I hope your you and your children have got back into the routines of school again following a relaxing half term break.
I had to write to you at the beginning of the week with updated guidance on COVID
procedures in school, which are not dissimilar to last half term’s, despite the relaxation of government requirements. I myself got caught out with that over the half term when I contracted a mild bout of COVID which has since kept me isolated for the full 10 days as I was unable to shrug off the last remnants of a positive test. Luckily, I have not felt too bad and continued to work from home throughout the first three days of this week. Doing my assembly from home on Wednesday on Teams, to all of the children sitting sensibly in their classrooms, was a somewhat bizarre experience, I must say.
Of course, overshadowing this, and most other things in our day to day lives, have been the awful events occurring in Ukraine. We have addressed this with the children with some gentle, non-political prayers and sharing of thoughts, care and compassion in our assemblies throughout the week. The understanding of a child in Reception is vastly different to that of a near adolescent in Year 6, so we always have to be mindful of that when talking about these issues. I am sure you will have found them equally difficult to discuss with your own children at home. At the same time, it's not right to ignore such enormous events and in time we all hope we can find a way to support in some way those people affected, either within the Ukraine or those now living as refugees in nearby countries. Please read the full details on these events in the Courier and in our separate ISAMS message.
Going back to my assembly on Wednesday, the theme was from St David who was famous for his saying ‘don't forget the little things in life’. By this he meant, I think, small things such as showing kindness and respect for one another, good manners and helpfulness, which can make such a big difference to those around us. When you see the kindness of neighbours welcoming refugees into their country this is perhaps one positive human message that we can share with the children following a harrowing week.
If you want some sound advice on talking to your children about the events in Ukraine, you may find this link helpful. It is based on the expert guidance of leading Child Psychologist Dr Alison McClymont and Dr Jane Gilmour, Consultant Clinical Psychologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital. I hope you find it helpful.