09 Feb Letter from Caroline Schloss, Chair of Governors
Dear Parents and Carers
Firstly, I hope you and your family are all safe and coping as well as possible during these very difficult times.
On behalf of the Governing Body I wanted to contact you all to give our support during this difficult time we find ourselves in. At Alexandra, we strongly believe in the value of education and school life in shaping our children’s development and giving them opportunities in life. As such, we are devastated by the huge amount of lost learning and social interaction in 2020. All the staff have worked really hard in the Autumn Term to make up for lost time.
Again, on 4th January, we entered another school lockdown. There was nothing we wanted less but obviously there was no alternative at that point.
During lockdown, our dedicated staff continue to work full time, sometimes from home, doing what they can to support our children and families in lots of different ways. We know it’s a big challenge for the whole school community, but we are here to help each other and succeed together.
When we went into lockdown for the first time last year, I think that everyone’s main priority was to get through that period, mainly by making sure that everyone kept as safe and strong as possible.
This time, however, schools were given specific instruction on the expectations for ‘remote attendance’ and ‘remote learning’. We are therefore still responsible for accounting for every child’s learning and attendance, even while we are in lockdown.
Thanks to significant planning and work during the Autumn Term and during the Christmas break, we were ready, with only a few hours of warning on 4th January, to continue to deliver high quality education for your child and provide meaningful teaching and learning, as well as pastoral care where necessary. I hope that you will see and appreciate the work that has been put in to the remote learning provision as well as providing in school lessons for certain children.
I do appreciate that whilst the school staff have all put in an enormous effort to achieve this home -learning does require an enormous effort also from our children’s parents and carers. You have been asked to fulfil a role that a year ago you would never have dreamt you would be asked to do. We do understand that you are not trained teachers. Please keep in touch with the school and let us know if you are unsure about expectations or are struggling.
The knowledge and skills we teach will be needed when our children move to secondary school and beyond, and we now need to try and achieve a period of effective remote learning (at home and in some cases in school) using the time wisely and working together for the good of every child. I completely understand the many different challenges you may be facing: lack of technology, lack of confidence with technology, juggling working commitments with home schooling, managing personal issues within the family – the list goes on. Despite this, I am delighted to see the participation in home learning achieved in the last month and amazed by what the children (with support from parents) have achieved. The skills being developed across the curriculum, but also in communication and the use of technology will benefit us all for many years to come.
I hope that you are not stressing yourselves out too much. The bigger picture is that we must all stay safe and healthy. You can only do what you can do and it’s important that we don’t lose sight of that.
At school we are all looking forward to the time when we can welcome the children back into school and their normal routine and we are putting a lot of thought into plans for that time and already planning how we will be supporting the children’s future learning and well-being.
I am a huge believer in the children’s resilience and I am confident that our school community will come out of this pandemic stronger in many ways.
Thank you for the tremendous effort from children, parents and school staff to achieve this. We can, and will, come through this difficult time together.
Chair of Governors