Newsletter - w/c 01/06/20
We hope you and your family continue to be well, particularly with all the different stories you are hearing or reading in the media about the possibility of schools reopening. It must be very stressful for you all. Please rest assured that if we are asked to reopen from 1 June 2020, the staff at Hurst Drive Primary School are ready to accept the children back to school.
Please see below for some important notices regarding school life:
A Message from Mrs Emma Kight, Chair of Governors
Dear Parents and Carers,
We have certainly experienced extraordinary times in the past weeks and I hope you and your families have all remained well.
With the possible imminent return to school on 1 June, I want to assure you that your children and the staff’s safety is uppermost in Mr Short’s and the governors' minds. Staff have received 'A Handbook for the Reopening of Hurst Drive Primary School in response to COVID-19' produced by Mr Short which strictly follows Government guidelines. The governing body and I know that our school is a safe environment for the children who are returning. I can assure you that cleaning of the school will continue to be a priority and regular hand washing and the use of hand sanitiser will be encouraged by all.
Mr Short and the staff are looking forward to welcoming those pupils who may be returning to school on 1 June, for those not returning, remember to keep up with your home learning and let's hope we see the school open to all from September.
Chair of Governors
If you click the Parents tab and then Coronavirus Advice & Information on our school website, you will be able to find a guide for parents/carers regarding how we plan to reopen if the government ask us to.
If you have a child in Reception, Year 1 or Year 6, and you have told us in the two telephones calls staff have made to you that you plan to send your child to school if it reopens, we will shortly be sending you specific information regarding your child's possible first day back to school, who will be teaching them, what classroom they will be in, and drop off and collection times.
If you have a child in Year 2, 3, 4 or 5 and you are a key worker and have requested a place at our Emergency School Provision for vulnerable children and the children of key workers, we will also be e-mailing you the information you will need.
Please note, if you change your mind and decide you do want your Reception, Year 1 or Year 6 or key worker child to return to school, your child will not be able to join school the very next day. This is because we cannot have mixing in school - the groups of children and staff must remain the same for health and safety reasons. In this way, you will have to continue with home learning until we are able to staff a new group of children and we will keep you informed about that once you have told us you wish for your child to return to school.
Questions from Parents/Carers
Below are the questions asked by parents/carers which have been answered for everyone's benefit:
Will the children be taught the National Curriculum if they return to school?
At this unprecedented time, the Department for Education are giving schools flexibility regarding what is taught both in school and through home learning.
Any child attending school will have a daily phonics or English lesson, a maths lesson, an art and design lesson, and a PE lesson. These lessons will be in line with the National Curriculum.
Are you still going to be telephoning the children if school reopens?
Most the teachers and teaching assistants will be in school working with groups of children, making it difficult for them to make the telephone calls. However, we do have some teachers and support staff working remotely.
If your child is in Reception, and you have told us you plan to keep them at home, you will receive a weekly telephone call from Miss Rowe, Higher Level Teaching Assistant. If your child is in Year 1, and you have told us you plan to keep them at home, you will receive a weekly telephone call from Mrs Beecham, Teaching Assistant. If your child is in Year 2, and they are not at school in the key worker group, you will receive a weekly telephone call from Mrs D'Alessandro, Midday Supervisory Assistant. If your child is in Year 3, 4, 5 or 6, and they are not in school, you will receive a weekly telephone call from Mrs Bye, Family Support Worker.
Some families may receive a telephone call from Mrs James-Souch, Assistant Headteacher for Inclusion; Mrs Lloyd, Safeguarding Coordinator; or, Mrs Jackson, Pastoral Support Coordinator.
Remember, these staff members will withhold their number, so if you get a call from a private number, please answer as it will likely be someone calling from Hurst Drive Primary School.
Is the School Office open?
The School Office is closed to parents, carers and visitors at this time. We are trying to reduce the number of adults we have on site and this is one way we are doing that.
Parents and carers can continue to telephone or e-mail the school if they have questions or messages they need to pass on.
Mr Short and Miss Bracken will aim to be outside every day to answer queries in person. Please respect the rules regarding social distancing at this time.
Can I bring my Reception, Year 1 or Year 6 child to school some days but not all week?
If you have told us you are willing for your child to come to school if it reopens, we expect your child present in school every day. This will help get them into a routine and ensure they don't miss any of the sequence of lessons the teachers will have planned.
Is it possible for children to be tested for coronavirus?
Yes. If a child is showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include, a high temperature, a new persistent dry cough and/or a loss of smell, they can have a test within the first 5 days of showing symptoms. To apply for a test, be it a postal one or a slot at one of the drive-through test centres, click here. Remember, this test will only show if a person has coronavirus now; it won't show whether they have an immunity against coronavirus.
If my child returns to school and they are in Reception or Year 1, do they still get their free school meal?
Yes, Universal Free School Meals still applies to the children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 but only when they are in school. Those children in Reception and Year 1 who return to school can either bring a packed lunch from home or they can choose to have a school-packed lunch, including the choice of a chicken, tuna or cheese sandwich/roll.
My child is eligible for free school meals. If they return to school, will I still get codes e-mailed to me that I can redeem for a supermarket voucher?
No. Because we will be providing a lunch for your child in school, we are not allowed to provide supermarket vouchers as well.
Will home learning through Facebook be the same if the school reopens?
If school reopens, most the teachers will be in school working. Therefore, it will be a different teacher or teaching assistant setting the work. Miss Griffiths, will be controlling the Facebook pages for Years 5 and 6, Mrs Kanzaria will be controlling the Facebook pages for Years 3 and 4, Miss Holland will be controlling the Facebook pages for Years 1 and 2, and, Mrs Theodosi will be controlling the Facebook pages for the Reception classes.
Please note, we are aware many of our families do not have a laptop or a computer, or access to WiFi. If you would prefer to visit school weekly to collect a pack of work for your child to complete, this can be arranged. You need to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to make your request and someone will get back to you regarding what day and time you should visit school to collect.
What happens if I bring my child to school late?
At a time like now, we really need our parents and carers to be organised and to bring their child at the time shared with them in the e-mail. We are trying to stagger drop off and collection times to avoid having big crowds of parents and children on site. Please make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get ready in the morning so that you're on time.
If you are late, please enter via the pedestrian gate and be mindful that the School Office is closed to parents/carers/visitors so your child will need to walk themselves in.
Goodbye and Thank You to Mrs Page
Mrs Page, Higher-Level Teaching Assistant, has made the decision to retire, having worked at Hurst Drive Primary School for over 25 years, supporting many teachers and children - some of those children are now parents of children who attend our school!
Her retiring is a great loss to the school and its pupils; still, I know you will all join me in thanking Mrs Page for her loyalty and hard work over the years and hopefully, when school life is back to normal, we will be able to welcome Mrs Page back into school to give her a proper goodbye.
Thank you Mrs Page. We wish you a relaxing retirement with your family and friends.
The School Office Team Hurst Drive Primary School