Friday 18th December
Dear parent / carer,
At the end of a difficult and challenging term it is important to concentrate on the positives and celebrate achievements which there are many of.
Despite the current difficulties, there are lots of amazing things that have happened this year. Without a shadow of a doubt, the way the children have come back into school and got on with their learning has been exceptional. Together, we are so proud of all of them for how well they have coped and adapted to the new norm. I appreciate that there are possibly more difficulties to come but we are so lucky to work with such amazing children.
This term has also seen such fantastic generosity. The sheer volume of donations for The Bay Foodbank at Harvest astounds me each year, this year being no exception. We are also so grateful for the way that everyone has rallied round and sent in items for our hampers for the local community plus boxes of donations to go to the Whitley Bay Big One which again, serves our local community for those in need.
Whilst the run up to Christmas has not been what we are used to, all staff have tried to keep things festive and enjoyable for the children. Thanks to Anne and her team in the kitchen, every child has had the chance to have a Christmas lunch, sprouts included! Thanks also to the Friends of Langley the children were able to have Christmas crackers and a small table present to go with their Christmas jumpers.
Over the coming days we will also be enjoying Christmas parties, Christmas songs which will be shared on Tapestry and Seesaw and also look forward to welcoming a special visitor with hopefully a little early Christmas treat for all those who have been good this year!
Impact of Covid on learning
It would not be right reviewing this term without mentioning the issues and challenges that Covid has brought. From the very start of this term, our main priority has been to focus on each and every child’s health and wellbeing. Compared to some schools in the local area it would appear that we have fared reasonably well against full bubbles having to isolate. However, as would be expected, we have seen significant absences related to Covid, these can be seen in the table below which shows the number of sessions lost due to children having to isolate;
|Year group||Sessions lost*|
* Morning and afternoon are classed as 2 separate sessions
Whilst all our staff have worked hard to ensure that online content is available and current, I am sure you will appreciate that there is so much the children miss by not being in school. This is something that clearly will improve as testing and hopefully the vaccine becomes more widely available but appreciate that, in the short term, we will continue to work hard to ensure that we can support the children in what ever way they need it.
As part of our covid catch up funding we have bought in training for some staff on boosting reading. We have also used the funding to buy reading assessment material to ensure we are focusing our support for reading in the right areas. To support mental health and wellbeing we are also using this money to fund time from a school nurse to lead friendship and social groups. Something that we would not be able to do without it.
Positive cases over Christmas
Should your child test positive up to Christmas day, it is essential that you still contact school so that we can complete contact tracing. Over the holidays the school’s email address will be regularly checked so please email school on email@example.com and provide the following information:
Name of child
Date of the COVID-19 test
Does the child have symptoms? Yes or No
What date did the symptoms start?
What date did the child last attend school?
Should we be informed of a positive case during the first week of the holidays we will contact those that have to isolate via text and email explaining the time scales etc. It is essential that you inform school of any changes of email addresses or phone numbers prior to or during the holidays.
I would like to say a huge thank you to all the staff in school who have adapted so well to the new ways of teaching and learning during this time. I would also like to thank parents and carers for their support over the last few months specifically. Finally, a massive thank you to the children for just getting on with it, being so resilient and showing us all how amazing they are.
From the Governors, staff and myself have a very merry and safe Christmas and we look forward to continuing to get through this difficult time together in 2021.
Mr. T Jones