Welcome back and congratulations to you and your children for adapting so quickly to our new procedures.
It was so lovely greeting all of the children on the first day back. They were all so cheery and the atmosphere in the school was really positive. I was particularly impressed by our new starters who were so desperate to get into school that they ran up the path. One dad had been told off by his son because he wasn’t driving quickly enough to school and a mum had been told that she wasn’t allowed a shower as it would delay her daughter getting to school!
Normally, at this time of year, I inform you of all of the exciting opportunities that we have planned for the term and write about the external agencies we have booked to visit us. I’m sure you will appreciate that, in the current climate, we have erred on the side of caution, preferring to restrict the number of adults in school.
We are however delighted to confirm that Mr Sheehan will be working with us for another year to provide PE and Sports opportunities for all and will support the KS1 children in class. We said goodbye to Mr Cook at the end of the year. He is starting a new job and we wish him all the best in his new career. Mr Bullivant, who taught here before Mr Cook, will return to teach PE on a Wednesday afternoon.
Mrs Payne will also return on a Monday afternoon to deliver French and Spanish lessons to KS2 pupils.
We are currently closely following government health and safety advice. As such, we will not be able to invite parents into Good Works Assemblies. We will be experimenting with technology over the next week to see if we can deliver a Zoom Good Works Assembly because we still want you to celebrate the children’s achievements with us and hear about what they have been learning.
There are requests for forms and also some general reminders about procedures included in this newsletter. We would be grateful if you would return your completed forms by the set dates.
Mrs K Appleby, Headteacher
GOVERNOR NEWS — A Special Man
It is with great sadness that I inform you that Alan Tuplin, one of our longest serving governors (at least 15 years) passed away on 26 August.
Alan had been suffering with his health over the past two years. His health had deteriorated quickly during lockdown and over the summer. Alan was a great advocate for the school. He cared passionately about the school and invested so much time attending governors’ meetings, assemblies and Maths subject monitoring visits. He took his duties seriously.
Alan was the public voice for the school, writing the monthly Signpost articles and updating the school website. He would also go to great lengths to produce the best recordings of the children at the school productions. He will be greatly missed.
Our condolences go to his wife and son. We intend to conduct some form of memorial service to honour him.
Forms to be Completed/Checked
The following forms need to be completed as soon as possible (by Tuesday the 22nd of September at the latest please) to ensure our information is complete and accurate.
*Home School Agreement, Consent Form, Home School Communication Information: Attached to this newsletter are the home school agreement and consent forms. Please complete them and return them to school so that we have a record of which children can appear on the school website etc. We are immensely proud of the achievements of our pupils & regularly take photographs of them which are displayed at Good Works Assemblies. We would like to share these achievements on our school website & in promotion materials & would appreciate it if you would support us by granting permission to use them.
(*New Reception parents and parents of children joining us in other year groups, please ignore as you have already done this for 2020-21. Please do still check & return Student Update Forms, to make sure details have been entered correctly).
Student Update Form
Could all parents please thoroughly check the information we currently hold on record for your child/ren on the form sent with this newsletter. As I am sure you will appreciate, it is vital that we have the latest medical information on file as well as correct addresses, telephone numbers and details of emergency contacts (ranked in order). In an emergency if calls to the primary telephone number notified to us are not answered then it is imperative that we know who to telephone next.
Emergency numbers will be entered into ‘TXTRound’. This is a system where we can text all parents to inform them about things such as emergency school closures, severe weather etc. It is therefore imperative we have your correct number.
If there is information to update then please amend accordingly or tick the ‘No corrections made’ box on the reverse of the form before signing and returning as soon as possible.
Letting the school know if your child will be away from school: In the event of absence or illness, please inform the school as early as possible. Please do so by telephone, leaving a message on the school answering machine, as this is the first thing that is checked when our administrative staff arrive in the morning.
Please do not email the school to advise of pupil absences as due to our rural location, there have been instances where we have had broadband issues and/or overnight powercuts, as a result of which the school server has been down and e-mail therefore unavailable first thing in the morning.
Administrative staff will phone parents if, on the first day of a child’s absence, no contact has been made with the school from parents by the time registers are closed. This is important for safeguarding reasons so their whereabouts are known.
Lateness: Registers must be closed 20 minutes after the start of each session. A child arriving later than the official opening time (9.15am in the morning and 1.15pm in the afternoon) but before the closing of the registers will be classed as LATE. Could all parents please complete one of the forms available in Reception and pass this to office staff if arriving late to drop your child off in the morning or late to collect your child from school at the end of the school day in the afternoon. A separate form also needs to be completed and submitted if collecting/returning your child from/to school during the school day – e.g. for medical appointments.
A child arriving AFTER the registers have closed must be classed as an UNAUTHORISED ABSENCE (unless there is a valid explanation such as a doctor’s appointment).
In cases of extreme difficulty (weather / sudden road closures / breakdown of vehicle / problems with the official bus) the period of time the registers are ‘open’ will be extended.
Sick Notes: Parents must explain any absence by the child in writing or by phone. Phone messages are recorded on an absence form by office staff and passed to the teacher.
If you wish to seek approval for any request of absence for your child(ren) from school, then you must apply in writing to the Headteacher, at least four weeks in advance of the requested for absence. You should only then remove your child(ren) if the absence has been authorised, and notified to you in writing by the School. Any exceptional circumstances must be clearly set out in the written request to the Headteacher who will consider each case upon its merits.
If you then choose to take your child out of school during term time and it is not deemed to be exceptional circumstances and/or has not been approved by the school, then this will be coded as an unauthorised absence and a Fixed Penalty Notice may be issued for the period of absence. Absence that is due to religious observance can be classed as authorised.
Should I send my child to school with a cold?
Currently, parents have been advised only to take their child out of school if they are suffering any of the three main symptoms of COVID 19—namely, a new, continuous cough, a temperature, or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell.
However, typical symptoms of a cold, such as a runny nose, are not considered to be symptoms of COVID and therefore if your child has these symptoms the general advice is that it’s okay for them to attend school.
However, if your child does fell unwell with a cold or has a fever, the NHS advises that you should keep them off school until they feel better.
Naming Clothes: Please can you ensure that every item of your children’s clothing, particularly PE kit, is named with their full name (including plimsolls) in order to alleviate their anxiety if they misplace items. Marking in biro is not recommended as it easily washes out.
Car Parking: Please ensure you do not park opposite school when dropping off children before school as this is dangerous and can obscure children from view when other vehicles approach. When parking please ensure you do not block driveways.
Fruit At Playtime: All KS1 and Reception children receive a free piece of fruit each morning playtime. If children in KS2 want to bring in their own fruit to be eaten at morning play they should bring it to school in their lunch box and take it outside at playtime.
Lunches: Please note that ALL KS1 pupils are entitled to free school lunches, but you MUST order these via Wisepay. Orders must be placed before 12 o’clock on a Wednesday for the following week. Although the menus on Wisepay still show the hot meals options, Wil’s Diner are only able to provide cold boxes for the next few weeks. This will be reviewed before half-term.
Pre-Schoolers: This is a particularly important time of year for parents of pre-school children about to choose the primary school for their child. Unfortunately, due to COVID restrictions, we are unable to organise our annual pre-school autumn art afternoon. This was always a great way of enabling parents to make a more informed choice about their child’s education. If you know any parents of pre-school children coming up to foundation stage age who might be interested, please encourage them to ring the school office staff for details on how they can find out more about the school.
Friends of Hackthorn School (FOHS) AGM & Meeting: 15th September: This will be held on the evening of 15 September at 6pm via Zoom. Normally it would be a chance to meet other parents face-to-face and enjoy refreshments. Unfortunately this is not currently possible but you are still invited to attend our ‘virtual’ meeting and encouraged to have your own ‘tipple’. You will have the chance to hear a summary of the work of this supportive group over the last year. All are welcome – parents, past parents, future parents and friends. If you are interested in helping out at future events but are unable to attend the meeting please inform the school office who will pass on your details to the relevant people. A Zoom link will be sent out next week.
School Photographs: 8th October: The photographer will be visiting the school in the afternoon. The photographer will take individual or family group photographs (or both) and it is important that you indicate on the form attached at the end of this newsletter, which of these options you require.
An example print will be sent to parents who can then choose the format of prints they require.