1st May 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

This will be a much shorter letter than they have been recently, largely because there is less happening at the moment. We have started to look at plans to reopen the school gradually, but as we haven’t received any guidance yet from the government on when they expect us to reopen and for which children, that is very much an open-ended activity. We’re trying to plan for all eventualities.

We’re also busy adding new videos to You Tube and setting work. Children who we can see haven’t accessed the work we have been setting are being contacted by year teams to check that everything is ok and to see what help they might need. As ever, the biggest challenge in large organisations like schools is consistency. It is difficult enough to get everyone to start doing new things in new ways when we are all in the building together; adapting to a huge change like this presents a much greater challenge. I hope that we are finding a good balance but as ever, if you have any comments, please share them with me. Students who produce a piece of work they are especially proud of can email it to us at mybest@samuelward.co.uk. We are already sharing especially good work as well as any good news we receive with staff through our Wednesday afternoon weekly roundup, as well as nominating a Teacher and Student of the Week on twitter.

It was good to see the foodbank that we set up getting front page coverage in the Haverhill Echo this week. That article has prompted more donations from the community, which is heart warming. We were able to start the foodbank because of a long-standing arrangement with Aldi that has been built by Mrs Winner. She regularly takes donations from them which we then distribute on a small scale, and that provided the basis for a bigger operation which Miss Powell has been running. I’m very grateful to both of them, as well as to everyone who has donated, helped pack and also deliver the boxes. We’ve sent out around 50 parcels to families who needed them. If you would like some help, email us in confidence at foodbank@samuelward.co.uk

I’ll end by repeating what I’ve said before – although the school is closed, we are all still available. Please feel free to get in touch if there is anything we can do to help.

Stay safe everyone,

Andy Hunter