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Newsletter w/c - 04/01/21

Dear Parent/Carer,
Thank you for your ongoing support during the autumn term.  I know at times it has not been easy for parents/carers, and rest assured that working in a school during a pandemic has not been easy for staff either, but I think we can all agree that by working together we have allowed the children some normality, giving them time to learn and play with others in school.  
The results of the 2020 Parent and Carer Survey have already helped us make improvements in our school, including our praise postcards linked to our school values, the half-termly curriculum e-mail (which you will have received this week) and the new after-school clubs we are introducing in January in response to parent/carer ideas at our weekly coffee morning.  I am pleased that ours is a school that listens to parents and carers and uses your ideas to help make the school the best it can be for the children.
I look forward to introducing you all to our new Deputy Headteacher, Mrs Forrest, in January, and I hope 2021 brings us all good health, happiness and success.
Wishing you all a safe, relaxing time together as a family over the Christmas Holidays and I look forward to seeing you again on Wednesday 6 January 2021 when school reopens.
Yours sincerely,
Mr D Short
Please see below for some further notices about school life:
Reading at Home
All the children in school will be given new reading books to enjoy over the Christmas Holidays.  Please do encourage your child to read every day - it should be no surprise to parents/carers that the children in Year 6 who get the highest results are those who have always read regularly throughout their childhood with an adult or adults at home.  
We want every child in our school to be ready for their secondary education and that starts all the way down in Reception with setting up the routine of reading to your child and hearing them read once they're able to blend (i.e. once they know that sh-o-p is read as shop).  
Please click here to find advice about reading at home and how to complete the reading record.  
Reporting a positive case of COVID-19
The Department for Education has asked schools to create a system that allows parents/carers to report a positive case of COVID-19 for a child during the first 6 days of the Christmas Holidays - in other words, Saturday 19 December to Thursday 24 December 2020.
We very much hope no child contracts COVID-19 during this time; however, if your child does show the symptoms of COVID-19 and goes on to test positive, please click here to find a contact form for you to share this information with us.
When completing the contact form, you will need to share the following information:


  • Your name
  • Your e-mail address
  • Your child's full name
  • The date they started showing symptoms
  • The date they took a test for COVID-19 and had it return positive


If needed, we will e-mail the letter to those deemed a close contact, setting out the requirement to self-isolate for 10 days from their last contact with the infected individual, and we will also e-mail the rest of the school community to advise of the positive case in the same way we have done previously.  
We will also inform NHS Track and Trace.  Please be aware, those working with NHS Track and Trace do home visits to check the family of the infected individual are self-isolating, and, breaking the rules regarding self-isolation can lead to a fine starting at £1000.00.  
School Uniform - A New Year's Resolution
Please use the time over the Christmas Holidays to check your child's school uniform.  Some of the common problems we see with school uniform include:-


  • Wearing trainers instead of smart black shoes
  • Wearing a white shirt instead of a white polo shirt
  • Not bringing a PE kit to school 


As a New Year's Resolution, we are going to check children's uniform carefully.  We work hard to source funding from organisations so if money is an issue, we may be able to offer financial support to ensure the children are dressed correctly for school.  
To some parents/carers, school uniform is not important, but remember the point of a school uniform is to make sure every child is dressed the same so that children do not notice differences in appearance among each other.  If your child is dressed in scruffy trainers, a faded white shirt, and has no PE kit for PE lessons, this makes them feel different and it can make them feel ashamed - we want all children to feel happy and confident because when they feel happy and confident, they are able to work to the very best of their ability.
Please help us by ensuring your child has their full school uniform for January 2021, including a waterproof coat.  Please also talk to your child about looking after their belongings (i.e. to avoid losing them) and please label all items of clothing clearly to help us reunite lost items of clothing with the right child.   
SchoolGrid - Booking School Meals
Please make sure you book your child's school meals on SchoolGrid ready for the new term.  You can book a week, a month or even a half term in advance.  If you do not book your child's meal, they will be given the default option of a jacket potato with cheese and/or beans and assorted salad.  
For those of you with children in Years 3-6 who are not eligible for free school meals, you can pay for your child's school meal by Direct Debit on SchoolGrid or you can pay on the SchoolGateway app or you may bring cash to the office in an envelope, leaving it in the blue parcel bin outside for the Office Administrator to collect. 
Please note, if your child is not eligible for free school meals, and you have a debt on your account, you will have to provide your child with a healthy packed lunch from home until the debt is cleared.  
Important Dates for the Spring 1 Half Term
04/01/21 - INSET Day - School Closed
05/01/21 - INSET Day - School Closed
06/01/21 - First Day back to School
06/01/21 - Wear Blue Day for Herts Vision Loss (i.e. Your child may wear blue non-school uniform if they bring in a donation of £1 - or whatever you can spare - for Hawk House's local charity, Herts Vision Loss) 
06-07/01/21 - A-Life 'Healthy Lifestyle' Workshop
15/01/21 - World Religion Day - Your child will take part in a day's worth of activities about one of the 6 main world religions organised by Miss Bretton (Subject Leader for Religious Education)
05/02/21 - NSPCC Number Day  - Your child will take part in a day's worth of mathematical activities organised by Mrs Ryan-Roberts (Subject Leader for Mathematics) and optional donations of £1 to the NSPCC will be gratefully received
09/02/2021 - Safer Internet Day - Your child will take part in a day's worth of activities, focusing on using the internet safely, all organised by Mr Flanagan (Subject Leader for Computing)
10-11/02/21 - A-Life 'Mental Health & Wellbeing' Workshop
12/02/21 - Friends of Hurst Drive's Valentines Disco - The FoHD will be organising a Valentines Disco for the children - more details to follow nearer the time
15-19/02/21 - Half Term - School Closed


Kind regards,
The School Office Team
Hurst Drive Primary School    
01992 624099