Update and thank you

Dear Families

It seems a long time since I emailed you all; I hope this finds you safe and well and looking after each other. It has been a joy to see so many of you over the last few weeks, with the vast majority of children being in school for some sessions; over 400 children have returned at some time or another and seeing them all safe and well and happy to be here has been fantastic. I am sorry the arrangements for the ‘goodbye’ and ‘hello’ sessions were a bit complicated – they were complicated for us too! We felt it was really important for children to finish this school year and start looking forward to the next one. We are really looking forward to it!

And what a school year we have had, with many of you playing the role of teacher for so many months now. As I said in my report letter, we do understand that this time has brought real challenges for some families, both around home schooling and the worry of the national situation. We know these worries are lessening for some but for others the future of their employment is still a major concern. Over the summer, our staff will be in and out of school including for Shining Stars. If you do need us, you can email us or come to our Book Swap every Friday between 10am and 2pm.

I want to say a huge well done and thank you to all our children and their families for all they have done to support each other throughout the last 4 months. We are so proud of how you have worked together and cared for each other in such challenging circumstances. As we keep saying ‘ your best is good enough’ – it certainly has been and will continue to be so through the summer and in to next term. Our home learning activities will remain on our website including videos from children’s new teachers. I would like to say a massive thank you on behalf of all the staff for the kindness of the gifts you have brought in for us and the kind words you have written and spoken. It has been a privilege to serve you as a community throughout this time.

I would like to say a huge thank you to our staff team; they really have been a team throughout this. Every one of their roles has been vital in keeping our school safe and happy and supporting families at home. I couldn’t be prouder of them and of the positive attitude they have shown throughout. I would like to include our school governors in this, led brilliantly by Hilary, who have worked closely with us to support our work.

I would like to say a huge well done and congratulations to the Year 6 children who officially leave us today. They have been a wonderful year group (with all the quirks and issues any bunch of children have!) but seeing most of them in school this half term has made me realise what a great bunch they are and how ready for high school they are. We wish every one of them all the very best for the future and hope they will keep in touch if they need help or to let us know about all their successes. Well done, all of you, and thank you for the joy you have brought to St William’s over the last 7 years.

This is the strangest end to the strangest term I have experienced in my 18 years as a headteacher. As I keep saying, we have never done this before either. Our planning over the last few weeks has been about a safe return for everyone in September. I have attached the outline of our plan; we can’t pretend this situation is over yet but we are expecting to move to the next stage with school open for all children. We will send further details on 17th August when we will have a clearer idea of our plans but we expect this overview to be what happens next term.

So, forget home schooling (but keep reading!), try and relax and enjoy the sunshine, enjoy your time together on holiday or at home. Keep safe and keep looking after each other. Today of all days I would like to throw my arms around every one of you and say thank you and what a brilliant team the families and staff of St William’s are.

Take care everyone and keep being wonderful!

Sarah Shirras

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