I wanted to start with thanking all the parents who have been sending me information about the progress their child is making towards the Headteacher’s awards; these are absolutely delightful, and I’m getting great pleasure in seeing the wonderful things your lovely children are doing.

I know parents have said how much their children are enjoying the challenges, but they are doing me a world of good too! I cannot believe how many different styles of dens have been created, from woodland hideouts which would suit an army camouflage exercise to fairy boudoirs made up of acres of pink lace. Vive la différence! Thank you too for all the interesting information about famous people who have come from this area and exciting places to visit. As a newcomer, I have been unable to explore my new area, and your children have given me lots of inspiring ideas and recommendations to explore when the lockdown is lifted.

I know we are all starting to think about the end of lockdown, and it will be fantastic to welcome our children back to school. However, we obviously need to do this in a way that is safe for the children and our staff. I have studied many different pieces of advice from educational researchers and, along with the senior team at Kingsley; we are thinking through various ways in which we can open again while putting social distancing at the heart of our work. The most likely scenario from government seems to be that younger children and children in years 10 and 12 will come back to school first. We are considering various ideas, and we are trying to find solutions which will be practicable in our setting, but also helpful to families when parents can return to work.

I am assuming that some families will be cautious about their child returning to school, and we may also need to consider a rotation of children in and out of school so that we can socially distance properly. With that in mind, I am expecting to maintain some form of the online provision as we have been running for the last few weeks. We will probably move to a hybrid system until the end of the term. I would be grateful if families can start thinking about their individual circumstances and what they will need from Kingsley so that when we have clear guidance from the government, we can communicate quickly and plan effectively to look after all our children.

In the meantime, thank you for all the support you have given to the staff at the school with remote learning. It feels like we have an effective routine working now, with most hiccups dealt with. I do appreciate the amount of parental support that has been needed to get this working, and I am very grateful for your partnership with us.

We are determined that all our pupils will come through the ‘age of Covid-19’ unscathed and with a renewed sense of purpose. It goes without saying that remote learning has also reminded us of the unparalleled importance of human face-to-face interaction in teaching and learning.

Between us, our aim throughout the last few weeks has been to keep all our children in a positive frame of mind. We have focused on their academic progress whilst, in equal measure, have been helping look after their well-being too. I know that children will need love, care and support long after this is over, but in the meantime, I would like to say to all our parents, pupils and teachers “well done, us!”

With my very best wishes
Gill Jackson

head@kingsleyschoolbideford.co.uk