Today we seem to have settled a little more into our new ‘normal’. Schools across the trust have 3 or 4 children; some have as many as 12 and others have no children at all in. The children are a mixture of critical worker children or those who are vulnerable.
Head teachers have created rotas so that we have a minimum number of people in the building but ensuring we are able to care for the children properly. The children in school are social distancing even though they’re not quite sure why. Adults are moving desks at least 2m apart and in the playground children are running and playing at a distance from each other. The staff are working incredibly hard to ensure that these children are happy and settled.
At home school staff are preparing work to be sent out to children. Will all of our children have access to a computer to complete this work? Particularly if their parents are working from home. Will they be able to sit and focus for hours each day on school work without any teacher input? Practicing key skills is important for all of our children so we are recommending lots of reading, maths games and project work. These are unsettling times for everyone, and we don’t want children (and their parents) stressed out about school work.
Our head teachers are still concerned about some of our vulnerable children. We have a strategy of pairing up each child with a member of staff who can carry out regular welfare phone calls. It is challenging to keep in touch with these families and it is another challenge to work with social care at a distance to ensure we are all working for the good of each family.
We still struggle with managing critical worker status, while the Government are encouraging children to stay at home with their families if they can we are receiving letters from Poundland, Pets at Home and Sport Direct classing parents as critical workers and insisting their children come to school.
We just want to keep every child, and their families, safe. We want to follow Government advice and encourage our families to stay at home if they possibly can but we also understand the huge challenge that this brings.
Everyday our critical workers drop their children at school to face another day on the front line. They want to be at home with their children where they can keep them safe but they put the public first. We pray that they are protected and safe while they work and that they are rested and well supported.
‘I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit’
© The Diocese of Chelmsford Vine Schools Trust 2020 a company limited by guarantee and registered in England. No 8709542.
Registered address: The Diocese of Chelmsford Vine Schools Trust, Diocesan Offices, 53, New Street, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1AT.