By Laura Trelfa, headteacher
LIKE all schools, at Micklehurst All Saints CE Primary we have been delighted to welcome back all our children.
It seems such a long time that we have been together, albeit we are not really together as everyone is in their own bubble with no mixing or contact between them.
Despite this, children have returned to school happy and enthusiastic and ready to get on with their learning journey. While many teachers had been worrying about how big gaps in learning might be following lockdown and home schooling, we have been pleasantly surprised that the gaps do not appear to be as significant as feared.
This is testament to the amazing work that parents and carers have completed at home with children and the amount of work that teachers have been able to plan and prepare and post using the various apps that school uses.
During lockdown, our weekly videos kept families, children and school staff connected and this has proved to be a contributing factor to how easily children have returned to school. Many parents and carers have spoken with me to say how much they had looked forward to the videos and how they made them still feel part of the school community during lockdown.
The school day is now very different for children. All bubbles have staggered start and finish times, playtimes and lunches to ensure the integrity of bubbles are maintained. Children are eating in classrooms so communal spaces are avoided and all areas of school are regularly cleaned and sanitised, with older children play a willing and diligent part in this process.
As well as mixing with friends from other year groups, children are missing our regular achievement, singing and worship assemblies. To address this issue we are holding Zoom assemblies in classrooms using our interactive whiteboards and children have loved seeing their friends and other teachers in classrooms on the big screen.
Father David, Father Ian and Brian are holding whole school worship assemblies via Zoom and children are enjoying getting back into some sort of normal routine with all the fun things they did in school before lockdown.
While planning and managing the return to school process and the day-to-day challenges that the new routines bring, staff, children and families have shown immense resilience, understanding and cooperation, values that lie at the heart of the Micklehurst All Saints community ethos and of which I am incredibly proud.
Although lockdown has been very hard, and we have prayed for those who have been ill or lost loved ones, going forwards we will take the positives out of our experiences. It has truly shown how strong our community is and how much love is shared between us all.
As all our children continue on their learning journey, we pray that this will not be further interrupted by having to close bubbles if Covid-19 cases occur in our community.
But as with everything that we have dealt with so far during this pandemic, I know our children, families and staff will deal with any further obstacles with the strength, courage and determination that they have already shown.