Newsletter, April 2020
It’s hard to know where to begin in capturing the strangeness of the last few weeks. The very difficult situation created by Covid-19 continues to change by the day, with so much impact on so many lives. What remains constant, however, is the solidarity between people in our village, the bond between friends and families – even if that connection can’t be physical – the profound gratitude we hold for our wonderful, unique NHS, and the deep concern felt for everyone we know and everyone we don’t. The Pre-School staff and committee are thinking of you and your children at this most challenging of times.
One of the many tests we face is that of homeschooling. For every parent, not just those who work, this can feel like a daunting prospect. We want to emphasise that education at home is optional. Everybody’s circumstances are different, just as every child is different, and there is no right or wrong way to be going about it. In an email sent round to primary school parents last week, headteacher Dieter Cook stressed the importance of this message. If schooling is causing stress to you or your child, then leave it. If there’s one lesson this virus is teaching us, it’s that health comes above all else.
One of the tenets of our Pre-School is that we learn through play. So, if you can, simply focus on enjoying this extra time with your child. Soak up the sunshine in your garden. Fill buckets with water and stir them with sticks. Paint pasta shapes and thread them on to string. Build a den. Mix a magic potion. Hunt for minibeasts. You might have seen the information circulated by the team on the Early Years Foundation Stage, including some suggested activities. Again, these are entirely optional. Lin and Julie also shared a recipe for Ultimate PlayDough, to keep those little fingers moving and exploring!
And try to find the silver linings in these dark skies. My mum said the other day that in the future I might look back on this period as ‘a time apart’ from the rest of my life: being in the moment instead of rushing ahead, living smaller and quieter than we do normally. I think she’s right. I went for a walk yesterday evening as the sun was setting, and there were no planes in the sky, no cars on the road. Just birdsong and long golden shadows over the fields. The world didn’t seem such a bad place, after all.
Take care of each other and stay safe.
With best wishes,
Bishop Sutton Pre-School and Forest Club Committee x