Headteacher Newsletter Issue 1
FORTNIGHTLY NEWSLETTER ISSUE 1: 11.9.20
This is the first of our fortnightly newsletters for this academic year. Welcome again to the new term and it is very pleasing to see how well the children have settled into the new term.
Each class will be sending out a class newsletter. Each newsletter will inform you of the curriculum that is being taught this term and the trips that have been planned.
I would like to thank you for embracing all of our new return to school procedures. As we are settling in and seeing how they work there are a few things we would like to clarify and to share some amendments we have made, in the sections below.
Drop off/Collection: Thank you for your help in adhering to the previously communicated revised drop off/collection times. This is essential as we try to keep each class as separate as possible throughout the school day. Please can you ensure that you do not remain on site for any longer than is necessary when dropping off/collecting your child in order to aid social distancing. Waving is also very helpful to teachers at the end of the school day as they try to identify parents/carers to release children to. We ask that you do not arrive at school early for your arrival/departure slots as this causes queues to develop outside and inside of the school site. Please can you come at your arrival time.
If you have a message for the class teacher one of the adults at the gate will have a ‘Gate Book’ to record and pass on this information.
Any meetings with the class teacher must be via phone, email or Teams. Schools are being asked to encourage parents, pupils and staff to walk or cycle to school if at all possible.
Bags: children need to bring in as few items from home as possible ie the items specified: water bottle, sun hat (if needed), coat, hand sanitiser (if possible), packed lunch (if needed), reading book. At the moment we have said no to any bags due to the fact that at the moment we are not able to use our cloakrooms and any items from home are being placed under desks. There simply is not enough room for backpacks. However, we can see that it is hard for the children to transport items they need in school especially the children that are going to Willows or travel by bus. Therefore, we ask that children only bring small bags in, for example PE bags are smaller and take up less space. Thank you. (Hopefully we will be able to open up the cloakrooms later this year and those lovely new school bags can be used then).
Temperature Checks: Please can we remind you to take your child’s temperature every day before they come into school. If your child has temperature of 37.8 degrees plus they should not come into school and should be tested. Thank you for your co-operation.
Respiratory hygiene and face coverings: The ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach continues to be very important, so we continue to have tissues and lidded bins available in the school to support pupils and staff to follow this routine. As with hand cleaning, schools must ensure younger children and those with complex needs are helped to get this right, and all pupils understand that this is now part of how school operates. Public Health England does not (based on current evidence) recommend the use of face coverings in schools for children aged 11 and under. This evidence will be kept under review. They are not required in schools as pupils and staff are mixing in consistent groups, and because misuse may inadvertently increase the risk of transmission. There may also be negative effects on communication and thus education. We are encouraging school staff to wear face coverings/visors in situations where it may be hard to socially distance. For example, when doing gate duty and when working 1:1 with a child for a prolonged period. As we are trying to put every measure in place to ensure that the school stay safe and open for as long as possible, we are asking any adults (or teenagers) dropping off or collecting children to wear a face covering when on the school site. Although we have staggered start and finish times, there will still be a lot of people on the school site and we want to minimise the change of any transmission. Thank you for respecting this decision.
Visitors: As you are aware, we are not having any visitors in school at the moment unless it is urgent or there is a specialist that needs to visit the school. In each of these cases we are asking them all to wear face coverings.
Clothing/Belongings: It is absolutely essential that clothing and other personal belongings are named. Also, as we will be having classroom windows open to increase ventilation, and maximising the use of outdoor learning, children should arrive wearing a suitable coat each day.
Contact Numbers: It is essential that the office has up-to-date contact names and numbers in case it is necessary to contact a responsible adult in an emergency. Please notify us immediately of any changes.
Doctors & Dentist Appointments: Please could we request that routine appointments are made, as far as possible, outside of the school day. This is to minimise foot traffic around the school and to minimise the loss of your child’s learning time. We do understand this will not always be possible for emergency and hospital appointments.
Mental Health and Wellbeing: Frontline We just wanted to draw your attention to the website for Frontline (www.uttlesfordfrontline.org.uk) which has links to many local services that can help you with issues like mental health and wellbeing and finance/hardship issues. It is worth looking at the website to see what is available for you in this area
General illness: As per the guidance it is advised if someone has another virus, such as a cold or flu – it is still best to avoid contact with other people until they are better.
- When a child or staff member develops symptoms compatible with Coronavirus, they will be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 10 Their fellow household members should self-isolate for 14 days.
- All pupils and staff must have access to a test if they display symptoms of Coronavirus and are encouraged to get tested in this scenario. As we are all aware from the media there have been problems accessing testing facilities. Therefore, requesting a test as early as possible each day is advisable.
- Where the child or staff member tests negative, they will be able to return to school and the fellow household members can end their self-isolation.
- Where the child or staff member tests positive, the Public Health Team must be notified, and they may advise that the rest of their group within school will be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days. The other household members of that wider group do not need to self-isolate unless the child or staff member they live with in that group subsequently develops symptoms.
- We ask all parents/carers to ensure they organise a test for their child, in the event that they develop Coronavirus symptoms, and notify us immediately of a positive test. Further guidance is available about getting tested: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested
Meet the Teacher event
We recognise that it is important for parents to meet their child’s teacher therefore we would like this event to still go ahead but it will need to be organised slightly differently due to the Health and Safety restrictions that are in place currently. For the classes that have a different teacher to the one they had last year or for children that are new to the school there will be a Meet the Teacher event through Teams. More details will follow shortly.
For the classes that have the same teacher to last year the class letter for this term will update parents on what will be covered this term.
Parent/Teacher Consultation Sessions
We are in the process of discussing how these sessions can take place this term and will be in touch in due course with the details
Healthy Snacks We would like to encourage all children to bring in a snack for break time. It is a long time between breakfast and lunch and a snack, as well as a drink of water, make a big difference to children’s concentration levels and ability to learn. As a healthy school we have agreed strict guidelines for the type of snack brought in, it must be fruit or vegetable in the form in which it grew (ie. nothing added, not stretchy or made into a bar and wrapped). This also helps to promote our eco school policies of reducing waste and packaging. Miss Turner has arranged with Uttlesford District Council to provide each class with a food waste caddy, so we are now able to ensure every apple core and banana peel is recycled in the correct manner.
PE Clothing – a reminder
In compliance with health and safety regulations, earrings (including studs) must not be worn for any sport. Please make sure that children who wear earrings know how to remove them and have somewhere safe and clean to keep them during PE lessons. Thank you.
Nut Free School
Please note that we have a number of children in school with nut allergies, some very severe, so please ensure that you do not send nuts in any form into school as snacks or in your child’s lunch box including peanut butter or Nutella sandwiches. This also includes sesame which is in houmous. Thank you.
Application for leave of absence for term time holidays
Guidance from the Local Authority:
“Leave of absence may only be granted by a person authorised in that behalf by the proprietor of the school. As from 1st September 2013, the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 amended Regulation 7 to prohibit the proprietor of a maintained school from granting leave of absence to a pupil, except where an advance application has been made by the parent with whom the pupil normally resides, and the proprietor considers that there are exceptional circumstances relating to the application.
Taking your child out of school during term time could be detrimental to your child’s educational progress. There is no entitlement to parents to take their child out of school during term time, however, you may apply to the school for leave of absence if you believe there are exceptional circumstances.
If the absence is not authorised and the holiday is taken, the case will be referred to the Education Welfare Service who may issue a Penalty Notice for £120 (or £60 if paid within 21 days) to each parent for each child taken out of school.”
Please note occasional days for birthdays and treats cannot be authorised and cheaper prices cannot be considered to be a valid reason. No leave of absence will be granted during our assessment weeks or the first week of the Autumn term. Medical appointments, if at all possible should be made outside school hours. Siblings of children attending medical appointments should remain in school.
School Admissions – Primary and Secondary – Apply Now!!
To apply quickly and easily for primary and secondary school places go online to https://www.essex.gov.uk/admissions-to-essex-schools-for-the-next-school-year
Secondary school places for September 2021
From 11 September 2020 you can apply online for your child’s school place https://www.essex.gov.uk/apply-for-a-secondary-school-place
You must submit an application by the national closing date of 31 October 2020. Applications received after this date will be considered late and you may reduce your chance of being offered a place at your preferred school.
Primary and junior school places for September 2021
From 9 November 2020 you can apply online for your child’s school place https://www.essex.gov.uk/apply-for-a-primary-school-place
You must submit an application by the national closing date of 15 January 2021. Applications received after this date are considered late and will reduce your chance of being offered a place at your preferred schools.
This is a gentle reminder not to use Mobile phones whilst on the school site.
This is part of our safe guarding policy for all of our children.
Please could I remind you to monitor your child’s online use. If you become aware that your child has seen any distressing content online, which has affected them, then please let us know so that we can put support in place.
Please see below a reminder of some useful websites –
- CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection)
- Internet Matters
- Net Aware
- Parent Info
- Safer Internet
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
2nd September INSET day – school closed to pupils
15th October Flu Vaccine
23rd October INSET day – school closed to pupils
18th December End of term
4th January INSET day – school closed to pupils
5th January Spring term begins
STAR OF THE WEEK
Week ending September 11th
Reception Astrid – for super manners
Year One Hugo – for starting school with a great attitude to learning showing keenness and good focus. He has also been incredibly helpful, tidying up the classroom without any prompting and tucking in other people’s chairs.
Year Two Darcey – for being a supportive friend
Year Three Elliot – for his brilliant effort with independent writing this week.
Year Four Kayleigh – for working hard and starting year 4 with a great positive attitude!
Year Five Daisy O – for her excellent work in maths
Year Six Isla – for her positive attitude and focus on her work