Newsletter September 2020
This summer has certainly been very different to those we have experienced in the past, and coming back to school is certainly different to the way it was for so many of you before. However, we have all been very impressed by how all the children have adapted to the new, and how well our new starters in Foundation One and Foundation Two, and those from other schools, have settled so quickly into Warmsworth Primary School.
I would also like to say a huge thank you to all of you - parents, grandparents and child-minders - for supporting us as a school and adjusting to the new routines and systems, especially our new staggered start and finish times. These staggered times have enabled us to support parents to maintain social distancing both at the start and the end of the day.
We are following guidance from the government, and are continually monitoring and evaluating our systems and procedures to ensure we can best support our children and make our school as safe as it can be for everyone. I will continue to update you via our School website www.warmsworth.doncaster.sch.uk and our School Jotter App when changes are made.
We are hoping to open a second access / egress point in the coming weeks so that we can operate a one way system around school to allow parents to drop their children off at classroom doors, as before, at staggered start and end times as arranged at present. We are awaiting some building work to be completed to make this safe for all – more details to follow!
We understand that at this time of the year, and as we enter the colder months, children will have colds and associated mucus coughs, and as long as they are well enough, please send them to school.
However, if your child has any of the main Covid symptoms as listed by the NHS below, please do not bring them to school, and seek a coronavirus test for them:
- A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- A new continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual
- A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Please notify us of when your child is tested and of the results. Following a negative result the child can return to school.
The class / year group bubble system is working really well in school, and as such we are looking at extending all our bubbles to year group bubbles in a couple of weeks, so that the children can mix more socially across the year group, and allow for more focussed intervention support to take place. Our risk assessment will be updated, and I will notify you of any changes through the School Jotter App – please see details below.
School Jotter App
If you haven’t already downloaded the School Jotter App, please do so
– this will make sure you have all the latest updates and information.
The School Jotter App is available on Apple and Android devices.
If you are unable to download the app, please contact the school office and they can offer support if needed.
We are aware that some unsuitable material is being shared on social media, which is not suitable for children to view. Please remember that there are age restrictions on social media platforms to protect our children, as shown below:
This September we have welcomed several new members of staff to the team: Miss Paone and Miss Kennedy have taken up their posts as year 3 and year 5 teachers respectively and Mrs Spouse has returned to her role as year 6 teacher following her maternity leave. Mrs Perry has remained in school to cover Miss Gibson’s maternity leave and we received the fantastic news on Tuesday 1st September when Miss Gibson informed us of the birth of her beautiful baby girl, Sophia. Mrs Lawson, one of our midday supervisors has also started her maternity leave having had a beautiful baby girl named Amelia.
Mrs Walker, Miss Rush and Mrs Farmery have joined the school support staff team, as we said goodbye to Mrs Kaur. Mrs Booth retired from the midday supervisor team after 11 years at the end of the summer term – I am sure you will all want to wish her our best in her future retirement, and Miss Shaw also left the team to train to be a teacher.
Keeping in touch
We appreciate that some of you may not be able to speak to the class teachers at the start of the day. Should you need to speak to the class teacher, please contact school and they will ring you back as soon as possible. Should you need to speak to anyone further, please contact Mrs Sharp (Foundation Stage One and Two) or Miss Nithsdale (Key Stage One and Key Stage Two). Please note that the school office is only open from 8.30am and 4.30pm (4pm on a Friday), and we are unable to take calls outside of these hours, but you may leave a message on the answering machine at any time.
We are planning to have parent meetings before half term. However, we are looking at options regarding how to run these safely and they may be conducted via telephone or Microsoft TEAMS. More information will follow nearer the time.
As usual, there will be quite a few letters coming home during the first couple of weeks; you should receive your child’s emergency contact form already – so please check with your child each day to see whether they have brought any letters home with them. Please make sure the emergency contact is completed and returned to school, as soon as possible.
Safeguarding guidance recommends that schools hold up to 3 emergency phone numbers for different adults. The guidance also recommends that schools should take immediate action when contact cannot be made with a parent on the first day of a child’s absence, so please help us by phoning in as soon as possible to inform us of your child’s absence.
Please also add an email address to the contact form, if we do not currently have one. We are planning on going paperless, wherever possible, in the near future!
School Improvement Priorities
School priorities are determined with regard to the following: outcomes of the school’s rigorous self-evaluation systems, government/LA initiatives, data analysis, consulting with children and parents, both formally and informally and embedding successful school initiatives which warrant further development.
Our key priorities identified for improvement over this coming school year are:
Quality of Education
- To ensure the progress of all pupils is maximised, taking into account the partial school closure re. COVID, including those in vulnerable groups.
- To further enhance the children’s ability to make links between their learning to accelerate progress across the curriculum.
- To further develop oracy in pupils to support their future development.
Behaviour and Attitudes
- To further acknowledge and reward positive behaviour of pupils across the school day.
- To ensure every child has a deeper understanding of a wide range of different religions and cultures, to further support their social, moral, spiritual and cultural development.
- To ensure every child has the skills and knowledge to maintain a positive mental health and emotional well-being.
Leadership and Management
- To maintain the high quality of teaching and learning to maximise pupil outcomes.
- To further improve leadership capability of all subject leaders.
- To ensure all staff are further developed through high quality coaching and support.
Early Years Education
- To ensure all pupils across the foundation stage make good or better progress.
- To further increase the percentage of pupils attaining expected or better in writing.
The children are currently having to eat in their classrooms as we do not have the capacity to cater for 460 children in our dining halls, given the current guidance and restrictions. As a result, children having a school meal are receiving a packed lunch with hot and cold sandwich options.
However, I am pleased to announce that from Monday 28th September 2020, children having a school lunch will have the option of a hot school meal (or hot vegetarian option) or cold sandwich packed lunch (ham or cheese) as at present. Children will be encouraged to use their own water bottles for lunchtime too, although there will be some water provided at lunch if these are not available.
Please note the price of a school meal is now £2.45 per day (£12.25 per week)
Music in school
Despite the current restrictions we are continuing to offer a full curriculum, including music. In addition to classroom lessons, we are continuing to fund peripatetic music tuition this year, so that children across KS2 have the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument, free of charge. Some letters have already been sent out to those who were receiving these lessons last year and to those who have expressed an interest in starting to play an instrument. If your child is interested in playing a musical instrument, and haven’t already returned a letter, please contact the school office and ask to speak to Mrs Shaw.
This year we are continuing to use our Sports Funding for 2020-2021 to employ specialist Sports Coach, Mr Halstead, who will lead some lessons in Physical Education and support outdoor games during break times and lunch-times. We have also bought in the services of the PE Leader from Sir Thomas Wharton Academy and are working with Active Fusion to organise sports competitions and continue the children’s high level of participation in inter-schools competitive events.
School Council Elections
Elections are currently taking place for our school councils: Sports Council, Enterprise Council, Eco Council, Reading Ambassadors and Year 6 Smile Ambassadors. I will share the names of those who are successfully elected in my next newsletter.
Thank you for sending the children back to school in the correct uniform – especially black footwear; they all look so smart. Children may come to school wearing a watch and one pair of stud ear-rings but must not wear make-up, nail varnish or other jewellery items.
Attendance & Punctuality
This year we are continuing to aim for our target of 97%. We have been delighted with the level of attendance so far – in the first week our attendance was 98%, which is fantastic – well done!
Please read the attached letter – regarding unauthorised leave and irregular attendance at school. Headteachers cannot grant leave of absence during term-time, unless there are exceptional circumstances, which are listed on the absence from school letter. Please note being self-employed is not regarded as ‘exceptional circumstances’. Unfortunately, there have been a few instances where parents have reported their child’s absences as being due to illness when they have, in fact been on holiday. Please be aware, that we are often informed when this happens and have a duty to investigate; as a result, several fines were issued last year.
Please do not be offended if you receive a letter regarding your child’s attendance if it falls below 95%. We are required by the Local Authority to notify parents if this happens – for any reason. If, following the first letter, there are any further unauthorised absences in the following 15 days the school may request Doncaster Council to issue a fine.
If your child is absent for 10% or more of school sessions they are defined by the government as a ‘Persistent Absentee’ and information regarding your child’s attendance is reported to the Local Education Authority and Department for Education. The school office will also request sight of appointment cards for medical or dental appointments in order to authorise any absence in the school day. Also, please note that children in all year groups are assessed during May and therefore any absences should be avoided during this month. In addition to the end of Key Stage assessments (Years 2 & 6), there is a compulsory phonics assessment for every child in Year 1 and a multiplication tables test for every child in Year 4 which will both take place during June 2019
Payments to School
Payments to school for dinner money, trips and extended school clubs will continue to be paid using the Parent Pay website, or at a pay point. If you have not set up an account with Parent Pay, or have lost your login details, please speak to staff in the school office. Login details for new children in F2 will be issued by the office within the next few days.
Please remember to label your child’s clothing and other belongings, particularly water bottles and lunch boxes. This is more important than ever when we are trying to minimise the spreading of infection. Due to the amount of unclaimed belongings we have to store (and eventually dispose of), all lost property is kept for one week only.
We understand that parking is limited due to the school being situated on a very busy main road, but the safety of all is our primary concern. Due to the staggered start and finish times, this may have eased the pressure a little bit, but residents are affected for a longer period of time. The number of cars dropping off and collecting children at the start and end of the school day can cause a major obstruction and is also putting the safety of children at risk. Please show consideration when parking and refrain from parking across residents’ driveways or on the grass verges on Mill Lane.
We are really looking forward to a wonderful autumn term – thank you for all your continued support!
Good attendance at school is the single most important factor in ensuring that your child will maximise their learning opportunities. By attending school every day your child takes an important step in reaching their full potential. Research completed by the Department for Education found that every day missed was associated with a lower attainment outcome at both KS2 and KS4. The more time your child spends around other children, the more chance they have of making friends and feeling included, boosting their social skills, confidence and self-esteem. Promoting positive school attendance is therefore everyone’s responsibility.
You may be aware that school absence in Doncaster is one of the highest in England and schools have been working with Doncaster Council to look at how we can ensure all children attend school as much as possible. The school wants your child to have the education and skills they need to live a happy and fulfilling life. With this in mind Doncaster Council has made two major changes in how it will respond to requests from schools when schools are considering enforcing poor attendance.
Unauthorised Leave (Holidays in term time)
You will be aware that no leave of absence from school for a holiday in term time can be taken without the authorisation of the Headteacher and should you take your child out of school for a holiday you may be issued with a Penalty Notice. Doncaster Council will continue to issue Education Penalty Notices to each parent for each child they take out of school for a holiday.
Irregular Attendance at School
The school may write to you to advise there are concerns with your child’s irregular attendance at school. It is very important that you work closely with the school to ensure your child is able to attend school every day wherever possible. If your child’s attendance is not at the expected level the school will offer support to you and your child to ensure an improvement in attendance is made. However, should the support not have the required improvement in attendance we may send you a penalty notice warning letter. If there are any further unauthorised absences in the following 15 school days the school may request Doncaster Council to issue you with an Education Penalty Notice.
The penalty notice is a fine of £120 but reduced to £60 if you pay it within 21 days. Doncaster Council will decide if a penalty notices can be issued but may decide to prosecute you instead. Where Doncaster Council decide a prosecution should take place, they will write to you offering you to attend a meeting with an Enforcement Court Officer. Following this meeting the Enforcement Court Officer will decide if a prosecution will take place and a summons will be requested from Doncaster Magistrates Court.
If you are experiencing any difficulty with your child’s attendance, please contact us immediately so we can work together to ensure improvements are made.
Mrs R Train