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  • Darras Hall Primary School, Middle Drive, Ponteland, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE20 9DS
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Closure Update

Dear Parents

 

We are halfway through week one now and I hope all has been going well over the last few days. I am sure you are finding the job of home schooling rewarding - yet I imagine it is bringing with it a few challenges too!

 

Please do not worry if you are finding it difficult to get children to follow the work set by their teachers. Break the school work up into realistic manageable tasks interspersed with more active jobs and activities.  There is no pressure or expectation from school to complete them - they are there only to help provide some structure if you need it.  Be creative and get them to join in some of the household jobs - help prepare the vegetables for dinner, organise and sort their toy boxes, help with the gardening.  Make the most of offers being made available online such as Joe Wicks’ 30 minute workout every morning to wake them up and get them active!  Teachers will continue to set work via Class Dojo and Google Classroom.  You can also use the opportunity to explore your children’s own interests - there’s never been a better time for them to complete their own research project on a topic of their choice or do some practical learning e.g.  learn about plants in the garden as spring has certainly arrived.

 

The reality for the children will be sinking in now as the novelty of not going to school wears off. We are also very conscious that children may now become socially isolated from their friends and extended family. Please take time to talk to them about this and encourage any supervised online contact through Google Classroom and ClassDojo platforms. It will add some sense of normality for them if they can continue to communicate with their peers. We are making regular posts on our social media platforms to share what our children are doing at home and in school.

 

As you know we are still hearing new information about COVID-19 everyday. Please be assured that the school is working through all relevant information and responding accordingly.  Can I thank you all for listening and following advice on making sure only absolutely essential key workers’ children come to school so that we can put in place the essential social distancing rules for these children and the staff.

 

It is natural that you will be worrying about how your children are coping during this difficult time. Please do not worry about them regressing in their learning and school work; all children are currently in the same position and they will all be ok.  Just reassure them and listen to them.  Try to find some time each day to have fun with them in an activity of their choice.  In the years to come, your child’s mental health will be more important than their academic abilities. They will remember how they felt during this time far more than what they learnt.

You can seek help and advice on dealing with your child’s mental health from many online websites (Young Minds, Re-think, The Anna Freud Centre to name but a few). The Anna Freud Centre - This video provides guidance to parents and carers about how they can help children and young people manage their mental health and wellbeing during any disruption caused by the Coronavirus.

 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all parents and  carers for their continued support and the many heartfelt comments that have been shared with staff. We have found them a real source of encouragement.  My thanks go out to the team who have continued to show real altruism in the face of this difficult situation, taking care of the children of essential key workers in school, providing admin support, cleaning, caretaking and making lunches. Thank you also to all staff working at home to support you in keeping your children learning and motivated at home - many of whom are having to care for their own children at this time. 

 

With best wishes to all of our families

 

Lynn Blain