Newsletter: 29th January 2021

Re-opening Update

As I’m sure you will have seen in the news, the earliest possible re-opening for school will now be Monday 8th March, meaning we have at least four more school weeks of Remote Learning to contend with. It’s also quite possible that even if schools begin to reopen in England from that date, it will be a phased return. This is a blow as I think we’d all hoped to be moving back towards something like “normal” after half term and I can only reiterate that we are here to support families who are struggling with the prospect of another period of learning at home – if there is anything we can do, please speak to your child’s teacher and we’ll do whatever we can. We know learning at home is far from ideal and that the novelty of it has well-and-truly worn off now but we are hopefully half way through and with only two weeks until half term, a break for all our children will be extremely welcome.

Teachers are already in the process of extending their planning and resources to cover at least those first two weeks after the half term break, and where packs are sent home, they will go beyond 8th March so we’re able to manage all eventualities. Please don’t assume that if work sent home covers the whole half term it indicates we’ve found out we won’t be reopening as hoped, it’s just that we are trying to cover all bases. We find out about school reopening plans through the same media channels as you, at the same time as you.

In the meantime, I just wanted to share with you that I have had lots of comments from teachers this week saying how impressed they are with their classes-at-home in particular. Not just in terms of the quality of work the children are producing, but also how well they have adapted to this way of working. Here is one very typical comment:

“Just wanted to tell you how well the children are doing with the live lessons, they are truly remarkable.  They are adapting to it so well and using the chat to write their answers instead of a white board like the children in class.  They are patient when the technology doesn’t go right and are brilliant at turning their microphones on and off to speak. “

Well done, everyone, and thank you for your continued support and encouragement, it is very, very much appreciated.

Climb The Tower Challenge

The Hartland Coast Mission Community, which is the group of C of E churches in our area, have organised a sponsored event this winter with 50% of the money reaised going to local schools. We are hoping lots of families will be taking part for the whole month of February.

I know some classes are planning on doing the challenge as a class project (whether in the class-at-home or the class-at-school) but in any case this seems like a great opportunity for you and your family to get active in these dark months and do something very different. Whether you choose to “climb” the 96 steps of All Hallows, Woolsery or your local church, please use the sponsorship form attached to this article or use the Woolsery Just giving Page so that 50% of your sponsorship comes back to our school funds and not to neighbouring schools. Thank you.

The Sponsor form, including Gift Aid declaration and Just Giving Page details, can be downloaded here: Sponsorship Form

Lateral Flow Testing for Staff

All staff here at school are now taking twice-weekly lateral flow tests for Covid-19 in line with the NHS/DfE programme launched on Monday. This will help in two ways- firstly, as test results have to be logged nationally every time they are taken, it helps analysts see the country-wide view of asymtomatic cases as they arise. Secondly, it will allow us to identify staff who may be asymtomatic but nevertheless able to spread Covid-19 in the very early stages of infection, thereby keeping your children and family safer.

There are currently no plans to introduce routine Covid testing of children in primary schools.

Just a few Home Corner photos today. Ashmansworthy are learning about The Home Front during the Second World War and have been trying out some authentic Ration Recipes… Josie has made shortbread and Hope has made biscuits, both with very limited ingredients:

Logan A has also sent in some beautiful photos of his Dragon work related to Burscott’s “East Meets West” project…

Please remember to send in any pictures for inclusion in this spot to Thank you.

Well done to everyone for keeping up the great effort with learning, wherever you are! Here are your teachers’ top picks for the week:

  • Cranford Class: Kaleb – amazing phonic work this week; Hugo – trying really hard with his handwriting
  • Burscott Class: Cadey – great use of adjectives in her writing about dragons; Arthur – using exciting vocabulary in his writing about dragons
  • Stroxworthy Class: Tegan – taking an active part in all live lessons and for always handwriting her work instead of typing it; Olivia – excellent understanding of division in her maths
  • Alminstone Class: Bluebelle – really getting the hang of alliteration this week; Bailey – great collaborative story ideas; Harley – engaging very well with remote learning this week
  • Ashmansworthy Class: Isaac – explaining how he carried out his parachute investigation and collecting his results using good scientific and mathematical knowledge; Evie – Making good progess in understanding percentages this week

Finally, please remember our Friday Assembly is open to the whole school. It is held on Google Meet at 2:50pm using the following code:

With best wishes

Matt Cole, Headteacher

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