Message From Mrs Armstrong 03.04.2020

Well we’ve just reached the end of Week 2 at Newsham Primary School and I don’t know about anyone else but everything still feels as strange and unfamiliar as it did when I posted my message to you all at the end of Week 1. I keep wondering how we have so quickly found ourselves in a position where school is practically deserted, we’re operating a skeleton staff rota, children are almost all working at home and our close and happy school community is scattered far and wide.

These sudden and unsettling times have required completely new ways of thinking and working.  That said, in true Newsham fashion, we are rising to the challenge!  I know families have found the home learning packs, hyperlinks and daily online challenges helpful, engaging and fun!  I also know how much everyone has loved the film clip of staff reading at home and together, these have all been ways to help us feel connected.

Senior leaders have been trying to phone as many families each week to check in, see if everyone is okay and send our love to the children.  I know these phone calls have been really appreciated and during the ones I’ve made, I’ve been really touched by the level of care and affection that was being returned to me by families. I know other leaders have experienced the same response and whilst that’s not why we’re calling, we really appreciate your concern for staff at Newsham.

Today marks the beginning of the two week Easter holiday. It seems really strange because usually, much as I love and miss Newsham at holiday time, I’m normally exhausted and ready for a break (that could be an age thing mind you!). This holiday feels completely different because we will keep going to help the country keep going and I’m so grateful to be able to do something useful. I know all the staff feel the same way.  Having said that, I’m hugely grateful to parents and carers who have been able to find other arrangements for childcare as school just doesn’t feel the safest place to be and social distancing, despite our very best efforts, is a concept that little children find difficult to understand.

I’m really hoping that all our key worker families have arrangements in place for Good Friday and Easter Monday because I’d really hope to be able to give staff those two days to spend with their own families.  Good Friday is one of the most important days in the Christian year and for some staff, religious observance is very important. That said, the desire to help is very important too and I know we will continue to try our best to do what we can.

I hope everyone manages to enjoy family time over the next two weeks. Don’t worry too much about school work during “holiday” time and expect to receive far fewer updates and contact from school over the next two weeks while staff not in school  recharge their batteries and get ready for what I expect will be, a very unusual summer term.

Thank you for your unfailing support and affection during this difficult time.
Stay home, stay safe and send my love to the children.
Mrs Armstrong