Important Updates

Dear parents/carers,

Thank you to all of the parents who promptly completed the questionnaire as requested  in our letter to you earlier this week. As we close for ‘half-term’ we feel that we need to update you on some significant changes to the proposed draft plan for the wider reopening of All Souls.

Firstly, we must express our frustration at the increasing number of hoops we must jump through in order to be ready to welcome back, in a steady, phased manner, the children who the government have deeming eligible to return.  It has been, and continues to be, an incredibly complex process and we are well aware that the decisions which we are forced make will inevitable disappoint, upset and even anger some parents.  We completely understand this emotional response, but please be reassured that, ultimately, we want what you want; whether that be you continuing to keep your child at home, embracing the home learning programme, which we are committed to continuing to provide and develop – or – whether that be your child returning to All Souls this term.

With regret, we feel we should make you aware of the following amendments to the draft plan:

  • Presently we are unable to facilitate the return of the Nursery class. We are currently working with those parents affected to support them in seeking an alternative solution.
  • From the first day of wider opening, whenever that may be, there will be no extended services (i.e. breakfast and afterschool club) available to any parents, including those classified as Key Workers or where there children are classed as vulnerable. We know this will cause significant disruption and problems for those parents who have come to rely on the service.  Unfortunately, during these difficult times, we are struggling to financially sustain All Sorts and indeed many of the staff are furloughed.  Having explored the impact of withdrawing staff from furlough, it is clear that this would render the service untenable within a matter weeks.  The few All Sorts staff that have continued to work, and to whom we are hugely grateful, are now needed to restore the core function of All Sorts as a childcare provider, therefore meeting the government expectations of Early Years as a priority, and so are unable to have any contact with children outside of their ‘bubble’.
  • It would seem that in our eagerness to reopen the school and in being open and honest about our intention, in suggesting a date (2nd June) as a possible reopening date, that we have gone against the advice of the Local Authority. This is because, as they are correct and right to point out, all school ‘reopening plans’, risk assessments and health and safety policies must be reviewed and approved by several external authorities and unions before a school is deemed safe and ready to reopen.  This is going to take some considerable time and may delay any reopening of the school considerably.

We are hugely grateful for the many kind and supportive messages we have received from parents over the last few days/weeks.  They have certainly kept us going!

We’d just like to reiterate that your frustrations are shared and we really wish that we had a greater say and influence over the present situation.

We hope that you and your families remain safe and well and that you are able to rest and enjoy some time together as a family over half-term.

Best wishes,

Mrs Quinn

Ascension of The Lord 2020

Tomorrow will be the Ascension of the Lord. This is a very special day in the Church as it is the day that Jesus left his disciples on Earth and went to join his Father in Heaven. Jesus was with the disciples on the Mount of Olives and he made his promise to the disciples that they would soon receive the Holy Spirit, and asked them to remain in Jerusalem until the Spirit had come. As he blessed them he began to ascend into heaven to take his seat at the right hand of God.

There are four very important lessons that we need to remember from this most special day:

  • Jesus is Lord in heaven, but he is also Lord in our hearts. Even though he is no longer on Earth, he will be with us forever; in our hearts, in our minds and in our actions.
  • We do not have to be afraid of Jesus leaving us because Jesus has gone ahead to prepare a place for us in heaven with those who love God. All of our friends and family members that have gone before us up to Heaven have met Jesus and one day so will we.
  • We know and feel real things we cannot see, like our parents’ and friends’ love. Just because something isn’t visible doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. We can’t see Jesus or God but we know they exist and we can grow closer to them through prayer.
  • The disciples needed to say goodbye to Jesus, and as Jesus left them, they turned to be closer to each other, to learn more about Jesus and to let others know about the Jesus who awaits them in heaven. That is exactly what we need to do. When things seem to be hopeless we need to join together and provide support to the people we love.

It would be great if the children could participate in mass tomorrow to mark this very special occasion. There is a link below to celebrate with Fr. Anton from the Oratory. This is a Mass for children and will go live tomorrow (Thursday 21 May 2020) at 9:00am https://t.co/NToPC7gr41?amp=1

Keep praying and if you are looking for some new resources to help with prayers and meditation there are some extra resources below.
All the staff at All Souls’ xx

Extra resources:

Christian Meditation: The Catholic Children’s Society in collaboration with the World Community for Christian Meditation have a YouTube channel. New meditations are posted every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for children and every Thursday for young people. https://www.bdes.org.uk/resources-for-prayer-and-learning.html

Novena to the Holy Spirit: It would be lovely if all families could try to say a Novena starting tomorrow and leading up to the celebration of Pentecost: the birthday of the Church. https://www.bdes.org.uk/resources-for-prayer-and-learning.html

This week’s Mass for the Sick and their families, NHS Front Line Workers and those working in Social Care will be celebrated by Bishop Mark Davies at Shrewsbury Cathedral at 7:00 on Thursday 21 May. https://t.co/7GVCZU1Pmf?amp=1

CAFOD continue to update their resources for schools and homes. Their new focus is ‘Make this a summer of hope.’ On Thursday 18 June they are holding a National School Assembly on the theme of hope.
https://cafod.org.uk/Education/Education-resources?utm_campaign=11548304_Summer%20of%20hope%20GS%20edit%20final&utm_medium=email&utm_source=The%20Catholic%20Agency%20for%20Overseas%20Development%20%28CAFOD%29&dm_i=12IB,6VIQ8,RGLPEY,RLIKQ,1

Year 2 Zoom meetings

Year 2…it is finally our go! Emails have been sent out this evening with details about joining our zoom sessions tomorrow. There are 3 groups, so make sure you’re up and ready for it! Please make sure you have something to share like a picture, a piece of work or maybe a growing plant!

I can’t wait to see you all!

Miss Clarke

Fun in the Sun!

We have had a great couple of days in the sunshine and crafting inside.  We made aeroplanes to say Thank You to the Key workers and hung them up in the Forest School. We played in the shade and had an lce lolly treat. We also made spinning discs and decorated our initial.

 

Week 8!

We’ve had another busy week in school! At the start of the week, we worked on our gymnastics skills on the PE apparatus, built dens and played with Lego. We went on a mini-beast hunt in forest school and then looked at what we found under microscopes. In the afternoon, we created some beautiful art work by sketching what we could see under the microscopes.

Later in the week, we played outside on our bikes and scooters and on the climbing frame. After that, we had a game of rounders which was very fun! We also received some wonderful packs from Coventry Building Society, and Leo and Milo’s mum, which included a notebook and lots of pens and pencils. We used these to make some lovely pieces of art while we were cloud watching.

We finished off our week with more games, followed by some finger painting which led to us creating a wonderful tree which served as a focal point for our wonderfully led prayer service.

We have had another super week. A big thank you to Mr Rolison, Miss Clarke, Miss Piercy, Mrs Durrans and Mrs Prashar for all their hard work this week! 

 

Continuing our Faith Journey

Just an update on accessing resources to continue the children’s faith development at home. Here there is an assembly that the children can watch and join in with at home, there are questions and reflection opportunities so they can do this independently but might be quite nice as a family activity.

https://www.tentenresources.co.uk/primary-subscription/assemblies/assembly-2020-05-18/2020_05_18_assembly_for_home/

I have loved receiving your photos of prayer areas; please continue to send these for our Catholic Life books. Ten: ten have provided liturgies for the past few weeks which some of you have already accessed. These are great step by step guides for those of you who may be struggling with new ideas or are new to having prayer services at home. Before you start you may want to gather the family together. This might be in the same room or if you are in different places, you might gather online, using Skype, for example. You will then need to decide who is going to be Prayer Leader. You could have more than one Prayer Leader. The Prayer Leader should read aloud all of the text on screen where indicated. Everybody else can join in with the parts where indicated. You may like to light a candle to mark the start of your Family Liturgy. Once you are ready to start click ‘Read more’ to start the service.

https://www.tentenresources.co.uk/primary-subscription/prayers-for-home/sunday-liturgy-for-families/

In addition, there is access to the daily prayers. This week the aim is to help children to relate to God in a personal, fun and tangible way. The prayer allows children to think of God not as a distant figure in the sky, but as a personal God who came down to earth and walked and talked just like we do!

The prayers for each day are the same: a litany of 12 prayers with actions. Adults or older siblings can join in to encourage the children to follow the actions by joining in themselves! The prayers naturally conclude with a more reflective tone, so please encourage children to close their eyes and reflect at the appropriate moment during the prayer time.

https://www.tentenresources.co.uk/primary-subscription/prayers-for-home/homeprayer-2020-05-11/

The final resource is a recommendation from a parent at All Souls’. She has used the resource and her children actively engage with it. Having had a look, it is a great resource and is at the child’s level throughout. There are homilies and reflections for any Bible story you can think of and provides a guide to what the weekly Gospel stories mean in an age appropriate way.

https://lectiotube.com/catholic-kids-homilies/

I hope the children are continuing their faith journey at home, although different to their normality, in prayer and reflection we can find peace. Any worries, concerns or thoughts can be shared through prayer and it can be very powerful.

I look forward to receiving more photos of your prayer times.

Stay safe,
Miss Corkerry

Happy Birthday Mrs McCloskey!

Here are some wonderful portraits from the Nursery children which I think Mrs McCloskey will love – but I think she’ll love her estimated ages even more! Have a fabulous day – we love and miss you Mrs McCloskey!

Aisling – Mrs McCloskey has bright red nails and she is 44.

Harris thinks Mrs McCloskey is 17.

Roisin thinks Mrs McCloskey is 12.

 

And finally a special message from Julian……..

Year 3 Zoom Call

Year 3 will be taking part in a series of Zoom calls on Wednesday 13th. The children will be split into three groups to ensure children get the chance to talk – and be heard – and so that children don’t become overwhelmed. Parents, you will receive an email tomorrow to let you know which group your child will be in.

The times are:

Group A: 10:45

Group B: 11:30

Group C: 13:00

Details to join will be given closer to the time, via email. Please let me know if you have any questions.

I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday!

Dear Parent / Carer

Firstly, and most importantly, we hope you and your families are all safe and well.  We are very aware and saddened that some of you have recently suffered the loss of loved ones; we send you our deepest sympathy and will continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

Thank you all for your commitment to home learning and for keeping us updated with all the wonderful work and fun children have been having.  Fun and relaxation are most important activities during this difficult time, so if home learning is getting stressful maybe consider reducing it or leaving it for a while, but please do not allow children too much time on electronics and gadgets etc as this can create greater problems.

I am sure after the Prime Minister’s statement last night you must have lots of questions. We have lots of questions that need clarification too but we have time to get answers to these before we consider opening the school for some children; we all just have to be patient for a little longer.

At this stage, we must be clear on exactly what the Prime Minister said, “In step two, at the earliest by 1st June, after half term, we believe we may be in a position to begin the phased reopening of shops and to begin to get primary children back into schools in stages, beginning with Reception, Year 1 and Year 6.”  Understandably, there remains a lot of uncertainty as 1st June is three weeks away and the unpredictability of this virus means planning ahead is extremely difficult, so much could change before then.

With the statement only being made last night, it is too early for us to have received any guidance from the DFE and Local Authority to support us in devising a new plan to start the phased reopening of school for some year groups.  We expect we will receive further information from the DFE during the week, hopefully with some clarification and guidance on how we can keep children, staff and families safe, expectations around social distancing, pupil numbers, hygiene, timetabling, organisation, attendance/non-attendance and suggestions as to how these can be achieved.  We will then need time to plan and implement these, ready to start welcoming children back into school.

We are very aware that school is not going to be the same as when the children left in March, it is going to be a very different environment and we want to ensure we get it as comfortable, caring and safe for the children as we possibly can.  We know the first priority will be their well-being, reducing anxieties, offering reassurance, restoring relationships, confidence, routines, expectations etc; this too will take time to plan for and a lot of time and commitment once we start receiving children back into school.  But please be reassured, children are at the heart of All Souls and we will do all we can for as long as it takes to ensure they feel safe and well cared for.  We owe all children this, as they too have been heroes throughout lockdown!

At the moment for us in school, there is no change to the guidance.  We will continue to provide care for those children whose parents’ work is critical to the COVID-19 response and those that cannot be safely cared for at home.  The message is still that it is safer to stay at home. 

As always, we will keep you up dated and inform you immediately once the Governors have received and considered the guidance that we are sure will follow from the DFE, Local Authority and Diocese and are ready to make a decision on the way forward.

In the meantime, please do not worry; our plan is to continue to provide activities for home learning, to keep contact with you via the website, newsletter, phone calls, virtual meetings, door step visits and to continue to support our families as best we can in these difficult and uncertain times.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all staff who have done such a marvellous job in supporting all children and they have done this selflessly and with such love, care and positivity.  They truly are a great team.

A small positive that has come out of this situation but one that cannot in anyway be underestimated and is most powerful, is that the All Souls Community has proven itself to be one that truly lives out the Gospel values.  Amongst our families and parishioners there have been so many wonderful examples of love, compassion, service, care, generosity, reconciliation, hope, friendship, togetherness and so much more.  There is a great pride in our sense of belonging which has been strengthened through our faith and it is this that we will rely on, particularly in the next few months and it is this that will give us the determination, positivity and ability to work through an extremely difficult period that will continue for some time.

Please continue to take care of each other and stay safe.

Yours faithfully

Caroline Quinn

Headteacher