I hope that this email finds you and your families well. I know that many of us are now starting to feel the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak: either members of our own families, or people close to us are starting to get ill, and it is leaving many of us anxious about the future. I hope this email will give you the opportunity to access a little bit of the St John's magic and feel a little bit of normality for a moment or two.
St John's YouTube:
It feels like a long time ago that we were all in school and it is easy to forget what normal life is like. It's actually been slightly less than two weeks- less than the usual Easter holiday- but because of the situation we find ourselves in, it seems so much longer. We are trying hard to give your children a little sense of belonging to St John's through the website, Twitter, email and Teams. We have also launched the St John's YouTube channel which means children can catch a glimpse of their teachers reading stories and giving lessons.
I am doing a virtual Stars of the Week collective worship on the channel which you can find from this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlN1hde0VzI I hope it will help children to still feel part of the St John's community.
Free School Meal vouchers:
I want to give you some background information which might clear up some confusion around the government's free-school meal vouchers.
Every child in every school up until the end of Y2 gets a free school meal. This is called Universal Free School Meals. This is not connected to wealth: any child in EYFS and KS1 gets this, regardless of how rich or poor their family might be. The voucher scheme that the government is currently running is not for these children.
The vouchers are for children who are in receipt of benefits-related free school meals because they are seen as being the most in need of financial support. They are disadvantaged by their economic situation, and one of the ways the government supports them is through giving them a free school meal. When they move into KS2, they continue to receive their meals for free.
If you have not been sent a voucher code or been contacted by the school, then you do not currently receive benefits-related free school meals.
Mrs Mahon's retirement:
Mrs Mahon retires today after over 40 years of teaching, the majority of them at St John's. She has been a pillar of strength and will be sorely missed by both the children and staff. We intend to give her a proper send-off when this situation has been resolved, but I couldn't let today go past without marking the occasion with you.
Work over the holidays:
I have told the staff to stop setting work over the next two weeks as it is the official holiday period. Children can continue to use the sites the staff have signposted them to, but the website won't be updated daily as it at the moment.
There is a video on the YouTube channel where I launch this year's Easter competition so I'm hoping that the children will still enjoy joining in. Obviously we'll have to do things differently now that we're not meeting together, but I thought children could email in their entries.
There are three age categories:
EYFS (Nursery and Reception)
Lower School (Y1,2 and 3)
Upper School (Y4, 5 and 6)
We are keeping things simple, so we are just looking for DECORATED EGGS.
These can be real (but are difficult to get hold of at the moment) or drawn.
If children use REAL eggs, then they will need to send a photograph to their teacher's or class email. They can scan a picture they have drawn, or they can use some of the tools on BGFL356 eg. JIT5 or some drawing software to create a digital graphic which they attach to an email.
The competition will end next Friday 10th Easter, and the winners will be announced the week after on our YouTube channel. I will send a ParentMail with a link when it is ready.
Very best wishes to you and your families,
"Use your God-given gifts to serve others" 1 Peter 4 v 10-11