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” 

Newsletter 34 – 5th June 2020

Dear Parents

Opening to more children Thank you very much to all the families of children in Foundation Stage, Year 1 and Year 6, and the Keyworkers’ children, who came into school so beautifully this week. They had clearly been very well prepared for return to school and every child cheerfully came through the gates into the New Normal here at Holy Trinity. It is such a joy to have our classrooms full of children and happy chatter once again. The children are very good at remembering our precautions, the older children (mostly) remembering social distancing and all children washing hands and maintaining good respiratory hygiene.

I have enjoyed watching the children make up games that ensure that the social distancing rules can be obeyed. I have seen football games with no hands touching the ball at all, and no tackling, just one touch and pass, I have seen clapping games that take place soundlessly across a two metre divide and model building that extends over huge areas to ensure that no one is close to anyone else. Lunches are eaten sociably, but with the correct distance between each child. What amazing children we have in this school!

Distance Learning And thank you also to all the families who are still maintaining the excellent home learning through our Moodle platform. It has, of necessity, had to be reduced because every teacher is now teaching a class full time, but our families continue to ensure that their children at home are rehearsing and honing their skills so that when they come back to school, they will be ready to pick up their journey through the National Curriculum effectively. We see and hear about such lovely curriculum enrichment going on at home. And teachers will continue to upload learning materials to their class page each week and will answer queries once a week when they have a chance to do so.

Crisis at our link school / orphanage in India As many of you know, we have, for many years, nurtured links with the Mathieson Music school in Kolkata in India – a music school that takes orphans and the poorest children from the streets of Kolkata and provides them with an education and boarding. The director of the trust visits our school most years to tell us about the school. https://en-gb.facebook.com/mathiesonmusicschoolkolkata

On top of the Covid crisis, their school was recently hit by the cyclone Amphan and the roofs have been blown off several of their little buildings (rudimentary in any event) and many other areas made unusable. They estimate about £25,000 worth of damage has been done. They would be very grateful for any contribution, however small, to help with rebuilding their school. We have set up a Just Giving page for this project and if you feel as though you could offer anything, it would be most gratefully received. Our thanks to Mrs Edwards for spearheading this for us.

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

Welcome We welcome our new families into this wonderful school community and hope that you will settle quickly and be very happy here.

Trophies If your child received one of our trophies at prize giving day last year, please would you return it now? It is time to start thinking of this year’s winners. If you know of someone who has left our school and may have been the recipient of a trophy, would you very kindly ask them to return it? We do not know what our end of term prize giving will look like this year but we will mark the event in some way, even if it is very different from our usual celebration.

Sick Children Please do not send your child into school if you have even the slightest doubt about their health. This is one of the primary ways in which we will keep our children, staff and community safe. If you suspect any member of your family may have the virus, you can now go and be tested. Please isolate if you have a suspicion that you may be affected.

Wiltshire has had very low rates of infection and these continue to fall, thankfully –  about 1 to 2 new cases testing positive each day in all of Wiltshire recently (from the Office of National Statistics) and an estimated R of about 3.6 according to information obtained by the Swindon Advertiser. We need to continue to be rigorous in our efforts to drive this down further, of course, by keeping strictly to the Government regulations, but our risk in Wiltshire is quite low.

School Lunches If you wish your child to have a school lunch, please book through Lataca in the usual way. We can only offer packed lunches as children will be eating in their classrooms in their own Bubbles so as to reduce the number of contacts they have in school.

Space related educational resources for home schooling The UK Space Agency has published a collection of space related educational resources that schools, parents and carers can use when teaching their children at home. The resources are available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/space-related-educational-resources-for-home-schooling

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra are offering a three-week series ‘BSO Young Explorers: Sea, Voyages & Hope’ workshop that introduces children to making music as they learn to make their own works, take part in warm-up exercises, and rehearse two newly-commissioned nautical songs to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s pioneering voyage. The project culminates in a group (virtual!) performance of the two songs at the end of the summer term where you can be in a produced video where everyone is singing together! The sessions will be available — and free for all — on their website: https://bsolive.com/. New sessions will be uploaded multiple times a week at 11am Monday 8 June – Friday 26 June (https://bsolive.com/press-releases/orchestra-launches-summer-activities-for-all-ages/).

Design Clean Transport for the Future PhD students at the University of Bath are running a competition for children to design some form of clean transport for the future – have a look at their website if you would like to take part in this. https://www.csct.ac.uk/csctcleantransport/

Stay safe and stay well.

Best wishes,

Mercedes Henning

PFA News

It has been lovely for lots of children, and their families, to be welcomed back to school this week. Those who have returned had the most generous and heart-felt welcome by the school staff and have come home with happy tales of their days. Thank you to everyone involved in ensuring the children who have returned have had as easy a transition as possible. 

Of course, lots of children are still learning at home at the moment, and we send our very best wishes to all those families.

We are also very pleased to welcome a new family to our school community. Arthur has joined Reception this week and we hear he is settling in well and enjoying his time at Holy Trinity. We are looking forward to meeting Arthur and his family in due course. 

To contact us you can email:

holytrinitypfa@gmail.com or join our Facebook page “Holy Trinity (Great Cheverell) PFA”  

Many thanks,

Your PFA

Newsletter 33 – 22nd May 2020

Dear Parents

Arrangements for opening to more children

Thank you very much to all the parents who responded so quickly to let us know whether their children in FS, Year 1 and Year 6 will be joining us when we start to take extra children into school on 2nd June. We are still not certain that this will happen, of course, as the Government might change their minds on 28th May which is the date they have given us for their final decision. But we are working towards having children join us on Tuesday 2nd June if they are in the eligible year groups (FS, Y1 and Y6) or are part of our Key Worker cohort that has been with us throughout the school closures. There is no requirement for parents to send their children in to school at the moment but we are really looking forward to welcoming these year groups back, and have plans for lots of wonderful activities, lots of outdoor learning and lots of fun.

Please note that we are NOT open for any children, including key workers’ children, on Monday 1st June!

In order to comply with the direction for children to be in groups (or Bubbles) of no larger than 15 children, we have had to ask every teacher to teach a group of children once we re-open to the extra year groups on 2nd June.

This means that there is, sadly, no way that staff can engage in their daily real time Moodle activities as they do at the moment. However, we will do our best to keep some distance learning available for children in Years 2, 3, 4 and 5. Teachers will ensure that work and projects are uploaded to Moodle weekly but they will not be able to take submissions or engage with children directly as they will be working with the classes they have in front of them. We are very sorry that our offer on the distance learning has had to be reduced in this way, but you will understand that our teachers cannot be in two places at once. We will be finishing school early every Friday – children leaving school just after lunch – to enable our teachers to try to catch up with some of the Moodle provision and all the assessing, planning and preparation for the week ahead, and to clean everything thoroughly.

Teachers will be working late into the nights to make this system work as best we can under complex and challenging conditions, and I am very grateful to them for their ongoing positivity and commitment to excellence for all our children. We do have the best team in the country!

Sick Children Please do not send your child into school if you have even the slightest doubt about their health. This is one of the primary ways in which we will keep our children, staff and community safe. If you suspect any member of your family may have the virus, you can now go and be tested. Please isolate if you have a suspicion that you may be affected.

Wiltshire has had very low rates of infection and these continue to fall, thankfully.

School Lunches If your child is coming in to school in June, and you wish them to have a school lunch please book through Lataca in the usual way. We can only offer packed lunches as children will be eating in their classrooms in their own Bubbles so as to reduce the number of contacts they have in school.

Drop off and Pick up Each family who has a child coming into school in June will receive a letter today showing the precise times that they need to drop off and pick up their children, and also where this needs to happen. Some groups will be coming in through the big gates on the field, and others through the usual pedestrian gates to reduce contact. Please check where your child needs to be dropped off and picked up. Only one parent can pick up or drop of their child, and they must leave the area quickly as soon as they are finished. Brightly coloured ribbons in the hedge will help you judge the 2m distance you need to keep as you queue to come into school. Please be prompt as you drop off and pick up – there are a lot of children to welcome and we want everyone to be as safe as possible.

Please don’t bring any extra items from home except lunchboxes and water bottles. No reading folders, no books, no PE kit, no toys or equipment. We want to reduce any likelihood of cross contamination. All equipment they will need is here.

Please let your children wear trainers to school and bring sun hats and rain coats since we will be outside for much of every day regardless of the weather.

If this changes Last week, headteachers had over 40 different communications from the Government about opening to more children – things change constantly and it is difficult to forecast what will happen next. We usually hear about significant changes through the BBC before we get official notification, so you will know about any big changes at the same time that we do. If things change dramatically before 2nd June, we shall text everyone and update them on what the new arrangements will be. But for now, we expect to open to the eligible year groups and will enjoy having our school buzzing with children again.

Don’t Forget! Wiltshire Local Authority has set up a Wellbeing Hub. You can make contact with them and they will signpost you to the most appropriate support for your particular needs, whether this is emotional, financial or physical. Their details are:  “Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub”

Email: wellbeinghub@wiltshire.gov.uk or phone 0300 003 4576

Stay at home as much as possible, stay safe and stay well.

Best wishes,

Mercedes Henning

Newsletter 32- 15th May 2020

Dear Parents

VE Day! Our thanks to all our amazing families and staff who took part in the VE Day virtual choir event! And a huge thanks to Patrick Williams who prepared, conducted and edited the video of this wonderful choir, and his wife, Gwynnifer, who accompanied the piece so beautifully.

If you did not see it, here is the link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wV-AuY81xIA&feature=share&fbclid=IwAR1Vr8vdR3C1p1LSn_8hJINcLcMy1dn2qdN5nGwn5qz6tRxg9fOqzWJs7pw

The video has been shared nearly 1000 times and has been published on the Diocesan website as an example of a school living out its values.

Have a look at the Sharing part of the Moodle Whole School page for some amazing photos of the cakes and pictures of your VE day celebrations that you have sent in to us. We loved sharing this day with so many of you.  

My thanks to Mrs Twentyman who has done so much to make sure this is a special celebration of a victory long ago, and our hope for another victory soon, this time against the virus.

Hay Festival This is such an interesting event and well worth having a look at the programme with your children.

https://www.hayfestival.com/c-247-programme-for-schools.aspx?genrefilterid=79

Half Term The school will be closed over the half term week (25th – 29th May). The TD days on 1st and 2nd June will be working days once again.

Returning to School You will all know by now that the Government is asking schools to re-open to children in Year 6, Year 1 and the Foundation Stage on Monday 1st June 2020. You will have received a letter from me and from our Chair of Governors, Jeremy Shatford, about this on Monday and Tuesday this week.

Our governors and I are working very hard to ensure that all plans and decisions will be made with your child’s health and safety, and that of our staff, at the very forefront of our minds. We are somewhat constrained by the Government guidance and advice which is being released in bits and pieces each day and which needs to be taken into account as we deliberate. We hope to be able to present our plans to parents on Wednesday 20th May if at all possible. We will notify you if this changes.

The Government is telling us that children must return to school in much smaller groups than previously – no more than 15 children per classroom –  and that they must remain in these groups for their lunch times and playtimes and must not have contact with other small groups in the school. This, they hope, will reduce the risk of transmission of the virus by reducing the number of contacts each child has. They are also telling us that the strict hygiene measures, cleaning and social distancing should be adhered to. Staggered drop off times, pick up times and break times are suggested as the best way forward.  There is no legal requirement for parents to send their children to school at this time.

I assure you that as soon as we have a well formulated plan which will be right for our local conditions, we will make sure our parents are informed. I thank you for your support and patience as we live through these complex and challenging times. We are all determined to do what is best for your child and for the whole school community.

Reminder Please make sure you are monitoring your child’s online activities to ensure that they are safe and that they are not causing harm to anyone else. There are warnings about ‘the increase in incidents of children being “groomed” online as they are spending more time on their devices. Primary school children should never have a device in their bedrooms unsupervised.

Don’t Forget! Wiltshire Local Authority has set up a Wellbeing Hub. You can make contact with them and they will signpost you to the most appropriate support for your particular needs, whether this is emotional, financial or physical. Their details are:  “Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub”

Email: wellbeinghub@wiltshire.gov.uk or phone 0300 003 4576

Message from the school nursing service We are aware that it is a very anxious time and there may be concerns about where to access support whilst schools are closed or you need to self-isolate. As a school nursing service we would like to let you know we are here to support you during this time. We have duty school nurses available at the end of the phone Monday to Friday 9-5pm should you require any support with your school age child. This is available permanently for all parents to access for advice and support. If you would like support please call one of our nurses through our Single Point of access on 0300 247 0090.

Stay at home, stay safe and stay well.

Best wishes,

Mercedes Henning