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     Head Teacher's Welcome 

     Welcome to Chesham Primary School (academic year 2020/2021)

2020 continues to be the most unusual, unpredictable and unprecedented year in the history of schools and indeed the world at large; certainly in all my 37 years of teaching and 21 years at Chesham!

In September 2019, as we prepared for another action packed, hard working and exciting year ahead we could not have imagined what lay ahead. As we reach the half way point of the first term of the new year, we continue to face an uncertain future and the hope for a return to normality seems some way off. The reopening of school was definitely the right thing to do and an important part of any return to normality, even if subsequent and ongoing events might suggest otherwise.

The last two weeks of the half term showed us that, no matter how carefully we plan ahead, events can cause a sudden change of direction and lead to a rapid change of arrangements. What is also clear is that, no matter how serious this virus is and how rapidly it spreads, when an emergency, such as the flooding in school, hits us, priorities have to change to ensure that our children are safe. Despite the most unwelcome impact which followed I have to thank and recognise the way in which all staff pulled together and worked so hard in such a difficult situation to ensure everyone was safe and looked after.

A vitally important aspect of our school, and one which we are renowned for, has been the range of after school clubs, sporting and musical activities and other events. This year will be very different and opportunities for children to partake and parents to join us and watch these events in school will be more limited. So we will be looking at using technology to share with you some of what we are doing in school and being creative to ensure we offer all our children as many opportunities as possible.

Our curriculum work has restarted in all classes, although initially school was very much about settling everyone back into the routines, behaviours and expectations after so long away.

We remained open to many key worker and vulnerable children during the period of lockdown and the majority of Year 6 children also returned in June/July. It is/was lovely to see them all return and it has been equally lovely to see all our children return, especially the positive way in which they have responded to the reopening of school and the pandemic in general. We have missed them all so much!

School does not look quite the same, although we have endeavored to maintain as much warmth and welcome as we can. Classrooms have less equipment available and fewer displays on show. Desks are all facing forwards in rows. Posters remind everyone about social distancing and hand washing routines. Sanitiser is everywhere! Staff have worked tirelessly throughout the lockdown to support home learning, plan work packs, prepare for reopening, write reports and increasingly make contact with all our children and families. 

Please refer to the front page to see the main online links to support your child's learning at home which have been particularly useful over the last week of half term as school had to close. Go to the relevant class page to find out what else might help to support the children's learning and find creative ways to keep themselves occupied. You will also find details for the staggered start and finish times for children which will have to remain in place for the foreseeable future.

Chesham remains a wonderful school with fantastic children, fabulous staff and teachers and supportive parents and we really do appreciate how supportive you have been.

We will keep parents regularly informed of any changes and updates but in the meantime look forward to getting going again. This year is going to prove challenging, but an exciting, hard working and packed year!

                                                                                                                                             Mr. Hudson           October 19th 2020