“HALF term arrives on what we hope will be a warmer wind… and with it a sense of anticipation that at least the younger years in King’s Ely Junior may be heading back to school soon. We shall have to see what the announcement on the 22nd February offers by way of encouragement for the 8th March but for now, please be reassured that we are eager to be welcoming all the children back on site as soon as it is deemed the appropriate thing for us to do.

“Between now and the resumption of remote learning on the 22nd, we wish your families a restful and healthy half term break after what has been a really protracted time studying via the internet. Last week’s short break from tech showed us that there are many ways the children can occupy themselves away from the digital world. Perhaps the weather over half term will be kind and allow the children the chance to venture outside and see the shoots of spring appearing during daylight hours?

“Whatever they do, we hope that they will be celebrating the start of 2021 which has been full of productive and engaged learning online. The children’s feedback to us via a recent survey was heartening to see and the team will be reviewing the children’s observations ahead of our return. We will look to further smooth our approaches based on the comments made but it seems that there is broad agreement that the ways we have been working have been far superior during this lockdown compared to the first. The headlines of the survey were unsurprising in that the children were overwhelmingly in favour of the face-to-face Teams lessons and the interactive times spent with their teachers and friends. Some reported that this was a little too intense for their liking but they favoured it to the delivery of work via email or Firefly without contact from the teachers. Some children commented on how important it is for the teachers to ensure that their lessons keep to the slightly shorter lesson times we have published and meanwhile, other children asked for more work. Whatever the feedback received, the constructive comments and commitment towards learning well was palpable in the replies. I am very positive about the children’s approach this term and am also in awe of how colleagues have exhausted themselves in order to deliver a service befitting of their dedication to the children.

“In closing, just a heartfelt expression of thanks for the way in which you have partnered us in working through this period of schooling. Your support, kindnesses and occasional contributions via the screens have all helped to fuel and sustain our KEJ spirit so far this term.”

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