CHJS Remote Learning Update

As we all found out last night, schools are to be closed until at least the February half term. We know that this announcement means that remote learning will continue for longer than we had hoped, but we want to assure you that we have plans in place for such a scenario that we are now putting into action.


We also are very aware that this new lockdown puts further pressures on families, and we want to work with our community to make sure these next 6 weeks of remote learning are as successful as possible given the circumstances we face.


Remote Learning Support

Over the last two school days, we have been really impressed with the number of pupils engaging with remote learning via Teams. We have also been working hard in identifying families who are experiencing any technical difficulties in accessing remote learning. If you feel that your family is facing technical challenges, then please do contact the school as soon as possible and we will do our best to get your child online as soon as we can.


For those who have been onto Teams, you will hopefully have seen that our remote offer is very different to the one from the previous lockdown. We are regularly reviewing our provision as staff, and based on parental feedback, to make it more successful for pupils and the families and staff supporting them.


I would like to share with you some of plans we have for remote learning over the next half term:


  • Daily videos from a member of the year group’s teaching team, explaining the day’s lessons in a little more detail and providing useful tips, reminders and links back to previous learning. These will be posted on the class walls each morning.
  • Links to external provider video lessons (such as the Oak Academy) will be provided where appropriate (but not for every lesson) to complement our own teaching. These will not replace our own resources, and will be used for those who may wish to have further details, explanations or extensions on a given topic and are not compulsory.
  • Teacher/Pupil video catch up. In weeks three and four, wb 18th & 25th January, we will be holding teacher/pupil catch-ups via Teams. This is for your child to have a face-to-face catch-up with their teacher on how remote learning is going and to answer any questions they may have, though many of these can be answered ‘live’ via Teams each day. They will be booked in a similar way to parent consultations via an online form. More details on this will be provided soon.
  • Certificates that would normally be awarded in Friday assemblies will be awarded electronically, along with postcards for those demonstrating the school’s core values while at home.
  • Following parental feedback, assignment release times will be adapted to 6pm on the night before, This will allow more flexibility for parents in preparing for the following day’s work. Assignment closing times will remain 8pm.


Live or video lessons

We have been asked by some parents about live streaming and/or video lessons, and I wish to provide clarity on why as a school we have chosen not to follow this route with our remote learning offer.


Live lessons can provide an extra element of interaction between pupils and staff, but this comes with issues around fixed timings and a need for all pupils to have a video-ready device, which we are aware is an issue for many families and particularly for multi-child households. In addition, there are safeguarding issues due to a lack of control over what happens on other people’s cameras. Recorded video lessons can provide further detail and explanation, but lack personalisation and are very time consuming to produce.


We firmly believe that our offer via Teams provides the greatest flexibility for the greatest number of families, whilst ensuring the lesson content stays as close as possible to what we would be teaching pupils in school.


Our offer includes video messages each day to explain the assignments, and these assignments can be adapted for small groups/individuals that are better tailored to their needs. We can also draw on high quality video resources, such as the Oak Academy, to complement our CHJS curriculum where needed. We believe it is best to have the teachers who are not teaching key worker groups focused on tailoring lesson resources to meet the needs of their classes and/or individual circumstances, and for them to be available to respond quickly to any questions or issues raised through Teams wall posts, via parent emails or through the office.


Critical Worker & Vulnerable Children Provision

School remains open to a small number of pupils that meet the criteria as set by the government. If you feel that your child meets the criteria, please follow the advice in our letter sent last week and complete the registration form so that we can plan for possible places needed.


For those using this provision, we can now confirm the slightly adapted start and end times of the day:


Years 5/6       Arrive for 8.30am                       Leave at 3.00pm

Years 3/4        Arrive for 8.50am                       Leave at 3.20pm           


Lessons in school follow the same content as being taught via remote learning at home. Hot school lunches remain available to all those in school who need them, and can be paid for in the normal way via SIMs Pay.


I would just like to restate that we fully recognise that this current situation is placing significant pressures on families. The CHJS staff team are working hard to make sure we are supporting you as much as we can, whether they are helping those learning at home or those children in school.


Support for remote learning is available every day on Teams by posting on the class page, via class teacher emails (e.g. ), or by phoning the school office on (01702) 478570. Please note, the support may be provided by someone who is not your child’s class teacher, as they may be teaching the key worker groups and unavailable at that time. However, it will almost always be someone from your child’s year group team or a member of the senior leadership team.


Finally, I also ask that as a community we can support the CHJS staff team, who are personally experiencing many of the same working pressures as the families we are trying to help. We all share with you a wish that a new lockdown and school closures was not reality again, but sadly this is a matter out of our control. We want to make sure we are all working together supportively and join you in looking forward to the day we can safely return to a sense of normality again.


Thank you for your continued support.


School Closure for most pupils from Monday 4th January 2021


Firstly, I am sorry to have to interrupt your Christmas holiday, which I hope has so far been an enjoyable and healthy one for you and your family. However, given the government’s announcement yesterday, I wish to share information with you as soon as possible as this will have a significant impact on your plans for the coming weeks.


In line with government advice released on Wednesday evening, primary schools in Tier 4 areas with high local rates of Covid-19 transmission should only allow children of critical workers and those defined as vulnerable to attend school from Monday 4th January. Southend-on-Sea is listed as one of these areas.


As a result of this news, CHJS will not be fully open as was expected on Monday, and we will remain closed to most pupils until Monday 18th January at the earliest. A full reopening is dependent on the government’s review of the local case rates, and we will communicate any further information on this once it is announced.


The vast majority of our pupils must remain at home, where it is safest, and access remote learning via Microsoft Teams. Support for remote learning will be available via class teacher emails (e.g. ), or by phoning the school office. At the end of this letter, we have attached some key information on our remote learning offer to help families prepare and to answer some common questions.


We strongly encourage all critical worker families to consider whether their child can be cared for at home, where it is safest, for some or all of the week. The fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society.


Attendance criteria

Children of critical workers
: Please consult the attached link to check if you are classed as a key worker


Vulnerable children:  Schools are advised to ensure vulnerable children continue to attend school where possible. Your child is classed as vulnerable if they have:

  1. An Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). Please note, this is not the same as an ISP, (the colourful sheet reviewed termly in school) and is a legal document created by Southend Borough Council. Mr Birkinshaw, the school’s SENCo, will contact these families directly in the coming days
  2. An allocated social worker


If you believe that your child is eligible for and will be attending school from Monday 4th January, please complete the form below as soon as possible, so that we can make appropriate arrangements in school.


CHJS Key Worker & Vulnerable Pupil Questionnaire – January 2021


Thank you for your understanding and patience.


CHJS Remote Learning – Key information


An overview of our offer

Our remote learning offer has been significantly changed since the previous lockdown last year. Daily assignments are now set via Microsoft Teams, and are adapted versions of the same lessons that would be taught in school on that day by our teachers at CHJS. Pupils have the ability to upload any work they have completed, so that their teacher can provide feedback to them on what they have done well and to help if your child is finding something tricky.


What will each day’s assignment look like?

Each day, your child will be set a maths, writing and reading activity, along with one other curriculum topic activity (such as science, art or geography). These will vary in length and difficulty depending on the year group and from day to day, as is normal in a school week.


Where required, teachers will set separate assignments for individuals on the SEND register who require an adapted or alternative curriculum in school. In this situation, your child may see two assignments, one personal and the general class lessons, but it will be made clear which is the one adapted for your child.


How long should my child be engaging with remote learning each day?

Every child is different but, as a rough guide, we expect that the daily assignments should take most pupils around 3 hours to complete in full. We are mindful to manage screen time, to allow for significant breaks and to allow flexibility for families to fit in learning where it may work best around adult’s working and family commitments.


When will assignments be released and when does work need to be submitted by?

Each day’s assignment will become visible from 8pm the night before. This is a recent change following feedback from families in bubbles who had to isolate, and has been made so that adults can be more prepared for the following day’s learning.


Work can be submitted up until 8pm on the day of the assignment, to allow extra time for parents to help their child upload any work they have completed. However, we strongly encourage work to be uploaded by 3.30pm if your child would like feedback from a teacher on the same day. Any work submitted after this time will also receive feedback from teachers, but this may be on the following day.


What if I encounter technical issues or do not have access to appropriate technology?
Should you encounter any technical issues accessing Teams, including limited or no access to the Internet or suitable devices to work on, it is really important that you contact the school office as soon as possible. This way, we can work with you to find solutions to the issue so that all our pupils can easily access our remote learning platform, should it be needed.


How can I set up access to Maths No Problem?

If you haven’t already set up access to Maths No Problem’s online textbooks, then please do not worry as you can still do so by following the link below and entering the correct code for your child’s year group. Please note, this link is to register for Maths No Problem, and once set up you should use the log in option and not this link each day.


Sign-up link:


Access Codes:               Year 3:            9QBUJHZ                       Year 4:            WZID4X9


Year 5:             LZU1565                       Year 6:            M52ZY6C


Families with children in more than one year group:         E6ERZRT


Where can I get more information on remote learning?

In September, we produced two videos about our remote learning offer. While some details may have changed slightly since then, they still provide a good ‘tour’ of the main features.


Introduction to Teams:

Daily assignments & Maths No Problem set up:


Support for remote learning will also be available via class teacher emails (e.g. ), or by phoning the school office on (01702) 478570.

Christmas Dinner 2020

Wednesday 16th December 2020

Infant & Junior Christmas Dinner Day

Please note, the Christmas menu will be the only meal available on this day. If your child does NOT want to have a Christmas dinner on the 16th December, please provide them with a packed lunch.

Junior Christmas Dinner – £2.40




Roast Turkey


Roast Quorn

E/MK (may contain S & G)


Cranberry & Lentil Bake


Served with


Roast Potatoes G

Garden Peas

Carrot Batons


Cranberry Sauce


Oat, Raisin & Lemon Cookie



Fresh Fruit

Fruit Juice


In order for us to order the correct amount of meals, please complete the on line form by clicking on the link below:

CHJS Christmas Dinner Booking Form








Friday 18th December 2020 – CHJS to remain open

As you may have seen in the media, on Tuesday the Department for Education (DfE) gave schools the late option to close on Friday 18th December 2020 for staff training. Southend Borough Council have also provided recommendations regarding the possible closure, in order to reduce the burden on staff involved in contact tracing for school.


Due to the late notice of this, and having carefully considered the implications a closure would cause for families, I can confirm that Chalkwell Hall Junior School will be OPEN as planned on Friday 18th December 2020.


The reasons for this decision are:


  • A closure would be at very short notice for parents to arrange child care or get time off work, especially given the time of year and Covid-19 restrictions limiting the crossing of household bubbles. Training day dates are often set a year in advance for this reason, and we don’t want any families to lose out financially.
  • We carefully considered the possibility of a remote learning day. While we are happy with the remote learning systems we have in place via Teams, we cannot guarantee access to appropriate devices for all pupils across the school in the same way we can in our contingency plans should a bubble or two close. The extra pressures that remote learning can cause for parents was also a consideration in our final decision.
  • Having consulted our staff, the team were already prepared to be in school on Friday as was originally planned. Our team have also planned a number of fun lessons and events into the final week of term, which we do not want the children to miss out on. They have already missed so much this year that we want them to enjoy the little extras we can offer around Christmas time in school.
  • The DfE reasoning for offering the option to close is to support staff that would be involved in contact tracing, by reducing the time they need to be ‘on duty’ should a positive case be identified in the days immediately after the end of term. For our school, this impacts on myself and Mr Birkinshaw. We had both already planned for and were happy to be on duty up to Christmas Eve so that school could continue as normal for our children, families and staff.


This is a decision we have thought long and hard on over the last 24 hours, consulting with our staff and governors, many of whom are parents at the school. We have also consulted other local schools, some of which are staying open and others which are closing, based on the correct decision for their individual school’s context.


We are aware that Chalkwell Hall Infant School have made a different decision regarding a closure, and we hope that you support both schools in recognising the reasoning behind their respective decisions. Should these different decisions cause an issue for any Junior child, we are willing to discuss this on a case by case basis.


As a result of the Infants’ closure, the school kitchen will be closed on Friday 18th December. We will therefore be unable to provide a school lunch on that day and we ask all children to come with a packed lunch. If your child is eligible for Free School Meals, and would need a packed lunch providing by the school, please contact the school office staff as soon as possible so that we can make appropriate arrangements.


Parent/Carer Survey


As we reach the end of our first term this academic year, we are keen to gather the views of our school community on what you feel we are doing well, and to hear of any areas where you think we could improve.


The survey can be accessed through the following link: CHJS Parent/Carer Survey


Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey.  Your opinions will help inform the school’s decisions over the rest of the school year.


We will provide feedback on the results of this survey in the Spring Term 2021.


Thank you for your continued support.


Christmas Jumper Day – Friday 11th December 2020

We have decided to support ‘Save the Children’ and take part in a ‘Christmas Jumper Day’ on Friday 11th December 2020.


The children are invited to come to school in their usual uniform, with their Christmas jumper, t-shirt or even socks!


Due to Covid restrictions, we will not be collecting money in school but kindly ask that you donate directly to the charity using this weblink:


Thank you in advance for your support and have a happy and safe Christmas to you all!


Year 5 Parent/Teacher Consultations

We would like to invite you to a 10 minute session with your child’s class teacher to discuss their progress in Year 5.


The meeting will take place during the day on Tuesday 24th November 2020 between 8am and 6pm. If you are unable to make this date please contact your child’s class teacher to arrange an alternative date, as we feel it is very important that we meet with all parents/carers.


In a normal year this would take place face-to-face in school, but in order to ensure the safety of everyone within our school community these meetings will be held virtually via Microsoft Teams. The system has been trialled successfully ahead of the parent/teacher consultations, and by following the advice below we should be able to provide the same meeting experience as you would have had in normal circumstances.


Teams should work on any internet-connected phone, tablet or computer. If you do not have access to the internet at home or a suitable device then please contact the school office so that we can make alternative arrangements.


To book your meeting, you will need to click on the following link:


Once you open the link, select your child’s class at the top of the page, select the date shown above and then all available times on the day will be listed. Bookings will work on a first come, first served basis. There is a short form to complete with details about yourself and your child, as well as a box to provide the teacher with any information about any particular topics or issues you would like to discuss.


On the day of the meetings, it is really important that meetings run to time. To help our staff, and all other families in the class, we have put together a guide for parents. An electronic version is attached to this letter, and a paper copy will be sent home with your child today.


Please fill in the blanks with your meeting time and child’s log in details so that you have all the information you should need to access the meeting in the same place and keep the document to hand on the meeting day.


The Year 5 team look forward to meeting with you and discussing how your child has settled back into school life and their targets moving forwards.


Thank you for your continued support.




Parent/Teacher Consultations via Microsoft Teams

To help the meetings run smoothly, and allow you the full 10 minutes of meeting time with the class teacher, we are asking all parents and carers to follow the advice below in setting up for the meetings. Please fill in all information as needed below and keep this document to hand on the day of the meeting.


From 2 weeks before the meeting


  1. If you do not have access to the internet, or need technical support at any stage of the process, contact the school office on 01702 478570 as soon as possible. We will work with you to find the best solution to any issues.


  1. If you have access to the internet, book your meeting via this link (using a personal email account):


  1. Once you open the link, select your child’s class at the top of the page, select the date shown above and then all available times on the day will be listed. Bookings will work on a first come, first served basis.


  1. Make a note of your meeting time here: Date:  _______________________


Time:  _______________________


  1. Make a note of your child’s Teams account details below. This is very important to have to hand on the day of the meeting, and without it you will not be able to access the meeting. Should you not know these details, or think you have lost them, then please contact the school office or your child’s teacher.


Child’s Teams email address:


Child’s password:  ________________________________


On the day: meeting set up


  1. Make sure your child’s Teams account is logged in on the device you will use for the meeting. This can be either through the free Teams app or web browser option. Without this, you will not be able to access the meeting. This is due to the safety measures in place to make sure children cannot be contacted by people outside of school.


  1. Log in at least 5 minutes before the meeting start time, using the link sent in the booking confirmation to your personal email account. The link must be opened on the same device that is logged into Teams.


  1. Contact the school office if there is a connection issue and our ICT team will help troubleshoot issues. Please do not try to email/contact the class teacher as their account will not be checked during the meeting day.


We cannot guarantee we can solve all issues, but we will try our best to get you online in time for your meeting time.


  1. Your class teacher will join the meeting as soon as they are ready. As with any parent consultation, it is possible for delays to happen so please bear with us if your meeting starts a little later than planned.



We thank you for your support in following these steps so that our virtual

parent/teacher consultation days can run smoothly for all members of our school community.

Positive case of Covid 19

We have been made aware of a pupil in our school community who has tested positive for COVID 19. However, given the circumstances of the particular case, the Department for Education (DfE) has advised the school that no other members of the school community need to isolate at this time.

We know that you may find this concerning but we are continuing to monitor the situation and are working closely with the DfE and, if required at a later point, Public Health England. This letter is to inform you of the current situation and provide advice on how to support your child.

Once we were notified of the positive test, the school’s leadership team followed the established reporting procedures, which includes contacting the DfE. The DfE advise on a school’s next steps in the event of an individual occurrence, based on the circumstances of that particular case.

The DfE advice that we were given stated that:

  • The time when people who have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) are infectious to others is from 2 days before the onset of symptoms to 10 days afterwards, or from 2 days prior to the date of their test to 10 days afterwards if they have had no symptoms.
  • Only people who came into contact with an individual who has had a positive test result for coronavirus (COVID-19) during this time need to be advised to self-isolate.

Given the circumstances of the positive case, whereby the child had not been in school for more than 2 days prior to being tested, the advice was given that the class bubble does not need to isolate.

Please note, we will not be sharing any more details regarding this specific case, and advise all families to respect the privacy of those involved by not seeking or sharing any further details within the school community.

The school remains open and your child should continue to attend as normal if they remain well.

We have attached to this letter further advice on what to do should your own child begin to develop any symptoms of Covid-19. Please be assured that this is part of the standard letter that the DfE has provided for us to use in reporting a positive case within our school community.

Thank you for your continued support.



What to do if your child develops symptoms of COVID 19


If your child develops symptoms of COVID-19, they must not come to school and should remain at home for at least 10 days from the date when their symptoms appeared. Anyone with symptoms will be eligible for testing and this can be arranged via or by calling 119.


All other household members who remain well, must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. This includes anyone in your ‘Support Bubble’.


Further information is available at:


The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.


Household members should not go to work, school or public areas and exercise should be taken within the home.


If you require help with buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication, or walking a dog, you should ask friends or family. Alternatively, you can order your shopping online and medication by phone or online.


Household members staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community


If you are able, move any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period.




The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:


  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)


For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.


If your child does develop symptoms, you can seek advice from the website at If you are concerned about your child’s symptoms, or they are worsening you can seek advice from NHS 111 at or by phoning 111.


How to stop COVID-19 spreading


There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with COVID-19



  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards



Further Information

Further information is available at