28th January 2021
Dear parents and carers
I am sure many of you are aware that the full opening of schools has been delayed until at least the 8th March. I understand that this news is disappointing. At school, we want all of our children in school and try to get back to some kind or normality. Please be assured, as soon as we are told that it is safe for children to leave their homes and return to school, our doors will be open!
In the meantime, it is important that as a school community we stay as positive as possible and try to support each other in the best way we can. This can be difficult under trying times, but we’ve shown in the past we can do it together and come out the other side stronger and even more united.
I have always been proud of how much you value education and this lockdown has been further proof of this. I think it would help many parents and carers across the country if the media stopped referring to this situation as ‘Home Schooling’. To me, this implies that your home is not a home and that parents are expected to be teachers. This absolutely is not the case. It is our highly skilled teachers’ responsibility to teach your children and we are constantly finding new and even more effective ways to engage the children in their care in effective learning. If your child is stuck, has any questions etc. they must email their teacher for help, they are available to them throughout the school day. Your children are taught from the moment they enter our school how to be an effective learner and believe me, they really are brilliant. They can learn ANYWHERE, they are Stoneyholme. You have been absolutely amazing and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for how you have supported your child to learn. The standard of work produced has been exceptional in many cases and I promise your child will see the benefits of this for many years to come.
Since the first lockdown, we have devoted a huge amount of time and energy into removing as many barriers as possible to support our families during times when children are not in school. Besides a Blended Learning Package which meets the needs of EVERY child in school, we have offered courses for adults in 3 different languages (ESOL, IT and Parenting) and loaned over 120 devices to families without access to them that we have sourced and paid for ourselves, something many other schools have been unable or unwilling to do. We have continued to provide family support as your well-being is a priority for us. If you are having ANY difficulties at all, contact school immediately and we will do our utmost to support you. You are not on your own.
Understandably, despite doing everything we possibly can under the current circumstances, sometimes issues arise, some that are beyond our control. I would like to take this opportunity for the patience and respect shown towards school from the vast majority of our families while we’ve worked tirelessly to try to resolve them. Your acknowledgement that we too are facing challenges, your kind words of appreciation and support, mean more than I can say and motivate us all to continue to try to go above and beyond what is expected of us.
My final thanks go to the real stars, your children. They are the ones that should be applauded. They are not able to live the life they should be at the moment. This is no one’s fault and we cannot change it, but they still never fail to amaze me with their brilliance, resilience, humour and determination. I have been in the profession now for 30 years this year. I have taught and been in contact with thousands of children in this time, so I speak with experience when I say, the children of Stoneyholme are THE most special, beautiful and astounding individuals. I really am the luckiest Headteacher in the world!
The coming weeks are not going to be easy. Many of you will continue to juggle, work, family etc. whilst still having the children at home. My advice would be to take one day at a time. Try not to worry about things in the future that may never happen and be kind to yourself. You are clearly trying your best and doing a great job, no one can ask more than that, so don’t expect it of yourself!
Once again, if you need anything at all, contact school and we will do everything in our power to help you.
Please take care and stay safe.