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.
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.