As Head of Pre-Prep, I would like to begin this newsletter by saying a very big well done to each and every one of our youngest children and, of course, their parents. Children, your approach to online learning has been fantastic. Your teachers have all informed me that you have been approaching your learning with such care, effort and also with great independence.
I have heard how good you are at logging on, finding your Zoom links and that you can also mute and unmute yourself to answer questions. I know that these skills are ones that you have learnt and taught yourself, which is very impressive.
Parents, I am sure that for many of you, juggling remote learning is hard, but we are grateful to you for supporting your child with learning at home. Learning, however, does not always have to happen around a computer during a Zoom lesson. When the children have finished their sessions, learning can continue outside in the garden or around the dining table. Questions are key for the Pre-Prep age group for they help to develop a child’s inquisitive mind. Sometimes, as adults, we do not know the answer, but talking things through and researching together is good for our children to see and learn from. It shows that we, as adults, are also learners and we don’t know everything!
From talking to parents during this period, I have noticed how many have said that keeping to a ‘normal’ routine has helped their families. As I type this, I am sure many of you will chuckle, ‘a normal routine’… but I hope you know what I mean. Routines can provide calm and security in this time of constant change. The routine of getting up and attending Zoom lessons and assemblies all help. Seeing the familiar faces of the staff will also help our young children maintain a sense of normality. A routine can also include new things, such as an outside walk after a day of learning; this can also act as a marker to the end of the day, helping children know that they can sign off from School and enjoy home life.
I wanted to share a gem I came across on the BBC Sounds app, the story of The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse. This story was shared with the children during last year’s World Book Day. It is absolutely delightful and might be something your child could enjoy as part of their evening routine? It does not require a computer screen, and I would encourage the whole family to lie back, listen and enjoy the narrative. Listening is a hard skill and it requires concentration. You, as parents, may also benefit from the story, for it might provide you with a much-needed moment of calm.
Finally, can I finish by taking this opportunity to say a very big thank you to all. We know that our parents are working so hard, juggling working, teaching children and managing the family; your efforts really are appreciated. I would also like to thank the teachers for all their work behind the scenes; planning and preparing lessons for the children and then being in front of a screen ready to deliver a lesson to pupils as young as four. Finally, thank you to the team of staff looking after the children of critical workers, for they are providing the love and nurture the children in School need, especially whilst life feels different. I look forward to seeing you all very soon.