Dear Parents and Caregivers
Well that was an interesting start to 2021!!
We would like to thank the whole Elmhurst community for their support, hard work, and professionalism in responding to the latest lockdown. As you can imagine, there has been much for everyone to sort and arrange. In school, we went from fully opening, to a partial opening, to a full lockdown within the space of twenty-four hours. As parents and caregivers, you have had to sort out working from home, child care, and home learning. Everyone has been incredibly supportive of each other. We must remember this as we journey through the challenging times ahead.
And they will be challenging! Our first lockdown took place in early spring and we were blessed with gorgeous weather. This time is going to be different. It is going to be harder and we are all now feeling more scared/ concerned/ worried about the current situation. Some of us have lost loved ones to this horrid virus. We are all hopeful now that the vaccine is in place and is being rolled out but, for now, we must do all that we can to keep each other safe.
We must all abide by the guidelines and restrictions that have been put in place.
Tracy and Mike
Our weekly newsletters will be very different from previous ones. We will update you each week on any new developments. Please make sure you read the newsletter. If you know of anyone who can’t access it, please share it with them. This is our only way of communicating with all parents and caregivers.
We will add links to any message posted on the website during the week. It should be your first port of call for whole school matters.
Class Dojo and Google classroom should be your first port of call for all classroom matters.
General questions about whole school queries can either be posted on the Facebook page or you can call the school office. If it is a matter of urgency, please call. The Facebook messages may get missed.
Any safeguarding concerns should be directed to the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Mike Lawrence. The contact number for out of school hours is on the front of the website. During school hours please use the school number, 01458 442979. You may also email firstname.lastname@example.org at any time. Please remember that if you believe a child is at risk of significant harm you should telephone 999. If you are unable to contact anyone from the school the telephone number for Somerset Direct, where you may share any concerns, is 0300 123 2224
Website posts you may have missed:
In school provision
We are currently in the process of finalising the list of key workers and vulnerable children.
On Friday, we will review the numbers and, if low, we will move to whole year group bubbles from next week until February half term, in the first instance. We will review the provision at this point.
The move to year group bubbles will be entirely dependent on numbers. We will not go above 15 children in one class/year group bubble in order to allow for social distancing. This will make no difference to the systems in place, ie school start and entry points, it will just mean that teaching staff will not need to be in every day and will be able to focus more on the remote offer. At the moment, whilst we are finalising plans, the school team has been in daily, teaching the key worker and vulnerable children and providing remote learning. This is not sustainable nor reducing the number of adults in school.
If you are a key worker, you MUST complete the form by tomorrow, Friday, 9 am. At this point, we will close the form so that we have definite numbers. You will not be able to fill it in after this point. Please see the Keyworker update for more information and a link to the form.
If your child is deemed to be “vulnerable”, the school will have contacted you to offer you a place.
An interesting point to remember though: (sent in anonymously to a newspaper)
“.. schools were vectors for the infection. The only way to drive this down is to drive down attendance. So parents, just because you are eligible for a place doesn’t mean you should take it.”
As of next week, we should be in the position of loaning out 20 Chromebooks to families in need. The school will contact families in the first instance. We are still waiting to receive the Government allocation of Chromebooks and as soon as these come through, we will be able to loan these out as well. We are entitled to apply for 36. We just need to wait to be allowed to order them!
We have also been advised that you can also access Google classroom via the Xbox or Playstation. It works! It is easier if you have a plug-in keyboard but children may be able to use the controller more easily as they are used to it. Try it out:
Increase to data allowance
We are also able, as a school, to apply for increased data allowances for families who would benefit from it. More information can be found here:
If you would like the school to apply on your behalf, please complete the application form here before the end of the day on Sunday 17th January and we will submit the applications on Monday 18th.
Other options available:
For those families who are unable, at this point, to access online provision, CBeebies will be providing televised lessons daily from next week. Please see below for more information:
We are also keeping a close up on the BBC Make a Difference campaign. If you do have any surplus laptops, tablets etc and you are happy to donate them to a family in need, please get in touch either with the BBC or with us directly. Thank you.
We are providing paper packs weekly in the interim. Please contact the class teacher directly about this.
Elmhurst staff will not be providing live lessons. This is not part of our remote learning offer. We will use live lessons from other resources, such as White Rose or the Oak Academy.
Keeping in touch
Whether your child is in school or learning from home, we would still like to be able to share their work, as we did during the last lockdown. Please email any work in and we will add it to the Elmhurst Lockdown Gallery 2021. Thomas in Year 6 has already started us off. Thank you, Thomas!
Please name the files you send through – just makes it a little easier.
Update on lunches
As of Monday 11th, BAM, the caterers, will be providing all families on the FSM (Free Schoool Meals) register with a weekly hamper. The hamper will be available to collect on Monday morning between 11.30 – 12pm from the school car park entrance. Please ensure social distancing whilst waiting and wear face coverings whilst in the car park.
The hamper will take into account any dietary requirements we have on the system.
Parents of children who are in school will need to use the hamper contents to make up a packed lunch to send into school with the child.
All other children who are attending school will need to bring in their own packed lunch.