Parents’ Newsletter Week Beginning 28th September
Our Theme this week; Friendship
I would like to start by reminding you that next Monday 5th October will be an INSET Day, as I know you have arrangements to make. This will be a day for staff to discuss how all your children are being supported and to plan ahead for excellent teaching and learning as we move towards the New Welsh Curriculum.
Now that our new Breakfast Club routines have settled down we are able to open it up to a limited number of additional children. Please call school to book your children in for the following week by Thursday at 3pm. Because we have to keep an eye on numbers children can only attend if they have been booked in.
Some of you have asked if the back gate can be opened early enough for Breakfast Club, particularly on days when the field is wet. We will try this out for this next week. Children who are attending Breakfast Club can come straight in as they will be checked in by Breakfast Club staff. Children not attending Breakfast Club MUST wait at this gate until a member of staff arrives to check then in from around 8.35. In the unlikely event that families do not comply with this we will have to rethink it!
I would like to thank the vast majority of parents who maintain social distancing when queuing and who arrive at the correct gate and time (not too early). Your consideration in standing back to allow others to pass at a 2m distances is appreciated and does not go unnoticed. Thank you!
Two parents have come forward by the deadline of last Monday as nominated Parent Governors so there has been no need for an election. Your new Parent Governors are Mr David Ricketts and Mrs Sarah Robinson. I am confident that these two parents will represent you well as they have already played an active role in our school through attendance at PTA and Parents Focus Group meetings.
A few parents have opted for their children to wear face masks in school and, although masks are not required for primary children, this is fine if it gives you confidence that the mask will improve the safety of your children and those around them. As children do tend to touch and adjust their face masks frequently I would ask that your child wears a newly washed mask each day. Would you also please send in a clean plastic bag for storage of your child’s mask when it is removed, either on arrival after wearing it in a taxi or for the purpose of eating.
Violin, Cello and Bass Lessons
As you know lessons were cancelled last week. I am unsure about when they will start again but will let you know as soon as I am informed. In the meantime would you please ensure your child knows where their instrument is (in school or at home), as sharing of instruments will no longer be allowed. Thank you.
Finally, in case you’re wondering, we finish for half term on Friday 23rd October.
Tre Uchaf Primary School Newsletter
Week Beginning 21st September
Our Theme this Week; Sharing
Many thanks again for your support and co-operation during this new phase of school re-opening. Breakfast Club and School Dinners have run smoothly, thanks to the commitment of staff and your willingness to follow new procedures.
May I remind you that you need to book your child into Breakfast Club for the following week by 3pm the Thursday before. We will continue to offer Breakfast Club to children entitled to Free School Meals and those whose parents need to get to work for now but will begin to open to others who want to attend as soon as our routines are settled over the next couple of weeks. Please would children arriving for Breakfast Club continue to arrive through the front gate only. We will look at opening the St David’s Close gate if the weather gets worse as we realise that some of you are arriving via the field.
Arrival and Departure
Thank you for arriving with your children at the correct time and for using the yellow spots to wait. Top marks to our Reception and Nursery families for using the new lining up spots! We think this is resulting in less crowding around the doors.
May I remind you that only one parent should bring their children to school, as we are trying to keep everyone safe by minimising contacts as much as possible. Also please remember that ALL children and parents must use the one way system. Enter through the main front gate (not the gates into the yards) or the St David’s Close entrance.
The online check in for year 5 and 6 is going well. Please remember to do this by 8.20 at the latest and earlier if your child is attending Breakfast Club unaccompanied.
Parents and Visitors to School
In line with recent guidance, any visitor, including parents, who needs to come in to the school building will be asked to wait in the outside foyer until someone comes out to meet you. Like other visitors who are not members of our staff, you are asked to wear a face covering in the unlikely event that you have to move through communal areas in the building.
Piano and Violin lessons will begin again this week, after much discussion about how this can be done safely. The piano teacher will contact the children who started last term. Children who have their violins or cellos at home will need to bring them in on Thursday. There will be no sharing or borrowing of instruments.
Parent Governor Nominations
A final reminder that the deadline for Parent Governor nominations is Monday at 9am. You can nominate yourself or someone else. We have two vacancies so if we have more than two nominations there will be an election next week.
INSET Days and Half Term
As you can imagine, we now need to get together as a staff to discuss learning and curriculum matters, now that we have almost established practicalities and new routines! There will be three INSET days this term for this purpose, as follows;
- Monday 5th October
- Thursday 26th November
- Friday 27th November
We finish for half term on 23rd October.
We have been advised not to hold face to face parents evenings this term. However, we think it is important that you have a discussion with your child’s new class teacher before half term. We will be offering you a telephone discussion between 14th and 23rd October. You will have a choice of a discussion during school hours or after school hours on a specific day for your child’s class. We hope you will find this a satisfactory arrangement in the circumstances.
Do I send my child to school?
Understandably, some of you are worried about whether or not to send your child to school, particularly if they have a cold. The following flowchart might just help you, but if in doubt, give us a call in the mornings.
Any concerns or worries? Finally I would like to remind you that I am happy to discuss any matters of concern with you by phone from Monday to Thursday. Mrs Davies is currently ‘Acting Head teacher’ on Fridays and is also more than willing to take your calls, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
School Dinners Menu for this week…..
|Hot option – Sausage Dinner,Mash, Peas|
|Cold Option – Chicken Goujon Wrap, Veg sticks|
|Jam Sponge / Fresh Fruit|
|Bottle of Water|
|Hot Option – Chicken Curry, Rice, Sweetcorn|
|Cold Option – Pizza, Rice Salad, Veg sticks|
|Peach Muffin / Fresh Fruit|
|Bottle of Water|
|Hot Option: Chicken Goujons, Potato Wedges, Veg sticks|
|Cold Option – Sausage in a Roll, Veg sticks|
|Individual Fruit Yoghurt Pot / Fresh Fruit|
|Bottle of Water|
|Hot Option -Mince Beef Pie, Roast, Broccoli|
|Cold Option – Cheesy Pasta Pot, Veg Sticks|
|Homemade Biscuit / Fresh Fruit|
|Bottle of Water|
|Hot option – Fish Fingers, Chips, Baked Beans|
|Cold option – Cheese & Ham Wrap, Veg Sticks|
|Welsh Cake / Fresh Fruit|
|Bottle of Water|
Please find below a letter from our Interim director of Education, Mrs Helen Morgan-Rees
Newsletter Week Beginning 14th September
Thank you so much for your patience and understanding over these past two weeks of return to school, while we fine tune our new routines! I am so grateful to you for your compliance with new rules and timetables.
Thank you for arriving at the times your child’s class starts. Please don’t arrive early as this causes queues and congestion! There are some new waiting spots in the infant yard for Nursery and Reception parents as the area here is getting a little crowded! Please use the spots in order to wait safely.
Well done to all the year 5 and 6 parents who are now using or online booking system! We hope this has made things easier for you. We know the system had a glitch this morning but it has now been resolved.
Please can I remind you not to park by the double gates that lead to the Junior yard because it is an emergency exit and also used for wheelchair access.
Now we are starting to open up our school activities further and I would ask you to read the following information carefully so that you know what to expect in the week ahead.
o As you should know, Breakfast Club will begin to open up again on Monday for children from Reception to Year 6. We are starting with limited numbers until we can see how things will work and so Breakfast Club will initially be for children entitled to Free School Meals and children whose parents need to get to work.
o We need to keep the children in their class contact groups so we will limit numbers for each class. As I said in a previous message you need to book your children in for the week ahead by 3pm the Thursday before. Children cannot just turn up if they have not been booked in.
o Children will not be allowed to share toys and resources in Breakfast Club so we are inviting them to bring in something to do which doesn’t involve sharing. Children can bring in a pencil case with pens, pencils and colours for their own use only. The pencil case must them be kept in their bag for the day. We will provide paper and colouring sheets if the children want to use this. They can also bring in books or comics of any kind but these must be kept in bags for the rest of the day. Please do not allow children to bring iPads or mobile phones as these will not be allowed. Staff will also entertain the children with exercise sessions, keeping them strictly in their class groups. They are, of course, welcome to just sit and chat with their friends from their class!
o Breakfast will be toast or fruit and a bottle of water and will be served from 8.20am. As before, children can arrive before this time and will be
charged £1 to cover additional costs. Please could you help us by bringing the correct money to drop in the payment box, rather than the staff having to handle money and give change.
o Infant children should be brought to the school hall and junior children to the gym. You will need to check your child in with staff or for year 5 and 6 you can do this online, like this week, from 8.05 – 8.20 (the link may not be sent before this time). Please follow the one way system to exit after dropping your child off.
o School dinners will start again on Monday at a cost of £2.40 each day. Please ensure you have put money on your sQuid account as this is the only way you can pay. We have a weekly list of children entitled to free school meals.
o There will be a choice each day of a hot or a cold meal, with no combinations of the two. Please discuss the choices each morning with your child so that time is not wasted in class. Linda will only be able to cook the food that she is given and won’t be able to switch the options if children don’t like what’s on the menu. The menu for next week is as follows;
5th October, 2nd November,
23rd November, 14th December,
11 January, 1st February,
Hot Option – Margherita Pizza, Oven Potatoes,
Cold Option – Chicken Goujon Wrap, Veg sticks
Individual Fruit Yoghurt Pot / Fresh Fruit
Bottle of Water
Hot Option – Chicken Curry, Rice, Peas
Cold Option – Pizza, Rice Salad, Veg sticks
Chocolate Orange Sponge / Fresh Fruit
Bottle of Water
Hot Option -Pasta Bolognese, Mixed Veg
Cold Option – Sausage in a Roll, Veg sticks
Homemade biscuit / Fresh Fruit
Bottle of Water
Hot Option – Cottage Pie, Roast, Broccoli
Cold Option – Cheesy Pasta Pot, Veg Sticks
Jam Split / Fresh Fruit
Bottle of Water
Hot option – Baked Fish Fillet, Chips, Baked Beans
Cold option – Cheese & Ham Wrap, Veg Sticks
Chocolate Cornflake Crisp / Fresh Fruit
Bottle of Water
Please continue to send in a fruit snack for your child until we have worked out safe practices for preparing snacks.
Please also continue to send in a named water bottle for your child which they can refill throughout the day.
This also starts again on Monday and you will need to book your children in in the usual way. Strict procedures will be in place to keep your children in their class contact groups and to maintain hygiene at all times.
Information about your child’s new class!
Normally at this time of year we would invite you in to meet your child’s new class teacher to find out all the important information you need. For obvious reasons, we can’t do this this year, so you should be receiving this key information remotely in the next week or so. Look out for DoJo messages and emails!
One way or another there will be meetings with parents before half term so you can discuss your child’s progress and how they have settled into their new class. We will let you know how this will be done as soon as we have worked it out!
As you know, I will always make myself available to discuss any concerns you may have, preferably by phone. Also, I am usually available at the St David’s close gate from 8.35 or in the yards as children arrive. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
C M Hewitt
As from Tuesday 8th September Year 5 and 6 children may arrive in school without a parent to Check In (confirm they have no symptoms) if parents complete a quick online questionnaire. The questionnaire will be sent to your primary contact number each morning and needs to be completed by 8.20am. So, for children in year 5 and 6 you need to either;
- Accompany them to school
- Use the Online Check In
Breakfast Club will start again from Monday 14th September. While we work things out under the new restrictions we will need to limit numbers.You will need to BOOK YOUR CHILDREN IN by 3pm on Thursday each week.For the first week we would like to invite the following families to attend;
- Children who are entitled to Free School Meals
- Children of parents who both need to get to work
Children will need to be kept in their contact groups (classes) throughout Breakfast Club and this will mean less movement around the room. I understand that the menu will be limited to toast, fruit and bottled water.
As before, there will be a charge of £1 for children arriving before 8.20am.
I am writing to you to give you further information on our full school reopening from 2nd September. We have listened to your comments and concerns and I hope we can provide some further clarity and reassurance. We had an excellent governors’ meeting during the holiday and your parent governors represented you very well!
Are all children required to attend?
The expectation is that all children will return to school 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) your child should not attend.
If your child has anxieties about returning to school, we will work closely with you as a family to address any worries.
How will I know when and at what time my child should attend?
This information is in my previous communication which you will find on the website. For the first two days only half of each mainstream class in Year 1 – 6 will attend, after which they will attend full time every day (from Friday). You should have received a text to tell you whether your children are attending on Wednesday or Thursday in this first week. If you haven’t received the text please contact school directly or your child’s previous or new class teacher.
Nursery, Reception and STF parents should have had a communication from your child’s class teacher to tell you when they will attend.
If in doubt please phone school this week and someone should be able to help you.
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 mainly 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 between the hall and the gym and times will be staggered
- 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.
- As staff are required to try to keep 2m away from children where possible, they will need to wear aprons, gloves and masks or 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 show 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 lunche boxes they will each be sent to wash their hands, maintaining social distancing all the time.
- Additional hand sanitiser units have been bought ready for the new term.
- 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.
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.
- It is possible that children will need to wear masks in taxis but they should remove these on entry to school and place them in a plastic bag until the end of the day.
- 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.
What should my child bring to school?
We provide all the stationary and equipment your child needs and your child will now have a washable see-through zip wallet with all their own pens, pencils, rubbers etc or a tidy, clean tray. These items will never be shared. If you have bought lovely new stationary for your child for the new term please keep this at home and use it for homework tasks.
Your child won’t need a book bag this term as we intend to give 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
Which gate shall I bring my children in through?
You can bring your 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 the field gates. Would parents with just junior children please enter through the main gates.
We are working closely with the Local Authority to get the North Rd entrance re-opened as this route has now been declared safe. This would help to ease congestion around the main car park and would help with social distancing. I will let you know if there are any developments on this.
ISTF, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2
Enter through the main front gate and leave through the yard double gates
Enter through St David’s Close gate and leave through the side field gate
JSTF, Year 3 – 6
Children (without parents, if possible)
Enter through main gates and hand your child over to a member of staff who will direct them to the junior yard to wait
Children with parents or escorts
Enter through main gates, bring children into junior yard, leave through junior yard gate
There will be clear directional arrows to help you so don’t worry about this. It’s not as confusing as it sounds!!
A member of staff will be near the gate to welcome you and your child and to monitor social distancing. They will also ask you to confirm that your child does not have COVID 19 symptoms and that no one in your family is self-isolating due to symptoms or a confirmed case.
Where does my child wait to enter the school building?
There will be markings on the yards to show where each family should wait before children are invited into school. In the junior yard children will also be spread out around the new 100m track with no more than 3 children per 10m section. Staff will be available to show children what to do.
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.
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. We would rather junior children, except those with escorts, were dropped off at the main gate, to avoid congestion in the yards. We will of course be sensitive about this if for any reason children are anxious. Please ensure you have spoken to a member of staff at the gate to confirm your child and your family are well.
- Please arrive to collect your children only at the time you have been given and wait a good distance from others on the yard.
- Year 5 and 6 children who normally walk home unaccompanied will be allowed to do so and will be monitored as they leave the yard through the junior side gate. It is up to you to decide whether your child can be relied upon to socially distance on their walk home. If you need to collect your child from the junior yard before or after collecting your younger child please follow the one way system (which may take you on a bit of a roundabout route!) and wait for your child at a safe distance from others. If both your children are in the same phase please either wait in your car or on a marked out spot in the yard.
- Parents will not be able to have long conversations with teachers when dropping off or picking up children. If you need to discuss something at length please phone school to make an appointment. Preferably the conversation could take place by phone
- Parents must not congregate outside school or in the yards as we need to maintain social distancing within our whole community in order to keep everyone safe.
Will there be Breakfast Club and Kids’ Club?
I’m sorry but breakfast club will not be available until at least 14th September in Swansea schools. I will let you know as soon as possible what the arrangements will be. It is possible that numbers will be limited to allow for class groups to be kept apart.
We are planning for Kids’ Club to be open from 14th September.
There will be no other after school clubs until 14th September at the very earliest. I’m afraid some might not be able to run this term.
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 warm them that hugging will 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.
- 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 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 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?
- If a child or member of staff becomes symptomatic (eg persistent cough, temperature, loss of taste and smell) they will be taken to one of our designated isolation rooms away from other people and will need to be collected immediately.
- 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.
- 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.
- If a positive test confirms a case of COVID 19 in the school children and staff within the class group only will take part in Test and Trace procedures and the Local Authority will be informed.
- In the unlikely event of an outbreak in the school (two or more cases) Public Health Wales will take over and 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 the first two weeks 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.
- 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 a few children in there at any one time. Hygiene will be closely monitored by staff.
- It is likely that cooked meals will resume from 14th September and I will confirm this nearer the time.
We are really looking forward to finally welcoming the children back to school and I hope they are looking forward to it! May I assure you we are working hard to prepare as thoroughly as possible for a safe return next week. The information I have given you here is only a summary so if you have other specific questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to call school.
C M Hewitt
School uniform grant applications can be made from 13 July for children currently entitled to free school meals going into Reception and Years 3, 7 and 10. Eligible parents/carers will be contacted closer to this date with details on how they can apply. Further information on the grant can be found here https://www.swansea.gov.uk/schooluniformgrant
Many thanks to all of you who completed our online questionnaire and for all your positive comments and brilliant suggestions! We have had 164 responses so far and it’s not too late to respond if you haven’t already! We will continue to try to meet the needs of every single child and I would like to assure you that every teacher is working hard to try to do the right thing in these very unusual circumstances.
Some of you have asked for live video calls from staff and we understand why this is good for your children, particularly if they are feeling ‘cut off’ and missing school. However, we have now been told that this is not allowed. Sorry about this but I have asked if exceptions could be made for certain children with Additional Learning Needs.
You will no doubt be wondering when and how your children will be returning to school. The only advice I can give just now is that the Education Minister Kirsty Williams has stated that there will at least three weeks notice of any planned return for schools in Wales. As soon as we receive this notice we will inform you of our plans for welcoming your children back gradually and safely. We will spend the three weeks notice time working out procedures to ensure the children are safe and to decide what learning is most important at this time. If at all possible, there will be transition time in the Comprehensive School for our Year 6 children.
I would like to remind the front line worker parents who need emergency childcare to book their children in each week by Friday morning the week before at the latest.
Please remember that we are always here for you from Monday to Friday. Please stay in touch and contact us by email, DoJo or by phone if you have any questions or worries.
We are missing your children and can’t wait to get back to normal. How ever long it takes, we will be celebrating once they are all back safely with us!!
I hope you and your children are safe and well and coping with all the challenges which are coming your way just now. This is a difficult time for all of us and it is important that we stay in touch as much as possible.
This is a new venture for our school and we are learning all the time what works and what doesn’t. We are becoming aware of the challenges some of you are facing and are full of admiration for those of you who are working, looking after relatives and also ensuring your children complete their home learning tasks! Please let us know if you are facing difficulties which are affecting your child’s ability to complete home learning tasks. The well-being of your family is very important at this time and we understand that there are times when learning tasks won’t be completed.
Some of you have told us that your children just don’t wish to complete learning tasks! Unless there are other barriers, please tell them that Mrs Hewitt says they need to do some home learning even if they don’t want to!!
Free School Meals
From today, families entitled to Free School Meals will receive a weekly food parcel with enough food to make lunches for each child in the household for the week. This will be delivered from 12 noon onwards, every Monday. Please let us know if you do not wish to receive the food parcel after this week. We hope this is helpful.
Would families who are using our Emergency Childcare provision please book your children by Friday mornings at the latest for the following week.
Please remember we are here to support you. There is someone in school every day so please don’t hesitate to call.
C M Hewitt