At Highfield Hall, while Christmas might be a little bit different from normal, we still have a plan to make school a fun and festive place! All social distancing will be followed and keeping bubbles together will be followed to ensure when we close, we are as safe as possible during the holiday.
This is a selection of a few of the things we’re up to…
We know that classes will be doing lots of other Christmassy things as well as these, and you never know if there are going to be any special visitors too…
We will be having a parents’ evening this term, on the 24th and 26th November. As we cannot have parents in school, this will a conversation over the phone to discuss how your child has settled into their new class, their behaviour, and how they are progressing with their learning. Please use this form to show your availability for the phone call: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=GAqtqdTL4EuuTWl0eHgsx3VOUNZ4AHJCoRalFCUTOKNUNDI2MlYzTUQxNlA0Qk44MFJZUDRDVkdKTi4u
Based on the responses, 10 minute slots will be allocated on a first come, first served basis - your child's teacher will let you know which slot you have been given near the end of next week. If you have more than one child, please complete the form for your first child, then close the page and click the link again to sign up for each other child. This should be at a different time slot to the first child.
We will have to be very strict with the timing this year due to the virtual nature of the parents' evening; please raise any significant concerns at the start of the meeting to give as much time as possible to discuss these. Kind regards, Mike Bywaters
Derbyshire Health Care Trust’s new mental health support line went live on Monday (6 April) and is now available between
9am-midnight every day.
It is aimed at patients and their carers, and Derbyshire residents of all ages.
People can call 0300 790 0596 if they are experiencing significant distress or anxiety at this time.
As you will now be aware, school will be closed from Monday for everyone except those children on a child protection plan, at child in need level, or those whose parents are key workers who have no other way of looking after their child while they deliver critical services to the country. The guidance is clear:
The government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.
For those whose children are staying at home, can I please reiterate what I said in my recent letter: Ensuring that your children feel loved is the most important job that you can do over the next bit of time. If you can, and want to help them with the learning, then great, but if you and they have other priorities, don't worry about it. Give yourself a break. You know your circumstances and your children best, and will do the best for them. If you want to keep to a routine, and/or do some learning at home, we'll put some suggestions on the class pages. If you only have one computer, which you need for work, don't worry about it. We'll try to put some suggestions on for things they can do without a computer. If you can't support, for whatever reason, don't worry - we'll meet the children wherever they're up to whenever we're back, and take it from there; it's what we're experts in!
From the letter:
"Whatever your circumstance next week, it is inevitable that both you and your children will be feeling unsettled due to the changes to normal life. Our kids not only can hear everything that is going on around them, but they feel our tension and anxiety. They (and we) have never experienced anything like this before. Although the idea of being off school might sound awesome, they will still be feeling some mixed emotions, particularly about not seeing friends and the change to their routine.
Over the coming weeks, you may see some changes in behaviour with your children as a result. Whether it’s anxiety, or anger, or protest that they can’t do things normally, it may happen. You may also see more meltdowns and tantrums in the coming weeks: This is normal and expected under these circumstances.
What children need right now is to feel comforted and loved. To feel like it’s all going to be ok. Whilst we will send home some things to do, and put some learning opportunities on the website, the most important thing is that you let them know how loved they are. If you can, play outside or go on a walks. Bake cookies and paint pictures. Play board games and watch movies. Do a science experiment together or find virtual field trips. Start a book and read together as a family. Snuggle under warm blankets and do nothing.
Don’t worry about them regressing in school. Every single child is in this boat and they all will be OK. When they are back at school, we will all course correct and meet them where they are. Teachers are experts at this! Over the next bit of time, your children’s mental health will be more important than their academic skills. If we can help them to feel loved, this is what will stay with them long after the memory of what they did during the next few weeks is long gone."