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7.9.2020 (No 2)

Day One

Firstly a massive thank you for acting on advice and guidance given re social distancing measures. The children were amazing and seemed to relish being  back, despite some stating they were 'a little nervous at first but are now fine'.  It was so lovely to have the 'buzz' of children's voices coming through the classroom doors. 

As with everything, it is not until it is in practice whether we can see if it is successful.  In light of points raised today by staff, children and parents we have made some minor adjustments to the original timings, for some year groups, and exit/entrance routes. We are very aware, when there are siblings, timings may be difficult to manage, however we ask that you please arrive/exit at the given time, or as close as possible.

As you know the site has restricted entrances, causing bottle necks, where parents are congregating. In these areas we ask that all adults please wear a mask, for the safety of all, and make use of any open area. Please see revised document below:

 

Social Distancing Measures for Parents (Revised 7.9.2020)

 

Further reminders:

  • If children are walking to school by themselves or with friends they must arrive at their allocated time. (There were a number of children who arrived very early, or later than their given time slot.) Thank you to so many parents for sending in their permission.
  • Children do not require bags/backpacks.  The only items children currently need to bring in to school are their drink’s bottle and/or packed lunch. Tissues and any hand gel/cream may be left in their learning space and therefore need to be small and named. Please do not send in anything else unless asked to do so. (In specific cases some children may require a bags; in such cases, this will be arranged in advance.)
  • Mobile phones, or any watches with connectivity for emails, social networking or photos, are currently not permitted. Should this change in the future, only mobile phones will be permitted, and these will be stored in the office, throughout the school day, for safe keeping.

75th VE Day

Celebrations for VE Day seem so long ago; a reminder that we asked for photos in red, white or blue. Whilst not all participated or shared their images, below is, what we believe, all received. There were certainly some amazing events, activities and outfits. Thank you to all who contributed.  

VE DAY GALLERY (Scroll to bottom of British Values page.)

Staffing

There have been some changes to roles and responsibilities during lockdown. The majority of staff have continued to carry out professional development, to further develop their own practice and/or desire to progress. 

Mrs Susie Jackson has become joint Deputy, working alongside Mrs Lyn Chamberlain, and we are excited to see her career continue to progress. Mrs Juliet Shepherd gained a first, in her degree, and Mrs Sarah Tallent, a distinction, in her TA qualification.  There are a number of other staff who are still in the process of gaining their qualifications and I am sure they will be just as successful.

I believe a real strength of Wembury Primary School, (apart from the exceptional children and staff), is, it is a learning place for all. I feel privileged that staff have the drive to want to do more, pursue different or better ways for teaching and learning, to ensure our pupils receive the very best education. These next months are going to be critical in getting back to some sort of normality, but I know I have the staff that can support and nurture our pupils, and recover most of what was lost.  All experiences during the last six months, whether positive or negative, will shape our children to become stars the that they are.  

Free School Meals versus Universal Free School Meals

Did you know that even though your child is provided with a free school meal, in KS1/EYFS, you can generate extra funding for the school if you are entitled to Free School Meals by simply logging on to the Citizen Portal?

Every applicant will receive an instant eligibility check via the DfE Eligibility Checking System which is connected to the portal. Someone who has their entitlement proved by the check will be presented with a screen, stating they are eligible. The applicant is the advised to print this or alternatively they can take a screenshot of it to prove eligibility to the school.

Citizens Portal - Logon

The Citizens Portal allows parents/carers of children, to make applications for school places (including in-year admissions), two year old funding and free school meals for children from Foundation Stage to Year 6.

The Pupil Premium is additional funding provided by the Department for Education to enhance the education. Allocation of funding is made according to the number of pupils entitled to free school meals within the last six years (known as Ever 6 FSM) and children in care (known as LAC) or children who have ceased to be looked after by a local authority in England and Wales because of adoption that attend the school in Years F-6. There is also additional Pupil Premium funding (known as the Service Premium) for any pupil who has or has had within the last five years a parent in the armed forces (known as Ever 5 Service). Wembury Primary School targets the additional funding, as appropriate, at eligible pupils and does not simply absorb it into the whole-school budget.

N.B. All children in Foundation, Year 1 and Year 2 at state schools in England automatically get free school meals. However, parents and guardians are encouraged to apply for free school meals when they enrol their child in school, as this can help their child’s school to attract additional ‘pupil premium’ funding to support learning. From Year 3 onwards, children whose parents are eligible for free school meals will attract the Pupil Premium funding. Therefore, Parents should check their eligibility against the criteria freeschoolmeals@devon.gov.uk

If you are entitled to FSM we also provide a FREE Sweatshirt, annually. For those of you currently in receipt of free school meals, please contact the office to arrange the order of your sweatshirt, if you have not done so already.

Parents’ Class Groups

Online communication is more important now than it has ever been. Parents have found these online groups a valuable source as reminders, forming friendships, support and information. 

On returning to school, after such an absence, it may be worth reminding all that etiquette must be observed - a code of conduct. Otherwise, lengthy, sometimes meandering, discussions tend to drown out relevant information and the chat group’s purpose. Sometimes it’s necessary to review rules, since group members become familiar with each other and it’s easy to set the rules aside and forget that they still apply, especially during lockdown. The main purpose of the class groups is for school and class updates, not for religion, politics and irrelevant but contentious topics. Any concerns about the school should be done so via the correct means, as in the complaints policy, and not through this forum as a means to do so.

The Messenger group administrator should set the terms and conditions of group membership, this would include the appropriate consent and protocol arrangements which should be clearly stated. A private Messenger group sits outside the authority of the school and any actions taken by its membership are outside jurisdiction of the school social media policy. However, where concerns are raised by a parent to the school, on the use of this platform, the parent will be signposted to follow this up with the platform administrator, or in the case of concerns of the administrator’s use, parents will need to seek further guidance from the platform provider or school.

Respect the purpose

  • Respect the main purpose of the chat group: school and class updates. Irrelevant topics, as well as religion and politics, no matter how strongly you may feel about current events, are out. There is no easier way to find yourself in a heated argument than by voicing out your opinion in a school chat group.
  • Sending a private message is preferred if a member wants, for instance, to tell another member about anything personal.
  • Be sensitive and think twice before sending out certain messages. It’s always easier to send out invitations to a group chat—but only if you intend to invite everyone.
  • Be helpful. If a member asks about something you know of, or have access to the information needed, share it. After all, that’s what everyone is there for.
  • Don’t call out a parent’s attention. If you must discuss problems, that should be between you and the other parent, not with the whole chat group seeing the messages. Passive-aggressive remarks have no place in the chat group.
  • In case of tension, remember that it is the parents’ chat group, not the children’s. Everyone must act accordingly and always speak in a respectful and mindful manner.

Chat groups for a child’s class can be a blessing - whether to find out where to buy a costume for the Christmas play, or be reminded of school activities. But that access has to be respected and treated correctly—otherwise there is the risk of abusing the system and causing upset.

While it serves the purpose of sharing information on school-related activities, a balance must be found that leaves some responsibility also to children to bring home messages, letters etc.

Thank you for your ongoing support, despite the need for some adjustments. Please bear with us should further amendments be required. Apologies that some of you have been unable to book Breakfast or Activity Club, this is a glitch on the booking system provider, not within school. (Please email in your requests should this not be resolved.)

Wishing you all a healthy and happy return. 

 


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