Message from Mrs. Castell

Dear Parents,

I hope you had an enjoyable half term break, wasn’t the weather lovely? This week we welcomed back our first cohort of EYFS children to school, as well as the children of our key workers. The school is closed today for a deep clean, to prepare for the arrival of the second bubble groups next week. It is so lovely to see the children again, but it makes us miss the children at home even more. We await future announcements from the government as to whether we can open up to further pupils, but with current social distancing guidance we can only fit 10 children in each classroom. The children have coped brilliantly with the new hygiene and distancing arrangements and I must thank the parents for their support in these procedures too.

I would also like to thank our staff for their continued dedication to supporting children in school and at home. Please remember that our teachers may not answer emails or return calls as quickly as they were able to before half term, as most of them are back to teaching full time.

Later this term, we will begin the children’s transition to the next academic year. However, as you can imagine, things are very uncertain right now, so we are awaiting further information from the government before we make any firm plans. We have been in touch with the parents of our new September intake and their induction will be delayed until the autumn term. I am aware that Year Two parents will be awaiting details of how transition to the Junior School will look and Mr Taylor will be writing to you all later today.

As we head into the twelfth week of lockdown, we recognise what a strain this is on everyone’s mental health. It is a real test of perseverance, HIPIP would be proud of you all! We would strongly recommend getting out into natural spaces as much as you can to boost your sense of wellbeing. Mrs Winsley will be sharing some of her Forest School ideas on our Facebook page, as part of our support for Essex Wildlife Trust’s 30 Days Wild initiative. You can download the 30 Days Wild app from the usual app stores, which posts a daily idea for getting in touch with local wildlife. BBC Springwatch also has lots of live video feeds that the children can use to observe the natural world.

Finally, I know we are all desperate to socialise again, but if you are meeting friends or other families in outdoor spaces, please ensure that you maintain a 2 metre distance from those who are not in your household. Having waded through hundreds of pages of government guidance, we are very conscious that as the lockdown is eased and schools partially re-open, all of us have a part to play in preventing transmission of the virus and keeping our community safe. The DfE guidance for children who are returning to school is that they should not attend alternative out of school clubs or activities at the moment. This reduces their exposure to children outside of their bubble group.

Thank you all for your support. Take care and stay safe.

Helen Castell