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Keep Dreaming

Yesterday has been called the greatest song of all time; it is certainly one of the most covered by other artists and ranks as one of the highest-earning songs ever. And this was a melody that came to Paul McCartney in a dream. He woke up, fumbled his way to the nearest piano and worked out the chords. He said, “I just fell out of bed, found out what key I had dreamed it in… and I played it.”

A story like this reinforces why our brain needs to dream. Sleep helps our bodies to energise but dreaming helps us to process events, thoughts and ideas. Yesterday was not a creative miracle; it was an expression of what was going on in McCartney’s life. Great art, music and other creative pursuits should be this way. It has been shown that deep sleep strengthens individual memories but dream sleep is when those memories can be blended together in abstract and novel ways, enhancing creativity and problem-solving. 

Dreaming offers another benefit too. People say that time heals all wounds but other notions suggest that dream sleep is really life’s great healer. Scientific research suggests it is dreaming that eases challenging and traumatic episodes, offering more emotional clarity when one awakes the next morning.

So, keep dreaming everyone. Great things will happen.

AA Milne has long been a favourite of mine and he once said, “I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart for so long. If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can be together all the time.” This seems particularly poignant when our theme this week has been Together but Apart. We have been considering how we can celebrate our friendships and get the most out of school life back on-site while also remembering to be distant where necessary. It is easier said than done of course because the children are young but in general they have been excellent.

We are aware that certain tweaks are necessary. Lunch arrangements, for instance, are in constant review and I am sorry that it sometimes takes a little longer for the older children to get through. The flip-side is that the children get more play-time outside because they are spending less time actually queuing! There has been a lot of positivity around the packed lunches though I am aware the sandwiches are not always to every child’s tastes. Here I request patience and understanding while Ted and his team listen to feedback and respond accordingly.

Morning drop-off and evening collection arrangements seem to be working fairly efficiently too and I would like to thank parents and pupils for this. You’ll have seen the communication yesterday, for instance, about lost property and I would like to emphasise that the intention here is to step up in our support of the pupils and their belongings. I am very grateful to Penny Jordan for volunteering to give this extra focus at a time when many restrictions are in place.

I appreciate some of you may have considered hiring a full-time parentmail secretary for all the communications we have sent out and I can only apologise but I hope you recognise the need given all the changing circumstances.

Finally, may I make a plea about monitoring your child’s health. We are entering the season when children pick up sniffles. This is natural at the start of the term – school life is full on and young ones get tired more easily than in the summer (hence another reason for going to bed at a sensible time to get a good night’s sleep!) Sniffles and colds do not carry the same symptoms as coronavirus necessarily but I ask that all parents are extra vigilant and cautious. Please take note of your child’s temperature and whether they have a new, persistent cough; but please do also ask about their sense of smell and taste. If in any doubt, please do call our medical centre for advice; they will be happy to help.

Saturday morning activities start tomorrow. Have a good weekend everyone!

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