I am writing this newsletter from my office at Rosedale House, looking out of the window onto a sunstricken playground, dotted with Year 6 children who are currently enjoying their snack. We have all been incredibly fortunate with the weather; whilst May has been confirmed as the sunniest month on record, it reminds us of the battle we all face with climate change and how yet another statistic has been broken. The long sunny days have certainly facilitated a little more outside time for our children than they would probably have enjoyed in previous years and it has certainly helped to break the monotony of being in lockdown. The daily, and now multiple, moments of outdoor exercise have brought much needed salvation to many. As I watched the projected weather forecast for the weekend and next week with a sense of happiness to think that my garden, and the rest of the United Kingdom, will be getting a much needed water, it will reduce those opportunities to get outside and break the routines of a ‘lockdown life’. I urge you all to put on a raincoat and embrace the weather!
Staff across the Stephen Perse Foundation have had a busy half-term. With the news that our schools were to have a phased re-opening, bringing back our Year 1 and 6 pupils, it provided the catalyst to get back into school and get them ready to go. I am very fortunate that I am working in a Foundation such as ours. Having the space and staffing to accommodate the necessary changes that have been needed to create a safe working environment for our returning children has made the process relatively straight forward.
My Monday alarm call was not a welcomed return to my daily routine, but I have been very pleased to be back in school welcoming those children who have joined me, and the team of staff who are back in at Rosedale House and Madingley. Seeing both schools emerge from their dormant state has provided a cathartic moment, it is a sound reminder of why I am in the work that I am. Our pupils have initially returned with a mixture of excitement and worry over the ‘unexpected’, but on seeing their teachers and friends it has been remarkable just how quickly they have adapted to the next chapter in their ‘new normal’.
I listened to an interesting episode of You and Yours on Radio 4 this week. Chris Boardman was a key guest. He spoke about the boom in bikesales and of the cycling culture in the UK. Cycling was on the up in the UK prior to lockdown, but since March many professionals have adapted to taking the bike to work thus avoiding public transport. It has led to a nation of cyclists. Whilst the roads are quiet it is an obvious choice, but I wonder what our lasting lockdown legacies may be? Perhaps you are one of the professionals that has ditched the car/train or bus for the bike? I am determined to hold onto some of the many positives of working in lockdown. I hope, not just for the sake of the planet, that we are all able keep an element of what has worked well for us and our families.
We should not forget that the majority of our school community remains at home and whilst many staff pulled together to ensure our physical school environments were ready for re-opening, the work that our pupils are producing at home continues to highlight the efforts that both the pupils and teaching staff (and parents!) are devoting to make the very best of learning in lockdown. This piece of work by Elizabeth in Year 1 sums up the creative being shown by both pupils and teachers alike!
I spoke to the children during my assembly on Monday, which was our first live assembly with over 160 pupils in it (absolute chaos!), about marking their experiences of being schooled from home. Many of us will all too easily slip back to how life was before and it will be important to capture some of our children’s thoughts and feelings about the remarkable time they have spent during the last number of months. I have asked our pupils to respond to the assembly by producing a diary entry, a piece of poetry or a song about their time during the pandemic. I will look to publish these and have a copy in each school as a lasting memory. If any parent should wish to pen an experience to be included you would be very welcome to do so. You could ask your children to upload it to the Google Classroom assembly assignment dated 1 July.
Head of Rosedale House and Madingley
Stephen Perse Podcast
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We are immensely proud of Year 5 pupil Imogen who has created a challenge to complete 7.1 million keepy-uppies, one for every key worker in the UK, and donating any funds raised to nine key worker charities. Inspired by Captain Tom Moore raising money for the NHS Imogen wanted to play her part in su...
Well done Imogen! We hear you have now passed the 2 million mark - this is fantastic. We are organising a Year 6 keepie uppy PE lesson next week and hope to give you a boost from Rosedale House. https://t.co/pQRC1A5upT