Firstly, I would like to wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous new year. Secondly, I would like to groan and say, “oh no, here we go again”! I know we all greeted Monday’s message from the Prime Minister with sadness. Another national lockdown is a huge disappointment for our nation and for all of us, as individuals. Our priority at Kingsley is to offer the very best education we can to your children in these complicated circumstances and offer the most support possible to parents trying to juggle the lockdown, their own jobs and children at home.

I am sure you share my gratitude to the teaching staff here as they have moved so smoothly into an online teaching offer. I was with the Critical Workers’ children yesterday morning. I was very impressed with how both children and teachers alike have simply slipped into this way of working together. I wish we were not as well practised at this but am glad that we are!

As you will know schools were equipped to test everyone for COVID-19 from Monday, and this has now changed. However, as we have been sent the testing kits and have done the work planning how to do the testing, we decided to go ahead and give ourselves the peace of mind testing brings. We have already tested all the adults working in school buildings and all the children in the boarding houses and children who need to be in the senior school. Happily, everyone tested negative. We will test the children twice a week, and the adults once a week, and hopefully limit any infection.

We also now have clarity about the exams being cancelled this coming summer, although we have heard nothing yet about the system that will replace them. I would urge you to encourage your children to ensure all work, especially assessments, set by the teachers is done to best of your child’s ability. Please bear in mind that we have lost many opportunities for creating objective data about each child (e.g., we cannot run mock exams in January as we usually would), so we will need to ensure that we have as accurate a view of your child’s progress and skills as possible.

The poet Shelley said“If winter comes, can spring be far behind?” I am seeing daffodils starting to come through the cold winter soil in our garden, which is a lovely promise of the coming Spring. We also now have news of an effective vaccination against COVID-19, so I hope that better times are not too far away. In the meantime, thank you so much for your continuing support. I know the staff are very grateful to you for all the positive messages we are getting.

 

Mrs Gill Jackson

head@kingsleyschoolbideford.co.uk