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Chickerell Primary Academy

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Headteacher's Blog

Week of October 18th

Dear parent,

Half term is here! I'm sure you are all ready for some family time and it's well deserved. All things considered, the children have coped amazingly with the first 'proper' half term back after so long, but they're definitely tired.

 

I know for some of you, the most recent changes we've had to make for certain year groups on Public Health's authority has made your lives a little trickier, but please, rest assured, we are only trying to keep everyone safe and I will not , or cannot, disregard advice given on this issue. 

 

COVID update: Number of cases in children rose to 10 across the school this week, again, very much but not exclusively, limited to specific year groups ,  with one additional adult case. Although the half term should serve as a natural firebreak for us all, if, after this, someone in your immediate household tests positive , please do not send children in unless they have then tested negative on a lateral flow and ideally a full PCR.  It is very important we limit the spread of this, and going into the deep autumn/winter months when weather is wet, heating is on and children are naturally going to have to be indoors with each other more, we have to be even more mindful of this.

 

Some of you have been asking about the staggered arrangements at the end of the day and how long they will last. I know that they are not the most convenient if you have siblings to pick up at different times, but until such time that our cases drop and rates across the area stabilise at a low level, then we will remain with these for a while longer. 

 

Post half term: Look out after half term for some information about our virtual parent evenings that will be held in the third week back.

 

Reminder RE: clubs: These will restart on the 8th November for everyone, apart from our paid provision that starts on the 1st. Breakfast club also restarts on the 1st.

 

Do enjoy the week together, we'll see you all ready for round 2 on the 1st November.

Kind regards

Miss Harris

Week of October 11th

Dear parent,

 

We are entering into the last week of the half term and I'm sure your children are ready for a break now. It's caught them all by surprise just how 'fast' a pace we have worked at to try and get back into normality and routine after the last 18 months of disruption.

 

Reminder:  Next Friday is an INSET day, children are not in school.

No clubs now until November 8th, you should have received the updated list today from the office to rebook children in for after half term. 

Paid after school provision  also stops on Thursday 21st until November 1st.

 

 Weekly COVID update:  7 new cases this week.  This cluster still should serve as a reminder why it is so important to test your children if they develop cold type symptoms to avoid it spreading. Staff have reverted to wearing masks in school in all communal areas and we have reinstated strict class bubbles during the day until the half term break. Please help us by wearing masks when you come into school, and only come in if it is absolutely essential. We are taking advice daily from Public Health as to what other measures to reintroduce to help halt the spread of this. Can I also remind you that if your child is isolating, that does mean that they should be staying at home and not having contact with anyone outside the immediate family household.

 

On the flip side of all this, and somewhat ironically, Anti Vaccine leaflets have been handed out at the park recently, please be aware. The local PCSO is also aware of this. Although this is not 'illegal' , there is a thin line between it being done in a 'harassing' way and an informative way.

 

Enjoy the weekend

Miss Harris

Week of October 4th

 

Dear parent,

I hope you've all had a good week. A mixed bag of weather at times, Autumn is definitely here!

 

COVID update: 'COVID 19 map for schools' web page, do google and look at this when you have a moment. Put in the school's postcode, DT3 4AT, and you will clearly see the significant rate of infection still in our area. This is why we MUST all still be very careful of our own and our family's safety, test regularly, wear masks when you can and practise robust hand hygiene. If your child has cold type symptoms, do get them tested to be sure. And if someone in your household does test positive, the rest of you would definitely be considered 'close contacts' and MUST do a full PCR test before returning to school. One local school has now had to shut completely for 10 days due to the infection rates, and as I said last week , we certainly do not want to revert back to those measures. Since last week's email, we have had no new cases within the school- which shows we're all doing something right!

 

Clubs: You will need to 'reapply' for the clubs for after the half term, most will stay the same but a few may have changed. Just because your child has had a place this half term does not guarantee a place next time. More detail will follow very soon.

 

Christmas performances:  Although many of you have enjoyed these in the past, we are still not confident to restart these due to the ongoing rates of infection in our area. It would not be appropriate to have that many children from different year groups in an enclosed space singing and dancing. I have suggested to classes that if they want to do something very low key that they could video and send home to you then they will, but only if they are confident to do so.

 

School Photos: We are doing individual and sibling school photos on Thursday next week. All children must come in uniform on this day, even if normally they would be in PE kit.

 

INSET days- Our next ones are October 22nd and  December 1st,  children are not in school those days.

 

Enjoy the weekend,

Miss Harris

Week of September 27th

 

Dear parent,

It has been another really busy week, and I think children are feeling that in their tiredness levels.  I'm still so pleased to see lots of children using our clubs and after school childcare facilities, on some days we have over 100 children attending these. 

 

COVID update: We currently have 2 children in the school who have currently tested positive. Can I remind you again of the protocols. If your child has any cold type symptom, please test them, ideally with a full PCR test but, if not, a lateral flow test. If a close family member has tested positive then, as close contacts, the rest of the family should immediately book a PCR and not come into school, until the results of that test are known.  Remember you MUST report these tests to Public Health and they will contact us if we, as a school ,need to do anything extra.

We must still all work together to protect each other by following our procedures- you may have seen that several local schools have had to go to 4 day weeks at present because children's case numbers are high and they are then passing it onto the staff. Children's education has suffered enough and I would really hate to have to impose that kind of working arrangement should we begin to experience the same. Do wear masks on site if you can, limit family members bringing children to and from school to one per child, stick to your pick up times at the end of the day, only come into the school building if it is necessary- all these will help us keep everyone safe and school open 5 days a week.,

 

Virtual parent evenings: Because of the above, and also to make evenings run more efficiently, after half term we will be trialling virtual parent evenings where you can meet the class teacher online and discuss your child's progress. More details will follow in due course, but most schools now are using this form of communication to keep everyone safe and to avoid queues and delays often occurring with face-to-face meetings.

 

Communication: I am aware that with some restrictions still in place, contacting teachers is a little trickier. Please do use the teachers email if you do not get to see them at the gate at the start or end of the day. Can I remind you, though, about being considerate in what and how you write. All too often, it is easy to 'read' a tone to an email, and if that email is written when you are in a heightened state, then it may not be as respectful or polite as it should be. I always think that the best way to write an email is to draft it, sleep on it and then send it!

 

INSET: A reminder that we have our next staff training day on Friday, 22nd October, so children will start their half term on this day.

 

Enjoy the weekend, I'm not sure the weather will be that kind to us, but a quiet day at home may just be what we all need.

Week of September 20th

Dear parent

Another busy week for us all, clubs started and it has been lovely to see the children enjoying those again. Can I ask that you always confirm with your child the arrangements for them getting home after these? We have had several occasions this week when children were very unsure of whether they were walking home or being picked up- and this can make them very anxious.

 

We are well and truly into the cough/cold season again, and not unexpectedly, since we have all been thrown back together, we have lots of poorly children and adults in school! Can I strongly recommend that even if you think your child only has a cold, you do use the lateral flow tests to check, and if you still have any doubt, book a PCR. There has been an occasion within our school community where a child with a cold and cough had two negative lateral flows, but still tested positive on the much more reliable PCR. I would also suggest that you test the rest of the immediate family too, to be safe. There have been instances already this week whereby schools have had to send home entire year groups to be tested due to positive cases. Thank you for your support with this it is essential that we continue to maintain strict routines for keeping everyone safe.

 

Queens' Jubilee: As you may be aware, we are due to have another Bank Holiday in 2022 to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. The official extra day already falls within the existing half term, so it has been agreed that schools can add an extra day's holiday where they see fit so children and school staff do not miss out on this . We intend to make this extra day for us on June 6th, to, in effect, extend that Bank Holiday weekend even more- that may give more flexibility for your travel/holiday plans. Children will return to school on the 7th June.

 

Enjoy the weekend, I am attempting to walk a half marathon with my 72 year old mum in aid of cancer- so I'm hoping for kind weather!

Week Of Sept 13th

Dear parent,

I hope you've all had a good week. At the start of the week, it seemed more of the children were a little wobbly- I think the novelty of being back had worn off, and we will continue to support those who do struggle. 

 

COVID: Not unexpectedly, considering the impact of the holidays and children returning to school at together, we have seen some positive cases this week within our families. Can I urge you again to follow protocol- if your child has symptoms or has been in close contact with someone who is positive, they must get a test, ideally a PCR as opposed to a lateral flow. Anyone with symptoms must isolate until they know their test result. Follow all NHS advice on this.

 

Thank you for supporting our clubs, it was amazing to see so many forms sent in for this. For those of you on 'waiting lists' we'll let you know when places become available, or if we can increase our numbers to accommodate more.

 

PE kit- just to confirm that children will come to school on PE days in kit all year. Obviously when the weather is colder, they can put tracksuit bottoms and a hoody/sweatshirt over their shorts and t shirts to keep them warm.

 

Attendance: Just a polite reminder that our 'soft' start is from 8.30-8.50. If you arrive after 8.50, your children are marked as late in the register, which will count against your overall attendance figures at the end of the year. Do ring the school office if you think you are going to be late, so we can let the class teacher know.

 

Please be aware we have changed one of our inset days for this year. We now have an inset day on Friday 22nd July 2022 and NOT Friday 8th April 2022. 

 

Enjoy the weekend,

Miss Harris

Week of Sept 6th

Dear parent,

As I did last year, I will send you a weekly email on a Friday with any relevant information you may need to know. I just really wanted to reassure you that the children have had a good week this week, of course some of them have 'wobbled'- that's expected, but walking round the classes, I can tell you that they have all been very engaged and trying really hard.

 

A couple of reminders. Myself, Mrs Griffiths our SENDCO , and Miss Richards our family support worker, will be on the gates every day, at both ends of the day. Do come and talk to us with any concerns you have, or anything you need us to pass on to the class teacher for you. You can also email us:

 

j.harris@chickerell.dorset.sch.uk

k.griffiths@chickerell.dorset.sch.uk

l.richards@chickerell.dorset.sch.uk

 

.....if it's of a more private or confidential nature.

 

If they haven't already, the class teacher will also email you and you can reply to them on this with any concerns too.  

 

PE Kit: We know that our suppliers are struggling with this, so for the moment, as long as the children have a plain white or burgundy T shirt, dark coloured shorts or tracksuit bottoms, then that will suffice. No football kit, please. The children will wear their PE kit to school on the days they have PE, the class teachers will let you know when this is and it will start next week, the 13th.

 

Uniform: We are being very strict on ties, length of shorts, etc and will contact you if there is a problem with your child's uniform. Please also ensure that they do not wear make up, including nail varnish. Hair colour must be natural.

 

Mobile Phones: These are prohibited from use on site. For older children who may bring them in, the expectation is that they hand them to Miss Bates in the morning at the gate and she will return them at the end of the day. Can we suggest that they only bring a phone if they absolutely need it.

 

Dogs: As a dog owner myself, I know how lovely it is to combine a walk with dropping children off or picking up, however, we do have several children and parents who are very nervous around them and when they are tied quite close to the school gates, it can be quite challenging for these children to walk past. Can I respectfully ask then that you only bring your dogs at these times if necessary, and to tie them up where they are not too close to the gates. Thank you for your understanding with this.

Reminders of arrangements for the first week back

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