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Heads Update

I really did not want or expect to be starting off the first newsletter of 2021 by talking about the school no longer being open to all of you and am very sad that is the reality of our situation.  I know that our staff are devastated that we can’t have all of the children in school and really do wish this situation was different.  Thank you for being so understanding while we have had to close for a day to sort out a rapid plan of how to manage home and school learning.  We do have more children in school this time than we did in the last lockdown but have followed Government Guidance and done our best to support those who most need it.  Obviously we want to keep numbers of children as low as possible in school to reduce the rates of transmission and this is our priority, whilst making sure that our most vulnerable children are protected. This may not seem fair to you and this isn’t a fair situation but it’s one we are faced with and one we have to make the best of for the children in our care.


This week has potentially been one of the most challenging in my 12 years as a Head but is probably the one where I will look back and feel the most proud.  Not in my own achievements but that of the staff.  On Monday, every single one of them turned up genuinely wanting to be here despite media reports and union advice and pressure.  On Tuesday they rapidly planned for a day of home learning whilst also preparing to teach remotely and be in school full time to teach those in school from Wednesday.  The office team and Mrs Dickinson were frantically sorting our school places while supporting any families who were feeling really anxious.  However the thing I am proud of is the fact that they have done all this with a positive attitude and a smile.  I haven’t heard a single one grumble and rather than feel resentful that they are here they actually kept saying that they wish all of their children were in.


I have also felt incredibly proud (in a totally non-patronising way) of all of you and of your amazingly resilient children.  As parents you have had to change your plans at the drop of a hat, have started home schooling whilst working and never have taken this pressure and stress out on us. Many of you have had to quickly become ‘teachers’ again and are doing an incredible job of this. Your positive feedback is always so incredibly well-received and means that little bit more in an emotional week.   Your children have adapted so well to another change in their little lives that they shouldn’t have to cope with. They constantly amaze me but they couldn’t do it without you.


Children learning at home full-time

From next week children and parents at home will be receiving the following support if they aren’t already;

  • A phone call from either your child’s class teacher or teaching assistant once a week. You can share any concerns or ask any questions during this call. 
  • Daily responses to your emails.  Teachers will be released during the day to respond to your emails and answer any questions you have.  They can also feedback to your children about any learning you send us photos of.
  • Daily zoom session with your child’s class teachers at an allocated times. Children who are attending part-time can also access the class zoom sessions if they’d like to see their friends.
  • Collective Worships will be shared 3 times per week.
  • We will be asking you to help your Y1 and 2 children to complete a short quiz each Friday in Y1 and 2 so that we can see what learning they have enjoyed and what they have found easy/tricky.  This needs completing electronically.
  • EYFS can upload their home learning onto Evidence Me as well as emailing the teachers – details to follow.
  • So that we can give feedback to the children please can you send us photos of their learning to their teachers on a daily basis so they can stay on top of this.
  • 3 video links and lesson plans you will already be receiving.
  • Any children who are in school part-time will also be able to access all of the home learning sent home and we’d also love you to stay on top of this so that they can easily slot into the work we are doing in school.

Remember that we are here for you whether you are at home or your child is in school.  It feels imaginable that we are in another strict lockdown but we will get through this together.


Living the Values

This week the staff award for courage goes to Mrs Poole in Giraffe Class.  Mrs Poole just cracks on and steps up when we need her to, showing great courage in times of such adversity.  The children’s award goes to Isabella in Cheetah Class who showed great courage when she was the only girl in Y2 to return in her class and coped really well with it.


Admissions 2021

Just a little reminder that if your child is due to start school in September 2021, you must apply for a school place by the 15th January 2021.  This can be done via the South Glos admissions pages: Admission 2021 


School Photos Mop Up Session

We were planning to have a mop up session next Wednesday for those children who missed out on their individual photos back in November. We will now have these photos taken when we have our class photos taken on 10th June.


Christchurch Family Medical Centre

The medical centre behind the school is a designated Covid-19 Vaccination Centre. Can we remind you all NOT to park in their car park when dropping off or collecting? Please allow more time to get to school and park further away if necessary. This should not be too much of a problem with the drop in numbers in school but please be mindful of this.


Lockdown School Place updates

Thank you all for taking the time to complete the various surveys that we have been sending out over the last couple of days.  This does help us massively with the planning etc. of the school spaces.

Unfortunately, we do have too high numbers on some days and as such will be introducing a ‘tier system’ based on the government guidelines on what is considered to be ‘Critical Workers’ (communicated earlier today via email).

We will have sent out confirmation of school places during the course of today.

I am sure that you can understand our need for careful management for the number of children we have in school.  Despite the government guidance not specifically stating how many you can have in a class, like last time, South Glos do state the ‘need for careful management of numbers’.  Whilst the government states, a place can be provided even if it is one parent working from home, as long as evidence has been provided, it also states if a parent or carer of a critical worker is at home, should keep their child at home with them if they can.  So as you can see, not specifically clear, but the sections of who is a critical worker is quite clear so that is what we are working with (this information was shared with all parents on Monday)

These are the categories:

1. Vulnerable children and young people

2. Health care and social care professional

3. Education and childcare

4. Key Public services

5. Local and National Government

6. Food and other necessary goods

7. Public Safety and National Security

8. Transport and border

9. Utilities, communication and financial services


Office Students

As part of supporting young people in the workplace, we have office apprentices who have started this week.  Both are completing business administration at City College.  Naturally their placements were confirmed before we entered another national lockdown, the role they were to play in school was to complete the front of house admin post so that we could work on introducing a new Management information system.  So if you do meet Miss Chloe Olds (Thursday) or Miss Hannah Haskins (Friday) they may be a bit nervous, but we are working to build their confidence.


Y2 Leavers Hoodies

If any of our year 2 children would like to order another leavers hoodie or t-shirt you can do so by calling Initially Your on 0117 956 0909. This needs to be by the end of today and we will expect them to be delivered on the week commencing 2nd of February.