Tag Archives: back to school

Winter is Here

Winter is here and just like the building where Beechtree lives , we are having to hibernate. We are staying at home and once more connecting and communicating in different ways to normal. Songs are sung, lessons are learned, news is shared and stories are told via Zoom.
Even though we are missing each other, it cheers us immensely to be able to see the children and sometimes even the animals we live with. For those who don’t want to Zoom and who watch later, it’s lovely to be able to send and receive catch up emails and phone calls and to hear how you are doing.

Our overarching aim with the remote learning we are offering is to stay in contact and to give the Beechtree children familiarity and security, and the families support. Relationships and connections always have been fundamental to our work and always will be the foundation stone for everything we do. With our remote learning, we don’t want anyone to feel under pressure though. There is no rush and no one is going to be left behind. Please do continue to keep in touch and remember that what we are all being asked to do is almost impossible and to navigate this time, we need to keep hibernating, to slow down, to breathe, to be gentle with ourselves and to keep checking in and looking after each other.

Our Beechtree winter feels deep, heavy and dark some days. Not only are we in lockdown but we are currently without a usable building. Not being able to open for the children of critical workers yet feels hard. Exploring options and processes for sorting our current premises and looking for other options is stymied and slow, there are lots of phone calls, emails and meetings, it’s out of our control and it’s just taking time. Today I found myself thinking of the seeds and the root children who are unseen but busy deep down in the earth preparing for the abundant growth of spring, and in remembering this, I could start to trust that all the work we are doing is like the seeds buried deep but still growing, developing and reaching out; we can’t see the progress but it is will be there, unfolding, just like the tiny snowdrops slowly awakening in our gardens under the blanket of snow, something will emerge when it’s ready.

As I try and do what feels impossible – work from home, managing a school and support my child with his school work and through exam disruption, I find myself looking for the joy in tiny moments, in the snowy trees, the blue skies, the warm fire, a lit candle, fairy lights, a message from a colleague. These moments are sustaining me, along with the knowledge that Beechtree has always been more than a building, it is a community with a shared vision for a gentle, unhurried, much needed, alternative education; we will keep each other going and spring will come.

September term 2020

Just like the beech tree that we planted when we moved into these premises three years ago, the children have grown so much during lockdown and over the summer. It has been absolutely joyful to have the children back at Beechtree, to welcome all our new starters and to be operating more fully again. The building and garden are once more resounding with the sounds of laughter, chat, singing and general busyness, the children are loving playing with their friends and their increased resilience is clear to see.

Class Years

For Class 1/2/3 the first week back to Beechtree felt as though we’d never been away. The children moved into their sunny new classroom eagerly and almost effortlessly and began the journey of gelling together as a new class, with the class staff team for this term, Nicola, Ziggy, Gabriella, and Victoria. Already the class has ridden the waves of some of the inevitable changes that will characterise this period. Nicola is especially proud of how the children have adapted to a different rhythm in their own unique ways and also of how their increased resilience shines through everything.

We are all so excited for the term ahead, for the golden autumn sunshine, the falling leaves and the start of a whole new year together.