A change to school meals next week

SCHOOL DINNERS – CHANGE OF MENU

 

On Thursday 1st October 2020, the school meal menu will be as follows:

 

Lunch

Breaded Fish or Vegetable Frittata

served with Garden Peas & Sweetcorn

 

Side Dish

Chips

 

Dessert

Homemade Carrot Cake

 

Drink

Fruit Juice

 

The menu on Friday 2nd October will be swapped with Thursday’s hot meal choices.

Newsletter – 25th September 2020

I cannot believe that we are at the midway point of the first half term already! It is great to see the children are still coming to school with smiles on their faces. We are at a point where the weather is starting to turn inclement. To remain as fit and healthy as we possibly can, please ensure that your child wears the appropriate outer clothing and that you drop your child off within the 10-minute window, so that we can continue to run a smooth, staggered entry time. If it helps with the morning run, please drop off all siblings to school at the end of the earliest sibling’s time slot.

 

Our number one priority as a school since our return in September has been to focus on the wellbeing of all pupils, staff and families. We are always looking for ways that we can tweak our plans and routines to make small positive steps forward wherever possible. Now that the pupils have all settled in and have done a good job of adjusting to the new measures and expectations, we are looking to make three small but important changes to the daily routines from Monday.

 

Firstly, we are now in a position to create a fifth playground space to allow all of Year 5 & 6 classes out at the same time every day. We are confident the classes know the expectations around not crossing bubbles and the pathways around the playground, we can create a 3rd space within the netball courts.

 

Secondly, we are going to extend our morning breaks for all year groups to 20 minutes. Our small site limits our opportunities to extend breaks fully back to where they were pre-lockdown whilst ensuring everyone’s safety. However, with routines settled down and pupils settling into learning quicker, we want to give them the chance to get as much time outside as we can. It is a careful balance of ensuring that we do not also impact significantly on their teacher-led learning time which so many missed out on during the lockdown. We want to reassure you that class teachers are always looking for other opportunities for short brain or movement breaks in the classroom or opportunities to take the learning outside.

 

Thirdly, we are reintroducing assemblies from next Monday, albeit in a different way to how they were run pre-lockdown. Assemblies are a hugely important part of school life as a collective sharing of positive stories, experiences and at time reminders of expectations. Having assemblies back will help the community feel of the school to grow again. In order to ensure your child and the safety of the whole class bubble, there will only be two classes (in Year 3/4) or three classes (in Year 5/6) in a hall at any one time, with at least a 2m gap between groups. The hall and classrooms windows are open allowing good airflow to further reduce any transmission risks.

 

Thank you to those who have continued to engage with Microsoft Teams and the homework. Just to reiterate, much the same as before the pandemic, if your child is at home unwell, there is no expectation to complete the ‘Home Learning Work’, therefore feedback will only be provided to those children who are unable to attend school because they are isolating due to the fact that someone in their bubble, or someone at home, has symptoms and is awaiting test results.

 

Attendance Matters.

Overall attendance this week is 96%.

 

Thank you for your continued support.

 

 

 

Letter from Public Health England

Public Health England have produced a letter for schools to distribute to parents which explains when a person requires a coronavirus test and what the symptoms of coronavirus are. 

The intention of the letter is to help prevent children being taken out of school unnecessarily and answer some of the questions parents may have around testing.

Please click on the link below to access the letter.

23rd September – PHE letter to parents and guardians

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.