Well done - we made it through a whole week! For most, the early mornings and school run deadlines are taking a bit of getting used to, but we’re doing really well and the systems we have in place on the school premises are becoming embedded.
Thank you for all your co-operation with the new routines – most especially with following the guidance around absences so carefully. We are delighted that our attendance rates are very good, but also that where children are presenting with one of the three key symptoms:
New continuous cough (This is coughing for an hour continuously or three long coughing episodes within 24 hours)
High temperature (37.8 degrees and above is the definition of high)
Loss or change of sense of smell
It is great that parents are following the guidance that the whole household should self-isolate, pending a negative COVID test.
Although it sounds scary, COVID testing is going to become very much part of our daily lives. The self-test kits can be delivered to home (readily available at present) or you can attend a test centre (somewhat at capacity!) – and we have already had quite a number of negative tests for children within the school community. As we know, children (and adults!) do get coughs and colds at this time of year and so these symptoms are likely to present themselves ever more often. Thank you for working with us to keep all children in the household away from school until the test comes back negative (this has been as little as 12 hours later but is currently taking 24- 36 hours in most cases.)
Please could I ask you to respect other people’s privacy around health issues and not to share any information you may have been given with your children. Our children are not yet used to the testing “norm” and may be worried by it. Everyone has the right to confidentiality in medical matters and it isn’t helpful if there are rumours around the school playground or on social media. It is important that you keep school informed, but there is no need to share more widely that a child is having a test, any more than we would a doctor’s appointment. If there were to be a positive test (and let us pray there will not be!), it is important only to inform the school so that we can communicate the information clearly to all who need to know. Thank you for doing your part to keep our community safe and free from unnecessary anxiety.
Generally all is going very well on the school premises at drop off and pick up, but there have been a couple of good parent suggestions for ways to make the outside of school more “COVID-safe.”
1) Perhaps we could try a one way system on Arch Rd pavements – walk on the school side if walking in the direction from Molesey Rd TOWARDS the tunnel and walk on the opposite side from school if walking in the direction AWAY from the tunnel towards Molesey Rd. This would mean parents from both directions have to cross the road and cross back again in one direction or other, but it would avoid face to face contact... Perhaps we could give this a try?
2) Please remember not to congregate on Arch Rd pavements – there is no space for a chat at the moment (but the other side of the tunnel or on the Rec would be perfect places for a catch up!) - and please take special care to give way and observe social distance at the pinch points like the tunnel itself and the gate to the Rec.
Hopefully these will make the situation outside school safer for everyone (including the general public). Thank you!
And in other news….
First Holy Communion: Most of our Year 4 children have been making their First Holy Communion over the summer and this is continuing through September. As usual we will have a special Mass to celebrate their First Holy Communion in school once all are ready – we hope to combine this with the Feast of St John Henry Newman on Friday 9th October. It would be lovely to have photos of every child on their First Holy Communion Day, to be able to share these on a display in school and on the website (no names attached). Some families have already sent these in – if you haven’t, we would love to receive a photo of the big day so that we can continue to remember you in our prayers! Congratulations to all our First Holy Communion children.
Worship: This week we have two special events – on Wednesday, Fr Bill will celebrate Mass for our whole community led by Y6 children. For all of our Mass and collective worship events, we plan to have only one year group in the school hall and other classes will join via the screens in their classrooms. On Thursday, there is a national “Big Assembly” from St Mary’s University in Twickenham to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Pope Benedict’s visit to the UK (when he gave a special assembly to school children gathered at St Mary’s – the text of the speech he gave is worth reading if you are interested. The link is below and there is a lovely children’s version available (pictured right): https://thepapalvisit.org.uk/home/replay-the-visit/day-two/pope-benedicts-address-to-pupils/
Partners in Learning: In the current situation, we have taken the decision not to invite parents into classrooms for our annual “Partners in Learning” event. We are very conscious that parents have in many cases not yet met class teachers and we have plans in place to enable that at Parents Evening in October if guidance allows. For now, we are sending out the information which would have been shared at Partners in Learning and parents are invited to ask any questions via the home learning email addresses for each year group. These will then be answered via a Zoom call for each year group (Y1 – 6) next week – we did this for new Reception parents in June and it seemed to work well, so we will do so again. Recordings of the calls will be made available to all parents after the event, but to listen live, the calls will occur at the following times:
Mon 14th Sept 4pm – Y5 4:30pm – Y2
Tues 15th Sept 4pm – Y3 4:30pm – Y4
Wed 16th Sept 4pm – Y1 4:30pm Y6
Our scheduled Parent “Coffee and Conversation” morning on 8th October will also take place via Zoom this term.
Coronation Recreation Ground – Please be aware that there was an incident over the summer holiday where a child (young boy) was approached by a lady at the Rec. She asked him to go in the van with her and there was also a man by the van. Police were made aware at the time, but it would be good for parents to be wary and also to remind children of the dangers around going with strangers. We have addressed this in school with our PSHE programme but it is important to work together on this issue. Parents can register for the Hampshire programme “Clever Never Goes” here: https://www.safe4me.co.uk/portfolio/clever-never-goes/
Education Sunday – This Sunday is Education Sunday when we pray for our Catholic schools and our school communities. We were planning our usual whole school Mass outdoors to celebrate the start of the school year and a picnic to help us all to enjoy time together as a school and parish community. Unfortunately this Mass cannot go ahead this year, but Fr Bill and Fr Richard will remember us in their prayers this weekend and I share below the prayer from the Book of Blessings for Education Sunday:
God is the source of all wisdom and knowledge.
Let us ask him to bless those who seek to learn and their teachers.
For students, that the Spirit of God may grant them the gifts of wisdom of understanding.
For teachers, that they may share their knowledge with gentleness, patience, and concern for their students.
I wish you all a very happy and blessed weekend.
School Dinners - All school dinners now need to be booked one week in advance for all children. Please logon to Scopay.com to order these
Earrings - should be removed on PE days
Socks - trainer socks are not part of the school uniform and should not be worn
Click on the link below to view our current vacancies