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This week’s Blog is all about pukak, that is qanik. Still not clear? I am going to be writing about matsaaruti! Well anyone from Nunavik in Canada would be able to tell you that those are just 3 of the 53 words for snow! It seems to me that snow is all we have talked about this week! We have been surrounded by schools affected by the snow who closed their doors and I asked myself many times if we were doing the right thing staying open. We were combining the best of both worlds, enjoying lessons including some excellent outdoor science and then layering up before piling outside in wellies and snow boots for snow fun. Break time meant additional hot chocolate treats and hot lunches were hungrily and hastily eaten by children desperate to get back outside and play with this fascinating white and cold snow.

It surprised me to be presenting an assembly on March 1st which was intended to introduce the first day of spring to a Hall full of children looking at me wholly unconvinced! Thursday was the very definition of a story book winter’s day; freezing cold with snow falling gently on a snow cover that had been on the ground for days. Relatively we got off lightly. Recently I was reading about a March day in 1947 with a snow depth of 1.65m which would have covered me up! The ‘snowiest’ place in the UK is perhaps unsurprisingly Scotland and they are well organised for heavy snow which requires both clothing and alternative travel arrangements to be firmly in place.

For us this week it meant in depth weather forecast studies and regular meetings to make sure we weren’t taking risks by staying open and we were not going to give parents inadequate notice if closure was necessary. In the end we bowed to the Friday fall pushing in from the South and as the last member of staff hurried home on Friday at 2pm the snow began to fall and the silent, soft cover topped up the icy compacted snow justifying our decision for any early finish.

I rushed home and my granddaughter and I dusted off the sledge and trudged through the snow, heading for the nearest slopes to be rewarded with an hour or two of sledging fun which left us with rosy cheeks and frozen toes but it was worth it!

Annie Thackray