PARKDALE NEWS & VIEWS

Newsletter 205

Dec 3, 2021 | Newsletters

TALKING HEAD

News & Views from the Head’s Office

Sadly, we are once again having to spend a great deal of time and energy in managing Covid.

We are sure that you are as concerned about this as we are. Our over-riding aim is to keep the school open and avoid a return to bubbles and other such measures.

Case numbers and symptoms in our community do seem to be rising. At one point earlier this week, we had 4 known live cases and a further 16 children or adults off for testing.

All of this is no reason to panic, but it does emphasise the need to be cautious to protect school and also protect people’s plans for Christmas.

Just one example of the care we are taking is that we have very sadly had to cancel our own staff Christmas celebration – a night out for all of us together, much as we fancied it, just seemed too risky.

Rest assured, we’ll keep doing our best…

Children In Need – Thank you

Thanks to everyone who contributed to a magnificent total of £855.80. We have sent this to Pudsey and he is very grateful.

New Football Kit

We are very excited to have taken delivery of our new football kit, courtesy of new kit sponsors Amptron Electrical Sevices Ltd, aka Aidan and Jesse’s Mum and Dad!

Once the season resumes from its Winter break, we are sure the team players will enjoy playing in this super-smart new kit.

Christmas Fair Changes

Given the current Covid situation, it has been decided to scale-down the Christmas Fair, scheduled for today, 3rd December. This will no longer be the hoped-for traditional large indoor gathering. Instead a small number of tables will be set up, selling raffle tickets and craft items.

Let’s all hope that we can enjoy a ‘proper’ fair, back on the scale we had become famous for, in the Summer.

DIARY 

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REMINDERS

Christmas Jumper day is in support of Save the Children, Make-A-Wish UK and Macmillan Cancer Support. This year it is on Friday 10th December. The day is designed to be fun for everyone. Some children may already have Christmas jumpers but if you don’t, we do not expect you to go and buy one. Why not turn an old jumper into a Christmas Jumper, or if you don’t want to wear a jumper why not design a Christmas t-shirt instead! Donations to be made via The Just Giving Page.

https://christmas.savethechildren.org.uk/fundraising/cjd210023547/#qrCode

Party Changes

Y5/Y6 Christmas party is now Tuesday 14th December

Y3/Y4 Christmas party is now Wednesday 15th December

KS2 Christmas Carols on 9th December at 2:30pm and 6pm- wrap up warm and we’ll look forward to getting into festive spirit with you! 

Covid-19 Update

There has been a lot of information flowing in and out of school this week, so just to tie it all together as best we can for now:

We are stepping up measures to try to keep the incidence of cases as low as possible. High numbers of cases may lead to enforced closure of part or all of the school.

We want to protect Christmas and the holiday time for our community.

For now, all nativities, the KS2 carol concerts and children’s parties are on as planned. All those attending nativities will be required to wear a face covering when inside the building, just as staff have to at present. Schools are private property; the right to enter is by ‘implied licence’ only.  We respect the right of choice for people to wear face coverings. In return, we expect our right to refuse to admit people without them to be equally  respected. You might want to wrap up warm – the doors and windows will be open to maximise air-flow!

If you are attending a performance of the Nativity, it would be appreciated if you could have done a home-test beforehand. We can’t enforce this and can’t check, but it would be a reassurance to our staff and many other parents to know that as many people as possible had taken this measure.

Those attending the (outdoor) KS2 concerts are asked to wear a face covering, but this is not mandatory.

All staff will wear face coverings in school except in the classroom.

If we are notified of a positive case, we will ask for immediate close contacts known to us to isolate and secure a PCR test. You may call 119 to ask for confirmation/clarification  of this if you do not agree to our ‘call’ on close contact.  A close contact is likely to be the children sat either side of the positive case, as well as siblings of the positive case. Rest assured, we do not want children out of school un-necessarily, but we are trying to be as protective as we can.

If your child shows symptoms, they should not attend school and you should arrange a pcr test. The ‘classic’ symptoms are any of: a new persistent cough, a high temperature or fever or loss of sense of taste or smell. Whilst not official, we ask you to also consider the same action for symptoms such as a persistent headache, sore throat, cold-type symptoms or unsual levels of fatigue. Our experience is that these have recently all been associated with Covid without the classic symptoms being present.

If we are ever advised that a case of Omicron is in school, then the close contacts will be asked to
isolate for 10 days regardless of their PCR result. This is new national guidance.

 

Attendance Policy Changes

Governors have recently approved the latest version of the Attendance Policy, This is a tranform Trust policy, so applies to all schools in the Trust. It is written and approved by Trustees and then goes to individal school governing bodies.

The changes are subtle, but worth noting:

Medical evidence, at least of a consultation or appointment, may be requested for absence over 5 days.

Where there is a period of unauthorised absence, any INSET Days in that period will be included and counted as absences.

Governors would also like to pass on their thanks for your continuing support and the excellent atendance we achieve at Parkdale, which is reliably always above National and Trust averages.

Life-Long Learners!

We want our children to go on to be life-long learners; to have the enthusisam and appetite to continue learning. The world they are going to leave formal education into will require them to be very flexible and to quickly pick up new skills. The idea of a career for life will become rarer and rarer as technology moves on, so becoming more qualified and having more skills will be important.

We value this in our staff too and it is great to see such good role modelling.

Many of our staff have become already, or will shortly qualify, as Apple Distinguished Teachers, highlighting their take-up of new skills in technology.

We might have already mentioned that Miss Ward has recently flown through her teacher qualification, adding full QTS to her existing qualificaiton as an Early Years Teacher.

This week, Mrs Troop has completed her 20,000+ word dissertation for her TQUK Level 2 Certificate in understanding Children and Young People’s Mental Health.

All of this sits nicely alongside the ongoing research and development undertaken by our teaching and support staff, a prime example of which being Mrs Rippon’s work alongside our Speech Therapist Holly. These two are researching the  disdvantage children wit English as an Addiiotnal Language face in statutory reading tests and how best to suport them in these.

Theres a lot going on as we do all we can to keep up or lead the way in top quality teaching and learning.

IN OTHER NEWS…

YEAR 6 TRIP

Y6 enjoyed their trip to the Galleries of Justice Museum. We were so proud of  their fantastic drama contributions in the Suffragette courtroom experience. We enjoyed meeting characters to learn about crime & punishment through the ages. You can see a selection of photos on the Year Six page.

New Dinner Menu

Our caterers, Aspens, are introducing an exciting sounding new menu from January. There are a lot of tasty sunding new options on this new three-weekly cycle.

FOP Christmas Raffle

A reminder of the changed plans for the FOP Christmas Raffle. See post here:

Photo Order Deadline

Just a quick reminder that Monday (6th) is the deadline for ordering school photos.