Friday 2nd July 2021
Mr Eardley, the Head Teacher, writes...
Dear Parents and Carers
I hope that you are all well.
I often say that one of the things I love about working in schools is that no two days are the same. I get bored quite easily and could imagine I would find it a challenge to work somewhere where you did the same thing each day. This has been such an eventful year I'm almost beginning to wish that there were fewer surprises!
I now realise that I was a little naive to think that the COVID case we had in the springtime was going to be the last one this school year as you only need to look at the news or to read the updates from the Local Authority, to realise that COVID has not gone away and that we need to be as vigilant as ever to make sure that we keep COVID out of school.
These last two weeks we have seen the highest number of positive COVID cases in our school since the first lockdown began in March 2020. Thankfully, due to the kind understanding of parents and the team spirit of staff, we've managed to navigate our way through all of these challenges and keep children and staff safe. I can only imagine how challenging this would have felt if parents had been difficult. Instead, on the two occasions that we've had to close bubbles in the last ten days, parents have been amazing, and I want to take this opportunity to thank them for how quickly they were able to change their plans and to pick up their children.
Thankfully, as you will know from the letter I sent home today, the positive LFT test a child had taken yesterday has been overturned by a negative PCR test which means that all children can return to school on Monday. As we are now tantalisingly close to the end of term, I'm hoping that we will not have any other reason to close a bubble or a team within school. I'd like to ask you to do all you can to make sure that your children stay safe out of school so that we can avoid bringing COVID back into the building.
Even with everything we're having to deal with relating to COVID, things in school continue as they would in any year and I enjoyed reading the children's reports last week. It reminded me of what brilliant children we have in school and how talented my staff are. There were lots and lots of examples of children being praised for the way that they follow the PRIDE Code and make use of our Learning Toolkit every day in school. I'm also excited that this year we're going to share your child’s report in a brand-new way!
Historically, we would have to print hard copies of the reports, put them in envelopes and then hand them out at the end of the day. Last year we emailed you the reports as your children were not in school. This year, you will receive your child’s report via the Parent Portal area of our school website! A letter has gone out today explaining how the parent portal works and we will make sure that you can access it before we share your child’s report on Tuesday the 13th of July.
The Parent Portal is a brilliant addition to the way we communicate with you. Not only will you be able to see your child’s report, but you will also be able to see letters that we send home to you as well as your child's up to date attendance data. Moving forward, we hope that you will also be able to use this area to access the calendar for your child so you will know what they're doing in school and we also hope that we can use the parents evening booking system. This way, we can bring lots and lots of separate things all under one roof.
We hope that this is going to work brilliantly from the moment we go live. In reality, there might be a couple of gremlins we need to iron out and I hope that parents will work with us to do this as we believe the Parent Portal will be a significant improvement to how we communicate. We are one of the first schools to use this part of the e4education website.
We are also thinking carefully about how we can make next week's transition day work well. Given the high rate of COVID in our local community, I think that we will have to change our plans slightly and come up with a shorter event where the children can at least meet their new teacher to hear a little bit about next year. I hope that all children will have at least one parent that will be able to join our Transition Evening Zoom meetings next Wednesday where you will have an opportunity to hear from the two teachers in your child’s new year group.
As I work my way through the long list of things on my To-Do List, I'm looking forward to putting the slides together for the end of year’s Honours Award and to hearing why each of the two children has been chosen from their class. I've already seen some of the names and I know that the children are going to be overjoyed. I will also send out the Annual Parent Questionnaire next week and hope that most of you will take the time to complete it. I was amazed by the high number of returns that we had last year and touched by the many kind comments we had from parents. In a year when we haven't been able to welcome you in school as often as we would have liked and conversations have happened through masks at the school gate or via telephone or email, the many kind words and emails we've had from parents this year praising us for how we have coped during this challenging year have lifted not only my spirits but those of the staff.
Thanks again for your continued support. It means more than you can imagine, and we are all looking forward to a great final two weeks of term.