17th July 2020
Dear Parents / Carers,
Today marks the end of the academic year. It has been a very demanding one that has brought great success and unprecedented challenges. We start our annual summer holiday today knowing that the beginning of the new academic year will be unlike any other we have ever experienced. This letter explains the changes we have to make in light of the circumstances from September, so please read it very carefully.
START / FINISH TIMES
Gates on Allerton and Aycliffe Road will be open from 8:40am every morning and will close at 9:00am. Parents/Carers must drop their child off at either gate before saying goodbye.
- RECEPTION AND NURSERY CHILDREN TO ENTER AND LEAVE THE BUILDING FROM THE MAIN GATE TO THE SCHOOL ON AYCLIFFE ROAD – 8:40am
- YEAR 1 AND 2 CHILDREN TO ENTER AND LEAVE THE BUILDING FROM THE DOUBLE GATE ON AYCLIFFE ROAD – 8:40am
- YEARS 3,4,5,6 TO ENTER AND LEAVE THE BUILDING FROM THE GATE ON ALLERTON ROAD – 8:40am
We are not in a position to let parents/carers on to the school site except for the foreseeable future.
There will be a series of yellow /white dots sprayed on to the pavements that lead to the school gates on Allerton and Aycliffe Road at 2metre intervals. Please make sure that you stand on these spots when you drop off and collect your child.
FURTHER INFORMATION WILL BE SENT OUT ON SEPTEMBER 2ND REGARDING COLLECTION TIMES. WE WILL HAVE TO STAGGER THE TIMES YOU CAN COLLECT YOUR CHILD TO AVOID OVERCROWDING AT THE SCHOOL GATES.
BACK ON TRACK
By the time children return to school in September they will have been absent for nearly 6 months. Herts for Learning have created a set of lessons called Back on Track which have been designed to help children to be working at age related expectation by the beginning of the summer term in 2021. They have also been designed to make sure that teachers deliver the content of the English and Maths curriculum that children have missed this term. We are very pleased that the county have taken such a proactive stance to helping children narrow the gaps in their learning. We welcome their support and teachers have already begun to plan for next year.
By the time children return in September they will be in a new year group with a new teacher. Like many thousands of other children across the country they won’t have had the opportunity to finish the year and as such we have put in place steps to help them readjust to life back at school. I have written a very detailed plan which has been shared with the governors, staff and the school’s improvement partner that sets out different ways to deal with life after lock down.
Some of the ways teachers and support staff will help the children will address the following areas:
SUPPORTING CHILDREN TO BUILD POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS
SUPPORTING CHILDREN TO MANAGE THEIR FEELINGS AND BEHAVIOUR
SUPPORTING CHILDREN’S HEALTH AND WELL-BEING
Teachers and support staff will help children to establish new and familiar routines that will encourage them to “find their feet” once they return in September. I am very hopeful that they will all make the transition smoothly. It has been very encouraging to see how well those who returned in June made the adjustments so quickly.
NATIONAL SCHOOL BREAKFAST PROGRAMME
From Monday 14th September every child in the school will have access to a free breakfast via the National School Breakfast Programme as part of the government’s post Coivd -19 response. The school has been selected to take part in this initiative for two terms and it will run from September to the end of the spring term in March 2021. Children will be offered (half) a buttered bagel when they arrive in their class from 8:45am. It is our hope that every child will enjoy their breakfast before they begin the day. It will also be an opportunity for the school to encourage parents/carers to make sure that their child comes to school on time and to take up the opportunity to enjoy breakfast with their friends.
PLEASE NOTE THIS WILL NOT AFFECT THE ARRANGEMENTS THAT ARE IN PLACE FOR OUR CURRENT BREAKFAST CLUB WHICH RECOMMENCES ON MONDAY 7TH SEPTEMBER FROM 7:45AM.
ATTENDANCE AND PUNCTUALITY
There are strict regulations in place for all children’s return to school. The government have made it very clear that children who do no return to school in September, parents/carers will be at risk of being fined £120. Whilst we understand that many of you will be apprehensive about your child returning to school in September we have mitigated as many risks as possible and have completed a thorough risk assessment which can be found here: https://parkside.herts.sch.uk/risk-assessment-september-2020/
Attendance has been a long standing issue for the school and has been one of the contributing factors that has held it back from making even better progress. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that children are taught about the importance of being on time for school and that attendance has a direct impact on their rates of progress. We have some excellent members of staff in Mrs Mattholie the school’s new Parental Engagement Officer and Mrs Conley the school’s SENCO who are on hand to support any family who struggles with this issue. Please contact them via the school office if you need support.
New government guidance makes it very clear that we are not allowed to gather as a school to celebrate achievements or enjoy learning on a large scale. Unfortunately we are unable to welcome you to assemblies for the foreseeable future, something we are all very disappointed about. Assemblies will be held remotely and classes will link up remotely with Mrs Taylor and myself on Monday mornings. We are looking in to ways of inviting parents / carers to the assembly and will let you know further details in the new term.
GOODBYE YEAR 6
Unfortunately and rather disappointingly we have not been in a position to say goodbye to our Year 6 children this year because of the Corona virus pandemic. Despite this Miss Wood, Mr Wanless and the support staff in the year group delivered Year Books last week to all children and made sure they all received a gift to remind them of their time at Parkside. Children we will miss you and are so sorry we can’t say goodbye to your properly. We hope to invite you back in September for a special leaving assembly and disco once the restrictions have eased. You have been a fantastic year group and I wish each and every one of you every success next year.
It has been my pleasure to lead such a dedicated staff this year once again. They have risen to every challenge that has been ‘thrown at them’ and I am very proud of the way they have responded. They are a credit to the school and we look forward to realising our vision once more in September – “NURTURING AND INSPIRING YOUNG MINDS TOWARDS A BRIGHT FUTURE”
We say goodbye to Miss Coulson today who leaves Parkside to take up a place on a teacher training course. Good luck Charli!
Finally I would like to take this opportunity of thanking you all for your support over the past year. There has been much to celebrate including the fantastic Ofsted result, our first ever firework display, visits to Parliament and playing on the hallowed turf of Vicarage Road!! We look to build on this success next year when we return in September. I wish you all a peaceful and restful summer holiday and I look forward to welcoming you back on THURSDAY 3rd SEPTEMBER.
C D Soyka