Dear Parents and Carers,
I know many of you follow us through Twitter, which has been updated daily to keep us all in touch as a Howe Dell Family. It’s always lovely to receive comments, work and photos, all of which are reposted. (Any photo of a child on their own, can’t be due to safeguarding constraints, keeping all children safe on line). We have even had letters and cards into school, pictures of rainbows and Sarah Lea singing with her friends from a club on YouTube. Not forgetting a special song: who could not be moved by Aishani’s beautiful rendition of ‘We will overcome?’ The Howe Dell ‘magic’ has spread to our local Police Station and Sanctuary Care Home, bringing such joy in a dark time. Thank you.
Initially many children and perhaps some families, anticipated more time together, possibly the promise of an extended Easter Holiday and beautiful weather? How quickly did we become ever fearful for ourselves and loved ones, neighbours and keyworkers we might never meet, as the daily news confirmed this was indeed an international crisis and a National emergency?
These are unprecedented times and also a chapter we will tell future generations about, so as VE Day anniversary dawns, I just wanted to write to those adults in our Howe Dell Family to say whatever you have managed to do to keep some form of normality running for the children in your care is both marvellous - and enough. There would have been days when routines have fallen by the wayside, arguments would have evolved out of minor differences of opinion, you may have struggled with the work published by teachers, who have done so in good faith to keep consistency in learning. Little ones in a home with no other children would have missed the social interaction with peers, not to mention grandparents and wider social reach beyond your 4 walls. We will be there in the long-term to support children’s wellbeing as well as their learning, in partnership with you. This isn’t a normal time and no one can always get it right week after week. To show your children love, cuddle up with a story, have a shared movie, listen to their worries, or to take that walk is enough - and anything else really is a bonus.
Whilst many worry about job security, others are living in homes without the benefit of a garden and little contact with the outside world, I am writing to say, we are here for you and your children and to thank you for keeping our children safe. If you are in need of extra help, just leave a message on our answerphone, or email email@example.com. Our team are regularly supporting many, but those who may not have needed help early on, may now find that to be the case.
Once this chapter ends, the journey back to what we had won’t be immediate and it will feel very strange to staff, governors, parents and especially the children. But whatever gaps in their learning, we will fill those, whatever experiences they have missed, we will plan others as far as it is humanly possible to do so.
Please remember, your children will have many teachers, many school memories past and in the future, but you as their parents are irreplaceable and have done what you can, which is enough. So thank you for all you are doing: I speak on behalf of all staff in saying you and your children are missed more than you will ever know.
Please continue to take good care of yourselves and your families.