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Headteachers Update

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 17.07.2020

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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 03.07.2020

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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 26.06.2020

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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 19.06.2020

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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 12.06.2020

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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 05.06.2020

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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 22.05.2020

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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 18.05.2020

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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 15.05.2020

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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 13.05.2020

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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 07.05.2020

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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 01.05.2020

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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 24.04.2020

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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 08.04.2020

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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 03.04.2020

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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 20.03.2020

Dear Parents, Carers and Children.
Just checking in with you at the end of Week 1 of our enforced closure. First and foremost, I hope that you are all healthy and safe and that you are doing everything that you can to protect yourselves by keeping to the government’s guidelines of self- isolation and social distancing.
There are just a couple of messages that I thought would be worth mentioning:
Vouchers for children entitled to free school meals (FSM)
There has been news today of a government led scheme stating that parents of any child entitled to free school meals will receive vouchers worth £15 per week to spend in a supermarket. As a school we have not received any notification of this – I have only read what you have read on-line. Hopefully, we will learn more over the next few days, and obviously, we will let you know when we do. In the meantime, children entitled to FSM will still be able to pick up a packed lunch from the gate on Mary Place between 12.00-12.30pm
Home learning
Thank you for supporting your children with your home learning. Just a reminder, if any of you have a piece of work you are proud of, please take a photo and send it to info@apsafederation.com and we will try to tweet some of them. Similarly, if you have any photos of your children completing their learning in their ‘schools at home’ (and are happy for them to be published) please send them in!  
Rainbows
You may have seen that some children in different parts of the country have been creating rainbows as a symbol of optimism during this unusual and difficult time.
 I am therefore setting our Avondale and St Anne’s Community the challenge of every single child (and their brothers and sisters) to draw/paint/design a rainbow or rainbow coloured object and place it in their windows. I would like to think that we could have 500 + homes (staff are challenged as well) with   rainbows in their windows across W11 and further afield and I look forward to spotting them when I come into school! Perhaps when you go out for a walk, you also can count how many you can see?
Children who have been in school today have been working on a beautiful rainbow of handprints which we hope to hang in the Dining Hall so that you will all be able to see it. Keep your eyes open! I have included some ideas I have found on-line and also an outline of our school leaf in case you would like to ‘rainbow’ it- but I am sure you will come up with some better ones!
Again, I would love to see photos of your rainbows in your windows – from inside if you live near the top of a tower block (!) or outside.
Communication
If you need to contact school, the best way is by emailing info@apsafederation.com. The email is checked fairly regularly – although large numbers of our staff are now self isolating- but we will try to get back to you within a few days.
I do hope that you are all looking after yourselves. Keep well and keep safe,
Best wishes and elbow bumps,
Katy

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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 20.03.2020

Dear Parents/ Carers,
I have written our newsletter today in the form of a letter as there is so much to say. Apologies that it is long, but there is a lot of information that I need to give to you.

School Closure

Today has been our last day of school for some time as we follow instructions from central Government to close due to the Coronavirus. I know that a number of parents have been concerned that schools have remained open so long, but hopefully, the decisions made have been the correct ones and that the time is now right.
Right time or not, it feels very strange – especially as we do not know yet when we will return. Year 2 and Y6 SATS are cancelled as are Y4 x table tests and Y1 Phonics screening but we have reminded the children how hard they have worked towards these milestones and how pleased we are of them all.
As there were fewer children in today, we held our assembly all together which was very special. Our stars of the week (included in this newsletter as well as last week’s stars) reflect how proud we are of our children during this difficult time. It was an Avondale ‘first’ as all teachers awarded our ‘Star certificates’ to their whole class. Please take time to read the comments made by teachers as you will be proud – they indicate how thoughtfully children of all ages are trying to make sense of this situation. In true Avondale style, we finished our assembly with some amazing spine-tingling singing led by Nana which left us feeling very moved. Thank you to all of you for your voices and enthusiasm which led to creating (for me at least) such a special memory of today.

Children’s anxieties

It is clearly a worrying time for everyone, and children of all ages have expressed some of their anxieties in school. We have encouraged them to discuss their worries in their classes and whilst we have not always had the answers, we have tried to explain what we do know about it and how most children and adults will have a short illness and then get better. We will be adding some resources to our website which give explanations for children about the situation which you might want to use.

Provision for certain children

You will have heard on the news that schools have been asked to provide care and support for children of key workers and also those classed as ‘vulnerable’ according to certain criteria. If you live locally, you will therefore see rotas of staff (health permitting) working in school with these children.

Free School Meals
The Prime Minister announced that there would be food provided for any children entitled to free school meals (FSM). Our kitchen is being used as a ‘hub’ kitchen where food will be prepared, but we do not yet know the logistics of how those entitled will receive the food – hopefully we will be able to send further information on Monday. If you are a family who live a long way from school, and entitled to FSM, I suggest that you check with your borough of residence to check whether they will be able to ensure this provision.

Home learning
We have set up a new tab on our website called ‘Coronavirus’ and you will find the children’s home learning there – organised in year groups.
(Unfortunately, I have just looked at this and can see that some of the tabs are not operational and not all the work seems to be uploaded. My apologies for this but as you are aware, this has all been done in a short space of time- we will aim to sort it out by Monday.)
The home learning is presented in the style of the home learning grids that children and parents are accustomed to, with the expectation that children will complete one Maths task and one English task each day and one project based tasks each day.  There are also some additional ‘family home learning’ which could be completed over a few weeks- with the idea that different aged siblings might like to work together.
We will also include a pro forma for you to create a timetable for each day if you wish. Please note, this is OPTIONAL so if this does not suit your situation, please do not use! (I have seen enough YouTube videos of parents complaining about timetables!) We think we have provided enough learning for two weeks and teachers will update after this time. There are other elements in this area of the website that we hope you will find useful. For instance, there is a section on MindUp and keeping active as well as a number of websites that have been recommended by teachers. Ciara, our computer teacher, is working hard from home in self- isolation trying to develop a system whereby teachers can email their children. If this is achievable, we shall be in touch!

I also set a couple of other challenges in assembly today:
Extreme learning challenge! Following on from our successful Extreme reading challenge we would like photos from you please sent to the ‘info’ website address of you enjoying your learning at home.
Random Acts of Kindness- any photos, drawings of writing sent to the ‘info’ email address of children or parents showing any random acts of kindness

We will share any great examples of either of these challenges on our website

Communication
We obviously will be in and out of school and will endeavour to follow up on any enquiries (health of staff permitting). If you need to do so, please contact us through the usual channels – info@apsafederation.com. Please note this email address is not checked every day but we will try to reply as and when possible.

Farewell for now
These truly are strange times as we may not see some of you for some time. I know that there have been lots of stories in the news of people pulling together, but I have definitely seen it here. Staff have worked around the clock to complete so many tasks at short notice and have covered for colleagues who sick or self-isolating without complaint. They have shown a compassion and commitment beyond their roles and for this I am indebted.

I thank all of our Avondale/ St Anne’s family (children, parents, staff, governors and friends) for their continued loyalty and belief in us and I ask that you look after yourselves and keep healthy and safe. My very best wishes and looking forward to seeing you all again before too long.

Best wishes,
Katy- sending virtual hugs and ‘elbow bumps’ to you all

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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 19.03.2020

Latest Government Announcements- Wednesday evening.
You may have heard the government announcements on Wednesday evening. I am writing to inform you that our schools will be open as usual today and Friday but that they will close at the end of the school day on Friday until further notice. It was announced that the Government would be trying to keep some schools open with a skeleton staff to provide support for the children of key workers. We wait for  further information from the Department of Education as to which schools they will be,  but in the meantime, please inform the school office if you are a key worker- defined by the Prime Minister as including NHS Staff, the Police, those involved in food supply and delivery drivers.  The prime minister stated that ‘vulnerable’ children would be supported and he also mentioned some sort of system for those children entitled to free school meals  to receive a meal or a food package. Once again we hope to learn more about this later today.
If your child is ill
The advice continues to be  that if one member of your family has a high temperature or a cough, the whole family should self- isolate for 14 days. If your child has a temperature, you should not at this time give them Calpol and send them into school.  Please continue to inform the school if your child will not be at school.
Home learning
Our teachers are working hard to provide suggested home learning for the initial period of closure and we shall aim to update this every few weeks. Further details will follow.
Thank you for your continued support and keep well.
Best wishes,

Katy Blackler

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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 18.03.2020

Our schools are open.
Yesterday’s message about school being open still stands:
Our schools remain open following the statement from the Government on Monday evening. I am aware that parents are concerned about this, but as long as we have enough staff to ensure the safety of the children, we will stay open as long as we can.
As you will have seen, the latest advice is that if one member of your family has a high temperature or a cough, the whole family should self- isolate for 14 days. If your child has a temperature, you should not at this time give them Calpol and send them into school. 
Please continue to inform the school if your child will not be at school.
Homelearning
Some families are choosing to keep their children at home and have asked for homelearning. Our policy is that while the school is open, we are not providing specific home learning as the teachers are working hard to plan for the children who are here at school. Instead, if children are at home, they are always encouraged to read, to complete their home learning for the week and to practise times tables and number bonds. There are a number of websites on MyUSO and also, Twinkle is currently offering one month’s free access for parents.
As and when we are told to close we will provide appropriate home learning for parents to complete with their children at home.

Thank you for your continued support and keep well.
Best wishes,

Katy Blackler

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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 17.03.2020

School remains open following the statement from the Government on Monday evening. I am aware that parents are concerned about this, but as long as we have enough staff to ensure the safety of the children, we will stay open as long as we can.

As you will have seen, the latest advice is that if one member of your family has a high temperature or a cough, the whole family should self- isolate for 14 days. If your child has a temperature, you should not at this time give them Calpol and send them into school. 

Please continue to inform the school if your child will not be at school.

Thank you for your support and keep well.

Best wishes,
Katy Blackler

 

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