What a Funny Old Year at Bosbury School!
Do you remember any of the events shown below? They seem SO long ago now!
The whole school climate change strike, sustainable sale and visit from Green Party MP for Herefordshire Ellie Chowns, along with World Book Day 2020, Class 1's lovely animals assembly, and the Young Leaders' cake sale at the weekly Bosbury Brew café over at the church were the very last activities to take place before life not just at Bosbury School but in general took a significant, unprecedented and prolonged change.
We refer of course to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic of 2020 which resulted in Bosbury Primary School, together with every other school around the country being told by the government to close its doors to all pupils indefinitely in order to help prevent stop the spread of this horrible new illness.
At 3:15pm on Friday 20th March, our school closed for the first time in over fifty years for a reason other than school holidays, teaching training days or severe weather, ushering in a sudden new reality of all children having to be taught by their parents at home with work being set by teachers online. Schools, colleges, universities, many shops, pubs, restaurants, gyms, swimming pools, hairdressers and beauty salons, cinemas, theatres and even outdoor areas of leisure such as parks and popular areas of natural beauty such as the Malvern Hills were all completely closed to the public, and you could only leave your house to obtain essential goods from supermarkets, for medical appointments and to collect takeaway food, with outdoor exercise being limited to just one hour a day!
As everyone started to adapt to this very different way of life, Bosbury parents worked extremely hard with their children in order to cover all of the work which teachers were continuing to diligently set in order to ensure that pupils remained on top of the topics which they needed to cover at school this year. We kept our times tables, reading, spellings and grammar knowledge going with the ever-popular 99 club and grammar hammer sheets, engaged ourselves in some fantastic creative topic work, and also took the opportunity to practise existing life skills and even develop some new ones such as cooking, gardening, gymnastics, ballet, BMX skills, as well as looking after our lovely pets!
We worked out with Joe Wicks at 9:00am every morning, held a virtual Bosbury's Got Talent competition, managed to raise £1,500 for our good friend Emmanual and his school in Rwanda to help their staff receive an income during the crisis, embraced the power of Zoom (did anyone even know this app existed before 2020?) to have meetings with our teachers and class-mates, took part in Herefordshire Virtual School Games sporting challenges, tested our general knowledge with a six-week quiz from quiz master Ponter, listened to bedtime stories from Mrs. Thompson and Mrs. Dark, and sent in our imaginative entries for a variety of weekly photo competitions such as taking pictures of our lovely pets, creating self-portraits, making funny vegetable faces, reading in peculiar places, and of course the first ever Great Bosbury Bake-Off!
In school itself, much work was carried out to ensure that Bosbury was ready for when pupils could return, although at this time, no-one really knew when this would be! Nevertheless, classrooms were tidied, sorted and socially-distanced, all equipment in the loft and PE shed was fastidiously re-organized and re-labelled, sheds were repainted and decking roofing replaced as Handy Andy worked his magic, Bosbury's teaching assistant team each completed courses ranging from anaphylaxis and autism awareness through to understanding mental health in children and dealing with challenging behaviour, and, perhaps most excitingly of all, Bosbury School's brand new greenhouse was fully prepared for use by green-fingered resident gardening guru Miss Cooke!
Eventually however, after many weeks of lockdown and homeschooling, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children could return to school, and on 1st June, ten weeks after the lockdown started, Bosbury tentatively opened its playground gates once more to welcome what eventually grew to just under forty of its pupils, albeit with the children now having to be contained within their own little 'bubbles' in order to keep them safe.
This continued until the penultimate of the school year, before we were delighted to be able to welcome each class back individually for a very special outdoor disco and multi-skills party day during the final week of the summer term.
It's been a very strange, unique and uncertain second half of the 2019/20 school year, but we are now in a position to look forward to the summer holidays with some optimism knowing that it is the government's plan to have all pupils back in school in September.
We cannot thank our children and parents enough for all the hard work they have put in with homeschooling. It was an unheard of and bizarre situation which we all found suddenly found ourselves thrust into, and the Bosbury spirit once again shone through in how we handled such a strange 14 weeks so brilliantly. We have many, many more photos of all of our fantastic learning and activities both at home and in school over the last four months; far too many to show here (over 1,700 in total with around 1,300 of these being from homeschooling alone!) - please take the time to view them in the GALLERY section.
Our Headteacher Miss Spence and Chair of Governors Mr Sessarego wanted to share these message to our lovely parents at the end of such a unique school year:
Dear Parents and Carers,
What a strange year we have all been through! I hope you manage to get some rest and recuperation over the summer. I am hopeful for a positive year in 2020-2021 for the children. Below are some of the highlights from the School Development Plan for next year. We will continue to grow and build on our strengths.
We will be launching our new curriculum, an overview of which will be on the website soon. The website has been updated for 20-21 - please take a look. We will be launching a new prospectus in September and of course working on our pond. The School Council, Eco Council, Singing Leaders, Ethos Council, Arts Council and Sports Leaders will be nominated on Friday 4th September.
We welcome many new children to the school in September, including our 17 lovely new reception children: Monty, Sophia, Bertie, Willow, Dylan, Frederick, Jaspar, Finley, Owen, Toby, Poppy, Millie, Emily, Ralphie, Gabriel, Esme and Isabel. Plus, we welcome Uriah into Class 3 Year 3, Tom into Class 1 Year 1, and Jess into Class 4 Year 4. We also wish Roo luck finding a home and moving into our Reception group of 2020.
Many thanks to all parents for reading the enormous amount of emails that have been sent since March.
Maggie Spence - Bosbury School Headteacher
Dear Parents, Children and Members of Staff
As we come to the end of this most difficult school year, I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who is involved in the life of the school for their hard work, patience and understanding during the on-going crisis.
I must thank, in particular, Maggie and her team for the way in which they have dealt with a uniquely difficult situation. They have responded brilliantly to the challenge, even though some of them have had misgivings arising from concerns about members of their family who are in the at-risk groups.
On a brighter note, I was delighted to see that the Year Six children were able to return to school and say goodbye to their friends and teachers. Leaving primary school is a landmark event in the lives of all children, and it would have been a great shame if they hadn't had the opportunity to celebrate it.
Hopefully, when we return in September we will come back to something closer to normality. However, we do need, as the recent local outbreak of the virus reminds us, to remain vigilant. In the weeks leading up to the restart of school we will be sending you information on the procedures that will have been put in place in order to keep your children as well as the staff safe. I ask you to read these guidelines carefully and to please follow them.
Thank you all for your support, and I hope you have an enjoyable summer holiday.
Mike Sessarego - Bosbury School Chair of Governors
Have a peaceful and relaxing summer everyone, and all being well we will see you all back on 3rd September. School will be a little different in the autumn with changes such as playground hand sanitizing stations, staggered break and lunchtimes, sadly no hot lunches being served, assemblies in classrooms, very likely no after school clubs or swimming for the time-being and events such as the Harvest Festival and Christingle Service unfortunately looking unlikely to take place this year, but we will aim to restore normality as far as possible with some exciting new initiatives and curriculums delivered with the trademark Bosbury positivity. Keep safe everyone and see you after the holidays.