Hello to everybody that is part of our special CTK community,

It’s Miss Summers (PE) in the hot-seat today – I have taken on the task of posting the blog, but I must admit that I don’t really know where to start as it doesn’t feel natural as a teacher to have to communicate with you all via email instead of face to face and those who know me know I like to talk!
Before the government advised us to go into partial lockdown in mid March and then full lockdown towards the end of March to keep people safe to stop the spread of coronavirus and to save lives, we communicated as a CTK family in person with our voices and we all mutually shared the space in very close proximity in our form rooms, our corridors, our classrooms, at breaktime, in our dining rooms, at our parents evenings and at all school events.
I have personally found it very strange to ‘social distance’ and to stay at least 6 feet or 2 metres from others.  At the start of lockdown it felt like such an unnatural thing as we are used to being very close to others in our school and when going about our daily lives in the towns we live in.  I almost felt rude backing off and moving away from the people I spoke to and the gap in between the next person in the queue and I seemed huge when I needed to go out to the shops.  Fast forward 5 weeks and it now feels unnatural when somebody comes too close to me!  It’s amazing how quickly we can all adapt to what is thrown at us to cope with.
Like Mrs Wheeler said in her recent letter, we are living through unprecedented times right now and it is a great leveller and breaks down all the stereotypes: no matter where you live, what you do, or who you are, we all have to follow the same rules.
We will be asked by future generations what it was like to ‘live through lockdown’ similarly to how we ask elderly relatives now about their experiences during WWII.  How cool is that?!
Although it is stressful and unpleasant and boring at times to stay at home for such long periods now that we’ve had our wings clipped and have been told we are not allowed the freedom we once took for granted, we must look at the positives in this unique situation wherever possible.
What can you say you are proud of in the way you’ve coped and adapted over the past 5 weeks?  What has come as a good change from this crisis in ourselves, our families, our homes, our communities, our nation and the world?
– The world is healing –  the sky is bluer as it is free from aeroplanes, the roads have less cars on them so the air is clearer and nature/trees/plants have more oxygen to suck up so look greener.
– Our relationships at home are getting stronger (for the majority of the time for most of us anyway!!) – we are relying on each other more, we are sharing more and becoming more understanding of each other.
– Our appreciation levels for others are growing – we’ll now be so thankful for the people who are working to provide the food and drink we are eating, those who work to provide all of our home utilities to keep us warm, to allow us to watch our TV and provide our internet connections, those who work in our local shops so we can stock up on food and essentials, our refuse/rubbish collectors who take away our rubbish, delivery drivers who are bringing all the things we are ordering with our itchy thumbs on ebay and amazon, our doctors and nurses who are saving lives working very long stressful hours, our neighbours who are keeping an eye out to help everyone in their communities, those who are behind the scenes allowing our country to keep going, and of course we will appreciate our very loved family members and friends who don’t live with us that we are being isolated from to protect each other even more, we’ll never take them for granted again and we’ll definitely hold them even more dear in our hearts after this crisis.
Our tolerance levels are increasing – we are now better at waiting and being patient and allowing others a bit of time as I’m sure we were all guilty of wanting everything we wanted when we wanted it and got very frustrated when we couldn’t have it as quickly as we liked.
Our ability to find happiness in the simple things is rising – sitting enjoying a very relaxed meal, longer than we would normally sit and eat is a joy!  Normally, we’d all eat a piece of toast on the way out in the mornings in a rush or we’d eat our tea late at night after coming home from the various activities we’ve been at or we’d eat a quick snack sat in front of the TV.  In my home, we’ve played monopoly, had nerf gun fights, have copied our favourite videos off tiktok, have looked through thousands of old photos and have spent a lot of time having fun without lots of expense.
A few tips that may help you over the coming weeks are –
1) Try to stick to a routine throughout the working week – go to bed and get up at the same time each day so weekends can feel more like weekends when you can turn the alarm off and keep your laptop closed!
2) Make time for work through the week, but also make time for you.  A hot bath/shower and a good film will allow you to recharge your batteries ready for the next day of working at home.
3) Go outside for at least 30 mins at some point each day.  If you prefer, go out early morning or later in the evening and breathe in the air around you to give your lungs a good clean and release the feel good endorphins in your body.  If you can’t go out then blast a fan in the room you’re in for a few minutes, it’s surprising how much fresh air can do to raise your spirits and boost your mood.
4) Try to keep as active as possible doing something that you enjoy.  It can be in the comfort of your own home as there are hundreds of online fitness activities out there or failing that go for a walk, jog or bike ride or simply put your favourite tunes on and dance in private in your own personal disco!
5) Reach out to others and have a chat or video call with people outside your home for at least 15 mins per day.  It will provide you with a different conversation and you’ll both enjoy finding out what you’ve been doing as you remember there is a world outside of your front door waiting for you when it’s safe and the restrictions have been lifted.
6) Stay hydrated and eat well too.  We now have more time to think about our meals and can plan our meals instead of just grabbing what is there.  Make your plate as colourful as the rainbows we’ve all seen in everybody’s window as our thank you to the NHS and to remind us that after the worst storms come the most beautiful rainbows.
7) Limit your intake of Covid-19/coronavirus information – it is only natural that the media will report on the negatives of how many people have been affected and have sadly died, but they don’t always balance it out by reporting on how many have recovered and haven’t been victim to any symptoms at all.
8) Whilst our control over our freedom has been taken away from us, take control of something you can can take on responsibility of – organise the heck out of your bookcase or wardrobe as it’ll help you to make sense of the chaos going on around you and it’ll make you feel better as I’m sure it’s probably a job you’ve been putting off for ages anyway!!
9) Find a long-term project that you’d never have time to do in life before corona.  Read the whole back catalogue of your favourite author, binge-watch an 8 season show over the next few weeks, make a new town in Minecraft, write a journal about what you’ve been doing during lockdown that you can read over again in 50 years time, make a note of all the special occasions you’ve missed during lockdown and plan what you’ll do to celebrate once its safe to do so.
10) Aim to have a proper belly laugh every day.  Watch your favourite comedy show or watch funny clips on TikTok or YouTube or call a friend who always cheers you up.   Sometimes laughter is all the medicine that we need.
Please remember that although we are not allowed to open the doors to CTK at the moment, we are all a tiny brushstroke in the colourful picture that makes up CTK.  We are a caring community and although we cannot physically be in our school building, we are all a member of the CTK family and we will continue to be for the rest of our lives.  Once you’ve been part of CTK it will never leave you, it’s such a special place, it is where a lot of lifelong friendships start out and where we are encouraged to grow as a person as well as in our knowledge and skill set and it is where we all feel safe and happy.
The situation we are in right now is temporary and although we will all be scared at times and find it difficult, it is just a season in our lives and all seasons end and pass into the next season.  The seasons bring change and when this season of lockdown/quarantine ends, we will gradually return to being free, safe, busy and connected again without sensing the change, just like the leaves that turn brown from green without us noticing when Autumn comes.
Hopefully we’ll all be able to look back at lockdown 2020 as a time that we resisted and were fearful of and angry with at times, but secretly we can see that we did grow from this time at home to become a better version of ourselves.
When it gets tough, remind yourself that we are staying apart now so that nobody is missing when we do come back together.
Take good care, keep well, remain healthy, be positive and keep smiling!
Goodbye all, looking forward to seeing you when it’s safe,
Miss Summers

Today’s cultural challenge is to read about shipwrecks and smuggling in the 18th and 19th centuries:


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