St. Mary's Junior School Newsletters
Newsletter 2 Friday 17th September 2021
September always heralds a shift in the weather and this week was typical of the autumn term – warm sunny days, punctuated by torrential rain and mist. Thankfully most children were equipped to deal with the weather. Please remember, especially if you are arriving by car, that all children need a waterproof coat because they will be encouraged to play outside unless the rain is especialy heavy. As the great fell walker and outdoorsman Alfred Wainwright once said, there is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.
As we outlined in the first newsletter of the new year, our priority at school is to keep everybody safe and because of this many of the restrictions in our risk assessment from last year are still in place. We are in the process of reviewing the risk assessment regularly to repsond to the needs of the children.
A particular issue in the first two weeks has been the wearing of face coverings in school. Current government advice is that the wearing of face coverings is not encouraged as it can have a negative impact on children’s learning as it is perceived as a barrier to communication.
However, in school we believe that it is equally important that children feel safe at all times. An anxious child will not be learning. We have therefore instructed all staff that if children feel more comfortable wearing a face covering they are allowed to do so.
Another area of school life that we are changing slowly is the use of common areas in the school building. Assemblies are now taking place in the school hall – but with only one year group at a time, and the two classes separated – and children are now eating in the school hall at lunchtime, separated out into class groups. The second of these is a big benefit for the children, as they are not eating at the same desk that they are working at for the rest of the day.
Winter Vomitting Disease (WVD / Norovirus)
It is important after the focus on Coronavirus that we do not lose sight of other transmissable infections that can have a negative effect on our children’s education. Norovirus is expected to be presenting in schools this winter. Please remember our protocol, as advised by NHS England: if your child vomits for any reason, we request that they remain at home for 48 hours after the last incidence. This is to protect children and staff from infection.
Year 6 transition to Secondary School
Many thanks to the parents of Year 6 children who came into school on Tuesday afternoon to collect information about the transition to Secondary School. For those unable to attend, the information is available from the school office.
If your child has to visit a Secondary School in school hours for an Open Day, please let us know if they will be late to school or missing a session.
After School Homework Club
Bookings have opened for parents who wish to secure a place in Homework Club for their children. Please remember that the fee is now £6 per session and that sessions must be booked in advance – booking for the following week closes on the preceding Friday.
As we still have some restrictions owing to covid-19, it is really important that we know in advance numbers of children who would be attending. If you have to cancel a booking, please let the office know in writing before 9am on the day.
After School Swimming
Miss Aherne has contacted children who are invited to take part in squad swimming sessions for competition training. These sessions will run from now until December. From January 2022, there will be the opportunity for less confident swimmers to take part in after school sessions.
Year 6 Residential Visit – July 2022
Lots of families have already committed to the residential visit this year. If you would like to learn more, please follow the link to look at the website:
Peripatetic Music Lessons
Lessons from Mrs Watkins began today. Lessons from Mrs Murphy will begin on Thursday 23rd September. If your child was taking lessons last year, please contact your teacher to confirm timings.
The achievement certificates this week are awarded to Annalisa in 3A, Matthew in 3E, Harriet in 4D, Jack in 4T, Safiyya in 5B, Ayaamenoipo in 5C, Lord in 6G and Ewaan in 6P. The swimmer of the week is Chika-Achi in 3E and the kindness award goes to Aditya in 5C. The headteachers’ award goes to Trae in 6P .
Have a pleasant weekend
Head of School
Coronavirus – Advice for parents and families
If your child shows symptoms of coronavirus, arrange for a PCR test and take the test as soon as possible.
Your child must remain isolated at home until the result of the PCR test is returned. If this test is positive, your child must isolate for ten days. If the result is negative, your child may return to school. You must bring the result of the PCR test to school.
The school has a risk assessment in place that lists the control measures that are in place on site to protect children, parents and members of staff.
Parents are encouraged to communicate with the school office firstly by phone or email, and after in person if required.
Parents are still advised to wear face coverings when on site as there is a significant flow of other people nearby in many areas. Children are told in school that they may wear face coverings at any time if it makes them feel comfortable.