March 5th 2021

Dear Parents / Carers,

We are looking forward to welcoming everyone back on Monday. We know that this will be triggering a wide range of emotions, both positive and negative. All of us will welcome this key step in a return to normality and the opportunity to move away from remote learning.  However, change is often accompanied by anxiety and children may be nervous about the return, or changes within school even if they have been in reduced provision. Do not hesitate to alert us if your child may be worried. Our pastoral mentors are on standby to support as of course are the teachers and teaching assistants.

Preparation for return: testing

As we have discovered in school, undertaking regular, rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing helps reduce transmission of the virus. The Government has now advised that households with children at school or college, who do not have symptoms, can now access regular, rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing at home. This includes childcare and support bubbles. This should make the process much smoother and easier.

To quote the latest government update: ‘Tests are fast, easy and completely free. There are different ways for a household, childcare or support bubble to collect their test to take at home, twice-weekly:

  • through your employer, if they offer testing to employees
  • by collecting a home test kit from a local test site – anyone aged 18 or over can collect 2 packs of 7 tests [you can collect the tests from the COVID test centre at Cocks Crescent, New Malden (behind Lidl) between 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. – you do not need to give any information, other than that you are a parent of a child at primary school and you have come for your tests.]
  • by ordering a home test kit online – please do not order online if you can access testing through other routes, this frees up home delivery for those who need it most

If you have any queries about the tests, and you live in England, please call 119 (free from mobiles and landlines). Lines are open every day from 7am to 11pm.’

Drop Off and Pick Up

Do remember, we have staggered drop off and pick up times but also expect parents to social distance at those times. Please follow the signs and instructions from staff.

Infants Please enter the infant site through the entrance nearest your gate. Parents should not use the path along the front of the infant site, as there will be people waiting outside the office entrance.

  • Nursery 8:45 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. – Early Years Gate
  • Seahorse 8:50 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. – Early Years Gate
  • Turtle 8:50 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. – Early Years Gate
  • Owl 8:50 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. – Fox Class Gate
  • Squirrel 8:50 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. – Squirrel Front Door
  • Fox 9 a.m. to 3:25 p.m. – Fox Class Gate
  • Hedgehog 9 a.m. to 3:25 p.m. – Infant Office

Juniors There are some changes at the juniors:

  • Year 3 8:40 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. – Main Gate
  • Year 4 8:50 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. – Side Gate in the morning, Main Gate in the afternoon
  • Year 5 8:40 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. – Side Gate
  • Year 6 8:50 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. – Office

P.E. Days

For the rest of this half term P.E. days will be as follows:

  • Reception – Monday & Thursday
  • Year 1 – Squirrel Class – Monday & Wednesday
  • Year 1 – Owl Class – Monday & Thursday
  • Year 2 – Wednesday & Friday
  • Year 3 – Monday & Thursday
  • Year 4 – Monday & Thursday
  • Year 5 – Wednesday & Friday
  • Year 6 – Wednesday & Friday

Connect – open

Connect is open for bookings. In order to keep everyone safe we are planning 3 separate bubbles on each site.  This means that it is most important that people book in advance and do not change bookings unless there is an emergency. Please could we ask for people to book at least a week in advance.

Plans for a summer holiday club

A number of parents have asked if we could run our own holiday club in the summer as an extension of Connect, as their children enjoy Connect so much. We are therefore exploring the possibility of offering two weeks of holiday club (Connect Plus) this summer as a trial. It is likely to cost £30 per day (with a discount of 10% for a whole week’s booking). It will be led by our own staff and we will be prioritising our own children. The timings will be 9 a.m – 4 p.m. and there will be a range of craft and sporting activities each day in order to cater for a range of interests.

We are also considering offering two days of Connect Plus on our INSET days (Friday 2nd and Monday 5th July). It would be most helpful if you could let us know if you would be likely to book these as well.

Parents’ Evening – 23rd and 25th March

As we are currently unable to offer face-to-face meetings we have decided to trial online video appointments through School Cloud, an online appointment booking system. The system allows you to choose your own appointment times with teachers and you will receive an email confirming your appointments. It is not something we have used before, so please bear with us if there are a few teething problems.

Only one appointment should be made for each child. For this reason, we will only be giving one parent/guardian access to the system to avoid accidental double bookings. This will be the parent/guardian you listed as the primary contact on your contact details form when your child joined the school. Once an appointment for your child has been booked there is then an option for you to invite another parent/guardian if they need to join from a different location should you wish.

We anticipate that the booking system will go live on Tuesday 9th March at 7 a.m. but confirmation of this, together with instructions on how to book, will be emailed to each primary contact on Monday.

Lent Projects

Each class has been asked to think about ways in which we can help others in order to boost wellbeing and come up with a project for Lent that would achieve this. I can now share with you what each year group has chosen for their project:

  • Nursery will be making Easter cards for people in a senior care home.
  • Reception will be making cards for Elleray Hall (a drop in centre for older people).
  • Year 1 will be making Easter cards for Elleray Hall.
  • Year 2 have voted to support a local charity called ‘Small Steps’, who support parents of children who are physically disabled. The children will be doing jobs at home to raise money to donate.
  • Year 3 are doing postcards of kindness.
  • Year 4 will be making a book of kindness to send to the Groves Pharmacy in New Malden.
  • Antelope class are creating cards/letters and a small Easter gift for children’s cancer charities.
  • Gazelle class will write letters and make Easter boxes for a senior care home.
  • Year 6 will be making thank you cards/bookmarks to give to the Dons food bank collection point at Tesco so they can give them to the people who donate. They will have interesting facts about food banks on them. This is linked to some of their future PSHE and RE topics.

Parent Governor Election

A vacancy has arisen for a parent governor and parents now have the opportunity to elect a new governor. I invite you to stand for election as a parent governor, or to nominate another parent. The term of office is for 4 years. Parent governors are representatives and not delegates. No special qualifications are needed and the most important thing is to have a keen interest in the school and be prepared to play an active part in the governing body’s work. You will receive a separate email with more information together with a nomination form shortly. If you would like to stand for election please complete the nomination form (hard copies also available from either school office) and return it to the school no later than 3.30 p.m. on Friday 12th March.

Class photographs

I know some parents have been asking about whether we have any further school photography sessions scheduled for this year and I can confirm that, subject to any Covid restrictions, class photographs are due to take place on Tuesday 18th May.

Chromebooks

Please be reminded that ALL children must bring their Chromebook and charger to school on Monday morning. We will check off the return of all devices, and all children will be using their device on Monday for lessons. Please see the separate ParentMail about Chromebooks.

Parking in Elm Road

Please can I remind parents not to park in front of our neighbours’ driveways on Elm Road at dismissal time.

Dogs on Premises

Please be reminded that dogs should not be on the premises during drop off or pick up times. Please wait with them on the pavement.

Tabitha White, Headteacher