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 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.

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. And there are some lovely performances from the circus, Cirque du Soleil, on this link: 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

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