11 September 2020
Welcome to our new-look weekly newsletter. This is the first one of the new school year and we hope you'll find it useful, as well as being easy to read on any device. In it you'll be able to find out what's been happening in school; there'll be reminders about forthcoming events, future diary dates and opportunities to celebrate the children's achievements.
Notices and Reminders
Drop-off and Collection
Again, thank you for your patience at drop-off and collection times. These are speeding up, and any teething problems are beginning to ease. We are conscious that the time allowed for older siblings to get from Victoria to Thomas Coram is tight and are prioritising these families by letting their Year 1 children in at 8:35am, standing them safely away from any remaining families in the Reception queue at that time. We ask other Year 1 families to wait until all Reception parents have left the school site via the side gate.
Please remember to observe the recommended 2m distancing when waiting outside school and only to send one adult per child. This is particularly important in the light of recent government advice around 'the rule of 6'.
We urge you to be punctual at all times, and particularly at the moment, due to the need to manage numbers outside school and avoid the mixing of bubbles. Any late arrivals should go to the front of the school and either ring the temporary bell or telephone the office staff using the school phone number, so they can let your child in. Please do not press the Nursery buzzer at this time unless your child is a member of the Nursery class.
KS1 Church Service
I'm pleased to say our monthly visits to St Peter's are still part of the Key Stage 1 calendar, and on Wednesday this week we took our Year 2 children for collective worship with Father Joe. As we can only take one bubble to church at a time, we live-streamed the service and Year 1 children were able to take part in their classrooms.
As you are probably aware, there is currently a major building project happening at the front of the school. This will result in a new entrance with disabled access ramp, upgraded office spaces, new adult toilet facilities and - most importantly for the children's safety - a secure entrance lobby for visitors to the school. Please bear with us while we await completion of the project, which is expected at the end of the month. The office is located in the school hall at the moment and some of its functions are temporarily reduced. For example, if you are reporting a child's absence, please email email@example.com or use the 'Report Absence' facility on the Victoria School App, rather than telephoning; we don't have an answerphone at the moment.
Meet the Teacher
Presentations for this annual event went live on the Castle Federation YouTube channel on Wednesday and have already had lots of views. If you haven't had a chance to watch the relevant presentation for your child's year group, do have a look as it contains important information about routines, timetables and equipment. Click here for Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2.
The Parent Forum is a group made up of two parents per class, two members of the school's leadership team and a governor. It meets once a term and is a really useful way for parents and the school to discuss any general issues that have arisen. Meetings will take place using MS Teams this year, rather than face to face. Most of the existing members are staying on and we only have three vacancies to fill: two in Acorn Class (Nursery) and one in Beech Class (Y1). If you have a child in one of those classes and you are interested in joining the Parent Forum, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Whole School Calendar
The whole school calendar for the autumn term is now available here. Once this is set for the term we try not to make any changes to it as we know it helps you to plan ahead. Any unavoidable changes or additions will be mentioned in this weekly newsletter.
You'll notice from the calendar that we are running lots of whole school WOW days. Further information on these will be given here as the date approaches - it might involve a non-uniform day or wearing a special accessory or colour, so please look out for this information.
While we're not currently able to gather in the school hall for collective worship or assemblies, we're still offering the children a full programme of these, using the wonders of technology. On Fridays, we will be using Microsoft Teams for our weekly celebration assembly; you can see who our stars of the week and values champions were this week below.
Stars of the Week
Acorn - Oceana for being kind and helpful, listening well to instructions.
Maple - Louis for settling in so brilliantly and for great contributions in class.
Oak - Ellis for his fantastic rhyming work in phonics.
Beech - Ryder for an all round great attitude towards his learning and his peers.
Cedar - Moana for readily sharing her ideas and working hard in her learning.
Hazel - Oscar for trying really hard in his first week at school.
Rowan - Barnaby for joining our school and settling in so well.
Each half term we focus on a different Christian value. The current value is Thankfulness. Every Friday the teachers choose someone who has impressed them by trying hard to demonstrate the value. Do let your child's class teacher know if you've noticed them showing the value at home.
Thankfulness - Giving thanks for people who help us
Emily - Imogen - Seth - Michael - Grace Co - Charlotte H
School and VSA Diary Dates
Check the calendar here for the most up-to-date information
Friday 25 September - Whole school languages day
- Wednesday 30 September - Individual school photos
- Wednesday 30 September - KS1 parent consultations (telephone)
- Thursday 1 October - KS1 parent consultations (telephone)
- October - Black History Month
- Thursday 1 October - Whole school poetry day
- Wednesday 7 October - Year 1 to St Peter's for collective worship
- Friday 9 October - Whole school healthy minds day
Information sent out this week
- School digital education platform letter
- Information for parents on suspected COVID-19
This week at St Peter’s
This weekend we are very excited to welcome Fr Stuart, our new team vicar, with his wife Susie and sons James and Barnaby. We hope they’ll be very happy here. St Peter’s has had to change some routines over the summer, but services are back on Sunday mornings at 9:30am. Unfortunately Sunday Club and the Children’s Corner aren’t open yet, but everyone is more than welcome to come with their own toys and games. To read the special arrangements in place for Sunday mornings please see the details on our website https://www.stpetersberkhamsted.org.uk/