I write to you feeling so proud our Overchurch Infant School community.

Over the last week and a half we have seen the full reopening of our school to pupils in Year One and Year Two and now they have finally been joined by our new Reception and Nursery pupils who we welcomed into school on a gradual approach.
I am so proud of each and every one of our pupils as they have made the transition back to school so very well, especially our youngest children who started their Overchurch journey this week. Their smiles and enthusiasm have buoyed the spirits of everyone in school.

Thank you to the parents for understanding why we need to have the staggered starts at the beginning and end of the day. As you know, these timings will remain under review and we will keep you informed if there are any changes. Each day, we see the new way of working improving and parents becoming more confident with the timings and different gates for entry and exit. Please be aware where each class will be standing when they are dismissed so that the teachers can see you clearly. Please follow social distancing guidelines whilst waiting for your child as it is vital that we work together to protect the whole school community. As you can imagine it will be much better once the teachers start to recognise your faces more and more over the next week. Thank you again for your patience.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank all the staff who have showed great dedication and resilience in making school as safe as possible and welcoming the children back. It has been wonderful to see those relationships and bonds that our school prioritises flourish again as the staff and children re-engage in learning.

It is an absolute joy to see the children in their classrooms where they belong, listening carefully to the staff and having fun with their friends. I will continue to send updates with more information regarding life in school as the term progresses. We will also be exploring safe ways to deliver parent evenings to keep you informed about how your child has settled and what their targets are.

After such a lengthy lockdown period, I know many parents are concerned about their child catching up and anxious about the effect on learning from missing full time education since March.
After helping the children to settle, re-establishing relationships and re-entering school life, I can assure you that our priority is to accurately assess what the children can remember from before lockdown and what their targets for this term are. To this end, we will be sending home an overview of what your child can do and what their next steps are. To help you at home we will also be looking into a range of online resources so you can work in partnership with us too.

We are currently in the process of amending our Home Reading procedures in light of COVID and the need to quarantine books when returned from a family home. More details will follow next week but in the meantime you can access resources to support phonics at home on our website here.

This term our curriculum has a heavy PSHE focus as the children reflect on their recent experiences. We will look at ‘Heroes’ and a range of people who have shaped history and who embody the key character traits that we hope to instil in the children such as respect, courage and resilience.
We are starting by reflecting on those heroes who are literally closer to home, by thinking about who kept them and their families safe during lockdown. This means you! It was you who played a vital role in keeping them safe, helping them feel secure and enabling them to restart school comfortably. We are going to be celebrating those that helped us all by creating a collage of our Overchurch Heroes on large letters that will be displayed in the main entrance this term.
For this, we are asking the children to bring in either a print out or photocopy of a photograph of the grown ups that kept them safe since March. The photograph could be of their parents but could be friends or relatives who have been on the front line as NHS staff or other important key workers. These will then be cut out, arranged and glued on these large letters to form a focal point of thanks for our school community.

I would like to finish by saying once more how proud I am of our pupils, parents and staff – a huge thank you to everyone for making the return to school a smooth one.

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