News & Events

Newsletter: 24th September 2020

Dear Caregivers,

Many of you may be aware that there are confirmed cases of Covid 19 at two of our local schools. Year 2 and year 6 are closed at Brookside and year 8 and 9 at Crispin. It is important to remember that behind the statistics are real families who are worried about their loved ones. We wish the children and young people involved a speedy recovery.

Due to the recent changes in guidance as a result of the increase in Covid cases, we are tightening some of the measures put in place.

From Monday, no caregivers will be allowed inside the school gate (this includes the top gate access, please try not to gather on the pavement once you have dropped off). Any additional adults who do need to enter the site, due to pre-arranged meetings with a member of staff, for example, MUST wear a face covering or shield and use the antibacterial hand gel. All adults who are waiting outside the gates must adhere to the 2m social distancing rule and all children must be encouraged to do this where possible. Children are still able to bring their own antibacterial hand gel in but it must be at least 70% alcohol.

We do appreciate that it isn’t as easy to talk to the class teacher at the beginning or end of the day. This is even harder when they are supervising children at the gate. If you do need to speak with a member of staff, please contact them via email or Dojo and they will arrange a conversation if needed. If you do engage in a conversation with a member of staff, please remember to keep a safe distance.

There are many parents who are also contacting the school office to pass on messages to the children. Of course, we will always pass on messages in the case of an emergency but, at the moment, the office team is being asked to pass on all sorts of messages. Please could we ask that you make sure that your child knows arrangements for collection before you drop them off at school?

We know that it is all very strange and certainly not the way that we would normally operate at Elmhurst but we must do all that we can to lessen the risk of exposure for all members of the school community. Thank you for your ongoing support.

Tracy and Mike

Attendance for the week beginning: 14th September 2020

Whole school – 94.6 %

Year 3 – 96.9% – well done , year 3. Top of the leaderboard!

Year 4 – 94.5%

Year 5 – 96.2%

Year 6 – 91.1%

What’s happening next week? w/b 28th September: (click on the date to go to the school calendar)

Much is going on in school but, once again, there isn’t much that we can invite you to at this point!

News items and updates

Test and Trace letter

We have been asked to share the attached letter with all our families. Please read:

The letter also includes a useful link to an NHS website: Is my child too ill for school?

Home learning during isolation

We do understand the concern that many parents have about sending children to school during the pandemic. These are worrying times for all. In school, we are doing everything we can to lessen the risk of possible infection. If you do have concerns, please talk to us.

We have many children and staff who display possible symptoms. In line with guidance, these children and staff are sent home and required to be tested. We also have many children and staff at this time of the year who catch common colds and develop coughs. Unfortunately, this is part of school life. It can be very hard to distinguish between symptoms and, as we are not medically trained, we will always err on the side of caution and send children home if they are displaying the key symptoms of:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot, for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
  • a loss or change to sense of smell or taste – this means they cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

If we do call you to collect your child, we need you to do this without hesitation or discussion. Thank you.

If we send your child home to be tested, the best home learning that they can do whilst waiting for the result is lots of reading and learning their times tables, with the associated division facts.

Watch Ruth Miskin’s helpful video: 10 things to think about when reading with your child:

We would hope that all tests are returned as a negative result for our children and families but, if the result is a positive one, we would work with Public Health England to decide the best course of action. Parents will be informed via email/ class dojo/ the website and Facebook. Please make sure that you are able to access at least one of these platforms.

Access to home learning via Google classroom

It is vital that caregivers let the class teacher know as soon as possible if they have access to the internet and a device at home that can access Google classroom.

If a test result is returned as a positive one, the child, family and connected others will need to go into isolation. This could be the class bubble, the year bubble, the school – dependent on the advice given from PHE.

We need to be prepared and know who can access Google classroom and who would need paper copies of the home learning activities. Please let your class teacher know by Monday 28th September

Google classroom

Last week, we shared instructions about how to access Google classroom from home: (don’t forget the email will be

We would now like everyone to check, if they have access to a device and the internet, that you can log into the classroom:

Please contact your class teacher if you are experiencing any difficulties with Google classroom. Each class is using Google classroom during the week in school to help children become more familiar with it.

#HelloYellow Day – Friday 9th October

We have all felt and seen the effects of isolation over the past few months. This time has been especially hard for young people and parents. The charity Young Minds provides support for young people who need it most. 

On Friday 9th October, we will be raising awareness about mental health by wearing YELLOW to school and supporting the Young Minds charity with monetary donations. #HelloYellow will be a day to bring everyone together, to feel positive about the future, and most importantly to have some fun!

Please send your donation, if you are able to, to the Young Minds charity using the Elmhurst fundraising page:

Let’s brighten up a school day for young people’s mental health! Thank you!

We will also be doing various activities in class throughout the day to raise awareness of mental health.

School nurse contact

Wet weather and COVID routines

We may have seen the last of the sunshine for a while. We cannot, as we have done in the past, allow children into the school before their allocated time, to take shelter from the rain so please make sure that children are appropriately dressed whilst waiting to come into school.

We will also try to get the children outside at playtime and lunchtime as much as possible. Unless it is torrentail rain, we will be outside. Children will need a coat.

Bicycles and scooters

As we are encouraging walking or cycling to school the children are welcome to bring their bicycles or scooters into school and place them outside of their classroom. Their teacher will tell them where to put them. You can also, of course, carry the scooter home if you wish.

PE Day

When the children wear their PE kit into school for games, if they wear boots or trainers with studs please put these in a bag and not let the children wear them to school. The studs are very slippery on the verandahs and tarmac areas and can result in slips.

Warm clothes

Please send your child in with a warm (named) extra jumper/ hoodie to wear in the classroom. It is getting cold! If your child wears a skirt, they can also wear leggings as an additional item. Fingerless gloves may also be useful! These additional items do not need to be official school uniform but, if they could blend with the colour it would be great, but not necessary if unavoidable. We feel that exceptional times call for exceptional measures. We would rather the children be warm. No football logos, though, thanks!

Okehampton September 2021

As promised last week, a letter will be coming home today regarding Okehampton September 2021. This will be for the current year 5 children. The letter can also be downloaded here:

Just as a reminder – please have a look at the video from last year’s residential and, if your child is unsure about going, talk to friends and families who have been before. It is such a great experience!

School crossing

We do understand that the staggering drop-offs at different schools and different times and the lack of parking outside the school are incredibly challenging for caregivers.

It is all of our responsibility, however, to make sure that the entrance to the school and the crossing is as safe as possible for all children.

There have been several occasions during the last week alone where we have had to approach drivers who have parked inconsiderately. A couple of drivers have also been issued with penalty notices by the visiting traffic wardens. This is something we would all like to avoid.

WAP – payments

We will no longer be able to accept cash payments for the WAP bookings. All payments must, as of next Monday, be made via Parent Pay. Please contact the school office team if you need to set up a Parent Pay account. Thank you for your help.

Just a reminder that bookings for the following week must be made by Friday of the week before. All bookings must be made via the booking form and emailed to

And finally…

“Respond with compassion.”


Is there content missing or you can’t find something?

We value your feedback.

Use the form opposite to get in touch with us.