July 23rd 2021

Dear Parents/Carers,

I cannot quite believe we have reached the end of the strangest year. In some ways it has been the hardest year we have all known with so many changes and uncertainties. In other ways, it has been the proudest as everyone has pulled together to support each other through it. I would like to thank you all, both personally and on behalf of my staff for all the supportive messages you have sent, which have been so encouraging and kept us going. I also thank all the staff for their dedication and for working tirelessly to make school such a positive experience for the children whether in or out, whether in ‘bubbles’ or in ‘zones’. We are all eagerly planning for a reduction in restrictions in September, common start and finish times and Connect together once more on one site (unless we are instructed otherwise) although we will of course keep up all the safety measures of handwashing and extra cleaning.

I hope you all manage to have a good summer and to get away if that’s what you’ve planned. Stay safe and then I look forward to catching up with everyone’s news in September.

End of Year Service

This morning we were able to join together, virtually, for a lovely end of year service. Thank you to all the children who took part and all the people who worked behind the scenes to make it happen. A link to watch it has been sent to parents/carers.

A message from Mrs Lawrence

Thank you so much to the PTA and parents who so kindly sent me so many touching messages in my retirement card. I couldn’t get past the first page without tears. I absolutely love my rose and pot and will think of you all and my very happy times at Christ Church every year when it flowers. Words fail me with the generosity of my voucher. You are the kindest, most generous and supportive parents and you have made my retirement very special. I was an emotional wreck yesterday! Thank you SO much!

GL Assessments

There was a technical problem with ParentMail yesterday, which meant that some parents in Years 2 to 6 did not receive all their GL Assessments Reports for English or maths. We are very sorry about that. If you did not, please complete the form you have been sent for each report that is missing. Please note: you may not have received a report because your child was absent for or did not sit the assessment.

School Lunches

We are delighted that Nourish will be providing hot dinners from September. The School Council were excited to meet Mr Nourish last week – for those of you who didn’t and to find out more about Nourish please click here. This will bring about a change in the way that meals are ordered. At both sites, those children who are having a hot lunch will choose their option at the counter –  the experience at other schools shows that children are much more satisfied with their meal and that there is much less waste.

At the Infants, where every Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 child is entitled to a free meal as part of the government’s Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM) Scheme, those children who do not bring in a packed lunch will be able to eat a hot lunch.

At the Juniors, parents will pay for meals (£2.40 per meal) using ParentMail – there will be no requirement to take a meal every day, you can pick and choose when and how often. More details will follow.

The menu for next term is attached.

If you still have credit on your Feeding Hungry Minds account, please remember to request a refund from them by clicking on the relevant button when signed in to your account.

School Uniform

There is some uniform (notably school cardigans) still available to buy on ParentMail (for collection when we re-open after the summer break) but from today you will also be able to buy uniform from Garbmann, our new uniform supplier. Garbmann supply many schools nationally so we can avoid the supply issues we suffered last autumn – you can choose to have uniform delivered directly to home  or, as part of a bulk delivery, to school (last Friday of the month). There is a link on the uniform page of our school website.

Connect – Autumn 2021

Bookings can now be made for the Autumn term via the Connect page of the school website (if you already have a contract, this will automatically roll over). Connect will take place at the Infant Site with Junior children walked by Connect staff at the end of school or at 4.30pm if they are attending an after-school club. Charges from September will be £7.00 per morning session and £15.00 per evening session. Nourish will be providing the catering in the evenings with a hot snack Monday – Thursday and sandwich style on Fridays. (Menu to follow.)

Year 3 Bumblesnouts Performance

A link to this performance has been sent to parents/carers. Well done to everyone involved.

Junior Singing Concert

Unfortunately, one child’s video was inadvertently missed out of the video we shared last week. It has now been included and an updated link has been sent to parents/carers.

Emotional Wellbeing over the Summer – a message from our Junior Pastoral Mentor, Claire Stevens

This summer we are no doubt hoping for lots of fun times of play and adventure as well as opportunities to connect with family and friends, all of which are part of the Wellbeing Star. Holidays are a great time to practise some of the deep breathing and relaxation exercises. why not try “Slimy Hands Breathing” you might like to try it with real slime and not just imaginary!

Slimy Hands Breathing 

Find a comfortable position and close your eyes. Imagine that you have a ball of slime in the palm of each hand. Feel how cool it is. Now try squeezing it as hard as you can. As you squeeze breathe in through your nose. Then breathe out through pursed lips as you open your hands and imagine the slime has spread across your hands and through your fingers. Repeat this a few times and notice your breathing. Do you feel relaxed?

All of us at times have feelings of stress and worry and so practising our breathing when things are going well for us is so helpful for knowing what to do if we feel worried or anxious. Young Minds have produced a great resource for parents to turn to, if they are wondering about signs of anxiety in their children. Click here to see it. Happy holidays.

Kingston Youth Choir

Kingston Music Service is launching a new youth choir in September 2021. It will bring together young people aged 8-13 who love to sing, and will rehearse weekly as four separate vocal ensembles in venues across the borough, meeting as a massed choir for one or two events per term.

The choir is an opportunity for young singers to develop their vocal skills, improve their musicianship, learn new music and make new friends. Rehearsals take place in a relaxed atmosphere and are a chance to explore a wide range of music – classical, folk, pop, jazz and music theatre as well as songs from a variety of different cultures – as well as meeting like-minded young people.

There are two launch events this autumn:

  • Thursday 9 September 5pm – Online launch
  • Saturday 11 September 10am – Free taster workshop at the Hook Centre in Chessington

These events are opportunities to meet the team and learn some fun warm ups and songs that the vocal ensembles will be working on over the Autumn Term. Both events are free to participants. You can book a place at a launch event or a free trial here

Parent Representatives’ meeting 16th July 2021

Thank you to all the Parent Representatives who met with me in person(!) on the Infant astroturf. Here is a summary of the points which were discussed.

KMS Music Clubs

Kingston Music Service is launching new music clubs for complete beginners in September 2021. The groups offer those aged 8-13 the opportunity to make music with like-minded young people. They will meet weekly at venues around the borough of Kingston and are led by expert tutors. There is no experience needed – just a love of music – as group members can learn everything from scratch. All instruments are supplied, with the exception of the ukulele club where students are asked to buy or hire instruments in advance of the first session.

There is a free taster session at the Hook Centre in Chessington on Saturday 11 September 10am. (Ukuleles will be available to borrow for this event). You can also sign up for a free trial and go along to another session. Term will begin the week commencing Saturday 18th September. To book for the taster session or a FREE TRIAL click here. 

Have a lovely summer holiday and I look forward to seeing all the children back in school on Thursday 2nd September (the gates will open at 8.40 a.m. on the Junior site and 8.50 a.m. on the Infant site).

Tabitha White