September 18th 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

It has been another very positive week in the school. I am so impressed by how well Nursery and Reception are settling in. Reception even managed to walk beautifully between the Infants and the Juniors and back again so that they could have their photographs taken. School life is also much smoother now that children come to school in their PE kit on PE days. I trust that there have been far fewer lost items of clothing.

Congestion around the juniors

I know that a number of people have been concerned about the congestion at pick up time at the juniors, particularly for Year 4. We have therefore been reviewing our approach and would like to trial a modified approach from Monday 21st September. We will put the details in the year group updates, but in short the key change is that Year 4 will now be dismissed via the car park (where there is more room) and those collecting will be invited to wait on the paved area outside the school hall, to reduce the number of people on the pavement and to avoid anyone waiting in the road.  Could we also ask people to come as close to their pick up/ drop off time as possible and to move away quickly afterwards, not pausing to chat. Whilst this seems unfriendly, I’m sure you will agree that everyone’s safety is paramount. I would also like to thank people for all the arrangements you have made to share the drop off and collection of children in order to reduce the congestion.

I have contacted the council as well to see whether there are any measures they can introduce to help.  There is a website where people can log their concerns about congestion https://kingstonletstalk.co.uk/makingspace/maps/making-space1. It would be helpful if as many people could log their concerns by placing a pin on the map to ensure that we are seen as a priority for the council.

How to apply for free school meals

We are aware that a number of people’s circumstances will have changed recently due to the impact of the pandemic.  It might be that your family is now eligible for free school meals. If this is the case, do apply (even if your child is in the infants) as it will be both helpful for you and trigger extra funding for the school. Every child who is shown to be eligible will be given a free hoodie. The link for applications is https://www.kingston.gov.uk/info/200130/education_schools_and_nurseries/364/form_apply_for_free_school_meals

What to do if your child is unwell

The start of a new term always seem to bring with it sneezes and colds which, during the current pandemic, can be a worry. In order to try and keep pupils and staff safe and well, and follow the guidance we have received from the government, we will be using the attached to determine if we ask you to take you child for a corona virus test. (We’ve also attached a chart which gives an indication of the differences between Corona, Cold & Flu symptoms)

Please note that, as would be our usual practice, if your child becomes unwell at school we will call you and ask you to take them home (even if we do not think that this is corona related). It is our policy that we do not give non-prescription medicines in school. If, for example, a child requires Calpol then they should stay at home.

Reporting Absence

To report a child’s absence please contact the school via the ParentMail App or email to the office.  The telephone absence line is no longer available. You must contact the school either each day of absence or advise the school on the first day of absence how long your child will be absent.

It is vital that we are kept updated as we are keen to ensure that any child who walks to school on their own is safe.

Staying Safe

In order to promote social distancing and keep everyone safe, we would like to ask only one person to come into our lobby areas at a time. As you will appreciate these are rather confined spaces. Please could visitors queue outside until the lobby becomes free.

School Uniform

Thank you for your patience while we wait for the order to be completed. As soon as we receive we will send it home with your child – so we can avoid congestion in either school Reception area.

Year 7 Virtual Open Events – Year 5 & 6 Parents

Please see the posters attached for details of virtual open events for Year 7 entry in September 2021 for The Holy Cross School  and Greenshaw High School.

Best wishes,

Tabitha White, Headteacher

Key Dates

Here is a list of key dates for this half-term:

  • Tuesday 6th October – Parents’ Evening (by telephone)
  • Thursday 8th October – Parents’ Evening (by telephone)

September 11th 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

It has been so lovely to see the children enjoying their time in school, although I think many (children and adults alike!) are very tired at the end of a full week! They certainly seem to be enjoying their new topics. As I enter classrooms, I hear them roaring like dinosaurs, discussing the life skills needed for an astronaut or working out where all the internal organs are located.

Collection and drop off has become smoother, but could I continue to urge everyone to come to school as close to their time as possible and also to move away from school speedily and not to stay and chat. Could people also be very aware of the need to socially distance. We want to take every step we can to keep people safe.

We have had a number of queries from parents about Covid-19 so we are attaching a quick reference guide which we hope will be helpful.

Coronavirus Message from Met Police

On Monday 14th September 2020 new Covid legislation comes into force making it illegal to meet in groups of more than six either indoors or outdoors. This will include groups of parents gathering after drop off in the morning and before pick up in the afternoon. Also, when walking to or from school with your children, be aware of the number in your group if you are walking with another family. Please be aware of the legislation and alert to the number of people you are socialising with. The only exemptions to this legislation are in the workplace, education and organised sports. Police will be patrolling the areas around schools and have been granted powers to disperse groups of more than six if they come from multiple households.

Home Reading Books – New Colours!

We are delighted to be able to announce that we are introducing a new, fun phonics scheme, Floppy’s Phonics this September.  As part of this change, we have changed the banding scheme on our reading books from a number based scheme to a colour coded one.  Children’s reading will progress in the same manner and they will move to the next coloured book, as their decoding and comprehension skills develop. (It may be that the level seems cautious to you at the moment. This will partly be because we wish to consolidate key learning and skills, it will also be because we need to keep assessing children’s stage of development after lockdown).  The scheme includes the option for you to access the books electronically at home for free, details to follow soon.

Drama Club

Drama Workshops are running their after school drama club online this term. If you are interested in your child taking part, further information can be found on the clubs page of our website.

Old Uniform Donations

Thank you for all your donations of old school uniform. We now have sufficient supplies at both sites.

Reminder – Photograph Day – Wednesday 16th September

Please ensure your child is wearing their school uniform on this day. Year 2 and Year 5 can wear their uniform for outdoor PE on this occasion and may bring in trainers to change into. There will be no indoor PE for Year 6.

SeOUL Residential Boards Sponsorship – We need your help!

The Coronavirus has really impacted what the PTA can do to fundraise for the school. However, with thanks to SeOUL Residential, we have been able to secure sponsorship via their advertising boards. During this term, parents can help the school earn sponsorship from SeOUL Residential by having one of their boards on display on their property for about 4 weeks. In addition, the agent have also upped the number of boards they can sponsor!

The boards normally bear advertising of our school fairs, but as we are unlikely to be running one this term, we will be bearing a positive message along with a drawing from a pupil. The winning drawing chosen to be displayed was by Hannah in Macaw class in Year 4. Well done Hannah! So, if you haven’t already, please consider signing up to have a board on display at your property to support our fundraising efforts.  Please email ccnmpta.boards@hotmail.com with your full name (including title) and full postal address. Your support is needed more than ever!

Kingston Voluntary Action Resources

I would like to make you aware that Kingston Voluntary Action have the following new resources and training available for parents this Autumn term:

  • Starting or returning to work: This is for anyone looking for work, anxious about going back to work, or wanting to develop new skills.
  • Worried about money: This is for people who are worried about money, their housing situation or other financial pressures.
  • New to benefits: This is for people who need help understanding and/or applying for benefits.

Kingston Libraries

RBK are carrying out a major review of library services in the borough and they would like to get as much feedback as possible from children and their families about what parts of the service are important to them. They have asked us to send the attached flyer for details on how to access their online questionnaire.

New Uniform/PE Kit

We are aware that some people are still waiting for their new uniform orders.  We are hoping it will come next week. We have been advised that the uniform will come for the younger children at the start of the week and the others towards the end of the week.  Do not worry if your child doesn’t have their full PE kit for their PE lessons; as long as they have trainers to wear they will be fine.

Our uniform supplier has also provided us with the attached laundry care instructions for your information.

Considerate Parking

Please could I ask that parents/carers do not park in the small car park at Kavanagh Court in Lime Grove at drop off or pick up times. This is a small car park which is strictly for use of residents only and should not, under any circumstances be used as a public car park.

Best wishes,

Tabitha White, Headteacher

Key Dates

Here is a list of key dates for this half-term:

  • Wednesday 16th September – Photograph Day for Reception – Year 6
  • Tuesday 6th October – Parents’ Evening (by telephone)
  • Thursday 8th October – Parents’ Evening (by telephone)

September 4th 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

We have already reached the end of the first week! I have already seen children take home new creations, challenge themselves to produce their best writing, renew friendships and enjoy ball games. When I have asked them what they have enjoyed about being at school, a number of them have said everything!

I am pleased that drop off and collection at the juniors was much smoother today. The drop off ‘windows’ seemed to really help. Thank you also for all the steps you have taken to reduce the number of people congregating at the same time. I have set Year 6 the challenge of arriving neither too early nor too late next week (although it has been lovely to see their eagerness to be in school).

Next week we will also be welcoming the new Nursery and Reception children. Then it will feel as if the term is really under way.

Headphones

Over the next fortnight, all children at the juniors will be doing online assessments for which they need headphones or earphones. Obviously, we are no longer able to have shared headphones so all junior children will need to bring in a set of headphones or earphones from next week. They do need to be wired, as we cannot connect wireless headphones.

If any parent works for an organisation that might have a number of unused headphones or earphones that they would be happy to donate to the school, do let the office know.

School Lunch Menu

Please see the attached menu for your information which we have received from our caterers. This will be used for the foreseeable future although is subject to change. (The children did not seem to enjoy the fish fingers bap today and so we have asked them to find a replacement meal for Fridays)

Free Fruit Scheme

As you are aware, the scheme which delivers free fruit to the Infants is not currently operating but they have now been in touch and we are hoping that this will be reinstated within the next couple of weeks. We will let you know when we receive an update.

Photograph Day – Wednesday 16th September

On Wednesday 16th September, Pret-a-Portrait, our school photographers, will be at the Junior site to take individual photographs of all the children in Reception to Year 6. Infant classes will be walked up to the Junior site during the morning for their photographs. Unfortunately, with the current restrictions in place for COVID-19, we are unable to safely facilitate sibling photographs this year. We’re sorry if this comes as a disappointment. The decision has not been taken lightly but the safety of our school community is paramount.

Best wishes,

Tabitha White, Headteacher

July 17th 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

This is the final bulletin of this academic year and what a strange year it has been! Today terms ends and I wish you all a lovely summer, whatever form it takes, and more time with the people close to you.

Yesterday, we said goodbye to our wonderful Year 6s. It has been a joy to watch them grow up. The PTA put on a brilliant celebration for them yesterday afternoon, with a silent disco, street magician and ice cream van – all in their bubbles.

September

I know everyone is starting to plan for the full reopening of school in September. All children in Year 1 to Year 6 will return on Thursday 3rd September.

Several parents have expressed their concerns to me about the gaps which may be emerging in their children’s learning or the lack in their ability to focus. I would like to thank everyone for coping with the challenges of home learning, particularly those who have had to sustain this throughout the entire period of lockdown. I also want to reassure you that we are drawing up careful plans for next year, both short term and long term.  We will start with a focus on children’s wellbeing. Children may find it hard to return after such a long time or to re-establish friendships which have been paused. We will therefore be using our new personal and social education programme to develop self-esteem and relationships within the bubbles.

We will be making sure that our teaching forms short intense bursts with movement breaks in order to help the children develop their focus and concentration and we will be making the most of the outdoors. Alongside this, we will be conducting assessments very early in the term in order to identify any gaps and indeed strengths so that we can use this to inform both our class teaching and our interventions. We are investing in new screening assessments to guide us. We need to make sure that we are both filling the gaps and also stretching where appropriate. In the first month, we will aim to focus on key skills (which we call non-negotiables) and then we will make it our long term mission for the year to support any children who need to catch up in a measured approach which will have a lasting impact. However, we do not intend to do this at the expense of the wider curriculum. We have worked hard on our planning for this and to neglect this would just be boring and counterproductive!

Meet the Teacher – Virtually

It will be lovely to see everyone back in school in September. To help you prepare, we have created ‘meet the teacher’ videos and booklets with key information. We will be continuing with staggered start times and finish times in order to protect everyone. However, we have reduced the gap between times to 10 minutes in order to avoid too much hanging around.  We have found that people have been very helpful in coming to the school as close to their time slot as possible.  Could I also remind parents that we wish to avoid having many bulky bags in the juniors. We, therefore, urge parents to provide children with either the new school backpack or with a small foldable bag. We will ask children not to bring in large rucksacks as it is hard to store them in the classrooms.

Do click on the links below for each year group’s video and pack:

Eligibility for Free School Meals

We have heard that there have been temporary changes to the awards of free school meals to families in light of the epidemic. These include the increase in the income threshold from £16,190 per annum to £31,500 per annum for London.  If this might apply to you, do apply. The Government has been supplying food vouchers and it is also likely to trigger extra funding to the school in order to provide extra interventions. Please see the guidance and the application form, which relate to the temporary extension of free school meal eligibility for families with no recourse to public funds (NRPF).

Online Drama Clubs – Autumn Term 2020

Drama Workshops is a company run by professional actors, providing drama workshops for children. Due to the current pandemic they have decided to continue running 5 week online courses for schools where they usually run clubs, starting the week commencing Monday 14th September for both the infants and juniors at Christ Church. They are offering a 5 week course of 30 minutes and 45 minutes per week, to various year groups.  When they are allowed back into the school they will transfer any remaining fees and continue the classes at school, where possible.  Please see the attached flyer or see the school website for further details.

Kingston & Sutton Music Services Virtual Summer School

Between Wednesday 26th – Friday 30th August, Kingston and Sutton Music Services will be joining forces to run a series of fun and creative activities suitable for all ages and abilities. Participants can sign up here for one-off events or for ‘modules’ which include daily sessions over the three days. These will include writing your own pop song, creating a dance track, jazz improvisation, virtual choir, virtual rock band and other activities. And students can join in even if they are away from home at that time: all they’ll need is an instrument (if applicable), a laptop/tablet/phone and the internet!

The Lunchbowl Network: School Shoe Campaign

Your child’s old school shoes could have a second life on the feet of the students at Angel Kindergarten and the Good Samaritan School. The Lunchbowl Network are collecting shoes that are still in good condition to send out to the children that they support in Kenya. If you would like to donate any used school shoes, please bring them to either school office when we return on 3rd September until Friday 11th September. Thank you.

Kingston Grammar School – Resource Packs (For Year 5 and 6 families)

Kingston Grammar School have prepared the following documents which they have asked us to share.  Should these be of interest to you, please select the relevant links to access each document.

11+ Assessment Guide – a resource pack to help pupils prepare for their entrance assessments

Summer Activity Guide – an activity pack to provide some inspiration to keep children engaged with their subjects over the summer

I hope that you have a good summer and we look forward to seeing everyone back in school in September.

Yours sincerely,

Tabitha White

Headteacher

July 10th 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

This week we have started to say our goodbyes for this year to children from Fox, Lion, Eagle and Antelope, who were able to join us for a last visit. It is lovely to think that from September we will all be back together in our normal classes of 30. I do hope you will be able to join us on Thursday for our end of term service, even if virtually! We will be showing it in school at 9.30 a.m. and children at home may wish to join us in spirit at the same time.

Partnership for Children Resources

Partnership for Children was set up in September 2001 to promote the mental health and emotional wellbeing of young children. They offer a series of school-based programmes to help young children around the world to communicate effectively, cope with their anxieties and difficulties, and to develop skills for life.  They have produced some free wellbeing activities to help children find healthy ways to deal with their feelings and reactions to the Covid-19 situation. Please see their website for further details.

Summer Holidays

Please could families take extra care when booking holidays this year. We will not be able to authorise any absence as a result of self-isolation if it is clear that it was known at the time of booking that there would be a need to self-isolate on return from a country. We want a very speedy and settled start to next term after such a disrupted year.

Connect

We are delighted to be able to confirm that we will be able to reopen Connect (both before school and after) from the start of September. There will be changes, in order to keep everyone safe. We will create four separate bubbles:

  • Reception
  • KS1 (Years 1 and 2)
  • Lower Juniors (Years 3 and 4)
  • Upper Juniors (Years 5 and 6)

The Infant ‘bubbles’ will be on the infant site. Indeed Reception will now be in Seahorse classroom. The Junior ‘bubbles’ will be on the junior site in the junior hall and the creative zone. We are currently recruiting more staff in order to be able to make this work and to provide enough spaces for everyone. We will be able to provide breakfast on each site. Unfortunately, we will only initially be able to provide snacks after school, so we would ask children to bring a packed tea. Please see the website for information about booking. If you have any queries, do email connect@ccnm.rbksch.org.

School Uniform sale

There will be a second hand school uniform sale on Wednesday 15th July starting at 8.30 a.m. at the Infant site (in order to co-incide with drop off times). Please could anyone attending the sale take great care to socially distance in order to protect everyone’s safety. All the clothes will have been set aside for at least 72 hours before the sale and the people running the sale will be wearing gloves and masks. There will be another sale on 1st September.

Support for emotional wellbeing

Please see the attached guidance from our Junior Pastoral Mentor, Claire Stevens, for this week’s suggestions about ways of looking after our wellbeing.

Yours sincerely,

Tabitha White

Headteacher

July 3rd 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

We are thrilled that we will be able to reopen fully in September. The Government published their guidance yesterday which will enable us to make things as normal as possible for children. There will be some changes, many of which will be familiar to the children who have already returned to school:

  • There will be staggered start and finish times, as well as lunchtimes and playtimes.
  • We will continue to have video assemblies in class, as we cannot met together in the hall.
  • Children will have to face the front in class

The guidance will allow us to reopen Connect and, we hope, to offer some before and after school clubs.

Of course, we must all recognise that the situation could change and we are all dependent on what the Government advice allows us to do. (They have stated that they will make an announcement on 11th August to confirm that this can go ahead).

Welcomes and Goodbyes

We have reached that stage of the year where we have very mixed emotions. We will be saying farewell to two members of staff who are retiring

  • Miss Barley who will be retiring after 27 years at our school. I know we will really miss her expertise and insights and her passion to support children in reaching their full potential. Across New Malden, I know there are children who have such happy memories of their times with her, as they tell me when they bump into me.
  • Miss Palmer who will be retiring after a long service in a variety of schools and four years with us. We will miss her laugh, her kindness and her anecdotes.

I know that they will stay in touch and we hope to see them back in school with us again on a more informal basis.

We will also be saying goodbye to Miss Ahn who will be taking on the exciting opportunity of teaching in Dubai and Miss Clements, who had been about to embark upon a new adventure of teaching abroad. Sadly this could not come to fruition, but I am pleased that she does now have another teaching post, while the threat of Coronavirus reduces. Mr Mackie, is also to be congratulated on being awarded his first teaching post at Kingston Academy. I would like to thank them all for the rich contribution they have made to our school life and wish them every happiness in the future.

We are very pleased that, despite lockdown, we have recruited some very strong and experienced staff.  Mrs Hempston will be joining us as Early Years’ Leader and Reception teacher. She is already an experienced Early Years Leader and leading teacher for Kingston and she has been sharing exciting ideas and suggestions with us.  Mrs Ahmed, another very experienced teacher and PE and maths leader will join us in Year 2. Likewise, Mrs Kilby will be supporting Miss Bruen in Year 2. She has been a humanities, Literacy and RE leader. Miss Galbraith will be joining Year 4 from the North East with a particular expertise in music and has been involved in co-ordinating music teaching across a range of schools. Mrs Kinnear is joining the school as PE leader and will be teaching across the school, although eagle eyed parents will notice that she has already started, supporting us through the reopening. Finally, Miss Rogers will be coming as an experienced Year 2 teaching assistant. We have been impressed both by the calibre of candidates and their warm and friendly natures. They will fit in well to our happy community.

Next Year – Classes

These are the classes and teachers for next year:

  • New Class – Nursery with Mrs Lawrence, Mrs Timmins, Mrs Dare, Miss Galloway & Miss Pratt
  • New Class – Seahorse with Mrs Hempston & Miss Webb
  • New Class – Turtle with Miss Mahoney & Mrs Forte
  • Seahorse to Owl with Miss Tickner, Mrs Belcher & Mrs Johnson
  • Turtle to Squirrel with Mrs Honeybone, Mrs Ward & Mrs Hampton
  • Squirrel to Fox with Miss Bruen & Miss Rogers.
  • Owl to Hedgehog with Mrs Ahmed & Miss Pratt
  • Hedgehog to Tiger with Mrs Wogan & Mrs Fereday
  • Fox to Lion with Miss Hunt (who will be Mrs Hornby in September) & Mrs Fereday
  • Lion to Eagle with Mrs Burkinshaw, Mrs Coltman & Miss Tulley
  • Tiger to Macaw with Miss Galbraith & Miss Tulley
  • Eagle to Antelope with Miss Brown & Mrs Erlebach
  • Macaw to Gazelle with Mrs Brooks & Mrs Erlebach
  • Antelope to Kipling with Mrs Summers & Mrs Newman
  • Gazelle to Potter with Miss Stray & Mrs Newman

(Some people may be concerned not to see Mrs Mitchell’s name in the list above. I am glad to say that she will still be with us, but in a new role supporting a child one to one).

Uniform sales

Some parents have expressed an interest in second hand uniform, as they wish to combine a mixture of old and new. We will therefore be offering a uniform sale in the final week of term and on 1st September (alongside the collection points for the new uniform).

Donations would be most welcome. Could you make sure that any items are freshly laundered and placed in a bag labelled with the date. We will then make sure that they are put to one side for 72 hours before they are passed onto anyone else.

Jobs at Christ Church

If you have a passion for supporting children’s learning, we are looking for a number of people to join the team: Lunchtime Supervisors at the Junior Site; Playleaders for Connect, our Breakfast and Afterschool Club (both before school and afterschool); 2 Teaching Assistants (supporting individual children). All are part-time, term time only positions. For more details, please go to the Vacancies page of the School’s website.

Support for emotional wellbeing

Please see the attached further guidance from our Junior Pastoral Mentor, Claire Stevens, for suggestions about ways of looking after our wellbeing.

Yours sincerely,

Tabitha White

Headteacher

June 26th 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

This has been a lovely week as we have welcomed back some of the children from our year groups that are not in school yet. Their excitement and enthusiasm was certainly infectious (although I know it was mixed with a few nerves as well, which quickly went).  Indeed, it was hard to get them to leave afterwards. We look forward to seeing the next groups next week.

We have heard that some people have been concerned by rumours that some of the children in our reduced provision do not qualify. Let us reassure you, we have allocated those places following Government guidelines and as fairly as possible. It won’t always be clear to other parents why a child is in the reduced provision, but it can only be if they are either a child of a key worker or a vulnerable child. We have been proud to have been able to offer this support, and the Council have commended us for it.

We are thrilled that we will be opening for all children in September. I would like to thank teachers for working so hard to support children in school, through Google Classroom and working tirelessly to contact families who are not in touch.

Plans for the end of term

On Thursday 16th July, we will hold our end of term service (virtually!) at 9.30 a.m. Everyone will be most welcome to join us, whether in school or at home. This will be followed by a Leavers’ service for Year 6 at 11.00 a.m.

Launch of our new school uniform

I am thrilled to be able to announce that we will launch our new school uniform in September 2020. As you can imagine, lockdown must be the most challenging time possible to commission something as large as a new school uniform. However, Rhys Jones, who will be known to some of you, has worked tirelessly to sources suppliers and to create a contemporary update of our logo.

This new uniform offers a number of improvements:

  • It is higher quality
  • The logo will be screen printed rather than sewed to avoid chaffing
  • There will be a hoodie, designed to form part of the PE kit, which children are welcome to wear at any time if they wish
  • The logo will be more contemporary, building on the original design
  • There will be a comfortable and smart backpack for juniors
  • Children will be allowed to wear trainers to school rather than traditional shoes, provided they are plain black
  • It will be sold directly by the school, so that any profits can be spent once again on your children’s education.

Children will now be asked to wear their PE kit to and from school on every PE day, to avoid items getting lost and to ensure that precious PE time is not wasted on getting changed. Children, therefore, no longer need PE bags.  On PE days, children can wear trainers of their choice, but on other days should they wish to wear trainers they need to be plain black.

To help us ensure that your uniform is ready for September, we would ask you to place orders via ParentMail by Friday 10th July. Any order placed before this time will be entered into a draw for a free hoodie. Children who are entitled to ‘Pupil Premium’ will also be given a free hoodie in celebration of our launch. The uniform will be made available for collection from school on Tuesday 1st September.

Children are also welcome to continue wearing the current uniform. As this time of heightened awareness of the importance of reusing and recycling, we would not wish to be wasteful. We will also hold a sale of second hand uniform at the start of next term.

Please see this flyer with more information.

Support for emotional wellbeing

I am aware that all of us, adults and children alike are at times experiencing waves of anxiety prompted by these unique times and so I asked Claire Stevens our Junior Pastoral Mentor for suggestions about ways of looking after our wellbeing. Please see the attached.

Other people collecting your child from school

Until 4th July, to comply with current Government guidelines on social distancing, we are asking that children are not dropped off/collected by anyone other than their parent/carer or a member of their ‘support’ bubble, in order to prevent a crossover of households.

Request for DT Resources

Following our previous request for donations, thank you for the items we have received so far.

We are still, however, a little short on real world examples in some areas. Therefore, if you have any of the following you are thinking of getting rid of, we would be very grateful to receive them:

  • Any toys or objects which have levers e.g.  diggers (large or small)
  • Automata
  • Cushion covers
  • Toy cars
  • Puppets (any type)
  • Bags (rucksacks, shoulder, waist, clutch etc)
  • Purses/wallets
  • Mobiles (e.g. the sort that go over a baby’s cot)
  • Unwanted Knex, Meccano, Lego or similar building kits and
  • Any examples of waterproof fabric e.g. tents, clothing, umbrellas.

Any donations can be left at either office in sealed bags. The bags will not be opened for a week after receipt and we will ensure the contents have been thoroughly cleaned to help combat any possible threat of spreading Covid 19 before they are used.

2019/20 School photos

Pret-a-Portrait are having an End of School Year, School Photo Sale. From now until 20th July a 25% early bird discount has been re-instated for all pictures taken in the 2019/20 academic year. If you are interested please click on this link.

CAPA – Coombe Academy of Performing Arts

Please see the attached letter and flyer regarding the relaunch of CAPA – Coombe Academy of Performing Arts.

KMS Midsummer Music Festival – Tues 30 June – Sat 4th July

KMS Midsummer Music Festival promises to be an action-packed week of events – from bands, orchestras and an all-age gospel choir, to ukulele and guitar groups and a Stomp-style percussion workshop. Whatever your age or ability, you can experience the joy of making music with others – albeit online – and for the choir and percussion group you don’t even need any specialist equipment.

In addition to the activities listed on their website they are pleased to announce an extra workshop to the programme; Virtual Children’s Choir (age 7-11) – Tuesday 30 June, at 4pm. The inspirational Voices Foundation practitioner Matthew Roughley will be running a singing workshop aimed at KS2 (children in school Years 3-6). It will include a vocal warm up and musical games alongside learning a range of fun songs that will lift your spirits and put a spring in your step. Singing teachers and primary school music co-ordinators are welcome to join as observers.

To book for this – or for any other activity – please click on the following link and complete the registration form.

Yours sincerely,

Tabitha White

Headteacher

June 19th 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

I would like to start with a big apology to the families that I upset by my clumsy wording in the start of the bulletin last week. We would love to have all the children back in school again and this whole horrible situation over. Sadly, this has not proved possible yet, because, in order to be able to partially reopen and yet protect everyone, the Government has set out two key conditions:

  • Children and adults must be in ‘bubbles’ of no more than 15 children (half the size of a normal class);
  • There must be no mixing between ‘bubbles’, even by adults.

These measures are designed to keep everyone as safe as possible. However, it meant that the partial reopening has led to the introduction of as many ‘bubbles’ as we had classes previously. We needed to allocate two adults to each bubble in order to facilitate breaks and lunchtimes etc. (and these staff could not work in any other bubble). Our teachers have kindly increased their hours and adjusted their work patterns, but we have been left with no spare staff. In addition, we cannot use the same space with two groups in succession unless we can ensure thorough cleaning in between.

Last week, I was relieved that Government recognised what schools leaders had been saying, since the Prime Minister first announced other year groups would come back – that it would be impossible as long as the Government still requires groups no larger than 15 and for primary schools not to use rotas. As a headteacher, I believe all children should be at school and I am distressed that this epidemic, and the consequent Government guidelines, prevent me from opening up every class now.

We are determined to ensure that all children in the years which have not yet opened have the opportunity to come into school again, agreed with the Governors, following advice from the health and safety lead at Kingston Council and the London Coronavirus Response Cell (LCRC) (the LCRC is part of Public Health England). We will therefore invite children in Years 2 to 5 who are not in school in to school to see each other and meet their class teacher. They will form their own special ‘bubbles’ of no more than 15 children. We will set up a careful rota, so that the staff teach the reduced provision one week and meet the returning ‘bubble’ the next week to reduce risk. Wherever possible groups will use the playing field or the playgrounds to seek the benefit of outdoors and if they need to be indoors teachers will maintain a social distance of more than two metres. During one of the two occasions they are in, their next teacher will be able to introduce themselves and to set their minds at rest about next year.

Next year’s teacher will also say hello to the children who are already in school.

Alongside this, we will look to enhance our virtual connection with children:

  • Teachers will provide a video welcome and introduction to each week
  • Teachers will offer opportunities for children in Year 2 to Year 5 to meet together virtually in small groups, together with the teacher
  • There will be more videos filmed by the teachers, providing teaching and introducing new concepts for Year 2 to Year 5.
  • We will offer a ‘meet the teacher’ video which will let families see the new teacher and find out key information about the following year. (Whilst this will not be in person, we trust that this will prove invaluable as it will enable everyone to see it whether they are attending school or not, and it can even be re-watched over the summer, to refresh the memory)
  • We are writing Records of Achievement (reports) for every child, whether they have been in school or working at home in order to celebrate all they have achieved this year.
  • We will do a virtual end of year celebration, as we will not be able to have our traditional end of year service.

I would like to thank staff for constantly responding to so many changes and rapidly learning new skills, and overcoming technological challenges to make this work.

I know that people are concerned about September and would like to know what is going to happen. Whilst, we have to wait for Government directives (and we all know that they can come at any time), we are hoping and indeed planning for the return of all the children to a full time curriculum.  Alongside this, we are prepared in case we need to modify these plans. I give you my commitment, that, unless I am directed otherwise by the Government, we will open for every child on Thursday 3rd September.

KMS Midsummer Music Festival – Tuesday 30 June to Saturday 4 July

Kingston Music Service has announced its first ever Midsummer Music Festival – a series of online musical activities for all ages and abilities led by expert tutors and conductors. Whether you are a beginner or experienced player or singer, there is something on offer to suit you – and in every musical style from classical and world music to jazz, pop and gospel. And if you don’t have an instrument at home then you can join a virtual choir or create rhythms on household objects in their percussion group.  A full list of activities and further information is attached.

Yours sincerely,

Tabitha White

Headteacher

June 12th 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

You will have heard the Government’s announcement this week that they will not be expecting schools to reopen to more year groups before the summer holidays. As you can imagine, this came as a relief, as we could not see how we had the staff or the space to manage this safely.  However, we are keen to offer an opportunity for children to say their ‘goodbyes’ and ‘thank yous’ to this year’s teachers and to meet their new teacher(s) before the holidays. This would be in safe ‘bubbles’ of no more than 15. We will therefore be sending out more information early next week. We believe that this will prove particularly valuable for those children at key transition points, such as Reception to Year 1 and Year 2 to Year 3, but we would like to extend this opportunity to everyone. We will also create videos with key information and photos of staff for families to share at home.

Drama Workshops

Drama Workshops is a company run by professional actors, providing drama workshops for children.  Due to the current pandemic, they are starting online drama clubs next week for each school they usually work at.  If this is of interest to you, please see the attached flyer or see the ‘Local events’ page on our website for further details.

Kingston Music Service – Online lessons

If you would be interested in your child having online music lessons in the Autumn Term 2020, please see the attached poster from KMS for more details.

Barnes Children’s Literature Festival – 9th – 14th June

Barnes is the largest dedicated children’s literature festival in London and is returning online this year from 9th to 14th June. The Barnes Festival organisers believe that every child should have the opportunity to experience live literature and programme books as theatre, music, maths, science, art, craft, cookery, film, and football, whatever it takes to get children excited about literacy, literature and creativity.  If you are interested please see their website for details.

Yours sincerely,

Tabitha White

Headteacher

June 5th 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

What a week this has been! The start of a new phase of schooling as we have never seen it before!  It has been lovely to see more children return to school. Thank you to everyone for playing their part in making this work so well, coping with staggered start times and respecting social distancing. It is sad that we cannot yet all be back together, but it is so vital that we promote everyone’s safety. We are therefore continuing to polish the ways that we can stay in touch and promote learning at home. I would like to thank everyone, parents, staff and children alike for coping so well with the changes and the many updates and messages! I know staff have worked incredibly hard to prepare and clean ready for the return of children, whilst keeping on with promoting home learning. I would also like to thank parents for their many encouraging messages which have meant so much to us at this challenging time.

Lessons from this week

It has been lovely to see how smoothly this week has gone, given the complexity and newness of our new systems. As things settle down, please could we ask families to come to school as close to their time slot as possible. If families are either early or late, then they run the risk of crossing with another ‘bubble’. Could each child also come with their own named water bottle each day as we cannot share the water fountains.

Plans for our new PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) curriculum

As you will be aware, the Government has introduced two new statutory subjects in primary education: Relationships education and Health education. These are to be taught in full from September 2020 as part of the basic school curriculum. Over this year we have been reviewing the guidance and consulting with the Diocesan Board and the Local Authority and we are now able to share our plans with you. This would have taken the form of a parents’ workshop, but sadly we are not able to offer this at the moment, for understandable reasons! We have therefore created a presentation to share our plans for Relationships Education (as we know that this is the area that parents will wish to know more about), a more formal policy and a helpful set of FAQs from the Diocesan Board.  You will see that the presentation gives a clear outline of the content for each year group and then at the end there are a number of recommendations for books which we hope parents will find helpful to use at home with their children. I would like to thank Amy Brown for all her hard work finding these resources.

If you have any queries or comments, you are most welcome to submit them to pshe@ccnm.rbksch.org

Donations of laptops update: Christ Church benefits from donations

​Keeping Children Connected is a local initiative set up to support children who do not have access to a device to enable them to continue with their online-learning.  Over half-term, we were delighted to receive a delivery of some devices which we have already been able to give to some of our families at Christ Church.

The ‘Dons action group’ are seeking donations of laptops or tablets to distribute to local schools to give to children who may benefit.  (Devices are fully erased prior to distribution).   Please see the attached flyer if you have a device you may be able to donate to this cause.​

Face Mask Fundraiser

One of our parents, Denise Lieu-Jenkins, has been making environmentally friendly, washable cotton fabric masks to sell with all profits going to charity; NHS Charities Together and two local charities; Refugee Action Kingston and Momentum Children’s Charity. If you would be interested in purchasing any of these please see her Facebook posting for more details.

Many thanks

Yours sincerely,

Tabitha White

Headteacher