Message from the Headmistress
I am delighted to say we have made it to half term and today we have been enjoying some spooky classrooms and have some interestingly accessorised uniform… I quite like it.
This week should have been our Prize Giving ceremony and celebration of last academic year’s successes and I’m sorry there has been no mention. I am intending over half term to write the content I would have delivered in my speech as a blog for the website. We must remember the hard work of the year and the huge number of achievements of the school community. We are proud of our year. We just couldn’t showcase this in the usual way.
I hope junior children liked their trial hot lunch this week. Following the success of this trial, we have decided to run hot lunches 3 days a week from the beginning of next half term and will be offering similar to senior pupils when this has been further embedded.
Please see the infographics below which may better explain why whole bubbles are not required to go home if a teacher tests positive for the virus.
When we have children in self-isolation, we will set work via Satchel:One in line with the curriculum. Where possible and practicable we will provide Teams lessons. The latter is not always possible if the teachers are in school, or if some children in a cohort are in and others out.
If a child is self-isolating, it is not necessary for their siblings to self-isolate unless they are showing symptoms. Likewise, a child who is sent home to self-isolate only needs to get a test if they become symptomatic.
If a child, especially those currently self isolating, becomes symptomatic before the end of this weekend, could parents please let me know that they are seeking a test. This is important as we may need to backtrack to Thursday or Friday in school in isolating their contacts. If any test results are received, please let us know the results without delay on our info line: firstname.lastname@example.org or directly to me on email@example.com.
Rest assured we check advice constantly against that of the government, Public Health England, the Department for Education and our own risk plan. The full documentation I sent to parents in September will be updated over half term to add in some changes that have happened since then to our mitigations.
These include the compulsory wearing of masks by senior staff and pupils in corridors and public places; and the wearing of masks by junior staff in same.
We are additionally, after half term, going to stagger the junior bubbles’ starting and finishing time to try to clear one bubble before the next bubble arrive. On some days this was working perfectly as it was, but on others there were clearly issues of unavoidable overlap. This will also help parents to socially distance on the Avenue when they are collecting children:
Therefore EYFS and KS1 school day will be 8:30am to 3:15pm and KS2 as it is, 8:45am to 3:30pm.
All children can still arrive from 8am and mornings will remain unchanged, apart from we do expect all EYFS and KS1 to be in class by 8:30am, which many are anyway.
At the end of the day, EYFS and KS1 will come onto the avenue for 3:15pm; hopefully most parents will pick up at this point.
At 3:30pm, all children who are uncollected will go to After School Club as they currently do.
You will be aware that Nottinghamshire and parts of Derbyshire are now considered to be in the HIGH RISK tier.
At local COVID alert level: high, you must not meet with people indoors in any setting unless they are part of your household or support bubble. This includes private homes, and indoors in hospitality venues, such as pubs and restaurants.
You may continue to see friends and family you do not live with outside, including in a garden or other outdoor space. If you do so, you must not meet in a group of more than 6. In England, this limit of 6 includes children of any age.
At this alert level, our additional advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people is that you keep the number of different people you meet with low. The fewer people you meet, the less likely you are to catch COVID-19.
You are encouraged to continue to go outside with your household and/or support bubble because of the benefits of exercise. If you do choose to meet other households outside of your support bubble, this must be outside, must be in groups of less than 6 people and we advise you to keep the numbers low.
You do not need to maintain social distancing within your house.
We are also expecting a possible upgrading to Very High level if things don’t slow down in the next few days. At all these stages the government is attempting to keep schools open. In the event of a possible ‘circuit breaker’ which has been also much discussed politically, this may change the position for schools. Currently we are anticipating being open as normal from the 2nd November for the second half of term. Should things change mid-half term, I will send any required updates to parents within 48 hours of an announcement / or 24 hours of the publication of the detail. We have no choice but to follow the advice of the national government.
At all times parents who are concerned may choose to keep their sons and daughters at home. If they are not symptomatic or self-isolating because of a family test/positive result, we would of course prefer them to be in school.
Speech and Drama lessons will not start after half term as originally planned. Mrs Taylor will be in contact with her current parents to let them know directly. We are hoping to resume after Christmas.
Likewise, we are not returning to swimming, nor to using facilities which require travel by bus until at least Christmas.
We are sorry that so many events that are fun have had to be cancelled or postponed and that the extra-curricular provision is still not up to full steam. All will be re-commenced as soon as practically possible. Bear with us… The children are still doing fun things and having a good time in their classes and I am sure you will agree they have been doing some fabulous work.
I am sorry we are not able to get far away for a sunshine break (or go to Wales) this holiday. Nevertheless, we have space and time to relax and to have adventures closer to home (subject to government mixing advice.)
I wish you all a great break!
Message from the Head of Juniors
Firstly, thank you for all of your support this term. We know things have been a little bit different but we have had a really good start to the year and it has been great to have all the children back at school. The children have all worked really hard and I think are all ready for a break.
We trialled hot lunches again on Wednesday which went well; we will be starting to serve more hot meals after half term.
There are some fantastic Halloween accessories being worn today and Key Stage One are in their pyjamas, all part of class treats in recognition of hard work this term.
This week, we held the finals for the Poetry Read Off. A huge well done to everyone who took part.
Winners from each class are as follows:
Highly Commended from each class:
It was great how so many of the children had chosen to write a poem about current affairs or really important messages linked to mental health. Everyone will be getting a certificate after half term.
Please could I remind you that payment for the Christmas cards is due today if you wish to order any of your child’s card.
Our Junior School Head Boy, Oscar, has a message for you all ahead of the half term holiday. Enjoy!
I will be contactable by email over the holidays; if your child is experiencing any Covid symptoms or you have any other concerns, please email me.
Have a lovely holiday and I look forward to seeing you after half term.
Head of Juniors