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We are overwhelmed by the positivity of your Socrative comments. The vast majority of you have been very accepting of the fact that you can't be with all of the classmates who you would choose to be with, either because of distancing or because your friends are not returning to school, and we're very proud of you for that.
Here are some of the positive things you've said:
"I am excited to go back to school to see the changes."
"I just want to get back to normal learning."
"I do not have any concerns about going back to school. My positives are being able to see some of my friends."
"It will be different but we will get used to it."
"I don't have any worries and I am looking forward to going back."
"I'm ready to finish the rest of year 6 in a good way."
"I'm not worried. I'm looking forward to seeing friends and teachers."
"I am very excited to go back and see my friends again.”
"I'm too happy to worry about anything."
Lots of you have said that you are a bit nervous about the changes. That's totally understandable. It's a bit like the start-of-year feeling when you more-or-less know what's going to happen but you're still not quite sure what to expect. I would imagine that's a feeling we all share but we will look after each other.
One or two of you have mentioned a concern that other children may not observe social distancing properly. Keeping apart is something that we are all going to have to try really hard to do, especially outside. It should be straightforward in the classroom as the places where you stand and sit have been carefully marked. Mr Harris has worked incredibly hard to make the space safe for us. He must be a 2m expert by now! We've just got to be disciplined in our approach. We'll soon adapt.
Some of you asked some good questions:
Will we have assemblies?
No. We cannot use the halls. There will be opportunities for reflection in classes, though.
Will there be computing?
The Computer Studio is needed for the Day Care children to work in. There may, however, be tasks set for home learning.
Will we have a transition day or week?
We know as much as you do about this one. The secondary schools are working on transition arrangements and will let you and us know in due course. The various schools may approach it differently, also, so we can't give a definitive answer. It is highly unlikely to be the usual two day visit to the school, though, as the government has said this will not happen this academic year.
Will the timetables be the same?
Yes and no! Arrival and registration will be the same. You'll wash your hands when you arrive and then sit at your own table in your designated room. Your trays are on the desks with all of the equipment and books that you need. Once everyone is in, we'll do some intervention work as usual, and then do maths or English. Then, it's hand-washing time again before a twenty-minute break. You may bring a snack that can be kept in your lunchbox or your tray.
Following that, it'll be maths or English followed by some more intervention time with a focus on grammar / arithmetic. Then...it's hand-washing time!!!
You then have a 45 minute lunch break. There are 4 large zones outside. Each group will be allocated a particular zone and you rotate around these throughout the week. The edges of the zones do touch so it is possible to speak to children in other zones provided you remain 2 metres away in your own zone.
When we come back in, it's...…..hand-washing time!!! We will then do a further lesson - probably a topic lesson - and then it'll be home time at 2.45!
So the hand-washing, shortened lunchtime, no afternoon break, no assemblies and the early finish make the timetable different. The learning time in the classroom is essentially the same with a shorter afternoon session.
Where can I put my key?
You could use a keyring to clip it to your uniform. Or, you could keep it in your tray. Or, you could put it in a small plastic bag to leave with your teacher.
What do we do with our home learning work?
Bring it in! We are really looking forward to seeing it. You will put it in a box where it will be left over the weekend before we look at it. You won't be able to put it in a bag - just carry it!
How did you decide the groups?
Splitting you into 4 groups was very difficult because we had to consider many, many things in order to achieve a balance between the groups. It was impossible to have even groups and put all of you with your main friends; we really did try but there are many factors we had to consider, not just friendship groups. We are also mindful that, for some of you, your best friends aren't returning at all and we know that's especially hard for you. There is no solution that would keep everyone happy but you work and play well together and, if you aren't with who you wanted to be with, then try to see it as an opportunity to get to know other classmates a little better. We know it's difficult. It's hard for us, too, but we've got to show some of that famous Hall School resilience and respond as best we can.
Every single one of you has people in your group who you get on with and work well with. They may not be your first choice, but they are children you have worked with and got on with with for almost 7 years. You will be able to talk to your friends across the zone divide at break time, provided you maintain the 2m distance.
Allowing everyone to be with all the friends they wish to be with just isn't possible with all of the restrictions we have. Think of the difficulties you had sorting yourselves into cabins for Boreatton or groups for the Christmas Party - and that was with everyone there! There has to be an element of compromise and some inevitable disappointment. We genuinely tried to do the best we could under changing circumstances. Please try to consider that it isn't just about what you can get out of being in a particular group, it's also about what you can bring to the group. We can't answer individual questions here, but if you want to know why you are in a particular group, then we can talk to you later in the week. If you are feeling upset about it, then try to turn it into a positive: if your worry is that you are not in the same group as all of your friends, then why not think to yourself 'at least all my friends are back'? Remember: some children's best friends are not returning at all.
I have accidentally done my work in the wrong book! What shall I do?
Absolutely nothing! It really doesn't matter so don't worry. Just bring in what you've got: we'll be able to find everything!
What will we be doing in PE?
Good question! We will have PE on Tuesdays and you will come to school in your PE kit on that day to avoid the need for any changing. We are not permitted to use any equipment for PE. Fortunately, our topic is Athletics so we will still be able to complete much of the learning. There will be plenty of running and jumping!
Where will we play at break time and lunch?
The outdoors has been divided into 4 zones for our use. These are: the grassy space around play equipment (which you can't use, unfortunately), the Back Hall area and stage, including the covered classroom; the small playground and court on the side of Class 14; one half of the field; the other half of the field. The space on the ship side of the outdoors is being used by the Day Care children. You have 2 sessions in each space per week spread across the breaks and lunchtimes.
If it is raining on Wednesday, what shall we do about bringing our home learning to school?
Good question!! It would be typical, wouldn't it, if it rained on the day we came back! You could keep it in a bag until you reach the school gate, then remove the work from the bag and give the bag to a parent - good idea. Or, just wait until Thursday to hand it in: one more day won't matter. We can't handle the books until 72 hours have passed so it'll have to wait until Monday before we look at them, anyway.
If we bring back our purple books, what do we do our work in on Fridays?
Brilliant question - we hadn't thought of this scenario! We would like to see your home learning books, so we do want those bringing back to school. Therefore, we suggest that you make use of other school books you have at home (such as Spelling, GAPs, Early Bird, Draft) or use sheets of paper to do your Friday work on. It's often not written work, anyway. We could then arrange to collect work in towards the end of term. An alternative solution could be to complete your work electronically and email it into school.
Who has been writing on the website?
It has absolutely, 100% been a team effort. We both write and proofread everything before we post it to make sure it is as clear as we can make it. The jokes, we share - then we can make each other laugh, too!
The Q and A is now closed. Just try to remember that the main reason as to why we are coming back is to complete as much of the curriculum as we can so that you are ready for secondary. It would have been lovely to complete the year as a class but it can't be that way. We are just as sad about that as you are. All we can do is try to embrace the challenge of the new situation we find ourselves in and go for it!