Letter at the end of the academic year
One hundered and twenty six days ago, I closed the school for the vast majority of children in response to government guidance. Three days later, March 23rd, Mr Johnson put the country into lockdown.
Since 23rd, every weekday, Silverhill has remained open. It has been a unique journey and one that I am looking forward to 'getting off' for a while! I find myself on the last day of the academic year, reflective, relieved and running on empty! I would like to thank you all for the positive feedback and support you have given myself and the Silverhill team over the last 18 weeks. I'm a lucky man to lead this school and work with such loyal and committed staff. The governing board of this school lead by its chair and vice (Claire & James) have provided quality support and guidance throughout this uncertain time - and for that I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all the governors for their continuued allegiance and dedication to their roles.
I know it has been difficult and frustrating at times for many of you, particulalry when balancing home and work commitments has posed further challenge. Some of your children have been away from school for 4 months; and although many of you will have enjoyed and benefitted from the experience, particulalry during the hot weather of April and May, there will be some of you who will have had to endure difficult family and work dynamics and perhaps even bereavement. We are ready, prepared and expecting some children to return in September needing individualised support and guidance. Issues around self esteem, belonging and social identity will be prevalent amonst a number of children, potentially acting as a barrier to learning.We will work tirelessly to re-establish the strong, emotional bond we have with the Silverhill children. Strong attachment, identity and trust within our school environment will be a priority during September.
At the start of next term we intend to gather opinions of children, staff and parents regarding 'home learning' experiences so that we can amend and improve our provision should a second lockdown occur in the winter.
You will probably hear a lot in the media regarding 'Catch-up' programmes in schools to address the learning loss during lockdown. We of course will be actively addressing gaps in learning and ensuring we bridge the gap from last year into the new academic year. However, our approach will be exactly the same as ever, delivering our core curriculum principles through our school ethos.
We will remain passionate about making your children feel amazing about themselves every single day! Through engaging experiences, we will continue to promote self-esteem and nurture their inquisitive minds. By valuing creativity, individuality and celebrating every success, no matter how small, your children will be encouraged to follow their passions and strengths.
We will embrace the new academic year 2020/21 and empower children to simply live by our school motto: 'Be Yourself'.
Big thanks and a sad farewell to all you parents whom end their Silverhill journey today.
Have a great summer, stay safe and may all your skies be blue...
Mr Gallagher & Mr Burley