• Places available in Year 3 & Year 5. Call the office on 539033 or email bevr@htpd.surrey.sch.uk

No 175

27 March 2020

Dear Children, Parents and Carers,

What an unusual week it’s been! I thought I’d write my newsletter in two sections while we’re not all together. I wanted to connect with the children first and then update parents and carers too. First then to the children:

It’s been so strange in school without most of you here. If we’d been together, our thought of the week would have been about not being materialistic. That is, not relying on things, money and stuff to keep us satisfied. The person coming face to face with Jesus was the rich man who realises that money hasn’t made him happy (Matthew 19). Think about what gives you the most joy. What makes a person truly rich? Are you good at sharing your possessions? I think God is helping us to understand that all we really need is to know that we are loved.

I’ve really enjoyed seeing your amazing work that you’ve been busy with at home. The best thing is seeing you living out our school values, even when we’re apart. So many of you have seen “heaven in the moment” – the sunshine and flowers have been cheering us all up and lots of you are making the most of time outdoors. The optimistic and hopeful way that you’ve adapted to learning at home shows that your zest for learning is as strong as ever!

I’ve also been really impressed to hear stories of children “imagining the journey in another’s footsteps”. Do make sure that you keep the people around you cheery too. And if you can keep in touch with older family members online, I know that will make them so much happier as well. One girl in Year 6 has challenged her grandparents to learn the names of the capital cities, and to spell the top 100 most tricky words!

I’ll write again next week, but do keep letting us know how you’re getting on. I’m praying that you all stay safe and well – and I’m missing you very much!

Now, back to you parents and carers:

Firstly, thank you for your amazing support. Your messages of kindness have really buoyed all of us along. Thank you too for adapting so well to this new way of doing school. Please do call the school office (539033) if you’re having trouble accessing the work online. Our home-school link workers, Lucy and Bridgit are still working hard, albeit remotely. Please do email them (lucyc@htpd.surrey.sch.uk or bridgitb@htpd.surrey.sch.uk) or call Lucy on 07500 663277 (this is an old phone, so it won’t receive texts!) if you need any support. It’s been lovely to share photos on Twitter of all the different home learning activities that are going on so do keep emailing class teachers and me.

You’ll also see on our website and on Twitter that I’ve posted some of the amazing entries for the recent Royal Academy Young Artists Competition. We were so thrilled with the quality and chose a selection to go forward to the next round…let’s hope that some of them get selected to be exhibited at the Royal Academy later in the year!

We are starting to make plans for how we will move forward into next term. This first couple of weeks has been our first response – we had to adapt very quickly and make plans overnight about how to run a virtual school. We will continue to provide ideas for your children over the two weeks that follow (from Monday 6th April; these would have been the Easter break) – we intend to make these a bit different and more like a “holiday-club” approach. Each day, we’ll make some suggestions about what you might like to do to at home, but it won’t be as structured as currently. In this way, we can give the majority of our staff team a much needed rest. There will still be an update every day on the “Just to keep you going” pages – but there will just be one for HT and one for PD, rather than separate ideas for each year group. In school, it will be similar for our children of key workers.

Then, when the summer term starts (from Monday 20th April), we’ll be back with more ideas for keeping education a priority at home. That is assuming that we will still be staying at home at that point. We are exploring ways to use technology to keep in touch and will let you know about that once we have a plan. Our priority is to support you to keep your children well, to stimulate them into learning and to show them that we can still be connected and part of the HTPD community even in these challenging circumstances. Whilst it’s hard to understand the enormity of the crisis that we’re facing, I do feel that it’s reminding all of us of the things that really matter. Caring for one another, sharing one another’s burdens and walking together through the darkest of times is how we will need to live. I’m comforted by the words in the Bible that say “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.” He is, and always has been our ever-present help in times of trouble. With love and prayers,


Thought of the week: “Trust God and He will supply your every need,” Philippians 4, v 19