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Messages from Mrs H during school closure 😊

 

Friday 17th July 2020

 

Dear Parents, Carers, Children, Families, Friends, Staff and Governors,

 

I hope this finds you all still safe and well and a good, positive and happy week has been had by all.

 

Well, another year over already! I have read what I wrote on last year’s end of year letter and smiled when I read this:

 

‘…Here’s to the next year where we will be gearing up for another amazing journey of adventure and memories!...’

 

I do not think ANYONE could have predicted the memories we will ALL have of this year!  It is sometimes hard to imagine that we had a ‘normal’ school life prior to March, however we did, and we achieved great things in those few months. We had themed days, fund raising days, visitors in to share their work and talents, the Theatre Production, Outdoor Learning Day, DigiTech in Art days, amazing Christmas activities and the production of ‘Everyone Loves a Baby’, Masses, Liturgies, art activities, singing, dancing, clubs. The list goes on! We welcomed new children, new staff, new families. We had additions to the staff families with Mrs Savery’s baby. We also said some sad goodbyes to staff who retired, Mrs Richmond, Mrs Burgeen and Mrs McDonald.

 

And then it was March…

 

A March like no other. A March that started with talk of a ‘virus’ on the other side of the world. All too soon, our school life and our world turned on its head. It was the start of a time where I have never been prouder of the school I have the pleasure to lead with the colleagues I work with and the children and families I serve. In 48 hours, staff turned around Home Learning Packs for each child, they started to prepare the children for the unknown. They said goodbye on the 20th March to their classes and we partially closed school.

 

Monday 23rd March saw the ‘New Normal’ in school with a small Pod of children making up our Rainbow Pod and we switched from a school providing learning and academic achievement and excellence to one of providing achievement and excellence in child care. However, we embraced it in our normal EM fashion, that of can do and make the most of it. We had ‘days at the EM beach’, we had a Christmas Dinner, we had a VE Day party, we had games, sports days, craft sessions, fun, laughter and smiles πŸ˜€ At home we had engaging home learning, Daily Challenges, family time, fun! I have been overwhelmed at all the responses to my Daily Challenges thank you, you really have worked hard children and families too! We have been taken aback and humbled by all the support, care and friendship you have all shown to us whilst we have been partially closed. The cards, cakes, flowers, messages of support have all been truly appreciated, thank you, it really has kept us all going.

 

In late June, we started to re-open to more pupils, starting with Reception, then Year 1, then Nursery and finally, this week, some of our Year 6 children have returned. It has been marvellous seeing familiar faces of children and families, reconnecting and regrouping. I thank you for this. The children came back smiling, happy, excited and eager to ‘get on with it’. Granada Reports and Dr Karunanithi popped by to film and say hello, and say thank you to the school, the children and the families. It really has been a wonderful end to what has been a rather bizarre year!

 

Thanks HAVE to go to you, our families and our AMAZING STAY AT HOME HEROES, you all deserve special awards for all you have done since school closure! The role of being a parent is a hard one at the best of times, but you have all really given it your all with home learning and keeping in touch. Huge thanks also to our Rainbow Pod children for keeping us going with laughter, fun and humour and endless energy and also your parents, who have stood proud and with us. It goes without saying also a MAMMOUTH thank you to all the amazing EM staff and Governor Team, they truly have been amazing, I could not wish to work, and be friends, with a more marvellous bunch of stars!

 

They say that every negative has a positive. I have found whilst this negative (Coronavirus) time has been horrendous in many ways, there has been an even bigger positive which has outweighed them. This is the connections with our school families and staff. I have got to know most of you so very much better, it has been a pleasure to chat with you, help you, support you, be there for you. It has been a pleasure to work with you, to help your children and I call it an honour to be Head at English Martyrs’, this year more than any year. THANK YOU ALL!

 

And now it is the start of the Summer Holidays. I will still be seeing some of you, please do keep in touch with your adventures and fun, I might not always respond straight away, but I will in time! Switch off, kick back, leave the work (well a bit of reading won’t harm!), you have ALL deserved time out, be with your families, be with your friends, have as much fun as you possibly can.

 

I am prouder of you all than you can ever imagine.

 

Stay safe, take care, look after each other, keep smiling and see you in September, for maybe a bit of normality but definitely more adventures, experiences and fun!

 

 

Annalisa Howarth

Headteacher

 

‘Be kind whenever possible.

It is always possible.’ Dalai Lama 🌈

 

 

What’s on for Children this Summer...

 

Click on the picture below for holiday club ideas and places.
 

Any questions, please email at 

head@english.martyrs.lancs.sch.uk

 

 

 

Returning in September

 

Tuesday 14th July 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

 

I hope this finds you all safe and well.

 

Unfortunately, we have not been able to have our usual ‘Induction Day’ for new classes and classroom staff for the obvious reasons!

 

Together with Governors, I made the decision not to do ‘virtual’ Induction sessions via Teams, Skype or Zoom as I did not feel this would give a true picture of how things will be as we currently have different year groups in different classrooms so we can socially distance with our different Pods.

 

Over the summer holidays as things and classrooms in school return to some sort of new normality, I will be taking films of the different classrooms and uploading to our school website and our different Social Media platforms (I will send a text to signpost you to the pages when the time comes).

 

In the meantime, I have been busy looking at ways to follow Government and Public Health guidelines in making school safe and secure for ALL year groups to safely return in September.

 

Whilst the spread of infection is steadily reducing, we still do have to be mindful that it is ‘still with us’ so we still need to ensure we have effective measures in place. The Department for Education (DfE) and Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education, have advised that classes can resume school in September in larger ‘bubbles’, these being of normal class sizes. However, they still advise against multiple groups of children and also adults gathering within and around school. Therefore, there will be some initial changes. The most significant for you as parents and carers are the changes in start and finish times and the ways in which children will enter and exit school at these times. Please refer to the tables below:

 

EYFS

Start

Finish

Entrance/Exit

 Nursery

9.30am

12.30pm

Top Car Park

Reception

9.10am

3.30pm

Top Car Park

 

KS1

Start

Finish

Entrance/Exit

Year 1

8.55

3.15pm

Ashmoor Street gate, main Playground

Year 2

8.55

3.15pm

Top Car Park, using class fire exit

 

LKS2

Start

Finish

Entrance/Exit

Year 3

8.45

3.05pm

Top Car Park, using class fire exit

Year 4

9.10

3.30pm

Ashmoor Street gate, main Playground

 

UKS2

Start

Finish

Entrance/Exit

Year 5

8.55

3.15pm

Side Gate and Path and Class Fire Door

Year 6

9.10

3.30pm

Side Gate and Path and Class Fire Door

 

Please can I also ask that initially, only 1 parent brings your child/children so that we can avoid gatherings on school premises. The main school office will also only be used for emergencies, please phone or email to arrange any meetings, again to reduce possible spread of infection.

 

Playtimes and lunchtimes are also going to be staggered within different phases of school. We will not be holding whole school Liturgies, Masses or Prayer and Liturgy within school, rather children will still have daily Prayer and Liturgy, but they will be class based. Nor will we be able to have our traditional Breakfast Club. Rather this will be within classes. Unfortunately, After School Club will not be able to run for the foreseeable future, nor will Extra Curricular Clubs. The reason for this is because of cross infection and spread of infection as children from multiple classes or ‘Bubbles’ attend and again, we have been advised against it.

 

As I am sure you will agree, the logistics of getting school back on track is going to be a long one and one that will take a lot of planning! However, this is what I am doing ‘behind the scenes’! However, what we need to remember is that we are all in this together, as one team, one school family, supporting each other, working with each other and caring for each other. The heart of our school Mission, ethos and vision.

 

On Monday 20th July, staff are meeting in school for an INSET day, where we will be looking at our new Curriculum of Recovery and Reconnection (recovery from being apart, from lost learning, from what life has been like and also reconnecting as a school family, together).

 

Please remember, the safety of YOUR children and OUR staff comes first in all these ideas and proposals. If we feel anyone is at risk, it won’t happen. Please do not worry, please take care and please continue to stay safe. I would also like to state that this information is provisional, in that it might change over summer depending on Government advice, however, I will keep you informed at all stages.

 

Thank you as always for your continuous support, care and helpfulness, especially in recent months.

 

*** Please note, this could change as a result of Government guidance and advice ***

 

Welcome Back Year 6!

 

We can't wait to see you again and enjoy the last few days of your time at English Martyrs' with you!

Click below to see what things will be like and how they have changed slightly!

 

 

 

Friday 10th July 2020

 

Dear Parents, Carers, Children, Families, Friends, Staff and Governors,

 

I hope this finds you all still safe and well and a good, positive and happy week has been had by all.

 

What another busy week for all here in school! As more Key and Critical Workers have gone back to work, we have been lucky enough to welcome back their children in our Rainbow Pod! It has been great to see some old faces! So too was it fabulous to welcome back some of our small people (or rather now tall people!) from our Nursery on Wednesday! As with all the other children who have returned to other classes and Pods, they skipped on in with smiles on their faces and excitement to get back into things! Well done children, Mrs Thomas, Mrs Thompson and I are super proud of you all!

 

In other news…

 

Next week we are welcoming back some of our Year 6 children. Mrs Jackson and Mrs Heyes have been busy in the Year 6 classroom this week sorting, rearranging furniture and planning fun activities for the children for their last few days with us. Tuesday this week would have been their SATs results day. Even though they did not sit their SATs this year, Mrs Jackson, Mrs Heyes, Mrs Grime and myself are still extremely proud of them all. Before school closure in March, they consistently showed resilience, determination, maturity and a fabulous work ethic, they were shining examples for all in school, not to mention fantastic humour! You might not have got recognition from your SATs tests Year 6 children, but you have from all of us here, and we are exceptionally proud of you all, well done!

 

You will have seen in the news and media that at this moment in time, it is planned for all classes to return to school (primary), this September. I have been busy planning with Governors, the Local Authority, the Diocese and with staff here in school ways in which we can make this as easy and smoothly as possible. I am finalising bits and pieces over the weekend and will be sending a link for a letter on our website early next week. Whilst things might change over the summer break, one thing certain is that myself and all the staff in school cannot wait to welcome all the children and families back, together once more as one big school family πŸ˜€

 

We would usually be having exciting end of term activities taking place at this time of year, Sports Day, KS2 Production, Leavers’ Assemblies, Leavers’ Masses, Creative Weeks, Summer Fayres. Alas that is not to be this year. In school we are doing fun activities with the different Pods of children and staff are setting fun activities for home learning. When we do return to some sort of normality, we will definitely make up for this, so please rest assured, despite not being in the same setting and all together in that setting, we are all still together as one school family in Christ and all children and families are in our thoughts, prayers and minds.

 

Next week, we will be marking the end of the school year in different ways and I am hoping to sort a ‘Live’ Assembly towards the end of the week, I will send links etc for timings.

 

In the meantime, please do keep in touch, it means a lot to the staff and me to see what you have all been up to!

 

Don’t forget, both myself and other staff are at the end of a phone or email ☺️

 

Hopefully see you all very, very soon. Take care, look after each other, keep smiling & Stay Safe!

 

Annalisa Howarth

Headteacher

 

‘Some people feel the rain, others just get wet’ Bob Dylan Feel the rain and embrace it and whatever life throws at you 🌈

Welcome Back Nursery!

 

We can't wait to welcome you all back! Use this link to watch a short video for how things will be!

 

 

 

 

Friday 3rd July 2020

 

Dear Parents, Carers, Children, Families, Friends, Staff and Governors,

 

I hope this finds you all still safe and well and a good, positive and happy week has been had by all.

 

This week we welcomed back Year 1 children into Pods 3 and 4. Despite the utterly miserable weather on Monday morning, the children arrived with smiles, laughter and a spring in their step. They patiently had their temperatures taken and off they skipped into school with Mrs Thompson. It was a joy and a pleasure to see them return and it was heart-warming to know you appreciate the safety measures and trust us enough with what is your most precious cargo, thank you! The children settled into their Pods like ducks to water, they got on with their new style of learning, some with new staff, they have had fun and I have enjoyed being the Pod 4 Dinner Lady each day, we have got a fine routine going now, well done children!

 

Reception children are continuing to thrive in their Pods, again showing resilience, confidence and perseverance. So too does the Rainbow Pod. Despite the rainy weather, they have still insisted on playing out, having fun and have taken to Just Dance as part of their daily fitness session, watch out Strictly!

 

In other news…

 

We are moving with the times, not only (hopefully) Post-Covid, but also in terms of tech and in response from many parental requests and positive feedback forms! From September, we are introducing Parent Pay. Information about it is below this message on this page or can be found using the following link:

 

https://www.englishmartyrs.lancs.sch.uk/messages-from-mrs-h-during-school-closure/ 

 

Any questions, please just phone or email. Mrs Gardner and Mrs Galka have completed lots of training for it and are the ‘go to’ people! It should make your life, and indeed our lives much easier, no longer will you have to find the exact money for trips , ASC or school dinners in your purses or wallets (nor will you be accidentally charged the wrong amount by me and then have to wait for change!) It also means, you can have better control over budgeting, especially for trips and school dinners as these can often all add up very quickly. As well as the APP and paying online through the ParentPay App, you can also use any shop that has a ‘Pay Point’. Our local Nisa shop has one, so it will be easy to nip in on your way to or from school. More details can be found on the link above.

 

Next week we are welcoming back some of our Nursery children. Mrs Thomas and Mrs Thompson will be in the Nursery Pod and welcoming them. The following week, we are hoping to welcome back our Year 6 children, a final hurrah before the dizzy heights of High School, where as EM children, we know they will flourish and thrive! I will be in touch with Year 6 parents next week with more information.

 

Thank you to those parents of children in Pods 1, 2, 3 & 4 (Reception and Year 1) who have been so understanding and supportive of my decision in having to close these Pods on a Friday afternoon in order to accommodate teachers’ PPA and also deep clean of the Pods. I really do appreciate it and it is these small unseen and discrete gestures of kindness that really do make me proud to be Head of English Martyrs’ and together with all the tremendous support from ALL our parents and children and staff, make us the fabulous and unique school family that we are!

 

You might have noticed on daily walks that there is building work taking place on the end of the school field near the ‘forest’. You may or may not be aware that this land is in fact owned by Eldon Street. They are building an Outdoor Classroom that will not only be used by the children from Eldon when they come to work and explore the Forest Area, but also it will be of great benefit to our school family too. Hopefully it will be fully functional in the Autumn.

 

Over the last couple of weeks, I have had telephone conferences and Zoom meetings with many different people, from the Local Authority, Local Councillors, Laura our Yoga Lead and Mr Rafferty from TQ Sports to name but a few. They have all commented on the warm welcome they always receive at EM and the sounds of laughter and fun that can always be heard, thank you all for making this happen!

 

Don’t forget, both myself and other staff are at the end of a phone or email ☺️

 

Hopefully see you all very, very soon. Take care, look after each other, keep smiling & Stay Safe!

 

Annalisa Howarth

Headteacher

 

‘Big goals are achievable by small and often mundane steps, but the small steps really do add up – always trust in them’ Bonita Norris (from Wokingham, Berkshire, England, the 1st youngest British woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest at the age of 22) 🌈

Parent Pay at EM

                                                                         

Parent Pay at English Martyrs'

 

ParentPay - our new online payment service

We are pleased to announce that we will shortly be accepting payments online for items such as dinner money and school trips . Using a secure website called ParentPay you will be able to pay online using your credit / debit card or  make cash payments at PayPoint stores. ParentPay will be our preferred method of making payments to school.

 

What are the benefits to parents & pupils?

 

What are the benefits to our school?

  • ParentPay is easy-to-use and will offer you the freedom to make online payments whenever and wherever you like, 24/7

 

  • The technology used is of the highest internet security available ensuring that your money will reach school safely – offering you peace of mind

 

  • Payments can be made by credit/debit card or also through PayPoint

 

  • Full payment histories, balance alerts and statements are available to you securely online at anytime
  • You can help us reduce workloads for all staff as no more counting cash, chasing debt and stop cash collection services

 

  • Creates more time to lend to educational support and the smooth running of the school

 

  • Improves security for school, children and parents.

 

  • Using ParentPay also ensures that all financial transactions are safe and secure - helping us to remove costs associated with us having to manage cash securely on the school premises

 

  • The more parents that use ParentPay, the greater the benefit is to our school.

How to get started with ParentPay?

 

We will send you your account activation details. Once you receive these:

 

  • Enter your Activation username and password in the Account Login section of the homepage

NB. These are for one-time use only, please choose your own username and password for future access during the activation process

 

  • Provide all the necessary information and choose your new username

and password for your account - registering your email address will enable us to send you receipts and reminders

 

If you have any questions, please contact the school finance office. For more information, visit www.parentpay.com/parents/

Once activation is complete you can go straight to Items for payment, select which item(s) you want to add to your basket and proceed to complete your payment

 

If you have any questions, please contact the school finance office. For more information, visit www.parentpay.com/parents/

Welcome back Year 1...

 

We can't wait to see you on Monday 29th June...click the picture below to watch a film about where to go, what will happen when you arrive and what your Pods look like...as well as a few messages from Mrs H, Mrs Ridings and Mrs SworeΕ„!

 

 

Friday 26th June 2020

 

Dear Parents, Carers, Children, Families, Friends, Staff and Governors,

 

I hope this finds you all still safe and well and a good, positive and happy week has been had by all.

 

We have had a very exciting week here at school as we have welcomed back 14 of our Reception Class! They came in on Monday happy, excited and skipping, all were excited to be back, all cheerfully waved goodbye to their parent who dropped them off after having their temperatures checked and off they went into their Pods with either Miss Walker and Miss Jeffrey or Miss Andrews, Mrs Turner and Mrs English. Happy children, happy mums and dads, happy staff, happy Mrs H!

 

We also had extra visitors on Monday as Rob and Doug from Granada Reports came to see us as the children settled back into school. They filmed the children coming in, having temperatures, in their Pods, around school and they interviewed me and a couple of mums. Dr Sakthi Karunanithi also stopped by and was interviewed. It was certainly a Monday morning we will not forget for a while! (Unfortunately, you can’t watch the episode on catch up, but here is a film of the clip on our website: https://www.englishmartyrs.lancs.sch.uk/messages-from-mrs-h-during-school-closure/ )

On Monday I sent a text to everyone with a link for new classes next year. Please check your phones and check the class and class staff your child/children will have and chat to them about it. Quite a number of parents have asked me about how we will provide for children in terms of catching up on gaps in learning. I am really pleased to tell you that not only will Mrs Grime be still with us, mainly working with children in Years 5 and 6, but Miss Jeffrey is continuing working with us and will also be providing ‘booster’ classes for children from Years 1 – 4. This is as well as our usual Reading, Writing, Phonics and Maths interventions that we already promote and do within school. When children return to ‘normal’ school life, please rest assured, we will be assessing everyone and pin pointing the additional support each needs and as far as we can, provide for this. However, please do remember that it is not only your child or children who might have gaps in learning, as I have said to many parents this week and previously, every child in the land, in fact world, has gaps in their learning at this moment in time and children DO catch up remember!

 

Life in school has continued to run smoothly for all our Pods (Rainbow and Reception). The children in our rainbow Pod have been making iMovies, interviewing each other, painting, making stress balls, marble runs, rainbow hand prints for a new display in the Autumn (nothing like being prepared!) and are topping it off with a film afternoon today, Friday!

 

Children in our Reception Pods have settled back really well and have been focussing lots on social and emotional skills and learning, being together again and being in school again. They have coped marvellously and like all EM children, they have shown true resilience, determination and have been totally unfazed at the ‘new normal’! I would like to say a huge thank you to all the families and children and of course, staff, for their calmness, dedication and support in making the return such a smooth and stress free one, you really have all been marvellous! ☺️

Next week, we shall be welcoming back some of our Year 1 children. They will form Pods 3 & 4. Mrs Ridings and Mrs Holderness will be in Pod 3 and Mrs SworeΕ„ and Miss Hankin will be in Pod 4. We can’t wait to see the children back!

 

Thank you for all your kind words, messages, cards and treats you have sent into school for the staff. We have all been truly overwhelmed with the tremendous support you have shown us and the patience when we (I!) do not know the answers, thank you, I shall never forget it as it means so very much to me and indeed to all the staff.

This weekend have a relax (if you can!), take some time out for YOU. Be kind to yourselves and look after yourselves, you are doing an amazing job looking after your precious beings at home and also those of you bringing them into school.

Don’t forget, both myself and other staff are at the end of a phone or email ☺️

 

Hopefully see you all very, very soon, and Year 1, I look forward to welcoming you back on Monday!

Take care, look after each other, keep smiling & Stay Safe!

Annalisa Howarth

Headteacher

 

‘Life is like a camera…focus on what’s important, capture the good times, develop from the negative and if things don’t work out, take another shot.’ ~Earls Court Tube Station ‘Thought of the Day’  πŸŒˆ

A visit from Granada Reports!

 

Some of our children came back into our Reception Pods on Monday 22nd June, all were smiling and all were happy, children, parents, staff and Mrs H!

 

Rob and Doug from Granada Reports came in to see us and film!

 

Click the image below to watch the clip!

 

Welcome Back Reception Children!

 

Click on the image below to watch a short film which will show you how you will be coming into school, what your 'Pods' will look like and some messages from Mrs Howarth, Miss Andrews, Miss Walker, Miss Jeffrey and Mrs Turner!

 

See you on Monday...we can't wait! ☺️

 

 

Friday 19th June 2020

 

 

Dear Parents, Carers, Children, Families, Friends, Staff and Governors,

 

I hope this finds you all still safe and well and a good, positive and happy week has been had by all.

 

To repeat my message from Monday, Dr Sakthi Karunanithi has now advised that schools in Lancashire ARE NOW safe to open further from Monday 22nd June.

Therefore, from this Monday, because we too believe we are safe to open, we will be welcoming back some familiar faces from Reception Class, and we can’t wait to see you!

IF the children settle and school remains safe, and the local community, we hope to open for Year 1 children the following week (from Monday 29th June) but I shall be contacting you next week to let you know.

 

Our Rainbow Pod of children will still be coming into school, however, all Pods of children will not be mixing.

 

Whilst we are not 100% sure what is to happen in September in regard to all pupils returning and when, I have updated the school holidays for our next Academic Year for 2020 ~ 2021. You can find the link for them here on the school website

https://www.englishmartyrs.lancs.sch.uk/holidays/

It has been another busy week for staff, organising home learning, the Class Pages on the website, creating fabulous activities for the Rainbow Pod, organising classrooms for welcoming back of children, planting, dancing, singing, dressing up, 2 birthday parties in school for some of our Rainbow Children, thunder and lightning storms, sunshine, torrential rain and the best news ever…our 2 ringed Baby Belling cooker that Mrs Hewitson has been using to make ALL the meals for ALL the children since School Closure on Monday 23rd March passed its electric test with the Electricians! We were quite worried in case it failed at this final hurdle, but no, it continues to do us proud, as does Mrs Hewitson who has played an absolute blinder in the amazing food, including that fantastic Christmas Dinner a few weeks ago! From ALL The Rainbow Pod children and staff, a huge Thank You Mrs Hewitson ☺️

 

I would also like to say a HUGE thank you to all our staff who, for the last 13 weeks, have worked tirelessly with the Rainbow Pod children and in school each week to make these most unusual and unsettling of weeks fun, exciting and happy! Thanks also go to those staff who have 

not been able to be in school, but have worked from home and have supported and encouraged us all with warm words and best wishes ☺️

 

Children have been very busy and hard working at home again this week. Not only are your children keeping up to date with Home Learning online, they are asking for more work! Fabulous! I am also really impressed and grateful to you all who have been consistently and continuously doing my Daily Challenges! If anyone has any other good ideas for challenges, please let me know!

 

The other fab news this week is that the Government has announced it will continue to provide the Free School Meal vouchers throughout the Summer holidays, this is a huge relief for me as I am sure it is for you! Maybe you could send or Tweet Marcus Rashford from Manchester Utd to say thank you for pioneering the campaign to have them! I am not sure what format they will be in or whether it will simply be a continuation of what we do now, however, I will let you know as always, as soon as I do!

 

A number of parents have expressed concerns that their child or children have ‘fallen behind’ since lockdown and the partial school closure. Please do not worry yourselves too much over this. All children across the nation and indeed the world are in a similar position. Rest assured that as soon as all children are back in class in school, we will be finding where their gaps in learning are and planning and supporting them as needed. We already have one or two plans in place and over the next few weeks, I will be sending home letters informing you of your children’s new class and staff. Please, as I have said continuously since 23rd March, your child’s and in fact your, well-being and emotional and physical health is the top priority in all of this. Do what you can in terms of home learning, read a bit each day, write a bit each day, practice your times tables and number bonds a bit each day and talk as a family each day and mostly, try not to worry!

As I wrote last week, be kind to yourselves and look after yourselves, you are too precious to become unstuck and remember, both myself and other staff are at the end of a phone or email J

 

Hopefully see you all very, very soon, watch out for us in school on Granada Reports on Monday evening, they are coming in to film our lovely school on Monday morning!

Take care, look after each other, keep smiling & Stay Safe!

Annalisa Howarth

Headteacher

‘What’s the best thing you’ve learned about storms?’ asked the horse.

‘That they make us kinder,’ said the boy ‘and that they end’ Charlie Mackesy….stay strong, stay safe, it will all be over soon, not long now! 🌈

 

What will school be like when I go back?

 

Soon I will be going back to school. It will be different than before.

I will go back to school on Monday 1st June. Some classes will go back at different times to me.

 

Some things will be different. I will use the car park path and say “Goodbye” to my Mummy OR Daddy at the gate.

 

I will need to try hard not to touch my face.

 

If I need to cough or sneeze I will try to do it in my elbow.

 

All the people at my school will be washing their hands a lot more. I will too.

 

I will wash my hands when I come into my classroom, before and after I eat and when I’ve been to the toilet.

 

The people in my class haven’t seen each other in a while. I will try not to touch other people.

 

Lunch time at school will be different. I will have a packed lunch. I will eat my lunch in my classroom then go outside into the Early Years Yard.

 

My school is the best place for me to do my learning. I will go to school again now.

 

On the weekend I will be home with my family.

 

Some of your friends are in a different classroom now,

I know this may make you fed up.

It is ok to feel fed up about this.

The scientists have said, so we can all Stay Safe,

we have to have less people in our classroom.

 

So that we can all stay safe, Reception Class has been split into 2 new groups.

 

One with Miss Andrews as the teacher and Mrs Turner and Mrs English as the Teaching Assistants

 

One with Miss Walker and Miss Jeffrey

 

When the scientists say it is safe for all of Reception Class to be in the same classroom again, WE WILL BE!

Reception Social Story for returning to school June 2020

 

Monday 15th June 2020

 

Dear Parents and Carers,

 

I hope this finds you all safe and well.

 

Following the announcement and advice by Lancashire County Council today regarding the further re-opening of schools in Lancashire, I have met with Mr Gillespie, our Chair of Governors, earlier this afternoon and we have decided English Martyrs’ WILL be opening further from Monday 22nd June, as we feel it is safe to do so.

 

However, as we previously planned, we will ONLY be opening for children in Reception Class in this first week. IF the children settle, are comfortable and we feel it is safe, the Year 1 children will return the week of Monday 29th June (This will be decided and reviewed by myself and Mr Gillespie on Thursday 25th June and we will notify parents).

 

Those parents and children who have already expressed a wish to return will remain in the ‘Pods’ specified in the letter dated May 25th and should follow advice in these letters. If you need another letter, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

I will of course continue to follow Local Authority and Lancashire County Council Public Health advice and guidelines and will keep you all up to date and informed. We are all set to go here in school to welcome more children and are really looking forward to seeing some more familiar faces again!

 

For those of you not returning next week, don’t worry, YOUR time will come, and we will still be here ready to welcome you all, just not quite yet!

 

Online Home Learning will be continuing until the end of term for all children not in school.

 

Many, many thanks as ever for your continual support and patience and also for the marvellous job you are all doing with your children at home in what are the most unusual and somewhat scary times.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact me for any further information. Please do not worry, please take care and please continue to stay safe.

 

With kind regards,

 

 

Annalisa Howarth

Headteacher

Re-opening further 15.06.20

 

Friday 12th June 2020

 

Dear Parents, Carers, Children, Families, Friends, Staff and Governors,

 

I hope this finds you all still safe and well and a good, positive and happy week has been had by all.

 

To repeat my message from last Monday, Dr Sakthi Karunanithi has advised that schools in Lancashire DO NOT open until Monday 22nd June at the earliest and this is ONLY if the R rate reduces and ALL 5 Government scientific tests have been met in Lancashire. I will of course keep you all updated and informed as soon as I know. However, at this point I can reassure you that we will not open further unless we, myself and the Governing Board, feel it is safe and will follow our plan as before with different year groups returning on different weeks. Please note though, that the Government have now stated that it is most likely that ONLY those children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 classes will return before September. Again, I will keep you all updated.

 

We had a fabulous day on Monday in school. Miss Jeffrey, Mrs SworeΕ„, Mrs Turner and Mrs Holderness created a magical day for the children…a Theme Park! They had virtual roller coaster rides, they made their own roller coaster carriages and had a ‘roller coaster’ around the playground, played hook a duck, skittle balls, made roller coasters with Lego. It was fantastic to hear the squeals of delight and excitement. Thank you ladies for making ‘school’ so much fun for our Rainbow children!

 

I have been inundated with self-portraits this week, thank you all so much! There is still time to send them in via email. We have started linking up the children in the windows which face Ashmoor Street, take a look as you pass!

 

Teaching staff have been busy this week tidying up their Class Pages to make them more user friendly. I have to say I am most impressed with the quality of Home Learning provided on our website by our school staff. They really do put their all into it!

 

If you are stuck and want even more work at home, head to BBC Bitesize, there are links via the school website. I do want to repeat what I have said since we partially closed on Friday 20th March… please, please do not let the home learning cause additional anxiety, stress or worry for either yourselves or your children. It is far, far, far more important that your children, and you,

are happy, content, safe, calm and not anxious. Put the work down, do something for fun and come back to the work later, or the next day, only when it is right! The children, like us adults, have gone through tremendous change and it is difficult for us to understand some of them, never mind a child. All I ask, and all the staff in school ask, at the very least is to read a bit each day, practise your times tables each day and try a bit of writing.

 

I have also heard from different parents that they are struggling to get their children to sleep and as a result up in the morning! It is hard to think that it is ‘term time’ when we don’t physically go to school, however, the longer we have the mindset that it is ‘holiday’ time, the harder it will be when we do return to school. My advice, as a Headteacher and mainly as a parent myself, is to stick to routines: get the children to bed at their normal ‘school week’ time with the same bedtime routines (for example, bath, book, bed!); stop ‘screen time (including TV) at least 30 minutes before bed; get up at the usual school time; get dressed; have breakfast; do an activity, home learning or some exercise; have a short break and carry on as a normal day. Try to reduce how long your children watch TV, play on the Xbox, Play Station for and reduce non-home learning screen and phone time. Some parents have done a mini timetable for their children which has helped too.

 

The current times are causing much uncertainty and illness, both physical and emotional. Use this link to see what support both your children and you can get if you are struggling emotionally.

https://www.englishmartyrs.lancs.sch.uk/coronavirus-advice-and-information/

 Remember, it is nothing to be ashamed of, we all feel like it, even more so in the present day. Be kind to yourselves and look after yourselves, you are too precious to become unstuck and remember, both myself and other staff are at the end of a phone or email 

 

Hopefully see you all very, very soon, as soon as I know, you will know!

Take care, look after each other, keep smiling & Stay Safe!

 

Annalisa Howarth

Headteacher

 

Put your pens and pencils down and close your books, switch off your devices. No more teaching, no more learning, you are free, it is the weekend! Go and lie down in the sun or watch a movie. You all deserve a break! 🌈

 

Friday 5th June 2020

 

 

Dear Parents, Carers, Children, Families, Friends, Staff and Governors,

 

I hope this finds you all still safe and well and a good, positive and happy week has been had by all, during what should have been our Summer Half Term Break!

 

You might have seen in the press on Wednesday the announcement from Lancashire County Council that Lancashire schools are being advised to not re-open until the 15th June at the earliest and that the Director of Public Health for Lancashire is reviewing this on Monday 8th June. This does not alter my decision earlier this week and in fact supports my previous decision. I will be in touch as soon as I hear what the next steps are.

 

In other news…

 

We have joined the 21st Century and we now have a Facebook page which you can follow and like. As with Twitter and Instagram, whilst we will be posting photos and videos of the children and their work, we will not be linking names and faces. Here is the link:

https://www.facebook.com/EnglishMartyrs.Lancs/?view_public_for=107682747640487

Like all our Social Media platforms, please respect them, they are there to celebrate the fabulousness that is the English Martyrs’ school family, not as a platform to air personal views!

 

Thank you to all the children who have drawn pictures of themselves as part of my Wednesday Daily Challenge. Even if you haven’t done so already, it really would be great for as many children as possible to send in self-portraits, my aim is to print them off, laminate and decorate school with them so we are still all together, yet apart. You can email them to me head@englishmartyrs.lancs.sch.uk Thank you!

 

We have had another busy week both in school and with all our home learning heroes this week! In school we have planted new rose bushes, a sunflower and also bedding plants. We have tidied up weeds and ‘spruced’ up some of our outdoor areas we haven’t been using a lot. We have also had Mrs Hewitson’s birthday and we gave her a day off cooking and made a buffet for her, the children made cards and we all had a fab time in school.

 

Children and families have been busy at home learning and I have seen some fantastic work being completed as well as receiving some fantastic photos of fun times you are having! We have had a family complete the Guild Wheel, all 21miles of it on bikes, a family who have successfully climbed up Pendle Hill and learnt a little about the Pendle Witches and a family who met a miniature pony and a goat on a daily walk! Not to mention the duck updates, or duckdates, I am getting from some of you! Thank you all for these, it is great to hear what you have been doing and that you are safe, well and

 

in true EM spirit, making the most out of the situation we all find ourselves in! YOU ARE THE TRUE HEROES! THANK YOU!

 

I have put some online safety activities on the school website in the Coronavirus Section which might be helpful, especially if online gaming and ‘chatting’ online too!

 

A quick reminder that the direct link to everything linked to School Closure is on the website including class pages, messages from me, photos, information etc is through the newspaper icon on the home page:

www.englishmartyrs.lancs.sch.uk

 

Hopefully see you all very, very soon, as soon as I know, you will know!

Take care, look after each other, keep smiling & Stay Safe!

 

Annalisa Howarth

Headteacher

 

 

🌈‘Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think
Enjoy yourself, while you're still in the pink
The years go by, as quickly as you wink
Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself, it's later than you think’

The Specials ~ Enjoy Yourself (Cover version) 1980🌈

 

Tuesday 2nd June 2020

 

Dear Parents and Carers,

 

I hope this finds you all safe and well.

 

Following the announcement  and advice by Lancashire County Council last Wednesday regarding the postponing of a further re-opening of schools in Lancashire until all 5 Scientific Tests are met, I have been in constant discussion with the Local Authority and also Mr Gillespie, our Chair of Governors, and also Mr Haley, our Vice Chair of Governors.

 

With their full support and backing, I have now made the decision that our school will not be re-opening further until Monday 15th AT THE EARLIEST.

 

The reason for this decision is to ensure the safety of all our children returning, their families, our staff and the wider community in which  we all live.

 

The easing of Lockdown restrictions will take some time, 2 – 3 weeks, to show in regards to the spreading of the virus further and I do not want to put anyone in danger of contracting it as a result. Preston is yet to reach it’s ‘peak’ which is another factor into this decision. I want to make sure everyone is safe and at no risk.

 

I will of course also be following Local Authority and Lancashire County Council Public Health advice and guidelines, whilst keeping you all up to date and informed. We are all set to go here in school to welcome more children, so as soon as it is fully safe to do so, we will be.

 

Many, many thanks as ever for your continual support and patience and also for the marvellous job you are all doing with your children at home in what are the most unusual and somewhat scary times.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact me for any further information.

 

Please do not worry, please take care and please continue to stay safe.

 

With kind regards,

 

Annalisa Howarth

Headteacher

 

Friday 27th May 2020

 

Dear Parents, Carers, Children, Families, Friends, Staff and Governors,

 

I hope this finds you all still safe and well and a good, positive and happy week has been had by all.

 

What a week of big decisions, big changes, classroom changes, huge big decisions made by families, staff, Governors, by all of us. If you are anything like me and the rest of the staff here in school, you will be exhausted! However, as I wrote in the text on Wednesday evening, Lancashire County Council have also made a huge decision for all of us, to help keep us ALL safe, that is for us not to further open school for other pupils next week.

 

Whilst we were all really looking forward to seeing some of the children from Reception Class on Monday and possibly others in future weeks, these plans have now all been put on hold until it is safer for all of us. I will be kept update by Lancashire County Council Advisers and also by Public Health and Wellbeing at Lancashire County Council. I will of course, as always, be keeping you updated each step of the way.

 

I recognise that some of you who have children in Reception have had to make some huge decisions regarding your children over the last few days and weeks as well as preparing them for returning to school when it will be totally different, not to mention possibly arranging to return to work. I am sorry for the late notice of the news a couple of days ago, however I would like to reassure you that I only found out around 6.15pm on Wednesday evening as I was leaving school and I notified you as soon as possible.

 

School will be remaining open for our ‘Rainbow Children’ as we have been since 23rd March.

 

 

Over the coming weeks, we will be continuing to support home learning, staff will be continuing to upload work onto the various class pages, and I will be continuing with the Daily Challenges also, so please do not worry about keeping your children occupied!

 

It has been lovely this week receiving all your emails with positive words of encouragement and also the fabulous pictures of home-learning, fun and happy times you are all having. Keep up the greatness and brilliance everyone, you are ALL doing a fabulous job!

 

Here in school we have re-opened the ‘spa’ and had a lovely time yesterday and today playing in the sun and paddling pool, staying safe in the sun whilst having lots of fun! It was such a lovely sound hearing the children squealing with delight and having so much excitement!

 

The weekend looks set to be another scorcher too! I know it is difficult and all we want to do is see our friends and families, but PLEASE can I ask and remind you to still use social distancing of 2m. This way, the virus will not spread quite so much which means we can ALL return to some sort of normality both here at school and most importantly at home with our families. Thank you!

 

 

Please have a safe weekend, stay calm, stay happy and please do keep in touch!

Take care, look after each other, keep smiling & Stay Safe!

Annalisa Howarth

Headteacher

 

🌈If you’re always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be.’

Mary Angelou 🌈

'While We Can't Hug'

 

Click on the picture below to watch a lovely animation about how to show you still care even if you can't hug the one you love (especially perfect for our small friends in school!)

 

 

Friday 22nd May 2020

 

Dear Parents, Carers, Children, Families, Friends, Staff and Governors,

 

I hope this finds you all still safe and well and a good, positive and happy week has been had by all.

 

On Wednesday I sent a text to you all with a link to the school website for a letter from me about the potential re-opening of school on June 1st. Please can I ask you all to read this, even if your child is not in one of the 4 key classes the Government is suggesting return in a phased manner (those being Nursery, reception, Year 1 and Year 6). This is the link should you need it:

 

https://www.englishmartyrs.lancs.sch.uk/messages-from-mrs-h-during-school-closure/

 

As I have stated in the letter, this is a potential further opening of school ONLY for Reception children and we will ONLY be doing so if, and only if, both the Governing Board and I feel it is safe for all to do so.

A few parents have asked about their children returning to school even if they are not in Reception Class, but because they are Key or Critical  Workers. The answer to this is yes, however ONLY if parents are on the Critical Workers list which you can find on the school website or by using this link:

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision

 

Staff in school are working tirelessly to finalise plans and to make sure everything is safe, planned, cleaned, ready as well as ensuring work is ready for both our pupils who will be in school and also those at home. Our Home Learning Online work will still be available for pupils in Nursery, Y1 – Y6 as they have been for the last 9 weeks.

 

In other news, your children have been working tremendously hard this last week! Each day my email inbox and those of other members of staff have been filled with photos and pictures and examples of some amazing and fantastic work, I couldn’t be prouder of the children and also of you their families who are sticking with it, doing what you have to do with the children and getting on with it, I thank you from the bottom of my heart as I know it is not easy! As I have said before, don’t be too hard on yourselves, you are doing an amazing job and if your child isn’t in the right frame of mind, take a step back, put the work to one side, do something fun and go back to it later IF they are in the right frame of mind! Don’t stress about it, the children’s safety, happiness and well-being and also yours is as, if not more, important! Next week is officially half term, so please all have a break from work and keep happy!

 

In school, we have had sports, crocheting, Lego making, Dance offs and on Wednesday, Miss Walker started to teach Mrs Hewitson and I to tap dance, it was great fun, although I think Mrs Hewitson was slightly more co-ordinated than I was as I couldn’t stop laughing! However, I have achieved a life time wish and started to learn!

 

Please have a safe weekend, stay calm, stay happy and please do keep in touch!

Take care, look after each other, keep smiling & Stay Safe!

Annalisa Howarth

Headteacher

‘If life seems jolly rotten,

There’s something you’ve forgotten,

And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing,

When you’re feeling in the dumps,

Don’t be silly chumps

Just purse your lips and whistle, that’s the thing.

And always look on the bright side of life’

Monty Python

 

🌈

 

Wednesday 20th May 2020

 

Dear Parents and Carers,

 

I hope this finds you all safe and well.

 

Following my letter on Monday 11th May and following the numerous releases of guidance from the Department for Education and Lancashire County Council, I have been busy looking at ways to open school further for more children.

 

I have spoken to many of you by phone over the last couple of weeks and I appreciate your honesty, comments and opinions whilst also fully supporting the decisions you have made and are making.

 

To this end, the Governing Board and myself have made the decision that whilst we will be opening school for more children on Monday 1st June, in order for everyone to remain as safe as possible, this will be in a phased manner.

 

The Department for Education proposes children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 will be the first children to return. We, the Governing Board and I, feel that it would be safest to only re-open for one class in the first instance. Following guidance, we have decided that we will ONLY be opening for children in Reception Class on June 1st. The reason for choosing Reception is that we feel they will need the most time to readjust to the new safety measures we will be implementing in school in order to keep everyone safe.

 

We are currently ‘making the classroom safe’, that is removing soft furnishings, ensuring EVERYTHING is thoroughly cleaned, Mr Green is deep cleaning the room, additional reminders for hand washing are in place and additional hand sanitizers, soaps and paper hand towels are being ordered. Additional thermometers have also been ordered as we will be taking temperatures on entry and exit to school as a safety precaution.

 

We hope to be able to open the doors for more pupils on Monday 8th June, this will possibly be for the Year 1 children and this will only happen if the Reception children are settled, safe and secure and we feel it is safe to do so. Depending on the success, safety and feasibility of opening to more children, we will then follow with opening on for children in Nursery, Year 1 and Year 6. Again, only if it is safe. I will be sending further guidance and information for new routines, times and new measures that will be in place in due course, to the individual Year groups and when we know for definite what will happen.

 

Please remember, the safety of YOUR children and OUR staff comes first in all these ideas and proposals. If we feel anyone is at risk, it won’t happen.

 

Again, thank you to ALL of you for all the care, support, friendship, appreciation and concern that you have shown both towards me and also the whole staff team since the end of March, it really is appreciated by all.

 

Please do not worry, please take care and please continue to stay safe.

 

With kind regards,

 

Annalisa Howarth

Headteacher

 

Friday 15th May 2020

 

 

Dear Parents, Carers, Children, Families, Friends, Staff and Governors,

 

I hope this finds you all still safe and well and a good, positive and happy week has been had by all.

 

Hopefully you have all had time to read the letter I sent via Groupcall, which is on the website, on Monday regarding the ‘possible’ re-opening of school for certain year groups on Monday 1st June. As I have stressed this is only a possibility at this stage. Many, many things could change between now and then, even between now and tomorrow.

 

We are putting plans in place for the possible phased return of children in certain classes ONLY. Following Government and Local Authority advice, only children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 are to be accommodated first; however, not necessarily all at once. I am working closely with the Local Authority, the Governing Body, the Senior Leadership Team and all staff members. Please, please rest assured, we are going to do what is best for OUR children, OUR school family, OUR parents and OUR staff. We will ONLY re-open school if it is viable, appropriate and SAFE. The safety of all comes first. I will of course keep you updated and informed at each stage of the process and I thank you for the quick responses and positive words and your unending patience throughout all of this, it makes life so very much easier!

 

Away from the confusing and the concerning and onto the fun!

 

We have had a great week in school, and it would appear in homes too! A tremendous amount of home learning is now taking place. Teaching staff are constantly updating their Class Pages on the school website and I am overwhelmed with all the responses to my Daily Challenges, thank you all! I know how difficult it can be encouraging a reluctant child to read when they prefer to play on an Xbox or their phone, so thank you for giving it a go and thank you to our heroic children for doing the right thing!

 

In school, we have had colouring, craft making, crocheting, sewing, football, playing in the forest and believe it or not, a full Christmas Dinner and mini Christmas Day! Why not Mrs Jackson, Mrs Hewitson and I thought! We had a great time! We also had the return of Mr Bridge’s BBQ today!

 

I have also been phoning many of you up this week to ‘touch base and catch up’. It has been great chatting to you all and I promise, if I haven’t phoned yet, I will! Nothing to worry about, more just my way of saying hello, you are still part of the family even though you aren’t here every day!

 

In one phone call one of our mums came up with a brilliant idea! If we all treat any headlice now whilst the children are not in school, maybe, just maybe we could stop them full stop! It is worth a try and you can get the headlice solutions free from any chemist! It will pass a few hours if nothing else!

 

A quick reminder that the direct link to everything linked to School Closure is on the website including class pages, messages from me, photos, information etc is through the newspaper icon on the home page:

www.englishmartyrs.lancs.sch.uk

 

Hopefully see you all very, very soon, as soon as I know, you will know!

Take care, look after each other, keep smiling & Stay Safe!

 

Annalisa Howarth

Headteacher

 

‘Everyone is a bit scared,’ said the horse, ‘but we are less scared together.’

Charlie Mackesy ‘The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse’

(A great read, especially for these uncertain times!)

🌈

 

Monday 11th May 2020

 

Dear Parents and Carers,

 

I hope this finds you all safe and well.

 

Following the announcement by our Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, yesterday evening, I wanted to reassure you that over the coming days and weeks, firm plans will be put into place for the possibility of a partial re-opening of school. At this moment in time, NOTHING has changed and we are still ONLY open for the minority, those Key Worker and Vulnerable children.

 

As I write this, I am waiting on further guidance from the Department of Education and Lancashire County Council. I will be liaising closely with our Local Authority Advisory Team, the Department for Education, Mr Gillespie (our Chair of Governors) and the whole Governing Body, members of our Senior Leadership team and staff here at school. I will keep you fully updated and abreast of all developments whilst also asking for opinions from yourselves too.

 

At this stage, the partial re-opening for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils on June 1st, is still only a ‘might be’. It is not definite by any means. However, I will be ensuring that we are fully prepared for the children’s return, both in terms of their safety and academic needs and also for their emotional and mental health needs. I am fully aware that Lockdown and School Closure has been particularly difficult for many, especially our children.

 

When we do re-open, you can be assured that plans will have been put into place to ensure the children’s well-being, health, individual needs and overall, their safety and also that of the staff.

 

Please, please do get in touch with any concerns, worries or questions. As I wrote 8 weeks ago, I might not have all the answers, however, I will do my upmost to find them for you, if I can.

 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank ALL of you for all the care, support, friendship, appreciation and concern that you have shown both towards me and also the whole staff team since the end of March, it really is appreciated by all, thank you!

 

Please do not worry, please take care and please continue to stay safe.

 

With kind regards,

 

Annalisa Howarth

 


 

Friday 8th May 2020

 

 

Dear Parents, Carers, Children, Families, Friends, Staff and Governors,

 

I hope this finds you all still safe and well.

Today is the 75th Anniversary of VE Day, the day the Germans surrendered in WWII. A day of significant change and positivity across Europe which has had great importance ever since. To mark its importance today is a Bank Holiday and I am sure many of you will have taken part in celebrations within your own homes, maybe as a street, having a street party whilst still ensuring you are social distancing. In school we had a tea party complete with bunting, a buffet, dancing and a fantastic cake made by the ever talented Mrs Hewitson. We have had a great day, despite the uncertain times we now live in and I am sure, and I hope, you have all had a great day too! Our pictures will be on the website and Twitter, why not send your pictures in by email and I can add them also 😊

 

I think we have all enjoyed the sun this week. We have been taking advantage of it here in school by using the school forest area. The children, and staff, have been den making, finding bugs, looking at birds, all sorts and having a good chilled out time! The children and staff have also been enjoying learning some new dances with Miss Walker, it is now our daily workout as a little school family! Miss Walker is going to be uploading some dances onto the website soon for you to learn them at home!

 

We still do not know when or if we will be re-opening. The ‘font of all knowledge’ that is Facebook and other social media sites have been advertising that we are to open on 1st June, 17th May, in a ‘couple of weeks’. However, as I have repeated many times, we really do not know! We should know more on Sunday when the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, details his plans for the possible relaxing of the Lockdown. However, until you hear directly from me, please assume school is still closed for all except key worker and vulnerable children. I will email, text, write to ALL of you when I know what is to happen and how! Please, please, please, in the meantime, do not rely on the press, the TV, Social Media for information as often it is wrong and just causes unnecessary worry, upset and concern. Thank you!

 

Hopefully you should have all received your Interim Reports. If you have not, please drop me an email and I can email or post one out to you. As I have written on each child’s report, they really have been the true heroes throughout all of these unusual times. They have acted and adapted with resilience, flexibility and acceptance and this is fantastic and also a credit to you, their families. Without your fantastic support, encouragement, care and help, the past 7 weeks would have been totally different (and not for the better!) Thank you all.

 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank ALL the amazing English Martyrs’ Staff family, whether they are the staff who have been in school working on a rota system, or those who are having to self-isolate. Again, they have been amazing, I am sure you will agree; class pages on the website continuously updated, phone calls, emails and staff sending those of us in school messages of support, phoning up to say hello, sending us words of encouragement. I cannot get over the support, care, love and friendship from the whole school family. Thank you all 😊

 

A quick reminder that the direct link to everything linked to School Closure is on the website including class pages, messages from me, photos, information etc is through the newspaper icon on the home page:

www.englishmartyrs.lancs.sch.uk

 

Hopefully see you all very, very soon, as soon as I know, you will know!

Take care, look after each other, keep smiling & Stay Safe!

 

Annalisa Howarth

Headteacher

 

“This storm will pass.” Charlie Mackesy

 

The theme normally in Summer Term 1 is around Pentecost          

 

Pentecost is the celebration of the Holy Spirit coming to the Disciples of Jesus 50 days after Easter Sunday, when He rose from the dead.

 

It comes the week after the Ascension, when Jesus ascended into heaven to be with God, His Father.

 

Before Jesus ascended into Heaven, he told the Disciples that he would send The Holy Spirit to be with them and to help them spread the Good News.

 

During this time of School Closure, we too can spread the Good News of Jesus by helping those around us:

  • with a smile, a hello, a please and a thank you.
  • we can help the adults in our homes.
  • we can show love to others by staying safe, staying home and being heroes by doing this as we are helping to save lives.
  • Find out about Pentecost using the CAFOD website

By doing this, we are sharing the Good News of Jesus as we are saving

 

We can also share our own Good News:

  • write a letter to a relative, a friend, a neighbour.
  • send an email to your class, to Mrs Howarth
  • draw a rainbow of hope and put it in your window (you can draw on it the ways you have spread Good News).

 

By working together yet apart, we can be ready for Pentecost, we can be like the Disciples who even though they were afraid, unsure and scared, they knew that the Holy Spirit would be there for them, protecting them.

We have our parents, our families and our friends to protect us even when we can’t see them.

 

Stay safe, spread the good news and keep smiling

 

Friday 1st May 2020

 

 

Dear Parents, Carers, Children, Families, Friends, Staff and Governors,

 

Wow, May already! For me, time has flown since March, however, I am very mindful for many of you it has not and has been possibly many weeks of slow, difficult times. Please rest assured, we are ALWAYS here for you ALL. We might not be able to sit in the office with a brew and a biscuit, but I am at the end of the phone or email for anything you need, whether it is to ask advice (if I don’t know I will ask someone who might!), a chat, to offload, to moan, cry, laugh, whatever. We are a family in all of this, and we stick together.

 

Staff have been very busy writing Interim reports the last couple of weeks and I have been writing comments on each. Hopefully they should arrive with you early next week. If you do not receive one, please let me know and I can re-post or email one out to you. As a staff team, we are all very proud of all the children, at their resilience, flexibility and adaptability in these most uncertain and difficult times. As ever, the children, both here in school and from what parents have told me, at home, have ‘just got on with it’! Well done folks, you too are heroes in all of this and deserve a big clap! So do you, our families, thank you for all you are doing!

 

Some parents have been in touch concerned that their child or children are not engaging with the home learning. Whilst it is important not to lose our basic skills of reading and writing and number and times tables, it is also equally important to remember our well-being at the moment. Keeping the children safe, loved, secure and calm is the most important thing to do at home. Their learning will come and all children across the land are in the same position.

 

Over the coming weeks, as more information is given, I will be liaising with both the Governing Body and the Local Authority to secure ways and plans for a return to school. This will of course include looking at the learning missed and how we can adapt our curriculum to support ALL children, regardless of how much or how little learning they have done at home during School Closure. Please do not worry! Encourage your child to read a little, do a few times tables, keep writing their daily diary (I know it is hard and I too have missed some days of mine!) and do the Daily Challenges, IF THEY WANT TO! Don’t force them if it is going to cause upset, tears, anxiety, for you and for them. Put it down, do something fun and go back to it later!

 

Next Friday is a Bank Holiday and also the 75th VE Day Anniversary. We are still open in school for Key Children and are having our own VE Day party. Why not have one as well at home. I have put a link on the Website for ideas. We will be posting pictures on our website, Twitter and Instagram pages from school as well as any you send in, so do keep checking!

 

The direct link to all School Closure business on the website including class pages, messages from me, photos, information etc is through the newspaper icon on the home page:

www.englishmartyrs.lancs.sch.uk

 

Hopefully see you all very, very soon, as soon as I know, you will know, I am already planning how we can celebrate being together as one big school family again!

Take care & Stay Safe!

 

Annalisa Howarth

Headteacher

 

‘We are not all in the same boat, but we are all in the same storm. Support each other & be kind’

Anon

Click on the picture below to access the VE Day Celebrations at home ideas...

 

 

Celebrate the 75th Anniversary of VE Day at home! We will be celebrating in school!

A really good read from The Literacy Trust about Lockdown for children 😊

 

 

 

Friday 24th April 2020

 

 

Dear Parents, Carers, Children, Families, Friends, Staff and Governors,

 

Welcome back to what still is our Summer Term here at English Martyrs’, even if it is a very different and somewhat unusual one!

 

We have continued with partial opening this week for certain children meeting the Government Criteria and what a fun week we have had! We now have 3 staff teams made up of teaching and support staff who work 3 days in school, then 6 days at home. The teams have worked brilliantly together planning and organising exciting and engaging activities for all the children and the weather has been a huge bonus too! We even managed a mini-sports day with Mr Luke on Wednesday afternoon! Do not worry though, we will have a full school one when we are all back together again!

 

I am very happy, and somewhat relieved, to say that all food vouchers have now been distributed either via email or delivered by hand. Just a reminder that the vouchers you received earlier this week are for 2 WEEKS. I have been informed that from Monday 27th April, Aldi are now taking part in the scheme so please let me know if you would like a change to your usual supermarket from Monday 4th May. Please can you also check all email addresses as some appear not to be working and vouchers are being sent but not being picked up. Thank you and thank you again for all your patience and support with the delays from Edenred (I fought your corners!)

 

Yesterday, Ambreen, Arwa’s mum, came and collected the Rosary Beads we have made so far for  the Hospital, you might have seen RPH on Granada Reports last night, including Rachel, who has asked for the prayer cards and beads. I spent a few hours this week in the evenings making them and it was really therapeutic, even if Molly Dog jumped on the settee and spilt all the beads! If you still want to make any or indeed have any spare sets in school, please send them into school and we will take them with our next batch. Thank you!

 

 

We are hoping to get all the Interim Reports posted out before the end of next week. If you have not received one by the end of the first week in May, please drop me an email or phone call and let me know.

 

You have all, children and parents, been busy this week responding to my Daily Challenges, thank you so much, I love seeing them all and it is a great way to connect. Thank you and keep them coming! I too have learnt new skills this week and have made a couple of iMovies showcasing some of your work! I felt like a real director when I had finished!

 

Sunday should have been the day I ran in the London Marathon, alas it wasn’t meant to be for many. Instead I am attempting a 10k run in aid of my chosen charity Coram. I shall think of you all as I run and the continuous support and generosity you always show both to me and to the school. Thank you!

 

Please remember to keep in touch with school! You can do this either by emailing me on the above email address, email your class teacher on the email addresses on the Class Pages of the website or give school a call. My motto is always happy parents, happy children, happy staff, happy Head! Take care and stay safe and THANK YOU, you are all doing an amazing job, together and as a team!

Annalisa Howarth

Headteacher

 

‘Stay safe, stay at home, look after each other, be healthy and well and keep smiling!’

A little message from our small people in school this week…wise words out of the mouth of babes!

 

Stay safe & stay strong πŸŒˆπŸ˜€

Friday 17th April 2020

 

 

Dear Parents, Carers, Children, Families, Friends, Staff and Governors,

 

I hope the Easter long weekend was good and lots of chocolate and family time was had! Thank you all so very much for following Government Guidelines and not congregating or going out unnecessarily.

 

School has been a flurry of activity this week with craft, sport, reading, beading, marble mazes and laughter! We were open on both Bank Holidays and had children in and have had children in all week, giving reassurance, support and help.

 

A lot of time has also been spent on the website for the e-vouchers for Free School Meals. Thank you all so very much for your patience and understanding with the delay. To say it has been a testing time is an understatement, however, it was made more than bearable because of you, our fabulous parents, thank you!

 

We have started making Rosary Beads in school. A parent asked for any donations for Preston Hospital so that those who are patients there can find comfort in their faith during an awful time for them where they cannot pray or be with their nearest and dearest. We have some ready-made sets of beads in school, however, if you have any extras at home, I’m extending a plea from one of the Safeguarding Nurses at RPH to ask if you wouldn’t mind donating them. They can be dropped off at our school and I will make sure they are taken there. Thank you!

 

In the media this week, there has been a lot of talk about schools re-opening. Please can I reassure you all that as soon as I know anything DEFINITE, I will let you know ASAP. At the moment, it is all guess work and I think a little bit of presuming of some in the media! As far as I know and at the time of writing this, there are no plans to re-open school in the near future.

 

In the coming weeks, you should receive an interim report for children. Usually we would send a basic report out at the end of the Spring Term. This year, this report will form the general end of school year report. There will not be an additional box for attendance and punctuality because of the closure.

We are at the end of the 4th week of closure and I appreciate that times are getting difficult perhaps at home, tensions are rising, boredom of the children maybe setting in as a result of the strict, yet essential restrictions that are in place. It is important we stick to a routine with our children. Here are some key ideas...

 

  • Try to stick to usual bedtimes ~ it is tempting to think we are on holiday, but children quickly form habits and breaking them is 10 times harder than making them
  • Try to encourage a little bit of reading each day ~ reading TO your child and talking about the story is as good as them reading to you!
  • Try to stick to regular mealtimes at the table if possible ~ it is always so easy to let these slip, but the routine keeps us grounded and prevents over snacking on sugar (hard, I know!)
  • Try to stop any screen time an hour before bed ~ research has shown screens at bedtime can prevent proper sleep (this includes TV), also you can rest easy your child is not gaming or at harm on the internet without you being there
  • Try to vary your day ~ it is hard with restrictions, but if you can, go for a walk, talk about what you see, hear, smell, feel; do exercise in the garden or yard or living room; cook together
  • Try to talk to your child ~ encourage them to talk about how they are feeling, if they have any worries, concerns, fears about School Closure, not seeing their friends, relatives, neighbours. It is VERY difficult, especially for younger children, to understand why they can’t see, hug or give granny or grandad a kiss
  • Remind your child what a fantastic job they are doing by staying at home and staying safe, that THEY ARE HEROES TOO!
  • Try to be honest with your child ~ tell them you don’t know all the answers, but you can try and find out (but please do not rely or use Social Media for the answers!)

 

Most of all, keep in touch with school! You can do this either by emailing me on the above email address, email your class teacher on the email addresses on the Class Pages of the website or give school a call. My motto is always happy parents, happy children, happy staff, happy Head! Take care and stay safe and THANK YOU, you are all doing an amazing job and together as a team, we can do this!

Annalisa Howarth

Headteacher

 

Mrs H’s Easter Bumper Pack of Challenges!

 

Use the ‘Action for Happiness’ 30-day calendar and do a different action each day

 

Play the PE Bingo games and earn a gold medal

 

Design your own Easter egg with all your favourite foods on it

 

Read every day

 

Read a story to someone in your family

 

Act out a story

 

Play a board game with your family

 

 

Have fun & STAY SAFE!

Thursday 9th April 2020

 

 

Dear Parents, Carers, Children, Families, Friends, Staff and Governors,

 

I hope you have all spent a pleasant week at home, with family in your house, whilst enjoying a bit of sunshine, possibly on your daily walks. Today we should have finished at 1pm for the Easter holidays, alas it was not meant to be.

 

However, during the past few weeks we have all settled into our new way of life and are beginning to come to terms with the changes we have had to make to our lives. As I expected, the English Martyrs’ family have all risen to the challenge in a positive fashion.

 

All the fantastic staff have done an absolutely sterling job both in person in school and also from home: teachers who have managed to keep pupils up to date with Home Learning, whilst working with some of our support staff who have allowed the school to stay open for the children of key workers, Mr Green our Site Supervisor who has cleaned school and re-cleaned it consistently to within an inch of its life, Mr Gillespie our Chair of Governors and all our governors who have offered support in the face of the challenges presented. Also, the fine army of parents who have sent in chocolates, cakes, flowers and rainbows and cards to keep our spirits up whilst in school. A HUGE THANK YOU to you all!

 

School is remaining open throughout the Easter holidays including over Easter Weekend for the children of Key Workers and some vulnerable children. Advice remains from Government to keep all children at home where possible if it is safe for them to do so.

 

During the ‘Easter holidays’, we want our pupils to enjoy some downtime. We will not be setting work for this period as staff also need to have time to recuperate from the strain of this testing term.

 

We are really impressed with all the responses to class emails and the work that has been set on line and I have been extremely impressed with the positive responses to my Daily Challenges, thank you! I will be sending a link on Tuesday for a ‘Bumper Easter Pack’ of daily challenges which if your children want to (or you as parents!) can do.

 

In the coming weeks, we will be sending home interim reports through the post. Please look out for these.

 

Earlier this week, you should have received a letter from our Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, which included a leaflet for staying safe, staying at home and following guidance. Please read this and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email me or phone me at school.

 

Recently, the Local Authority has compiled some useful guidance for pupils who are learning at home and has produced some advice for pupils whose mental health and well-being may become affected by the crisis. I have added this information to school website and would recommend that parents and pupils read the content carefully.

 

Despite being on Lockdown and School Closure, we still had our Easter Competitions, not on the grand scale as usual, however we do have 6 winners:

 

Christopher Miller and Lacey Miller, Sophie Denwood and Charlie Denwood, Pola and Ola Dydzian

 

Well done all of you! A tasty Easter surprise will be hopping its way to you soon and landing on your doorsteps!

 

We still do not know when we will all be together again and without doubt, This year’s Holy Week in school has been a very unusual one with no Liturgies or days of reflection, however, I think in recent times we are all spending more time reflecting, thinking of those close to us, especially the ones we are not able to be with and thinking about how we should grasp the chances given to us in life with both hands.

 

Please take care this Easter, please stay at home, please DO NOT MEET UP or let your children meet up with friends. Stay safe, keep in touch and wishing you and all your families  a happy and blessed Easter.

 

Annalisa Howarth

Headteacher

News from Mrs Howarth 09.04.20

Friday 3rd April 2020

 

Dear Parents, Carers, Children, Families, Friends, Staff and Governors,

 

I hope you have all had a good week, despite the lockdown and chilly weather, have kept safe and you are all well.

 

We are now on day 10 of school closure and it still feels empty without all our children with us, however, like you at home, we are making the best out of a scary and worrying and somewhat frightening situation.

 

We have made pizzas, clay rainbows, Lego creations for the 30 Day Lego Challenge, we’ve learnt to crochet thanks to the amazing talents of Mrs SworeΕ„, made super hero capes and masks and played lots of sport and listened to David Walliams and done our Joe Wicks workouts each day! Busy times!

 

Yesterday we all dressed as Super Heroes for our Super Hero mums and dads who are Key Workers! The children made their own capes and decorated them with who their super hero was and why and then with Miss Jeffrey, Mrs SworeΕ„ and Miss Gillett they made some fabulous masks. A photographer from the Lancashire Post came in and took photos and learnt about all we had been up to. I will let you know when the story and pictures go out.

 

On Wednesday we took delivery of a huge food package from Preston City Council through their City of Sanctuary and Fair Share initiative. There was a mixture of fresh fruit and vegetables and also some tins and packets. We distributed these within our school families, however we will be receiving these food packages each week. If you feel you need some additional food or supplies, please get in touch by phone or by email and let me know and we will add your name to the list. Times are difficult enough these days without the lockdown, so we all appreciate a little extra I am sure.

 

Many of you have been getting in touch regarding the Free School Meal vouchers. As I write this, I am still not 100% sure what is going to happen or how they are going to be distributed. However, as soon as I do know I will send a text to all the families who should receive them.

 

I would like to say a huge big thank you for all the amazing responses to the daily challenges! I have really enjoyed receiving the emails from you as parents and the children and it is great to touch base and keep in touch, thank you! Look out for more next week and the coming weeks (if any of the children have any good challenge ideas, please email them to me as I have a feeling there may be many, many more to come!).

 

Check out the website and use the link here for our Easter Eggsatravaganza competition!

 

The staff continue to be amazing, supportive, caring and being there for everyone, from children, families, Governors, staff and even local people who need help. I would like to say a huge big thank you to them and also the Governors and you as parents and families for your amazing support over the last 2 weeks. I am sure I am not the only Headteacher in the country who many times a day has thought ‘Well, they didn’t explain how to do this on courses!’, however, because of YOUR amazing support, we have been able to continue to be open for those who have needed it and have been at the end of a phone for others whilst delivering bits and pieces to those who are self-isolating. THANK YOU!

 

In the meantime, please stay safe, please stay at home, please keep in touch, please let me know if you need ANYTHING at all, we might not be able to chat on the playground, but I can chat on the phone or email me: head@englishmartyrs.lancs.sch.uk

 

Take care, stay safe, God bless and be kind to each other in these difficult times, but remember, after every storm, there is a rainbow 🌈

 

Mrs Howarth

Happy Birthday to all our friends!

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Hello!

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Hello, we miss you all!

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Hello from Mrs H!

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Easter Eggstravaganza Continues!

 

 

Please send photos of all entries to Mrs Howarth at:

head@englishmartyrs.lancs.sch.uk

by 12 noon on Wednesday 8th April ready for virtual judging by a team of Eggsperts in the afternoon!

Thank you and happy crafting!

Easter Eggstravaganza 2020

Click on the picture of our lovely rainbows of hope below for the latest news from Mrs Howarth!

Stay safe, Stay Home, Stay Kind 

Thank you ☺️

 

Happy Birthday Children!

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New class emails are here!

 

EMNursery@englishmartyrs.lancs.sch.uk

 

EMReception@englishmartyrs.lancs.sch.uk

 

EMYear1@englishmartyrs.lancs.sch.uk

 

EMYear2@englishmartyrs.lancs.sch.uk

 

EMYear3@englishmartyrs.lancs.sch.uk

 

EMYear4@englishmartyrs.lancs.sch.uk

 

EMYear5@englishmartyrs.lancs.sch.uk

 

EMYear6@englishmartyrs.lancs.sch.uk 

 

Email your class teacher and staff your pictures, work and write to them to tell them what you have been doing! 

Remember to stay safe online though...if in doubt, tell an adult!

πŸ˜€

 

Tuesday 24th March 2020

 

Dear Children, Parents, Families, Friends, Staff, Governors and Parishioners,

 

I have seen some of the great messages from teachers to classes and I thought I would do the same same!

Firstly I would like to thank ALL of you for your kindness, understanding, support, care and love during what has been a most difficult time for all. Even for those of us who have been in Education for a while, never have we experienced anything like this before and we could not have got through it, or go through it, so smoothly without YOU. So thank you! We are all doing our bit at EM which makes us the marvellous school and school family that we are.

 

Monday was rather surreal in school. Food parcels arrived and Mrs Thompson and Mrs Hewitson divided them up into bags. Staff did a work out with Luke and the children. Mr Bridge, Mrs Jackson, Mrs Thomas and I tried to work out how many staff we would need over the coming days and Mrs Gardner and Mrs Galka did a fantastic job in the office answering calls, reassuring parents, paying bills (yes, they even come into school and need to be paid at times like this!)

 

Those parents who I spoke to on Monday morning to ask you to only bring your child in if you absolutely had no other choice, thank you for being so understanding and nice on the phone and in person, I really do appreciate and value that.

 

Lunchtime, was quiet, very quiet! We then went outside to play, thank goodness for the decent weather! A big game of hide and seek was had by all the children, we tried to make it fun for them, not to worry them, whilst keeping them all safe.

 

By 3.15, school was empty and all the staff went home, ready for another day on Tuesday.

 

Boris Johnson made his very, very, very important announcement on Monday at 8.30pm. PLEASE, PLEASE follow this advice. Not being in school means you are to stay AT HOME. I know it is frustrating children, you are young, we constantly tell you to spend time at the park with your friends, outside, away from your tablets, XBox and TVs, but on this occasion I am asking you please, DON’T do that. Stay At Home! That way YOU are doing YOU’RE bit to help reduce the spread of this awful virus. Which means, less people will get it, we will all remain safe and ultimately, we can return to school.

 

In the meantime, keep checking in, on here, on Twitter, on Instagram. Check your class pages. Maybe use this time to learn something new...art, a new language, read, spend time chatting with your families. Please call me at school or email me with any questions, worries, concerns. I am still here to support you as a school family, just not face to face. Keep us in your prayers and please, please STAY SAFE and be good for your families. These are very difficult times for all, children, show some EM spirit and determination, high aspirations and be the greatness that you are.

Thank you, I miss all of you and look forward to when we can all be back as one big EM school family again.

Take care, God Bless, Stay Safe,

Mrs Howarth 


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