In many ways, from the outside the school does appear to be running more or less “normally.” It is perhaps worth saying that from the inside it is not! Our amazing staff are all going above and beyond to make things as safe and productive as possible for our community of Learners, Believers and Friends.
Thank you to:
our kitchen staff (filling hundreds of “deli” bags and supplying both plated hot options (to Reception in the hall), and hot and cold “packed” options to everyone else all over the school)
our office staff (answering literally thousands of additional emails or phone calls each week, managing the newsletter, the website and the ever changing arrangements for visitors, along with trying to minimise the impact of this scenario on the school’s budget );
our support staff (cleaning surfaces, managing the challenge of lunchtimes in the classroom and constant toilet breaks and handwashing, as well as their key function of supporting children’s learning both in and out of class)
our teaching staff (working around all of the challenges of the guidance to ensure our children are not educationally disadvantaged by the times they are living in!)
and last but certainly not least, our premises manager who is not only working additional hours to support all the necessary extra cleaning, but is also supporting our contractors both on the hall extension and on the new computer suite..!
Thank you to our parents for all your support for the school during this time – we have had a number of very kind messages from parents this week and it does really make a difference to the morale of staff who are working relentlessly to keep the school open and functioning as normally as possible for our children and families. Thank you.
Support for Families
We are very aware that there are some families in our school community who have been adversely impacted financially by the current situation and this is likely to be an ongoing situation for some time. The school is always delighted to support families in any way we can, so do please approach the school office and let us know if you are in need at any time. A phone call or an email FAO Mrs Burnham / Mr Flower is best. Support we have been able to offer families previously includes:
Parents can support the school budget for the coming year in three very simple (free!) ways next week.
Please send your children into school on Thursday 1st October if it is safe and possible to do so.
If your children are in YR / Y1 / Y2, please choose the hot option for meals if you plan to do so over the winter.
If you are entitled to Free School Meals (or if you have a parent in your family in the armed services), please make sure the school is aware of this.
That’s all! School funding is based partly on the census taken next Thursday, so it helps us greatly if all children are in and we are aware of the likely needs of those children over the coming year. Thank you for your help with this!
As you know, we are very keen for parents to observe 2m social distancing when on school premises. A number of parents have mooted the idea of wearing face coverings for pick up and drop off, which some local schools have already adopted where they don’t have enough space. At Cardinal Newman, we are blessed with ample space to social distance and the problem we have is in fact an issue of our lovely sociable community gathering to chat! We don’t feel that masks would resolve this problem – NHS Track and Trace does not take account of face coverings when calculating the risk of transmission and it is therefore better if possible that we all try to make responsible choices around 2m social distancing, especially at the end of the school day.
We are looking at implementing a more rigidly timed system for pick up if it proves impossible to persuade parents to social distance by choice. This would necessarily increase the staggered timings and thereby impact on learning time. We are conscious that this would be more inconvenient, not only to children and staff, but also to parents, so we are hopeful that it will be possible to work together to keep our whole community safe.
Local residents have been in touch to remind us about not parking in front of the garages by the Recreation Ground car park – these are strictly for residents only and the traffic warden has been made aware of recent difficulties. Please do consider using the main Rec car park or Hersham Station car park (free permit available) where possible to avoid inconveniencing local residents.
A huge thank you to the Parent Association for funding our Online Safety workshops this week. Sharon Girling was amazing as ever and her message was well received by staff, parents and children alike. A summary of the advice given can be read further on, reported by Mr Flower (Designated Safeguarding Lead) and we would urge all parents to act on it.
Virtual Class Assembly
Well done to Y6 Garnet Class who were our guinea pigs for livestreaming a class assembly to parents this Friday! Thank you to the very many parents who joined us for the occasion. The assembly was well received and the children delivered very clearly their Gospel message about the importance of kindness and compassion for others. Their Mission Week has focussed on our local care home – Sherwood House – and although we weren’t able to visit the residents this year, our Y6 children wrote some very moving letters to them which we know will be welcome. We are delighted that the children have had the opportunity to perform this small act of service and that we continue to be linked into our wider local community even in this new socially-distanced world!
The next virtual class assembly will be Y6 Amethyst Class on Friday 16th October
Good News for St Erconwald’s Parish
Families will be delighted to hear that when Bishop Richard came to visit St Erconwald’s parish yesterday evening, he was able to confirm that the parish will be allocated a new parish priest when Fr Bill Muir retires next summer. Bishop Richard thanked Fr Bill for all the work he has done in the parish - and of course, we are indebted to Fr Bill as a school community for all his tireless work with us. Fr Bill has been a great friend to our school and parishes and we hope he will continue his connection with us even after he retires in Summer 2021.
Fr Bill will next be in school on Friday 9th October at 2pm to celebrate Mass for St John Henry Newman’s Feast Day and we hope our wider school community will be able to join us from home for that special occasion in the life of our school.
All best wishes for the weekend.
Please remember that Friday 2nd October is a staff in-service training day and school will be closed to all pupils. Thank you.
In a change to recent plans, we will no longer be holding face to face open mornings, even for parents new to our school. This is due to the recent changes in guidance and follows the advice of the Surrey local area office. Virtual Q and A events and presentations will be available in due course.
Online Safety Guidance from Mr Flower:
On Wednesday we were delighted to welcome Sharon Girling back to Cardinal Newman School. Sharon Girling OBE is a former law enforcement officer with extensive experience in developing and initiating national and international entities responding to child abuse. She initiated the prospect of policing child abuse on the internet in the United Kingdom developing the concept for the national unit, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP).
Sharon delivered differentiated, thought provoking online safety advice to all year groups during the day. In Key Stage 1 the children were reminded what information was safe to share online and what should be kept private. In Key Stage 2 the children learned how their online presence can define their offline lives, and how it has consequences for their safety, further education, future employment and other life experiences. They also discussed which apps and games were appropriate for their age and those that they shouldn’t be using.
After the school day Sharon presented to staff and updated them on the latest trends and threats that they should be aware of from a Safeguarding point of view.
At the end of the day it was pleasing to welcome a large number of parents to a virtual presentation. During this session Sharon shared practical actions that parents could take to protect their children and the latest trends that they should be aware of and discuss with their children. During the meeting for parents Sharon referred to ‘step by step’ guides to support with protecting our children from the dangers of the internet. We will forward these to you as soon as we receive them.
The Internet and technology surrounding it is constantly expanding and changing. Therefore it is important to frequently revisit/ refocus our thoughts on our children’s online safety. I’ll leave you with some of the key points:
Set appropriate parental controls on all devices in the home whether they belong to a child or not
Know your child’s passwords and check frequently
Take an interest in your child’s online activities and discuss with them regularly
Ensure all privacy controls are set to private
Set a time before bedtime when devices need to be put down and do not charge devices in bedrooms
PA The Ice lolly sale raised £375 for the school. Thank you so much for all your support with this fundraiser
Flu Vaccines Please complete the e-consent form for your child’s flu vaccination at: www.surreyimmunisations.co.uk (your school’s unique code/URN number is SR143364 which you will need to enter on to the flu consent form)
Website Please check the website before contacting the school office if you think your query may be answered there. Thank you