Letter from the Head

Dear Parent

I hope you and your family have had an enjoyable half term.

Since my letter at the end of last week you will have been contacted by your child’s class teacher, who will have given some detail about the second half of term, whether it is providing more home education for your child, or teaching and learning in school. Like everything at the moment, it is with the understanding that things can change very quickly.

In addition, for those returning to school on Monday, Mr Gladstone has been in touch about the dropping to school arrangements. Please, the fewer people that come to the school site at drop off and pick up times, the safer we will be. Where possible, it should just be the one adult who is dropping off the children and the two-metre distancing rule should be applied when lining up; the staggered drop off times mentioned should make this a relatively easy process.

There have been no further significant changes to the guidance, accept of course to the Test and Trace. This could have a significant impact on who can attend school and so I urge you to maintain social distancing to minimise the impact on your own health, but also in the running of the school. If we keep rigidly to government guidance, and then pupils mix with friends after school, it negates the point of these restrictions.

I now want to focus on the softer but perhaps more important dimensions of the current situation, with some children returning to school and some not. The wellbeing of everyone in the community has been affected during the pandemic and at school we want to help your children as best we can.

Relationships may be different. We would love everyone to return to school, or remain at home, and be happy and cheerful all the time. My assembly on Monday will focus on the need to try to remain cheerful in adversity, however, we can’t expect all the children to return joyfully. Many of the relationships that were thriving will need to be restored and time will need to be spent on returning them to how they were before. As staff, we have talked about this in school and are planning to help, as we can’t just assume that everything will be ok. We will be welcoming the children back and helping them to rekindle relationships, which should cushion any discomfort felt by returning to school.

Children have learnt and laughed and been educated within the school community for terms, and years, depending on their age. They have now been out of the community for a period of time and so, as a school, we will listen to them and try to understand what it has been like away from school, and what they think about returning to school. We will focus on the traditional values and virtues associated with Unicorn to help with the transitioning back into the school community.

However well your child has taken to home schooling, the broad curriculum has been different. We will be open with your children and show how we are going to address any gaps; supporting pupils and parents with openness and transparency. It is worth remembering, pupils across the country have been away from school, and many of them have not had the level of home education Unicorn pupils have received.

It is very important that we do not create too much pressure to get back to normal too quickly. Your children will need space to rediscover themselves within the school environment and to find comfort in their school learning again. We want the children to rebuild their confidence in an unpressurised environment.

Alongside all of this, we are fully aware that children are all individuals and respond differently to different situations. Those children who will continue to receive home learning also need the opportunity to get support from school. As well as class Zoom sessions, and some opportunities for small group Zoom work, please speak with your teachers if you or your child need some individual emotional support. No one can predict when we will be back living and educating as normal, but I hope we can all be there to support each other, and our children, as best we can.

We are very sorry that we cannot welcome all the children back to school yet. We will see some of them on Monday and look forward to seeing you all very soon.

Kind regards.

Kit Thompson