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Headteacher update 8th October 2020

Attendance last week

Overall = 96.4% (one class had 100% and 4 classes were 96% or above). 

Be prepared

Yesterday I was in a virtual meeting with headteachers from all over the West Midlands and people were updating on their local situations, we are fortunate to live in such a rural county as Birmingham has 13,000 children isolating at home at the moment !


Statistically we will have cases with either staff, parents or children at some point and we need to make sure we don't panic, we have and follow the correct procedures and we all apply 'common sense.' School has nothing to hide and will communicate with you when we have the correct information, are advised on the correct procedures and we can be clear on what is expected. We will then communicate home learning and expectations etc. 


We have already started our home learning commitment for some families who are isolating. As I have stated before it will not be 'live' lessons or a camera in the classroom but we do expect children to follow the same work as in school remembering that it will be more intense and you will probably get through it quicker than in school. Home learning has to be manageable for school if a class is still operating but we will do our best.                           

Don't take anything for granted

- Please ensure you social distance when collecting/dropping off.

- Leave the area around school as quickly as possible. 

- Keep school up to date with any information (if your child is given Calpol we need to know).

- Do not send your child to school if they have a high temperature, continuous cough and/or a loss of taste/smell. 


Communication is key ! 


Independence challenge (all children)

- Carry your own bag in and out of school (most children do).

- Be able to organise your own clothes/kit in school. Be responsible for your own belongings. 

- Eat with a knife and fork (some children are still learning to do that and we have some special cutlery for Year R and 1). 

- Sit at a table properly to eat - face the right way, use an indoor voice to talk to the people around you and only talk when your mouth is empty of food. 

All of the above are very small but very important parts of a bigger picture. 


Contacting parents/carers 

- Teachers have now contacted most parents/carers for a 'catch up' about the first few weeks. There are still a few parents that teachers have left messages for and have tried to contact a number of times, there may be a variety of reasons with work patterns/school times etc but it is now the responsibility of the parent to contact us to discuss their child please


Food in school

As you may or may not know the government provides free fruit for children in Years R,1 and 2 only. There was talk of the scheme ending and it was suspended during lockdown but restarted a few weeks ago.

Madley Primary School has always had an expectation that parents provide a healthy snack (NOT Dairylea Dunkers, Pepparami, chocolate bars etc) for breaktimes or children from the relevant year groups can access the free fruit. The contents of your child's lunchbox are your responsibility and we do not dictate what is in there (except NO SWEETS). Over recent years water bottles are being filled with a variety of juice etc which is harder for the body to absorb (water is always better) and some lunchboxes are containing more processed food. Some children do have specific dietary requirements and may have slightly different food (but this would have been communicated with school by parents/carers).


We are a very strict nut free school as we do have children with significant allergies. 


Everybody likes the odd treat (personal favourite is a Dairylea Dunker occasionally) but food/drink has an significant impact on learning, both good and bad. 


In the past we have run workshops for parents/carers on food content but this is something for the future. It is not our job to tell you what to feed your children but there is a need to raise awareness and think carefully about what your child eats and drinks. 


Our amazing PTA

Over the years the PTA at Madley Primary has had a significant impact on benefitting all of the children, they purchased two of the mini-buses, bought waterproofs for every child, bought the forest school welfare unit, contributed to the library and funded the 40 reads scheme as well as many, many other things. Alongside that we have a number of parents/carers who have contributed time or money (a very generous parent funds all of the mini-bus repairs) without reward or wanting their name associated with it. What a lucky school we are ! 


The PTA would normally run a few discos this term (they raise about £500 a disco), have a Christmas Fayre (raises about £1500) and run other events to generate funding, none of these events will be happening for a while and the only source of funding at the moment is the clothes bank (which was emptied again this morning and gives an average of about £50 a visit).


The PTA are thinking about other ways to generate some much needed funds and their ideas will be published soon. 


Community garden project (Comet's Meadow)

The school has rented (for a very small amount) Comet's Meadow from the Madley Charity. Our aim before lockdown was to start to develop it but that was put on hold (it was going to be Year 6s Legacy for last year). Recently we took the current Year 6 to visit a community garden project in Ross (as part of their business and enterprise theme) and it exemplified our long term aim for the meadow. We want to develop a community growing space for families who can work and grow food together (spare food being gifted to the food bank in the church). We also plan to have some animals (sheep will be going on the land at the far end soon). Madley Charities have kindly funded a mains water source to the field. 


I have attached some photos of the project we visited as it typifies our own ambitions, the project in question has taken 7 years to reach it's current state so it is a long term plan and ambition that fits with our curriculum, eco thinking and values. Does anyone know anyone who could assist us with polytunnels, sleepers or other relevant materials. When we can we will have our normal working parties up and running again. 


Forest School

The children have been developing areas at forest school as we believe that they need to have 'ownership' of some of the spaces and to develop them, in our experience they then take more responsibility as there is a better connection. We have a volunteer who will help to put up the huge parachute that we have for shelter from the wind and rain. We are really fortunate to have such an amazing, private space to use. 




We do not use Facebook, Instagram or other social media platforms. 


Have a good rest of the week.

Kind regards

Mr Batstone