Message from our Head – 12th February 2021

Senior School
12 Feb 21

I am sure that we can all agree that, in many ways, this lockdown has been much harder than the first one. Back in the Summer Term, we were confident that it would all be over quickly and certainly, by September, life would be back to normal. Furthermore, we had the benefit of warmer weather and more daylight. This time around, we have endured day after day of cold, wet weather and, of course, this week we have found ourselves closing the School for a couple of days because of the snow. Snow is always a challenge at SVPS; of course, we want to keep the School open, but we also need to keep staff and families safe and the downside of our stunning rural setting is the fact that our local lanes and roads can be treacherous. Thankfully, I am now typing this to the happy sound of keyworker and Nursery children, who are back on the site and making the most of the white stuff. The look of sheer joy on their faces is the most refreshing sight of 2021 so far!

With Half Term now upon us, I do hope that the feeling of ‘Groundhog Day’ can be put to one side and everyone manages to recharge and refresh. Mr Watkins and Mrs Harrison sent a letter out earlier this week with some suggestions for different activities that could be offered in place of time spent on the screen. Of course, there is nothing wrong with the children enjoying some recreational screen time but limiting this and providing boundaries should help with their well-being.  I would also recommend putting in place some sort of routine during the break and asking the children to help with devising this. Children like the safety net of a routine (even if they say they do not!) and now, more than ever, it is important to ensure there is a structure to the day, even during the week off, for this too will help with your child’s motivation and sense of well-being. Within the half term routine, as much fresh air and exercise as possible would be ideal. Even if it means sporting waterproofs and wellies! This will help with everyone’s levels of vitamin D and will contribute to a good night’s sleep, too. When thinking about self-care, being creative has so many benefits and so I would urge all members of our community to take part in the You Cube activity promoted by Mrs Savage. I have a feeling the completed mural will be incredibly special and I can’t wait to see the different contributions created by children, staff, parents, grandparents and everyone else in the SVPS family.

With the prospect of schools re-opening fully from 8th March, I hope we can all see some light at the end of the tunnel. In the meantime, I cannot thank you all enough for your support over the last, most challenging six weeks. We do not underestimate how difficult it is for families to juggle work, running the home and supporting children with their Virtual Journey. Your children have been watching you and seeing how our SVPS Superhoot learning powers can be put into action every single day. Similarly, I know you will agree that the teachers have been extraordinary. Moving our entire timetable online has been an epic achievement and again, juggling their own families with ensuring their pupils have access to the highest quality teaching and learning is no mean feat. I certainly hope that parents and staff can find the time to look at themselves, too, over the course of next week. Finally, all the teachers and I want to congratulate the children on the outstanding way in which they have engaged with their Virtual Journeys. From the very start of term, they have demonstrated the ability to flip, seamlessly, back into a very different way of learning and they have done this with enthusiasm and open minds. I have no doubt at all that the skills they have honed this term will stand them in very good stead for many years to come.

I wish you the very best for a well-deserved, relaxing and rejuvenating half term break.

Miss Corkran, Head