Weekly Newsletter- 19/4/21

Newsletter for Parents Week Beginning 19th April 2021

Dear Parents,

We have had a very positive first week back in school and have been working your children quite hard! On the whole they have been cheerful and ready to learn and are pleased to be back with their friends and their teachers!

Thank you for continuing to follow our safety rules and for arriving with your children at the right times. We have had great attendance this week but please ensure you call school if your child is not well enough to come to school or if there is another reason why they cannot attend. Most importantly please let us know if your child, or someone in your household, has a positive covid test. We will be following up all unexplained absences.

Parents ‘Evenings’

You should by now have heard from your child’s class teacher about how you can book a phone call for ‘parents evening’. You will have a choice of a school time or an after school appointment. It is so important that you talk to your child’s class teacher next week so that you know how they have settled back into school and what you can do to ensure they keep up with their learning.

If you have any concerns following your discussion with your child’s class teacher please don’t hesitate to contact me for a chat.

Your Child’s Progress

We will be assessing the children’s progress over the next couple of weeks but there won’t be any National Tests this year. These assessments will be as informal as possible so your children don’t need to worry about them. We will let you know if we have concerns about your child’s progress.

Summer Term Dates

We are still unsure about what events will be allowed later this term but it unlikely that Year 5 and 6 residentials will take place. It would be good to think we can have some kind of Sports Days

and end of year events and we will do our best to make the best of it all! We will give you plenty of notice of any events which can take place.

There will be just one INSET day this term – 7th June which is the first day after half term.

Thanking you for all your support,

C M Hewitt

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Easter Newsletter

Parents Newsletter 26th March 2021

Dear Parents and Carers,

Well here we are at the end of yet another unusual term! Finally we have all our children back together and almost every single one of them seems happy to be in school with their friends and learning face to face once again.

As you know, school finishes for Easter today and we return to school on Monday 12th April. Please remember to book your children into Breakfast Club by Friday morning each week as we have to limit numbers for each year group.

Kids’ Club will restart after Easter so please book your child’s place in the usual way. With changing work patterns, numbers of children requiring kids club are falling, making the club less able to pay for itself. I’m sure you will understand that it will only be possible to continue kids club beyond the May half term if there are enough bookings coming in.

Head teacher Appointment

I am very pleased to be able to report that our current Deputy Head Teacher, Mrs Louise Davies, has been appointed as your new Head Teacher from September! Our staff are thrilled about this and I’m sure the children will be too when we tell them. There were many strong applicants for the role and the governors and the Local Authority were unanimous in their decision to appoint Mrs Davies following an excellent interview and outstanding presentation! Personally I am delighted to be leaving Tre Uchaf in such good hands and I know that the school will go from strength to strength under Mrs Davies’ leadership.

This means that soon we will be appointing a new Deputy Head. We will be advertising this job as soon as possible and will keep you informed as soon as we have news.  Exciting times!

Parents Meetings

You will have the opportunity to speak with your child’s class teacher by phone during the week beginning 19th April. You will have the choice of a school time or an after school time slot and we will let you know on the first day back which days are available and how to book. It is more important than ever that you have this meeting with your child’s class teacher after such a disrupted year.

Year 6 Transition

Arrangements are being made for the Year 6 transition to Penyrheol. Staff from Penyrheol will visit Tre Uchaf to discuss all our year 6 children, including any needs they may have. There are also transition days planned for 5th and 6th July. These will go ahead if they possibly can.

May I take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy Easter-time. I hope you and your children can enjoy some sunshine and outdoor time during this holiday!

Yours faithfully

C M Hewitt

 

 

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Parent newsletter 19/3/21

Parents Newsletter Friday 19th March 2021

Dear Parents,

It was a pleasure to welcome our Key Stage 2 children back to school this week! They have returned in good spirits, pleased to see their friends and ready to learn! Let’s hope for a healthy and covid free final term.

We have been giving the children lots of opportunities to exercise in the outdoor areas so please ensure they are wearing appropriate footwear so they can run around and improve their fitness!

Safety for All

May I remind you that the safety and success of a continued and permanent return to school depends on all of us following the rules. The previous one way system is back in place and all parents should enter and leave the site using the correct gates. We have noticed a few parents entering through the junior yard gate. There is now a No Entry sign on the gate to remind you that this an exit only. Thank you for helping with this as this will minimise the risks of parents crossing paths.

We would like to thank everyone for wearing face masks on the school site but need to remind you that masks should be worn properly ie over both the nose and mouth! Social distancing has been generally good but please keep a check on this and ensure you stay 2m away from others, even if they are your friends!

Most importantly, we need to ensure that no child attends school if there is someone who has had covid symptoms in their household, until that symptomatic person has had a negative test. If we become aware that any child has been in close contact with someone with covid symptoms we will ask you to collect them, and any siblings from school. If the child appears at all unwell they will be isolated until you collect them. If you are in any doubt about whether your child should attend school please contact school to discuss it. Thank you.

Comic Relief

The children enjoyed the Comic Relief activities in school today and we raised £ 216.  Many thanks for your donations.

Parents Evenings

As in the Autumn Term we will carry out ‘Parents Evening’ by phone during the week beginning 19th April. This went well in the Autumn Term and proved to be more efficient with less queuing! We will be offering appointments both during the school day and after school. Your child’s class teacher will let you know how you can book a slot. As you will realise this won’t be like our normal parents evening as we won’t be able to share your child’s work with you. However, we know that many of you will have seen the work your child has been doing during school closure and will be in a better position than ever before to understand your child’s learning. Please do book a slot and be assured that we will not be making any judgements on how you managed the difficult challenge of getting your children to engage in remote learning!

New Head Teacher Appointment

As you should already know from the video included in my newsletter of 22nd February, I will be retiring at the end of this academic year. This is nothing to do with the pandemic as I made this decision quite some time ago! I have family who live far away and a baby grandson to spend time with so it’s time for me to move on to the next chapter. The Governors are in the process of appointing a new head teacher and this should be finalised before we finish for Easter. May I assure you that they are working extremely professionally to ensure you have the right person to lead the school from September. I will update you when we have confirmed news on this.

Easter Fun!

On Friday 26th March the children are invited to join in with our usual Easter competitions. Foundation Phase (infant) children are invited to create and wear an Easter Hat. Key Stage 2 (junior) children are invited to decorate an egg and bring it in – any theme is fine! All activities will be done in a socially distanced way eg an outdoor Easter hat parade!

School finishes for Easter on Friday 26th March and we return on Monday 12th April. Half term is from 31st May – 4th June. Please stay safe and keep to the restrictions for just a little longer so that we can keep school open and safe for the rest of the school year.

Thank you again for everything you have done during school closure. We will do our best to give your children everything they deserve now that they are back with us in school.

Yours faithfully

C M Hewitt

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March Return to School!

Please read click here or read the information below..

March Return Letter to Parents

Thursday 11th March 2021

Dear Parents,

March Return to School

I am writing to you to give you further information on our reopening for Key Stage 2 (Juniors) on Monday 15th March.  There is also information here which relates to our Foundation Phase (infant) children so please read through everything.

It has been lovely to welcome our younger children back to school. They have settled really well which makes me very hopeful that our older children will settle well too!

We have considered all the latest guidance and amended our advice and procedures accordingly so that we can keep everyone as safe as possible as we enter this new, and hopefully final, chapter in the return to school.

I have outlined below the answers to some questions you may have. 

Are all children required to attend?

The expectation is that all Key Stage 2 children will return to school on Monday unless you have had medical advice that they should stay at home. Also if your child or anyone in your household has symptoms of coronavirus (high temperature, new persistent cough, loss of taste or smell, general unusual illness) your child should not attend.

If you or your children have anxieties about returning to school, we will work closely with you as a family to address any worries. If you do not feel able to return your children to school yet we will be supportive of this and will advise you on how you can keep your child learning until you are ready for them to return.

How will I know what time my child starts and finishes?

All children will start on Monday at the times set out below, so that we can ensure everyone is spread out. The times are very similar to last term.

Class Start Time Home Time
Year 3 8.40 2.50
Year 4 8.50 3.00
Year 5 8.50 3.00
Year 6 8.40 2.50
JSTF 8.55 2.45

 

Please help us to keep everyone well spread out by ensuring children arrive as close to their given time as possible.

How will the children and staff be kept safe in school?

While there is a strict 2m social distancing requirement between adults, the guidance we have is that we do not need to socially distance between children, particularly the youngest ones. However, we must try to keep them from very close face to face contact. We must also keep them in class groups, with no direct contact with other classes. They will be taught and supervised by the same adults throughout the day where possible.

  • Children will be seated side by side rather than face to face.
  • They will not be allowed to hug each other or their teachers.
  • They will be spread out at lunch times on a staggered timetable
  • There is a one-way system in corridors and visits to the toilets will be monitored to ensure there are never too many children using these areas at the same time.
  • Lots of time will be spent outside as this is good for your child’s health and well-being and we have plenty of space to spread children out.
  • Playtimes will be staggered so that each class can play in one large outdoor area without contact with other classes.
  • Staff are required to try to keep some distance away from children where possible. Where this is not possible staff will wear a face covering.
  • Staff will need to wear aprons, gloves, masks and visors when administering first aid or if they need to help with toileting.

How will we monitor strict hand cleanliness?

  • On their first day back in school your child’s class teacher will remind your children how to wash hands correctly and thoroughly. There is plenty of anti-bacterial hand soap available in toilets and in classrooms.
  • As the children enter the building they will use hand sanitiser. Once children are in the building and have deposited their coats and lunch boxes they will each be sent to wash their hands, maintaining social distancing where possible.
  • Although the most important thing is hand washing, hand sanitiser will also be available at the entrances to eating areas and frequent touch points such as toilet block doors.
  • All staff will have twice weekly tests so that we are immediately aware of any asymptomatic covid infections in the school and you will be informed if your child’s class needs to isolate

Does my child need to wear school uniform?

Yes we would rather your child wore school uniform as this will help to make school feel more ‘normal’ and to make children feel part of a community of equals. They should wear clean uniform each day if possible.

Most importantly your child needs to wear footwear which they can run around in as there will be plenty of outdoor activities and we won’t be getting the children changed for these.

We will let you know when your child will be having PE lessons and we will ask you to send in children already in their gym kits with their school jumper over the top.

School Uniform Grant

You should have received an email from the Local Authority if you are eligible for a School Uniform grant. Please note this year this is open to children in Reception, Year 1, Year 3 and Year 5. You have until 30th June to reply.

What about Face Masks?

  • The wearing of face masks for children of primary school age is not recommended as they have a tendency to touch them frequently, risking poor hygiene.
  • However if any child’s family feels that wearing a mask is essential in order to be safe in the school environment they will not be stopped from doing so. Well-being and a feeling of safety is of paramount importance. They will need to bring a plastic bag in which to store the mask when eating and will need a clean mask every day

What should my child bring to school?

We provide all the stationary and equipment your child needs and your child should have been provided with a wipeable see-through zip wallet or a tidy, clean tray, with all their own pens, pencils, rubbers etc. These items will never be shared. If you have bought new stationary for your child for return to school please keep this at home and use it for homework tasks.

Your child won’t need a book bag this term as we will be giving them each a plastic wipeable wallet to transport reading books and homework to and from school. So all you child needs to carry to school is…

  • Plastic wallet with reading book (and homework once a week)
  • A drinks bottle
  • Snack and Lunch (if needed)

Which gate shall I bring my children in through?

You can bring your children in through either the main front gate, the North Road gate or the St David’s Close gate. There will be a one way system in place which you and your chid should follow.

  • If your child needs to walk from the infant yard to the junior yard they can take a short cut alongside the gym.
  • If you enter through the main gates with your chid please leave through the small junior yard gate.
  • The North Road entrance is two way but you are asked to keep left.

Where does my child wait to enter the school building?

There are markings on the yards to show where each family should wait before children are invited into school.

Please arrive with your child only at the time you have been given as this staggered start is an important part of social distancing. If you have two children starting at different times you may need to wait in your car or in the designated place in the yard. If this is causing you difficulties staff will be on hand to help you out.

As we found last term, If you arrive at the times you have been given and not too much before there will be very little waiting and your child will be taken into school pretty quickly. This is especially important if it is raining so we can take children straight into class without delay.

Can parents come on to the premises?

  • We know that parents of infant children, taxi escorts and some key stage two children need to bring their children into the yard and this is fine as long as you stay with your child at all times.
  • Please arrive to collect your children only at the time you have been given and wait a good distance from others on the yard.
  • If you need to bring junior children with you to drop your infant children off, they must stay close to you, at a 2m distance from other families at all times.
  • Please ensure your children stay with you at all times while waiting. They are not allowed to run around the yard, even with members of their own classes.
  • Parents will not be able to have long conversations with teachers when dropping off or picking up children as we need to keep a strict 2m distance between all adults. (Yellow dotted lines have been marked out at a 2m distance from infant external doors as a reminder of this. Thank you for your efforts so far to keep outside of this zone)
  • Please also respect 2m social distancing from our Key Stage 2 teachers both at the door and in the yards.
  • If you need to discuss something at length please phone school to make an appointment. Preferably the conversation could take place by phone.

How can parents help to keep our community safe?

We have been asked to remind parents that, despite the reopening of schools, we are otherwise still under Tier 4 restrictions. School will be operating under strict guidelines with no close contact between adults and strict hygiene routines in place. Until a further review, in order to preserve safety and to limit contact between families we would urge you NOT to do the following;

  • Hold birthday parties and sleepovers for children
  • Meet together to socialise after dropping the children into school
  • Gather in large groups outside of school, even if the children are in the same class
  • Share childcare
  • Travel by car to enjoy leisure time outside of your locality

I’m sure you will agree that these next few weeks could be ‘make or break’ in terms of the lifting of further restrictions and we mustn’t do anything to risk another wave of infections.

For the safety and well-being of everyone, we have been given a system for reporting any breaches of restrictions which we have been made aware of. Sadly, we have already had to make use of this system.

May I assure you that our staff are also subject to these rules and Governors have asked that this be communicated very clearly to them.

Will there be Breakfast Club and Kids’ Club?

Breakfast Club will start on Monday 15th March from 8am for those who really need this facility.  You should have had a message about this already and you will have seen this announced on the website.

There is a booking system for Breakfast as we need to limit numbers attending in each class in order to be able to spread out different contact groups. Please phone school by Friday lunch time each week to book your children in the following week.

Will my child have a normal school day?

  • We aim to make school as enjoyable, welcoming and positive as possible but to keep risks low a few things will be different;
    • Your child’s relationship with staff will be just the same as before but please warn them that hugging will still not be allowed!
    • The curriculum will be just the same as before but we realise that some children may need to do some catching up before they move on to new learning. We will start from where each child is
    • The first two weeks back will focus on checking on your child’s well-being, reminding them of hygiene routines, communicating high expectations of engagement in learning and informally assessing their progress.
    • We will take the opportunity to congratulate those children (and their families) who have worked so hard during school closure as we think this should be acknowledged.
    • We don’t want the children who have not completed much remote learning to worry about coming back. We realise that there are many reasons why they have not completed their work and we will consider Monday 15th March to be a fresh start!
    • Everyone will have their own personal resources but if equipment has to be shared it will be disinfected frequently
    • There will be a staggered timetable throughout the day which will not allow classes to mix.
    • Computers, Chrome Books and iPads will still be used but will be disinfected between uses.
    • Assemblies will take place with one class at a time
    • There will be Interest Groups on Friday afternoons from next week but children will always be in a group just with members of their own class.

What happens if a child or member of staff shows symptoms of COVID 19?

(You will be sent an online form very soon for you to confirm that you understand our rules and your responsibilities. You only need to complete this once.)

  1. If a child or member of staff becomes symptomatic (eg persistent cough, temperature, loss of taste and smell) they will be taken to our designated isolation room (not as scary as it sounds!) away from other people and will need to be collected immediately.
  2. The child’s temperature will be taken, using a remote device. The isolation room will then be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before it is used again.
  3. If a positive test confirms a case of COVID 19 in the school children and staff within the class group only may be asked by Track and Trace to isolate.
  4. In the unlikely event of an outbreak in the school (two or more linked cases) Public Health Wales will decide how to proceed.

What about lunch and snacks?

  • All lunch bags and bottles should be very clean, clearly named and where possible children will need to refill their own water bottles throughout the day.
  • School dinners will be served from the first day back
  • Children entitled to Free School Meals will be provided with a meal in school. If you pay for your school meals please ensure your sQuid account is topped up. Children can, of course bring in a packed lunch instead.
  • Please continue to send in a drinks bottle and a fruit snack for your children.
  • For younger children, please send in items which they can open themselves so that we can avoid close contacts between staff and children.
  • Children will eat their lunch in the hall or the gym as we have large tables which are easy to clean and make social distancing possible. Use of the hall and gym for lunches will be staggered so there will only be two classes in there at any one time. Hygiene will be closely monitored by staff.
  • Please note we are a ‘nut free’ school so please do not send your child into school with any foods containing nuts or nut products.
  • Birthday Cakes – Some parents have asked if they can send in cakes for the class to celebrate their children’s birthdays. At this time I would ask you only to send in shop bought, individually wrapped items. Not so nice, I know, but safer!

Texting System

To receive texts, you need to download the ‘Schoop’ App to your phone. When you are asked for our school ID, this is 8821. You should then be able to sign up to receive messages for the classes of each of your children.

Many of you have done this already. Please note you must click on the link you have been sent to complete the registration process. This will help us to contact you quickly if we need to.

We will also be continuing to contact you through the website, DoJo and your sQuid email address.

It is very important that school has your correct current phone numbers in case we need to contact you in an emergency so please contact us today if there are any changes.    

We are really looking forward to welcoming our older children back to school and I hope it won’t be long before everyone is settled back into their classes ready to enjoy the final term of the year together! May I thank you once again for your support in these very difficult circumstances. We know how hard you and your children have found these past few months.

Best wishes

C M Hewitt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Parents Newsletter 5th March

Messages for Parents week beginning 8th March 2021

Dear Parents and Carers,

Welcome Back!

We have had a fabulous first full week back for our younger children who have been an absolute credit to you in the way they have settled back into school! They have enjoyed St David’s Day and World Book Day and all the fun of dressing up this week.

Thank you so much for following our one way system, social distancing and wearing face masks on school premises. I know the 2m yellow lines at the doors are taking a bit of getting used to but well done to everyone who has managed to stay out of this zone! Remember you can place your child’s items in the class box provided, help your children to be independent by carrying their own items into school.

The other good news is that we will be welcoming our older children (y3 – 6) back on Monday 15th March and we can’t wait to see them all!  Breakfast Club will also be open  from 15th March. This will be along the lines of the Autumn Term breakfast club, with Rec- Y2 in the hall and Y3 – Y6 in the gym. Numbers will be limited and there will be a booking system. I will confirm this with you soon.

School dinners will start again for Junior children on 15th March so please ensure your sQuid account is topped up if you normally pay for your child’s dinners.

We don’t intend to run our Kids Club after school until after Easter. However, if there is enough demand for it we will consider opening. Would you kindly let us know on Monday if this is something which you rely on and need now. Please telephone Mrs Seager in the school office to confirm this information. The amount of children attending since September has been considerably low so we would appreciate your support

Vision Tests for Reception Children

On Tuesday the school nurse will be attending to carry out eye tests for our Reception children. This will be done in a socially distanced way in the school hall. You need to let us know if you do NOT want your child to be tested.

Staff Covid Tests

Staff are currently being tested for Covid 19 on a twice weekly basis. This means that we can quickly become aware of any asymptomatic cases in the school.

Where a positive staff case has been in contact with their class within 48 hours before getting the result the class will be required to self-isolate. Where the case is diagnosed just beyond the 48 hour period since contact with children we will let you know about this so that you can be aware of the risk.

Afternoon Nursery Timetable

We have been rethinking our Nursery timings as we can see that the current timings are not really working for some of you! We have rearranged our lunchtime routines so that Nursery children can start at 12.50 without crossing other contact groups. They will then finish at 3.05, leaving just a little space after 3pm pick ups. We hope this will be helpful to you and we will start this routine from Monday 8th March.

Parents Evenings

These were originally planned for the week beginning 15th March! I’m sure you will agree that these discussions are best left until all the children have been in school for a few weeks. So it is likely that parents evenings will take place, by phone, during the week beginning 19th April.

Not long now for our junior children! Please encourage them to do what they can over this next week to help them feel confident and ready for their return to school.

Best wishes and looking forward to good times ahead!!

C M Hewitt

PS Could parents please ensure you have seen my video message from 22nd February on our News Page on our website. This contains an important message, mainly for the children.

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Parent Newsletter 26.2.21

Friday 26th February 2021

Dear Parents and Carers,

This has been a really exciting week as we have welcomed our younger children back to their classes. All of them, including our very youngest nursery starters, have come to school with a cheerful and positive attitude and are settling really well into school routines.

Thank you for reading all the guidance I have sent out and for bringing your children in at the right time, to the right entrances and on the right days! This has helped things to run smoothly and safely.

Your children are so full of news but sadly some of this has been about playdates, sleepovers and haircuts in other households! This mixing of households is not permitted in Tier 4and could spoil the efforts of the majority of our community to stay safe. If this continues we feel it would be reasonable to ask the families involved not to attend school.

Next week promises to be even more exciting with all our infant children in, with St David’s Day on Monday and World Book Day on Thursday! I know that the children are busy creating Welsh themed competition items ready for next week.

On Monday our infant children can come to school in their St David’s Day costumes, something else Welsh themed or simply something in one of the Welsh flag colours (white, green or red). Our junior children can also wear something with a Welsh theme for their special St David’s Day Teams meeting. Please don’t worry about this at all. School uniform will do perfectly well as it’s red!!

The Teams meeting times are as follows;

10.30am-Yr 6              11.15am- Yr 4             1pm- Yr 3            1.30pm –JSTF

2.30pm- Yr 5

On Thursday and probably throughout the week classes will be doing lots of Reading and Book themed learning. Your children do not need to dress up on World Book Day but they are welcome to do so if you want to get an outfit together! Please don’t go out and buy expensive costumes for this. A cheap and easy book themed option would be to wear pyjamas (bedtime story outfit!)

School dinners start again on Monday. If you normally pay for your child’s dinners please ensure your sQuid account is topped up. Your child will need to continue to bring a fruit snack and a drink.

Please ensure you have the ‘Schoop’ App so that you can easily receive text messages from us. Register using ID 8821 and add yourself to your children’s classes.

Your child’s teacher should have let you know which day your Foundation Phase (infant) child needs to wear their PE kit.

Finally, we have a number of ‘gaps’ in our reading book stock as some of our children have returned without their reading books. Would you kindly take a look around at home and send in any you find. Would you also please try to find your child’s Reading Record. Many thanks!

Please remember that you can contact me by email at HewittC23@hwbcymru.net if you have concerns or questions about the return to school or about remote learning.

Take care, stay safe and look after yourselves!

C M Hewitt

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Return to School Message 22nd February 2021

KeyInformationfor Parents

Monday 22nd February 2021

Dear Parents

February Return to School

I am writing to you to give you further information on our phased school reopening for Foundation Phase (infants) this week. There is also information here which relates to our Key Stage 2(junior) children.  We have considered all the latest guidance and amended our advice and procedures accordingly so that we can keep everyone as safe as possible as we enter this new chapter.

Please take a look at the video link below which is a personal message from myself and the Chair of Governors and which includes some other important news!

A Special Message from Mrs Hewitt and Rachel Rees, our Chair of Governors

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1eBQc0dkhTcxZjupv32OcdrItdytoJ5_z/view?usp=sharing

I have outlined below the answers to some questions you may have. 

Are all children required to attend?

The expectation is that all Foundation Phase children will return to school by Friday unless you have had medical advice that they should stay at home. Also if your child or anyone in your household has symptoms of coronavirus (high temperature, new persistent cough, loss of taste or smell, general unusual illness) your child should not attend.

If you or your children have anxieties about returning to school, we will work closely with you as a family to address any worries. If you do not feel able to return your children to school yet we will be supportive of this and will advise you on how you can keep your child learning until you are ready for them to return.

How will I know when and at what time my child should attend?

This information is in my Newsletter of 12th February which you will find on the website in the News section. You should also have received an email. For the first two days (Wednesday 24th and Thursday 25th ) only half of each class in Nursery – Year 2 will attend, after which they will attend full time every day (from Friday). You should now have received a message to tell you whether your children are attending on Wednesday or Thursday in this first week. If you haven’t received this please contact school directly or your child’s class teacher today.

 

 

Class Start Time Home Time
Nursery 8.40am

1 pm

11.10am

3.15pm

Reception 8.50 3.00
Year 1 8.40 2.50
Year 2 8.50 3.00
ISTF 9.00 2.50

 

On-site provision for the very small numbers of families who absolutely need this, and have already booked, will begin on Tuesday 23rd February and will run from 8am – 3pm. This is only for Key Stage 2 (junior) children on Tuesday.

It looks possible that our Key Stage 2 (junior) children will return to school from 15th March. I will keep you informed if I have any definite information on this. Fingers crossed!

How will the children and staff be kept safe in school?

While there is a strict 2m social distancing requirement between adults, the guidance we have is that we do not need to socially distance between children. However, we must try to keep them from very close face to face contact. We must also keep them in class groups, with no direct contact with other classes. They will be taught and supervised by the same adults throughout the day.

  • Children will be seated side by side rather than face to face.
  • They will not be allowed to hug each other or their teachers.
  • They will be spread out at lunch times on a staggered timetable
  • There is a one-way system in corridors and visits to the toilets will be monitored to ensure there are never too many children using these areas at the same time.
  • Lots of time will be spent outside as this is good for your child’s health and well-being and we have plenty of space to spread children out.
  • Playtimes will be staggered so that each class can play in one large outdoor area without contact with other classes.
  • Staff are required to try to keep some distance away from children where possible. Where this is not possible staff may wear a face covering.
  • Staff will need to wear aprons, gloves, masks and visors when administering first aid or if they need to help with toileting.

How will we monitor strict hand cleanliness?

  • On their first induction day back in school your child’s class teacher will remind your children how to wash hands correctly and thoroughly. This will be supervised as much as possible throughout the day, particularly with younger children.
  • There is plenty of anti-bacterial hand soap available in toilets and in classrooms.
  • As the children enter the building they will use hand sanitiser. Once children are in the building and have deposited their coats and lunch boxes they will each be sent to wash their hands, maintaining social distancing where possible.
  • Although the most important thing is hand washing, hand sanitiser will also be available at the entrances to eating areas and frequent touch points such as toilet block doors.
  • All staff will have twice weekly tests so that we are immediately aware of any asymptomatic covid infections in the school and you will be informed if your child’s class needs to isolate

Does my child need to wear school uniform?

Yes we would rather your child wore school uniform as this will help to make school feel more ‘normal’ and to make children feel part of a community of equals. They should wear clean uniform each day if possible.

Most importantly your child needs to wear footwear which they can run around in as there will be plenty of outdoor activities and we won’t be getting the children changed for these.

We will let you know when your child will be having PE lessons and we will ask you to send in children already in their gym kits with their school jumper over the top.

What about Face Masks?

  • The wearing of face masks for children of primary school age is not recommended as they have a tendency to touch them frequently, risking poor hygiene.
  • However if any child’s family feels that wearing a mask is essential in order to be safe in the school environment they will not be stopped from doing so. Well-being and a feeling of safety is of paramount importance. They will need to bring a plastic bag in which to store the mask when eating and will need a clean mask every day

What should my child bring to school?

We provide all the stationary and equipment your child needs and your child should have been provided with a washable see-through zip wallet or a tidy, clean tray, with all their own pens, pencils, rubbers etc. These items will never be shared. If you have bought new stationary for your child for return to school please keep this at home and use it for homework tasks.

Your child won’t need a book bag this term as we have given them each a washable zip wallet to transport reading books and homework to and from school. Apologies if you have already bought a new book bag but we feel this is a safer option in the short term. Please keep any new book bags safe, ready for when things are ‘normal’ once again!

So all you child needs to carry to school is…

  • Zip wallet with reading book (and homework once a week)
  • A drinks bottle
  • Snack and Lunch (if needed)

Which gate shall I bring my children in through?

You can bring your Foundation Phase (infant) children in through either the main front gate or the St David’s Close gate. There will be a one way system in place so that you can leave the infant yard through the large gates or through the infant outdoor area to St David’s.

On-site provision  will be in the Junior building. If your child is in on-site provision please use either the junior side gate or the North Road entrance to enter and leave. There is a Keep Left system in place on the North Road path so you can use this path to enter and leave the premises.

If you need to bring in both a Foundation Phase (infant) child and a child in Key Stage 2 (juniors) on-site provision please drop off your Key Stage 2 child first before waiting to enter Foundation Phase classes.

If it is absolutely necessary for your Foundation Phase child (infant) to be in on-site provision from 8am before going to class please note that they will need to be fully isolated from the other children before being taken to class at their start time. You will need to have booked this provision in advance.

Where does my child wait to enter the school building?

There are markings on the yards to show where each family should wait before children are invited into school.

Please arrive with your child only at the time you have been given as this staggered start is an important part of social distancing. If you have two children starting at different times you may need to wait in your car or in the designated place in the yard. If this is causing you difficulties staff will be on hand to help you out.

As we found last term, If you arrive at the times you have been given and not too much before there will be very little waiting and your child will be taken into school pretty quickly. This is especially important if it is raining so we can take children straight into class without delay.

Can parents come on to the premises?

  • We know that parents of infant children and escorts will want to bring their children into the yard and this is fine as long as you stay with your child at all times.
  • Please arrive to collect your children only at the time you have been given and wait a good distance from others on the yard.
  • If you need to bring junior children with you to drop your infant children off, they must stay close to you, at a 2m distance from other families at all times.
  • Please ensure your children stay with you at all times while waiting. They are not allowed to run around the yard, even with members of their own classes.
  • Parents will not be able to have long conversations with teachers when dropping off or picking up children as we need to keep a strict 2m distance between all adults. Yellow dotted lines have been marked out at a 2m distance from infant external doors as a reminder of this. Please do not cross these lines.
  • If you need to hand anything over to the class staff please place it in the box provided near this area. If you need to discuss something at length please phone school to make an appointment. Preferably the conversation could take place by phone.

How can parents help to keep our community safe?

We have been asked to remind parents that, despite the reopening of schools, we are otherwise still under Tier 4 restrictions. School will be operating under strict guidelines with no close contact between adults and strict hygiene routines in place. Until a further review, in order to preserve safety and to limit contact between families we would urge you NOT to do the following;

  • Hold birthday parties and sleepovers for children
  • Meet together to socialise after dropping the children into school
  • Gather in large groups outside of school, even if the children are in the same class
  • Share childcare

I’m sure you will agree that these next few weeks could be ‘make or break’ in terms of the lifting of further restrictions and we mustn’t do anything to risk another wave of infections.

Most importantly, we want our junior children to return to school as soon as possible and need to show that the opening up of schools does not encourage parents to engage in risky behaviour.

For the safety and well-being of everyone, we have been given a system for reporting any breaches of restrictions which we have been made aware of.

May I assure you that our staff are also subject to these rules and Governors have asked that this be communicated very clearly to them.

Will there be Breakfast Club and Kids’ Club?

I’m sorry but breakfast club will not be available until we have this phase of return to school safely established. I know this is important to some of you and I will let you know as soon as possible what the arrangements for this will be. It is possible that numbers will be limited to allow for class groups to be kept apart, as last term.

We will also let you know when we feel able to reopen Kids’ Club.

Will my child have a normal school day?

  • We aim to make school as enjoyable, welcoming and positive as possible but to keep risks low a few things will be different;
    • Your child’s relationship with staff will be just the same as before but please warn them that hugging will still not be allowed!
    • The curriculum will be just the same as before but we realise that some children may need to do some catching up before they move on to new learning. We will start from where the children are.
    • The first two days back this week will focus on checking on your child’s well-being, ensuring they feel secure and happy in school and reminding them of hygiene routines.
    • Everyone will have their own personal resources but if equipment has to be shared it will be disinfected frequently
    • No soft toys, furnishings or dressing up clothes will be used but if children in Nursery, Reception, ISTF and Year 1 would like to bring a small, soft, washable ‘cuddle toy’ in case they are feeling sad, they may do so. This will never be shared with other children and must be taken home to wash weekly.
    • Role play areas will be used but the children will only use these areas with a small set group of children
    • There will be a staggered timetable throughout the day which will not allow classes to mix.
    • Computers, Chrome Books and iPads will still be used but will be disinfected between uses.
    • There won’t be assemblies until we have worked out how to do this safely!
    • There will be Interest Groups on Friday afternoons from next week but children will always be in a group just with members of their own class.

What happens if a child or member of staff shows symptoms of COVID 19?

(You will be sent an online form very soon for you to confirm that you understand our rules and your responsibilities. You only need to complete this once.)

  1. If a child or member of staff becomes symptomatic (eg persistent cough, temperature, loss of taste and smell) they will be taken to our designated isolation room (not as scary as it sounds!) away from other people and will need to be collected immediately.
  2. The child’s temperature will be taken, using a remote device. The isolation room will then be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before it is used again.
  3. If a child or staff member in your child’s class group has shown symptoms we will let you know so that you can be vigilant in checking for any symptoms in your child. We would ask you not to panic if this happens as it’s more than likely that the symptoms have a different cause.
  4. If a positive test confirms a case of COVID 19 in the school children and staff within the class group only may be asked by Track and Trace to isolate.
  5. In the unlikely event of an outbreak in the school (two or more linked cases) Public Health Wales will decide how to proceed.

What about lunch and snacks?

  • All children will need to bring a packed lunch, a fruit snack and a drink in a plastic bottle for this first week back as no meals or snacks can be provided in school. All lunch bags and bottles should be very clean, clearly named and where possible children will need to refill their own water bottles throughout the day.
  • Families entitled to free school meals will have received either a BACs payment for meals or a food parcel. This enables you to either buy ingredients for packed lunches or to use the ingredients you have been given. This payment/food parcel will stop from 1st March for infant children and school meals will resume. Children entitled to Free School Meals will be provided with a meal in school. If you pay for your school meals please ensure your sQuid account is topped up. Children can, of course bring in a packed lunch instead.
  • Please continue to send in a drinks bottle and a fruit snack for your children.
  • For junior children, the payment/food parcel will continue until the children return to school.
  • For younger children, please send in items which they can open themselves so that we can avoid close contacts between staff and children.
  • Children will eat their lunch in the hall as we have large tables which are easy to clean and make social distancing possible. Use of the hall for lunches will be staggered so there will only be a few children in there at any one time. Hygiene will be closely monitored by staff.

Texting System

You should have received a text last week to let you know that we are starting a new texting system this week. To receive texts, you need to download the ‘Schoop’ App to your phone, iPad or other device. When you are asked for our school ID, this is 8821. You should then be able to sign up to receive messages for the classes of each of your children. We are having training today so will be able to give you further support with this in the next couple of days.

We will also be continuing to contact you through the website, DoJo and your sQuid email address.

It is very important that school has your correct current phone numbers in case we need to contact you in an emergency so please contact us today if there are any changes.    

We are really looking forward to welcoming our younger children back to school and I hope it won’t be long before we have a full and final return for everyone!

May I thank you once again for your support in these very difficult circumstances. We know how hard you and your children have found these past few weeks. Routines for remote learning for our junior children will continue from Tuesday and I hope they will do their best to engage with this for just a little bit longer.

Hoping for good news on the return of our older children within a couple of weeks!

Best wishes

C M Hewitt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Newsletter

Update for Parents 12th February 2021

Dear Parents and Carers,

Many thanks for your patience this week while we have been once again dealing with changes in guidance from the Local Authority. Please ensure you have thoroughly read the letter on our website from the Director of Education.

We are very excited and relieved to be welcoming back our Foundation Phase children after half term. I’m sure you feel the same and can’t wait for a full return! We are really sorry Key Stage 2 children will have to continue with remote learning for a while longer. This is a Welsh Government decision but is probably for the best as we must take things slowly in order to ensure everyone stays safe. I will let you know as soon as I know when they are likely to return.

I would like to clarify arrangements for the first week back.

Monday 22nd February; This is a planning day for teachers to finalise safety routines, risk assessments and operational plans

Tuesday 23rd February On-site provision begins for Key Stage 2 (year 3- 6) only. Please ensure you have booked your child’s place. This provision is only for the children of key workers on the days they are working and for those children who have been identified as vulnerable.

No Foundation Phase (Nursery – Y2) children will attend school on this day in order to preserve contact bubbles. Staff will be preparing classrooms and putting new safety measures in place.

You should have received a message by DoJo stating which days your child will attend during the first week. We feel that returning the children in smaller groups will be better for their well-being.

Wednesday 24th February; Half of each Foundation Phase class will attend school at the times set out below.

Thursday 25th February; The other half of each Foundation Phase class will attend.

Friday 26th February; All Foundation Phase children will attend from this day.

On-site Provision

As you know we have previously offered this from 8am until 4pm. We are really sorry that we have had to shorten the time to 8am until 3pm. This is due to staffing availability and the need to simplify sibling pick up times to avoid too many different contact groups crossing paths. I know this may be a challenge for working parents but we have been told not to run before and after school provision. We have taken the decision to open at 8am, ONLY for children whose parents NEED to get to work earlier.

All children will need to bring drinks, snacks and a packed lunch for this first week back and there will be no breakfast club until further notice.

I hope you will enjoy the break from home learning over half term as much as our staff will enjoy a break from setting work! If you need to contact us over half term with concerns or important information please contact me directly at HewittC23@hwbcymru.net rather than your child’s class teacher. I will be checking my emails throughout half term and will contact you if needed.

I remain optimistic that we will have a full return to school before Easter so that we can all enjoy the remainder of the school year, safely and together! This has been a very challenging time for all of you and I hope you have felt well supported by school. As you know, if you are facing extreme challenges, we are here for you and we hope you will contact us.

Finally, I would like to remind you that school attendance is compulsory for all Foundation Phase children, except those who have a shielding letter. May I assure you that we will do everything we can to ensure your children are kept safe and happy on their return to school.

Please keep checking our website for further information on safety procedures and new routines in advance of return to school.

You may have seen our latest staff video on the website. If not, please take a look. We think your children will enjoy this!

Yours faithfully,

C M Hewitt

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February Return to School

Tuesday 9th February 2021

Dear Parents and Carers,

Return to School!

We are delighted to be able to tell you that we can start welcoming Foundation Phase children (Nursery, Reception, Year 1, Year 2, ISTF) back to school after half term, starting from 23rd February! We know that many of our youngest pupils have found home learning difficult and have missed the school environment so I am sure you will also welcome this decision.

Arrangements for a Calm and Safe Return

We are keen to make the return to school as calm, safe and welcoming as possible for you and your children so we are planning a phased return for the first week. We will have a third of each class in on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday then whole classes from Friday onwards. Your child’s class teacher will let you know soon which day will be your child’s Induction Day (Tuesday 23rd, Wednesday 24th or Thursday 25th). Having small groups into school to start with will enable us to do two things;

  • Give each child lots of individual attention on their first day back, giving them the best chance of settling well and enabling us to find out where they are with their learning
  • Practise safety routines, such as hand washing and ensure all children understand what is expected

With all this in place we will have everyone in from Friday 26th February and hopefully every day until the end of term!

Arrangements will be slightly different for our new afternoon Nursery children and Mrs Hall will be in touch with families about this.

There will be no breakfast club or school lunches during this first week but school lunches will resume on Monday 29th February. Children will need to bring a packed lunch for this first week.

Start and finish times will be staggered as last term, as follows;

Class Start time Home Time
Nursery 8.40 11.10
Reception 8.50 3.00
Year 1 8.40 2.50
Year 2 8.50 3.00
ISTF 9.00 2.50

 

The safety and success of this return to school will depend not just on how we run the school but upon the actions of our families and our wider community. As the Minister for Education has said, this is not the time to resume ‘normal’ socialising for families, as Tier 4 restrictions remain in place. I would therefore like to remind you of the following;

  • Parents should stay 2m away from other families on the journey to school and at the school gates. They should consider wearing face coverings on the journey to school.
  • Parents must not organise play dates, parties or sleepovers, even for children who are in the same class

Parents must wear face coverings on school premises both inside and out and should use the floor markings in the school yards to ensure they are waiting at least 2m away from each other.

We understand that ‘Enforcement Officers’ may be deployed to deal with any families who appear not to be following the rules as schools re-open.

Return of Older Children

We are still unsure when Key Stage Two (Junior) children will be allowed to return to school but we hope it won’t be too long!  In the meantime emergency on-site provision will continue to be available in school from 8am – 3pm starting on Tuesday 23rd February for families who have no alternative safe childcare. Please ensure you always book your child’s place before 3pm on a Thursday. Remote learning will continue for our older children and we hope they will make the best of all the learning opportunities they are given. Your continued support with this is very much appreciated and we thank you for your patience.

If you have any concerns about your child’s return to school please do not hesitate to call me or Mrs Davies in school. Alternatively you can email me directly at HewittC23@hwbcymru.net

Your child’s class teacher will let you know through Class DoJo when your child’s induction day will be by this Friday.

 

Yours faithfully

 

C M Hewitt

 

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Parents Newsletter 5th February 2021

Newsletter for Parents 5th February 2021

Dear Parents and Carers,

Return to School

We are expecting a further announcement today regarding return to school but it may be a few days before we can give you definite dates. There is a meeting on Monday afternoon for Swansea head teachers at which we should receive further information. So I hope to get some definite information to you by Tuesday.

I do know how much you are wishing for a return to some kind of normality for your children, and we are too! This situation is putting a strain on children, parents and staff and we all want to see an end to it! It looks likely that Foundation Phase (infant) children will return first, possibly in smaller groups to start with. It will be very important to ensure that school is as safe as possible so we will be taking advice and doing lots of planning over these next couple of weeks.

On-site Provision

May I ask that parents of children attending our on-site provision consider very carefully whether there are any days on which they can safely keep their children at home. There is a lot of demand for places so we would ask you to give us as much notice as possible if your child is not going to attend so that the place can be freed up for a family in need of it. Thank you.

Home Learning

Thank you again for your support for your children’s home learning tasks. Many of your children are engaging brilliantly. As I have said before, your family’s safety and well-being is the most important thing so please do not be anxious if you are unable to complete all the tasks set! Just a little each day is fine if you’re struggling.

Please don’t forget to send your child’s work in for the staff to see, either by email, DoJo or even by post. You can also drop off work for marking to school if you’re out and about for your daily exercise. This is important because we know how much your children enjoy receiving feedback from their teachers!

We finish for half term on Friday 12th February. School will be closed and no home learning tasks will be set until Monday 22nd February.

I will be in touch soon with arrangements for return to school (fingers crossed!)

Best wishes

C M Hewitt

 

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