We are trying to find ways to help the school stay connected during the pandemic. Children and staff spend their days in their bubbles, rarely seeing other children and staff from other bubbles. This is hard!
It is also one of the contributory factors in the increase in tensions that we are seeing between the children – they are spending too much time in each other’s company and not mixing with children from other classes.
They are starting to tire of each other quickly, they are quick to fall out and bicker. There is definitely an escalation in these behaviours across all the bubbles. They are also feeling the tension of a second lockdown – concerned that it may be the same as before. They are concerned about their families at home -our anxieties and stresses are easily passed on, regardless of how much we try to shield them from it. They are worried about the financial implications of a lockdown, furlough and possible job losses for the family. Despite trying to safeguard the children from adult conversations, children overhear a lot and these worries then play on their minds. This all adds to the tension they are feeling. Of course, they then take it out on each other! In their eyes, is the easiest way to deal with hurt and anxiety. By making someone else feel bad, we share the pain we are feeling with them. It’s a very childlike response.
This is not just happening at Elmhurst. Many schools across the nation are reporting similar concerns about the deterioration in behaviour since the start of the lockdown in March and the return to school in September.
Interestingly, after I had drafted the above, this appeared in a recent newspaper interview with Amanda Speilman, HM Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills:
“I’m hearing some worrying things. One of the things I’m hearing from a lot of people is that pupil behaviour is worsening. Pupils are coming to school, they are really stressed. Many of them are experiencing very difficult home lives at the moment with parents who are stressed about work, about unemployment, about money, stressed about personal relationships at home.
And then pupils are coming to school and taking out that frustration in school. I’m hearing many stories about pupil behaviour worsening.”
We need to deal with these behaviours whilst recognising the impact that this period of uncertainty has on the children. All children respond differently. There is no one magic fix for all. We need to do all that we can to continue to promote the idea of the school community and a feeling that we are all in this together and a need to support each other. We need to show kindness and tolerance towards each other in all that we do, regardless of our personal stresses and conflicts. We need to model how we want our children to be. The vast majority of children and caregivers do a wonderful job of this. Thank you!
One of the ways we are trying to keep the school connected is by hosting whole school assemblies via Teams. We had our first “trial” last Friday and will try again tomorrow. We were able to get six of the classes connected, some with video and some without and the level of excitement at seeing friends in other classes was tangible. Unfortunately, there are always technical glitches but we will keep going! We will get the whole school together!
Tracy and Mike
WILLOW class have non -uniform tomorrow. See message on Class Dojo.
Attendance for the week beginning: 2nd November 2020
Whole school – 94.2% – to be expected!
Year 3 – 96.7% – well done, year 3. Joint top of the leaderboard.
Year 4 – 95.0%
Year 5 – 96.7% – well done, year 5. Joint top of the leaderboard
Year 6 – 88.8%
Parents must make sure they supervise the children in the car park at the start and end of the day. It is not a playground and children should not be playing by the cars. From now on, we will be monitoring the car park to ensure that no children or adults are near the cars.
We have had to open up the car park entrance to help with school safety. Staff should not be having their cars damaged as a result.
Welcome to Mrs Katie Twitchen
Katie has now officially started and we are very pleased to welcome her to the team. There are many things to get to grips with when you start a new job, so please give Katie time to settle in. There may, as a result of Katie’s experience and expertise, be changes to the way things are done. We will keep you posted!
Covid Risk Assessment
As you will be aware from last week’s newsletter, we have now updated the risk assessment in line with the lockdown. The summary document is available here: Risk assessment summary. We thank all of you for your continued support in helping to keep everyone safe.
Thank you to all of the parents and caregivers who are supporting the school by wearing masks at the school gates. We appreciate that it isn’t popular with everyone but it will help to keep our school community safe.
Related to this, and keeping children safe, all children in the school will have the opportunity to have the flu vaccination on Tuesday 24th November. If you have not already done so, please give your permission via the NHS site. You must also inform us, via the site, if you do not wish your child to have the vaccination.
Please, as part of the risk assessment, may we remind parents and caregivers to not allow the children to bring in additional toys and items from home into school. Several toys are sneaking in. They will be confiscated if found.
Children in Need
We have made the decision this year not to fundraise for Children in Need. We are aware that many families are in vulnerable financial positions and the extra pressure that fundraising activities in school can place on families.
We will be raising awareness in school, however, and I’m sure that there will be fun activities along the way. If you are in a position to support this charity and feel that it is something you can do at this time, please make a donation via the official website: https://www.bbcchildreninneed.co.uk/
Children will be expected to wear school uniform but can wear additional “Pudsey” items if they wish.
Help if needed: Sleep advice service
We understand that if you have one child that doesn’t sleep, the whole family suffers. Cerebra have a range of sleep services that will help your child – and everyone in your family – get a good night’s sleep. It may be worth having a look!
Following on from last week’s newsletter, if you do see someone sleeping rough, you can make a referral to Streetlink. This is a really good way to make sure that the rough sleepers can access the support they need long term.
Referrals can be made by going to www.streetlink.org.uk and completing an online form. The more information provided, the better.
Streetlink supports people rough sleeping to connect with local support services and will pass this information on to the local outreach service to respond to. Elim Connect Centre Outreach Team is funded by Mendip District Council to provide support to rough sleepers throughout Mendip. Connect Outreach work with key organisations across Mendip, to enable fast and effective access to a wide range of services. Connect Outreach work closely with Mendip District Council to end homelessness by supporting people into accommodation either locally or out of area depending on individual eligibility and need.
You would think that with social distancing and bubbles, we would not still be having the “nit” conversation. They are rife at the moment though! We now have three classrooms where headlice have been spotted. I’m sure we will be hearing of more soon.
If everyone follows the guidance, the advice below may help. (Taken from the NHS website)
Head lice and nits are very common in young children and their families. They do not have anything to do with dirty hair and are picked up by head-to-head contact.
How to get rid of head lice
You can treat head lice without seeing a GP.
Treat head lice as soon as you spot them.
You should check everyone in the house and start treating anyone who has head lice on the same day.
There’s no need to keep your child off school if they have head lice.
Lice and nits can be removed by wet combing. You should try this method first.
You can buy a special fine-toothed comb (detection comb) online or from pharmacies to remove head lice and nits.
There may be instructions on the pack, but usually you:
- wash hair with ordinary shampoo
- apply lots of conditioner (any conditioner will do)
- comb the whole head of hair, from the roots to the ends
It usually takes about 10 minutes to comb short hair, and 20 to 30 minutes for long, frizzy or curly hair.
Do wet combing on days 1, 5, 9 and 13 to catch any newly hatched head lice. Check again that everyone’s hair is free of lice on day 17.
Medicated lotions and sprays
Ask a pharmacist for advice if you have tried wet combing for 17 days, but your child still has live head lice.
They may recommend using medicated lotions and sprays. These kill head lice in all types of hair, and you can buy them from pharmacies, supermarkets or online.
Head lice should die within a day. Some lotions and sprays come with a comb to remove dead lice and eggs.
Some treatments need to be repeated after a week to kill any newly hatched lice.
Check the pack to see if they’re OK for you or your child and how to use them.
If lotions or sprays do not work, speak to a pharmacist about other treatments.
Some treatments are not recommended because they’re unlikely to work.
- products containing permethrin
- head lice “repellents”
- electric combs for head lice
- tree and plant oil treatments, such as tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil and lavender oil herbal remedies
ESA virtual shopping event
We are sorry to let you know that we have decided to cancel the ESA Christmas Shopping Weekend this weekend as we simply haven’t had enough interest to make it a success. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause and we are so grateful for your support.
Karen Bell, our peripatetic music teacher, is able to offer a few additional clarinet lessons during the school day. Primarily, this will be aimed at year 5 children initially who may have missed it last year due to the lockdown but it is also open to other year groups as well. Beginners are welcome. If you are interested, please call the office on 01458 44297 and ask to speak to Mrs. James. She will be able to give you more information.
The instrument hire is free but the cost of the lesson will be:
£11.00 per 20 minutes for an individual lesson
£5.50 per 20 minutes for two sharing or 30 minutes for 3 sharing.
A message from the Blue Peter team:
Blue Peter is the longest running kids TV show in the world and we are uploading videos to it that are suitable for 5-11 year olds. We have world record-breaking challenges, arts and crafts, environmental videos, cooking and baking how-tos, inspirational films, gaming, celebrity appearances, dance routines, and music performances. We also feature ways of getting a Blue Peter badge, behind the scenes footage, and extra content about our incredible presenters Adam, Lindsey, Mwaksy, Richie and Henry the Blue Peter dog.
If you think your child would be interested in this, please subscribe to https://www.youtube.com/bluepeter – (it’s obviously completely free to subscribe!) and don’t forget to watch the live programme on CBBC at 5.30 pm every week, or on BBC iPlayer.
Well done to Thomas in Oak class for acheiving the St Johns Ambulance Super Badger award. This is the highest award given and we are very proud of Thomas!
Work from around the school
With so much else going on it is important just to stop, take a moment and breathe. Appreciate what is around us! Let’s end the week with this:
“Breathe! Look after yourselves and each other”