Today was the last day of the working week and the last day of the academic year for my pre-school.
Well the day started early with a message from one of my staff to let me know that a member of her household had been sent home from work with a cough and had been advised to get a COVID test and self isolate until the results were known. So unfortunately my staff member had to remain at home and follow the guidance to isolate until she knows what the results are.
This meant we were one man down for the last day but thankfully this wasn't really a problem as we were having a very relaxed last day anyway. It was all about having fun with the children one last time before we sent the majority off to 'big school'. I managed to get a little admin work done first thing but then the rest of the day was spent with the children. My team had bought me some lovely flowers and my favourite 90% dark chocolate...not needed but very appreciated.
We have had a very strange year at pre-school and could not have imagined this time last year what we would have gone through a year later. Last October, and completely out of the blue, we were asked to vacate our old building and it really hit us hard. We were very well established in our old building, we had been there for about 17 years and had put an awful lot of time, effort and money into making it a fabulous space. We had new carpet, a recently laid artificial grass area, a pirate ship, playhouse, sensory garden and so much more and we had to give it all up; it was awful for all of us involved.
Thankfully the local Scouting & Guide association came to the rescue and offered us the use of their building. So the time between early December and late February was spent organising the move, applying for planning permission, re-registering with Ofsted (our governing body), selling lots of resources we could not take with us and modifying the equipment that we could take with us. And then a little over four weeks after having moved in we found ourselves having to close our doors for what we thought would be a few weeks due to this 'virus thing' and which turned into almost 13! Being based in a community building we could not have even opened our doors should we have wanted, or needed to, because community buildings were banned from being used under the lockdown regulations.
And then with great trepidation and a lot of 'risk assessing' we were able to re-open our doors again on the 15th June even though we were limited to how many children we could welcome back. But the great thing this week was that we were able to see the majority of those children moving onto 'big school' by hosting mini events where we invited small numbers to attend at set times, outdoors and keeping to all social distancing requirements...but it was very difficult not to give them all one last hug as we would have done normally. Hopefully our next school year will be a little more like 'normal'!!
Once home it was shower and change before grabbing a coffee and then hooking up with my good friend Michelle to record our Disney Dream Girls podcast, which was, as ever, a fun and lovely way to end the week.
So for me school is out for summer so it seemed fitting to enjoy a glass of red wine in a glass I received as a gift from one of the children leaving us this year...
And as we embark on our summer break our government have announced further relaxations of the lockdown over the coming weeks but still scientists are disagreeing with the approach and suggesting that this could all be happening too soon, too quickly. I just hope that the general public are perhaps more cautious than the powers that be or otherwise we will be keeping an eye out for a rise in cases in the next few weeks. Can't help think that a slow and steady approach would buy us a little more time to get numbers down even lower and that may mean we are in a better position should the autumn/winter second wave hit as predicted.
I for one will be adopting the slow and steady approach, so whatever you decide to do just take care, stay safe and wear a mask.