March 27th 2020 Mawrth 27ain

Dear Parents and Carers,

It has reached the end of the first full week, following the closure of our school and since the notice was given by the Welsh Education Minister, we have not only seen the closure of public buildings but we have been directed in no uncertain terms to stay at home by the UK Government.

You will have sensed no doubt, through communications from the school last weekend, that our provision here in school for Key Workers was solely for those who needed emergency childcare and I sincerely thank you for the responsible way the school community has listened and adhered to that important message. We have gladly provided that care this week and will continue to do so as long as it’s needed or until the local care model changes.

The school community has therefore been operating in a different way this week, as our pupils have been experiencing home learning. It is something new for us all – for pupils, parents and teachers. It’s not going to always work, but then sometimes it’s going to be great, memorable and very rewarding. The important thing is that we don’t worry or stress about it. We are currently dealing with anxieties about things which are far more important than literacy, maths, science and topic work. The important thing is that your children – our pupils, are happy, reassured and safe. It is equally important that you parents feel the same.

You have all been given a wealth of resources and the key is to make them work for you. The weather this week has been amazing, so I hope you’ve all taken advantage of it, especially after the drenching we’ve been subjected to this winter. The most important thing to support in these strange uncertain times, is the wellbeing of the children. Yes, they need to keep learning, yes we need to keep them ticking over, but we need to keep it fresh, lively and interesting. You will have seen, I hope, that I’ve been tweeting ideas, resources and activities each day. I have done this to give you the chance to try something different, because Purple Mash, Manga High, TT Rockstars and Hwb all day will test anybody’s patience and while there is a place for regular, short visits to these platforms, there’s a lot more to life in these times of lockdown! I’ve had running battles with my youngest son this week trying to get him to do some work and trust me – trying to teach one of your own is a very different experience to teaching someone else’s child!

It’s been a genuine pleasure to have so many members of the school community engage with the @rhosstreet Twitter. To see your photos, your activities, your creations and just to get to see your faces has I’m sure, lifted the spirits of all who’ve scrolled through the many tweets. I hope the numbers of families that engage continue to increase, because we miss you all. On Saturday night at 8.30pm, it’s Earth Hour, where we’re encouraged to switch off ALL electricity for 1 hour. As in previous years, any tweets of your experences would be welcomed! Then, from Monday, please feel free to continue to send photos of the children’s learning activities, be they indoor, outdoor, online, on paper, creative, physical or scientific. Send over your rainbow pictures, show the pupils reading in silly places, share their projects and send us their smiles!

If you have any queries, need some advice, support or further ideas, please email me and I’ll try to point you in the right direction.

In the meantime, stay safe, stay at home and stay strong!

Yours sincerely,

Bryn D. Jones