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Headteacher update 16th November

Hello all,


Hope you had a calm and peaceful weekend. We have some great news at the end of last week as we achieved our 6th Eco Schools Green Flag award (one of only 150 in the country for all schools) and demonstrating a 12 year commitment. Now for the 7th in two years time !


School is a safe place to be but we need to be aware that cases in Herefordshire are rising, many schools are now experiencing cases. It takes a great deal of effort, awareness and teamwork to keep our school operating, it is not normal and has a great impact on all of the staff involved but it is our job and we are fully commited to make the best of every situation. 


Apologies for any typos or glitches in this communication but my laptop is having it's screen repaired and I am completing this on a very temperamental tablet !!! 


1. Procedures around school - keep up the good work and awareness. I know I keep saying it but we will have a case one day and we need to be prepared. In school we are trying to keep things as normal as possible but we are in our class bubbles, staff don't see each other much and they have next to no break during the day (they are working really hard and trying to make learning as much fun as possible whilst having lots happening in their own lives). I want to say a massive 'thank you' to them for their hard work and dedication.


A special mention to our cleaners who work late in the evening and Sunday mornings to keep us all safe.


From this week there won't be any meetings involving parents/carers on school grounds, we will only communicate via telephone or online (if appropriate). No parents/carers are allowed on school grounds (except for our normal drop off and collection procedures) until further notice. 


'Everything is an opportunity' and there are new opportunities -

- We have virtual assemblies with our new webcams so we can see each other better (opportunities for classes to work together virtually as well).

- We have more outdoor learning and forest school opportunities. 

- We have new opportunities at break/lunchtime with new equipment and things to play with. 

- We are using every space in school.

- We use the field all of the time ! We all have wellies in school. 

In the event of a case :

- we would take advice and guidance from Public Health England and the Local Authority.

- in our school it is likely to be a whole class that goes home and all of the associated adults as we do not have defined seats all day and the children move around.

- we operate a breakfast club and after school childcare provision (many schools don't but we see it as vital to parents who work) and this may have an impact as well. Many schools have also cut back the school day and finish earlier but we have no plans to do that. 


Factors that influence positively  - our school is well ventilated. We keep windows open when children travel on a mini bus. We keep Year groups seperate and they do not mix. We are very aware of social distancing. We clean regularly and children wash their hands before touching anything in school.


Attached is a reminder 'flow chart' from Herefordshire Council.


2. Awareness (but not a sympathy request !!)

All staff are engaged in teaching most of the time and cannot respond to parental communication as they would normally. That includes myself and my timetable for a  week is :


Monday = Year 2 all day/Tuesday = Year 5 from 12 noon/Wednesday = Year 3 from 12 noon/Year 1 pm/Year 4 all day.


But this also includes any 'extra sessions' like Year 6 this week on Tuesday morning. Non contact times are spent making sure the school is safe, behaviour is excellent and learning is still happening properly as well as safeguarding/health and safety duties and planning for the future. We all have our own families and mental health to look after as well. The purpose of raising this is to make people aware that I (or teachers) cannot respond to e-mails/telephone calls in the normal way and it may take a bit longer ! 

'It is what it is' and we will do our best to make everything work smoothly and safely for all children. We do not want to use supply teachers and only have limited number of external adults in school during the week. 



Last week all of the classes experienced an age appropriate film about safety and well being. The NSPCC is an incredibly important charity and we support them every two years by raising some money. This week at forest school we will be walking our forest school loop walk a few times in exchange for a donation (you choose how much). The timetable for forest school clothes is below:


Monday = Year 2 am/Year R pm

Tuesday = Year 6 am/Year 5 pm

Wednesday = Year 3 pm

Thursday = Year 1 pm

Friday = Year 4


4. Attached are some photos of our amazing forest school site which every year group has, or will, experience. Year 6 went last week and did some writing in the dark after school. Year 1 will start on Thursday afternoon this week. The photos show you some ideas of using sticks to create depth and texture using sticks to represent the woodland. We are so lucky and it is a peaceful, calm and inspiring place to be, impacting positively on all of us (regardless of the weather). The site we use belongs to The Duchy Of Cornwall (Prince Charles, who has visited) and is a private site for our exclusive schoool use on a yearly agreement (we are in our 10th year now). 


5. '3 stars and a wish' reports will come out this weekend are addressed to you (children should not open them) then teachers will begin the phone calls, these will take about three weeks (we will ring and leave a message and try parents/carers 3 times before it becomes your responsibility to contact us). Each call will be a 10 minute slot. 


6. Attached is a picture of the Reception/Year 1 outdoor classroom  which now has an astro carpet flooring. Year R and  use this space separately at different times of the day with cleaning in between. 


We look forward to another safe, aware and exciting week. Thank you for your support.


Best wishes

Mr Batstone