Term 6 –Week 5: July!
It doesn’t seem possible that we are in July; partly because the weather has taken a turn for the worse, but mostly because I never imagined back in March, that there would still be families with children at home in July.
The country passed a milestone this week, it has now been more than 100 days since we went into lockdown. This has meant different things for different people, but everybody has had their part to play in protecting each other from the threat of coronavirus. It is a battle that feels like we are winning, but it is definitely not over.
There are lots of changes to lockdown rules from Saturday 4th July. I can’t explain it all, but here is a link to the gov.uk website that tells you everything you need to know.
The key points are:
you can meet in groups of up to two households (your support bubble counts as one household) in any location - public or private, indoors or outdoors. You do not always have to meet with the same household - you can meet with different households at different times. However, it remains the case - even inside someone’s home - that you should socially distance from anyone not in your household or bubble
you can meet outdoors in a group of up to six people for different households; keeping 2m from people you don’t live with
Lots of different businesses will be opening; but they will all have guidelines we will need to follow to keep everyone safe. Good luck trying to get a haircut!
You may also have heard that the government has agreed to fund Free School Meal Vouchers over the summer holidays. If you are entitled to the vouchers, you will receive one after 20th July and a second one after 10th August. Don’t forget to check your emails. You will get more details soon.
I promised more ideas for home learning this week; so this is what I have found:
This link gives loads of ideas for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) activities to do at home, right across the primary age range. Don’t be put off, these are fun simple ideas to help your children learn about the world around them
If you have nursery or younger KS1 children, I particularly recommend that you look at the Dr Dog section. There are illustrated guides to explain coronavirus to young children and what they might expect when they return to nursery or school.
Here are some free home learning activities by author Helen Lewis:
1. Journey sticks - When you’re out on a walk, pick up a stick and encourage your child to collect natural objects such as leaves, feathers and acorns. Back at home, help your child attach the things they found to their stick, using wool, thread or glue, to create a ‘journey stick:’ a concrete reminder of their outing. This is a great problem-solving activity, as you need to work together to find out how to attach the objects to the stick.’
2. Rock museum - Help them set up their own rock museum. Get your child to collect stones of different shapes, sizes and colours, and arrange them in a way that pleases them – for example, by size. Encourage them to use a magnifying glass to examine each stone and write a label or make a labelled drawing explaining its characteristics.
3. Fill It - A cardboard box has so many uses, but a game of ‘Fill It’ is a great way to entertain your child while also giving them valuable insights into number, measure and volume. Give each player a small cardboard box of roughly the same size, then take it in turns to roll the dice and add the right number of cups of sand to the box. Who will fill their box first and how many cups of sand will they need?
4. Glorious mud - Playing with mud is the ultimate rainy day activity and as long as your child washes their hands well afterwards there’s no need to worry about germs. Can they watch what happens to a patch of bare ground as the rain comes down and turns it to mud? Can they make a mud pie, or squelch about with bare feet? ‘You only need a very small space to have a lot of fun.’
5. Ice building - Ice cubes make brilliant building blocks for constructing icehouses, igloos and fairy gardens. Get your child to pour different colours of juices into an ice cube tray, or add berries, chopped herbs or small flowers to each section. Then let them experiment with building different structures with the frozen cubes. Take photos of what they make to preserve them for posterity.
6. Egg box garden - Children love planting seeds and tending to them as they grow and egg boxes make perfect mini gardens for green-fingered kids. Fill each cup with a little compost then add some seeds: fast-growing ones like grass or cress are ideal. If you want to plant them out just tear the bottom off the carton.
7. Footprint fun - Try gathering up a selection of shoes from around the house and look at what sort of footprint they would make. Stand in a shallow tray of water then walk along the garden path comparing the different sizes and shapes of the footprints. Have a go at walking backwards, jumping or hopping and see how that changes them. ‘You can also explore other types of footprint made by birds or animals,’ Helen adds. ‘Try scattering bird seed in a patch of soft mud, and see if you collect any prints.’
I know that lots of families are looking to the future and wondering what September will look like here at Castle Hill. From September all children will move into their new year groups and classes. During the week beginning 13th July school reports will be given out. The pack will include information and photos of your child’s new class and teaching staff. If your children are still at home you will be invited to collect the pack. Each year group will have a specific day and time on which they can collect this. You will not be allowed to collect a year group report/pack on a date before they are released.
If your child still has a PE bag in school you will be encouraged to collect that at the same time.
Reminders for all children for September please:
As things stand there is a government expectation that all children will attend school unless medically advised to shield or asked to self-isolate. This could, of course, change depending on numbers of cases at the time
Full school uniform will be expected, including school shoes please. The shops are open again to get what you need. Remember that there is second hand uniform available through the FLOs. This is a cheap way to make sure you have enough extras for washing it every day
Nail varnish, hair dyed in unnatural colours and shaved hair patterns are not suitable for school
I hope that everyone is keeping well – please do something kind to yourself today; you deserve it.
Take care, Emma