We are into our second week of providing Easter holiday childcare for children of critical workers, and for the majority of children and staff we have been enjoying some well-earned rest – and sunshine - at home. A special thank you to all the staff who have been working in school over the Easter holidays so that key workers can continue their critical work during this pandemic.
For the staff who were in school until the end of term, I know, like me, this Easter break is an important time to try and recharge the batteries after such an incredibly busy spring term. This week I have completed my first jigsaw puzzle, baked, tidied the garden, read, slept (a lot!) and enjoyed my daily exercise, getting out for a run in the spring sunshine. A special thank you to Oldway’s leadership team - not just for the time they have given me this week - but for the whole of the spring term and this academic year. Miss Carter (Office Manager), Mrs Mullen (Pastoral Manager), Mrs Milligan (Assistant Head), Miss Jackson (Assistant Head), Mrs Peters (Reading Champion) and Mrs Passenger (SENCO) play a crucial role in the leadership of the school and provide me with great advice and support.
On a personal note, last weekend, my husband Liam and I received devastating news about his dad. Liam’s dad, Dave Meyer, had been admitted to hospital during the last week of term after contracting the coronavirus – despite shielding with Liam’s mum due to being vulnerable. Dave had been in intensive care on a ventilator for a week after developing pneumonia and had received round-the-clock care, but after developing an infection in his blood that his body could not fight, he died last Sunday evening.
Losing someone you love is difficult at any time, but losing someone so quickly and without the normal processes of grieving is particularly difficult at this time. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to send us messages of condolence and sympathy. Liam will miss his dad hugely, but overcoming lung cancer years ago gave Liam and his family many more years of special memories with their dad and Liam is reassured that his dad knew how much he loved him and how much he meant to him.
My heart is with all of those who are facing hardship and struggle in these challenging times: those who are grieving, those who are struggling on a day-to-day basis at home and those who are facing, unplanned financial difficulties due to no longer being able to work or having hours reduced. Each day throughout these troubling times and despite struggles for so many, I am touched by the kindness, strength and generosity of neighbours, the Oldway community, the UK as a whole and the human spirit.
Like many, I was reassured by the queen’s speech on Sunday evening. At this time of year, we think of spring, new life and the Easter story. There will be sunshine after these storms.
At the moment, we need to continue to take one day at a time, to ask for help when things are difficult and to find the strength and hope that better times will come.
Missing you all and wishing you a very Happy Easter.
Head of School