Newsletter 16 – 15th January 2021

Dear Parents

TD Dates for next year In collaboration with our lovely new headteacher from September 2021, Anna Woodman, we have set the TD dates for next year.
The TD dates are:
Wednesday 1st September 2021
Monday 28th February 2022
Monday 6th June 2022
Friday 22nd July
Monday 25th July 2022

Transition We are doing a lot of work together with Mrs Woodman to ensure a very good and efficient transition of leadership. She would have liked to have had a meeting with all our parents this term but, at the moment with Covid, this is not possible. However we hope that she will be able to record a message for our community which will be published on Moodle. We also hope that, all being well in summer, there will be opportunities for you to meet Mrs Woodman and to welcome her into the school community.
Mrs Woodman and I are having regular meetings to ensure that we have the best possible transition of senior leadership. Staff and governors will be increasingly involved with the transition work as we move through this academic year. We are very fortunate to have such a committed new headteacher-elect, who is prepared to work so hard before her tenure starts to ensure best outcomes for our children at this transition point.

Take care of yourselves We would like to remind you all that, although the Government would like KS1 children to be doing 3 hours of school work a day, and KS2 children (those in Year 3 and above) to be doing 4 hours of school work a day, we think the most important thing you can do is to make sure you are looking after the welfare of each person in your home. No child will be damaged in the long term by missing out on some school work, but the long term impact of stress and anxiety can be profound.
Choose to do the most important school work first – a bit of maths and some literacy. Then, please make sure your child does lots of outdoor play, exercise, activities. They will benefit from doing some creative activities as well – lots of ideas on Moodle. And if you can get to the other areas of learning on Moodle, that would be great. But care for your family’s wellbeing as a first priority.
We also ask that you leave your children to work independently as much as possible – especially for the pieces of work that are to be submitted for assessment and marking by the teachers. If these have been completely supervised and supported by the parents, it is hard for the teachers to see how well the child can do without support, and it is hard for them assess the progress the child is making. Your role is to encourage your child to stay on task for the half an hour or whatever time you have asked them to work on the project. They must then just get on with doing it to the best of their ability.

Socialising Children will benefit from having a short spell of socialising with their friends regularly. This cannot happen in person, but you can arrange with the parents of your child’s friend to have a 20 minute video chat – sometimes, setting it up so they are both playing with their lego, or have playdough in front of them or are both doing some drawing can help ease the awkwardness of a video chat. Or if they are older, you could arrange a little messaging time, carefully supervised, with a friend. Just saying “Hi” and sending an emoji can help reduce loneliness. We emphasise that all these interactions must be carefully supervised by you, and managed to ensure that no child is left with hurt feelings or a sense of powerlessness. Children sometimes do not realise that things they type on a message can hurt feelings very badly. We do a lot of work on this in school as part of our e-safety but, with primary school children, all engagements must be supervised by an adult to help ensure everyone feels safe and happy.

Thank you We are very grateful to our families for abiding by the Government direction to keep your children at home as much as possible, and to use the school’s onsite offer only if there is absolutely no other option, even if you are eligible for a place. This is the best way to keep our children, their families and our staff safe. The fewer children onsite, the less infection will be passed around the community. The impact of your thoughtfulness and courage is clear – our area has remarkably few positive cases compared with other areas in Wiltshire. This is a direct result of the strict compliance we are seeing in our area with the Covid restrictions. We are very fortunate to be part of such a caring and powerful community.

“Looking after yourself, looking after your children” Wiltshire Local Authority have published this little pamphlet which you may find helpful in these difficult times. The suggestions for good mental health mirror almost precisely the Ten Habits for Good Mental Health that our children know and discuss regularly. There are useful links for agencies that can help you with various issues and problems that you may be facing as well as some very good links to enrichment activities for your home learning. Please do click into this link and have a look.

Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub If you are struggling with any aspect of lockdown, please do not suffer in silence. The Wiltshire Local Authority has a wellbeing hub which can offer support with emotional and mental health issues, with practical things like deliveries, with financial matters, and with all sorts of other problems people may experience at this time. Please do contact them. or phone 0300 003 4576

Primary School Applications If your child will be turning 5 years old sometime between 1 September 2021 and 31st August 2022, you will need to apply for a primary school place for them by today, 15th January 2021. Parents can apply using the online system, which is available through or by calling 01225 713010 and a paper copy will be sent out.

Best wishes
Mercedes Henning

We welcome and value your opinion. If you have any comments or suggestions, please contact the Head teacher or Chair of Governors.

Upcoming Events (Calendar of events will be available on the website at www. in the coming week)

Friday 12th February Last day of half term
Monday 22nd February Possibly, all children might be allowed back to school. We will keep you updated.
Thursday 1st April Last day of term
Monday 19th April School re-opens

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