Dear Parents / Carers,
It was so exciting to receive on Monday the official confirmation that school will be able to reopen from 8th March. We look forward to welcoming everyone back on that day. It should be nice and straightforward this time. We will use the same start and end times which we were using before the holidays; likewise, we will use the same entrances and exits. We will continue to offer Connect on the same sites as before.
It has been very reassuring to see the infection rate drop in the area. However, we are aware that there are still more positive cases than there were last summer. We would therefore like to remind everyone of the measures that we will take to keep people safe.
We will continue to
- Ensure staff take lateral flow tests (rapid tests) twice a week in order to identify any asymptomatic infection or any other cases promptly.
- Keep the two sites separate in the weeks up to Easter and then we will review the situation.
- Organise regular handwashing/ hand sanitising. (You are most welcome to send your child in with their own sanitiser and/or hand cream if their hands are sensitive, as we know it can prove uncomfortable for some).
- Ensure that classrooms and other spaces are well ventilated
- Keep bubbles separate at all times including playtimes.
We would ask you to
- Maintain social distancing outside school and always wear a mask. If you keep as close to your time slot as possible then there should be less congestion.
- Keep your child off school if they show any of the main symptoms (even if briefly) and seek a test.
- Alert us immediately if you have any concerns, and particularly if someone in your family receives a positive test result (email@example.com)
- Seek a weekly lateral flow (rapid) test for your child (the weekend is the best time as it allows us to start the new week with confidence). This is not compulsory, but we know that it is valued by staff and families alike, who wish to reduce the risks to the minimum. Indeed, we have managed to identify a number of asymptomatic cases rapidly this way, and therefore potentially reduced wider spread. We would also appreciate to hear the result via firstname.lastname@example.org (or email@example.com) as that provides further reassurance. Do contact me if you wish to discuss individual circumstances further.
- Limit your use of multiple out-of-school settings providers, and only use one out-of-school setting in addition to school as far as possible. Do check providers have put in place their own protective measures.
We need everyone to play their part, as this will both avoid new people becoming infected and also the need to shut a bubble. (I would be so sad to have to do so, when we have only just reopened again). I would like to thank you in advance for all your support. One of the great blessings and encouragements of this difficult time has been experiencing the richness of being in such a special community.
There are four weeks from the full reopening of schools and the Easter holidays. This how we will use these weeks:
- Week 1 (8th – 12th March) – Resettling – We will help the children get back in the rhythm and routines of school life and help them all feel happy and settled back at school. Please do contact us even before this week if you have any concerns about your child that we can help with.
- Week 2 (15th – 19th March) – Identifying – We will begin the process of identifying gaps in learning due to the school closures and establishing where each child is in their learning. Starting this week, Mr Burkinshaw and I will meet with every class teacher and talk through how every child is doing.
- Week 3 (22nd – 26th March) – Communicating – There will be two virtual parents’ evenings, giving parents and teachers the opportunity to discuss how their child is getting on. This will enable you to share with us your child’s individual experiences during lockdown, your insights and concerns and also our insights on return.
- Tuesday 23rd March – 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Thursday 25th March – 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. (School will finish early on this day)
- Week 4 (29th – 31st March) – Celebrating – We will use the last three days of term to celebrate being back together and the coming Easter festival. We will end the term with a virtual Easter Celebration on Wednesday 31st March.
Over half-term, we changed our email system. If you want to email your child’s class teacher, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, e.g. email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to contact Mr. Burkinshaw or me, our addresses are email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advanced planning for the summer term
We wish to maximise the opportunities for learning during the summer term. We will therefore be delaying our assessments and our report writing until after half term in order to celebrate the progress that your child will have made. We therefore propose to delay our INSET day, which was initially scheduled for Friday 28th May until Friday 2nd July. We will also hold another INSET day on Monday 5th July (this is the INSET day which was postponed from March). This will enable the teachers to use the time to write reports and give you a very clear picture of your child’s development. We hope that it also will enable you to enjoy some good weather as the restrictions start to lift! Please do not hesitate to contact us, if these changes will present a challenge to you.
PTA Sponsored Climb
Congratulations to all of our intrepid climbers. Together as a school and PTA we have climbed an amazing 408,130 stairs, equivalent to summiting Everest 8 times!
In so-doing, we have raised an extremely impressive £3,299 in sponsorship this term and a total of £4,299 in donations since the start of the appeal in November.
Thank you all so much for your generosity, which has allowed the speedy ordering of the new nursery climbing frame, ready for the school’s reopening on the 8th March! As I write, we have just been advised that the work is completed and it looks very smart indeed. We would like to thank both the PTA and Mr Brown for their dedication in overseeing such a successful project.
Reminder: Closing dates for Nursery Applications 2021
Please note that the closing date for Nursery applications is next Friday, 5th March 2021.
Online Drama Club
Drama Workshops are again running their online drama courses this half term for infant and junior children. For more information and booking details see the Clubs page on our website.
World Book Day – 4th March
As you know, next Thursday is World Book Day. The World Book Day website has lots of free audiobooks in the run up to this. In addition, an activity we thought it might be fun for children to participate in at home is a book hunt! Book covers can be hidden round the house or garden and children need to find them all then figure out the missing letters to discover a message. Please the attached book hunt challenge materials if you’d like to have a go at this.
Kingston Libraries – Upcoming Workshops in March
Celebrate World Book Day with this special event from our favourite storytellers Cat & Hutch. They’re back to take you on another magical book journey – this time to The Secret Garden, based on the classic children’s story by Frances Hodgson Burnett. A live storytelling event on Zoom for ages 7 – 11 on Thursday 4 March 2021 at 4pm. Approx 50 mins long.
We’re celebrating British Science week in March by launching a series of maths workshops for children ages 5-11 brought to you by Explore Learning. These will be hosted on Zoom and taught in small groups.
- Friday 5 March at 4pm. Maths Wizard. (ages 5-7)
- Friday 12 March at 4pm. Maths Sorcerer. (ages 8-9)
- Friday 19 March at 4pm. A Piece of Cake. (ages 9-11)
- Friday 27 March at 4pm. Word Problems. (ages 9-11)
Please make sure to book online if you would like your child to take part.
Free Tennis Lessons for School Children
Hit The Line Tennis are offering every school child a chance to play and learn tennis for free.
When the restrictions are eased, and tennis is permitted again in April, they would love to invite as many children to play tennis with them at New Malden Sports Club. Their sessions take place outside and over multiple courts where needed. They also have hand washing and social distancing procedures in place for all lessons.
The dates of the lessons will be confirmed in the next few weeks, when they have seen what interest they have, but will be during the month of April.
Please email Paul at email@example.com to register your interest and get more information.
Tabitha White, Headteacher