July 16th 2021

Dear Parents/Carers,

The weeks just seem to get busier and busier. Each week it has been lovely to see more enrichment activities on each site. This week, I was amazed to see nursery children on a tightrope and others juggling and walking on stilts. Today, as I write, the sun is shining ready for our Infant sports day and the Year 6 are finishing a very full and rich time on the Isle of Wight. I would like to thank all the staff who are working so hard at the end of an incredibly challenging year to make these things happen. In particular, an enormous thank you to Mr Burkinshaw, who has worked tirelessly to make school journey happen, is sending back amazing photos every day and yet is still masterminding many plans for next year at the same time.

Welcomes and goodbyes

We have reached that time of the year when there are very mixed emotions. We will be saying goodbye to some members of staff who are very close to our hearts. This year there will be two retirements and two teachers moving onto pastures new:

  • Mrs Lawrence, nursery teacher, will be retiring after more than seven years at Christ Church, as an invaluable teacher in nursery and also our Early Years Leader for a period.  Her wisdom, humour and all her insights into young children will be greatly missed.
  • Mrs Huggett , Music Leader, will be retiring after an impressive twenty two years of links with the school and fifteen years of working in the school. She should be so proud of the way she has developed exceptional music provision across the school. I do not think I am biased when I say that our orchestra and our choirs are unparalleled and I know that many young adults will acknowledge that their passion for music started here.
  • Miss Tickner first joined us in September 2011. She left us briefly, but then returned again to our delight. Sadly, it is now time for her to spread her wings with a promotion to phase leader. She has taught across the ages from Reception to Year 5, bringing good humour, creativity and delicious cakes!
  • Miss Stray, Year 6 teacher, will be leaving us after four years of inspiring our children to achieve their best, leading the staff in hilarious pantomimes and taking us to great strengths in Literacy. She will be moving back up North.
  • Mrs Belcher will also be starting her maternity leave in September and we look forward to seeing the new addition to the family next term.

I know you will join us in wishing them all every happiness in the next phase of their lives.

We also will be welcoming;

  • Mrs Berry as Nursery teacher, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. I know she is very well known in our parent community.
  • Miss Jeeva, as Year 1 teacher. She is very familiar to children who have attended Abacus and had a very warm welcome when she came in this term.
  • Mrs Rizi, as Year 6 teacher and English Leader. She will bring a wealth of experience with her, both as Year 6 teacher and also in running a tuition school.
  • Mrs Bond will now be leading music across the school and Mr Marsh will lead the orchestra.

Classes for Next Year

We will be telling the children this afternoon who their new teacher will be and their new classroom and we wanted to let you know at the same time so you can chat about it at the weekend. The children will then have an opportunity to visit their new classroom and meet their new teacher(s) on Wednesday 21st July in the morning. The classes will be as follows:

  • Rainbow Nursery with Mrs Timmins and Mrs Berry and Ms Dare and Miss Pratt (TAs)
  • Seahorse Class with Miss Hempston and Miss Webb (TA)
  • Turtle Class with Miss Mahoney with Mrs Forte (TA)
  • Turtle will move to Owl Class with Miss Jeeva and Mrs Johnson (TA)
  • Seahorse will move to Squirrel Class with Mrs Honeybone (M-W) & Mrs Ward (Th-F) and Mrs Hampton (TA)
  • Squirrel will move to Fox Class With Mrs Edmondson (formerly Miss Bruen) (M – W a.m. & Th) and Mrs Kilby (W p.m. & F) and Miss Rogers (TA)
  • Owl will move to Hedgehog Class with Mrs Ahmed and Miss Pratt (TA)
  • Hedgehog will move to Lion Class with Mrs Hornby and Mrs Fereday (TA)
  • Fox will move to Tiger Class with Mrs Wogan and Mrs Fereday (TA)
  • Tiger will move to Eagle Class with Miss Brown and Miss Tully (TA)
  • Lion will move to Macaw Class with Miss Galbraith and Miss Tully (TA)
  • Macaw will move to Antelope Class with Mrs Kinnear (M-W) & Mrs Coltman (Th – F) and Mrs Newman (TA)
  • Eagle will move to Gazelle Class with Mrs Brooks (M a.m., Tu, W, Th) & Mrs Burkinshaw (M p.m. & F), and Mrs Newman (TA)
  • Antelope will move to Kipling Class with Mrs Summers and Miss Lawrence (TA)
  • Gazelle will move to Potter Class with Mrs Rizi and Miss Lawrence (TA)

Timings of the school day from September

You will be pleased to hear that we intend to cease our staggered start and finish times. We will return to common start times and common finish times. You will find more information in the welcome booklets which you will receive in your weekly email from the teachers.


Thank you for all your responses to our questionnaires about clubs. There was much interest in both a wide range of music clubs and sports.  We will need to build up to this gradually. We will therefore start with a programme of clubs which are run by school staff and gradually supplement with others. Please see a separate ParentMail which will give more information.


From September, we are pleased to announce that Connect will all be reunited on the Infant site. We will be expanding our provision. There will be three bases: an activity room with art and craft, games and cards, outdoor provision with sport and construction equipment, and a quiet room for Reception and for other children who would like a quieter environment. Connect will resume its practice of collecting children after school and after any clubs which are held at the juniors. Booking will be open before the end of term please go to the school website.

Music Concert

This term, children and the juniors have performed in two wonderful music concerts. One was instrumental, and the children showed the results of the hard work they had put in and played us some lovely pieces of music. The second was a singing concert, with children performing some well known songs. Links to both have been sent to parents/carers.

Track & Trace

From Monday, schools are no longer responsible for informing contacts of a confirmed COVID test. Instead NHS Test & Trace will speak to the family of any child who tests positive and, with them, identify any contacts. From 16th August children who are identified as a close contact will not have to self-isolate. Please see this standard letter from the DfE with more information.

Solar Power

The Infant Site has benefited from the Mayor of London’s REFIt programme, with all the lighting replaced with LEDs and Solar Panels installed (in case you wondered why the scaffolding had appeared). Even though the installation was only complete this week we are already seeing the benefits.

Exercise Books

On Wednesday, children will bring home their exercise books, so you can see what they have achieved this year. Please send your child in with a sturdy carrier bag on Wednesday, so they can take the books safely home.

Early Finish – Friday 23rd July

Next Friday, on the last day of term we will finish early for the holidays:

  • AM Nursery:   10:45 a.m.
  • PM & FT Nursery:  2:20 p.m.
  • Reception:   2:15 p.m.
  • Year 1:    2:15 p.m.
  • Year 2:    2:25 p.m.
  • Year 3:    2:20 p.m.
  • Year 4:    2:30 p.m.
  • Year 5:    2:20 p.m.
  • Year 6:    2:30 p.m.
  • Connect:   5:15 p.m.

Have a lovely weekend.

Tabitha White, Headteacher