We were so sad, as were nurseries up and down the country, to have to say a temporary ‘goodbye’ to most of our babies and children last week until who knows when? It dawned on us as we listened to the government statements, that some of our children may never return as they will be starting school this September.
How could we desert them without explanation? Who would help with their preparation for school, one of the most important transitions in a child’s life? We knew that their parents would be thinking up exciting and creative activities, but after a few days, let alone weeks, that becomes more and more difficult on your own. So we had an idea and set about designing Woodstock’s Home Learning page.
It took longer than expected as at the same time we were confirming which of our families had Key Workers. Who needed us to continue to care for their children and who was going to work from home and keep the children with them; who needed to change days and sessions; which practitioners were able to continue to work; did we still have a cook; could we still source enough food for our children?
Then there was the new facebook page – it needed to be locked and secure so that parents could make comments and help their children to contact their friends (one parent had already told us that her child was in tears when he realised that he would not see his friends again). We wanted to show activities happening in the nursery; different practitioners reading stories every day; share ideas for activities that could be carried out at home; and videos of activities from our visiting tutors. Trying to do everything at the same time was difficult and we had a few teething problems, but Martin Bloomfield from Seaside Creative came to the rescue! He provided equipment, filmed a few activities and set about creating a new page.
One of our parents is an animator and we are very grateful to Ginny Robertson for giving our teddy bears logo new life so that they actually wave now.
The page was officially launched on Wednesday and we already have over 40 members with more families joining all the time. Today we had a live link to a Streetdance session and every day we add two or three new posts and links to more ideas for the parents to follow. We are looking forward to a Milentos live session tomorrow and our in-house artist, Nadia Chalk, has promised some creative ideas very soon.
Now we can keep in contact with ALL our families, not just the few still attending Woodstock and we can look forward to a big celebration party when we can all return. We will not forget our school leavers either, I am sure there will be a party organised in the autumn and we can say those proper ‘goodbyes’.
Having solved the home learning issue we heard of another problem . . . . . NHS staff were struggling to find food in the shops. We have spoken to our suppliers and Guildbourne Meats and TG Fruits are happy for us to add extra meat, fruit and vegetables to our weekly orders; so now we can offer an order and collection service for fresh food to the families of our Key Workers – one less thing for them to worry about at this difficult time.