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Mr Mayer's News

21st July 2020

Dear Parents & Carers

Well here we are at the end of the strangest year in my 30 year teaching career. It was the oddest feeling during last week having to say goodbye to each year group separately and not all together as one school at an end of term assembly.

It was particularly strange for our Year 6 children. Having spent 14 years as a Year 6 teacher I know how important it is for the children to have that sense of completion and closure that this part of their lives is over and a new one is beginning. So the Year 6 drama production and their activity holiday and the barbeque and disco are all an important part of this time. Unfortunately because of Covid-19 these things could not happen, however the teachers in charge of their bubbles did an amazing job in trying to make their last week as memorable as possible…sports days, water fights, raft building, archery and orienteering to name but a few.

There were also some amazing things going on in the other year groups: graffiti artwork; forest school; scavenger hunts; Fibonacci maths and art; aboriginal artwork. It was all fantastic.

Thank you to those of you who sent in cards and emails and gifts to me and my staff.  The teachers, TAs and support staff have been fabulous throughout this lock down period both in school and through providing activities for the children to do at home and really deserve your support. They would have done it anyway but it is always nice to be thanked and your kind words were really appreciated.

In September we are not expecting to return to life as normal in school. In fact it will look and feel very much like what we have had for the last 6 weeks but with more children. I will send home the guidance for children coming back to school again for you to read through. This will be a modified version of the one that went home at the beginning of this final term. Please read it carefully.  We will continue to look for opportunities to be outside as much as possible. To help with this as we come into autumn we will be asking for the children to bring in a change of footwear so that they can go outside whatever the weather. Wellies or similar waterproof footwear would be ideal. They will also need a suitable waterproof coat.

“Bubbles” will consist of year groups not 15 children.

Children will be expected to wear school uniform except on the days when they have PE. On these days we will ask that your child come to school in their PE kit (a tracksuit may also be necessary for colder days). This will prevent them having to change clothes when in school.

It is very important that children follow the behaviour policy to the letter. Any action that makes things unsafe for them or for anyone else in school cannot be tolerated and may lead to exclusion. We will not have the capacity to internally exclude a child in a different area of the school. Having had to exclude children twice in the last 14 weeks, I would hope that I don’t have to do it again.  Please make sure your children understand how important it will be to behave appropriately. 

Coming into school

Over the last 14 weeks we have asked parents to wait with their children on the pavement outside school until the gates open. However this will not be possible in September because there will be too many people waiting around. So we will have a staggered start and end to the day with parents using a one way system to drop their children off using the different gates we have at the front of school and leading into the school car park.

Year 6 children: They may come to school unaccompanied if you wish. They will come into school through GATE 4 (carpark). No cars will be permitted to enter the car park after 8.25am. When the kitchen building work is finished they will enter through the top gate and enter the year 6 building through the side gate near the year 6 building

Year 5 children: They will come into school through GATE 1 with parents and be met by teachers/ TAs at the front of the school building. Parents should then exit immediately through GATE 3. The children will then enter the building through the doors on the right.

Year 4 children: They will come into school through GATE 1 with parents and be met by teachers/ TAs at the front of the school building. Parents should then exit immediately through GATE 3. The children will then enter the building through the doors on the left.

Year 3 children: Mrs Hughes’ class will enter through GATE 1 and be met by Mrs Hughes or Mrs Gohara and led into their classroom through the side door. Parents should exit through GATE 3 if they have come into the school grounds.

 Mr Lambert’s class will enter through GATE 4 where they will be met and led into school through the side door to the classroom.

Year 2 Children: Both these classes will enter through GATE 4 where they will be collected by an adult and taken into the classroom through the side door.

Year 1 children: These children will enter with their parents through GATE 1 and be met by a member of the year 1 team and taken into class through the usual side doors. Parents should then leave through GATE 3

Foundation stage children: Parents should enter with their children through GATE 1 and walk their children to the area of playground outside the Foundation stage classrooms. The children will be met here and taken into their classrooms. Parents should drop their children quickly and leave the school as quickly as possible through GATE 3.

I know this may sound complicated but staff will be on hand to help show you where to go.

At this moment in time we are saying that brothers and sisters may be dropped off together when the first child is brought to school. They will met on arrival and then go straight to their class. Please drop off the child whose arrival time it is before any additional siblings.

At this time we are still unable to allow parents/ carers to enter the school building unless they have made an appointment or have been invited in.  

TIMINGS FOR THE DAY:

Year 6 and year 5: Arrive: 8.40am

                                  Leave: 3.10pm

Year 4 and year 3: Arrive: 8.50am

                                  Leave: 3.00pm

Year 2, Year 1 and Foundation stage: Arrive: 8.30am

                                                                   Leave: 2.50pm

Once in school the children will have staggered playtimes and lunchtimes. Lunch will be eaten in classrooms and the children will be looked after during these times by their class teachers and TAs.

Lunch and snack

There will be a hot lunch available from our new caterers, Culinera. Information on setting up your ParentPay account in readiness to order your child’s lunches in September has been sent home (or will be sent during the holidays). Please ensure that you have set up this account by 2nd September as the school office staff will be unable to do this for you.

.Children may bring a healthy packed lunch (nut-free to safeguard our children with nut allergies). No chocolate or crisps please.

Snacks may also be sent in. Again these should be healthy in nature & nut-free. No chocolate, crisps, sausage rolls, etc.  Fruit would be good or a cereal bar or something similar.

If someone becomes ill

If anyone in school does show symptoms of Covid 19 they will be isolated and asked to go for a test. If this is positive then we will contact Public Health England for further advice. This states that currently the entire “bubble” should isolate and everyone in it and their families should get a test

If your child shows even the slightest illness- Covid 19 related or not- they must not come into school. This is not normally what we would say to you but times are different at the moment. However we will still expect them to be in school unless they are genuinely poorly

I would urge you to check your School Ping and email over the summer but especially in the last week of August in case the Government Issue any new guidance that affects these plans.

I will try to keep you up to date as much as I can over the next 6 weeks.

The Government have also asked that we put together a plan by the end of September for how we would provide high quality home learning in case we have to close the school again either entirely or partially or even if only one child has to be at home for a week or two. I will give you more details of what this will look like when we return in September.

Details of what your child should bring to school and things they must not bring to school are included in the coming to school information.

In the meantime, I hope you all have a fantastic summer whatever you are doing and I look forward to seeing you fit and well in September.

Best wishes

David Mayer, Headteacher

Hungerford PS 01
Hungerford PS 08 (1)

Reading

This will be our biggest focus this year and will continue to be for the next few years. At Hungerford Primary School the children will “Learn to read and then read to learn”.  Whatever else they learn, reading will be our focus with the aim that every child leaves us as, at the very least, a functional reader, ready for their secondary school education.

We genuinely cannot do this without your support. I have said this before, but I say a big thank you to those of you who do listen to your children read, read stories to them and talk to them. Your children will do better than those who do not have these things.... by a significant margin.

To those of you who want to support your children but are struggling for one reason or another, then please come and speak to us. It could make all the difference to your child’s future. We won’t judge you but we can help you. If you struggle with reading yourself or don’t know what you should be doing or saying when you sit with your child, then you should talk to your child’s teacher or anyone else in school that you feel comfortable talking to. They will be only too happy to help you.

 “How to…” sessions for parents will be arranged for each year group in the autumn term. Please look out for them and sign up.

For those of you who don’t see this as important or don’t see it as your responsibility please think again. Imagine your child as an adult and what their life might be like if they can’t read or write or communicate effectively. Teachers in all their schools will do their best but without backup from home it is as effective as building a house on sand.

We are also still looking for adults who can spare some time to listen to children read in school. If you have some time or you know someone who does, please contact the school office or your child’s teacher. Thank you.

Technology Lending Library

One of the things that the Coronavirus lock down has shown us is just how many of our families don’t have access to suitable technology at home for children to use to help them with their learning. We loaned out 28 of our own laptops to families who didn’t have one or something similar at home. We are now hoping to develop a “Technology lending library” to help families and we are very grateful to West Berkshire Council who have generously provided us with 3 brand new laptops to loan out to families who would benefit from having one.

Mr Dominic Boeck visited the school to personally hand over the first of the laptops to two of our children, Stanley and Finley.

Safeguarding

safeguarding(1)

I was asked last term by a parent what they should do if they have concerns about a child’s welfare outside school. The answer is simple. If you believe that there is imminent danger to the child, then you should phone the police straight away. If you have any other concerns around neglect or emotional abuse or a child’s attendance or anything else then you should Children’s Services. Their number is 01635 503109. This can be done anonymously.

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