RESOURCES for children
A few parents have told us that their children have read all the Active Learn resources they have been allocated by teachers so Miss Hill has added a link to all class pages with information about accessing ‘Collins Big Cat’ reading resources.
There are only so many books per book band available on Active Learn that teachers are able to allocate, so if your child would like to read some more, Collins have lots of additional reading resources on their website and have created an account for parents to access these and they are free of charge.
To log in to Collins Connect:
*This website also gives access to 'Music Express' with lots of great songs and activities. Please enter the password directly when logging in rather than copy/paste as it won’t accept this.
In order to further reduce the number of staff working in school from Monday, there will be no one manning the school office so we will not be able to answer any phone queries. Arrangements have been made for office emails to be responded to remotely.
If you wish to make contact with school please use the email addresses below:-
School office related queries email@example.com
Reception class queries and children’s work firstname.lastname@example.org
Year 1 class queries and children’s work email@example.com
Year 2 class queries and children’s work firstname.lastname@example.org
Year 3 class queries and children’s work email@example.com
Year 4 class queries and children’s work firstname.lastname@example.org
Year 5 class queries and children’s work email@example.com
Year 6 class queries and children’s work firstname.lastname@example.org
NB: If you have a child attending school and need to contact staff in school – please use the school office email address, it will be acknowledged promptly and staff in school will phone you to assist you.
VE DAY CELEBRATIONS
At the start of the spring term I was planning a very different experience for the children for our VE Day celebrations in school … so I have had to put my ‘thinking cap’ on to come up with a different idea.
I have created a website page where children (and adults) can find out more about VE Day and why it is an important day in British history. You can find it here https://www.stmatthewsceprimary.com/ve-day-75th-anniversary-friday-8th-may/
I will set daily quizzes next week (one for Class R & KS1 and one for KS2) and will upload the quizzes on the webpages so that children, if they are interested, can learn more about World War 2 and VE Day by finding the answers which are in the PowerPoints I have uploaded throughout the VE Day webpage.
There is no pressure at all to do this … but I happen to know that some children are particularly interested in this period of history and will enjoy learning more about the special day. If your child prefers not to do this though, that’s fine too. I’ve created it just for fun.
If you are having any celebrations, or marking VE Day yourselves at home and would like to send in any photos to share with everyone, we will upload them to the school website for you.
I am planning a visit to my 92 year old aunty tomorrow so that I can ‘interview’ her (from the doorstep as she is in isolation and I can’t actually be with her). Hopefully I will be able to upload the video for you to see. If your family has someone who can share their experiences, perhaps you could interview them too, or write down their memories and email them to us? We’d love to know more about what it was like 75 years ago for the people living through those tough times. I read today that children who were evacuated during the war years were often educated at home as the schools couldn’t always open …
Captain Tom has been an inspiration to the whole nation and I am very much looking forward to seeing his contribution to the VE Day celebrations on TV. He reminds me of my favourite poem that I have already shared with you – but think it’s worth sharing again as it inspires me to focus on the qualities of kindness and courage ….qualities that Captain (Colonel) Tom has in spades :-
Life is mostly froth and bubble;
Two things stand like stone;
Kindness in another's trouble,
Courage in your own.
(by A.L. Gordon)
Yesterday Boris gave us words of encouragement and he spoke to us all about our (collective) determination to overcome the challenges we have been faced with; he praised us for our effort and the sacrifices we have made and are making.
During the next few weeks I urge you to continue to rise to your own personal challenges, challenges which Boris described as ‘unseen in our lifetimes’. Whether your challenge is working from home, struggling with home-learning, isolation from your friends and family, financial hardship, worries about your business, illness, bereavement and loss, pressure of work, any combination of these or many other anxieties I haven’t mentioned … please continue, with your heart and soul, and carry on with spirit and belief.
Believe that this period in our lives will end, we will return to school and our amazing teachers will resume their places in their classrooms and St Matthew’s family will assemble again.
As soon as I have news how that will work in practise I will let you know,
Until next week,