Headteacher Newsletter Issue 7
FORTNIGHTLY NEWSLETTER ISSUE 7: 10.12.21
This is the last newsletter of the term with our Friday Focus, an insight into our learning, next week. We are extremely grateful for all the support you have given and are giving the school during this time. As a whole team we are all providing the best for our children. We are looking forward to sharing our Christmas productions with you next week. The children will have a fun packed week to round off the term, with The Friends of Clavering Christmas shopping morning on Monday, Christmas plays on Tuesday and Thursday, a Christmas assembly and lunch followed by Calamity Clown on Wednesday and class activities on Friday.
New Parent Governors
We are delighted to announce that we have two new parent governors – Mr Simon Camp and Mr Jake Jones. We look forward to welcoming and working with them.
Reception and Year One visit Father Christmas
Classes Reception and 1 had a fabulously crisp and sunny trip to see Father Christmas at Audley End last week. We were met by the Nutcracker and then boarded the train. The children squealed with delight seeing all the Christmas toys. When we stopped, we were met by some elves who danced and dressed the snowmen! Santa gave all the children a soft toy. After the train, the children posted their letters at the North Pole Post Office. The children were fantastic. Thank you to all the adults who helped us with this special trip.
Years 3 and 4 Sports Hall Athletics
On Wednesday 1st December, some of class 3 and 4 went to Joyce Franklin to take part in an indoor athletics competition. It involved field events, which included javelin, speed bounce, vertical jump, standing long jump and chest push; and track events, which involved a variety of relays including obstacle, 2 by 1, 2 by 2, 4 by 1 and under and over. The children competed brilliantly and gave great effort coming third overall. We had a great afternoon and represented the school well.
Last week, reception, year 1 and year 2 took part in a morning of Scootfit. This involved scooting around the playground to develop their co-ordination, balance and general scooter skills. They completed activities that tested their ability to weave around cones. pass through cone gates and how to safely stop on a scooter. Great fun was had by all!
Please remember to collect any remaining scooters from the bike shed before the end of term.
Well done Toby
Congratulations to Toby in Class 4 who composed and recorded his very own carol for the Saffron Walden Choral Society carol competition. Toby wrote a carol called The Night Before Christmas and was awarded the Junior Highly Commended prize. We are thrilled for you Toby.
Heads of School assembly
Our Heads of School have been working hard this term attending meetings and further developing our pupil voice strategies. They have designed ‘Idea’ boxes with posters for each class with suggested key questions encouraging the children to tell us how they feel about our curriculum and their learning.
This week the Heads of School led an assembly talking to the whole school and launching the idea boxes. They also visited each class afterwards.
Ideas will be collected between now and the end of term.
Next term the Heads of School and the Leadership Team will look at the responses and discuss next steps.
All the children were asked to learn and perform a poem for our Poetry Competition. The standard was very high and it was extremely difficult to choose the winners. The Reception class performed a poem together. The Heads of School from Year 6, Olivia, Oskar, Woody and Martha were part of the judging panel, alongside Miss Crosby. Well done to everyone who took part.
Year 6 – Barnaby and Olive
Year 5 – Louisa and Robin
Year 4 – Samuel and Toby
Year 3 – Darcey and Rory
Year 2 – Harry and Eve
Year 1 – Wilbur and Astrid
WINNERS: Astrid and Samuel
Congratulations – Forest School Qualification
Congratulations to Kym Elliston. She has completed her Leading Forest School level 3 training. This is a substantial qualification resulting from a great deal of work. Kym produced an excellent portfolio for the assessment.
This now means more year groups can enjoy Forest School on a regular basis.
Please could we make sure all uniform is named so that we can return misplaced items. Lost items will be on display during the last week of term, then they will be recycled.
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.
Protective measures have been increased recently due to a new variant, therefore it is vital that we are 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.
New Government Protective measures –
- Reintroduction of face coverings for visitors and staff in corridors and communal areas, including staffrooms (where close contact cannot be avoided).
- Reintroduction of wearing face coverings for parents/carers on school grounds.
Protective measures 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.
Thank you for your co-operation. We wish those affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) a speedy recovery.
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 – 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
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
6.12.21 Tray Day – POSTPONED
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
Clubs – Spring Term 2022
|Football Club||Year 6 3.15-4.15|
|Tennis Club||Year 1 – 6 3.15 – 4.15|
|Drama Club STING||Year 1-6 3.15 4.15|
|Football Club||Year 5 3.15 – 4.15|
|Art Club TBC||After February half-term|
|Fitness Club||Year group 2 3.15-4.15|
|Football club||Year 3 3.15-4.15|
|Fitness club||Year group 1 3.15 – 4.15|
|Netball Club||Year groups 4 & 5 3.15 -4.15 (limited places)|
|Football club||Year 4 3.15-4.15|
|Relax Kids||Key Stage 1 3.15 -4.15|
All clubs will start the week beginning Monday 10th January 2022
Mrs Catlin will continue with piano lessons in January.
Swimming lessons will commence on Monday 17th January for Year 4.
STAR OF THE WEEK
Week ending November 26th
Reception Henry – for his wonderful letter to Father Christmas
Year One Astrid – for her continued effort, writing a clear and well-structured letter to Santa
Year Two Phoebe S – for fantastic effort and perseverance in Maths this week
Year Three Danny – for excellent effort in all areas of the curriculum
Year Four Theo – for a great effort in English particularly in joining his handwriting
Year Five Matilde – for maintaining constant focus and for always giving 100%
Year Six Woody – for his dramatic Northern Lights story
Week ending December 3rd
Reception Alfie – for his fantastic ‘can do’ attitude and coming in with a smile
Year One Alfie – for consistently working conscientiously and taking pride in his work. Alfie does not give up until he is successful
Year Two Kitty – for his fantastic effort when rehearsing for the Nativity play
Year Three Carrie – for applying mathematical strategies in arithmetic assessment
Year Four Rio – for great responses and discussion during Guided Reading
Year Five George – for excellent class contributions
Year Six Daisy – for perseverance with long division
For children who have achieved their personal best:
Lunetta for her great mathematical thinking and for writing the word ‘fantastic’ without help!
Cruz for expressing himself very clearly and offering great ideas.
Consuello for her continued progress across all subjects always completing her work with care and detail.
Bailey for excellent improvement in her use of phonics now developing to write more independently.
Christopher for fantastic effort to improve his writing speed.
Lottie for an excellent attitude towards her learning, particularly writing.
Tommie F for a positive attitude to learning and showing progress across all subjects.
Polly for consistent effort in all aspects of the curriculum and fantastic progress in maths.
Rosie Ann great effort and progress in her reading
Eli great understanding, enthusiasm and effort in Maths
Amelia A for consistent effort and engagement across the curriculum
William N for consistent effort and engagement across the curriculum
Olivia M for always doing her best in every subject and for her positive attitude towards her learning.
Luca N for his excellent Computing skills.
WRITER OF THE WEEK
|w/e 3/12/21||R Frankie-Mae for neat and well-formed writing|
1 Isobel for using scientific vocabulary in her writing
2 Jake for fantastic writing about the Gunpowder plot
3 Rory for an excellent narrative using rhyme and rhythm
4 Ellie for a great informative leaflet
5 Will for his excellent Greek Myth writing
6 Conor for his cross curricular writing about the 3 peaks challenge
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
22.11.21 Rory – for being a brilliant buddy at lunch time
29.11.21 Will C – for being polite and being a great buddy
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.