Dear Parents and Carers,
I wanted to write to you all as I will not be writing a newsletter this week. I have been a teacher for 26 years, 7 years of those being Headteacher of Llanmartin Primary School and I, like you, have never been through a time like this before.
I have been thinking about the wonderful children of our school so much throughout the week. If we, as adults are concerned about things, then they must be really confused over lots of things too. Please talk to them and reassure them that although things will be different for a while, things will get back to normal eventually. It is going to be difficult for them to understand that although they are off school, they can’t go out and play with their friends or have sleep overs.
Many of our children will be scared as they will have heard the ‘dangers’ and ‘scaremongering’ that is circulating. Please do what you can to reassure them that everything is going to be okay for them and your family. You all know that I have my own children and even though they are much older, I am having these conversations with them and explaining why we can’t get together for their birthdays or Easter this year. At their age, it’s just easier for them to understand.
I’ve also been thinking about our Year 6 who, if school does not return before the summer holiday, won’t have the proper ‘send off’ they deserve and the transition to their next school. This is a time that they will never forget but not for the same reasons as other leavers, but because they were not allowed to say ‘goodbye’ properly. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that we can return to school just to do that!
As many of you are aware, myself and a number of teachers were advised on Tuesday afternoon to ‘social distance’ ourselves which meant that we have managed the rest of the week on a very skeleton staff. I am extremely grateful to those staff for keeping the school open and ensuring the safety and well-being of your children. Our wonderful cook, Mrs Wilkins has ensured that every child has had a good meal every day, a huge thank you to her too. Many of these staff will continue to ensure that we support our communities during the time the school is closed.
Like me, the staff that were working from home were extremely frustrated that they couldn’t do more but I can assure you we were working just as hard and I am grateful to these staff for supporting their colleagues and myself ‘behind the wings’.
To all our parents who have a vital role in working in the NHS, caring for the elderly, keeping the world in which we life safe, distributing food for us all and any other parents that have to keep working – stay safe! You are so important to so many people.
There has been an unbelievable amount of progress today on setting up childcare for prioritised key workers. This evening, Newport City Council have issued a press release and application form which will appear on the NCC website and NCC facebook for key workers. Applications for places go live tomorrow.
ALL parents should read the press release carefully as it explains the way forward for all schools.
To all our wonderful children, please be good for your parents during this time. Listen carefully to what you are being asked to do and enjoy the learning that you will be sent by your teachers over the next few weeks. You are so very important to us all and we need you to stay safe.
I will continue to keep in touch with parents during this time. Classteachers will be sending out learning packs on Monday by midday. These packs will be ideas of activities that your child can do whilst at home, they will not be structured lessons for you to teach your child.
Finally, I would like to thank all the governors and parents that have taken the time to write emails to me expressing their thanks for what the school has already done at this difficult time. They have brought smiles to my face this week when really there were just lots of worries.
Stay safe, stay strong and please be kind to each other.
Mrs V J Curtis