A Sunday Night Message from Mr. Schumm

Dear Parents/Carers,

Happy new year to you all – and once more we find ourselves putting our best foot forward and navigating our way through the next few weeks.
Following the last lockdown, we asked parents for feedback on our online learning provision, which was extremely helpful. We also talked to the children and teachers about ways we could ensure the best learning experience for our children. During the autumn term we trialed, honed and developed our online learning to ensure that we are hitting the ground running this time! Obviously, nothing is perfect – and there may be hiccups on our online journey – but our staff are committed to making this work for your children.
We will have zoom catch ups at the start and end of the day. This offers teachers the opportunity to engage with their class on a daily basis, talk through the day ahead, answer any questions – and then find out how the day’s learning went and any problems the children may have had.
We are combining a mixture of prerecorded teaching sessions with live teaching to break the day up and develop the children’s learning.
We will have a recorded morning assembly each day for the children to access, as well as Spanish lessons and regular feedback on completed activities.
Tomorrow, class teachers will be emailing you with their zoom links and detailing how their class’s learning will work, so please look out for these emails.
To make all this happen for our school community, the staff have been working nonstop since the government announcement last week and I want to thank them all for the huge part they play in ensuring online learning happens, key worker and vulnerable children provision is in place, children’s completed activities are commented on, phones and emails are answered, food is cooked – and finally ensuring that the spirit of St Stephen’s rises to the challenges we are being presented with.
I realise that not everyone may own the technical devices to make the coming weeks run smoothly, but we should be receiving our allocated laptops from the government soon, so please email me if you are in desperate need and we can hopefully sort that out.
None of us would ever have wished to find ourselves in this situation again … but here we go again! Watching Chitty Flies Again over Christmas reminded me of just how special our school community is and what our school looked like before COVID – and what it will look like again. Our school is not just a building – it is the children, staff, parents, and God breathing life into everything that makes it so special.
So, take a deep breath and in the words of that well known historical figure – Annie, ‘the sun’ll come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there’ll be sun’.
We can do this, we have done it before and we will do it again… but just with a lot more zoom this time!
Best wishes,
Mr. Schumm​​