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Walk to School Month

Please see attached for information about Walk to School Month.

Please select a file to download:
Download this file (W2SM-Poster-2020.pdf)W2SM-Poster-2020.pdf

Autumn/Winter Temperatures

As the temperature has started to drop and we are ventilating classrooms as a risk assessment measure, it would be advisable for children to now start to return to school in Winter uniform for warmth.

We are mindful of the need to keep classroom air flow at a maximum and would ask therefore that parents consider the following:

  • Sending children to school with a vest or base layer/thermal under their polo shirts etc.

where this is not possible:

  • Sending children to school with a fleece jacket/jumper that they can don in class as an extra layer which will still allow freedom of movement to write and won’t be too bulky.

This is not mandatory, more so advisory, please don't feel the need to go out and buy anything special.   We are just mindful that the coming months, with windows and at times doors open, could prove to be cold for children and staff.

We are conscious of balancing the Covid-19 risk with the risk of the cold temperatures that may come over the next few months and will take a sensible approach to managing this.

Thanks

Miss Parker

School Photograph Orders

School Photograph Orders

Our school photographers came in and took portraits of our students on Fri 18 September 2020. Please don’t forget to order with your early bird discount code CTKN4N as it runs out on Friday 02/10/2020

If you did not receive a proof of your child then click here and our photographers will search for any photos and let you know.  You could also copy the following web address into your browser if you prefer.

www.ordermyphotos.co.uk/proofs/index.asp?eventcode=491326

Social Distancing

Sorry if it appears that this is another moan, but please do read and adhere to the information below to make everybody in the school feel safe and comfortable at arrivals and dismissals.  

In the mornings and at home time staff and parents are reporting that some children are running around up the banks of the field, away from parents around the playground and not being adequately supervised.   Before school and once your child has been dismissed into your care; please keep your child close to you.   Once you have collected your child; or the last child in the case of families with more than one child; we would expect that parents and children vacate the playground; keeping their children in close contact at all times.  

At school we keep children within tight bubbles within their year groups for lessons, playtimes and lunchtimes, and at before and after school club. This is a measure imposed to ensure that we can trace contact, minimise transmission and inspire confidence in the community with the return to school. When children are left to run around, coming into close contact with children and parents from other year groups; beyond those that are from their household; this renders all of this strict measures redundant and increases the risk in school to all.

Many parents are supportive of distancing measures and particular thanks to parents of Year 4 for the way that they keep their distance in the mornings and evenings.   However at times we are seeing parents drifting through the lines of children on their way out of school, coming within a metre even on occasions and this is worrying for both the children and the staff.

Also may I remind parents that children must not ride scooters or bicycles on the playground as we have a busy playground, with a range of vulnerable people, including toddlers and the elderly and we do not want anybody to be injured.   We actively encourage walking, scooting and cycling to school, but not on the school playground at any time of day.

I think many of us are naturally anxious and cautious at the moment and we have managed to stay Covid-free to date within the pupil and staff community at St Nicholas and this is something that we are keen continues.

Thank you for your help and understanding with this.

Miss J Parker

Head Teacher

Nut Free School

We have noticed some children are bringing cereal bars into school containing nuts, as well as nut and seed mix.    We have to be a nut free school as we have a high number of pupil passing through the dinner hall within any given lunchtime and one child with a nut allergy requiring an epi-pen.    Please ensure your child does not bring nuts in to school for snack time or lunchtimes.   Thank you for your support to keep every child safe.

Snack times

Now that we are back in the rhythm of school life and we have school fruit deliveries continuing, can we ask that children from now on only bring 1 piece of snack to school.    We want children to try the school fruit and vegetables where possible.   When sending another snack in from home please ensure your child can eat it independently and that is healthy and not too messy.   For ideas please see article here.

Further Covid Measures

 

Further coronavirus (COVID-19) measures announced by the Prime Minister

Yesterday, the Prime Minister announced further national measures to address the rising cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in England. These measures will begin to come into force from Thursday onwards. It is vital that children and young people continue to receive an education, therefore, schools, colleges and universities will remain open.

Full details of the new measures and when they come into force can be found in the guidance on what has changed: 22 September. We are reviewing our guidance, in particular on the rule of six, to understand where further clarity is needed on how it applies in education settings, such as group indoor sports in further education colleges and universities.

St Nics Run The World Challenge Update

Well done Team St Nics!  Together we have travelled on foot to Paris in France! This is amazing and I know the children will be excited when we look at the map in assembly this week.  Let's see how far we can get by next week. 

Please tell one another about the challenge so that we can get more people involved.   All runs/walks can be logged here in a simple 2 minute process.  Please use miles and only enter numbers as whole numbers e.g 2 miles as 2 or in decimals 2.3 miles etc.   Please do not write unit of measure e.g miles.

Letter for Parents from PHE

Please see here.

Private Fostering Awareness Week 21st-25th September 2020

This week is Private Fostering Week and will highlight the importance of notifying the local authority about Private Fostering arrangements. The local authority has a duty to assess and ensure the safety and well-being of the children in these arrangements, which are often not reported.

Private Fostering is when a child under the age of 16 years old or under 18 if they have a disability, is cared for by someone who is not their birth parent, person with parental responsibility or a "close relative" - step-parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, uncles or aunts. Any other family member, family friend, parent of the child’s friend, or a host family would be a private fostering arrangement, including agencies caring for a child while they study in the UK either from the UK or abroad.

The arrangement is made between a parent or person with parental responsibility and a carer, with the intention that it lasts for 28 days or more. It is not Private Fostering if the arrangement was made by a social worker or if the person looking after the child is an approved foster carer.

These arrangements may be; teenagers living with a friend or family of their boyfriend or girlfriend, children on a holiday exchange or sent to the U.K. for education or health care by their parents, children with another family due to their parent’s work or study commitments or relationship breakdown.

The Private Foster carers are responsible for safeguarding the children and their day to day care. Financial responsibility remains with the children’s parents or person with parental responsibility. Children in Private Fostering arrangements are deemed to be a Child in Need and will be supported as such.

Any person involved in making arrangements or aware of a Private Fostering arrangement, must notify the First Response team (Telephone 0800 13 13 126) immediately. Following this a referral will be made to the Safeguarding Unit for an assessment who will in turn refer to Family and Friends for their assessment to be completed within 42 days of notification. A recommendation will be made whether the arrangement is suitable or unsuitable.

In suitable arrangements, the local authority has a duty to maintain and record statutory visits to the carers and children where they will support Private Foster Carers with advice, links to other services, training and assistance to resolve family difficulties. If an arrangement is unsuitable parents or person with parental responsibility are responsible for making appropriate alternative arrangements and the local authority can serve a prohibition notice if required.

For further information www.staffordshire.gov.uk/PrivateFostering  or to report at a child is being Privately fostered please call First Response on 0800 13 13 126

 

St Nics Run The World Challenge 21.09.2020

Well done Team St Nics, over the weekend lots of you were out being active and we have clocked up collectively 285 miles! 

This would get us from school to St Ives if travelling southerly,

or from St Nics to just past Edinburgh if heading northerly! 

Ice Cream Man

A couple of parents now have contacted me to raise concerns about queuing for the ice cream van after school (this Friday was a particular case in point).  

The ice cream van is well within their rights to position themselves in any of the streets surrounding school, as long as within the highway restrictions and I have no jurisdiction over this.   Likewise parents are entitled to stop and buy one (I love an ice cream myself!) J.   Also I appreciate that with Autumn on the way and such small businesses having had loss of trade from lockdown, these last few warmer days are a last chance of generating income.

However on Friday images of families queuing for an ice cream that were sent in to me, appeared to be bringing adults and children in to unnecessary close contact and causing waiting children to run on neighbours gardens.

Please do maintain distance from one another in such instances, otherwise the work to maintain children in year group bubbles in school is rendered futile.

Thanks for your help.  

Increasing School Based Measures

Staff Absence

We are quite depleted this week and it is only Monday!    We have managed to cover all classes with the deployment of specialist teachers and reorganisation of support staff but I am writing to make parents aware that we have a number of staff undergoing testing or unwell. Currently we have 3 teachers and 2 teaching assistants who cannot be in school either through illness or self-isolation.   As you know either testing is required or the 10 or 14 day isolation period. (NB 10 days if staff member has symptoms, 14 days if their family member has symptoms)

As you would imagine access to supply teachers is scarce as naturally some are choosing not to work at the moment and others are so in demand covering absences like we experience today.   As such we have been proactive and advertised to appoint a key group of known supply staff in a bid to keep all classes open.   We never like to use agency supply teachers, preferring staff who know our school routines and expectations and in time get to know the children.

Staff absence this term is unavoidable and in accordance with the government expectations.   We hope to have most staff back following negative tests as soon as possible.   However access to testing and timescales for results are a challenge as a result of high demand for testing.

Therefore we would ask that parents are really mindful to only book tests if their child has the specific Covid-19 symptoms, not for normal cold and flu symptoms which we know resurface at this time every year. We know it is hard and a worry for parents, but this way those with symptoms can be tested and returned to work/school as quickly as possible.

Rising R Rate

As the R rate continues to rise and staff are starting to have symptoms/colds etc, we need to be really mindful of distancing or continually mitigating risk when in school. As such staff remain in the year group bubble as far as possible to minimise exposure to different groups.   However sometimes when needed to cover lessons or support children across the school then staff are being reminded to:

  • consider and evaluate the use of face masks/visors
  • maintain a 2 metre distance from pupils and staff (Caretakers have marked out a safety zone/teacher area in each class for visiting teachers/supply staff/support staff who aren’t normally based in that room and for vulnerable staff to stay within. You should note that some classrooms do not allow a 2 metre distance and to do so this means standing at the wall as in the picture below.   Nevertheless maximum distance is still better than no distance. Please see pic to illustrate in 3G.)
  • work outdoors if it is possible with weather conditions

As always hand washing and hand gel remains a high priority.

Parent visits to school

We will not be allowing parents in to the school building to meet staff this term.   To do so would mean the need to meet in a small confined space, even my office is only 4 metres long and many others much smaller.   Should emergency meetings be needed where communication cannot be carried out via email or phone call then these will be carried out using Microsoft Teams (our preferred school means) or Zoom (if this suits parents better). Where parents feel that this is too difficult of course a good old fashioned phone call can be organised also.

Thank you to all who have taken seriously the need to stay away from the small school office Reception area as much as possible, this has been noted and appreciated.   From today we would expect all visitors to the school office for essential visits only please to wear a face mask.   Our office team are essential to the smooth running of the school and I have a duty to protect them, in the same way as other adult facing workers would be protected (e.g shop staff, bus drivers etc).

New parent visits to school

Where we have new parents wanting to look around the school this will be conducted outdoors, showing the external site, with visitor again asked to wear face masks. These will always be carried out by Miss Parker to minimise staff mixing with adults that are not from within their households.   This is a measure that will protect staff and children, as well as our visitors.

Parents Evening 2nd November

This is under continual review. As you know we hoped to invite parents in throughout the day for a socially distanced face to face appointment.   As things develop over the coming weeks this may not be possible, but we will keep a watching brief.   

We have been fortunate to not have a confirmed positive case within our immediate community and long may this be the case.  Please do support us with these measures to keep our school and classrooms open.   

Many thanks Miss Parker

Covid What to do when...

Another flowchart design to help parents know what to do with children or household members who have symptoms.   We appreciate it is confusing for everyone! 

Please select a file to download:
Download this file (flowchart covid19.pdf)flowchart covid19.pdf

Staffordshire Lockdown Memories

Staffordshire Archives and Heritage Service has launched a new project called ‘Lockdown Memories’. The aim of the project is to create a lasting record of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown measures and how they have affected the lives of Staffordshire people.

Everyone has been affected by the pandemic. You might have spent lockdown home schooling, or socially isolating in your own home, or may even have suffered through illness. Whatever your experience we would like to hear your story.

We also want to collect as many reminiscences as possible - these will help us to document Staffordshire’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, and may be used for an exhibition, publication, or website.

If you have any objects, photographs, drawings, paintings or documents relating to your lockdown experiences that you would like to lend or donate to the Archive Service or the County Museum’s collections, please let us know. This might be photographs, protective clothing or leaflets, things linked to VE Day or the Black Lives Matter events, or anything else which you associate with your lockdown memories.

We would like school pupils to let us know their experiences of lockdown:

  • What did you do during lockdown?
  • What was good about lockdown?
  • What didn’t you like about lockdown?
  • Name, age and school.

Please email or send written responses to:

Chris Copp, Senior Museums Officer, Archives & Heritage,
Unit G, Beacon Business Park, Weston Road, Stafford ST18 0WL

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

St Nics Run The World Challenge reminder!

Please don't forget to log your run or walk online here.   For more info about the challenge please see here.   Thanks to all who have taken part so far, we will update you with where we have travelled to next week! 

More Articles...

Contact Us

Belvide Gardens
Codsall
Wolverhampton
WV8 1AN

Enquiries:
Tel: 01902 842998
Fax: 01902 841629
Email: office@st-nicholas.staffs.sch.uk

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