Newsletter 39 – 10th July 2020

Dear Parents

Please remember that all children in the Foundation Stage, Year 1 and Year 6 will finish their term on Friday 17th July. The coming week is the last week for children in these year groups.

Returning to school in September We are very much looking forward to having everyone back in school in September. It will not be as “normal” school was before the Covid crisis but we will establish the new routines, great learning will continue to take place and children will have fun.

Your children will be given a warm welcome and will be helped to settle in properly as the very first priority. They will need time to adjust to being back in school, especially those who have not been in school since March. Each of our classes is one, self-contained Bubble. They have their own teacher, their own dinner lady and their own TA. Each Bubble has its own start and finish times, its own lunch and playtimes – please make sure you stick rigorously to your own time slot, this is essential to keep everyone as safe as possible. No Bubble will interact with any other Bubble so that if one Bubble has infection, only the people in that Bubble need to isolate. The rest of the school can continue to operate as usual.

No sick children will be allowed in school. If they fall ill at school, especially if they have Covid symptoms, they will be isolated until you can pick them up. This is a really essential part of keeping everyone safe in school.

The government has made it clear that the youngest children, as long as they stay within their Bubble and do not have contact with other children outside the Bubble, do not have to practise social distancing and can play together which is really lovely for them. Older children will try to maintain distance wherever possible – but the main way we are keeping them safe is by:

  • avoiding contact with anyone with symptoms
    • frequent hand cleaning and good respiratory hygiene practices
    • regular cleaning of settings and good ventilation of all spaces
    • minimising contact and mixing with children from other Bubbles

All children will be sitting in seats that face forwards in the classroom so that they do not face each other. Ventilation will be a priority in all classrooms – even through the depths of winter, if necessary! So it will be cold in the classrooms. Please bear this in mind as you buy school uniform. Thick socks and tights, warm shirts and jumpers, and thermal underwear may be necessary if your child is very sensitive to the cold. Our priority has to be to reduce the chance of infection.

Each Bubble will be using only one toilet block – so we no longer have boys’ and girls’ toilets, but rather toilets for Bubble 4, toilets for Bubble 5 and so on. These are cleaned regularly throughout the school day. Only one child at a time may go to the toilets. The system works well at present and we expect that it will continue to be a good way to prevent infection in this high risk area.

Please only allow essential items to move between school and home. No book bags, no PE kits (children must come to school in school uniform but wearing trainers), no toys, no other equipment. Every child will have their own equipment, pens and pencils, scissors, glue etc. with their name on, to that no personal equipment needs to be shared.

PE will take place outside. There will be no singing indoors, no shouting indoors, no wind instruments indoors.

We are not allowed to have gatherings of the whole school – so Collective Worship and assemblies take place within each classroom. No adults except staff are allowed onsite. If you need to meet with your child’s teacher, please do phone in – we want to continue to keep in touch with you! But it will have to be by phone or email, or, if absolutely essential, an outdoor meeting.

Lunches are eaten within the classrooms, each Bubble has their own part of the school field to use if other Bubbles are out there at the same time.

If you want your child to have a Lataca dinner, they will also be a packed lunches, because they will be eaten in the classrooms. Please remember to order through Lataca’s Parentmail as usual – the menu for September will be available over the summer holidays.

Please do not send in treats for birthdays at the moment. We will return to all these things once we are through the crisis and are allowed to relax our vigilance.

School Bus The Government has asked us, if at all possible, to avoid using school buses as they present a risk to our Covid safety measures. So we are asking our families who usually use the school bus whether they could make arrangements to bring their children into school and to pick them up by car. The school bus cannot be separated into Bubbles, and the children will arrive at school at times that do not correspond with their Bubble arrival and pick up. It will be very complex to keep everyone safe under these circumstances. Please let us know your arrangements as soon as possible so that we can formulate our next steps.

Work that you have done at home We would love to see the work that you and your child have done over these months so please send their books back into school. We shall have to keep hold of them for the year, because Ofsted will want to see them if they come, but we will return them to you at the end of the academic year in July so that you have these precious books forever.

Welcome Meetings As you know, we usually have welcome meetings for parents at the end of the summer term or start of autumn term but we are not allowed to do that at present. So each teacher will send out a letter telling you about the daily routines, expectations and systems in their classroom. Please do phone in or email in if you have any questions. We are only too delighted to help in any way we can.

Valedictory events It is a huge sadness to us that we cannot invite parents in to the Leavers’ assembly and other valedictory events we usually have at this time of year. The class community has completed the Year Books which are lovely, and will go home at the end of term. We will have our Speech Day and prize giving but just with the children themselves. The two Year 6 Bubbles will sit separated by a wide corridor, outdoors, facing forward, so that the presentation can be done as whole group. The children will each have a turn to stand up and share some of their memories of primary school with their peers and teachers. They will have a very special picnic, each packed in its own box, as their end of primary party on the last day, 17th July. They will not need lunch on this day. We cannot let them sign each other’s shirts in school, obviously, and we ask that you do not send in books and items from home either as this is against our risk assessment to keep people safe from infection.

The Year 6 children are re-doing the graphics on the bridge into the outdoor reflection area – they have designed each panel and are now sanding and painting the new designs onto the panels. We will have this as a permanent reminder of this amazing year group when they leave our school. We are living through difficult times and sacrifices have had to be made. This is a Year 6 “end of year” that we will never forget! It will go down in history.

Summer holiday clubs Please find attached to the newsletter a list of the summer holiday club provision in Wiltshire for those parents who need care for their children at this time. School Holiday Activity Provision Directory.pdf

40th Anniversary of our school! Thank you for your handprints! Please keep sending them in. We will send out a photo of the tree of life next week.

We look forward to welcoming all the children in Years 2, 3, 4, and 5 in for one day each on Monday 20th July and Tuesday 21st July as part of our transition programme. You will have received your letter of invitation with the precise time for your child’s drop off and pick up.

Moodle Even once everyone is back at school, we will continue to keep Moodle ticking over in some form so that, in the event that a Bubble has to close for 14 days, education for those children can continue through the platform. We are also hoping to use it as a way of sharing learning since we cannot have Sharing Assembly at the moment.

E-safety Please continue to monitor your child’s online activity rigorously – ensure that you have filters and time limits installed on their devices and make sure that you can always see what they are doing online. Children are very much at risk in the online world as they are tech savvy but very naïve.

BBC Bitesize Please do have a look at the BBC Bitesize resources if you are still educating your child at home – they have great projects and interactive lessons that you might like to do once you have finished the work set by your class teacher. https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize They will also have activities for the summer holidays which you might enjoy.

Best wishes,

Mercedes Henning

Newsletter 38 – 3rd July 2020

Dear Parents

40th Anniversary of our school! This year, and in fact this term, marks the 40th anniversary of the opening of our school, as it combined the old schools of Great Cheverell and Erlestoke in this new building. We had hoped to have a whole school photograph and a celebration but this is not feasible under our Covid 19 restrictions.

However, we would love to mark the event somehow and we hope that all children will take part in our “Tree of Life” project. We ask that every child draw around their hand on a piece of white paper, and decorate this handprint. If they wish to, it would be lovely to have their first name on the hand print as well. For those children who are not in school, we ask that you send them in as scans or photos to admin@holytrinity.wilts.sch.uk. We will print them, cut them out and hang them on our Tree of Life. This will be a display in school for a term or two and we will also photograph it and frame that photograph, with a little history of this time, as a permanent display for future generations. It will be interesting for people in 20 years to see how we had to mark this occasion which will by then have entered the history books. Please encourage your children to take part in this mini-celebration of a great anniversary.

A short history of the school and education provision for the village of Great Cheverell is attached to this newsletter just for your interest. Elements of the reports from inspectors through the late 19th century will probably make you smile!

Please remember that all children in the Foundation Stage, Year 1 and Year 6 will finish their term on Friday 17th July. The coming week is the last week for children in these year groups.

We look forward to welcoming all the children in Years 2, 3, 4, and 5 in for one day each on Monday 20th July and Tuesday 21st July as part of our transition programme. More detail about this will be released on Monday and Tuesday next week. You will receive a letter on Monday telling you which classroom your child will be in when they return in September, and then you will receive another letter on Tuesday telling you which day (either 20th or 21st July) your child will be invited to join us for their transition day. Please make sure you are prompt with dropping off and picking up on these days as we have children in other Bubbles coming in and we cannot have Bubbles mixing.  They will need a packed lunch and school uniform with trainers.

Return to school in September You will all know by now that the Government have issued their guidance on how to keep everyone safe as all our children return to school in September. Whilst we are still analysing the guidance, we feel confident that we have most matters well in hand already, since it is very similar to the approach we are taking with the smaller Bubbles at the moment. This has worked very well, the children in school are very happy and settled and the system is efficient and easy enough to manage.

Children will be kept safe by being kept strictly in their Bubbles with no cross over into other Bubbles. Each classroom will be a Bubble. So we shall have five Bubbles in our school and all our children will be in everyday, full time. There will be no whole school gatherings such as assemblies, there will be lots of hand washing and respiratory hygiene management, and no sick children will be allowed in school. Your precise times for picking up and dropping off will be different from usual, and will be released to you as soon as we have sorted out the rotas. This is so that we can make sure that each Bubble comes in separately from the other Bubbles. Children must come to school in their uniforms, though, just for this time of Covid19 pandemic, we ask that they come to school in their trainers rather than school shoes, and do not bring PE kits, bags or anything non-essential into school. No one will wear masks in school as they present an infection risk for children who will constantly fiddle with them. Adults might very rarely need to wear a mask if they are caring for a sick child, but will not usually do so.

There is no expectation that, within their Bubbles, children will keep a social distance from each other, especially in the younger age groups, and we will have up to 30 children in a classroom. The arrangement of desks will ensure that children do not face each other and the rooms will be well ventilated. Much of our learning will take place outdoors so children need good wet weather coats and sunhats, and in winter they will need to have warm clothing – even the classrooms will be cooler than usual because of the open windows.  We have lots of wonderful things planned and children will have their usual exciting, engaging and happy experience of school.

Moodle Our teachers continue to provide daily work for your children to complete so that they can keep their skills honed and ready to go. Please encourage your child to do at least an hour (more if they are in KS2) of reading, writing and maths every single weekday. The routine is good for them, and they will be better prepared for their eventual return to school in September if they have kept up with the work. Teachers will check their Moodle regularly so if you have queries or comments, please do make contact. Teachers present new work through worked examples, short video clips and PowerPoints so that children should be able to access the exercises that are posted for them to complete.

 Author Talks Our local libraries are offering author talks onTuesdays. Meet local children’s author Sophie Kirtley on Tuesday 7 July 10.00am on Wiltshire libraries’ Facebook pages. Find out about her new children’s book ‘The Wild Way Home’, shortlisted for the Joan Aiken Future Classics Prize. www.sophiekirtley.com/

Theatre Although children cannot go to the live theatre at present, there are lots of really lovely productions being streamed for them through You Tube. Please always supervise your children on You Tube to make sure they are not inadvertently directed to less suitable sites. Sadlers Wells are offering some amazing dance shows online at present.https://www.sadlerswells.com/whats-on/2020/sadlers-wells-digital-stage/. And there are some lovely performances from the circus, Cirque du Soleil, on this link: https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/cirqueconnect. Children can be helped to practice their juggling skills! All aspects of their education can continue to be developed at home, including their physical coordination.

Best wishes,

Mercedes Henning

Newsletter 37 – 26th June 2020

Dear Parents

Written Reports to Parents  We have uploaded your “Written Reports to Parents” onto the Parent Portal (this is a different site to the Eduspot/SchoolMoney site). Please log in to see your child’s report by going to https://holy-trinity.co.uk/parent-portal/. If you cannot log in, let the admin team know and they will support you – you should have been sent a reminder of your parent portal password today. If you require a hard copy, we can provide that at your request.

If you would like to discuss the report with your child’s teacher, please contact us and we will arrange a telephone meeting between you and your child’s teacher. admin@holytrinity.wilts.sch.uk or 01380 813796 are the contact details.

To help with clarity:

  • Core subjects are reading, writing and maths.
  • Foundation subjects are all the others including history, geography, science, religious education, art, music, physical education, and design technology.
  • Children are judged to be working either “Below the standard expected for their age”, or “At the standard expected for their age”, or “Above the standard expected for their age”.
  • Sometimes the “Above the standard” is recorded as being “Greater Depth” since some of the Government guidance uses this term – it means the same thing.
  • Having first made sure everyone is settled and happy as our first priority when we return in September, we will be assessing children against their own attainment targets and we will put in place support for any child who requires acceleration of their learning because they have fallen behind what we might have expected. This is what good teaching is about and this is what we do so well at this school. Please do not be concerned about the hype in the press about a lost generation or children suffering with significant negative impact on their future. This will not happen in our school.

Parent Governor    As the result of a current parent governor term of office coming to an end in Term 1 of the next academic year, a parent governor vacancy to serve on the governing body of our academy has arisen.  Parents (or people with parental responsibility) of registered pupils are welcome to nominate themselves to fill this place.  Details of what you will need to do to be nominated are available at the office.  If we have more than one candidate, we will go to election at the start of the new academic year. If you wish to find out more, do contact our chair of governors (details on the accompanying documents).

September Opening The Government has, as you will know, eased the social distancing measures. We have not had any detailed direction on what this might mean for schools, but it probably indicates that we will be able to have all children back in school in September without any social distancing requirements within their individual Bubbles. We do not know what it means for drop off and pick up, lunch times, peripatetic music lessons, sharing staff across Bubbles and so on. As soon as the guidance is published, we will start to formalise our plans and we will let parents know the outcome as soon as we are able to. We are very much looking forward to having everyone back in school! Even if we do have to maintain the Bubble system, it will be wonderful to have the whole community back under one roof again.

Please remember that all children in the Foundation Stage, Year 1 and Year 6 will finish their term on Friday 17th July.

This will give us the chance to have all the children in Years 2, 3, 4, and 5 in for one day each on Monday 20th July and Tuesday 21st July as part of our transition programme. We will send home more detail about this later in the term.

Moodle We continue to upload work and support children who are still learning from home. The contact with their class teacher has, of necessity, been reduced but we do love hearing about your learning when we have the opportunity to get onto Moodle. Please do keep going with the work – it is through your great efforts that children will be able to come back into school with all their skills and learning rehearsed, honed and ready to go in the new academic year. There are great websites to visit which will enrich your children’s learning such as the natural history museum, https://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/virtual-museum.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI7qm__bOd6gIVF-vtCh2EMQ27EAAYASAAEgIwPfD_BwE

and there are some good projects and lessons on  https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize.

Thank you to those who have already donated so generously to the Mathieson Music Trust. A report from some students from Strode College who visited the school in February 2020 is available in the office. It gives an insight into the things that are happening in our link school in Kolkata. Please do consider helping this school for the poor which is in such a desperate situation. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Holy-Trinity-Primary-Academy-Great-Cheverell

Best wishes,

Mercedes Henning

PFA News

To contact the PFA:

Email: holytrinitypfa@gmail.com

Or get involved with our Facebook page “Holy Trinity (Great Cheverell) PFA” 

Newsletter 36 – 19th June 2020

Dear Parents

Opening the school to more children

We have had a lot more Key Worker children register for places over the past weeks than we had forecast. These children have priority for places and we must make sure that we can continue to offer places to those children whose parents are working in the front line in accordance with the Government direction – and as we would wish to do.

As a result, we are very close to the total capacity our school can absorb under the new regulations and we are now very limited as to the places we can offer to children in the Foundation Stage, Year 1 and Year 6. There will be children in these year groups who might now wish to have a place but we will not be able to accommodate them, as some of our Bubbles are full, and every member of staff is teaching.

We are very sorry if you would have liked your child to attend for the last weeks of the term and cannot now be offered a place, but we may not allow the numbers to increase beyond safe limits. We have to follow the strict guidance given by the Government under the corona virus legislation. However, we will be holding a waiting list for the children who would like to attend and if we have any changes to our numbers, or if the Government reduces the need for social distancing, we will offer places to those on the waiting list. Please let us know if you would like your child to be placed on the waiting list.

Please remember that all children in the Foundation Stage, Year 1 and Year 6 will finish their term on Friday 17th July.

This will give us the chance to have all the children in Years 2, 3, 4, and 5 in for one day each on Monday 20th July and Tuesday 21st July as part of our transition programme. We will send home more detail about this later in the term.

We still do not know how our school will be arranged for re-opening in September – as soon as we know what the Government direction is, we will let you know how we will manage this.

No TD Day  You might remember that we had planned a training day for staff on 29th June this year, but we have decided that, in light of the crisis we are living through, it is in the best interests of our children that we abandon this and we will be opening the school as usual on that day. Teachers will continue their training remotely in the evenings and weekends.

Lost Property There is a tremendous amount of lost property in school at the moment. If you think that you might have something left here, please let us know and we can check whether it is in the lost property basket or not. Anything that is still left here at the end of term will be sent to Charity Shops or recycling centres.

Free School Meals We have continued to offer free school meals to those eligible through the benefits system but over summer holidays, the system will change. There has been no direction about how this summer holiday free meal system will work, but it seems possible that it will be operated through the Local Authority. As soon as there is clarity, we will let you know.

Thank you We are very grateful for to our parents for being so prompt with drop off and pick up times – this makes the situation so much safer and more manageable for everyone.  

Valedictory events Usually at this time of year, we are preparing for the Year3/Year 4 summer performances, Sports Day, the School Eucharist, Prize Giving day and Leavers’ Assembly. Sadly, none of these events will now be possible. We are working on plans to mark our Year 6 Leavers in some way. We will hold a little prize giving but it seems unlikely that we will be allowed to welcome parents on site for this. We hope to have some celebration for them in the form of a picnic, held in separate Bubbles since the Year 6 children have two Bubbles. It will be odd, but we will do all we can to ensure that their transition out of our school is marked in some way that is memorable.

Moodle For those children who are at home, please do continue to access the distance learning projects and exercises that are posted by your teachers. It is really important that those core skills of reading, writing and maths are rehearsed and honed so that when all children return to school they are in a good place to tackle the challenges of their new year. Although you may find the BBC bitesize work slightly easy for your child in the core areas, they do have some lovely projects in the other subjects and you might enjoy trawling through some of these as well. https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize.

Thank you to those who have already donated so generously to the Mathieson Music Trust. They are desperate to continue the amazing work they do in Kolkata with the poorest children and orphans, whose buildings have been destroyed by the cyclone. Please do consider going onto the site and supporting them.  The work that they do is so important.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Holy-Trinity-Primary-Academy-Great-Cheverell

Best wishes,

Mercedes Henning

PFA News

To contact the PFA:

Email: holytrinitypfa@gmail.com

Or get involved with our Facebook page “Holy Trinity (Great Cheverell) PFA” 

Newsletter 35 – 12th June 2020

Dear Parents

Opening the school to more children We are very sorry that we cannot open to all our children yet. We had plans ready to go, but the Government direction is clear, and we cannot launch any of those plans at this stage.

We have another plan now, which I shall outline here, but I ask you to be aware that the Government direction comes through daily, often clarifying or changing policies, and it remains a very real possibility that this plan, also, will have to be abandoned right up to the last minute depending on what is published from the Government on that day. 

We are suggesting now that we close the school to Foundation Stage, Year 1 and Year 6 on Friday 17th July, giving them a couple of days extra on their summer holiday. We will then use these two days, Monday 20th July and Tuesday 21st July, to offer children in Years 2, 3, 4 and 5 the chance to come into school in small groups for transition work before the start of school in September.

They will be able to familiarise themselves with their classrooms, re-establish contact with some of their classmates and meet their teacher. We plan that they will spend this time in the classrooms that they will attend at the start of the new academic year. So the Year 2 children will go into Sarum classroom as Year 3s and meet their new teachers, and so on up the school.

We will let you know which classroom your child will be in, for the class splits, shortly before the transition days. Teachers will be finalising the class splits, making their decisions using teacher assessment from before the lock down and also using evidence from the work that has been submitted to them over the lockdown through Moodle.

I must emphasise that this plan might also have to be abandoned at short notice. But we thought it would be worth presenting it to you so that you can pencil dates into your diary. I am very sorry that there is so little certainty – I know how frustrating this is as you try to arrange child care and prepare your child for their return to school. But we need to work together to win the fight against the corona virus successfully and we need to be patient as the situation unfolds.

What about next academic year? The first time we, as school leaders, know what the future holds is when the Government makes their announcements on the BBC. So the information will come through to you at the exact moment it comes through to us. Again, I am very sorry that we cannot give more clarity on this, but we honestly have absolutely no idea what pattern of return we might be facing in the new school year.

I can promise that whatever they tell us to do, it will have been one of the many options that we have already considered and laid tentative plans to enable to happen, and that we will absolutely make sure that children come into a school that is well prepared, welcoming and fun to attend, whatever it looks like.

Spaces in school Usually at this time, we are inundated with parents asking for places in our school for their children, but because of the lockdown, people have had other things on their minds. As a result, we do have a few precious spaces for new children who will, as you know, be offered an outstanding education here. If you know of anyone who might like to transfer their children here, please let them know that we do, unusually, have a little spare capacity at present. 

Summer Holidays Up until this year, we always have been able to offer a couple of weeks of holiday club through summer holidays at Holy Trinity but, sadly, our provider has closed because of Covid19 and we cannot find another provider. So we will not be able to offer any kind of holiday club this year.

The Government is talking about arranging summer schools – we have no idea what this might mean or how it might be organised but as soon as we know, we shall let you know. I shall not be asking our teachers to work through their summer holidays – they have borne a huge burden through the lockdown, with courage and positivity, managing distance learning, key worker children and the wider opening of school together with their report writing, assessment, leadership duties and professional development. They need to pause for the summer break and then be ready to come back and face whatever the new normal will present to us in September.

We are very sorry for the disruption – we know that childcare over the holidays is going to be complex for many of our families. We hope that the Local Authority may come up with a solution.

Thank you, PFA!  A huge thank you to our amazing PFA who donated the money we needed to buy the beautiful boat for the Stonehenge class playground. It is a superb boat and generations of children will have amazing fun playing on and around it. We are very grateful for generosity of our community who help to enrich our children’s lives so much.

Thank you to those who have already donated so generously to the Mathieson Music Trust. They are desperate to continue the amazing work they do in Kolkata with the poorest children and orphans, whose buildings have been destroyed by the cyclone. Please do consider going onto the site and supporting them.  The work that they do is so important.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Holy-Trinity-Primary-Academy-Great-Cheverell

Best wishes,

Mercedes Henning

PFA News

We are pleased to welcome Alma-Ayre to Stonehenge class this week and we extend a big welcome to all her family into the school community. We hope Alma-Ayre settles in well at our school. 

A big thank you to everyone who has helped with fundraising in any way this year so far. Thank you for your donations, time and for all the support that you have given to PFA events. 

We are very pleased that the boat, paid for using PFA funds, has now been installed in the playground outside Stonehenge classroom and is ready to be enjoyed by the children. 

To contact the PFA:

Email: holytrinitypfa@gmail.com

Or get involved with our Facebook page “Holy Trinity (Great Cheverell) PFA”