Good morning everyone,
The first full week has gone smoothly and everything is settling back into place (it always takes a few weeks for things to 'settle' and 'bed in' properly). The following contains a few important messages for all and some important reminders.
Lateness - our gates close at 9am sharp and we expect children to be in school then (one off incidents are perfectly reasonable the car or traffic is bad etc). We record repeated incidents as a safeguarding concern and will contact you to discuss it if it occurs several times.
98% of our parents/carers do the 'right thing' with awareness and care for others and consideration for the community our school is in and other people. We want 100% so could everyone do the following please and to respect the fact we are a values based school:
- park with care and consideration for other road users and residents. Everyone is 'busy' and it isn't a reasonable excuse.
- do not park/drop off outside or in the road (2 near misses yesterday).
- respect the request not to drop off in the road, use the bus bay to turn or park (unless you are a Blue Badge holder and have discussed it with us). If the cones outside the Year 5/6 entrance/exit are not there (they should be there everyday as a protection zone for pedestrians). This is about shared responsibility for the care and safety of children and adults.
Park and stride is 'up and running' with our amazing VOLUNTEERS in order to make parking etc a bit easier. there were 20 children (about 10% of the school) this morning and we want more ! I put the information on a previous Parentmail update.
Every class has the opportunity to do forest school every week either on-site or at our forest school site. The aim is always to use our amazing forest school site but that involves mini-bus drivers and the logistics of getting there. Sometimes it isn't possible (as I do lots of the sessions and have a school to run as well) and classes may have to stay on our school site, this can happen at short notice (not many schools have a small copse on their school field so the children are extremely fortunate and we have 14 trained Level 3 leaders). Packed lunches for some classes on forest school days means that we get more time at the site.
The correct clothing is really important and every child needs their wellies in school everyday.
Year 6 have set the values for the year and these are shared across the school, on newsletters and updates. Values are not just for school and our part of the wider community, and hopefully, home as well.
Values stickers are given to children by staff in recognition of values that go 'above and beyond' normal, expected behaviour and are for all to see and celebrate.
Children have had a very disrupted 18 months and there is still disruption and on-going restrictions/masks etc in the wider world. Behaviour at school is generally good and serious incidents are extremely rare (there has only been one physical 'fight' in 17 years and that was 15 years ago !) because we expect children to play properly, respect others and to be physical but not with each other.
There is still some work to do with concentration and 'school behaviour' expectations as we get used to things again but nothing too major. Generally our children are always complimented for their manners, attitudes, behaviours and awareness both by visitors to school and when we go 'out and about.' The Drama Geezers (who worked with all classes this week) loved our school.
Staff welfare -
I am sure you don't assume that teachers have 6 weeks off in the holidays because they don't ! They have worked in the holidays to set classrooms ready, organise resources and organise the curriculum. A big 'thank you' to all of them (and other staff who voluntarily came in).
The past 18 months have put a big strain on all staff and they have all worked tirelessly, without complaint and as a team to keep everyone safe, learning and with a sense of 'normality' but they are exposed to lots of children and families on a daily basis and they trust that you are keeping us safe.
Prior to the summer holidays lots of staff did the 'day job' teaching your children then did the rest of their work in the evening, but this isn't sustainable and we need to balance our lives for our families and our own health. Staff at Madley are committed and always want the best for the children in their care but we will be putting things in place to achieve a greater balance.
Children are only allowed one set of small stud earrings. They should be able to remove them or you provide micro tape to cover them for PE.
Children are allowed one charity wrist band.
They can wear a watch if you choose (but if it is lost or broken it is not the school's responsibility).
No other jewellery should be worn.
Covid and on-going information
Covid has not disappeared and this is the most challenging time for us a school since the pandemic began. Guidance around isolation, infection protocols etc have changed and more trust is placed on parents/carers to be honest with us.
'Bubbles' - these do not exist anymore and we are mixing up at break and lunchtime. We have kept separate toilets for year groups. In the event of a positive case the individual is tested and at home for 10 days from the start of symptoms. Only when a significant number of children in a class have Covid will Public Health consider sending a bubble home to isolate.
We have and will maintain hand washing, cleaning and temperature tests for children and adults within school.
Covid procedures have changed some things for the better e.g PE kit days, entrance and exit from school, flexibility with breaktimes etc.
Thank you for the positive return to school. Please respect personal space for others, mask wearing and awareness as not everyone is comfortable around other people. We will keep you updated as this half term progresses and we will take a slow, steady approach to everything we do.