Happy Friday everyone and I trust everyone has enjoyed the fact that that the children are back in school. It has been wonderful seeing full classrooms again and seeing familiar faces in the corridors and out at play.
On Monday, children in each primary school within our trust received a special friend to take home- a lockdown bear. These furry friends have caused delight and helped some children manage the anxiety of a return to school following a lengthy period at home. We know that during this time, everyone has been missing the positive feelings associated with touch. We have fewer people we are allowed to cuddle and social distancing has had an impact on wellbeing, since most of us crave this sensory stimulation. For children, this is particularly confusing. They are used to touching loved ones and physical contact is essential to development, it is part of how we know we are loved and wanted, it is part of the human bonding experience. I know for me, the hardest part of lockdown has been the absence of family and the fact that I was unable to cuddle my nan on her birthday, it is the first thing I will do when the risk to her health has been reduced.
The lockdown bears have provided a much-needed buddy to hug for children in school and at home. It is my hope that they will become a memento for each child to remind them of these challenging times. I hope they will, in time, use the bears to reflect on what they have lived through and how resilient and remarkable they are.
Seeing everyone returning once again to school, learning with enthusiasm and adapting so expertly to change, has made me feel exceptionally proud. Thank you all for your support and encouragement, enjoy your weekend.