End of Autumn Term Letter from the Headteacher 18/12/2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
We made it. We got to the end of one the most difficult school terms we have ever had. And we did it together.
We know that the restrictions we have in place have been frustrating for many of you. We know that the occasions when we have had to send children home to self-isolate have been very difficult.
So far, we have had only 3 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Monks Orchard Primary School; 2 children and 1 member of staff.
Compared with some other schools in the area, this is a remarkably small number. We know that this could just be luck and that it could change very quickly, but we hope that the actions we are taking, as difficult, inconvenient and frustrating as they are, are helping to keep the number of infections down.
We could not do this without you. The vast majority of you have complied with all of our COVID-19 protocols; often with a smile and a “Don’t worry about it,” or “We understand,” even when we have had to make changes at very short notice.
Your messages of support and appreciation have meant a great deal to all of us - more than you can imagine.
So, a huge thank you again to all of you, for your understanding, patience and kindness in these difficult times.
We launched our RED TED scheme this term to encourage children to read at home.
RED TED stands for, ‘Read Every Day, Talk Every Day.
The scheme has been very successful so far and five children have already won their RED TED teddy bears (and an invitation to a Teddy Bears’ Picnic). So congratulations to:
- Annaliese and Ivy-Renee (Donaldson Class)
- Kallum (Murphy Class)
- Anastasia and Adrian (McKee Class)
We have lots more teddy bears to give away. All you have to do is read at home every day and record this in your reading diaries, which are on Google Classroom. So let’s get reading…
Trussell Trust Donation
The Trussell Trust is a wonderful charity, running foodbanks in Croydon and right across the country. It has done fantastic work supporting families struggling with food poverty, particularly during this pandemic. So we are really pleased to let you know that our ‘Mufti Day,’ back in October raised nearly £200, all of which has gone to The Trussell Trust. Do have a look at The Trussell Trust website for more information about the work they do. https://www.trusselltrust.org/
COVID-19 Catch Up Premium
As I am sure you are aware, the government have provided funding, for all schools in England, to support children who may not have made expected progress during the lockdown earlier this year. This is called the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Catch-up Premium.
We have now finalised how we will spend this money:
- In Reception we will be using the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI). A 20-week programme for children aged 4-5 years, to help them develop vocabulary, narrative skills, active listening and phonological awareness. Reception and Year 1 parents have already received a letter about this. NELI: The Nuffield Early Language Intervention (elklan.co.uk)
- Across the whole school, we will be using LEXIA. A personalised programme, combining online and in-class learning to develop literacy skills. Lexia® Core5® Reading - LexiaUK
- A number of Key Stage 2 children (starting with Year 5 and Year 6) will receive small group tutoring in maths and writing. This will be provided by Connex Education Partnership, a National Tutoring Programme approved tutoring provider.
Not all children will receive these interventions. If your child is chosen for one of them, it is not necessarily because they are underachieving but because we feel they would benefit from the additional support. We will contact parents and carers directly in the New Year, with more details.
Reception Class Applications
For those of you with children who are due to start primary school in September 2021, please remember that the deadline for applications is 15 January 2021. All applications must be made via the eAdmissions website: Home | eAdmissions
As we have not been able to have tours and open evenings this year, our Year 6 children have created a virtual tour of the school, for parents applying for Reception places. They planned, wrote, filmed and created the video themselves – and did a wonderful job. You can see the tour on our website: Fairchildes Academy Community Trust - Monks Orchard Virtual Tour (factrust.org)
Do have a look and please share the link with any friends and family who may also have children about to start primary school.
This year’s festive season is not going to be normal. But let us all remember that Christmas is not just about opening presents, but opening our hearts. So take the time to phone, to video call and to reach out to your loved ones. To remind them that, even though we may not be able to meet up with them in person, they are still in our thoughts.
Have a fabulous holiday, a happy New Year, and a Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate it.
We will see you all in the New Year, when school begins again for children on Tuesday, 5 January 2021.
Thank you for everything…
Guy Fairbairn, Headteacher