Dear Children and young people,
May the fourth be with you! Sorry, I had to get this in as I’ve been desperate to do so and the chance won’t come again! I hope you all had a really restful and happy weekend and that your lessons today have been enjoyable. I had a very relaxing weekend (after many long walks in the park) and enjoyed practising my tin whistle, baking cakes and bread and having a lovely family Zoom meeting with our children and their husbands/girlfriends.
My daughter lives miles away in a village just outside Leeds with her husband and I miss her dreadfully. Although she lives a long way away, she often used to work in Birmingham or the surrounding towns in the Midlands which meant that she would come and stay with us for a day or two. Obviously, we keep in touch via WhatsApp and, now (since I’ve recently got the hang of setting up meetings) Zoom, which is great, but no real comparison to having her here in the flesh so to speak! Our sons live closer – one in Erdington and one in South Birmingham so it was really good on Friday evening for us all to meet up via Zoom.
I have a confession to make to you – I didn’t do my 15,000 steps on Friday, but I still had my fish and chips! I felt so guilty, however, that I did the 15,000 on Saturday instead – although it nearly killed me after eating all those chips the night before! I was so glad I did go for that walk on Friday (albeit shorter than promised) because, guess what?? I saw two trains!! At last! I was so delighted because, as you know from previous emails, I’ve been desperate to see one.
Before I forget, I want to thank you for completing the wellbeing survey on Friday – well done! We will look at the results and then re-send it again for completion on Friday week (we are aiming to do this every 14 days). However, one of the things that concerned me from my brief look at the results this morning was that 20 of you said that you were unsure of who to contact at School if you were concerned about anything. I want to put this right, so:
I am the DSL (Designated Safeguarding Lead) for the whole school and my email address is either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com I can help you with any problems you might have either to do with School or any friendship issues you might be having for example. I am very happy to either help you myself or pass on your concerns to someone you’d rather speak to. Mrs Good can do the same – see below:
Another really good source of help and advice is Childline. See below for a link to the Childline App page – you can download the app or just access the information you need direct from their website. The website has lots of information you can access even if you decide not to download the App:
https://www.childline.org.uk/toolbox/for-me/ (Hover over this and select ‘ctrl + click’ to access the site)
Also, please, please, please watch this really inspirational and thought-provoking video (kindly sent to me by one of our lovely parents):
https://www.facebook.com/MotivationalDiary0594/videos/185475822501773/ (Again, hover over this and select ‘ctrl + click to access the video)
Anyway, I hope you know that, even though you’re not physically in School at the moment, we are still here to support you. So DON’T HESITATE to contact us if you need us.
As you know, there is a very special event coming up this Friday (which is also a bank holiday and therefore a day off School! Yippee I hear you cry). It’s the 75th anniversary of VE day – Victory in Europe day. Your form teachers will have mentioned this during form time today, but just in case you missed form time – see the poster below which outlines the event we are planning for the Bank holiday weekend – drum roll please….. The Highclare Hike! We are asking all our pupils and their families and friends to take part if possible. Further information on this is available via the School website. However, I am pleased to say that I have roped poor Mr Moore and the rest of the family in and we will be doing our bit and walking as many miles as possible over the weekend. We ( Mr Moore and me) will be in our usual place – Sutton Park – and I will definitely be deserving of my fish and chips on Friday if I manage to keep to my target.
We are hoping to raise as much as possible for two charities SSAFA – A national charity (the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association) and Young Minds – one of our School charities.
Anyway, changing the subject and getting back to things to do with spring… I was admiring the last of the beautiful daffodils in our garden the other day when I was hanging out (yet another) pile of washing and it brought to mind a lovely poem by William Wordsworth, entitled ‘The Daffodils’. It’s not really one of my favourite poems by Wordsworth as, on the surface at least it sounds a little simplistic and childish. However, when you really analyse it you can discover that it’s really about how nature has the power to inspire us and lift our spirits when we’re feeling a bit sad or down (like some of you might be feeling from time to time). Here it is – have a read and let me know what you think:
William lived in a beautiful village in the Lake District called ‘Grasmere’ in a little house called ‘Dove Cottage’ with his sister, Dorothy. Dorothy kept a journal and accompanied William on his walks – some say that she was actually the one who noticed the Daffodils first and that the notes in her journal formed the inspiration for Wordsworth’s poem. Here is some interesting information about this:
‘While on an outing to a nearby lake called Ullswater, Dorothy came upon some daffodils along the lake shore. She wrote in her journal:
“ I never saw daffodils so beautiful . . . some rested their heads upon these stones as on a pillow for weariness & the rest tossed & reeled & danced & seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind that blew upon them over the lake, they looked so gay ever glancing ever changing. Her brother borrows her imagery to start one of his most famous poems:
I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o’er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils ; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. “ ‘
I believe that Dorothy’s journal entries most definitely were the inspiration behind the poem and that she therefore deserves to be more famous than she actually is.
Years ago, I stumbled upon this funny poem called ‘Why Dorothy Wordsworth is not as famous as her brother’ which I hope you enjoy. The poem imagines poor Dorothy trying to compose a poem about the beautiful daffodils, but getting interrupted by William all the time – anyway, here it is (it’s best read aloud):
Why Dorothy Wordsworth is not as famous as her brother
“I wandered lonely as a…
They’re in the top drawer, William,
Under your socks –
I wandered lonely as a –
No not that drawer, the top one.
I wandered by myself –
Well wear the ones you can find.
No, don’t get overwrought my dear, I’m coming.
“I wandered lonely as a –
Lonely as a cloud when –
Soft-boiled egg, yes my dear,
As usual, three minutes –
As a cloud which floats –
Look, I said I’ll cook it,
Just hold on will you –
All right, I’m coming.
“One day I was out for a walk
When I saw this flock –
It can’t be too hard, it had three minutes.
Well put some butter in it. –
This host of golden daffodils
As I was out for a stroll one –
“Oh you fancy a stroll, do you?
Yes all right, William, I’m coming.
It’s on the peg. Under your hat.
I’ll bring my pad, shall I, in case
You want to jot something down?”
Actually the Wordsworth’s were also great walkers (taking me back to the HIghclare Hike mentioned above) and they would often walk 20 miles a day and think nothing of it! In fact it is said that during his lifetime, Wordsworth probably walked over 175,000 miles! (He could eat as many chips as he wanted)
I have visited Grasmere quite a few times and have spent many hours in Dove Cottage (which is a museum now) imagining what life must have been like for Dorothy and William. On one such visit, I asked the guide why William had a four poster bed if they were so poor and he told me that four posters were needed to keep the rain and snow off him when he was sleeping – also the creepy crawlies (yuk)! Funnily enough, Dorothy didn’t have the luxury of a four poster… just saying.
Anyway, I’ve rambled on long enough I hear you say. I need to finish now so that I can get this sent out to you before the opening of my letter loses its meaning… ‘May the fourth be with you…’
Don’t forget to get in touch with us if you need any support with your work or just someone to talk to if you’re feeling anxious. Remember to follow the links above and I hope you enjoy the Facebook one – I certainly did.
Remember, stay safe and well (and help out at home). Be kind to yourself and to each other and know that you are very special.
Love and best wishes,