23 Mar CORONAVIRUS BLOG
Every day we will aim to post a blog relating to how we are all coping in these extraordinary times. Teachers, teaching assistants, office staff, site managers, cleaners, pupils, parents/carers and governors etc. will all be asked to contribute. Hopefully we can create a way for our community to share their experiences in order to keep us feeling as positive. Storms don’t last forever.
22/05/20 Letter from the headteacher regarding reopening
Friday 22nd May 2020
Dear Parents & Carers
RE: Reopening of Stapleford Primary School
No doubt you will be aware of the government’s announcement relating to the ‘reopening’ of schools as part of a phased COVID-19 recovery strategy. This strategy involves taking decisive steps towards recovery, with strict conditions to safely move from each step to the next. The government has therefore asked schools to start planning to open for children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6, no earlier than the 1st June, as they anticipate that these children may be able to return to school in smaller class sizes from this point. This aims to ensure that the youngest children and those preparing for the transition to secondary school have maximum time with their teachers. A national announcement will be made giving at least 48 hours’ notice if a decision is made for this to happen.
I met with the Hertford and Ware heads last week, via Zoom, and they are in agreement that there is a need to be cautious with any plan to re-introduce pupils and staff to school. The Hertford, Ware & Villages Primary Schools have a close working relationship and support each other in many ways. We have already worked together, extensively, on the issue of reopening. All local heads are mindful of the anxieties that many in our community will have, as well as recognising the need for our pupils to be back in school. Whilst each school’s plan will differ depending upon that school’s staffing and site circumstances, our aim is to bring children back into school as safely as possible, and therefore, all schools will be organising this on a part time/rota basis.
The government’s ambition is to bring all primary year groups back to school before the summer holidays, for a month if feasible. Government advice states that the numbers of children going back to school needs to be limited initially then increased gradually as the science permits. They have said that we will only be asked to open schools provided that the five key tests set by the government justify the changes at the time, including that the rate of infection is decreasing. They are asking schools to plan on this basis, ahead of confirmation that these tests are met.
We are initially planning to welcome back children in Year R, Year 1 and Year 6, alongside key worker and vulnerable children. We plan to return pupils gradually, as per the government advise, to initially reduce the number of children and young people in classrooms compared to usual and to put protective measures in place to reduce risks. Children will need to stay within their new class/group wherever possible until the end of the summer term.
If the government decides it is safe for school to reopen on the 1st June 2020 the following steps will be taken:
Arriving at school
• Monday 1st June 2020 will be a staff INSET day to prepare for reopening. The school will be open for key worker children and vulnerable children on the INSET day as it has been every day since the school was asked to close in March.
• We have an annual intake of 12 pupils per year group and therefore it will be possible for us to split Reception, Year 1, Year 6 and our key worker & vulnerable children into groups of no more than 15 children and allocate them each a classroom.
• We are planning that Reception would be based in Class 4, Year 1 in Class 3 and Year 6 in Class 1 with our key worker children, vulnerable children and those Year R, 1 and 6 children with siblings in other classes being based in Class 2.
• We will stagger start times to reduce congestion at drop-off/collection times. Pupils are to be dropped off at school by one adult only.
- 8:40am – Reception children dropped by the Class 4 garden gate
- 8:45am – Key worker children, vulnerable children and children from Year R, 1 or 6 who have siblings in other classes are to be dropped at the library corridor entrance
- 8:55am – Year 1dropped at the entrance to the KS1 playground (next to the outdoor gym equipment)
- 9:00am – Year 6 dropped at the library corridor entrance
• Children will not be permitted anywhere within the school building apart from the classroom they have been allocated and the toilets.
• Whilst we adjust to these new safeguarding measures the Pre-school and Nursery classes will remain closed.
• Antibacterial hand gel will be available on the front desk, by the staff entrance and in every classroom.
• All staff and pupils are to use antibacterial hand gel as they enter the building.
• We are fortunate that only a few of our staff are likely to have to continue ‘shielding’ long term due to health conditions for themselves or their immediate family members. As a result, we will be able to allocate a small team of staff, some who will be part-time, to each of these groups of children. They will become their new teachers for the remainder of this phase and that group will not be taught by any other members of staff. If the teacher is unavailable, a teaching assistant will step up to supervise the group. If the staff team are unavailable, that group will not attend school until their allocated teachers/teaching assistants are available again. In this way, we will be able to create ‘safety bubbles’ consisting of less than 15 pupils and the staff team (3-4 people over the week) which each child will be exposed to. This reduces the risk of transmission of the virus between groups in the school.
• Everyone on the school site will be reminded to maintain the 2m social-distancing gap.
• Children will be allocated a desk (not Reception age children) that they stick to sitting 2m away from others.
• The physical layout of our school, with lots of outside space, will help us keep these groups separate for the whole day.
• We will ask that families, delivery drivers etc. observe social distancing (keeping 2m apart) when arriving at and leaving school.
• The children will only access outside areas for play and curriculum activities in their allocated groups.
• No parents/carers will be permitted to enter the school building. This includes the school office.
• Children will have no access to the cloakroom. All coats, bags etc. will remain with them in their classrooms.
• Packed lunches (either from home or provided by school) will be the only meals on offer and they will be eaten in the classrooms. This avoids the risk of transmission created by children moving around the school corridors and using a shared dining room. Other shared areas, like the library, cloakroom, ICT suite, rainbow room, staff room etc. will be out of action.
• Playtimes/lunchtimes and access to playgrounds/field will be staggered.
• No other staff other than those assigned to that year group will enter the room.
• Antibacterial hand gel will be available in every classroom.
• All resources children may need will be on their desks and not shared.
• Cleaning materials/resources will be available in every classroom to be used throughout the day.
• The curriculum will follow a similar format to the home learning activities that are currently being sent home.
• We will continue to provide home learning activities for all children who are not being educated on site, in liaison with their current teachers.
• There will be no changing for PE.
• Staff will stay in the bubble/classroom with the group of children they are working with and not mix with staff working in other bubbles/classrooms.
• Staff will remind children to maintain the 2 metre social distancing gap.
• Unnecessary items will be put in storage.
• Soft toys and cushions will be put in storage because they cannot be wiped clean easily.
• Each class will have toilets assigned to them. We have enough that the classes will not need to share toilets.
• PPE equipment will be used by staff if dealing with intimate care.
• PPE equipment used will be used by staff if someone has symptoms of COVID-19 and they cannot maintain 2m gap.
• Doors to classrooms will be open all day for ventilation
• Windows will be open for ventilation
• No snacks will be left out
• Water bottles will be left in bags
• Children will be reminded not to take items home and bring them back to school each day e.g. reading books, pencil cases.
• Class 1, 2 and 3 are to have a selection of balls, playground toys etc. that they take out with them for each playtime. They bring these back inside after each play/break. They are not to be shared with other classes and not put back in the shed. No access to the toy shed. Class 4 and their play equipment are contained in their garden/classroom.
• Registers will be left outside classrooms and collected by office staff once completed.
• The climbing frames, table tennis, outdoor gym equipment and slide are out of action.
• Children are encouraged to wear a clean uniform every day.
• Additional cleaning hours have been arranged. This cleaning will take place once the children have left for the day.
• Surfaces/toys/taps etc. will be wiped clean throughout the day.
• Bins will be emptied during the day as well as at the end of the day.
• Regular handwashing and use of antibacterial hand gels will be enforced.
• We will promote good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach.
• If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a classroom it will be deep cleaned whilst everyone is in isolation.
• Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus will be sent home to enter self-isolation.
• If anyone tests positive for coronavirus the whole cohort, including the staff, will be sent home to go into self-solation.
• PPE equipment used will be used by staff if someone has symptoms of COVID-19 and they cannot maintain 2m gap.
• Children that do not observe the safeguarding measures we have put in place will be sent home.
Going home time
• We will stagger pick up times to reduce congestion at drop-off/collection times. Pupils are to be collected from school by one adult only.
- 2:40pm – Reception children collected by the Class 4 garden gate
- 2:45pm – Key worker children, vulnerable children and children from Year R, 1 or 6 who have siblings in other classes are to be collected at the library corridor entrance
- 2:55pm – Year 1 collected at the entrance to the KS1 playground (next to the outdoor gym equipment)
- 3:00pm – Year 6 collected at the library corridor entrance
We will endeavour to make the experience as positive as possible and recognise that the children may feel anxious. We have made detailed plans to ensure that we can minimise the risk, whilst providing a welcoming and engaging learning environment which can operate smoothly within the required controls. I know that the thought of returning your child to school will cause a degree of anxiety for many parents and carers. We have all been working so hard to follow strict government guidelines over the past several weeks in a world where it has felt dangerous to step outside your front door. Should you decide that you wish for your child to stay at home, that is absolutely fine and I assure you that I understand and respect that. However, I think it is important to remember that the government is not asking us to send our children back to school tomorrow. They have said that this will only happen when the government deems there is an acceptable risk to do so, and not before 1st June. It may well be that we are not asked to implement this plan until well after 1st June, depending on how the pandemic plays out.
We need to start to rebuild a healthy confidence in our children and reassure them that there will be a time soon where the risks are so small that it is OK to feel safe outside their homes. We need to support them in taking these small steps to getting back to their lovely school, having fun with their friends and enjoying their learning. We owe them this right to start experiencing the fullness of their childhoods again. In the coming months we will continue to support and nurture all of our pupils, staff and extended community as we attempt to rebuild some form of normality.
Thank you for all your support over the past few months. I want to pay tribute to all the hard work you have put in as parents and carers – I know that you have been rising to the considerable challenge of supporting your children with home learning and you have been doing such a great job! During half term, which starts on Friday, we will not be providing home learning activities. We feel that parents and children have been working hard and need a break from the pressures that home learning brings. I would now ask that you start to prepare your child gently for coming back to school and start talking to them about any worries they might have.
I also want to thank all the staff at Stapleford for their unending positivity and commitment. We are missing the children very much and cannot wait to see them all back at school again. It has been so heartening to see the whole Stapleford community pull together to face this unprecedented challenge head on. We now need to draw on that same spirit of positive collaboration to start the process of recovery and building the best future for our children.
22/05/20 Though for the day from reverend Jenny
Let go of the ways you thought life would unfold:
the holding of plans or dreams or expectations.
Let it all go. Save your strength to
swim with the tide.
The choice to fight what is here before you now
will only result in struggle, fear, and desperate attempts to flee from the very energy you long for
Let go. Let it all go
and flow with the GRACE that washes through your days
whether you receive it gently
or with all your quills raised to defend against invaders.
Take this on FAITH;
the mind may never find the explanations that it seeks,
but you will move forward nonetheless.
Let go, and the wave’s crest will carry
you to unknown shores, beyond your wildest dreams
or destinations. Let it all go
and find the place of rest and PEACE
and certain TRANSFORMATION.
Let it Go
With love and prayers
21/05/20 Thought for the day from Reverend Jenny
May we spread the word
That You have spread a table
And all are welcome at Your feast. Amen
O breath of God,
when all seems lost,
when all the bones are dry,
grant us the vision and courage
to speak Your words
so that those who have lost life
may find it once more.
And if we ourselves
have come apart,
reconfigure us and stand us on our feet
In the presence of Jesus Christ our Lord,
Your broken and resurrected Son.
With love and prayers
20/05/20 Thought for the day from Reverend Jenny
Today’s poem is also based on Psalm 23:
The Lord gives everything I need.
He is my shepherd: I his sheep.
By tranquil waters he will lead
Me to green pastures, where I sleep.
He cherishes my inner soul,
And guides me on the righteous way.
Through his name I am made whole:
From his love I cannot stray.
Even though the shadow of death
Is cast across the way I tread,
Your presence and your living breath
Protect me from its evil dread.
You show my blessings from above,
To those who would my peace destroy,
My head anointed with your love:
My overflowing cup of joy.
Surely, all my living days
Your love and goodness follow me
Until I may sing out your praise,
Within your house eternally.
May you know God’s blessing today
With love and prayers
19/05/20 Thought for the day from Reverend Jenny
From Ann Edwards based on PSALM 151
Written on retreat 5 years into her disability (from her wheelchair – told by doctors she’d never walk again)…
Sing praises to the Lord, O my soul
Sing to the Lord with renewed hope
When I was cast down and laid low
then the Lord my God supported me.
His love, and the love of those who cared for me
were a pillow for my head.
When my body was weak, and my feet stumbled
the Lord walked with me.
Through the dark days
the love of God shone like a candle in the night.
Now, declares the Lord,
I will bring you back from captivity,
and will bring you back to the place
from which I carried you in exile.
Henceforth may I walk strong and tall,
with confident steps and a trusting heart,
focused always on the Lord’s face.
© AE 0802
With love and prayers
18/05/20 Thought for the day from Reverend Jenny
Five ways to be happy – not easy but so true
1. keep your heart from hatred
2. keep your mind from worries
3. live simply
4. give more
5. expect less
(From the charity Tear fund)
God of love and light,
In this time of fear, give us your peace.
In this time of isolation, give us your presence.
In this time of sickness, give us your healing.
In this time of uncertainty, give us your wisdom.
In this time of darkness, shine your light upon us all.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Click here for Sunday’s service https://youtu.be/T-rId5dMRzU
NEW The national church FREE ‘Daily Hope’ phone line for those with no internet is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044. Hear a greeting from the Archbishop of Canterbury then choose from options including ‘Prayer During the Day’, ‘Night Prayer’, the Church of England’s weekly national online service and Hymn Line, a small selection of hymns, updated daily.
With love and prayers
15/05/20 Thank a teacher day is coming up.
15/05/20 Thought for the day from Reverend Jenny
I Am There By James Dillet Freeman part 2 (abridged)
Though you may not see the good, good is there, for I am there.
Only in Me does the world have meaning;.
only out of Me does the world take form;
only because of Me does the world go forward.
I am the law on which the movement of the stars and the growth of living cells are founded.
I am the love that is the law’s fulfilling.
I am assurance.
I am peace.
I am oneness.
I am the law that you can live by.
I am the love that you can cling to.
I am your assurance.
I am your peace.
I am one with you..
Though you fail to find Me, I do not fail you.
Though your faith in Me is unsure,.
My faith in you never wavers,
because I know you,
because I love you.
Beloved, I am there.
With love and prayers
14/05/20 When can Hertfordshire school children return to classes? – A PRESS RELEASE FROM HERTFORDSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL
14/05/20 Thought for the day from Reverend Jenny
“I Am There” by James Dillet Freeman (part 1 abridged)
Do you need Me?
I am there.
You cannot see Me, yet I am the light you see by.
You cannot feel Me, yet I am the power at work in your hands.
I am at work, though you do not understand My ways.
I am at work, though you do not recognize My works.
I am not strange visions. I am not mysteries.
Only in absolute stillness, beyond self, can you know Me as I am, and then but as a feeling and a faith.
Yet I am there. I hear. I answer.
When you need Me, I am there.
Even if you deny Me, I am there.
Even when you feel most alone, I am there.
Even in your fears, I am there.
Even in your pain, I am there.
I am there when you pray and when you do not pray….
With love and prayers
13/05/20 Thought for the day from Reverend Jenny
How To Plant Our Garden
FOUR ROWS OF LETTUCE:
1. Lettuce be kind
2. Lettuce be patient
3. Lettuce be faithful
4. Lettuce really love one another
PLANT FOUR ROWS OF SQUASH:
1. Squash gossip
2. Squash indifference
3. Squash grumbling
4. Squash selfishness
PLANT THREE ROWS OF PEAS:
1. Peace of mind
2. Peace of heart
3. Peace of soul
NO GARDEN IS COMPLETE WITHOUT TURNIPS:
1. Turnip to help one another
1. Thyme for family
2. Thyme for friends
3.Thyme for those who need our help
4. Thyme for ourselves and family
5. Thyme for God family
With love and prayers
12/05/20 Reopening of school
Tuesday 12th May 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope that your families are all safe and well.
I’m sure after the Prime Minister’s statement regarding the reopening of schools that there are lots of questions you have. I have many questions that need clarification too before I can open the school and I am currently working through these.
The current situation is that we will continue to provide schooling for pupils whose parents work is critical to the COVID-19 response and for those pupils who are deemed to be vulnerable. The message for now is still that it is safer to stay at home.
The Prime Minister has said that if the Government’s 5 criteria are met, they are expecting schools to open for children in YR and Y1 and in Y6 on 1st June. The Government has also published a document which states that their “ambition is for all primary school children to return to school before the summer for a month if feasible, though this will be kept under review.”
The Department of Education has gone further today and published a document which states that
“From the week commencing 1st June, the Government are asking:
- nurseries and other early year providers, including childminders, to begin welcoming back all children
- primary schools to welcome back children in nursery (where they have them), reception, year 1 and year 6”
The Department of Education released several documents this morning outlining what needs to be in place in order for the school to open. I am currently working through these risk assessments and actions to formulate a plan for a safe return. I will communicate how the school will reopen when I have the answers and assurances I need and I am happy that it is indeed safe to do so.
Our plan for now is to continue to provide home learning activities for as long as we have pupils that are unable to attend school.
Everyone here at Stapleford Primary School is committed to supporting our staff, pupils and their families so that they are able to return to school safely.
12/05/20 Thought for the day from Reverend Jenny
A prayer to make the most of these unsettling times…
Lord, help me now to un-clutter my life.
To organise myself in the direction of simplicity.
Lord, teach me to listen to my heart.
Teach me to welcome change instead of fearing it.
Lord, I give you the stirrings inside of me,
I give you my discontent and restlessness,
I give you my doubt and despair.
I give you all the longings I hold inside.
Help me to listen to these signs of change, of growth:
to listen seriously and follow where they lead
Through the breathtakingly empty space
of an open door.
(from Celtic daily prayer)
With love and prayers
11/05/20 Eagerly awaiting government guidance – lots to consider
11/05/20/ Thought for the day from Reverend Jenny
Sent by a friend.
Whatever changes this week
Not everything is cancelled
Sunshine is not cancelled
Spring is not cancelled
Love is not cancelled
Relationships are not cancelled
Reading is not cancelled
Naps are not cancelled
Devotion is not cancelled
Music is not cancelled
Dancing is not cancelled
Imagination is not cancelled
Kindness is not cancelled
Conversation is not cancelled
HOPE is not cancelled.
(Keep Looking Up)
What we do today is what matters most.
Embrace what each new day offers
Click the link for this SUNDAY’S VE
CELEBRATION SERVICE (approx
FOR CHILDREN’s talk and activities: firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW The national church FREE ‘Daily Hope’ phone line for those with no internet is now available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044. Callers hear a special greeting from the Archbishop of Canterbury before choosing from a range of options, including ‘Prayer During the Day’, ‘Night Prayer’, a recording of the Church of England’s weekly national online service and Hymn Line, a small selection of hymns, updated daily. Please pass on this information.
Christian Aid Week has a schedule of virtual events all taking place live from their Facebook page. Join virtual prayer and reflection: Monday 11 – Saturday 16 May, 11am: Live daily reflections from staff and partners overseas. More information at: https://www.christianaid.org.uk/christian-aid-week/virtual-fundraisers. NOTE Collections are in aid of areas of world worst affected by Corona Virus.
Copied from a beautiful link on You Tube – Four Candles (not the 2 Ronnies sketch!)
4 candles slowly burned. The first candle said: I am PEACE. The world is so full of anger and fighting no-one can keep me lit. The flame of Peace went out.
The second candle said: I am FAITH. I am no longer indispensible. A breeze blew out Faith’s flame.
The third candle said: I am LOVE. People put me aside. They forget to love even those nearest and dearest. And Love’s flame went out.
A child entered the room and saw 3 candles unlit. Why aren’t you burning? he said and began to cry. The 4th candle answered:
Do not be afraid. I am HOPE. While I am burning we can re-light the other candles. The child took the candle of Hope and lit the 3 other candles.
The greatest of these is LOVE but may the warmth of HOPE never go out of our life. (Sent in by Dorothy Abel Smith)
with love and prayers for Peace in our hearts, homes, communities and world on this 75th VE Day Anniversary
With love and prayers
07/05/20 VE Day Celebrations
This coming bank holiday weekend we will be celebrating the 75th Anniversary of VE Day and hopefully it will be an opportunity for families to have some fun together in these difficult times.
To help pupils understand what VE Day is all about I have contained some links within this email to various videos, resources and activity packs. I would like to encourage all of our pupils to be creative with their families and would very much like to know what they have done to celebrate.
This link takes you to a short video explaining why we are celebrating VE Day.
These are links to VE celebration ideas:
Click this link for the Bletchley Park activity pack for VE Day bunting, recipes, drinks, decorations, print outs, sing-a-long, accessories etc.
Click this link for the English Heritage VE Day 75 in your home pack – recipes, posters, lyrics, dancing tips!
I am looking forward to posting photos of what Stapleford families and staff have made and how they have celebrated on our school coronavirus blog page https://stapleford.herts.sch.uk/coronavirus-blog/. Please send your own blog or any photographs to email@example.com.
I hope you and your families are well and that you are able to enjoy some fun together this bank holiday weekend.
07/05/20 Thought for the day by Reverend Jenny
Words of a Matt Redmond worship song – remembering God in good times and bad echoing St Paul (1 Thess 5:18) and psalm 34 …you might like to listen to this on You Tube
Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name
Blessed Be Your name
When I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name
Blessed be Your name
When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s ‘all as it should be’
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name
Every blessing You pour out, I’ll
Turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name
By Matt Redmond
With love and prayers
06/05/20 Blog from Mrs Morgan (Class 1 Teacher)
I hope you are all OK : )
Today (Tuesday 5th May) we have been really busy.
Myself, Miss Hampson, Mrs Adams and the children started our day with our morning exercise – with Joe Wicks – and the Wheel of Fortune. I really enjoy these workouts, but mostly because I think Joe Wicks is hilarious. I have been practising my best ‘Wicks Walk’ impression which I’ve been told is ‘embarrassing’ by my own children. This only makes me more determined to practise this more.
We then calmed ourselves with a reading session. I particularly enjoyed reading ‘Best Friends’ and learning about Star Wars (I’ve never watched a single film before so ‘Sith Lords’ are completely new to me. I am definitely always learning new things from the children.
After our reading session we completed our Maths, English and topic work – exploring a range of things from sorting, halving, decimal numbers to designing and creating wings!
During the afternoon we took the opportunity to listen David Walliams reading ‘Gangsta Granny’ to us whilst we explored some VE Day activities. I am really looking forward to celebrating VE Day – we are going to have a little party at home and bake some VE cupcakes. History is one of my most favourite subjects!
Please keep us updated with all the lovely things you are doing – I really have seen some fantastic pieces of work too.
06/05/20 School Nursing Team support available
I hope that you are all well.
The School Nurse team has adapted their ways of supporting young people during this time and I am emailing to advise you of their current services.
They are continuing one to one tier 1 work with children and young people to support their emotional health & well-being via video calls. Parents and professionals can refer via https://www.hct.nhs.uk/our-services/school-nursing/
The duty School Nurse line is also available Monday to Friday 9am-5pm on 03001237572 and parents and professionals can contact her on this number.
They have an Instagram account for parents and families hct_schoolnursing which provides up to date health information/resources. They also have a twitter account HCT_SchoolNurse.
Children and parents can also access up to date information on www.healthforkids.co.uk. This website has a section for children and parents. It includes some useful information regarding talking about coronavirus with children and how to support them.
I hope you find the service the School Nursing Team are providing useful.
06/05/20 Thought for the day from Reverend Jenny
Ancient words of comfort from Psalm 121
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
2 My help cometh from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not permit thy foot to be moved; He that keepeth thee will not slumber.
4 Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is thy keeper; the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.
6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil; He shall preserve thy soul.
8 The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.
Sunday 17th May is ROGATION Sunday when the church traditionally prays for God’s blessing for the land and its FARMERS. We would really love to include PICTURES from your children on this theme in our You Tube Sunday service. If you are happy for your photos to be used, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
With love and prayers
05/05/20 Thought for the day
Let your unique awesomeness and positive energy inspire confidence in others.
Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.
If you want light to come into your life, you need to stand where it is shining.
Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.
05/05/20 Young Voices
The Stapleford School Choir, under the superb guidance of Mrs Wilson, work with Young Voices every year in the run up to a fabulous performance at the London 02 in front of sell out crowd. Young Voices are now sharing lots of fun and interactive tutorials, demonstrations and performances all suitable for teachers, parents and children to enjoy whilst staying safe at home or in their schools. You can access the resources here https://www.youngvoices.co.uk/yv-at-home
04/05/20 Pyjamarama Reading Festival.
Just for a bit of fun last Friday we took take part in the Pyjamarama Reading Festival.
What is the Pyjamarama Festival?
Pyjamarama is a day when families across the country can join in a festival of story-filled fun at home. There were activities with well-known authors and illustrators planned throughout the day. The only requirement is that you take part in your PJs.
So in short we had permission to sit in our pyjamas and read a book. Did you really need asking twice?
Here are some photos of Wilf, Grace, Edward, Sadie and Luca enjoying the day in their PYJAMAS!!!
Here’s Wilf’s blurb so far for Spiders which he is loving.
Spiders by Tom Hoyle
Spiders is the second book in Adam Grant’s spectacular series. There are two parts of the story, one about Adam and the other about Abbie. Half the story is about a boy (Adam Grant) who is being chased by an evil man named Bolleskine who is making a transition to the golden planet. He needs certain people who are smart, and Adam is the last one needed (like last time, in the previous book). The other half of the story is about Abbie who he also needs. Abbie and her father live together. Then one day, her father needed to go to Scotland for work, when really Bolleskine was leading them into a trap. Bolleskine tricked Abbie’s father to thinking that he was doing work but really, he was using him to get Abbie.
That is how far I have got in the story.
Wilf (Year 6)
If you took part do email your photos to email@example.com so that I can post them on this blog. If anyone also wanted to email in a book review, I could also post that for you.
04/05/20 The Book of Hopes
The Book of Hopes: Words and Pictures to Comfort, Inspire and Entertain Children in Lockdown
Edited by Katherine Rundell, with contributions from more than 100 children’s writers and illustrators
Completely free for all children and families, the extraordinary collection of short stories, poems, essays and pictures has contributions from more than 110 children’s writers and illustrators, including Lauren Child, Anthony Horowitz, Greg James and Chris Smith, Michael Morpurgo, Liz Pichon, Axel Scheffler, Francesca Simon and Jacqueline Wilson.
The collection, published by Bloomsbury, is dedicated to the doctors, nurses, carers, porters, cleaners and everyone currently working in hospitals.
The Book of Hopes is currently available to read online only.
Click on the link to read The Book of Hopes https://literacytrust.org.uk/family-zone/9-12/book-hopes/
04/05/20 Thought for the day by Ann Edwards
Imagine God sitting with his Laptop. A celestial programmer building software for us all to use.
All we have to do is use the mouse of prayer to open the folder of his love and access a whole range of programmes.
Programmes to support us when in doubt; to protect us when in danger; to comfort us in our grief and to share with us in our joy.
Our “User Manual” (the Bible) is readily available and easy to use. We just need to click on to the relevant passage to bring up the menu of tools to show us the way.
Of course, there will be times when hackers break in to corrupt the files. When the virus we know as the Devil disrupts the whole system. When our personal computer is in danger of crashing.
But God is our anti-virus, our firewall, always available to restore our system to order.
All we have to do is switch on, and call him up
© Ann Edwards 2004
Click the link for this SUNDAY’S CHURCH SERVICE (approx 30 mins). https://youtu.be/wchYzgnz0jk
Easter 4 2020 benefice (video) (Psalm 23), John 10:1-1 0
On Easter Day Mary meets the risen Jesus in the garden. Doubting Thomas meets him in the upper room and Jesus joins the 2 disciples on the road to Emmaus. Now, today’s reading, goes back in time, before Easter, to Jesus teaching in the Temple about sheep and shepherds, which seems odd until we see the connection… each of them listens to Jesus, chooses to trust and follow him.
Mary doesn’t recognise Jesus in the garden because she’s seen him die in agony on the cross. BUT she knows Jesus when he calls her by name –she knows His voice, she listens and does what he asks. The disciples on the road to Emmaus don’t recognise the risen Jesus –they’re busy talking about his terrible death – but, they know his voice, and their hearts, ‘burn within them’ as they listen to him. Like the sheep, in today’s reading. Sheep know the good shepherd’s voice, and follow him because the good shepherd cares for them, and leads them to abundant life. Like us, in our Christian life.
We come to believe and grow in faith, by listening to Jesus, who knows us each by name. We seek to follow HIS example of love and service. Being a Christian means letting Jesus’ teaching sink in, not to INFORM but to TRANSFORM our hearts, re-shape our values and priorities, our living and giving. As sheep stay close to the shepherd, we hear Jesus’ voice, comforting, encouraging, challenging and guiding us, when we stay close to HIM….when we read and reflect on the bible… when we pray and worship… when we wonder at the world around us… care for others, allow others care for us.
Jesus teaches us listening to God is important. Jesus regularly leaves the crowds who need his help, and his friends the disciples, to be alone with God – to listen, be guided, strengthened and equipped by his Father. You’d think we’d have more time to read our bible and pray in lockdown but there are new demands on our time – like zoom meetings and video calls! Yet there are lots of new aids to prayer and bible reading with free apps for computers, phones and ipads –
Like Pray As You Go now Pray as you Stay along with the daily C of E email I mention in the Newsletter. And new ways for us to be like Jesus, the good shepherd and serve others.
In John 10:10, one of my favourite verses, Jesus says he comes that WE may have abundant life, US and everyone in our world. Before the virus spread The World Food Programme reported 135 million people at risk of starvation. The global pandemic has driven many more into poverty and added another 130 million at risk – a global humanitarian catastrophe affecting every country, including our own. Our circumstances are all different, but, if we are spending less than normal each week, we could donate some of what we save to whichever charity or good cause speaks to our heart, support food-banks in supermarkets and so on. Jesus’ call to live out our Christian faith in practical ways every day, is spelt out in today’s Iona hymn:
…Will you come and follow me? …. Will you use the faith you’ve found, to reshape the world around? … Will you let my love be shown, will you let my life be grown in you, and you in me? … Amen.
FOR CHILDREN’s talk and activities: firstname.lastname@example.org
75th Anniversary of VE Day commemorations Friday 8 May will happen on-line details will be available at https://www.youtube.com/user/stalbanscathedral.
The Royal British Legion are live streaming a 45-min service at 11.15am on May 8th. https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/stories/ve-day-75-livestream
There is also a national sing-along 9pm on 8th May on the BBC, with Dame Vera Lynne singing https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/stories/ve-day-singalong
With love and prayers
01/05/20 Greetings from the Early Years Team
Hello Stapleford Family!
We are missing you all very much and hope you are staying well and keeping happy and occupied! Are you enjoying Pyjama Day?
We want to give a great big shout out to all our Early Years children and their families! We especially want to send a greeting to two of the youngest members of the Stapleford Family who will be celebrating their 3rd birthdays in May – Jess Pearman will turn three on May 4th and Eliza Garner on the 15th, HAPPY BIRTHDAY girls, enjoy your day!
We are aware that there are some bigger children (and indeed adults) in the Stapleford Family who have celebrated or will be celebrating birthdays whilst we are closed, and we send our best wishes to them also.
We are very much looking forward to seeing everyone again soon, until then, take care and keep smiling.
Love from Mrs Elmes & Mrs Heath x
01/05/20 Thought for the day by Reverend Jenny
Headline in Church Times: ‘You Tube sermons will not feed the hungry’….
Matthew 25. 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger, or needing clothes? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’..
With love and prayers
01/05/20 Blog by Mr Shillito (Headteacher)
I hope that you are all well and that you are all managing to fill your days with fun activities. It really is essential that you look after your own well-being at this time by taking a moment to do things that you enjoy. With this in mind and much to my wife’s despair, I have been trying to pick up my guitar whenever I take a break from work. The main problem with this though is that I find playing my guitar very relaxing and after a few minutes I start to nod off. Very Rock n’ Roll I know! I reckon that Keith Richards probably has the same problem although he is slightly older than I am.
Before the weather changed I managed to get out for some lovely long bike rides in the countryside. One afternoon, when I was near Shaw’s Corner, I saw a herd of about 20 deer! Amazing. I have zoomed in on the second photo and you can just about see them. Sorry, not a great picture.
Since then the family have joined me on some long walks. This was before the weather turned cooler and the bluebells looked spectacular.
During the nice weather I also took the time to jet wash the patio and set up all of the outdoor seating so that we have a nice place to relax. However, as soon as the boys see me sit down they ask me for a game of football or table tennis. I suppose they won’t always want to do that so I make myself join in and end up having lots of fun. They even had me chasing them on a scooter last night. Apparently it was a game of “Cops and Robbers” with me being the bad cop. Unfortunately, I took a left turn under a tree and the combination of wet leaves and me being too old ended badly. I now have a sprained wrist and a massive bruise/graze on my hip. Ouch! For the past seven weeks I have been telling the boys to play less boisterously because I wouldn’t be able take them to Accident and Emergency should they hurt each other. This is a point that they have enjoyed reminding me about.
As I write this it has become very dark outside, the heavens have opened and it looks as though some hail is falling too. I can’t believe I was camping in the garden just a couple of weeks ago! Anyway, with the weather being as it is I have a feeling that it is time to light the log burner and stick on an old film. I have been trying to educate the boys by showing them some classic movies. The other day we watched one of my childhood favourites – “Where Eagles Dare.” After some resistance they joined me and thoroughly enjoyed it too which made me very happy. I also was impressed that they managed to pick out one actor, who they had never seen before, as being “really cool.” My answer was “That is Clint Eastwood and yes he is.” Totally made my day.
30/04/20 Blog from the Duffy Family
Hope everyone is well and keeping safe!
Isabel and Erin have been doing their work in the mornings and the afternoons are for creative, adventures or garden time.
As you can see from the pics they have been fishing in the River Beane which we are lucky to have right outside our house.
They also like being creative so lots of stone painting (the gold ones are Erin’s. She wants to trick someone into thinking it’s gold and sell it!) Erin also made a bird house out of lolly sticks which will be put up soon! We may put it in the woods.
Isabel was teaching us yoga in the garden and even found relaxing yoga music on the iPad.
Their dad is still working so apart from not going to school life isn’t really that much different for them. How lucky we are to have the countryside on our doorstep!
Take care everyone. We hope to see you all at school soon. The girls are missing their friends and teachers very much.
The Duffy Family
30/04/20 Thought for the day from Reverend Jenny
Today’s thought comes from one of our churches… a Christ-like response to ‘survivor’s guilt’ …(abridged)
‘Every time I go for my daily walk, I thank God for my blessings and my fortunate position as well as “consider all the works His (Thy) hand has made”. On every walk, I meet at least one person with whom I have the discussion of our blessings and fortune… about being able to walk in the open air safely with Creation all around us, that we can sustain ourselves, etc. and how awful it must be for people with low income (if any), nowhere to walk, living in a tower block in an inner city, etc. We also have hobbies, gardens to maintain and sit in, etc…
Samaritans have only 30% of staff doing shifts on the phones but have a significant increase in callers.
Charities are already suffering and many are likely to go under.
I wonder how much less we spend a week than normal (even if the wine bill is through the roof!)
(Everyone’s situation is different but) Could we donate some of that to a different charity each week?… try to share it around to charities that address different problems?
Could we carry on supporting, in a small way, the hairdressers, cleaners, pubs and restaurants we would normally use?…
With love and prayers and deep thanks for the many ways you are already caring for others.
29/04/20 Request from Mrs Wilson (Teaching assistant)
I have a small request for you. My Dad is going to be 80 on the 9th May and almost certainly we will still be in lock down. We are going to collect 80 items and place them in a big basket for example a chocolate bar, a toilet roll , toothpaste anyway I would really appreciate it if you could email me any ideas of other items we could place in the basket. email@example.com
Many thanks. Stay safe.
29/04/20 Thought for the day from Reverend Jenny
WE ARE NOT IN THE SAME BOAT …
I keep hearing that everyone is in the same boat. But it’s really not like that. We are in the same storm yes, but we are not in the same boat. Your ship can be shipwrecked and mine not. Or vice versa.
For some, quarantine is … full of moments of reflection, of re-connection and peace. Life is easy…
For others, this is a desperate crisis… it is facing real loneliness.
others, this is torture as they wonder how they are going to pay their bills.
Some want to go back to work because they are running out of money but in the same breath they are worried about a virus and they have questions about it…
Truth is life, as we knew it before, is gone.
So, friends, we are not in the same boat…
And each one will emerge, in his/her own way, from that storm.
Some with a tan from their pool. Others with scars on their soul.
So see beyond the political party, beyond the nose on your face.
not underestimate the pain of others if you do not feel it…
We are on different ships and all looking to survive.
Let everyone navigate their route with respect, empathy and responsibility.
the judgment and please just be kind.
(Abridged from Nicki Peverett)
with love and prayers
29/04/20 Blog by Tristan and Andree (Pupils)
Today we did a science class and made invisible ink!
It was a success. We had to work together and follow the instructions and measurements exactly! It was alot of fun and we did a write up afterwards as our english homework 🙂
We will be doing alot more experiments using our science kit!
Andree made a bug hotel yesterday as part of homework. It included a 7 story hotel, swimming pool, fresh flowers and hotel roof dance floor! A snail, two spiders and a worm have checked in already.
Hope you are staying safe and well!
Tristan and Andree
29/04/20 Blog from Mrs Wilson (Teaching assistant)
So we are all still finding this situation very bizarre however keeping busy and trying out new things. Emily is hoping to be going to Durham University in the autumn so clearing out kitchen cupboards and packing stuff for her to take has begun. She has been cooking a fair bit trying out different recipes that will be cheap yet nutritious. We have sampled some very nice meals – A very nice chicken stir fry, amazing low calorie bake well tart and on Wednesday we are sampling cumin Roast Chicken. I too have been baking bread pudding, lemon drizzle cake for my parents and chocolate cookies were consumed in school today.
There was lots of excitement in Watton on Saturday – Our neighbours lost their dog, so many of us in the street went out looking whilst ensuring we maintained social distancing. We looked all over, our neighbour drove all around the village. Emily and I returned home. We went to the top of the garden and I was sure I could hear a very soft whimpering. Ian returned finally and we discovered the poor little thing was trapped between two fence panels so the rescue began. One neighbour having to remove a fence panel, whilst Ian tried to stop the dog getting even more wedged, finally he was out. What a day!
I am so grateful for where we live, discovering many walks we didn’t know existed has been quite an adventure.
Anyway hope to see you all soon. Take and stay safe.
28/04/20 Thought for the day from Reverend Jenny
An ancient evening prayer as we remember members of the NHS and key workers who have died, and all who serve us in this crisis:
from Saint Augustine – 4th century AD
Watch thou, dear Lord,
with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight,
and give thine angels charge over those who sleep.
Tend thy sick ones, O Lord Christ.
Rest thy weary ones.
Bless thy dying ones.
Soothe thy suffering ones.
Pity thine afflicted ones.
Shield thy joyous ones.
And all, for thy love’s sake.
With love and prayers
28/04/20 Blog from Mrs Phillips (Class 3 teacher)
I hope that you are all well and keeping safe. This Easter holiday will go down in history for us all. During this time, I have been able to wind down and come to terms with our current situation which was great for my well-being. It’s been great not having any routine or timetables for a few weeks and I have enjoyed spending good quality time with my family.
It’s been a good few years now that I’ve dipped in and out of going to the gym. I have always wanted to get back into the gym to get back in shape but with the demands of work, this hasn’t been possible. But for some strange reason, I now feel able to get back into my gym clothes and exercise again. I’m managing with my family to go for long walks, bike rides and to follow Joe Wicks each morning for his daily workout (which is hard going) but fun at the same time.
I hope that we can all see one another soon but until then stay safe and stay healthy.
Mrs B Phillips
27/04/20 Thought for the day from Reverend Jenny
Julian Of Norwich 14th C English woman hermit
‘He (Jesus) did not say
‘You shall not be tempest-tossed,
you shall not be weary,
you shall not be discomforted’,
but He said ‘You shall not be overcome’.
God never promised us a storm-free life. Jesus offers us grace and strength to get through the storms of life when we put our trust in Him.
He is Risen. Alleluia. Amen.
With love and prayers
Click on the link to watch this week’s Sunday church service delivered by Reverend Tony https://youtu.be/nO2mTbIUQMY
Here is his sermon:
Sunday 26 April 2020 – Benefice Sermon- Easter 3- Luke 24.13-35- The Road to Emmaus
May the words from my mouth and the thoughts and prayers of all our hearts be acceptable in your sight O Lord, now and for evermore. Amen.
The past few weeks have been a very difficult time for not only us locally but for the whole world. What we accepted in our daily routines as being the normal has been eliminated by this deadly virus.
It has affected every area of our lives. What we had taken for granted has disappeared. The chance to meet other people and spend time with them. To see our children and grandchildren to visit family, friends, neighbours and colleagues and maybe enjoy a cup of tea, coffee a cake or even a meal. The chance to walk anywhere that we wanted and see and enjoy nature all around us in a season when everything is being reborn. The beauty of the early Spring flowers, the birds gathering nesting material and the trees that are covered in colourful blossom.
A time to just stand, stare and fully enjoy what nature gives to us at this most wonderful time of the year. The gifts of a creator God. Lockdown has prevented all these.
And yet what we have now been given is a time to discover new areas of growth in ourselves. The gift of time has allowed us to relook at ourselves, our lives, our skills and our capabilities. We have discovered new ways of adapting to our restricted daily situation. We have been given time to develop new ideas and learn new skills. Including our own ministry team in this benefice who have discovered and developed news ways to continue to bring the gospel message to our parishes.
In every parish the message that we care for each other is now so clearly visible. The need for social distancing has prevented the close contact and face to face meetings whether they be church based, meeting in the street for a conversation, or even just taking the time to make sure that all our neighbours are ok.
Closer contact with each other has been the major benefit and has been achieved in new ways. Concern for each other has grown to levels that I don’t think I have ever seen. FaceTime, Zoom and Houseparty just to name three internet programmes have allowed us to maintain visual contact. The telephone has been in constant use to those who do not have access to the internet. The old art of letter writing has remerged giving so much pleasure to those receiving the post.
Whatever else we may think, Love for each other has emerged as the driving survival force in this very difficult time. The very message that Jesus gave us in His teachings has resurfaced in all our lives. The care and support of those who are less able to provide for themselves whether that is by result of age or infirmity or even by work commitments has been so evident.
The support for all those in the NHS and other frontline services has been overwhelming and rightly so. The weekly Thursday clapping by the nation irrespective of the individual’s religious or even non-religious beliefs has sent the message of thanks and love who are taking risks with their lives to ensure that we remain safe.
Jesus gave us a new commandment that we are to “LOVE ONE ANOTHER even as I have loved you that you also LOVE ONE ANOTHER by this all will know that you are my disciples”.
That message whether we or others acknowledge it or not is where we are and it is reflected in what we now see happening all around us.
The test will be to see how much of the new found Love and care and support that we are currently experiencing will be recognisable when lockdown is ended and we return to “normality”.
In the name of Jesus and all his saints I pray that so many of us will remember what we did and what was done for us and that those memories will establish new relationships with each other and with God. AMEN.
27/04/20 Blog by Miss Kayleigh Young (Class 4 Teacher)
I hope you are all well and finding ways to keep busy at home. I am unable to leave my flat at the moment due to the virus but I am trying my best to keep active. I have been completing my daily exercise at home and have created my own mini gym. You know what they say – healthy body, healthy mind.
I find it tricky to work without the structure of being in school so I have created myself a work station and a weekly timetable where I schedule in some time throughout the day where I can stop working for a while and spend some time on a hobby. I have always loved reading but it’s become one of those things I haven’t found time to enjoy for a while, so I have been using time to reignite my love of books. I have also treated myself to a Disney colouring book. Yes – Disney (I may be a little bit Disney obsessed – I’m currently saving for a trip to Disney World) I find colouring very relaxing and it is a welcome distraction from everything that’s going on in the world at the moment.
I’m using this time to be reflective. I tend to spend my weekends at home relaxing. I have been at home for 5 weeks now, and whilst it is nice to have some time relaxing at home I am beginning to realise that maybe I do this a bit too much – there is so much out there in the world to see and experience. I have been planning a list of things I would like to do when this is all over which is great as it is giving something positive to look forward to.
Stay safe and keep smiling 😊
Miss K. Young
25/04/20 Thought for the day from Reverend Jenny
Thought for Saturday 25th
Said the robin to the sparrow
‘I should really like to know
why these anxious human beings
rush about and worry so’.
Said the sparrow to the robin
‘Friend, I think that it must be
that they have no Heavenly Father
such as cares for you and me’. (Elizabeth Chene)
with love and prayers
24/04/20 Thought for the day from Reverend Jenny
A prayer for the dying – those known to us and those we hear about in the News.
Lord, so strange to us
this doorway labelled death
A door of darkness
still closed to protect us
from the brilliance of eternal life:
a final obstacle
to the fullness of your presence.
Give courage Lord
for this uncharted territory,
peacefulness at parting
from all that must be left behind,
and an inner vision of invitation
for all that is better that awaits
in your perfect presence.
With love and prayers
24/04/20 Blog from Edie (Class 4 pupil)
I hope you all are OK. I miss you all very much!
I have been keeping very busy playing with my baby brother Otis and learning to ride my bike without stabilisers! I have also learnt to sew and made a bunny hand puppet for Easter which was fun.
I have been carrying on my dance lessons using Zoom. It has been great to see all my friends from class. My Daddy has made a board I can practise my tap dancing on so I don’t ruin the floor with my shoes!
Love Edie x
24/04/20 Blog from Mrs Mali (Class 2 teacher)
Hello everyone! I hope everyone had a lovely Easter break and that you are all safe, well and healthy.
I am at home and well, apart from my hay fever! It is preventing me from going outside and sleeping at night. I know some of you are sufferers too! Remember – Don’t itch those eyes!
I am keeping myself busy with school work, cleaning and lots of cooking. I have to say I am getting very creative in the kitchen. During the Easter holidays, we had Yuvraj’s birthday and everyone was very impressed with my homemade cake! To be honest, I have never really had this much time at home and my family are really enjoying my new inventions. I have even got the boys involved and Aryan has been preparing lunches for us twice a week!
I am really enjoying reading your messages on our class blog and the emails that are being sent with your work. I know I keep saying this, but I’m really proud at how hard you are working at home. But remember it’s not just the school work, make sure you are having fun also. Enjoy the weather! Try to get creative, do something fun or learn a new skill! Has anyone tried the 30 day Lego challenge? We have been doing this at home, but we don’t always use Lego. Yuvraj made a fantastic model with Knex. I love drawing and art, so to relax and unwind I am drawing and colouring a lot more. Recently, I have started knitting (a hobby that Mrs Meany actually got me into) and so far I am on my way to making a scarf! I will keep you posted on how far I get!
23/04/20 Blog from Tristan and Andree (Pupils)
Tristan and Andree have been busy in the half term with a break from school work.
Tristan has learnt to use the strimmer and has been baking Greek yoghurt flatbreads.
Andree has been looking after our resident wood pigeon “Dave” and baking cakes.
As a family we have been identifying birds in our garden using the birdNET app. So far we have found 15 birds and the bird we didn’t know that visited our garden was the Eurasion Nuthatch!
We found a pretty dragonfly in our garden which Tristan and Andree will be drawing as part of their art school work this week.
We’ve also been watching Race Across the World as a family which teaches endurance, stamina, budgeting, timing and that it’s not all about the winning. It also shows you different countries which is interesting. There are two series of it on BBC iPlayer.
We hope you are all well at Stapleford and wanted you to know that you are included in our claps on a Thursday evening
Tristan, Andree and family
23/04/20 Thought for the day from Reverend Jenny
A Morning Prayer from David Adams
Lord help us to know
we are in your hands,
we are under your protection,
we are covered by your love.
Lord we ask you today
to deliver us from evil,
to guide us in our doings,
to defend us from all harm.
Lord give us
ears to hear your call,
hands to do your work,
and hearts to respond to your love.
with love and prayers
22/04/20 Thought for the day from Reverend Jenny
Peter and I were married one year ago today and this was our final hymn. It reminds us to thank God even in hard times for all his blessings. And trust Him to ‘keep us in His grace, and guide us when perplexed; And free us from all ills, in this world and the next!’ Please sing it with us today:
1. Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in Whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.
2. Oh, may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts and blessed peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace, and guide us when perplexed;
And free us from all ills in this world and the next!
3. All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given,
The Son, and Him Who reigns with Them in highest Heaven—
The one eternal God, Whom earth and Heav’n adore;
For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.
with love and prayers
22/04/20 Blog from Mrs Cant (Teaching Assistant)
I hope that you are all keeping safe and well. I am missing you and our normal way of life so much! It’s so hard to be at school and not see all your lovely smiling faces. It’s strange times for us all but they do say the best way to cope with change is to embrace it.
So to start off with, I have made the most of the extra time that we have had by doing all the usual stuff such as sorting cupboards and completing jobs that have needed doing for quite a while. I soon got bored with that! Anyway most of it is done now. So my main and most important focus is to enjoy any extra time that I have by just being with my family. We have played games that have been the cupboards for years! My husband and I have beach bat and ball tournaments that you really wouldn’t want to get in the way of! The trouble is that we both love to win so we play hard but it’s always fair. We have laughed so much.
Also we are all playing our guitars so much more now . My husband is by far the most experienced player, followed my daughter Grace. She started with lessons at our very own Stapleford school! She did very well with certificates to prove it! Sadly, her interest plummeted in senior school but in recent years she started playing again and even more so now. I am just a learner but I am definitely improving. It’s just so relaxing to focus your mind on learning and developing new skills, even if the dinner is burning! I have been known to get so absorbed that I forget that it’s even on!
Our exercise consists of dancing, basic workouts and beautiful walks in the woods with Ernie our dog. The changes in the woods have been amazing! It all looks so fresh and colourful. We really do have a beautiful world and when you take the time to look and listen it’s amazing what you can see.
Well I hope that you are all finding something new and fun to get through this unusual time.
Stay safe. Lots of love to you all.
21/04/20 Lovely photo of Winnie working hard
21/04/20 Thought for the day from Reverend Jenny
God’s words spoken to each one of us through the Old Testament prophet Isaiah to strengthen us in hard times:
But now thus says the LORD,
He who created YOU…
He who formed you YOU…
‘Fear not, for I have redeemed YOU;
I have called you YOU, by name, YOU are mine.
When YOU pass through the waters, I will be with you YOU;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm YOU;
when YOU walk through fire YOU shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume YOU.
For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, YOUR Saviour…
because YOU are precious in my eyes,
and honoured, and I love YOU. (Isaiah 43)
With love and prayers
21/04/20 Blog by Emily Wilson (Ex-pupil)
This whole lockdown has come at a really strange time for me; I was meant to be sitting my A-Level exams in a few months and now they’re not happening at all! I know I said that I couldn’t wait for them to be over but this is not what I meant at all!
Anyway, with my newfound free time I’ve been working on a lot of projects to try and keep myself and other people occupied. I recorded a backing track and a chorus using some software I have on my laptop and then asked people on Facebook to send me in messages to people they’re missing during lockdown. I then layered these messages over the music to make a song and it worked out really nicely, some of the messages were really beautiful and it was lovely for me to be able to bring it all together. At this weird time when everybody feels so distanced from each other I think it’s so important to try and bring people together as best we can.
On my daily walk I’ve also been collecting stones and decorating them with pictures and messages of hope and, once I’ve varnished them so that they’re waterproof, I’m going to put them back out into the countryside around my village so that, hopefully, when other people are out on their daily exercise, they can see them and it might make them smile or cheer them up a little bit.
Keeping your mind busy is so important at the moment so hopefully my little blog post will provide some ideas on how you can keep occupied and busy when everything feels like its ground to a halt.
21/04/20 Blog from Ms Adams (Teaching Assistant)
I hope you are all keeping well and trust that you all had a nice Easter.
I have just returned to work after couple of weeks off and it already feels like ages since we were last here all together. It is so strange to see the school so empty and quiet. It has been lovely to see some of the children and other members of staff, but I am missing all your smiley faces and hope it won’t be too long before you are all able to return to school.
I have been making myself busy at this time, by going on long walks around the village and the surrounding countryside.
The bluebells look particularly beautiful at this time of the year. I have looked up the meaning of Bluebells and it symbolises humility and gratitude. It is also associated with everlasting love and constancy (the quality of staying the same even though other things change). I found this particularly profound at these challenging times.
In the last few weeks we have been lucky enough to have some bright and sunny weather, so this has been a good enough reason to light the BBQ on some evenings and make the most of some outdoor dining.
I have also enjoyed cooking new recipes and I am making a good use of my slow cooker. Slow cooked leg of lamb on Easter Sunday went down a treat, followed by few Easter eggs, of course.
As most of you, we have been taking part in clapping for our NHS staff and the key workers every Thursday at 8pm. My admiration for them knows no bounds and like any other citizen, I am truly grateful.
I have loved seeing all the rainbows in the windows which are now a global symbol of hope and support.
I hope you are all having a lovely time at home and I am looking forward to seeing you all soon.
Take care and keep safe.
20/04/20 Thought for the day from Reverend Jenny
… from Meditations on the Eye of a Needle*
The first thing we have to do is to notice that we have loaded down the camel with so much baggage we’ll never get through the desert alive. Something has to go.
Then we can begin to dump the thousands of things we’ve brought along with us until even the camel has to go and we’re walking barefoot on the sand.
There’s no telling what will happen then.
But I’ve heard someone walking this way has seen a burning bush.**
*Jesus’ parable story told in Mark10:25
** Moses meets with God Exodus :1-15
with love and prayers for the new week
Answers to last week’s Easter Quiz: 1.Judas 2.donkey 3.Peter 4.Barrabas 5.thief 6.angel 7.John (beloved disciple) 8. Joseph of Arimathea 9. Caiphas 10.Mary 11.Pilate 12.Simon Peter 13.Mary Magdalene 14. Micah (5:2) 15.Malcus 16. Nicodemus 17. Cleopas 18. Simon of Cyrene
WE ARE HERE FOR YOU… If you would like to offload how you are feeling to someone outside your family, or if you need help, we are here. If you would like to chat with Rev Jenny or other members of the Ministry Team, please call: Rector: Rev Jenny Gray: 01920 830035 email firstname.lastname@example.org Please take care, take all the precautions you can to stay safe and well.
Bishop Alan of St Albans has recorded a short sermon for this Sunday available on https://stalbansdiocese.sharepoint.com/ or search You Tube. FOR CHILDREN’s talk and activities: email@example.com
Who’d have thought our Beane Valley Benefice would be providing a Sunday Service on You Tube? Here is the link for this Sunday’s Service (approx 35 mins) https://youtu.be/-WBQ7BkRMEY
PRACTICAL HELP Request to make drawstring bags for scrubs for Lister Hospital Contact Sharon.firstname.lastname@example.org 07766 801 805 or 01438 230444
20/04/20 Blog from Mrs Meaney (School Office team)
Basically, what shall I do with the old fencing?
Make a plan and get the tools.
Cut all the shapes out
Make sure all the bits are there
Planter ready to come to school. (Ps. Does not include plant.)
20/04/20 Start of the summer term
I hope you had a lovely Easter holiday at home with your families. Today would have been the first day back to school so it is time for your home learning to commence again. During your holiday your class teachers have been very busy preparing activities for you to do. These can be found in the curriculum section of this website. Click on this link to see what activities your teachers would like you to complete https://stapleford.herts.sch.uk/parents/curriculum/
17/04/20 Thought for the day from Reverend Jenny
O. C. K. D. O. W. N. (take 3) is a time to:
L – LET GO of what we can’t change. Change what we can
O – care for OURSELVES as we care for our Neighbour
C – take COURAGE from the goodness and love around us
K – KNOW we will meet again
D – DON’T be afraid (found 365 times in the bible)
O – ORDER our affairs
W – WELCOME each day as a gift
N – NOW – focus on today not tomorrow – each day has worries enough of its own!
with love and prayers
17.04.20 Blog from Kimi the boxer dog
Hi, my name is Kimi. Some of you will have seen me walking round the Village with Peter, who went to Stapleford School many years ago and I live in Clusterbolts.
I must admit I didn’t see what the fuss was about when I heard about the lockdown, but then I am a DOG! a rather cheeky and curious one-year-old Boxer to be precise.
It seemed to me that if my family were going to be home a lot more and not going out to work that was good news to me. After all, if they’re all home I’ll get lots of attention, fun and games. I was a bit worried at first because my dog food was running low and Pet shop was shut, but after a few days I got a big bag so I was happy.
But then I started to learn what it was going to mean and the impact on us, we could go out but only ONCE, that was never going to be enough for me, I like two or three walks every day and I love to run around on the field opposite. Worse still we all had to keep our DISTANCE and while I can cope with one walk a day, I’m really struggling not being able to run up to my friends and play. And people who normally make a fuss of me when we meet are standing still and staying away from me.
I’ve tried a WhatsApp call to my best friend, a Hungarian Vizla called Izzy, not an easy thing for a dog as my paws are too big for the screen controls but it’s not the same as seeing her, I can’t wait for the time I can meet up with her.
So I can only imagine how hard it is for you not being at school, not seeing your friends and stuck in the house, but I’m hoping that like me you are coping with the changes to your lives, being extra nice to your family and those around you and looking forward to getting back to normal. And of course keeping up with any school work you’ve been set
So until then I shall continue with my latest challenge, trying to catch my tail in my mouth. No luck yet!
16/04/20 Thought for the day from Reverend Jenny
From Graeme Mc Meekin, acting Scotland director, Tearfund:
Between (Good) Friday and (Easter) Sunday is (Holy) Saturday
between death and resurrection is MOURNING
between uncertainty and certainty is FAITH
between pain and celebration is HOPE
between loneliness and community is LOVE
in Jesus Christ, who died and rose again for our salvation,
cast out the darkness of our anxiety, fear and mourning,
enfold us in your love and give us joy and hope this Eastertide and always.
with love and prayers
16/04/20 Blog by Peter Critchley (Vice Chair of Governors)
“It’s been such a difficult and challenging few weeks for everyone, but yet, it’s also showing the very best of people.
Your school community is populated by its very own band of heroes – The leadership team, teachers and the whole staff are suddenly in a world which they have been forced to feel their way through, and then to make key decisions which had and continue to have huge implications for everyone connected to Stapleford Primary School. Of course, they have all been utterly amazing, and so ably led by the incredible Mr Shillito. We are genuinely one of the luckiest schools to have his leadership at this time.
Parents and carers are also heroes! They are now caring for and doing their very best to continue to engage children on a daily basis, whilst also, in so many cases, working remotely from home (which brings a whole new set of challenges!). The comfort your support and love brings to the children is vital and will be incredibly meaningful when the children reflect on this time in years to come.
Finally, and most importantly, the children are such an inspiration! They are being asked to be more flexible than ever, and we all recognise just how difficult this is for them, and just how hard they are working to keep learning, to keep laughing and to help keep us all from getting too bored! Their daily heroics keep us on our toes and keep every day fresh. I know I am grateful for that daily challenge from my three children!
Each of us has now learned what ‘adapt’ really means, but, adapt we have, and we will continue to work together as one, staying at home, and looking after our most vulnerable and in need of our support.
Remember to keep smiling and laughing and I am so looking forward to seeing the school bustling with activity very soon indeed!
Vice Chair of Governors”
15/04/20 Blog by Mrs Strong (past Teaching Assistant)
Comment ça va?
Moi? Ça va bien, merci.
Maintenant, j’habite chex mon père et ma soeur. C’est loin de Stapleford.
Ici il fait chaud aujourd’hui. Il y a des jolis petits oiseaux jaunes dans le jardin et quatre chevaux dans le pré.
Je lis, je travaille et je regarde beaucoup de billard sur Youtube. Mon père adore le billard. Moi, j’aime un peu le billard.
Comme vous, j’ai un arc-en-ciel dans ma fenêtre.
Joyeux Pâques à tous.
Restez à la maison.
Protégez la Service Nationale de la Santé.
Sauvez des vies.
15/04/20 Thought for the day from Reverend Jenny
‘I think when the dust settles we will realise how very little we need
How very much we actually have
And the true value of human connection’. (Anon)
‘Give us a heart for simple things,
Love laughter, bread, wine, dreams;
Fill us with green and growing hope
And make us an Easter people
Whose song is Alleluia
Whose sign is Peace
Whose name is Love’.
(Rev John Hencher Lichfield Cathedral)
with love and prayers
14/04/20 YOUNG VOICES
We hope you are managing during these strange times and thank you to each and everyone of you who continue to put your young learners first. Also a special big YV thank you to all those teachers who are in school helping care for the key workers and vulnerable children at this present time.
Just to let you know we have freshened up the homepage of our website youngvoices.co.uk, and have added YV at HOME and YV Stories. YV at HOME is where we will bring you lots of fun music and movement sessions all for free, that your children, parents and teachers can access and enjoy from your safe place.
As many of you will know Young Voices will be celebrating 25 years of singing together in 2021. We are very much looking forward to Stapleford Primary School joining our performance, in what is likely to be the biggest singing day of your lives, at the London 02 in January 2021 . If you have been to a Young Voices concert before you will know what a spectacular day this is and we are sure you will have lots of fond memories. We would love to hear about your experience, please click the YV Stories link on the homepage.
14/04/20 Blog by Dani Young (School cleaner and After School Club assistant)
Hey everyone, it’s the other Miss Young here.
I hope your all keeping safe and enjoying your Easter holiday. My Easter break is in 2 more weeks, until then I will continue to come into school to clean and help look after the children who are still here. It’s been strange coming into school and not passing a lot of you in the corridor or chatting on the playground at lunch time or after school club. But I’m sure you are all having a lovely time at home with you families, doing your school work in a different environment than normal; although if you came into school at the moment you probably wouldn’t recognise it as all the classrooms look strange as you can see in the photo of class 4.
I hope you all continue to stay safe, stay well and stay on top of that classwork once your Easter is over. And most importantly I look forward to seeing you all back at school once it reopens.
Miss Dani Young
‘On Easter Day all of us were united in the one joy of Christ… there was no ringing of church bells, no possibility in our prison camp…to gather for worship, to dress up for the festival, to prepare Easter dishes…on the contrary there was even more work and more interference than usual… all of us were surrounded by more spying, by more threats from the (Soviet) secret police. Yet Easter was there: great, holy, spiritual, unforgettable. It was blessed by the presence of our risen God among us…Death is conquered, fear no more, the Eternal Easter is given to us all!…Full of this marvellous Easter we send you from our prison camp the victorious and joyful tidings: Christ is risen’... these are powerful words from a brutal Soviet prison echoed by countless Christians throughout history facing persecution and danger…words we can identify with today.
No church bells for us this Easter Sunday, no gathering together to worship, no choirs or children’s egg hunts after services as we are surrounded by this invisible threat of the Corona virus. Yet we are blessed with the presence of our risen God, with us in our homes. We hear the same victorious and joyful tidings,great, holy and unforgettable : ‘Death is conquered, fear no more, Christ is risen’. We celebrate God’s indestructible love, his irrepressible new life taking unexpected form, his goodness defeating evil, darkness and death… the great mystery of our faith which poems and hymns put better than any sermon.
Because Jesus is risen on Easter day, alive in a new way, life is changed. That small group of terrified disciples go out into all the world to tell everyone about Jesus…the story of Pentecost and the growth of the Church in the face of terrible persecution, still endured by millions of Christians across the world today. Because Jesus is risen on Easter day, death is conquered, we have eternal life, we find new meaning and peace in whatever befalls us and those we love. Because Jesus is risen on Easter day, we have new strength and hope, a new Spirit of kindness, generosity, patience, faithfulness and trust when, like Mary in the garden, we listen to Jesus’ voice and follow his way of love and serving.
Resurrection is personal. For each of us. Not only what happens to Jesus that first Easter day 2000 years ago but what happens to us, not only when we die but now, here on earth as we open ourselves to the reality of God continually offering us new life, new possibilities, new tasks and challenges, new fulfilment and joy whatever challenges and loss we face, however deep our darkness and pain. Resurrection life begins when, we let go of the past and accept life as it is now, even when its not what we want or expect…when like Mary, we’re open to the unexpected and inexplicable workings of God in our lives.
We can’t meet Jesus like Mary in the garden but we meet him in prayer and worship in our homes and in church, in our loving and serving others. Jesus is alive. He is with us – always. His Spirit comforts and guides us when we come to him. Easter is our story as we trust God to bring us through suffering and death, when we follow Jesus’ example and live God’s love with generosity and joy, imagination and courage, for the sake of a divided, disbelieving, broken world…Alleluia. Amen.
Do click on the link below if you would like to watch our Easter Sunday service on You Tube https://youtu.be/Asygwn_3JZg – Reverend Jenny
QUIZ TIME: Test your EASTER bible knowledge Thank you to www.creativebiblestudy.com.
Level 1 – Easy – 1 Point Easter Quiz Questions
1. I betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver; who am I?
2. Jesus rode into Jerusalem on me; who am I?
3. I denied Jesus three times before the cock crowed; who am I?
4. The people called for me to be set free instead of Jesus; who am I?
5. I was crucified beside Jesus; who am I?
6. I told the women at the tomb not to be afraid and that Jesus had risen; who am I?
Level 2 – Harder – 3 Point Easter Quiz Questions
7. When Jesus was on the cross, He asked me to take care of His mother.
8. I laid Jesus in my own tomb; who am I?
9. I was the High Priest who accused Jesus and wanted Him dead; who am I?
10. I anointed Jesus with expensive perfume; who am I?
11. They brought Jesus to me for trial, but I found no guilt in Him; who am I?
12. I cut off the ear of the High Priest’s servant; who am I?
13. I went early to the tomb and saw the stone rolled away; who am I?
Level 3 – Hardest – 5 Point Easter Quiz Questions
14. My book in the Bible prophesies that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem; who am I?
15. I was the High Priest’s servant who had his ear cut off; who am I?
16. I went with Joseph to bury Jesus in the tomb; who am I?
17. I saw Jesus after His resurrection on the road to Emmaus; who am I?
18. I carried the cross for Jesus when He could no longer; who am I?
Answers Next week…
Prayers from a BBC radio service. From the depths of our hearts we pray:
Lord we place into your hands our families and loved ones especially those who are elderly or sick, anxious or lonely. You know their needs and we ask you to be close to them
We place into your hands the people in our medical and emergency services and their families. We pray for key workers whose day to day work protects and sustains us. We give thanks for them and ask you to uphold them in strength, health and courage.
We pray for those in leadership and government. We ask you to give them wisdom to lead and to listen and the vision to act for the common good.
We pray for ourselves as a society now more than ever we recognise our dependence on one another. Teach us how to grow in solidarity, in gratitude and care for one another.
You have loved us into life and count every hair of our heads. We place into your hands we place into your hands those who have died. Stay with us in our sorrow and give us hope. Amen
with love and prayers
‘On the holy cross I see Jesus’ hands nailed fast for me.
On the holy cross I see Jesus’ feet nailed fast for me;
Loving Jesus let me be still and quiet, close to thee,
Learning all thy love for me, giving all my love to thee’. (Sacred Weave)
We can’t meet together to remember Jesus’ death on the cross today but Click the link https://youtu.be/xgfhjIfB04M to join in our very own benefice Good Friday service in your own homes prepared by Ann Edwards.
DAY THIRTEEN 08/04/20
Blog from Mr Hart (Site Manager)
I hope you are all well. I can’t believe how busy you can get when there’s nothing to do!
All over the winter months, my wife Linda and I have been squirreling away “stuff “, filling my van up to the roof, for our first Car Boot sale of the season! Which of course was to be held……….. on the first day of LOCKDOWN! So, since then we have been taking it all off re-evaluating it, and selling on e-bay! This means my daily exercising of Buddy the pooch is also a trip to the post office, and on the way back get shopping, (simples)!
As you know I liken myself
to James Garners character in ‘The Great Escape’, “Scrounger”
He is after all my doppelgänger, check him out, we could have been separated at birth!
So it’s taken over 10 days to sort and sell all the “Stuff!“
I have also got the heavy punch bag up in the garden for me and the boys to get moving, Unfortunately the only things moving are their thumbs! PS4! The house feels like a massive bird’s nest with two constantly hungry baby Eagles, mouths open, awaiting the next feed! Luckily I’ve got my Dumbbells/Barbell to keep me sane.
Oh I forgot, we cleaned the house again today, got it planned in for the weekend as well!
Anyway, that’s enough from me for now. Watch out for the Cabin fever, keep your distance and this will be over soon!
Missing you all, even the light hearted banter of the tea room!
DAY TWELVE 07/04/20
Thought for the day from Reverend Jenny
I sought my God My God I could not see
I sought my soul
My soul eluded me
I sought my brother/sister
And I found all three.’
‘Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est’ – where charity and love are, there God is.
Listen to the beautiful sung version of Ubi Caritas by Durufle on You Tube and another version from Taize
Thank God today for the growth in acts of kindness, generosity and good neighbourly-ness. Pray for all NHS staff and key workers caring for us.
Blog by Miss Hampson (Early Years Practitioner/Teaching Assistant)
Good afternoon to all the lovely Stapleford family!!
It feels like forever since we were last all together in school. Of course I missed the few weeks leading up to closure due to my little boy being poorly and then getting poorly myself. Thankfully we are all now fighting fit at home and we have been out on some lovely walks with our two dogs George and Lily. They are really enjoying having so much company at home during the day. We have been baking, playing lots of board games and attempting some home learning as well as having lots of quality time together.
I had some very exciting news at the weekend. My eldest son and his lovely lady are expecting their first baby! I am so happy and I can’t wait to become a Nana in August!! I shall of course bring lots of photos in when we all get back to school.
I have returned to work this week and it has been so nice to see some of the children and of course the other members of staff. The school is so quiet without you it feels quite strange!
There has been so much negative news on the television in recent days that I have now decided to turn the gloom and doom of the news off and concentrate on the positives this crazy situation has to give. As I wake in the mornings I can hear so many more birds singing outside my window, there is less of the constant drone of engines and there is in general less need to rush. The flowers are blooming and the trees are budding. Spring has sprung and nature is a beautiful thing to see. There is finally time to take a moment and just enjoy these simple things.
I hope you all have a wonderful Easter, however, you are spending it. Remember stay safe, smile and to look for the good around you.
Love Miss Hampson x
DAY ELEVEN 06/04/20
Blog by Miss Froud (Learning Support Assistant & After School Club host)
Hello to everyone! It is a bizarre time for us all but I know we are all doing everything in our power to keep ourselves and loved ones safe during these uncertain times. I feel lucky to still be able to come into work to support the families that need us. This provides us all with some normality which is what we are all craving currently.
When I am not needed at school, I spend my time at home or walking Coco, our dog (only once a day of course!) Coco seems to be the only one that is enjoying being on lockdown. She gets so much attention and usually can be seen on someone’s lap getting cuddles. It seems that now, all we have is time. Time to cherish the ones we live with, time to reflect on how lucky we are to be able to normally do whatever we like and FaceTime…Thank goodness for technology!!!
Everyone in my household has been taking part in the 8.00pm applause on Thursdays, for all the key workers out there doing their bit to keep us all safe. For all those individuals, we thank you!
Myself and my partner have some good news to report…after around 18 months of pain staking waiting, paperwork and phone calls, we finally have bought our very first home together! We got our new keys this week and are thrilled to pieces. However, we are now wondering how we will get any renovations done with everyone unable to leave their homes…?!? We may have to spend a lot of our time steaming woodchip and sanding down walls ourselves, “but hey…we’ve got time!” J
Take care, Can’t wait to see you all soon,
Love Miss Froud
Acrostic Poem from Reverend Jenny
*L. O. C. K. D. O. W. N. (take 2) is a time to:
L – Love. Love is mutual. Lean on friends. Lean on God
O – Observe. Observe and keep a diary of good things
C – Cherish. Cherish your family and friends
K – Know. Know goodness is stronger than evil. All things pass
D – Don’t panic. Don’t panic, Pause, reflect and pray
O – Offer. Offer prayer for key workers, for the anxious, for world leaders
W – Watch. Watch spring unfold
N – Nurture. Nurture your gifts – enjoy old or new hobbies and skills
With love and prayers
DAY TEN 03/04/20
From Reverend Jenny
Happy Palm Sunday dear friends
This hymn has been sung since around 800 AD – wherever we are let’s sing it today and hold up last year’s palm cross (if we have one) or any cross we have.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord Hosanna in the highest
All glory, laud, and honor
To thee, Redeemer, King,
To whom the lips of children
Made sweet hosannas ring.
Thou art the King of Israel,
Thou David’s royal Son,
Who in the Lord’s name comest,
The King and Blessed One.
The company of angels
Are praising thee on high,
And mortal men and all things
Created make reply.
The people of the Hebrews
With palms before thee went;
Our praise and love and anthems
Before thee we present.
To thee, before they passion, They sang their hymns of praise to thee now exalted our melody we raise
Thou didst accept their praises Accept the praise we bring who in all good delightest though good and gracious king
Blog by Lucy Cowell (Office team)
I’m really missing all your lovely smiley faces but trying to keep myself busy in this very strange time.
By the time you next see me I should be super fit thanks to doing Joe Wicks with my children every morning, plus the lovely long dog walks that I’m using as a way to get some peace and catch up with family and friends on the telephone. The dog isn’t impressed and is starting to refuse to leave his bed when I wave the lead at him.
I’ve been reliving my youth with my son and the horror that comes with GCSE Maths, English and Science, not to mention other subjects that didn’t even exist when I was at school (over 20 years ago ahem) I could be very grey when I next see you.
My daughter and I have decided that today is an artwork day and decorated rocks to put outside our house to brighten it up for all the walkers that come past our house, she’s also decorated the pavement with chalk passing on our thanks.
Stay safe everyone, can’t wait to see you all x
DAY NINE 02/04/20
Blog by Mrs Hobbs (Class 1 Teacher)
Hi everyone. I hope you are all keeping well. We have nearly survived two weeks of this extraordinary times and I should imagine by now that you have formed a new daily routine. At home we try and get school work finished in the morning so that we can spend the afternoons having free time, going for walks or doing activities that my children have chosen.
Try to remember to get some exercise every day. I know lots of you have been joining in with Joe – what a hero he is! My daughter is loving his workouts but my son is not as keen. So, we have decided to improve our fitness levels by jogging in the fields near my house. Each day we are trying to jog just a little further until we can sustain a longer distance. My son is definitely fitter than me so I think I need to do a few extra sessions!
As well as your school work, think about other things that you could do. Have you always wanted to learn a new skill? Maybe now could be a good time to start. My daughter has been working on her interest badges for Rainbows. She’s been looking at her family tree and thinking about the people who help her. If you belong to Rainbows, Beavers or Cubs then have a look and see if there are any badges that you could be working towards.
Look after yourselves,
Mrs Hobbs x
DAY EIGHT 01/04/20
Worship at home
The Diocese of St Albans has produced a weekly worship at home resource including creative activities, think pieces and prayers. These materials have been created for use by the entire school community. A new resource will be made available each week during term-time.
Blog by Edward and Grace (Pupils).
Being in school during lockdown!!!!
It’s a bit weird and quite peaceful without anyone around. We have the whole playground to ourselves. Not forgetting having all of the adults to ourselves too.
Here are some of the things we’ve been getting up to:
- PE with Joe Wicks and the teachers, it’s been fun watching them struggle (especially Mrs Elmes).
- Using our learning packs to complete some Maths from our textbooks.
- Reading comprehensions as well as Spelling frame and also Purple Mash.
- Making papier mache Easter eggs with Mrs Phillips.
- We also had our lunch on the field.
- We have both been playing the piano just before home time.
- Mrs Wilson printed us some paper masks and we did some finger painting which was fun too.
- We also created the rainbow pictures which are now on the school gate.
During lunch and break we have had lots of fun racing the cars from Early Years on the playground.
We are missing all of you and can’t wait to see you.
From Edward and Grace.
DAY SEVEN 31/03/20
Blog from Imogen (Year 3 Pupil)
Hi Imi from Class 2
Hello. Well I’ve been trying to keep busy. My mum gets me up at 9:00-9:30am and I do my work. Mum has gone a bit mad on work posters on the wall.
I’ve been completing Dictionary work and then maths. I then go on the laptop for Purple Mash or SPAG. After that we go for a walk with my dog Arthur. We are lucky where we live as there are lots of fields to walk in.
Today I did Just Dance with my sisters and that was fun. I miss school and my friends. I have been going on you Houseparty with family, Ethan and his mum. So far we are doing OK.
Blog by Mrs Wilson (Teaching Assistant and School Governor)
Hope that you are all well and keeping safe.
We have kept ourselves busy. I have been working in the morning and then making cake, bread pudding etc. for my parents, exercising as much as I can and getting all those jobs done that most of the time I ignore.
Emily puts me through my back exercises daily and we are walking everyday – lucky for us there is so much open countryside around and everybody is being sensible and keeping their distance but at the same time being polite with good mornings/afternoon etc.
As you all know I like to sing as does Emily, she spent an afternoon singing in the garden with her guitar, the neighbours are hoping it will be a regular thing.
At present she is making keto friendly cinnamon rolls.
Anyway as you can see how lucky we are to have the surrounding environment, and how lucky I am to have Emily putting me through my paces or maybe not!!!
Keep safe, miss you all
Love Mrs Wilson
DAY SIX 30/03/20
Blog by Olive (Year 5 pupil)
We’ve been learning at Pear Tree School today (that’s what we have named our home school). It’s fun, but not as fun as real school!
Today we started our morning by reading for 20 minutes. I’m reading ‘Women In Science’, it’s about lots of women that did amazing things in history.
Next we did the Joe Wicks daily hiit work out, that was fun! Mum did it with us today, we did it in the garden, it was very cold but we soon warmed up.
After that we did some fun maths with my dad, we threw the darts at the dart board and we had to add up our scores.
In PE we did tennis, we’ve got a tennis court opposite our house and we like to go there to do our PE lessons or we go for quiet walks in the forest.
Tomorrow we’re having a cooking lesson and we are going to make flapjacks.
I hope everybody is well, happy and keeps smiling!
By Olive : )
Blog by Alun Broadwood-White (Parent and Chair of Governors)
First and foremost, I hope that all of our ‘school family’ are keeping safe and well.
Well we have survived the first week and truly started the second week of lockdown without casualties, I am hoping that Mr Shillito sees fit to award me his ‘Headteacher Award’ for this one!… I’m really just after a free ice cream and a badge!
As of yet we haven’t managed a workout with Joe Wicks and fear that we never will, but have done a daily two mile walk with the dogs. Riley is not happy with any form of exercise and after a couple of hundred yards we have to have a break and snack on the park bench but luckily there is only one bench during the walk!
Riley and his siblings have fully embraced homeschooling but are persistently whining that they live with two teachers whom insist on them doing schoolwork and maintaining the school night regime! However, with Riley being Riley he has made me put up a daily schedule of the day’s lessons and activities. Schoolwork has at times certainly been a challenge especially with the two eldest (13 & 15) asking questions that confused me as I’ve not done anything at GCSE level for 36 years! The two older ones are often looking at me as if I’m some kind of uneducated street urchin and with serious disappointment in their eyes!
As a family we always discuss and arrange the weekly menu but the discussion is no longer where it ends! The older two seem always to baking whilst Riley and I just sit and enjoy the offering. However, we’ve discovered that there is no such thing as too much cake! But guess who is the one that has to clean up the mess after all the ‘Food Tech’ activities?
After seven years of being a full time homemaker it has been too easy for me to forget how much work it is for the teachers and support staff with all the planning and execution of every lesson and every activity that they have to do on a daily basis. This horrid virus situation has made me appreciate even more than usual the amount of work that is being done by our wonderful staff at Stapleford, not just today but every day! The work that’s set it’s certainly helping to give us structure and routine and as a family is helping us to manage our time more efficiently. So a huge thank you to all our staff for being so dedicated to the education of our children and wonderful school. As Mr Shillito knows, I’ve always kept an open mind about going back to school when Riley is older but I’ve now realised with all this schoolwork that I’m far too old, unorganised and tired to ever consider being back in a classroom!
Wishing you all a happy and peaceful Easter, and please step away from the Easter Eggs!
DAY FIVE 27/03/20
Dear Parents and Carers
I hope that you are all well and that you are enjoying spending time with your children.
With the school being closed and children being asked to complete much of their work through online resources I thought it was important to remind everyone of the importance of staying safe online. The links below provide information for both children and their parents regarding how to do this.
- Internet matters – for support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online
- London Grid for Learning – for support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online
- Net-aware – for support for parents and careers from the NSPCC
- Parent info – for support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online
- Thinkuknow – for advice from the National Crime Agency to stay safe online
- UK Safer Internet Centre – advice for parents and carers
- Childline – for support
- UK Safer Internet Centre – to report and remove harmful online content
- CEOP – for advice on making a report about online abuse
At a time when our children cannot meet up I can really see the value in them being able to chat online with their friends in a controlled experience. However, it remains important that we help them all to learn what is appropriate within this medium so that everyone enjoys the experience.
From a parenting point of view I believe it is essential that we are aware of who our children are playing games with online and the types of conversations that they are having. My own children know that if I hear any derogatory comments or swearing whilst they are playing online that they will be told to block whoever is at fault just as I would expect them to be blocked if they were guilty of the same. This is obviously a last resort because we may be locked down for several weeks and our children will need that contact with their friends to maintain their emotional well-being. As a school we cannot be there as these conversations are happening so please can I ask that all parents and carers monitor the interactions that their children are having online in order to keep everyone safe. A simple message for all of our children to remember is that “if you wouldn’t say words or phrases to somebody in person then it is not OK to say those words to them in an internet based game or phone call” – It really comes down to “Treat each other as you would like to be treated.”
It is essential that at this time we support our children’s emotional well-being more than ever. You may find the links below and attachments useful in supporting children with any anxiety they may have.
I hope you feel that they are of some use to you.
Mr Shillito (Headteacher)
For those of you who like a bit of structure in your lives; here’s what various celebrities are offering you and your kids for free daily to help with their education while schools are closed:
9.00am – PE with Joe Wicks https://youtu.be/6v-a_dpwhro
10.00am – Maths with Carol Vorderman www.themathsfactor.com
11.00am – English with David Walliams https://www.worldofdavidwalliams.com/elevenses/
12.00pm – Lunch (cooking with Jamie Oliver) https://www.jamieoliver.com/features/category/get-kids-cooking/
1.00pm – Music with Myleene Klass https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQh2wgJ5tOrixYBn6jFXsXQ
1.30pm – Dance with Darcey Bussel https://twitter.com/diversedancemix/status/1241098264373592065
2.00pm – History with Dan Snow (free for 30-days) https://tv.historyhit.com/signup/package
4.00pm – Home Economics with Theo Michaels (Mon/Wed/Fri) https://www.instagram.com/theocooks
Non-daily events include:
Science with Professor Brian Cox, Robin Ince & Guests https://cosmicshambles.com/stayathome/upcoming-schedule
9.30am Wednesday 25 March – Geography with Steve Backshall https://twitter.com/SteveBackshall/status/1242058846941712385
For your older kids, here are 50 free revision resources for 11+, GCSEs and A-Levels:
Guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
BLOG by Lily Weaver (Year 6 Pupil)
Mum and I have been at home for 15 days now because of my cough (which is almost better). I have some ideas for if anyone is bored at home. I’ve done a lot of reading, sewing, drawing and maths. I wrote a blog on purple mash today and yesterday I made a bug hotel and a mythical animal shelter. I found a packet of sunflower seeds and am going to plant them today to see how tall they can grow. They are called ‘Russian Giant’ so I think they are going to be huge!🌻
I miss school a lot and I hope you are all ok
Blog by Miss Young (Class 4 Teacher)
I hope you are safe and well. This blog has given me an idea for children in Class 4. It would great if you could keep a diary of things you are doing at home whilst school is closed. We can then share these with each other when we are able to return to school.
It is very strange to be working from home, with the distraction of the TV and cupboards full of chocolate! I am making productive use of my time and trying to keep myself busy. I must have the cleanest home in Hertfordshire with the amount of housework I have been doing.
I have also been working hard. Mr Shillito has been keeping us busy with plenty of work. That’s right, teachers have homework too. I have enjoyed looking through all of Class 4’s Learning Journals as I updated them. It has been great to reflect on the progress you have all made so far this year and I’m sure you will continue to do so.
I hope you are keeping busy at home, working your way through your home learning activities. Remember it is important to read everyday so please try your best to make sure you are doing this. Also, it’s important to stay active and it’s been great to hear how many of you have been using Joe Wicks PE session. I must confess I have not had a go at this myself, but it sounds super.
These may be difficult times but it’s important to stay positive. Make the most of having this time at home, spending time with your families and making memories (it’s not all about the work).
Stay safe and I hope to see you all back at school soon.
DAY FOUR 26/03/20
Fancy a sing song?
Young voices have set up a – Young Voices at Home Channel on You Tube or Facebook. I think they are looking at Andy ( Urban Strides ) also being involved – the children that attend choir love him!
YV At Home – Tom Billington Monday 30th March 10am Facebook Live
The fabulous Tom Billington is our special guest on Monday and will do some fun vocal warm ups and get you involved singing his special song written especially for YV in 2016 – Hyper
Poem sent in by Reverend Jenny
Thought for the day – a poem called Pandemic by Lynn Ungar.
What if you thought of it as the Jews consider the Sabbath – that most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now, on trying to make the world different than it is.
Touch only those to whom you commit your life.
And when your body has become still,
Reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now).
Know that our lives are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has become clear).
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils of compassion that move, invisibly, where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love…..
For better for worse,
In sickness and in health,
As long as we all shall live.
Blog from Lisa Newman (Parent)
I hope you are all ok?
In order to facilitate using Google’s augmented reality animal thing, I set Edie and Fraser fact finding about pandas, sharks and various other animals. We discussed what they found out and talked about the size of the animals.
Then we met them! Photos to follow.
Blog from Noah Morgan (Pupil)
Noah here : )
Hope you guys are alright and keeping safe. I know this self-isolation stuff can be boring but we can all get through this together. Hopefully everyone has at least a couple of things to do.
I know some of you are a bit bored but I will share some things that I am doing to hopefully get you guys through the day without being bored, (will it work? I have no clue) but these are some recommendations that you might like. (If you are year six this will mainly suit you).
I only start work at 9am so if your parents let you do that too, you can kick back and relax watch TV or youtube – do what you want. But at nine I have to do some daily exercise: anyone can do it young or old. You may have heard of a guy called Joe Wicks – well he livestreams on youtube and does what he calls ‘PE with Joe’ every week day. He will be doing this until schools re-open. It is a simple half an hour workout.
Then I do half an hour of reading, you guys might not do it for so long but it is a good way to calm yourself down after the exercise. Afterwards I do an activity on purple mash until quarter-to 11. Followed by some maths until my ten minute break time at 20 past 11.
After that, I go on SPAG.com, a website that does different spag tests for your teacher to set for you (if you are lower down in the school only go on if you have a password and username).
Then (only do this if you are year six or two), I do a sats paper of my choice: you don’t have to do all of it at once, just do ten or fifteen questions a day. And then I have the day to myself I can sit back and relax.
That’s it for now but if you have time, go for a run or jump on a trampoline (if you have one) but just get outside whilst the weather is nice.
That is all from me but, stay calm, stay positive, stay active and stay inside healthy.
Blog from Kelly Fordham (Parent)
After being inside for a few days we took a walk over the woods. Making sure if we saw anyone else to keep the recommended distance! Logan found an old tree with a hole in the middle, a fairy door and a mass of coloured rocks. We also saw the start of the bluebells arrival, spring is truly on its way which is a lovely sight and a reminder that new beginnings are just around the corner.
Picture from Vivien Marshall (School Governor)
Blog by Mrs B Phillips (Class 3 teacher)
Still seems very strange to be getting ready for school. My morning routine is feeling stress free so far. This week I’m not having to constantly call up to my teenage daughter each morning to see whether she is ready or not to leave for school. She always seems to be sat at her dressing table applying her bronzer and fixing her ever so beautiful lashes for school each morning. After all these years she is still yet to realise that I’ve got to get myself to work after dropping her off at school. But hey! “It’s only work mum” so she keeps on reminding me. My daily commute each morning is great too! Hardly any cars on the road which means I arrive even earlier.
Class 3, I will continue to upload work onto Purple mash and SPAG.com for you to complete. Don’t forget to complete your daily exercise with ‘‘P.E with Joe” | Daily LIVE workouts for kids | The Body Coach.
Stay safe and healthy.
See you all soon
Mrs B Phillips (Class 3 teacher)
DAY THREE 25/04/20
Grace and Edward have been busy creating rainbows today at school with Mrs Hobbs. Such a lovely photo.
Blog by Mrs Morgan (Class 1 Teacher)
We hope you are all keeping safe and well. The weather is beautiful today so that has kept us all smiling : )
We started our day by completing Joe Wicks’ morning work out. I must say we really enjoyed this and we had already improved since our Monday morning session!
Even though some of you are not physically in school, we can see that you are all enjoying the online activities on Purple Mash. This is a great resource and it means your teachers can feedback directly to you. Feel free to write us a little message too. Reading your comments certainly made Mrs Morgan smile today.
Keep going with SPAG.com too. This is another great resources where you can challenge your understanding and test yourself.
Taking advantage of the sunshine we had our lunch outside and made the most of the weather. If you can get out into your garden – do – this made us feel really energised and it was like having our very own picnic.
Has anyone seen the 30 day Lego challenge? If not – have a look. It gives you a challenge you can do each day. I started this yesterday and made my initials out of Lego. Take some pictures and email them to us – I would love to see your designs. Any up for a Stapleford ‘Lego Masters’ style competition?
We do miss you all so keep in touch and keep going with the brilliant online and at-home learning!
Thinking of you all and sending out ‘air hugs’ to you all!
Mrs Morgan (Class 1 Teacher)
Blog by Andy Ling (Parent)
Here you go James, some pics and an insight in to how us working parents are coping… (I’ve made it look and sound much easier than it is!)
Firstly, the kids are being amazing. You’d be proud. We have a scheduled timetable starting with PE with Joe at 9am, then set 30min lessons throughout the day with set breaks and an hour for lunch. We also try end the day at 4pm with an outdoor activity (in garden or walk/cycle miles from anyone in the woods we’re lucky enough to live directly next to).
Spag and purplemash are proving a god send providing Emma and I a bit more time to get some work done. The kids are doing so much reading too – see this hoard that arrived from The Book People today…Highly recommend – and so remarkably cheap.
We’re both seriously busy working parents, and I’m a business owner too with 24 staff (including 5 call centre agents most of whom are in their bedrooms at their parents house and have no experience of remote working) so it’s not an easy time, but a disciplined routine for the kids and a flexible approach to work (I.e.late nights still on email after kids are down!) is the current recipe to getting through this.
All sounds textbook but no doubt it’ll all go out the window at some point – along with our sanity!
Andy Ling (Parent)
Photos of PE in the garden with Tristan and Andree
Today we have done another garden challenge (making the most of the sun)
X10 laps of our 3 level garden with lots of stairs! Tristan got to 10 and Andree managed 7!
Eye of the tiger music in background he he!
Mrs Melville (Parent)
From Alan Smith Bishop of St Albans
The Bishop’s Coronavirus Golden Rules
Not official advice but this is food-for-thought about our attitudes.
Golden Rule One. Each one of us can think about how we can protect and support our neighbours. So much of the public rhetoric is sowing fear about the danger of other people. So, taking all the official precautions, offer help and reassurance to others – and don’t demonise anyone or any group.
Golden Rule Two: Think about who may be suffering more than me. For those of us who are healthy there is much less to worry about but the elderly, the housebound and those with chronic health conditions may be very anxious. How about each church undertaking an audit of all the vulnerable people they know and sharing out the responsibility to phone them each day. There’s nothing like a friendly voice to offer solace when someone is worried. A smile can bring cheer, even on the phone. If you visit, follow all the official precautions or don’t go.
Golder Rule Three. Don’t give into panic and start hoarding food. There is plenty to go around, so practise the Christian discipline of sharing. Ask your neighbours what they need and do you best to help them get it. If you are self-isolating you will of course need some supplies.
Golden Rule Four. Live today to the full. None of us ever know what the future holds. In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6. 25 – 34), Jesus challenged his followers to live each day fully and not be afraid. Every time we are tempted to give in to fear we need to make a conscious choice to respond in trust and openness.
And, along with just over half the adults in the UK, don’t forget to pray. Here’s a suggestion from the Revd Louise Collins, a Team Vicar in Borehamwood, Herts:
Dear God our Shield and our Defender, guide and protect my neighbour in this time of health emergency; deliver them from all harm and may your love and care ever grow in this place. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord, Amen.
+Alan St Albans
DAY TWO – 24/03/20
Blog by Mrs Melville (Parent)
Morning! We think the blog is a great idea!
Tristan spent yesterday afternoon in the garden making dad a beer/wine chair with a view over the heath! This was a maths task on how to build something when working with sloped land! So he had to use calculation, design, build and imagination techniques! Stay safe!
Blog by Mrs Mali (Class 2 Teacher)
I hope everyone is safe, well and healthy!
I am at home, fine and well. I have really enjoyed reading your work that you are submitting on purple mash and well done to those children that have started their work on SPAG.com.
Remember to keep checking purple mash! I am regularly checking for work that has been submitted and sending you comments and feedback to you. Remember even though we are learning from home, lets still remember to always do our best with our learning. I am so proud of how hard you all are working and self-motivated you are! Keep it up.
A little bit about what else I have been doing at home:
Day one began with checking your work, sending feedback to you on purple mash. I also did a little bit of other school work and then began some learning time with Yuvraj! We also had a go at the Joe Wicks PE session! Now you all know PE is not my favourite subject, but it is so important to stay active. Send me a quick message on purple mash if you had a chance to do this too. Let’s see if we can try do some PE activity every day!
Some more ideas for learning at home (some of these are specific to Class 2):
- Daily reading- register for http://worldebooklibrary.org/ it has a huge catalogue of books and it’s free to join.
- Listening to stories (a great chance to “share a story”)
- Purple Mash serial mash-Busters Blitz https://www.purplemash.com/#todos
- Purple Mash 2do – grammar. https://www.purplemash.com/#todos
- It would be lovely, if you could keep a diary of what you do whilst off school. (maybe do this in your blue notebook)
- www.spellingframe.co.uk Spellings– set yourself a challenge to learn the spellings of the year 3 and 4 spelling words. Ask your adult to test to figure out which words you know and which ones you need some work on!
- www.hitthebutton.co.uk – log on to this website to practise your times table
- www.topmarks.co.uk has lots of maths games, that we play in class
- https://www.purplemash.com/#app/games/fracwall use this game to practise your fraction knowledge.
- As we never got a chance to make our Viking long boats, it’s time to get creative. Use materials around your house (cereal boxes, lego, plastic cartons) to make your Viking long boat. Take a picture and (if possible) print this and stick this in your blue notebook.
Class 2 Blog:
I have created a class 2 blog in purple mash. I am hopeful that this will work and we can send messages to each other via this. Please can you try to send me a message. To find it follow these instructions:
- Enter 2blog in the search button
- Click on the icon
- Go to Class blog
- Here you will see a message from me.
- Send me or any one of your friends a message and I will then approve the message, so everyone can access it.
- (only children from class 2 are able to view messages)
DAY ONE – 23/03/20
Blog by Mr Shillito (Headteacher)
Morning everyone. So I never thought I would be writing this….a daily blog because the school is closed! We really are in a period of history that is extremely different to anything that we have ever experienced before. This is something that future generations may well be learning about in their history curriculum!
But why a blog? Well, I just thought that if we had a space where we can all contribute content it may help us all to maintain the wonderful sense of community that I know exists in our small part of the world. So how will it work? I will aim to post a blog on online every day for the length of time that the school is closed. Not all of the blogs will be written by me. I have asked all of the staff to contribute too and in time I am hoping that pupils and their families will email email@example.com with blogs of what they have been up to. If you send photos for the blog it would be great so I will take it that if you email me your pics you are happy for me to post them online. You can find the blog on the school website https://stapleford.herts.sch.uk/coronavirus-blog/
Yesterday was the first day of the school closure and we were looking after four key worker children. The school had a strange feel about the place. Almost like an INSET day at the start of the autumn term but without as much chocolate and cake. Routines are, I believe, key for maintaining our sanity as we enter a period of lockdown for most of us. With that in mind the school day kept to the normal times. At 9:00am the staff on the rota to be at school all joined the children in the school hall to do “PE with Joe Wicks.” I have heard that some of you also joined in at home. If Barney and Molly want to send me the picture of themselves in their PE kits I will share it with you all. Unfortunately I wasn’t wearing my PE kit and brogues aren’t great for High Intensity Interval Training so I achieved a “must try harder” grade. I will be better prepared today and will be joining in with my boys at home. If you would like to join in with the live PE lesson today you can find it on https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAxW1XT0iEJo0TYlRfn6rYQ . After that the children completed the same work that has been planned by your teachers for you all at home. They took advantage of the sunshine and had a picnic lunch on the field and before you knew it was time for them to go home. The staff were brilliant. Classrooms were turned upside down and cleaned top to bottom in preparation for the time when we can return to school. I eventually returned home to find that my boys had actually completed the tasks they had been set by their teachers – let’s see how long that lasts. This had allowed my wife to work uninterrupted for quite some time but I fully appreciate how hard this is going to be. Apparently Arthur had decided to make a smoothie with the Nutribullet blender whilst my wife was in the middle of a conference call. Later they decided to get creative and completed Lego sets and made cookies. With that in mind I am up early this morning in the hope that I can get part of my working from home day completed before they become too demanding. I suppose if they become too much of a distraction I can always zip them in the trampoline so they can run off some steam, much like a hamster in a wheel.
Take care and look after each other.
Written by James Shillito, Headteacher