2nd December 2020
To all our parents and carers
I hope you are all keeping well and coping through the current difficulties. Can I thank you for your overwhelming support during the various measures we have taken to try to keep everyone safe, not least closing the school for a week! I know this presents huge difficulties for many, but we have been touched by the messages of support we have received.
It has been good to welcome everybody back to school and thankfully we have had no further positive cases in school since. There do remain cases in other schools in our community and this has affected some staff who have needed to take time out to look after their young children, who are having to isolate for 2 weeks. Sheer shortage of staff has resulted in 2 classes having recent periods of partial closure. We will do our utmost to avoid this, but will always make our ability to ensure pupils are safe in school, our priority.
Christmas in school
As Christmas approaches, we are trying to make sure as many of our usual celebrations continue to take place (albeit differently) in order to ensure it remains a special time for the pupils. Activities will include:
10th Dec: A virtual schools Carol Service will be streamed to classes
11th Dec: Christmas Jumper Day – with a 2 minute video from each class being shown to all classes instead of our usual whole school assembly
16th Dec: Christmas dinner day – still in classrooms rather than all gathering as we would usually do
17th Dec: A virtual children’s musical “The Snow Queen” will be streamed to classes
18th Dec: Hopefully Santa will be able to visit by knocking on the external class doors and delivering presents, rather going into each class; and in the afternoon we are planning a TEAMS disco. Each class is choosing their favourite songs which are being put together for each class to play.
In short we can’t be in the same place to share in these activities this year, but we are aiming to share them at the same time, to give some sort of collective enjoyment of the celebrations. Can I say thank you to all the staff for their creativity and ingenuity in enabling Christmas to still happen for the pupils this year.
Christmas Cards (or presents)
We know that many parents and pupils like to bring in cards (and even gifts) for their friends and staff, often for some that are not in their class. We do not want to stop this entirely this year, but because of the risks of handling things from outside the school, we are putting in some limits.
• When cards come into school from home, they will be kept separately in class for the recommended 72 hours, before being given to pupils to bring home.
• In order to keep this simple, please only send in cards for your child’s class (staff and/or pupils). Everyone understands the position this year so please do not send cards for people outside your child’s class – eg the nurse, the office or indeed me (as much as these are appreciated in normal years).
Help at Christmas time
All recognise that Christmas brings financial and emotional pressures. This year these difficulties can be made worse with the pressures that Covid has brought. We have had information about help that may be of interest and support to some of you.
Norfolk Winter Support Offer: For many people this winter will be challenging for a variety of reasons, and there will be a lot of people who will need help with things like paying the bills and buying food, and many people who have never needed help before. Help is also available to those suffering hardship because they are having to self-isolate or support their child or vulnerable family members to self-isolate.
To make sure people can access help and support where they need it this winter, we have implemented the Norfolk Winter Support Offer. You can find information and application form links at:
www.norfolk.gov.uk/covidwintersupport (if you don’t get through on the first click, keep clicking on refresh the page)
Please let school know however, if you would like any support with applying. This support will be entirely confidential.
Free school Meals: As I’m sure you will have heard, over the 2 week Christmas period, those who are entitled to free school meal will receive supermarket vouchers (£15 per week). These are from a company called EDENRED who ran the scheme during the first lock-down and over the summer. Hopefully you will receive the vouchers via email around the 14th December.
If anyone thinks they may now be entitled to a free school meal for their child, please contact the school office. There are also links to applying for free school meals via the website above.
IT Equipment: Information about reconditioned IT equipment – Judy Ellis, our Business Manager, has emailed separately on this.
Home education Support during school closure
As I said above, we are constantly trying to keep school open for as many pupils as possible. However, if your child isn’t in school, we want to be able to help with suggested activities for them to do at home. During the week long total closure many people have let us know they appreciated the things that were sent out. Some have also reported that their child was extremely reluctant to any school things at home. Whatever the reason, we do understand that school activities may not be relevant in your circumstances. In order for us to only send things to people that are able to use it, please could you complete the short form at:
Covid Winter Support
Please let us know if you think there is anything further we can do to help you or your family.
Take care and stay safe
Pam Ashworth – Headteacher