Letters Home

PLEASE READ OUR NEW TERM INFORMATION FOR STARTING SCHOOL IN SEPTEMBER 2020.

Dear Parents/Carers,

 

 ST. BEDE’S CATHOLIC JUNIOR SCHOOL

celebrates life and learning

RE: NEW TERM INFORMATION AND UPDATES FOR 2020-2021

I hope that the first letter of the new academic year finds our pupils and parents/carers well. Following further updates on Friday from the Government on the full re-opening of schools, I wanted to write to you to advise/remind of the Junior School’s procedures.

It is expected that ALL pupils return to school on Thursday 3rd September; as a school we are 100% ready for the 311 students! We appreciate that some families may have returned from  a  holiday overseas and may have to quarantine. If this is the case, please email or telephone the office to advise of this.

Everything is in place in school to enable the Government’s recommendations.

  1. Public Health advice to minimise coronavirus (Covid-19) risks Prevention:
  • minimise contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, or who have someone in  their  household  who  does,  do  not  attend school
  • clean hands thoroughly more often than usual
  • ensure good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach
  • introduce enhanced cleaning, including cleaning  frequently  touched  surfaces  often,  using  standard products such as detergents and bleach
  • minimise contact between individuals and maintain social distancing wherever possible
  • where necessary, such as administering first aid or intimate care, wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

Response to any infection:

  • engage with the NHS Test and Trace process
  • manage confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) amongst the school community
  • contain any outbreak by following local health protection team advice.

 

Parents/carers are asked to inform the school office via email or telephone if anyone in the family has symptoms of Covid-19 and then the subsequent test result (positive/negative for Covid-19).

Communication between families and the school is key to the success of managing any cases in the school community (thus far the school community remains at 0 positive cases).

 

  1. School Operations Attendance:

School attendance will be mandatory again from 3rd September, 2020. This means from that point, the usual rules on school attendance will apply, including:

  • parents’ duty to secure that their child attends regularly at school where the child is a registered pupil at school and they are of compulsory school age;
  • schools’ responsibilities to record attendance and follow up absence;
  • the availability to issue sanctions, including fixed penalty notices in line with local authorities’ codes of conduct
 

Where a pupil is unable to attend school because they are complying with clinical and/or public health advice, we will offer them access to Home Learning. School will then monitor engagement with this activity.

 

Attendance and Punctuality:

Term dates are available on our website, including 2020-2021 and even 2021-2022! May I remind parents/carers that we are not able to authorise term-time holidays unless there are extenuating circumstances.

 

Bubbles:

Pupils will be in their Class Bubbles for the majority of the school day. They will have breaktime and lunchtime in Year Group bubbles, although they will be seated as a class in the hall. Class/Year bubbles will be kept apart as much as possible so there will be no larger gatherings such as assemblies or collective worship. These will be carried out in class groups  only initially with a plan  to progress to year group bubbles should the risk of transmission continue to decrease.

 

Staggered start and finish:

Parents/carers are politely asked to adhere to the times allocated for drop off / collection.

These will be in place until October, when they will be reviewed again. Parents/carers are also politely reminded to socially distance and not to gather at the school gates.

There will be signage to direct pupils to specific doors; there will be school staff available to direct pupils:

Year 3 (except Class 1) Door near to the ICT suite and outdoor table tennis tables. Year 3 (Class 1 only) Door to ‘The Den’.

Year 4: Class 4 and 5 doorways and door to the former music room (Class 3 Y4).

Year 5 (except Y5 pupils in Class 8): Door by the Green Library (walk passed the stairs to Office). Year 6 (and Y5 pupils in Class 8): Pupil Entrance.

Pupils are asked to arrive at school based on their surname initial; this will enable families to arrive/depart at the same time:

 

 

Arrival

Departure

Surname A –F

8.30 – 8.40 a.m.

3.00 – 3.10 p.m.

Surname G –N

8.40 – 8.50 a.m.

3.10 – 3.20 p.m.

Surname O - Z

8.50 – 9.00 a.m.

3.20 – 3.30 p.m.

 

Equipment:

Bag: large enough to fit Homework Books, reading books and diary (gigantic bags in which a child could be stored(!) are not needed and take up a lot of storage space).

Pencil cases: ALL pupils will be provided with a clear pencil case which will include a pen (once pen licences are issued), pencil, purple pen, ruler and rubber. Colouring pencils, highlighters, etc are available in every classroom and will be distributed to individuals to prevent sharing.

Packed Lunches: From September, packed lunch trollies will be in each classroom so they are not mixed with other classes. All packed lunch bags should be stored on the class trolley and taken home at the end of every day. Hot meals are available in school and payment should be made as usual.

Full PE kit: PE kits should be worn on your son/daughter’s PE days (instead of the school uniform) to minimise cross contamination of clothing being misplaced/swapped in error etc. On these days, pupils can wear black or grey jogging bottoms and a plain/school hoodie , especially if it is cold.

 

PE days will be shared with pupils and recorded in their school diary in the first couple of days so this will begin from Monday, 7th September.

 

Uniform reminders:

  • Plain  black  shoes:  no coloured symbols/bows/badges.     Trainers or trainer style shoes are not allowed.
  • Trousers: grey school trousers must be worn. Black and/or jeans style (which are often a ‘skinny fit’) are not suitable for school.
  • From September, summer uniform is no longer worn.

 

New to school pupils (our new Year 3 pupils) will receive their school tie in a ‘Tie Giving’ Ceremony on Thursday 3rd September, 2020. This means that ‘new to school’ parents/carers do not need to purchase a tie.

  1. Behaviour for Learning and Pastoral Support Behaviour:

It could be that adverse experiences and/or lack of routines of regular attendance and classroom discipline may contribute to disengagement with education upon return to school,  resulting  in  increased incidence of negative behaviours.

The school staff intend to work with those pupils who may struggle to re-engage in school and are at risk of being absent and/or disruptive, including providing support for overcoming barriers to  attendance  and behaviour and to help them reintegrate back into school life.

We do, however, recognise that pupils’ behaviour and personal development in the school is excellent, so we are hopeful that school routines and practices are adhered to quickly due to the very positive relationships in the school.

 

Pupil wellbeing and support:

Pupils may be experiencing a variety of emotions in response to the  coronavirus  (COVID-19)  outbreak, such as anxiety, stress or low mood. It is important to contextualise these feelings as normal responses to an abnormal situation.

Some pupils may need support to re-adjust to school; others may have enjoyed being at home and be reluctant to return; a few may be showing signs of more severe anxiety or depression. Others will not be experiencing any challenges and will be keen and ready to return to school.

As a school we will:

  • support the rebuilding of friendships and social engagement
  • address and equip pupils to respond to issues linked to coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • support pupils with approaches to improving their physical and mental wellbeing

We are blessed to have a full-time Family Support Worker, who has a multitude of skills to support pupils and parents/carers.

 

  1. Assessments

Statutory primary assessments will take place in summer 2021. Key stage 1 and 2 National Curriculum tests are expected to return, in 2021, in accordance with their usual timetables.

These Key Stage 2 tests for Year 6 will be from Monday 10th -Thursday 13th May, 2021.

All pupils will be teacher assessed over the first half of the autumn term to help identify if there are any gaps in learning since March 2020, which may hinder progress in their learning.

The Government have advised that there will be additional funding for schools to enable any ‘catch up’ for pupils. More details will follow regarding this later in the term.

 
  1. Contingency planning for outbreaks

All schools must have a contingency plan for a local outbreak. Headteachers have worked with Public Health to map out the process the school should follow in the case of 2 or more positive cases.

This contingency plan  includes  an  expectation  to  offer  immediate  remote  education  for  pupils  who may need to remain at home.

 

  1. Standards and expectation reminders
  • Mobile phones: must be handed in to the Office upon arrival with a letter detailing permission.
  • Nails: Nails must be kept free from nail polish, acrylics/gel nails.
  • Jewellery: earrings and other jewellery must not be worn. If pupils do wear earrings (because they have only just had their ears pierced), they should be covered with tape. It is preferable for them to be removed for school.
  • Hairstyles and accessories: the school is a ‘fashion free zone’ as much as possible. Therefore, hairstyles with cuts, zigzags etc. are not permitted. Likewise, long hair  must  be  tied  back. Large bows and hairbands are discouraged. They serve little purpose in school and are more of a distraction. On the whole, pupils are always smart and well presented with black, grey, white or green thin hair bands.
  • Plastic  water  bottles:  pupils  must  bring  drinks  in  hard,  re-usable  water  bottles.  These  can  be purchased from school for £2.50.
  • Bikes: pupils should not come to school on bicycles. The roads are very busy around school and are not suitable for young cyclists. Furthermore, there are no suitable storage facilities. Pupils are able  to ‘Scoot to School’ as scooters are ridden on pavements.

 

Communication Reminders

It is crucial we work in partnership to support your  son/daughter.  Ensuring  we  have  open home/school communication is crucial to success. Please ensure your contact information is up to date. We are committed to communicating with you in a clear and efficient way. If you have new contact details, please collect an update slip from the School Office and return it when completed.

We have invested in an extensive diary again this year that we expect pupils to take  pride  in  throughout the year. Diaries are a valuable tool of communication between school and home; we ask that you encourage your child to use it to its full potential. Diaries must be signed weekly by parents/carers with regular reading comments too.

 

 
   
I look forward to seeing you all bright and early on Thursday 3rd September. Yours sincerely,

 

Faith Tiernan

 

'Help us find the courage to embrace all the hardships of the present time in order to make room for the creativity that only the Spirit is capable of inspiring. Let us recognise that we are called to allow new forms of hospitality, fraternity and solidarity. May we embrace hope and let it strengthen and sustain helping us protect ourselves and others. Give us strength of faith that frees us from fear and gives us hope. May God’s blessing come down upon us as a consoling embrace.'

 

Lord,

May you bless the world, give health to our bodies and comfort our hearts. You, Lord, will not leave us at the mercy of the storm. Tell us again: “Do not be afraid.” And we, together, cast all our anxieties onto you.

 

 

CLICK THE LINK BELOW 'NEW TERM LETTER 2020'

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