Newsletter – 18th September 2020

We have now completed two full weeks and I am pleased to report that children are still coming in with smiles on their faces. Thank you to all the parents for adhering to the drop off and pick up times, and for continuing to follow the one-way system. Please keep up these efforts.

 

It has been a busy week as we continue to practice the new routines in and around school. Monday saw a return of Roald Dahl day which was filled with fun-filled activities and lessons as well as some awesome costumes. Well done to all in whichever way you took part. It definitely echoed a much simpler time in school, and even with tighter restrictions, was an enjoyable day.

We have a new and improved, mouth-watering dinner menu, with hot and cold options which has been shared with parents/carers earlier this week. This will start next week and be delivered to the classrooms at their designated time slot. Bon appétit!

September 2020 Interim Menu

 

Microsoft Teams & children working in isolation

We have sent the children home this week with an important letter regarding our preparations for remote learning should your child need to isolate in the future. Mr Birkinshaw has put together a video briefly explaining the remote learning offer and how to set up the Maths No Problem guides.

 

Here is the video link: https://youtu.be/hiiOnqe0wqU

 

Part of the remote learning offer is for families to sign up to the Maths No Problem parent guide registration page, which can be accessed here:   https://hub.mathsnoproblem.com/self-signup/0TWXK9M

 

On the subject of Teams, we are encouraging the children in school to make sure they upload their homework through the ‘Assignments’ tab and to click ‘turn it in’, rather than as a ‘post’ on the class wall. This way they are not sharing the answers to any of their classmates, but their work can still be shared with the teacher. Thank you for your support in this if you are helping your child to upload their work.

 

Colour Level Reading Books Amnesty

Please return any colour level reading books that were taken home before the summer holiday.  There will be a box in the reception area for books to be placed in.

 

Uniform

Most of the children look very smart and we thank you for your efforts with this.  Could we remind you that black school shoes should be worn during the day.

 

Covid-19 testing reminders from Southend Borough Council:

If your child needs to visit a local test site (LTS):

 

  • A reminder that walk-through Covid-19 Testing Centre at Short Street is appointment only and not drop-in.
  • All people attending the LTS must wear a face covering with the exception of under 3 year olds. Children under 3 years old must observe social distancing on site. Any over 3 year olds arriving at an LTS without a face covering cannot be admitted to the site.
  • People of all ages can be tested, but those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

 

Thank you for your continued support.

New Lunch Menu from Monday 21st September 2020

From Monday 21st September 2020 we will be offering a more varied and healthy lunch menu.

 

We will be providing a cold lunch three times a week and a hot lunch twice a week. Children will be eating in their classroom bubbles. Children will continue to choose their lunch option during the morning register and lunches will be safely delivered to them in their classes.

 

The aim is that this new weekly menu will aid the transition to our Winter menu which, if all goes to plan, will commence after the October half term holiday and will only include hot options (all delicious and nutritious).

 

Meals for Junior children are priced at £2.40 and should be paid for through the SIMs Pay system.

 

We ask that you take time to discuss the menu with your child so that they make the right choice on the day as, understandably, there will not be an opportunity to change their mind.

 

Sides and drinks are the only options for each day and the weekly dessert option will be decided at the beginning of each week by the catering team, depending on stock levels.

 

Many thanks for your co-operation.   Bon appétit!

 

September 2020 Interim Menu

Newsletter – 11th September 2020

We’ve made it to the end of the first week! While I am sure there are many tired children (and staff) out there, it really has been great to see how happy and ‘normal’ school life is beginning to feel like again. Despite the required separation of bubbles, we are still seeing playgrounds filled with children enjoying spending time with their old friends again and making some new ones too – even across the divides between each bubble’s play area.

 

This would normally be the time parents and teachers are catching up at the end of the day on how your child is settling in. As this is not currently possible within the current safety measures, we encourage any parents or carers to get in touch via the class emails (e.g. new3NM@chalkwellhall.co.uk) should you want to discuss something with the class teacher or just to get feedback on how your child has settled in.

 

Some topics are more appropriately dealt with over the phone, so if you would prefer this then please contact the school office or email the teacher to request a call at a mutually convenient time.

 

This week has been our first experience as a whole school in using Microsoft Teams, and we have been delighted to see so many of you logging in at home and uploading your spelling ‘assignments’ through the system. Particular congratulations to 6AD who all managed to turn in their homework through Teams this week, and they now get to celebrate this with an extra break time.

 

We know the week has not gone without a few technical hitches, but it has been really helpful to find these now so that we can resolve them quickly ahead of any future need to use the system more widely. Homework will continue to be primarily shared through Teams, so we ask that if anyone encounters technical difficulties, through lack of appropriate devices or login-related issues, to get in touch with the school as soon as possible.

 

Many of you will have seen the new blue barriers on the playground, which arrived on Monday. They are currently helping with the playground separation and our one way systems at pick-up time. However, the intended aim for those barriers is to create a safe, controlled space for football at break times once things return to normal. The picture below shows how we hope to be able to use the barriers ‘properly’ when we are allowed to do so.

 

 

Children had their first in-class celebration assemblies today, where certificates for ‘Maths Champ’ ‘Reader of the Week’ and our ‘Achievement Award’ for showing the school’s core values are all handed out. We also celebrate classes with the best attendance and punctuality across the school, which has been a very close competition this week for all the right reasons. Normally we would hold these assemblies as a whole upper or lower school in the hall, but it is also nice to see classes giving recognition to their own classmates for their achievements in these first few days back.

 

Postcards linked to our 6 core values are another way we like to celebrate children’s achievements in school, and these will continue this year in an electronic format. Parents will receive an email from the class teacher with the child’s postcard attached, so that it still keeps a little of the surprise for the child that they would have had when the normal postcards arrived through the post.

 

 

Date for the diary

The first of our in-school events will be celebrating ‘Roald Dahl Day’ next Monday (14th September). The day includes the option to dress up if your child wishes to.

 

Attendance matters

Our overall attendance so far this year is 96%. Well done everyone! Let’s try to maintain this high level of attendance and punctuality!

 

Thank you for your continued support.

 

 

Headteacher Recruitment Update

I would firstly like to welcome you back to school on behalf of the Governing Body. It has certainly been a more challenging start to a school year given the new rules and regulations, but I am proud of how our whole school community has adapted so quickly.

 

Secondly I would like to update you on where the Governing Body is up to regarding the recruitment of a new Headteacher, in order to provide clarity over what has been going on ‘behind the scenes.’

 

With any Headteacher vacancy in an Infant or Junior school, it is Southend Borough Council’s policy to discuss whether there is a need for amalgamation of the two schools at this time. They are meeting to discuss this next week on Tuesday 15th September, and once we have their decision then the governing body will proceed in one of two ways. Please note, this is not a final decision on the process, only to decide whether it is a process worth further exploration.

 

If the decision is made to continue as we are, and not to consult regarding amalgamation, then we will continue with the normal process to recruit a Junior Headteacher and we will share timelines etc as appropriate.

 

If the council seek to consult over amalgamation, then both we and the Infant school will begin a formal, four week process that will seek the views of parents, staff and the local community before making a final decision on whether to amalgamate.

 

In either scenario, Mr Hanshaw and Mr Birkinshaw will continue in their roles as Acting Head and Acting Deputy Head until permanent appointments are made.

 

I would like to thank them for stepping up in this challenging time and helping to make the return to school a successful one for our pupils and families.

 

I will be in touch, on behalf of the governing body, in the near future with any further updates to the process.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Tony Moltino

Chair of Governors

Newsletter – 7th September 2020

Welcome back one and all! It was lovely to see how keen and happy the children were to come charging through the gates yesterday morning – their enthusiasm is fantastic, especially for most of the children who have been away from school for almost 5 months!

 

It has only been two days but I am amazed at how quickly our school community has adapted to the staggered drop off and pick up. Your children have slotted in to the new routines quickly and I hope they continue to adapt to the ‘new normal’ with similar success. I would also like to say a huge ‘Thank you’ to the parents/carers for your support of the new routines.

 

On that note, we are always looking for ways to improve the efficiency of these new guidelines, whilst remaining as safe as possible. I am aware that the pavement outside of school is narrow and busy, so to avoid congestion at the front gate, please enter the main gate, say goodbye to your children in the front car park away from the main gate, and exit through the single gate on to the London Road.

 

The fact that we cannot meet all the parents for face-to-face meetings is frustrating but unavoidable within the current climate. As well as contacting the office, parents can email their new teacher directly with any queries or concerns they may have. This can be done via the email addresses given to you before the summer break, as part of the transition videos.  For example, class 4GW’s email address is new4GW@chalkwellhall.co.uk . Please be patient with their response time, and they will get back to you as soon as possible after completing their teaching responsibilities.

 

Your child will be coming home today with a letter about Microsoft Teams – our new remote learning platform. While this is only to be used by those who need to isolate, we want to make sure everyone is familiar with the new system and we can identify any issues early on. The letter includes two short challenges for your child to complete on Teams, which help them to navigate key features of the platform.

 

We say a warm welcome to all our new Year 3 families and also to some new staff. Miss Bennett has joined us in the Year 3 team, and Mr Fleming has joined us in the Year 5 team.

 

The first of our in-school events will be celebrating ‘Roald Dahl Day’ on Monday 14th September which includes the option to dress up. Details to follow next week.

 

Thank you for your continued support.

Roald Dahl Day – 14th September 2020

As in previous years, we will be celebrating Roald Dahl Day on Monday 14th September 2020. Throughout the day the children will be taking part, in different ways, to celebrate the day and embrace the work of Roald Dahl – a firm family favourite!

 

We should be very grateful if the children could also join in the celebration by doing one of the following for the day:

 

  1. Dress up as your favourite Roald Dahl character (a firm favourite with the staff – they love to dress up!).

 

  1. Make an object from a Roald Dahl story to share with your class – could this clue help your friends and teachers guess which story you are thinking about?

 

  1. Re-design your favourite Roald Dahl story book cover. Will you choose to draw in the style of Quentin Blake or create your own style?

 

We appreciate that the day is not far away, so we thought that giving more options on ways to celebrate together would be beneficial (please do not panic about buying or making a costume if you do not have time – as parents ourselves we know exactly how that feels!).

 

Thank you for your support.

Newsletter 17th July 2020

In my final newsletter I wanted to reflect on how far the school has come in the last 6 Years. What has been achieved is down to the outstanding ability and hard work of an incredible team of teachers and support staff (both in class and behind the scenes).

The attitude and behaviour of the children, the exam results and progress levels, the quality of teaching, the many trophies, the huge engagement with extra-curricular activities and the willingness of the staff to provide them all say much about the overall ethos of our school. I’d like to thank all who have helped and supported us during my time here. The staff, children, parents, governors, the PTA and our local community have all contributed so much towards our shared successes.

The sports, the arts, the drama, the music, the trips, the dressing up, the residentials and the laughs along the way are what we remember from our school days and Challkwell Hall has provided incredible memories for the children, and myself, over the last few years.

I have worked in primary schools for over 20 years now and I have not been in such a tight knit, hard-working and capable team as this at any time – it has been a genuine privilege to work in and lead such an amazing school. I am hugely proud of my team, and the children, and I am sure that their success will continue for many years to come.

I am leaving the school in safe hands in September and I am sure you will support Mr Hanshaw in the new term with what will be a huge logistical challenge.

At this time of year I usually only wave off the Year 6s but I would like to wish all of our year groups the very best for the future. Thank you for your cards and kind messages, keep up the hard work and positive attitudes that you have shown us here and you are set for an awesome future!

Thank you Chalkwell Hall, it’s been a blast!

Mr Linfield

 

Message from the PTA

GOOD LUCK & THANK YOU! We would like to wish all the year 6 children all the best at their new schools from September and lots of happiness for the future. We would like to thank you and your families for all the support you have given the PTA over the years, thank you and good luck!!
THANK YOU to every one for your wonderful help, support and generosity this year; we couldn’t have done it without you! Despite school closing and therefore our summer term fundraisers being cancelled, we have still enjoyed Curry Night, Cash4Coins, Quiz Night, Pre-Loved Uniform sales, playground sales, a fantastic Christmas Fayre, Santa’s Grotto, 2 Christmas Bazaars, Infant Movie Afternoon & Festive Fun Run! We hope to be back in September bigger and better than ever!

PTA NEWS

WE NEED YOU! We would love you to join us, bringing new energy and ideas, so even if you are a bit unsure please email ptachalkwellhall@gmail.com and you can have a chat with one of us about the PTA.

It can be fun, it can be hard work, but it is incredibly rewarding! Our AGM will hopefully be held in September (date to be confirmed) and everyone is welcome (subject to social distancing rules).

Don’t forget you can always purchase discounted tickets for Adventure Island & Sea Life Adventure Wild at Coulson James on Leigh Broadway.

🎢 Green – £13 / Blue – £16

🐠 £7

THANK YOU & GOODBYE! After 7 years of hard work and dedication to the PTA, we are sadly saying goodbye to Yvonne as her children are leaving CHJS and moving into year 7 in September. Over the years, Yvonne and her family have worked tirelessly at every fundraiser to ensure each and every event has run smoothly. Thank you for your energy, time and laughter you have given; we will miss you!

 

Conkers Breakfast and After School Club information for September

Dear parents/carers,

 

As part of our care for the pupils of the schools, we are able to offer families wrap around care through a successful breakfast and after school club, which runs every day from 7.30am to 8.35am and 3.00pm to 6.00pm in term time.   These clubs are known as Conkers Breakfast Club and Conkers After School Club.  The breakfast club is £4 per session and the after school club is £8 per session.

 

Because of the ongoing pandemic, and guidance given to us by the government, we are having to make some changes to what we can offer for our wraparound care in September.

 

We will have, to start with, a reduced capacity of 40 children at either breakfast or after school club. This is to ensure the safety of your children and our staff. Once the club is back up and running, we will review this regularly and hope to be able to increase this back up to normal levels as soon as possible.

 

Because of the reduced capacity, we need to set some criteria for who can book. We would like to offer the provision to those who need it most first. Therefore, we will only be taking bookings in the first instance from families requiring contract bookings of 5 days a week for either breakfast or after school (or both).

 

Once we have established exactly how many places are required for these 5 day a week bookings, we will then notify families and invite 4 day a week bookings, then 3 days and so on.

 

All current contracts will be cancelled and new ones for our 5 day a week families will need to be rebooked.

 

We understand that this isn’t perfect, but we have to work around the guidance we have been given where we have been asked to use small, consistent groups for wraparound care if we cannot keep the children in the same bubbles they are in all day in class.

 

Children will be grouped when they attend the club into Year 5&6, Year 3&4, Year 1&2 and Reception in four separate areas and will have four separate areas of the playground.

 

All equipment that the children use will be disinfected between uses and food will be delivered to their tables to avoid queueing and mixing groups. Children will be asked to continue the regular handwashing that they will already be doing in school. Whilst children will not need to socially distance in their classes, they will be asked to maintain a level of social distancing in Conkers club to minimise mixing in line with the guidelines.

When collecting, parents will not be allowed to enter and we would ask that you maintain social distancing wherever possible when waiting for your child at the door.

 

Please find below further information on both Conkers Clubs:

 

  • Mrs Tracey Roe is the Extended Schools Manager and Miss Carly Whitmore is the Deputy Extended Schools Club Manager, there are two great teams of staff who work with them in the Breakfast Club and After School Club.

 

  • Conkers Clubs are administered by the Junior school and bookings need to be made on line through the Kids Club HQ system. To get started, go to the following link: https://chalkwellhall.kidsclubhq.co.uk/rdr?u=home.  Further information about the clubs can also be obtained from the Junior school office.

 

  • Bookings can only be made through the on-line system.

 

  • Places for September can be booked from 15th July onwards. All bookings for September must be secured with a deposit of at least £24.

 

  • In normal circumstances, we would prefer that payment for the whole booking is made in advance, however, we recognise that if you are booking for a term this may be difficult. Therefore, if you are unable to pay for the whole booking in advance, payment for bookings for at least the week ahead must be made by the Friday before the week in question.  Failure to pay may result in your booking being cancelled.  All payments must be made through the Junior school, we can accept cash or cheques made payable to Chalkwell Hall Junior School.   Junior School families can pay via SIMs Pay – further details will be sent in September.

 

  • Cancellations must be made by 3.00pm the day before the booking, failure to cancel by this time will result in the loss of the booking fee. Cancellations should be made via email (asclub@chalkwellhall-jun.southend.sch.uk) or telephone (07756263156).

 

  • If it becomes apparent that you do not need your full allocation of days in September, we will discuss your future bookings with you.
  • Please see the Conkers Clubs flyer for details about the activities that take place in the clubs and information on the food provided.

 

  • We also have a policy on the Breakfast and After School Club which is available on both schools’ websites.