News & Events

Newsletter: 8th October 2020

Dear Caregivers,

I happened to be privy to a conversation the other day between a year 3 child and a year 6 child. Both were in our office, socially distanced of course, for similar reasons which I don’t need to go into but it was a joy to be able to listen to them.

They engaged in a conversation about their shared experiences – the reading books they have read (Goosebumps), the games they have played (Minecraft), friends they meet up with, the locations they know in the local area (the skate park), the experiences they have both had at Elmhurst and Hindhayes, the teachers they have shared among many other topics of conversation. There was even a humorous discussion in reference to the Hindhayes Christmas performance at Millfield as to what lions have got to do with Jesus! It was lovely but it reminded me of what our children are missing out on at the moment and just how much they are having to come to terms with.

One child, who I was speaking to earlier in the week said, “I don’t know what normal was before the virus!”

As adults, it is incredibly hard not to pass our fears about the pandemic onto the children. We must try though! Life is strange enough for them at the moment. In school, just as you are at home, we are trying to make things as normal as possible. Routines are vital. Expectations are the same: Elmhurst Etiquette and Ready, Respectful, Safe.

A consistency of approach between home and school is needed now more than ever.

Thank you for your support,

Tracy and Mike

Attendance for the week beginning: 28th September 2020

Whole school – 92.8% 

Year 3 – 97.4% – well done, year 3! Top of the leaderboard!

Year 4 – 93.0%

Year 5 – 96.1%

Year 6 – 85.4%

What’s happening next week? w/b : 12th October 2020 (click on the date to go to the school calendar)

This Friday is #HelloYellow Day! On this day, we will be raising awareness about mental health and raising money for the charity, Young Minds.

If your child wishes to wear non-uniform, they will need to ensure some of their clothing or accessories are YELLOW! They will also need to make a small donation online using the link:

Thank you in advance for your support!  

News items and updates

Reading and Phonics

This is to update you about the reading intervention we were planning to introduce this week.

As you are probably aware, one of the areas highlighted for improvement by OFSTED during the inspection was reading, and the teaching of phonics-based interventions. As a school, we have invested in a program to address this, which does entail children being taught in stage-appropriate groups. Not all children would need the intervention but it does mean that there would be children forming a group with other classes within their year group. The decision to move children around within their year group was based on government guidance,

‘…..schools may keep children in their class groups for the majority of the classroom time, but also allow mixing into wider groups for specialist teaching, wraparound care and transport, or for boarding pupils in one group residentially and another during the school day. Siblings may also be in different groups.’ 

However, due to parental concern, we contacted the local authority for further advice. This is still the government guidance, but as a school, we have decided that we will postpone the introduction of the program as we don’t wish to add to the concerns and stress parents are undergoing at this time.

Read, Write, Inc at Elmhurst

Ms Prime and Mrs Greenwell have worked with all of year three and selections of children from years four, five and six looking at their phonics understanding and their application of this to reading. They decided to look at all of year three because they missed such a large chunk of more complex phonics in year two due to school closures.

In light of the notice above, the phonic groups are now under review.

We will send out further information regarding reading books when Ms Prime and Mrs Greenwell do the next round of assessments. In the meantime, children should still be bringing home reading books (in some cases this will be two books – one to support decoding and fluency and one to read for pleasure) and aiming to read four times or more each week.

When you hear your children read, it is important that they say the sounds correctly. This video may be of help:

Local lockdown of bubbles and access to IT

It really is vital that parents let the class teacher know if you have access to Google classroom at home. We are in the process of compiling a list of families who may need help with access to technology. Ideally, we would like for all children to be able to access the Google classroom for remote learning.

We have had a couple of parents and Governors contact us explaining that they have spare equipment that they would be willing to donate to the school for redistribution to those families in need. If you are also able to donate, we are able to accept any laptops with Windows 10 or later and Ipads.

We have a stock of Ipads in school that could potentially be used but we cannot update them (they are a few years old!!). We have tested them to see if we can access Google classroom on them. It does work but we need to update the Google documents app so that the children can access the document. If you are a computer genius and know a way around this, please get in touch. These would be perfect for redistribution if they can only be updated!

Secondary school applications

If your child is due to start or transfer school for September 2021, it is now time to make your application.

The deadline for secondary phase applications is 31st October.

Please apply online by visiting

St Dunstans

A few weeks ago, we published information regarding Crispin and Huish Episcopi’s online virtual tours. St Dunstans have published theirs. Have a look here:

Crispin: Virtual Open Evening today

Due to demand Crispin is able to put a further Open Evening event on at 18:00 – 19:00 today. If you would like to join them for some amazing interactive lessons and key information about life at Crispin then please contact who will send you the Zoom code to join us.

Don’t forget to visit our website to watch our informative videos too.

Explore Learning Writers’ award

Thank you to Annie Cree for sending in this link to a young writer’s competition. Have a look! If you do send an entry in, please send a copy to the school as well so that we can publish your work on the website.

Explore Learning Writers’ Awards 2020


Please may we remind caregivers to use Abbie’s school email for messages regarding the WAP and not her personal Facebook page? Abbie will not reply to messages on her Facebook page. Abbie’s school email is

Thank you to all the caregivers who are now paying via Parent Pay; it is hugely appreciated.

Unfortunately, we are unable to refund or transfer any bookings made which are then not used. The school still needs to cover the cost of the WAP.

If the school, for any reason, needs to cancel the booking (due to a local lockdown, for instance) then, of course, the payment will be refunded or transferred.

Work from around the school

Mr Mullen’s latest book review – have a read!

Welcome to Elmhurst

We are really pleased to announce that Mrs. Katie Twitchen will be joining the team at Elmhurst in November as the new School Business Manager. We look forward to working with Katie.

Save the date – ESA Christmas event

In a world where we are having to do things so differently, the ESA is already preparing for an online Christmas event. On 14th and 15th November, they will be hosting an online Virtual Christmas Shopping Weekend. If you are interested in hosting a stall, please contact Kate Willis at

And finally…

“Acknowledge others’ kindness with a smile or a wave.”


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