Welcome back! We hope that you all managed to do something that brings you joy over the last week and that you were able to take some time just for yourselves.
The current restrictions, and the lockdown starting today, continue to make life challenging in so many different ways but we must all do what we can to ensure that we stick to the rules and guidance in order to maintain the safety of all our loved ones and of each other. This is also true outside of school as well. There is nothing so disheartening as knowing that you are doing everything you are supposed to be doing, only to hear that other people aren’t and are mixing bubbles and not social distancing. Please make sure that you continue to encourage the children to follow the rules outside school as well. We will also be asking all caregivers to ensure that they adhere to social distancing guidelines at drop off and collections. We are also asking that caregivers wear face coverings whilst waiting.
The lastest guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november
The latest guidance for schools can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/education-and-childcare-settings-new-national-restrictions-from-5-november-2020#schools
With this in mind, we will be reviewing the risk assessments this week, ensuring that we are keeping up to date with the changes that are required. Helping us with this will be Andy Shepherd, Co-Chair of Governors, and Sarah Tucker, the governors responsible for Health and safety management. We are glad to have their input. A summary of the risk assessment will be uploaded to the website next week.
Just before the half-term break, the Government also stipulated that all rooms must be well ventilated with windows and doors open. We have been doing this from the start but it is now a non -negotiable element of the guidance. With the onset of even colder weather, this presents us all with many challenges. The heating will be put on first thing in the morning to help ease the overnight chill and will be put on again at lunchtime. We are sure that you can all appreciate that it is a false economy to keep the heating on with all the doors and windows open, but we will put it on as and when we feel the need to. We are monitoring the temperatures in the classrooms. Whilst there is no legal minimum or maximum temperature for classrooms, it is suggested that the rooms should be at least 16 degrees. We will continue to monitor this very closely.
We would ask for all caregivers to provide the children with additional warm clothing during this term. Uniform rules, including appropriate footwear, still apply but will be relaxed to accommodate this and no child will be penalised for the colour of their extra layers – we would ask you, though, to try to help us by not allowing football shirts and other inappropriate items of clothing and to stick as closely as possible to the uniform code. If leggings are going to be worn instead of tights, they are seen as an additional item under a skirt and not as a replacement for school trousers. Gloves, hats, and scarves are welcomed in the classroom as well. We would advise that coats are saved for outside.
It is going to be a strange term. Usually, there are so many lovely things to looks forward to: the Remembrance Service, the year 3 Christmas concert at Millfield, the ESA and Elmhurst Christmas markets, the whole school trip to the theatre, to name a few. It will be different but we will do all that we can to make sure that the children have other experiences that they will remember for years to come – we simply need to be creative!
Bear with us, we will get there!
Tracy and Mike
Attendance for the week beginning: 19th October 2020
Whole school:- 96.7% – a brilliant end to the term. Thank you!
Year 3 – 97.4%
Year 4 – 99.3% – Superheroes indeed!! Top of the leaderboard.
Year 5 – 98.5%
Year 6 – 91.5%
Fir class had 100% attendance!
Superheroes end the term at Elmhurst
The year 4 classes had a great end of term with their Superheroes day. We were so impressed with their Superheroes costumes – such a creative group of children and caregivers! Thank you so much for supporting the day.
Whilst we were impressed with all the children who took part, we cannot mention superhero day without mentioning Betsy G. Not only did Betsy have a great costume but she had a great message behind the costume and made it into the Huffington Post, as well as featuring on Points West. Have a look – we are all incredibly proud of her.
Read the full article here
On a similar note and still within year 4, we must also say how proud we are of Phoebe-Rose. We love to hear of the kindness that our children show towards others. It is something we definitely encourage within the school and are, therefore, so impressed when children show kindness out of school as well.
Phoebe- Rose recently noticed that a young man is living in a tent not far from where she lives. During the break, whilst shopping, Phoebe-Rose used her own money to buy a sandwich, a drink, a selection of fruit and a chocolate bar. She then delivered the gift to the tent, with a little note wishing him a happy Halloween.
Thank you, Phoebe-Rose, for not only being a kind and generous person but for also being a real credit to the school.
We love to hear of the many positive and kind things that our children do outside of school so please share your news with us. We all need to be reminded sometimes that the vast majority of people on the planet are good and kind!
Linked to our earlier message about keeping warm in class, Shipshape will be selling Elmhurst hoodies. This is merely to let you know that this is an option should you wish to purchase one. IT IS NOT A REQUIREMENT. At the moment it’s not on the website, but if anyone does want to order, they can email Nikki Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org. The cost is £15 with the logo on the left chest.
Message from: ShipShape
“We just wanted to send a quick message out to all parents to advise you that we are having to close our doors for the next 4 weeks to our shops.
HOWEVER we will still be here behind the scenes manufacturing your clothing and dispatching all online orders. Don’t worry- we won’t let your little ones get cold if they lose their jumpers!
Please use our online page for all your school uniform orders. Choose shop collection and during lockdown we will deliver with a non contact delivery to your house FREE OF CHARGE!
Whilst stock for fleeces are running low with our suppliers we have been assured that some will be back in at the beginning of December.
We are able to have access to different brands and will use what we can to fulfil your orders. As always we will let you know if there are any problems.
Please be assured we are doing all we can to continue with our service as best as possible whilst trying to get through this difficult time.
Please bear with us and thank you for continuing to support your local shops. We really do appreciate it.”
Message from: South West School Wear COVID-19 Update
“As of 5/11/20 we will be shutting our store as non-essential retailers. We will however still have our website open www.swschoolwear.co.uk for postal orders or click and collect by appointment
If you require anything for your school please get in touch we are still able to arrange deliveries. Our suppliers are still delivering so we will be able to complete any orders you may need for staff uniform, sports kits or anything else.”
Speak out, stay safe
Next week, all the children will be taking part in the NSPCC Speak out Stay safe campaign. Please see the attached letter:
WhatsApp, Fortnite, Instagram, and other online platforms
We are still receiving concerns from families about online nastiness between children via various social media platforms. Children do not have access to their mobile phones whilst in school so the comments are being sent outside of school. This comes down to parental responsibility. Parents must ensure that they monitor their child’s devices daily and that sufficient protections are in place to safeguard all children.
When we are made aware of an issue, we talk to the children involved and contact parents. Beyond this, there is little else that the school can do. We will continue with the Esafety curriculum and will continue to remind children about their online responsibilities etc but we cannot do it in isolation. Thank you for your support.
Which social media services are age restricted?
WhatsApp have just announced a change to their terms and conditions for users based in Europe. Users will now need to be 16 to use WhatsApp.
Nearly all other social media services require users to be at least 13 years of age to access and use their services. This includes Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Musical.ly and Skype.
Whilst there is no age restriction for watching videos on YouTube, users need to be 13 or older to have their own YouTube account (enabling them to subscribe to other channels, like videos, post comments, share their own content and flag inappropriate content).
We know that social media services are popular with young people of all ages. Parents have an important role in helping prepare their children to go online before they start to use social media platforms. Together you can look at the key things they need to know about staying safe online, critical thinking, and the safety settings that are available to them.
When looking at creating a profile online with your child, have a discussion as a family and make this decision together – talk about why they want the account and ensure that any family members using social media know what tools are available to help them stay safe. You may want to use this family agreement to support with this.
Google classroom and remote learning
Thank you to everyone who has logged in to Google classroom and accessed the remote learning that the teachers have been sharing. At the moment, we are using it to check access and engagement. If and when we go into a lockdown (class, year group or school) the work that the children would have been doing in class will be uploaded into the classroom for the duration of the lockdown. It will also be available for children who are needing to self-isolate whilst waiting for test results. Please inform the class teacher via Dojo if this is the case for your child.
You can see the plans for Autumn term 2 on the school website. Head to the Curriculum tab and then find your relevant year group. You will also see spelling lists and reading book ideas on this page.
We are still trying to find ways to support families who do not have access to the technology needed or the internet connection, we will provide these families with paper copies of the work as outlined in previous newsletters. It is vital that we know in advance if you will require paper copies so please let your class teacher know as soon as possible.
We have a couple of laptops that have been kindly donated to the school. If you feel that this is something that will help you, please write to us explaining how it will be of benefit. The laptops will be given on a needs must basis. It will be impossible to decide! The school will not accept any responsibility for the laptops once they have been donated. Families will need to ensure they have internet access in order to access Google Classroom.
We are still investigating other ways to support caregivers and families with regards to remote learning access. We will keep you posted.
Parent-teacher phone calls
Thank you to everyone who has engaged with the recent, and ongoing, parents-teacher phone calls. General feedback has been that the calls have been positively received.
If you have not yet had a call with your class teacher or haven’t got one booked in for the next week, please make contact with the class teacher to arrange a phone call.
Mrs Suzette Irwin will be leaving us today after 25 years of sterling service as a lunchtime supervisor. We would like to say a huge thank from everyone at the school for all of her work looking after the children during this time, come sun or rain. Mrs Irwin always had the children’s well being at heart and she will be missed by the children and staff.
Mrs Karen Cooper will be taking over the role from Mrs Irwin and we are sure she will also do a great job.
The children will bring home Christmas Cards this week that they have designed in class. There is an order form on the back where you can order packs of cards and a variety of other items. If you would like to order anything the order form, along with a cheque made payable to ESA, should be returned to the school by 12th November at the latest.
Salvation Army Christmas appeal
We know that it is early, but if you can help many, many families will benefit from the Salvation Army support this Christmas. We will post this picture fairly regularly. Thank you in advance!
Work from around the school
Well done to Jazmin in year 4. We set a little challenge over the half-term break – a code deciphering activity. It wasn’t an easy challenge by any stretch of the imagination and it kept many of you guessing for days. Well done to everyone who cracked it. Jazmin was the first person I knew of who solved it: Gunpowder, treason, and plot! Perfectly apt for this time of year!
This may help in the coming days:
“Breathe! Look after yourselves and each other”