Dear Parents and Carers,
Who would have thought than when I wrote my last blog that just a couple of hours later we would be crowned GOLD MEDAL WINNERS of the first Cornwall Virtual Games??
I cannot tell you how pleased and how proud I was to read that we had won against every other primary school in the Duchy. The best thing about it was that, as well as every teacher and pupil in school taking part, hundreds of entries came in from home as well. This really did make the difference and we are so, so pleased that so many of you sent in entries. Thank you very much.
We welcomed back lots of additional Nursery children this week, and many Year 5s. Almost the entire year group in fact, which was very exciting…and lovely to see! The Nursery children came in with big smiles and bright enthusiasm, as did the new Year 5s, and those Year 5s who were already in school were delighted to see their friends.
We are very aware that some children have not yet been back to school though, and as I have mentioned before, we have worked really hard to try and see as many of you as we can before the 21 July. To this end, we have already invited the Year 2 pupils in after school on two days (outside only) to meet their new teachers and spend some socially distanced time with each other. We will very shortly be inviting in all of the Year 3s and Year 4s for a socially distanced morning of activities with their current teachers (Year 3 on one day, and Year 4 on another). They will also be meeting their new teachers and having a ‘very spread out’ picnic together. Year 6 are also planning an activity day on the last Monday of Term, where all Year 6s who have not yet come in, can come back and see their friends and teachers before the Summer Holiday.
We also sent an email home yesterday to all parents explaining a really exciting project that is happening in Wadebridge. The email explains it all in better detail but, in a nutshell, ‘Concern Wadebridge’ are making a book about the positive side of the last few months in lockdown and want to hear from us about all of the lovely things that we might have drawn, painted, written, photographed, explored and shared with each other during this time. Please do not worry if you do not feel that you have anything that you want to contribute, as we completely understand that, for some people, this has been an incredibly challenging time.
We sent an email this morning about BridgeKids not being open over the Summer Holiday. We are very sorry about this, but it is just not logistically possible. We have exhausted every single option. However, as we have been lucky enough to have received some guidance from the Government yesterday on the National Plan for opening up the school to ALL pupils from September, we are hoping to be able to offer a more wraparound care provision from that point. We will be in touch as soon as we know what this might look like.
Whilst we are thinking about the holiday, which is approaching far faster than we would like, please do remember that we now close our doors for the Summer on Tuesday 21 July at the end of the school day (normal times, not early).
We open again to pupils on Monday 7 September 2020. All staff are in school on Thursday 3 September and Friday 4 September in order to get the school ready for our planned September return to all pupils, but please do not come to school until Monday 7 September.
Despite the suddenly inclement weather (is it just me, or is this Friday thing?), I hope that you have a fantastic weekend and look forward to seeing lots of you next week.
PS GOLD MEDAL WINNERS! Whoop!
This has been the most entertaining week! I have loved seeing so many Cornwall Virtual Games pictures and videos on the school Facebook page – from teachers in school to all pupils and families outside of school – and it is clear that we have, as a school, done so much! I heard from Mr O’Dwyer just before the end of the day today that we had even won some medals for some of the events – wow! Good work to you all! A full round up will be sent next week when all of the results are in. There will also be a collage of pictures from the week that will be on the website too – keep your eyes peeled as you may see some familiar faces (or not, depending if they are in costume…!).
I have to say, my favourite moment was when I saw Mrs Berridge this morning in a reindeer outfit. I won’t lie; it was a tad snug, the legs were mid-calf and the head didn’t *really* fit on Mrs Berridge’s Head, but, she did inform me that it was actually a costume for a 6 year old (!!), so the very fact that she could get it on, I thought, deserved recognition. Go, Mrs Berridge! The many other staff members that went the extra mile today were also fantastic to see and reminded me again of how lucky we are to have such a wonderful staff.
If you are not in school, remember; your teachers still want to hear from you, as whilst all that can be are in school now and teaching in a bubble, they are devoted to their pre-covid classes and are so keen to keep in touch.
You will have read from Mr Massey’s letter of yesterday that some Bridge schools are hoping to welcome back the Year 5 pupils on a part-time basis. We are hoping to be one of those schools and all year 5 parents have been contacted to ask for their thoughts on this. This makes us even tighter for space and staff, so we now know that we will not be able to welcome back any of Years 2, 3 and 4 who are not already in for any great length of time this term. However, we are still working on the possibility of some face to face time with those year groups before the end of term, which you will have read is now Tuesday 21 July.
As soon as we can let you know, we will, but in the meantime, please do get in touch with any questions, queries, worries or thoughts on the home learning, the contact that we are having with you, or the new school year, as we will be more than happy to help.
We hope that you have a lovely weekend,
Happy Friday! We made it…
Today we have 76 children in school – all ensconced in Bubbles of 15 or fewer pupils and all taught by 2 adults. We have been incredibly impressed by the behaviour and attitude of all pupils this week; both those whom have been a part of our Educare provision since before Half Term and who have come back and those pupils who came back for the first time since March this week. Pupil levels of respect for themselves, their peers and their teachers has been really heart-warming and reassuring and I know that I speak for every member of staff when I say that we have had a lovely week.
We are very much looking forward to welcoming back a good number of Year 1 pupils on Monday. We can assure you that the same levels of planning have taken place and exactly the same rules that are in place for Year 6s and the Educare bubbles, are in place for Year 1. We have never used so much soap, but given the very carefully completed cleaning logs for each Bubble, this is not a surprise. My current favourite is the strawberry scented anti-bacterial soap that they are using in Educare Bubble 2; it’s lovely!
Next week we are moving on to planning the possible and hopeful return of those Reception pupils who would like to come back to school perhaps during the week of 15 June; thank you very much to all those parents who have let us know if you hope for your child to return (or not).
We hope that you have managed to read the letter sent to all parents and carers yesterday from Mr Massey stating not only that Year 1s were definitely going to be welcomed back but also that the school is closing after lunch on Friday afternoons from next Friday 12th June for a weekly deep clean. An email will go home to every parent or carer who has a child in school next week at the beginning of next week stating the pick-up time as they are, of course, not all the same. At the moment, we are sorry, but we are unable to look after ANY child on a Friday afternoon.
We hope that you are continuing to enjoy the Home Learning (apologies if ‘enjoy’ is too strong a word) and please do keep sending us in all of your wonderful work, pictures and photos. Most teachers are now back in school and teaching in a Bubble however, so please be aware that whilst your child’s Class Teachers are trying to contact you all regularly, it could be that a different teacher tries to get in touch with you. Class teachers will of course still respond to any emails and will be delighted to hear from you, but it may not be quite as rapid as it was before Half Term.
We have a fabulous new Reading Scheme to tell you about. Mrs Towe, our wonderful English lead says the following:
We are very happy to announce the launch of free access to e-books and audio books from Cornwall Library Service and Education Library Service from Friday, 5th June for the Summer Challenge 2020. With the disruption caused by COVID-19 and the impact of social distancing on schools and public libraries, the 2020 Challenge will launch as a digital activity to keep children reading over the summer and support parents and carers with children already at home. The Challenge will run from June to September, launching on Friday 5 June 2020.The digital Challenge will be free to access, featuring games, quizzes and digital and downloadable activities to incentivise and encourage children and their families to take part in reading related activities at home.
Cornwall Library buildings are currently closed and, although they are looking at ways to safely reopen, library borrowing will not return to normal in the near future. So - to help give children free access to reading material, Cornwall Library Service in association with the Education Library Service would like to offer all primary school children a digital library card. This will enable them to access an exclusive junior version of Borrowbox, Cornwall Libraries e-book and e-audiobook platform which contains thousands of titles to read or listen-to including many of the newest bestsellers. The platform can also be accessed through school technology if students do not have devices at home. This digital card can, if desired, be upgraded to a full library card when our libraries re-open again – just visit your local branch. Cornwall Library Service have provided each child in the school with an electronic library card number. This will allow them free access to the e-books and e-audiobooks through the Borrowbox library app. There are no overdue charges, no loan charges, it is completely free! If your child already has a Cornwall Library Card, they can of course use this. However, you may prefer to use this new membership number when using Borrowbox as it will only contain children’s books.
You will soon receive a letter from the school with details of your child’s personal library card number and they can then start reading straight away!
Thank you so much for all of your support and understanding at this time. You all continue to be brilliant and we really appreciate it. THANK YOU.
Take good care and I hope that you have a wonderful weekend.
I hope that you are all managing to read all of the documents that we are sending through and are enjoying your children’s reports.
I was really quite emotional when reading them through as there is SO much talent here at WPA and we miss you all so much. When it is safe and we are able, we cannot wait to see you again.
I especially felt for the Year 6 Pupils, who have of course not been able to take their SATs that they worked SO hard for, or go to London or stay here in school and enjoy all of the wonderful activities that were planned, and whose last half term ever at Primary School, whilst possible, is not yet certain. We will know by next Thursday evening (28 May) and we will write to you to either confirm the already set plans (to come back on Tuesday 2nd June for those that can or need to) or to let you know what the new plan is, dependent on the government announcement.
As per my blog earlier this week, please remember that we are not open over Half Term OR Monday 1st June.
Please note too that whilst we have loved being in touch with you all, I have specifically asked teachers to have a break from school over the Half Term. This means that if you write them an email after school end time today, they are most likely to not reply until we get to school on Monday 1st June.
A reminder too that there will be NO WORK SET over the Half Term or on Monday 1st June. Please have a break if you can. Paper work packs for those who have asked for them will be ready for collection on Monday 1st June (usual place) and all home learning tasks will be on the class pages on the website from Tuesday 2nd June in the morning.
Whatever the government announcement is at the end of next week, the school WILL BE OPEN TO CHILDREN OF KEY WORKER PARENTS AND VULNERABLE PUPILS from Tuesday 2nd June.
Thank you very much to all who have managed to read the letter that was sent out yesterday; please remember that you are most welcome to contact your child’s teacher/s or me if you have any questions.
PARKING IN SCHOOL
I wrote in my letter yesterday to please use the car park at the Comp rather than park on site if you were wanting to drop your child at the gates in person. There is no parking available at school from 2nd June. If you do need to park at the Comp, please use ONLY the car park nearest to the school on the right-hand side as you drive down the road towards us; all other parking will be needed at the Comp I am afraid. Thank you. You are of course still welcome to walk to school, cycle to school (cycles will be stored during the day in the normal place) or use the drop off lane outside the Nursery area at school.
PICK UP and DROP OFF if you are coming back to school
Please, please adhere to the timings for your ‘bubble’ that we will send out to you in advance of 2nd June (vulnerable and key worker children to be dropped off and picked up as of now). Whilst we will have signs in place and we have done everything we can to safeguard you all in terms of social distancing on school grounds but not inside the buildings, this will only work if we all follow what is asked of us. One parent only to accompany a child at any time please. ?
I will be in touch after the government announcement at the end of next week and then again very soon after we return on Monday 1st June with more details for Year 1s and beyond.
Thank you so much for all of your support and understanding at this time – it is such an unknown but you have all been brilliant and we really appreciate it. THANK YOU.
Take good care and I hope that you have a wonderful long weekend and Half Term week.
Dear Parents and Carers
I am now in a position to give you more details about our plans for potentially opening the school for Year 6 pupils during the week beginning 1st June. I must apologise for the length of this letter, but there is a great deal of information for me to share with you and I urge you to read it very carefully.
HALF TERM HOLIDAY
School will be closed to all pupils during the week of 25th May (next week). The school needs to be deep cleaned and made ready for opening on Tuesday 2nd June. There will be NO Home Learning set for this week (or for Monday 1st June as we are preparing for our phased re-opening). Please have a break, if you can. Sunny weather is predicted!
REOPENING THE SCHOOL FOR KEY WORKER & VULNERABLE CHILDREN
We will be continuing to provide Educare places for vulnerable pupils and key worker children from 2nd June. We are still only able to provide care between the hours of 8.15am and 3pm, but we will be constantly reviewing the situation and if anything changes, we will update you. If you have not been accessing this care and would ideally like to start after Half Term, it is imperative please that you contact the school office to let them know as soon as possible. We will need to know which days of the week you will need each week (unless this will not change). Please do not turn up to school without notice as we need to ensure that our staffing levels are correct.
All pupils accessing Key Worker and Vulnerable Children Educare are asked to bring in a packed lunch. There is no option for a school meal at the moment.
If the government continues with its current forecast, Year 6 will not be able to access Educare. They will be going back into a Year 6 setting. However, if this changes, then of course we will welcome any Year 6 children who need it into the Educare provision.
Home learning will continue to be set for ALL Year Groups who are not in school and for those Year 6 pupils who are not coming back to school at the moment. Access to this learning has not changed and will continue to be set on the class pages of the school website. Teachers will continue to contact you and are happy for you to contact them too.
We will contact parents of Year 1 – the next Year Group to hopefully return to school - in the first few days back after Half Term. Their return – with staggered starts and ends to the day, and similar social distancing – will look much like the below, taking into account their age.
HOW THE SCHOOL WILL MANAGE SOCIAL DISTANCING
Our school will look different when we return. Staff will, of course, be as welcoming and as friendly as they normally are, but we won’t be able to return to a normal school day. As the Government have advised, it is impossible for us to maintain the 2m apart recommendation at all times in school, but we are doing everything we can to ensure that we are keeping pupils and staff as safe as possible. Actions we have taken will include (and these will constantly be under review to ensure that we are keeping everyone as safe as is possible):
• Limiting class sizes. There will be up to 4 groups of Year 6 children. There will be no more than 15 pupils to one Class ‘Bubble’. During the day, pupils will stay in these same bubbles and will NOT mix with other bubble groups.
• Pupils not mixing with other groups outside of their bubbles. Each bubble of pupils will have their own breaktimes and lunchtime and they will arrive and be collected at a different time from the other bubbles.
• Limiting movement around school. Bubbles will remain in one classroom and they will use the nearest toilets to that room only (one bubble will not share toilets with any other bubble), when inside in school. Pupils must stay in their bubble groups when they are outside. Pupils will use the same desks and same chairs during the day.
• Limiting what can be brought from home. Pupils MUST bring a water bottle with them as we will not be using the water fountains. Pupils must not bring a school bag with them to school. They can bring a packed lunch with them, a sunhat (sun cream to be applied at home before school please) and any personal hygiene items (these can be in a small bag). NO PENCIL CASES PLEASE.
• Staggered drop offs and collections. Each bubble must be dropped off and picked up at different times. No parents will be allowed inside the school at any time.
• NO PARKING on school grounds. We cannot use the normal staff car park, as those pupils in Educare need to use that space as their playground, so the school staff will be using the parking spaces at the front of the school. Please park at the secondary school and walk your children down to school (they can of course still walk to school on their own if you are happy for them to) or please use the drop off lane, where members of staff will be ready to ensure that pupils get out of the car safely. There will be lines marked on the ground (much like at the supermarket) and we ask you please to wait behind each of these lines if there is a queue.
• Packed lunches only. We are unable, at the moment, to serve hot meals for lunch. We are able to provide a packed lunch if you do not want to send your child in with a packed lunch. If your child is entitled to free school meals, we can of course provide them with a packed lunch, but you will no longer be entitled to the Government-run Edenred FSM Voucher Scheme. At the moment, pupils who are entitled to free school meals able to continue to claim for the vouchers IF they send their child/children in with a packed lunch.
• Enhanced Cleaning. The school will be deep cleaned over the Half Term. When we return, classrooms and toilets will be cleaned regularly during the day as well as at the beginning and the end of the day. Touch points, door handles (though doors will, where possible be kept open), desks, chairs, light switches, toilets and sinks will be given particular attention.
• Adopting excellent respiratory hygiene and regular handwashing. There will be a huge focus on handwashing – both adults and children. We will be adopting ‘Catch it, bin it, kill it’ in each classroom. There will be a plentiful supply of tissues, hand wash, paper towels for drying hands, surface cleaner and cloths for every bubble.
• Pupils will be provided with their own equipment and stationery for their use only. No pencil cases to be brought in please.
RETURN TO SCHOOL FOR YEAR 6s
• School staff will return to school on Monday 1st June to prepare our classrooms for our new approach to learning. We will be welcoming Year 6s back from Tuesday 2nd June. Whilst we are not yet entirely sure how many Year 6s plan to come back to school on Tuesday 2nd June, we have imagined a scenario where more than 45 do. This will entail a staggered drop off and collection. Details of how this will look are further down this letter.
• You will be informed of which bubble your child will be in as soon as we know how many pupils we are expecting back.
• The Year 6 teachers will allocate the bubbles and as much as possible, will put friendship groups together. If there is anyone in particular that you would like for your child to be with, please email your child’s class teacher.
• Pupils will be in a bubble with at least one member of staff well known to them. We are hoping for 2 adults per class bubble, with at least one of these being a Year 6 Teacher or TA (Mr Smith, Mrs Callister, Mrs Wilton and Ms Harris will all be in school and will be with Year 6).
• Pupils will be based in the year 6 and other KS2 classrooms.
• Break times (there are two breaks per bubble group planned for the morning) and lunchtimes will take place entirely as a bubble. There will be no mixing with other bubbles. All lunches will be eaten in the classroom and playtimes/lunch play will be outside in a set play area. Each play area will be used by Year 6 pupils only (there will be no mixing with the Educare pupils). Year 6 pupils will help to decide how break times will best work during their first morning back.
• Learning will not look exactly the same as it did before lockdown. We will do our best, however, to provide a fulfilling and fun environment that will both develop children’s learning whilst also focusing on their wellbeing. Written marking is unlikely to happen in the first instance, but any feedback will be given to your children verbally and in the moment. We have been giving verbal feedback to all pupils attending our Educare provision and this is working well.
Drop off and pick up:
? We will inform you of which bubble your child is in as soon as we have definite numbers
? ALL Year 6s to be dropped off and picked up at the Year 3/KS2 gate
? Pupils to arrive during their drop off bubble time only
? Pupils will be dismissed at the end of the day as a bubble – we ask you please to line up for pick up in the same way as drop off.
? We request that only 1 adult comes to drop off/pick up please, to limit the amount of people at any time on the school grounds
? Pupils can walk to school (I realise that this may not happen on the first day) if you are happy for them to
? NO PARKING on school grounds. Please part either at the Comp and walk down with your child, or use the drop off lane outside the Nursery
? There will be many staff on hand to help bring pupils into school, either at the gate or on the way to the Year 6 classrooms, or out in the car park area
DROP OFF IN THE MORNING WILL LOOK LIKE THIS
Arrival of class 1 (6Ba): 0825 – 0835
Arrival of class 2 (6Wa): 0835 – 0845
Arrival of class 3 (6Bb or 6BWb): 0845 – 0855
Arrival of class 4 (6Wb): 0855 – 0905
PICK UP IN THE AFTERNOON
Pick up of class 1 (6Ba): 1425 – 1435
Pick up of class 2 (6Wa): 1435 – 1445
Pick up of class 3 (6Bb or 6BWb): 1445 – 1455
Pick up of class 4 (6Wb): 1455 – 1505
We are asking please that ALL PUPILS (no matter what year group) come to school in school uniform (you are welcome to wear trainers as we will be outside when we can) BUT YOU DO NOT NEED TO WEAR A TIE. Please ensure that, as much as is practicable, uniform is clean. We understand that you may find that your child has outgrown their school uniform. If this is the case, please contact your child’s teacher. We can be flexible.
Normal other Uniform rules are still in place: no jewellery; small, stud earrings only; no nail polish and hair past the jawline MUST be tied back please.
DO I HAVE TO SEND MY CHILD BACK?
No, is the short answer. Schools have been asked to encourage children back to school, but it is your decision to make, given that these are unprecedented times. The government guidance is set out below but please note that parents will not be fined for non-attendance at this time.
We strongly encourage children and young people in the eligible year groups and priority groups (such as children of critical workers) to attend, as requested by their school or college, unless they are self-isolating or there are other reasons for absence (such as shielding due to health conditions).
You should notify your child’s school or college as normal if your child is unable to attend so that staff are aware and can discuss with you.
Please note that children with a pre-existing medical condition or those who live with someone with a pre-existing medical condition will need to follow the government guidance. There are categories of vulnerability, with different actions required for each:
• Children that have been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable due to pre-existing medical conditions have been advised by letter to shield and should not come to school. They will need to follow the Staying at home and away from others (social distancing) guidance. We will continue to support their home learning.
• Children that have been classed as clinically vulnerable (but not clinically extremely vulnerable) are those considered to be at a higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. Parents/carers will need to follow medical advice if their child is in this category and should inform the school of what has been advised.
• If a child lives with a clinically extremely vulnerable (shielded) or a clinically person, including those who are pregnant, the government advice is that they can attend the school, so long as our stringent social distancing protocols are adhered to at all times.
If your child lives with someone who is shielding and you are considering requesting a place at school, please call me to discuss whether or not we can meet the stringent social distancing measures required. If we are unable to support your child’s return, we will continue to support them to learn at home.
Children with symptoms of COVID-19 MUST NOT attend school. The whole family should follow the latest guidance from the government on how long to isolate for.
However, if you are not yet feeling quite confident enough to send your child back now, but may want to in the future, you can of course do this. Please do call us if this is the case and we will talk it through with you.
We would much prefer whole days and the whole week as things stand, but if your circumstances mean that this will not work for you, please do email us. We can be flexible.
If your child returns to school, but then feels unsettled (we are obviously hoping that this is not the case), of course we can help with this. If this is the case, please do call or email the school and we will get back to you. As I have said above, it is your decision to make as to whether your children return to school at this time. Whilst we definitely encourage you to send your children back, we will respect any decision that you make.
WHAT IF THERE IS A CASE OF COVID-19 IN SCHOOL?
We will be monitoring all pupils carefully upon their return and would ask all parents who intend to send their child/children to school to remain incredibly vigilant regarding the symptoms of COVID-19 and to keep their child at home if they are or appear unwell. Any pupil who becomes unwell at school will be sent home immediately. They will be isolated within school, accompanied by a member of staff protected by PPE, until they can be collected. Any pupil or member of staff showing any symptoms of COVID-19 will be able to access a test, which can be booked online.
If a child or a member of staff in one of our bubbles becomes unwell, we will inform all families of members of that bubble so that they can self-isolate. That bubble will then be closed until the test result is known and so that we can arrange for a deep clean of the spaces that they are using.
Nearly there. Be reassured: our primary focus will ALWAYS be the safety of the pupils and staff in school. We understand all of the anxiety that you as parents are facing and we are here to support you.
There may be questions that I have not answered or made clear in this letter. You may have questions specific to your situation. If you do have any questions, please do contact me via the Secretary@wadebridgeprimary.co.uk email address.
Further information regarding other year group’s arrangements will be emailed to you in the week of 1st June.
Dear Parents and Carers,
We are sure that, like us, you have lots of questions following the Prime Minister's announcement last night.
At the moment, for us in school, there is no change to the guidance, so we will be continuing to operate as we have over the last few weeks. We will continue to provide essential child care for key worker families as well as vulnerable children.
The message remains that it is safer to stay at home. We appreciate this is a confusing time. Once we have received further information and reviewed the guidance on how to manage a safe, phased return we will of course keep you informed.
Please stay safe and take care.
Ms R Whitlock
We are inspired by the awe and wonder of the world.
We are bold and innovative in our approach to find new solutions to the challenges we face.
We are the best we can be.
We take responsibility for our actions in an environment of mutual respect.
We overcome all barriers to reach our potential, developing a capacity to improve further.
We are passionate about learning.
We are excited to have Nursery, Reception, Year 1, Year 5 and Year 6 children back in school along with children of key workers and vulnerable families. We will update parents and carers as the situation changes.
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