Dear Parents and Guardians of the pupils in our school,
I am writing this note to you all on the day when we would normally be getting our Easter holidays.
There’s usually an air of excitement that day, coming to the close of a term, with a feeling of work
done, mission accomplished and a spring in our steps because of the longer days and a chance for all
to recharge the batteries. But it’s so different today, isn’t it? We are anxious and unsure and we feel
that the world has changed completely. The uncertainty of it all is difficult, difficult for us as adults
and equally, if not more difficult, for our children. How long will this last?? When will schools
reopen?? When will be able to do the ordinary things again?? But we will.
Our team of teachers in St. Philip’s is a great team. I know you will agree with me in that statement.
They got together over last weekend, not physically but using technology, to put together a set of
activities for every level of pupils,3rd,4th,5th and 6th. These activities were many and varied. They
formed part of an ‘a la carte’ menu. Pupils can do some or all of them. Pick and choose! Always no
pressure!! We do not want to be part of the endless stream of messages you are getting as to how
you should occupy your children while we are in relative lockdown. There is no right answer. We
have never been here before. If happiness is being in your pyjamas for 24 hours and watching
Netflix, then go with happiness.
Nelson Mandela said that education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the
world. He spent 27 years in prison. He had lots of time to think. His education took place during this
time. We have time to think now, time to chat to children about what is important and what matters
in life. Grab this time. Children are precious.
I read a lovely article by Michael Morpurgo last weekend. All of our pupils have read at least one if
not several of his novels. He wrote about the fact that we have been here before, through times
even darker than these. Some of our parents, grandparents and great grandparents knew such times
and worse. And they came through those dark times. We, too, will come through these uncertain
times. Right now we are skyping, zooming, singing, clapping and caring …….and eventually we will
In school, we often talk about rainbow moments, golden moments. One suggestion is to get a
notebook or a copy and every night, before bed, 1 rainbow moment is written in the notebook…..the
sun shone, I heard a bird singing, I texted my friends, I spoke to granny. We could fill our school with
shared golden moments when we return.
For those of you who may be past pupils of mine you will recall how much I love William
Wordsworth’s poem, ‘The Daffodils.’ I insisted you learned it by heart. If I’m lonely now and missing
school I say the first verse and then my spirits lift:
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd ,
A host, of golden daffodils,
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.