Dear Parents and Carers,
We would love to be writing to you now, telling you that we are ready for opening up again in line with the “Freedom day” that has been announced – see the guidance below.
The reality, though, is that we can’t. This is about my fourth draft of the newsletter this week – the situation is changing daily. We have seen an increase in positive cases across all year groups in the school and we have many, many children and staff who are isolating as a result or isolating whilst awaiting test results. On Friday last week, we had 97 children, out of 321, out across the school. The vast majority of absences were related to Covid. On Monday this week, following advice from PHE, we had to close three more classes and the Wrap Around Provision as a precautionary measure whilst waiting for PCR results to come back. On Tuesday, we informed parents of two of these classes that they would need to continue to isolate until next Tuesday. Wrap Around Provision is now closed for the rest of the year. On Wednesday, we had to inform one of the classes that, due to additional cases, their isolation period had been extended. Today, Wednesday, we have also closed Pine class as a precautionary measure. On Wednesday evening, we were made aware of more potential cases. On Thursday morning, we received a notification of a positive PCR result. See the summary table below for the current situation. This is not the way we wanted to end the school year but they are the circumstances we find ourselves in.
The situation is likely to change again over the next few days as different test results come back in. We will keep you posted via Dojo, the school website, and the Facebook page. Please ensure you can access at least one of these platforms or have friends who are able to.
The symptoms children are displaying, if any, are different from the initial symptoms we are all too well aware of now. We are seeing an increase in headaches, sore throats, sickness, and general tiredness leading to positive LFT test results. For children who go on to have a PCR test, a requirement of a positive LFT test, most tests are coming back positive.
We understand your frustration but we will be keeping to the staggered start and end times for the last week of the term. We will be sticking with class bubbles as well. We have limited, as much as we can, movement across different classes. We will continue to limit access to the site for all visitors.
The latest DFE advice can be found here in this useful summary:
This is from the guidance, ‘From August 16, children will no longer have to isolate if they are a Covid close contact. This means the isolation of close contacts will “stay in place until the end of term.’
We are not able to share with you the specifics of individual children or staff results, when the tests are done or which tests or when we are informed of the results etc, so you need to trust that we are making the right decisions based on the information we have, the guidance we have been given from PHE and the DFE, and the needs of the greater good. We value your continued support with this.
We will try to make sure that as many of the end of term activities/ treats that we had planned to do take place in a covid secure way. Key dates at the moment are Sports day – Friday 16th for years 3/4 and Thursday 22nd for 5/6 (weather dependent), Year 6 Leaver’s services/ ESA party -Thursday 22nd, the Y6 campfire -Tuesday 20th. We will do everything within our power to ensure these things go ahead. We may just need to play around with the days a little and they may all need to take place in the last week but we will do them if we can! If we can’t, it will not be through lack of trying!
We have been asked if it is possible to live stream or record some of the end-of-year events. If we were at full capacity with staffing, we may be able to do something and would gladly do it, as we have always done, so that parents feel involved but we aren’t. Our focus will be on the children having a good time whilst remaining socially distanced, cleaning equipment, and making sure that everything is as safe as possible. We would also need to go into the GDPR side of things as to which children can/ can’t appear in the video/ live stream and then make sure we don’t include someone inadvertently. We would also then run the risk of missing someone from the live stream/ video and then parents feeling that it isn’t fair. This is a no-win situation.
It will be an interesting end to the school year!
Tracy and Mike
A summary of the current class situation (as of Thursday 15th July):
Wrap Around Provision is now closed for the rest of the school year due to staffing issues.
We will have no school crossing patrol until Friday 23rd July.
|Class name||Class teacher||What is happening?|
|ASH||Miss Birch||Operating as normal|
|WILLOW||Mrs Porter||Operating as normal|
|ROWAN||Miss Litchfield||Operating as normal|
|FIR||Miss House||Closed. We have received confirmation of a positive PCR test within the 48 hour period. This means, unfortunately, that the class is now closed until beyond the end of the school year. Miss House will be in touch via Google classroom.|
|HOLLY||Miss Milburn||Operating as normal|
|CEDAR||Mr Mullen||Operating as normal|
|SYCAMORE||Mrs Vian/ |
|Operating as normal|
|HAZEL||Mrs Greenwell||Operating as normal|
|PINE||Ms Dyer||Closed as a precautionary measure whilst we await test results. If the tests come back negative, the children and staff may return to school on Monday 19th. We will update you as soon as we get the results. Children will need to access Google classroom.|
|OAK||Mrs Rousell||Closed. The children and staff may possibly return on Tuesday 20th July. We are waiting to hear the results of more positive LFT results which have occurred within the 48 hour period. This could extend the isolation period beyond the end of the school year. We hope to update by the end of the day tomorrow, depending on when we receive the PCR results. |
Mrs Chard is isolating until the end of term and will not be back in.
|YEW||Ms Prichard||Operating as normal.|
|ELM||Mrs Carpenter||Open for the children. Mrs Carpenter is isolating and will be able to return on Friday 23rd July. Mrs Carpenter is providing remote learning and live video lessons.|
Website posts you may have missed:
Attendance at Elmhurst – w/c 5th July
Whole school – 94.6%
Yr3 – 95.2%
Yr4 – 97.0%
Yr 5 – 89.8%
Yr 6 – 95.0%
Holly had 100 % attendance. Well done!
Reading at Elmhurst
We expect all children to read at least four times a week to an adult.
No one reached the 100% target last week but Hazel came very close! Come on Elmhurst. Get reading!
Please support your child by reading with them at home.
Summer Reading challenge– a reminder
Wondering how to keep your children occupied during the summer holiday? Street Community Library has fantastic news! The Summer Reading Challenge is back. Children are challenged to read 6 books of their choice between 10th July and 10th September. Children get a free pack from the library, stickers as they progress, and a medal and certificate when they complete the challenge.
This year’s exciting “Wild World Heroes” theme will inspire children to explore ways of helping to save the planet. The challenge is all about reading for pleasure. There are activities and games on the Reading Agency website (this is positive screen time as it’s linked to reading!). We will also be holding fun events in the library. Please check Street Library’s Facebook page or the Somerset Libraries website for updates.
You can register children by popping into the library (from 10th July) or via this website: Somerset Libraries Registration Form http://bit.ly/WildWorldHeroes
Reading adventure – click on the image to find out more
Summer activities for children in receipt of FSM – a reminder
All parents/ carers of children in receipt of FSM should have received an email with details about various summer activities that are being provided free of charge over the summer holidays. Some of the activities, run by Premier Sports, are being held at school. Parents need to book directly via the details in the email and using the code provided on the email. Other activities are being held at different venues. Parents can choose which ones to attend. Pleas etake up this offer!!
Summer FSM food vouchers, purchased by SCC, will be sent to families ready for the summer break. Please check your email if your child/ren qualifies for FSM.
Inclusive Activities calendar – a reminder
We’re excited to share with you our Inclusive Activities Calendar for the Summer holidays! These activities are for children who have disabilities or additional needs and include a variety of face-to-face, online, and activity packs delivered to the young person’s door. The calendar, as well as more information about the Community Inclusion Activity Team, can be found under the Local Offer at Children with Disabilities Service (somerset.gov.uk)
Parent Pay – last reminder
As you are aware, we now use Parent Pay for all bookings. Parent Pay can be accessed via the link below. Activation codes are needed from the school office if you haven’t used it previously.
Lunches and WAP will need to be booked via Parent Pay. For all inquiries about Parent Pay, please contact Abbie Laffen via the school office.
All parents, including those in receipt of FSM, will need to send their orders in for lunches, via Parent Pay, before Friday 16th July. Thank you!
Due to end-of-year procedures, Parent Pay will be closed from Friday 16th July at 3 pm but will reopen again from 9 am on Friday 23rd July. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience.
Extra information about WAP and school lunches, including deadlines, may be found on the school website following the links below:
Work from the week: Poetry focus
Here are some of the poems written this week at Elmhurst: