News & Events

Newsletter: 10th September 2020

Dear Parents, Carers and friends,

We are back!

It was so lovely to see the children come back to school on Monday. Yes, there have been a few teething problems but the vast majority of the children have done really well! We are particularly proud of the year 3 children and those new to the school. In fact, it has been a really lovely calm start to the year all round. Many members of staff have commented on this, including our lunchtime team. It’s going to be a good year!

We appreciate that there are new routines to get used to but, if everyone does their bit, it will help things run even more smoothly. Here are a couple of reminders of those routines:

  1. Car park

The car park is for staff only. Please do not park in the car park. All staff are expected to park at the lower end of the car park. The top end is to be kept clear as the children use the entrance. No cars, including deliveries and staff vehicles, will be allowed to drive into the car park between 8.20-9.00 am and 2.45-3.30pm. We apologise in advance for the inconvenience this will cause and thank you for your support thus far.

On the note of parking, we do appreciate that the staggered start and end times have made the parking situation even worse than before. We would ask all our families to a) walk or cycle where possible and b) if unable to walk, to park considerately and legally. We have been informed that some parents have parked at the traffic lights on the double yellow lines. Traffic wardens have been asked to monitor parking closely.

We all need to do what we must to keep the children safe. Thank you in advance for your support.

2. Entry times and gates

Please ensure you use the correct entrance for your class at the correct time. Thank you to all the parents and carers who have tried to keep to the timings as much as possible – it really is working much more smoothly now. Thank you!

DROP OFF:

YEAR 6 ELMYEAR 6 YEWYEAR 6 OAKYEAR 5 SYCAMOREYEAR 5 PINEYEAR 5 HAZELYEAR 4 FIRYEAR 4 HOLLYYEAR 4 CEDARYEAR 3 ASHYEAR 3 WILLOWYEAR 3 ROWAN
8.25-8.30TRAFFIC LIGHTS GATECAR PARK GATEMAIN GATE
8:35-8:40MAIN GATETRAFFIC LIGHTS GATECAR PARK GATE
8.45-8.50MAIN GATETRAFFIC LIGHTS GATECAR PARK GATE
8.55-9.00MAIN GATETRAFFIC LIGHTS GATECAR PARK GATE

COLLECTION:

YEAR 6 ELMYEAR 6 YEWYEAR 6 OAKYEAR 5 SYCAMOREYEAR 5 PINEYEAR 5 HAZELYEAR 4 FIRYEAR 4 HOLLYYEAR 4 CEDARYEAR 3 ASHYEAR 3 WILLOWYEAR 3 ROWAN
2.50TRAFFIC LIGHTS GATECAR PARK GATEMAIN GATE
3:00MAIN GATETRAFFIC LIGHTS GATECAR PARK GATE
3:10MAIN GATETRAFFIC LIGHTS GATECAR PARK GATE
3:20MAIN GATETRAFFIC LIGHTS GATECAR PARK GATE

Don’t forget to look at the posts on the website. They may help to answer and questions: Returning to school: Monday 7th September and We are back!

3. Social distancing

Please remember to abide by the current social distancing expectations when dropping off and collecting. This also applies to some of the older children who are walking independently – they also need to social distance on the way to and from school, especially if they are walking with friends in other bubbles. They should not be in groups of more than 6.

On this note, Amy Lovell has made a great suggestion to help with social distancing on the walk to school. We are suggesting that parents and children coming up towards the school use the path on the school field for the incoming journey and the path by the houses for the outgoing journey. Of course, we can’t enforce this as it is outside school but it would make sense! It would stop parents and children needing to step into the road to social distance. Thank you in advance for your support.

Attendance for the week beginning: (we will start publishing attendance figures next week)

Attendance on Monday was 97.8%, Tuesday was 98% and Wednesday was 98%

This is a fantastic start and above our target each day! Well done, and thank you, to everyone for such a great start ot the school year.

We publish year group percentages each week. The year group with the best attendance will receive an additional playtime as a treat. Any class which has 100% will also be celebrated. We do know, though, that attendance is going to be challenging during these Covid times. We will always hope to work with parents should any attendance concerns arise.

We will be following the guidance re testing and absences. This has been produced to help parents and families:

What’s happening next week? w/b 14th September: (click on the date to go to the school calendar)

At the moment, the diary is very quiet. It will get busier as we get into the term and settle into routines so watch this space. The term dates and other key dates can be found via the above link.

We will post weekly reminders and updates here.

News items and updates

1. Staffing – Saying hello.

We would like to welcome Claire London and Jo Gough to the school. Both Claire and Jo bring a wealth of experience to our team at Elmhurst. Olivia Cave has moved from the WAP team and is now based in Rowan class. Karen Crafer has also joined us in Elm class, in addition to her lunchtime role. Molly Wilkins has also done the same but in Fir class.

We also welcome Becky Gamble to the team. Becky has joined the lunch team in Ash class and will also help with enhanced cleaning around the school.

We are very pleased to welcome them all.

Our return to school has also been tinged with sadness though. Mrs Murray was taken ill at the start of the school holiday and is unable to return to school for the near future. Sarah is, and will continue to be, a vital part of the school team. She now needs to take some time to look after her own health. Although unable to return to work, you will see Mrs Murray out and about. Please stop and say hello to her when you see her. She misses the children terribly!

Mrs. Murray has sent in a beautiful book as a gift for the children. You may have read it: “The boy, the mole, the fox, and the horse” by Charlie Mackesy. It is a beautiful book! We will find a way to share it with all the classes.

2. Okehampton and Hestercombe

Back in June, we posted this update for Okehampton and Hestercombe. We are now in the position to give you a little more detail, as planned.

Okehampton

The Year 6 Okehampton trip, originally planned for next week, has now been moved to Wednesday 26th May until Friday 28th May. More details will follow about this as we appreciate that it is a shorter trip. Due to the changes in circumstances, we would ask that all parents who would like their child to go to Okehampton, pay the full amount (£300 or £150 for those families in receipt of pupil premium funding) before the end of the Autumn term. This has been extended from the original deadline. We are hoping to run an additional day trip to somewhere like Woodlands to make up for the fact that the trip is shorter. Of course, this is all dependent on the Covid situation at the time. We will, of course, keep you posted and if, for some reason, the trip can not go ahead all monies paid will be refunded.

Any monies paid towards Okehampton thus far will be transferred across to the new booking.

Hestercombe

Unfortunately, we could not rebook Hestercombe for the children in year 4 at the end of the last school year (the current year 5 children). Instead, we have transferred the money paid into your Parent Pay accounts from Hestercombe to the Okehampton September 2021 trip, as a down payment. We would usually ask you at this point to start making contributions towards Okehampton so we thought that this would make sense. More details about the Okehampton trip for September 2021 will follow next half term, once things have settled down. We will then be in a position to let you know about the trip, the costs and the times.

If you would like to discuss this, please contact either Mike Lawrence or Tracy Edwards.

3. Home school agreement

Your child will be coming home with an updated Home School Agreement. Usually, this is shared with new parents in year 3. We have updated the agreement in light of the current climate. By sending your child to Elmhurst, you automatically sign up to the agreement. If you have any concerns, please contact us to discuss them. It would also be very helpful if you discussed the agreement with your child. Thank you.

4. Class dojo

Many parents have already signed up for Class Dojo. This is the easiest way to communicate directly with your child’s class teacher. If you haven’t signed up to it, please do so if you are able to. We aim to have all classes set up by the end of the week. The Parents Facebook page is great for general questions but Dojo is best for specific class queries.

Please could we remind you that Class Dojo is intended for parents and teachers to use. PLEASE DO NOT ALLOW CHILDREN TO ACCESS IT. Class teachers will remove children who have been added.

5. Reading at Elmhurst

Teachers are currently busy trying to organise reading books for every child in their class making sure that they are matched up with a text that fits their current ability. We are using reading ages and phonics assessments to work out books that the children feel confident reading at home to practise their current reading level and then helping the children to choose from a selection of appropriate books. This is a work in progress and is very hard to gauge quickly so please bear with us as we get things organised. There will be mistakes along the way so just chat with your class teacher if you feel the book is not at the appropriate level. We would like all the children to aim for reading at home (with an adult in year three and four; more independently in year five and six) four times or more. This needs to be recorded in the reading records and these will be collected in every Friday. Many thanks for your support with reading in advance!

6. Data collection and parental permissions

Please could all Year 3 parents send in their data colection and parent permission slips as soon as possible.

7. School vacancies

There are a couple of vacancies in the school.

School Business Manager

Mrs Smith, our Finance Officer, will be leaving us at the end of September. Karen has been at Elmhurst for the last twenty three years and will be missed but we all wish her the every best for her future journies! (Travel is beckoning!)

Please see the vacancies page for more details and an application form.

School cleaner

We also have a vacancy for an additional cleaner. If you are interested, please contact the school office for an application form or download it here:

The job will be 11.25 hours per week. Grade 17 – £9.00 per hour and is paid for 45.3980 weeks per year and paid over 12 months. This includes two weeks holiday deep clean.

If you would like to know more, before completing an application form, please contact Mike Lawrence. The closing date for this vacancy is Monday 21st September.

And finally…

“Smile when you talk on the phone – it makes your voice friendly.”

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