We’re into the Chirstmas holidays and it’s been the weirdest winter term so far. Our school is lucky – there’s been no bubbles sent home, no isolations as far as I know. Being a small school in a rural area, where I imagine many of the parents are able to work from home has helped keep Covid away.

There have been cases in schools nearby, and children are mixing across schools at tennis and other out of school sports clubs. But the rules in place, the bubbles, the extra cleaning and washing has worked for us here. So while many ask for schools to have blanket closures due to rising cases in schools – teachers and kids, I’d hope that schools or areas are able to make those decisions. As not all schools have been impacted, especially not primary schools. Even when there are school outbreaks, it’s not always the case that others in the bubbles get ill from the one positive case, although teachers do seem to go down like flies, and some people have said several in their child’s class have caught it. But single cases could be caught outside schools not within them. It’s a hard call for schools and local authorities to make.

Our school has done a great job of keeping within the restrictions but not going ridiculously over the top. They were still able to take in Christmas cards, but not licking them down, and only posting them during one fortnight. Each Friday, those posted were quarantined over the weekend before being handed out.

Events have gone virtual and they’ve gone over and beyond setting up tech test sessions for parents who’ve struggled to access events on Teams. They’ve had class and target assemblies, Christmas ‘church’ service, and more done virtually and for the most part, it’s worked well. 

When it’s dry, they’re having drama lessons outside, external coaches are restricted to teaching one class directly, others are virtual or on different days. N hasn’t mentioned feeling restricted in any way by the different routines in school.

But what’s been going on with school days this month.

It’s largely been about Christmas run up with a few more regular assessments fitted in.

They’ve had their Christingle/Church service streamed from classrooms. N’s class were the ones allowed to light their christingles. N brought his home with the warning not to eat the raisins because they’d all been sanitised.

Christmas jumper day.= luckily we found a red Christmassy style fairisle jumper because he refused to wear last year’s reindeer one.

Streamed ‘visit’ from Father Christmas where he answered questions they put to him beforehand.

Streamed Cinderella pantomime which N said was good.

Class Christmas performance which was a narration of The Grinch. The lighting wasn’t suitable for filming it outside, so it was hard to see everyone. Somehow I managed to miss N’s one line, but it was nice to see them put something on. Even if N hated every minute of rehearsals. Only one year to go of having to do drama performances.

Christmas dinner day where the teachers dressed up as elves to hand out their book presents which they’d usually be given by Father Christmas visiting. The children get dressed up in their party or smart wear for Christmas lunch.

festive fircone reindeer

As well as Christmas events, there was a target assembly (I somehow managed to see everyone else getting their certificates except N and the boy who he was sitting next to. Seems to be a habit of mine).

N was awarded VIP one day.

And they had a few table move arounds. N was temporarily seated next to another good friend and said he liked it there because he could concentrate more. He doesn’t do as well sitting next to fidgeters or people who talk a bit. But that was only temporary, so he’s back to his former desk buddy. It still seems to work fine with them sitting together, and N didn’t moan before. But I think he’s lucky to be sitting next to a friend, especially as they tend to be in the same work groups.

N did end the term with a cold. He moaned it was his tonsils again but after 1 day of being a bit tired by the end of the school day, he then had the last Tuesday off sick. By the Wednesday he was back bouncing around, so a 2 day cold was pretty good. Not so great for me as I’m the one who’s caught it off him and still have a blocked nose, ear and sinuses, days later.

It’s been a good December in school, and we’ll see what happens next term. Whether they’ll be back in straight after their inset days (the school moved them from July to January, in the hope of increasing the time the children have between potentially mixing with lots of people and being back at school). Or whether we’ll be in proper lockdown again with all schools closed.

Hope your children’s school experiences have been going well.

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