Alverstoke Church of England Junior School
(023) 9258 0450

Letter to everyone 20th March

March 20, 2020

Dear Parents and carers,

 

It has been a challenging few days for everyone and we find ourselves heading into uncharted waters over the next few weeks.

 

Last night we received the guidance from the Department of Education on what constitutes an ‘essential worker’. The list is comprehensive and the reason for this is that of course every occupation is important within its context and the community’s needs. Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer every child of one of the workers on the list a place at school in the coming weeks. There are two main reasons for this: firstly, we will not always have the staff to cover that number of children as they themselves may be in a vulnerable group and in isolation or develop symptoms and therefore be in quarantine for fourteen days. Secondly, if we open to the numbers so far as indicated we will be doing very little to contribute to stopping the spread of infection as we will still have so many staff, children and parents on site.

 

Thank you to parents who have responded positively to the key worker support we will be offering next week, at present we will be supporting 36 children as their parents continue to do sterling work to keep the NHS and other services running smoothly. We have already exceeded the Government advice of 10% per school but feel that we need to offer these places as a matter of urgency to these parents.

 

It was good to see the pile of contributions for the Food bank this morning as well. At a time like this, being neighbourly has never felt so important.

 

Just a few things to make you aware of:

  • We have emailed home learning out today. We have selected some activities to keep basic skill work going each day and also some activities that children can demonstrate their independence and creativity with as well. It will be good to see some of the end products when we come back to school in the Summer term.
  • We appreciate that for some families it will be important that you are still able to contact us. The best way will be to email admin@alverstoke-jun.hants.sch.uk and Mrs O’Brien will ensure that your email reaches the right member of staff. We will also be sending out a newsletter each Friday to keep you up to date.

Before we close to the majority of our pupils for the foreseeable future, I wanted to share some thoughts with you. Please remember that some of our children are just as scared as we are right now. Our children not only hear everything going on around them but they feel our tension and anxiety as well. They have never experienced anything like this before and although the idea of being off school for several weeks sounds exciting, they are probably imagining summer holiday fun not the reality of being at home and not seeing their friends. Over the coming weeks, you may well see an increase in more challenging behaviour with your children. Whether it is anger, anxiety or protest that they can’t do normal things. I offer my reassurance that this is normal and expected under these circumstances.

Please do not worry about them regressing at school. Every single child is in this boat and they will all be ok. When we are back in the classroom, we will focus on their learning and meet their educational needs. At the end of all of this, their mental health will be more important than their academic skills.

Finally, on a lighter note, can I say how much I have enjoyed my time here at Alverstoke Junior school, it has been a pleasure working with such a dedicated team of staff and having the pleasure of meeting your children as well. I shall miss them when my time here ends. Mrs Slowther will begin her time as head teacher on Monday 20th April but until that time, the staff and myself will continue to keep the school running smoothly regardless of whatever is thrown at us.

 

Best wishes, keep safe, and well,

 

Mrs Zoë Dudley

Alverstoke Church Of England Junior School
The Avenue, Alverstoke, Gosport, Hampshire PO12 2JS.
Telephone (023) 9258 0450 . Click here to email us >

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