Headteachers Newsletter – 29th March 2022

Dear Parents,

I am delighted that we have been able to stay open for everyone throughout this academic year and it is such a relief that the country is able to move out of restrictions. However, as we look around the world it is obvious we have not yet seen the end of the CoViD pandemic. Indeed, in school we have seen more staff and children succumbing to this virus during this term than in any time since the pandemic began. We are seeing second and third infections of CoViD in families. As routine testing ends, it is more important than ever that we take responsibility for the health and welfare of each other and most especially the vulnerable in the community. As you know, we have several children across our setting for whom infections of any kind are a risk, so can I take this opportunity to remind you of the commonsense approaches to health. If children are unwell, even with a mild illness, it is better not to cover the symptoms with a medicine, but for one child to miss a couple of days in school, rather than infect everyone in their class.

A New start!

As we begin to emerge from the existence we have stumbled through over the last two years, we don’t simply want to return to our past. We want to build-back better and reimagine our school, our community, our life, our world. We are beginning a project to look at how our children can help us all to find a better way to be. As a start we are asking the children to think about their lives and especially how things are done in school and how they might be improved. We would also like to hear from parents and carers and anyone interested in helping the children of our community to have a better future. In the next few days you will receive a survey inviting you to think about our ideas and offer suggestions of your own to help get us started. Please look out for the children’s survey and respond.

National School Breakfast Programme

We have been invited to join this programme, and we hope to start after Easter. Through it we can provide a snack of cereal or bagel as children arrive each morning. The children will hear more about this in school but it will not impact on the arrival time each morning or the time children start their first lesson. So that all can benefit from this gift, our usual breakfast club will also receive this snack free of charge, reducing the cost of the provision to £6.

Holy Family Parish News

The next all-age family event for Holy Family Youth is on Sunday 3rd April at St Joseph’s Church Hall (TS26 9EY) 4-5.30pm. Everyone is invited! They will be exploring the Way of the Cross to mark Lent and barbequing burgers for everyone. For more information email Ric on ric@holyfamilyyouth.co.uk, 07741162085.

The Good Friday Walk of Witness will set off from all 6 of our churches on the morning of Friday 15th April. All will meet together at 11am at the town cenotaph for reflections led by our young people before heading to St Joseph’s for hot cross buns. Check the Holy Family Parish Newsletter or Facebook page for more details.

If your family would appreciate a Family Retreat in beautiful surroundings, ask at the school office for a letter about the annual Family Retreat at the Emmaus Youth Village in Consett, 14th-16th October. The parish team of young people organise activities for all the family and it’s one of the parish’s most popular events, so sign up soon.

Charity & Fundraising

I hope your children enjoyed pancakes in school, for the first time in two years. It was really good to see everyone enjoying themselves and sharing time with each other. Through your generosity we also managed to collect £204 for St Cuthberts Care.

During Lent the children have been selling Flumpets to support the local Hospice, and they are now launching our usual Easter Egg Raffle, as well as Name the bunny. This year we have a beautiful hamper to raffle too! The money raised from our raffles will be used to replace music resources, which, like everything else, seem to becoming ever more expensive.

The horror unfolding in Ukraine is affecting our children deeply. They seem more unsettled by these events than they were during the pandemic. Maybe coverage of the war’s impact upon children and their families is immediate and seems very close. We are talking about it at school and like everyone, the only solution we have is to give what we can and most importantly to pray for peace.

Yours sincerely
John L. Hardy (Head Teacher)