Newsletter - w/c 06/04/2020
We hope you and your family are safe and well during this difficult time.
Please find below the weekly newsletter containing important information.
Goodbye to Miss Benson (Assistant Headteacher)
For those of you who don't know, Miss Benson - one of our Assistant Headteachers and current Sycamore Class Teacher - is leaving us this Friday to start her Deputy Headship at a primary school in Stevenage.
Miss Benson has worked incredibly hard during her time at Hurst Drive Primary School, particularly in improving our Early Years Foundation Stage and making sure our children's start to primary school is a successful one.
The current school closure certainly does not lend itself well to saying a proper goodbye to a member of staff but I'm sure all the parents/carers, children and school staff will join me in wishing Miss Benson the very best in the next phase of her career.
Given that many parents/carers will have wanted to speak to Miss Benson in person to pass on their thanks and well wishes, if any parents/carers wish to send Miss Benson an e-mail, you are welcome to e-mail email@example.com while her school e-mail account is still active.
Good luck Miss Benson! We will all miss you.
Refunds for School Trips
We know some parents/carers are understandably concerned that they've paid for school trips (e.g. Year 6 Gilwell Park, Reception Paradise Wildlife Park etc.) and so need a refund given that these trips have been cancelled due to school closure.
Please rest assured that we know exactly who has paid - be it through the SchoolGateway app or by handing in cash at the School Office - and the administrative assistants are currently in the process of organising your refunds.
If you paid on SchoolGateway, your refund will be returned to the debit or credit card from which you paid. If you paid using cash, we will be contacting you to arrange for you to collect the cash from school, to have a cheque posted to your home address or to have the money transferred by BACS to a bank account in your name.
Please give us a couple of weeks to have this completed. If you do not hear from us and you believe you are owed money, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name, your child/ren's full names, what you paid for, how you paid for it, and how much you paid.
Lots of parents/carers are already using Facebook to support their child's learning at home. We have thoroughly enjoyed viewing your photos and videos of your children hard at work. Many of you are doing a fantastic job working from home, doing your household chores and keeping your children occupied - we know it can't be easy so please take the time to recognise what a great job you're doing.
If you, or someone you know, isn't accessing the learning for the children on Facebook, please follow the steps below:
1) Go to www.facebook.com and either register to open a new account or login if you already have an account.
2) Search 'Hurst Drive Primary School' and like and follow our page.
3) Search for your child/ren's class page - for example, if your child is in Year 4 and in Cherry Class, search 'Cherry Class' and look for the profile picture that is a white background with green trees in it as well as containing our school logo. Send the teacher a friend request.
4) Once you are Facebook friends with the teacher, you will be able to view the work they post daily and instruct your child/ren to complete it.
5) If you have any questions, or need any help, please use the Facebook Messenger app to contact your child's teacher directly. Remember, they will only respond during their working hours (i.e. 8:30am - 3:30pm) and if they do not reply, it may be because they are unwell, someone they live with is unwell or they are in school teaching because school is still open to the children of key workers and vulnerable children.
We would like to offer some advice around on-line safety. If you post a photograph of your child, do not include their name in your post. Remember, you cannot be sure who is seeing that information which is why when we post on-line during the school day, we never reveal children's names alongside any photographs of them.
Next week and the week after are the Easter Holidays. The teachers will post work again in the week commencing Monday 20th April 2020. Please still encourage your child to read during this time!
Free School Meals - Supermarket Vouchers
On Wednesday, the government released the details to school leaders of their national scheme for providing eligible families with supermarket vouchers.
Starting next week, we will be providing those families whose children are entitled to free school meals with vouchers for Sainsbury's. This will replace the packed lunches for collection.
Each week, families will be entitled to £15 per child. For example, if you have three children and each of them is entitled to free school meals, you will receive 3 x £15 = £45 in Sainsbury's vouchers.
Mrs Chamberlain from the School Office will contact eligible families to arrange us sharing the voucher with you. Either we will forward you the e-mail with the voucher, which you can print or show the cashier on your phone, or we will print the vouchers for families and you will be given a time slot and a day on which to collect the voucher.
If you believe your children may be eligible for free school meals, particularly if you've lost your job due to the effects of coronavirus, please click here to check your eligibility and to apply for free school meals. We always recommend families apply as there are probably some families who are entitled to free school meals who haven't applied so it's better for you and us if you try to apply - there is no penalty for applying if your family is not eligible!
If you get a telephone call from a number withheld, it may be a member of staff from school telephoning to check on you and to check on your child/ren. Please make sure you answer this telephone call as we want to check you and your child/ren are well and to see if there's anything we can do to help you during this period of school closure.
Emergency School Provision
If you are a key worker, or, if your child is classed as vulnerable, you are able to send your child to school. You should book their place using the SchoolGateway app. If you believe your child is eligible but you cannot see 'Emergency School Provision' on your app, please e-mail email@example.com with your full name, your child/ren's full names and whether you qualify as a key worker or a vulnerable family.
Please remember that the government advice remains that if it's possible for your child to remain at home, they should stay at home as opposed to coming to school where they may spread the infection or catch the infection.
Please also note that school is closed on Good Friday (10th April) and Easter Monday (13th April).
The School Office Team
Hurst Drive Primary School