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A message from Miss Parker

A more personal message here (apologies to those who feel this is self-indulgent but there may be somebody who can identify with some of this), about how things are going chez Miss Parker.

Since the lockdown I have been mainly working from home and trying to juggle two small children, work and keeping in touch with all who are isolated that I feel responsible for: family, friends, pupils, their parents and colleagues.   I have no hesitation in letting you know I am a failure.  

This week,

  • I have not got anywhere near my way through the Nursery activities that Miss Griffiths has shared and at times become frustrated at my son’s lack of attention to the knowledge I was so desperate to impart.
  • I have probably shouted at my children and not had the patience they might have been better served by, as I felt the pressure of trying to keep all the plates spinning and their incessant demands or needs for attention were getting in the way of getting things done as quickly as I would like.
  • I have felt guilty that I am at home with my family, when my staff are in school and I feel I should be there.
  • I have felt angry that my long suffering other half seems to be able to get on with his work as the children are at the age that sometimes only Mommy will do.
  • I have failed to respond to an email until chased (those of you who know me well enough, know I try to deal with things efficiently when I can).
  • I have fed my family less than nutritionally balanced meals and at times given in to allowing another packet of sweets or an ice lolly when normally that might have been a treat.
  • I have forgotten to reply to the text message from a member of staff who was waiting on my answer to organise their own plans.

These are just a few and certainly not exhaustive.   My reason for sharing… with all that is in the news and the pressure we are all under, I am ok with being a failure in all of the ways this week and last.   I wouldn’t want these to become lifelong habits of course and every day I will start with a renewed energy to be better.  

If these times have taught us nothing else about ourselves is to value our health, our people and our experiences.   But they have also taught us that we are doing ok, we are stronger and more resilient and resourceful than we think.   On social media and in the news I have seen so much about homeschooling and timetables for children and so on. This for some families is absolutely working and helping them through this difficult time by maintaining order and structure.   Equally I have seen families who are doing their best just to get through each day with everyone maintaining their own sanity and having a much more fluid response to managing the situation.   Whatever suits you is fine I would argue as long as your children and you are physically and mentally healthy as a result.  

As a sibling and child of ambulance service staff, I understand full well the reality of what is happening outside of our homes.   I know many of our families are in a similar position by nature of the work they do, these months we hope will pass and we will survive through them.   In years to come our children will remember how we managed these times and I guess the key message I wanted to get to parents this evening is that you are doing a great job.   The ideas you are sharing with us staff show you have risen to the challenge of leading your children through this time educationally and emotionally.

There is no policy we can follow or textbook that will help us to do it one way or another, but we are doing it.   If your child isn’t learning the phonic sound they should be, don’t beat yourself up about it today, applaud yourself that they are safe and happy and loved.   Let the children junk model (my recycling bin is empty and my house is filled with tat that we have made but means something to my son), let them play and explore.   Be flexible and let them learn when they tell you they are ready (especially the little ones) and trust that those amazing people in schools will be ready to bridge any missed learning when schools reopen.   With the increasingly harrowing news reports, which I fear will only worsen lets shield them from this as much as possible by taking the pressure off ourselves.  I am a failure this week and that is ok.   But…we are all safe and well.   So my goodness I am going to celebrate that and so should you for yourselves!   Three cheers for the St Nics families!

We miss you all so much, each and every one of you.

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