Newsletter: 26th February 2021

Welcome Back… (almost)…!

We are absolutely delighted to be able to welcome the whole school back from Monday 8th March on the first step on the road to something like normality.

Before going through the arrangements which will apply from 8th March, I wanted to take some time to pay testament to extraordinary levels of support we’ve received from both you as parents/carers and also from the children who have almost all turned up day in, day out to engage with Remote Learning. None of us would have wanted Remote Learning to have been necessary but I am very proud that the school -in its widest sense, including children, staff and parents- has thoroughly risen to the challenge and have made the best of it that we could. and now we can hopefully look forward to much better times!

Drop off and pick up arrangements

We will revert to the same arrangements that were in place before Christmas at the beginning and end of the school day. That means Drop Off times will be as follows:

  • Preschool and Cranford Classes 8:45am
  • Burscott and Stroxworthy Classes 8:55am
  • Alminstone and Ashmansworthy Classes 9:05am

Pick up times will be:

  • Preschool and Cranford Classes 3:15pm
  • Burscott and Stroxworthy Classes 3:20pm
  • Alminstone and Ashmansworthy Classes 3:25pm

Drop off and Pick up locations will stay the same as now (Preschool,  Stroxworthy, Ashmansworthy from the Car Park Gate, the rest from the lower playground gate). Please remember that children must not turn up before their allocated time or they will compromise the integrity of the bubble entering the school before them.

If is vital that we all continue to do everything we can to prevent the disease spreading, so face masks will still be required for adults picking up and dropping off and everyone must stay 2m apart when waiting.

Changes to Playtimes

Our new guidance makes it possible to be a little more flexible with outdoor playtimes. I am therefore really pleased to say that two classes will be able to play together outside from 8th March. This means that children in Burscott and Stroxworthy Classes will enjoy playtimes together and Alminstone and Ashmansworthy Classes will enjoy playtimes together. All playtimes will be on the main playground (and field when dry enough!) and the school car park will revert to a parking area. I know many children yearn for a wider wocial mix out of class time and this is an important step forward, whcih we will keep under constant review. During wet playtimes, children will not be abe to play together inside beyond their class bubbles.


We will continue to offer the full published school meals menu for all children who want it.

After School Clubs

As part of our gradual reopening plans, we are confident that after school clubs will be able to make a return after the Easter Holidays but that will obviously require a further relaxation of bubbles so we will wait until nearer the time to be guided on that.

Masks in School

It remains the case that primary aged children may not wear face coverings in school. However, our new guidance has changed the approach with staff use of masks. From 8th March we will no longer be asking staff to wear visors when undertaking close work with children, but they may wear a cloth face covering if working within 2m of another adult indoors.  (We are choosing to retain the wearing of face coverings by parents, and visitors on site, because those groups fall outside of our protective measures and so need further mitigation of risk)

Bringing Things To School

The ban on children bringing non-essential items to school with them remains in place, so children may not bring own pencil cases etc in and reading books will continue to be quarantined for 72 hours before moving out of the class bubble. We continue to ask children to NOT bring PE kit to school, other than a change of footwear if they are doing PE on the school field.

Parents On Site

I’m afraid we still cannot allow parents on to the school site during the day, unless by previous appointment.

Trips and Visits

We anticipate the ban on trips and visits off site remaining in place until the Easter Holidays.

Future Closures

We are told that it is very unlikely that we will see a further mass shutdown of schools. However,please remember that if we have an outbreak in one of the class bubbles, we will have to send everyone home for 10 days straight away. It’s therefore very important that your emergency contact details are up to date at the school office. If you have a suspected case at home, you and your household MUST continue to abide by the regulations descrived on the Covid Resource Page of our Website. Chidlren must NOT be sent in to school if anyone at home is displaying the recognised Covid symptoms.

Road Closure

The road closure moves from the bottom of Old Market Drive to outside the Farmers Arms next week, for much of March. Please bear this in mind if you usually travel along the main street to get to school on Monday morning; you will still need to detour around Manor Park to reach us.

Miss Butler

Miss Butler is once again away from school on sick leave. I am very sad to tell you that after 14 years with us she has decided not to return to her teaching role at the school. This is not Covid related. Whilst we of course send our very best wishes to Miss Butler, I am am also mindful that Ashmansworthy Class have experienced several periods of instability which has been detrimental to the educational and social development of the class, both at home and in school. Therefore, from next Wednesday we welcome Mr Chris Wain to the school as Ashmansworthy Class’ new teacher. Mr Wain will be with the class until the end of the Summer Term. Mr Wain has previously been based in the Exeter area and comes highly recommended. As soon as I know more, I will let you know, but in the meantime children in Ashmansworthy Class should regard Mr Wain as their teacher from this point forward. I will continue to take the class until Mr Wain’s start date on Wednesday. We will arrange for a proper send-off for Miss Butler in due course.

MTA Vacancy

Mr Matti Pharaoh has told us that he is sadly leaving his role as a mealtime assistant. We are therefore looking for a new member of staff to join the mealtime assistant team. This will be for 6.25 hours per week (1.25 hrs per day, term time only). Please speak to Tina or Sue in the office for more details. Thanks.

Well done to everyone who has been awarded a Headteacher Award this week.

As I have been teaching in class all week, I have taken the liberty of choosing a few extra recipients in Ashmansworthy Class… I hope no-one minds!

Cranford Class: Florence – trying all the different live science experiments this week; Hugo – trying so hard with his writing this week

Burscott Class: Logan – improving his reading through Mrs Morrison’s guided reading;  Mia – working hard with her writing on her her return to school

Stroxworthy Class: Jack – Fantastic effort in all subjects.  He has used superb thought and control with his movements in REAL PE this week; Harry – Super effort with his contributions to class discussions in all subjects and an amazing design with his Roman mosaic

Alminstone Class: Arthur – great maths work this week; Sidney – settling in to class really well

Ashmansworthy Class: Chloe – excellent reasoning in work about “Rose Blanche”; Joe – superb perseverance in maths, with some pretty tricky content; Oliver – Amazing thoughfulness in work about Woolsery’s Evacuees; Arthur G – A super start to his time in the class

FOWS will be collecting for Bag 2 School again between 23rd and 25th March. Please keep this date in your diaries.

Last year’s July collection raised a great sum for our PTA and we hope you will be able to support it again! Thank you.

Just as a reminder,

They accept the following ‘good quality’ items for RE-USE*:

  • Men’s, Ladies’ and Children’s clothing
  • Paired shoes (tied together or elastic band around)
  • Handbags
  • Hats
  • Bags
  • Scarves and ties
  • Jewellery
  • Lingerie
  • Socks
  • Belts
  • Soft toys
  • Household linen
  • Household curtains
  • Household towels
  • Household bedding (bed sheets, pillow cases and duvet covers)

* Bag2School reserve the right to refuse any unsuitable items

We DO NOT accept:

  • Duvets and blankets
  • Pillows and cushions
  • Carpets, rugs and mats (including bath, shower and toilet mats)
  • Soiled, painted, ripped or wet clothing
  • School uniforms with and without logo
  • Corporate clothing and workwear
  • Textile off cuts, yarns or threaded material

Just three photos to share in this last week of “Home Corner”. I think the images speak for themselves! (Yes, that is Lola. Yes, that is Lola in the sea in February… #brave)

Whatever you’re doing this weekend, have a great time –


with best wishes


Matt Cole, Headteacher

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