Headteacher Newsletter Issue 6
FORTNIGHTLY NEWSLETTER ISSUE 6: 26.11.21
Last week the school held an open morning for prospective parents. The children were a credit to the school showcasing their curriculum and learning. Thank you to the Friends of Clavering for organising the refreshments.
Thank you to the staff and parents who attended and led Parents Evenings, via Teams, last week. We hope you
found the sessions informative.
Bikeability & Playleader Graduation
Year 6 have had a busy few weeks training to be Play Leaders and learning how to ride their bikes safely through the Bikeability course. Now they have completed their training and all three groups have passed Bikeability. We had a special assembly on Wednesday where Year 6 were presented with their beautiful new Play Leader caps and Bikeability certificates. Well done Class 6!
Lisa Dunlop – JFAN Sports Coach – visiting years 1 and 4
Last week, Mrs Dunlop visited Years 1 and 4 for an extra PE lesson! Year 4 practiced some of their sports hall athletics events-javelin, speed bounce and obstacle course- in preparation for some of them attending a tournament next week. Year 1 worked on their ball skills particularly throwing and catching. Both classes worked hard and enjoyed their sessions.
Odd Sock Day – Anti Bullying Week
Children and adults came to school on Monday 15th November in odd socks to mark the start of anti-bullying week. Children took part in activities in their class with this year’s focus being ‘one kind word’. The theme was decided by the Anti-bullying Alliance “Kindness is more important today than it has ever been. The isolation of the last year has underlined how little acts of consideration can break down barriers and brighten the lives of the people around us.”
Children in Need
On Thursday 18th November children and staff came to school wearing their favourite colours for Children in Need – it was wonderful to see a full spectrum of colour across the school. School Councillors took on the important role of collecting money from the children as they arrived at school. When we have finished counting all your very kind donations, we will let you know the total. Thank you for your generosity.
Heads of School
Our Heads of School have been meeting with our Leadership team this half term discussing and developing strategies to strengthen pupil voice across the school. The focus this half term is our curriculum and how the children feel about it. The Heads of School have designed posters for each class with key curriculum questions and a decorated box to collect pupil responses. This will be introduced, by the Heads of School, to pupils across the school in an assembly. The posters and boxes will then be distributed. Pupil responses will be collected at the end of term.
Tik Tok and WhatsApp
As a follow on to my last communication re online safety. I am aware some children are accessing Tik Tok and WhatsApp. Please note that the age restriction for Tik Tok is 13+ and for WhatsApp is 16+.
Please see guidance for parents from the Two Johns (our esafety trainers ) –
Please could we make sure all uniform is named so that we can return misplaced items.
The school office should be notified on the first day of each absence before registration at 9.00am and this should be followed up in writing on the day of return.
If your child has been vomiting or had an upset stomach a 48 hour leave of absence from the last episode is required. For guidance on other illnesses please contact the School Office or refer to the document on the website in the ‘Attendance’ section – “Guidance on infection control in schools and other childcare settings”.
School starts at 8.50 a.m. We have noticed several children are consistently arriving late for school – ‘late’ is defined by not being within the school gates by 8.50 a.m. Please make every effort to be at school on time and if you know that your journey will be disrupted by road works, do allow time for this.
Please note that lateness is recorded on a per pupil basis.
Restrictions and protective measures have been reduced but it is vital that we are still vigilant and recognising and acting on COVID symptoms.
The main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
If anyone has any of the COVID symptoms, no matter how mild, they must stay at home and take a PCR test. If the results are positive then they must isolate for 10 days. If they have symptoms they must isolate whilst waiting for the test results. If anyone has a positive result on any test they must isolate.
Please inform the school if anyone in the household has COVID symptoms.
Our experience is showing that in many cases, early symptoms are presenting similar to those that you would expect of a cold – headache, sneezing, sore throat and a runny nose. I would strongly recommend anyone whose children are displaying these new symptoms, or indeed themselves, to get a PCR test, although these symptoms are not those listed by the government as requiring a PCR test. In our experience, test results are being turned around very quickly, usually between 18-24 hours.
As these symptoms are not those officially listed as requiring isolation whilst awaiting a PCR result, you are not required to do so, although you may find it prudent to await a result before returning to school.
I fully appreciate how frustrating this is when your child ‘just has a cold’, but any support you can give to helping our school run at full operational capacity is very much appreciated.
Local Authority advice – children to undertake twice-weekly lateral flow testing
We have seen COVID-19 infections in primary school-aged children in Essex increasing over the past few weeks. At this rate, it is expected that some primary schools could see significant numbers of pupils infected with COVID-19. Throughout the pandemic, regular household testing has been encouraged, but we would now like to strengthen that advice for primary age children.
From this half term, to help limit the spread of the infection within primary schools we are asking you to:
- Support your primary school child, if you are not already doing so, to undertake twice-weekly lateral flow device tests.
- Be alert to COVID-19 symptoms in your child (high temperature, new continuous cough, or loss of sense of smell or taste).
- Encourage good hand hygiene within your household.
Whilst we understand this is different guidance for some of you, we would strongly encourage you to begin this practice as a family, excluding any child/ren under the age of 2. This will ensure that as much asymptomatic infection as possible is picked up and will help schools to continue to operate at full capacity and minimise the spread of infection through the school and wider community. You can collect test kits from your nearest pharmacy using one of the new collect codes which can be downloaded from https://test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk/collect-lateral-flow-kits. You can then hand this into your local pharmacy, who will provide you with test kits. You can also collect test kits from your local library or order them online via this link: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing/regular-rapid-coronavirus-tests-if-you-do-not-have-symptoms/.
If a positive result is returned, your child/young person will need to seek a confirmatory PCR test and isolate for 10 days according to national guidance. If the PCR test is negative, your child can return to school if they are well enough to do so. More information about lateral flow testing can be found here: Regular Rapid Lateral Flow Coronavirus (Covid-19) Tests.
We appreciate that the changes in guidance can cause anxiety for some, but it is important that the education of our children and young people is prioritised this academic year. The likelihood of serious illness in children is extremely low and after 18 months of serious disruption, the DfE and the Local Authority are committed to ensuring that all children and young people in Essex have every opportunity to catch up and exceed their potential.
Protective measures in school
We have had two cases recently in school. In order to manage the current climate and enable us to continue with whole school activities and having visitors in school, it is vital that we work together. We are putting extra measures in place around the official guidance to enable us to continue with the whole school way of working.
All visitors coming into the school will be asked to wear a mask and take a Lateral Flow Test (LFT), prior to visiting. They will sign a document to declare:
- that they have not travelled or transited through any of the countries or areas as per government guidance/restrictions
- that they do not have any symptoms
- that they have not been asked to self-isolate by NHS Track and Trace
- that they do not have anyone at home with symptoms or a positive COVID result
We would also like to see the negative LFT result – emailed photograph.
If we do have contacts (pupils or staff only) in the school setting then we ask that they do NOT come back to school until their PCR test is negative, despite the guidance, and that they take LFTs for the 10 day contact period. Staff will also be asked to wear a mask when they are not teaching or eating.
As per the guidance, all staff will continue to take Lateral Flow Tests twice a week. Ventilation, strong hygiene and cleaning routines will be in place. These measures will be increased if the virus rate increases.
PCR test can be arranged online by following this link: Get a free PCR test to check if you have coronavirus (COVID-19) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). If you cannot use the online service, call 119. Lines are open 7am to 11pm.
In order to decrease the testing time please opt for a face-to-face test as opposed to a postal option.
You can access a free LFT in a number of ways, including at the local LFT site in your district, by collecting a home LFT kit from a test site, or by ordering a home test kit online. More information about these options can be found here: Regular Rapid Lateral Flow Coronavirus (Covid-19) Tests.
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 2022
From 10 September 2021 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 2021. 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 2022
From 8 November 2021 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 2022. Applications received after this date are considered late and will reduce your chance of being offered a place at your preferred schools.
Free School Meals Funding
You can register for Free Schools Meals Funding if you meet the criteria below.
If you have a child in Key Stage One and are receiving the free meal, which is part of the universal offer, you could be missing out on this additional funding for the school, which will support your child with their learning, if you meet the criteria below. You have to apply for this funding. If you think you meet the criteria below then please follow the guidance below and contact the school office.
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
23.11.21 Individual School Photographs
25.11.21 Flu immunisation
1.12.21 Sports Hall Athletics years 3 and 4
6.12.21 Tray Day
13.12.21 Friends of Clavering Christmas Shopping Morning
14.12.21 KS2 Dress Rehearsal (for pupils) am, KS1 Dress Rehearsal pm and KS2 Evening Performance for Parents of years 3 and 4
15.12.21 Church Service
15.12.21 Christmas Lunch
16.12.21 Reception Nativity am, KS1 Performance pm and KS2 Evening Performance for Parents of years 5 and 6
17.12.21 Last day of term
4.1.22 INSET day – school closed to pupils
5.1.22 New Spring term begins
INSET Dates for the academic year 2022 – 2023
Schools allocate five non-pupil days for staff training:
Thursday 1st September 2022
Friday 2nd September 2022
Friday 21st October 2022
Monday 17th April 2023
Monday 5th June 2023
STAR OF THE WEEK
Week ending November 12th
Reception Ollie – for challenging himself in PE
Year One Eleanor – for her improved learning attitude and good mathematical skills solving number bonds
Year Two Sophie – for a great effort to her learning
Year Three Claudia – for fantastic effort in English, writing and fireworks poem
Year Four Oscar – for a great “change of heart” story
Year Five Kayleigh – for showing great motivation towards her Maths work
Year Six Tommy – for his very descriptive writing
Week ending November 19th
Reception Annabelle – for her amazing phonics
Year One Frankie – for his excellent attitude to his learning
Year Two Beebee – for fantastic poetry this week
Year Three Sebastian – for working hard on presentation in Maths and making a positive start to column method
Year Four Darcie – for great understanding of column addition and subtraction
Year Five Emmie – for working really hard when writing her Greek myth
Year Six Chloe – for her thoughtful contributions in PSHE Playleader Training
WRITER OF THE WEEK
|w/e 12/11/21||R Jakob for writing a ‘Thankful ‘sentence|
1 Isaac for beautifully, consistently neat writing
2 Christopher for improving his writing speed
3 Jude for trying hard to improve presentation
4 Toby for writing a great persuasive letter in history
5 Matilda S best use of questions in dialogue
6 Jake for the improvement of his description of a familiar setting
Each week the kitchen team present an award to the class or individual for good manners –
4.10.21 Class One – for exceptional manners
11.10.21 Kayleigh – for always saying thank you
18.10.21 Eve – for great manners
1.11.21 Consuello – for stacking the trays when they started to fall
8.11.21 Darcey – helping people in the line for lunch
15.11.21 Amelia – for being mature about her food choices
Look out for our next edition of ‘Friday Focus’:
The fortnightly Friday Focus is a chance for every class at Clavering to share their learning with the Clavering School community. It is a great opportunity to find out what each year group has been up to and engage in conversations around learning.
If you have any questions at any time then please feel free to make an appointment.
Have a good weekend.