September 3rd 2021

Dear Parents/Carers,

I am delighted by the way term has started, and I hope you are too!

It has been lovely to be able to return to a more normal approach to school life, to be able to invite parents into the playground, to have year groups or even a couple of year groups playing together in the playground, to have Collective Worship together in the halls and of course to sing!

As you will have heard, our new catering company, Nourish, has started and the children’s responses to the food have been very positive. I have not heard a single criticism yet; indeed I hear that it is all that some children are talking about. I understand that children are very positive about the quality of the food, the opportunity to choose for themselves and even the quantities.

It has also been lovely to start the term with a bouncy castle on the playing field for the juniors.  Thank you once again to the PTA for their generous donations to each class which has enabled this to happen. You have certainly enabled us to offer a very memorable day!

Keeping everyone safe

We are committed to ensuring that this term runs smoothly and we have as few interruptions as possible. The rules with regards to self-isolation have now relaxed. We no longer need to keep children in bubbles or ask a whole class to self-isolate. Instead, track and trace will contact anyone with a positive COVID test, ask them to identify close contacts and then ask those close contacts to seek PCR tests. 

In many ways this sounds a positive way forward in that it should reduce the amount of disruption to learning and school. However, it is vital that this is dovetailed with us being very vigilant about possible cases to ensure that infections do not spread. Please could you be very alert to possible symptoms and not send your child into school if you are in doubt.

The Government’s official symptoms to be aware of are:

  1. High temperature (38 degrees or above)
  2. New, continuous cough
  3. Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

There is also guidance from research conducted by the health science company, ZOE via the COVID Symptom Study App, that we should also be watching out for the following top 5 symptoms in vaccinated people and children:

  1. Runny nose
  2. Headache
  3. Sneezing
  4. Sore throat
  5. Loss of smell

Please could visitors to the school ensure they have a negative lateral flow test prior to arrival and also wear a mask on entering the building.

Update on the micro pigs

If everything runs smoothly, our two micro pigs should be joining us during the week of 13th September. They are two sisters who are 9 months old. They will live on the Infant site, but they will be able to be walked to the juniors.  We will be training up Young Keepers to look after them each day, and Connect will be able to support. We would also value help from families who could pop in at weekends to give them food and water and clean their pen. We could provide a key to the gate so that people could come at a time that suits them, and of course enjoy a special time with the pigs.  Thank you to the people who have already volunteered. Do let the office know if you could also help. We would welcome both one offs and regular commitments.

The first thing we need to do is to name the pigs!  Try to think of two names that work well together, like Peaches & Cream, or Salt & Pepper, then click on the link emailed to parents/carers to suggest your names by Friday 10th September . 

If you suggest your two names, bring a £2 donation to school next Wednesday and put it in the piggy bank that visits your class to collect them! Miss Pratt and Mrs Johnson (the main pig keepers) will look at all the names and choose two for the piggies and if they choose yours, you will win a prize. 

Sports Clubs

If your child is doing a sports club at school, they should wear their PE kit on that day – even if it is not one of the days their class does PE. 

Eddie, the school dog

This is going to be the year of animals! Eddie, the dog, will also be a regular visitor to the Infants. He has his own harness in school colours with the school initials, a bandana with the school logo, and his own cage in the Infant Office. We will display his photo on the door to the Infant Office when he is in residence.  He passed his official character check with flying colours. We hope that his lovely, friendly personality will prove an invaluable boost to the wellbeing of children and staff alike, particularly at times of anxiety.

School Meals – Balance from ISS / Feeding Hungry Minds

We are working with ISS to return the balances to you as soon as possible and will let you know as soon as we have a system in place.

Online Drama Club

Drama Workshops are again running their online drama courses this term for junior children. For more information and booking details see the local events page on our website.

Year 5 & 6 Parents only – Saint Cecilia’s Open Events

Saint Cecilia’s Church of England School in Southfields is running open events this term. Please see the attached flyer for details of how to book your free tickets to one of their events.

Sign up for FREE taster sessions with Kingston Music Service this September 

On Saturday 11th September KMS have a number of free workshops for 8-13 year olds at the Hook Centre, Hook Road, Chessington:

    • 10.00-11.00 – singing workshop and the launch of Kingston Youth Choir
    • 11.15-12.00 – creative music making workshop and the launch of the ‘Hook Music Project’ (no instruments required)
    • 12.15-13.00 – ukulele workshop bring your own ukulele or borrow one on arrival (no prior experience needed)

There is limited space for each workshop available so please book in advance HERE. You can also book a tour of the Hook Centre recording studio. 

This event is part of the Hook Centre Creative Community Morning and there will be lots of other free activities on site for the whole family to join in, from dinosaur making and junk instrument workshops for children, to storytelling and chinese brush painting for adults. These activities do not need to be pre-booked. 

Other taster sessions

The new Kingston Youth Choir also has an online taster session on Thursday 9th September at 5-6pm. This is open to young people aged 8-13 who love to sing. Please book your place HERE.

Lastly, you can sign up for a free trial of a choir, music club or youth instrumental ensemble from Saturday 18th September when our music centres reopen for the Autumn Term. There are bands and orchestras at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels as well as groups for complete beginners. Please email musicservice@kingston.org.uk to find out more and book a place. 

I wish you all a very happy and indeed very safe and uninterrupted term!

Tabitha White 

Headteacher