Let’s think about some of the normal and exciting things that have been happening in school this week before getting onto the rest!
Partners in Learning
First of all, thank you so much to all of you who have engaged so enthusiastically with the remote Partners in Learning sessions, asking questions, joining the call and viewing the recording afterwards. We know it’s not the same as coming into the classroom and meeting the teacher face to face, but we are glad that we had the chance to do something to launch the school year and hope the information was helpful. We will run a similar session for new Reception parents on Thursday 24th September at 4pm and questions can be sent to YRhomelearning@cardinalnewmanschool.co.uk
Food and Allergies
Thank you too for making the new school meals ordering system begin so smoothly. Now that we are up and running, we plan to phase in our usual full hot school lunches (rather than the current deli-style hot option) as we head towards the cooler months. The challenge with this is socially-distanced space in the school hall, but we will begin with serving full hot meals for Reception only from Monday and will work towards making the full hot option available to more year groups as we go on. The ordering system will continue to work as it does now.
On the topic of food, please can we remind you that we are a nut-free school and so there should be no nuts in any foods sent into school please. This is due to a number of children across the school (currently 11 children) with nut allergies. There are also one or two children with a more complex range of allergies and we would therefore ask that you remind your children that sharing food from lunch boxes is strictly not allowed. Please bear in mind that nut allergies can include tree nuts, so a child who picks up acorns / conkers on the way to school and brings them in to show the class can inadvertently be putting another child into danger! Please check with the class teacher before bringing anything like this into school for Show and Tell.
New Reception Open Mornings (Sept 2021 start)
At this time of year, we typically open up the school to families who are choosing primary schools for next academic year. This year the restrictions make this very difficult and visits will be entirely outdoors, around the perimeter of the school. We nevertheless also need to severely limit numbers of visitors onsite.
After much consideration, one way of limiting numbers will be to ask parents who already have a sibling at the school (or a sibling who used to go to the school) not to sign up to the face to face tours. All current parents are familiar with the outside of the school and so a face to face tour would not add a great deal to your knowledge of the school. There will be a recording of this year’s Headteacher Presentation and another of the Reception Classrooms to enable current parents to refresh their knowledge about Reception admissions.
We will set up a Q and A Zoom meeting in place of the tours for current / past parents and would ask any current parents with siblings due to start next year to get in touch with the school office if there are more specific issues you would like to address. Thank you so much for supporting us with this.
On Wednesday 23rd September, we will be joined by Sharon Girling OBE a specialist in child online safety. Through the day, Sharon will work with the children (both virtually and at a distance in the school hall) from year groups 1-6 and will later work with parents via Zoom from 5-6pm.
Those who were at Cardinal Newman when she came three years ago will recall that Sharon is absolutely amazing at what she does – she gave a great deal of practical, no-nonsense and up to date advice last time and I cannot recommend her talk highly enough. It isn’t only the issues of KS2 accidentally (or deliberately) accessing adult images or even the perennial issues of unkind behaviour on teenage sites like fortnite and tiktok, but also welcome information about the best ways to ensure your child’s tablet or Xbox is safely set up and filtered. For parents with children of all ages, I strongly recommend joining the call if possible. PLEASE NOTE THAT WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SEND OUT A RECORDING OF SHARON’S TALK TO PARENTS.
Many thanks to the Parent Association for funding this valuable workshop again.
Thank you to Year 6 parents who enabled the day trip to High Ashurst for the “outdoor adventurous activity” part of the curriculum. The children had a fantastic day in the sunshine and really challenged themselves (and each other) to achieve their very best. Photos are available on the website here . We hope this year’s Year 5 will have the opportunity to visit High Ashurst for their residential as normal in the Summer Term.
Start of Year Mass
Father Bill joined us in school this week for our Start of Year Mass, which was led by Year 6. The other classes joined the call from their classrooms and we were delighted to be able to all be together in spirit as a school community. Our next school Mass will be on the feast of St John Henry Newman on Friday 9th October and this will be led by Year 4. At that Mass, the new Prayer Council will be commissioned – any final applications from Y4 to join the Prayer Council should be sent to Mrs Emma Sharp via the School Office. Our thanks to those who have already sent in applications.
Thank you for all your efforts at social distancing and for following the procedures for pick up and drop off. In order to maintain the best possible outcomes for our community, we are constantly looking at how we can make the system even better. For us, the most important thing is to keep our community safe and to keep our children in school. To do that, we all need to work together to prevent transmission or crossing bubbles.
From Monday, please could we ask:
Please arrive at the right time for your year group so that you minimise the time onsite
Only one adult per family should come onto the school site to drop off and pick up (and for KS2, please do meet your child offsite if you are able to)
Please keep children (and any siblings) by your side until it is time to go in – they are not allowed to mix with children in other classes at present and this is best monitored by you as parents please.
At both gates, please use the one way system to enable free flow of people onto and off the site
If you want to chat to friends (And of course we all do!), please arrange to meet at the park or off the school site, so that gateways and pavements can be kept clear and enable social distancing.
Reception children can go in on their own from 8:55am (Reception siblings from 8:40am or whenever the sibling’s time is) Reception parents who need to accompany their child to the door should wait until after 9am please.
Reception parents can pick up from the rainbow fence from next week – if you come forward to the fence, your children will be able to see you and will be sent to you.
Avoid parking on Arch Road or in neighbouring roads. We have had complaints from residents of Severn Drive and from garage owners by Colne Place, where garage doors have been blocked for access. Please use Coronation Rec and Hersham Station (free permits available for school – forms sent out with this mailing
Please be aware that the school office are experiencing a high volume of calls and emails – this is to be expected as the office is not open for parents to drop in. Please take this into account when contacting the school office and we apologise in advance for any delay in response. Children’s forgotten belongings shouldn’t be dropped off to the office unless absolutely vital for their learning.
Thank you all once again for supporting the school. We are blessed with a wonderful and committed school staff who are working very hard to educate our children in quite difficult circumstances. Although it may appear from the outside that the school is operating largely as normal, there are very many additional duties required of staff to conform to the COVID guidance and to keep the school open and running smoothly. Teachers, support staff and office staff are all working flat out to keep the school open safely – please continue to follow the guidance and help them in their mission.
Wishing you all the best for the weekend.
First Holy Communion Forms are now available to download from the Parish website: www.stbarnabasmolesey.org The Forms need to be returned to the Parish office by Friday 9 October 2020. Due to the government guidelines regarding the Covid-19 restrictions the programme will run slightly different this year.
Head lice: Please check your children for head lice and treat if necessary
Tissues: We would be very grateful for donations of boxes of tissues
Reminder of our current vacancies. Closing date is Sunday 20th September, 2020