Dear Parents and Carers
We have now reached the end of the first half term of this school year and I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the children on the wonderful work they have done so far. Our early assessments in English and maths show there has been very little here of the ‘slippage’ that is often a topic in the news, possibly because so many of the children were able to come back before the summer holiday, and this has meant they have been able to press on with new learning more quickly. They have become used to our new systems and routines, too, so we can now say this is the ‘new normal’.
It is also worth noting that our overall attendance rate for this half term is higher than for the same period last year, at 98.2%, a very encouraging figure.
I would also like to thank the staff at this point, because to achieve this level of normality for the children has required a significant increase in workload, with our teachers giving up their lunchtimes to make sure the classroom is sanitised before and after lunch, supervise the children during lunchtime and take on extra duties. They also have to be prepared to provide work for any child who has to stay at home which has meant tackling new technology on top of their normal classroom teaching. I hope you all found the remote parents’ evenings useful and manageable – I have had some very positive comments from a number of you so please do send in your feedback.
The school is now using Microsoft Teams as its platform for remote working for both staff and pupils. Each child has been allocated a user name and password in order to access their own workspace and our intention is to start using this in school after half term. The user name looks like an e-mail address but the children will not, at this stage, have their own school e-mail account. Once the children are familiar with the format and how to access the various features of Teams, the teachers will begin to set homework and other home learning tasks for the children to complete at home. Prior to that, I will send home full instructions and a Permissions and Protocols form for you and your children to sign as it will be important for everyone to understand the rules and conditions under which the program should be used. As the teachers will need to be ready for one, some or all of their children needing to learn from home at short notice, this is an exciting time and marks a significant change in the way we plan learning opportunities for the children.
Unfortunately our brilliant recycling projects are currently suspended, but you will be impressed to learn that we have received £35.24 from the crisp packet collection already and we are due another £24.60 – that’s almost £60 for just one form of rubbish! Well done to Rocco and family for getting this initiative going; I do hope we will be able to restart it soon.
PTFA Sponsored Walk to raise money for a defibrillator
We are hoping to raise enough money to purchase this potentially life-saving device for use by the school and the local community in emergencies. Please encourage your children to contact relatives and neighbours to sponsor them for their walk or run, and if you take any photos while out walking, do send them into school for us to put on the website. Sponsorship and the form should be brought into school straight after half term, please. Apologies to KS2 children at present the Moki’s (similar to fitbit’s) have a slight technical hitch which will be fixed after half term.
These are being taken this week with proofs sent home just after half term. Make sure you send your orders in quickly to ensure delivery before Christmas.
After School Club
We are still looking to appoint someone to help run this facility. If you know anyone who would like a few regular hours of work each week, please put them in touch with me.
With best wishes
Reminder regarding bonfire safety