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Letters and Documents 2020-2021

11th June 2021

It has been great to see all of the children back after half term, with nearly all of the classes above 99% attendance this week(which is brilliant).

We are still having to be extra vigilant with any illnesses. Thank you to all of you for your understanding when you have been asked to get a PCR test for your child.

The test results are being returned very quickly and this helps minimise the time out of school for children.

Over the next few weeks our Year 4 pupils are undertaking their Multiplication Tables check. Although it is not statutory this year we felt it was a great chance to get involved and allow the pupils to test themselves using a different system. So far they have all completed the test really well with a great attitude too.

 

Some of the Year 5 pupils are helping with the growing in our Polytunnels. So far they have harvested a crop of strawberries, planted tomatoes, peppers and pumpkins. We are hopeful that the pumpkins will be ready just in time for Halloween. We also have a large crop of onions that will soon be ready too.

This week saw the start of some dance lessons for Reception, Year 2 and Year 5. The lessons have been provided free as they are organised as part of the Get Manchester Active campaign. All of the pupils participated with great enthusiasm.

 

Can I please remind parents and children that fidget toys are not to be brought in to school unless with prior agreement with staff as a result of an occupational health assessment. Unfortunately some toys are going missing or being swapped which is causing upset for some.

 

The PTA are holding an EGM on the 1st July after school. An invite will be sent next week with further details.

If any new parents are interested in supporting and helping out with the organisation we would love to see you there.

 

The Government and Local Authority have asked me to send you the following information:


It was announced by Government that Oldham, along with the rest of Greater Manchester and other areas in the North West, has been named an “enhanced response area” (ERA) for COVID-19.
This is due to a rise in the number of cases of the new Delta variant.
The Delta variant spreads more easily from person to person, meaning that people in these areas should take particular caution when meeting anyone outside their household or support bubble.

 

This means that people in Oldham and other ERA areas are being advised to:
meet outside rather than inside where possible 
keep 2 metres apart from people that you don’t live with (unless you have formed a support bubble) 
minimise travel in and out of affected areas where possible, to minimise contact with others


People should also:
Continue to work from home where possible 
Get vaccinated when offered, and encourage others to do so 
Get tested. This includes arranging to have a PCR test if you have symptoms or have recently been in contact with someone who has tested positive; and getting regular rapid lateral flow tests.

Self-isolate immediately if you or someone who you live with have symptoms or a positive test result


We are also being offered additional support from Government to try and drive vaccine uptake among eligible groups, as well as strengthen our testing offer locally. We would really encourage you to accept the vaccine when offered, and encourage others, such as friends and family to do the same as we all continue to pull together to respond to this ongoing challenge.
This new guidance means it is more important than ever to ensure you are testing for Coronavirus twice-weekly, and ensure you self-isolate immediately if you show symptoms or have a positive test result.
By working together, we can all do our bit to keep Coronavirus rates low in Oldham.


Many thanks

Newsletter May 2021

14th May 2021

 

This term is just flying by and the children are really engaged in all of their learning. As the weather improves it's nice to be able to get out more and make the most of our grounds.  At this time of year the weather is hard to predict so I would recommend that each day your child brings a coat regardless of the weather at the start of the day,  just in case it is needed at anytime. We have seen this week several downpours at the start and end of the school day.

 

We have still not received any new guidance regarding our COVID procedures.

Sadly, On Monday we had a member of staff test positive for COVID.

Thankfully  we haven't had to close a bubble due to the time between the last contact with the staff member and the pupils in school.

 

Despite a gentle easing nationally, we are still required to follow our staggered timings and wear face masks whilst waiting in the line.

You have been so supportive of this, we just ask that you carry on until we are advised differently.

Like you, we want to be able to relax a little and allow the children to mix more. As soon as we receive any changes to the guidance I will of course let you know.

 

In school the pupils are allowed a clear sports top water bottle. Can you please ensure that pupils only bring water in to school for use during lesson time. As we have a number of pupils in school with allergies we ask that only water is provided. We also had several accidents with spilt drinks which have ruined children's work because they have contained juice instead of water.

Please try to refrain from sending heavy flask/chilli bottles in as they are being knocked over regularly too.

 

 

This week is National metal health awareness week. In school we are constantly looking at strategies to support pupils  mental health and well being and this is included in their weekly PSHE lesson too.

For our school, we always try to have a whole school focus during Children's Mental Health Week which was during February when a significant amount of the Home learning and learning in school focussed on mental health activities.

 

This week we have seen the start of our Times tables stars challenge. I have been so impressed by all of the pupils who have put themselves forward to take their tests, they have certainly risen to the challenge and I have been amazed by the resilience they have shown even when they might not have been as successful as they'd hoped.  The tests are not easy and pupils get 5 seconds to answer each question . Pupils are expected to answer a large number of times table questions along with the associated division facts. The speed of some of the pupils is outstanding and I know a lot of them having been telling me how much they have been practising at home. Thank you for supporting them with this.

Thank you for your continued support

J Conway

28th April 2021- SCHOOL IS CLOSED NEXT MONDAY & THURSDAY

RESPONSIBILITY    RESILIENCE    RESPECT 

Since returning from the Easter break, there have been so many things going on. We have lots of planting and growing in our Early Years, we've had link project meetings with Y4 and Coppice Primary school, some fantastic music making and singing in Year 3, Y2 have been making coffee stained maps of their local area, Blackbeard has been causing a lot of trouble in Year 1, Year 5 have resumed swimming and we've even had the dissection of lambs hearts in year 6.

 

Last half term our whole school theme was CHOOSE KIND.

This half term we are focussing on our main value of RESPECT including MANNERS.

Please work with your child too to help them understand what this looks like in different contexts. I know from being at the front of school many of you actively encourage your child/children to say good morning, goodbye, have a nice weekend and respond appropriately to comments from adults.

As children get older, their body language can give a positive or negative impression to others. We will be supporting them to reflect on how their body language impacts on others.

 

This term we have tried to organise a lot more clubs, however we still can only have pupils from their wider bubbles in these. This has at times reduced the number of pupils enrolling in the clubs and not made them viable to run due to low numbers.

As with everyone at times staff do become ill or have to deal with emergencies and we may then have to cancel a cub. This decision is only made if we cannot find someone else who is able to, or has the knowledge to run the club. We know as parents you may find this frustrating but ask you that you understand the situation it places us in too. We do often cover with other staff but there are some clubs that can only be lead by a specific member of staff. We will always try to give you as much notice as possible of this so that you can make arrangements for collection.

 

Next week there are no clubs at all as school is shut on Monday for the bank holiday and on Thursday as we are required to be a polling station by the Local Authority.

 

Thank you for continuing to help us all keep safe in the morning by waiting sensibly with your children. Sadly we are still under the same government guidance and we have no indication when this may change.

 

Please remain with your child in the line until a member of staff from the class takes the children in to class.

For now we have to carry on with the staggered start and end times, wear masks whilst waiting in the line and on the yard for collection and restrict the movement of pupils around school to avoid bubbles mixing.

 

Last week we were very fortunate to have the opportunity to take our year 6 pupils to our outdoor centre at Castleshaw . There are still many educational providers and trips that we cannot access at the moment, many of whom are still closed and furloughing staff.

We are hopeful that this situation may change in time for the next academic year to allow us to plan trips.

 

If you need other parents or adults to collect your child, please contact the office so that they can inform staff.

Please do not use Seesaw to send these messages as staff are not always checking it during the day. At the moment Seesaw is only being used for homework.

 

We hope you are able to enjoy the long bank holiday weekend with your family.

J Conway

 

Thursday 1st April 2021                                                   HAPPY EASTER

 

The weeks since all the pupils returned on the 8th March have flown by. The pupils have covered so much since they returned I sometimes can't keep up with the amount that they are doing.

We have been overwhelmed by the Easter decoration entries this year. We've had painted eggs, hand made scenery, clay work, Easter bonnets, paintings and pupils placing themselves into an Easter scene. It was so difficult deciding which entries were the best so we placed all the names of those who entered into a hat and randomly picked names out because all of the entries were brilliant in their own right.

Our winners were: Ethan(6), Emily(2), Lucas(1), Luke(3), Oscar(1), Oliver(R) and Jaycie(4). From talking to the pupils I know they really enjoyed having a go and creating their own entries. Thank you for supporting them.

Last month you kindly supported us with our Fundraising for Comic Relief, Overall we raised £341, so thank you so much, all of the donations have been sent off for this great cause.

Mr Scott has also been keeping up with the Sum dog competition. Some children have been getting up very early and completing hundreds if not thousands of questions. What a great attitude to have towards their learning. As parents we really appreciate your support with allowing pupils to access Sumdog and Times tables Rockstars. Feel free to help them access the programmes but allow them to answer the questions themselves in their own time. Over time they will improve by getting faster and more accurate.

The class with the most answers this week was Year 3 and the individual pupils who achieved the most were Oliver(6) and Colwin(5). Congratulations to all of the pupils who have joined in this week.

 

After Easter we will be continuing with our staggered starts and collection procedures. Up to today, schools haven't received any new guidance which would enable us to change our routines. I will of course let you know when any changes are allowed.

 

Our Year 5 pupils will be resuming swimming after the Easter holidays, Mrs walker will share further details with the class.

 

On behalf of all of the staff and Governors I hope you are able to have some time with your families (even if it is outside) have a good rest and enjoy your Easter celebrations. We look forward to seeing the pupils return ready for learning on Monday 19th April.

 

J Conway

Easter decoration images

Friday 26th March 2021

 

This half term is just flying by and the pupils are starting to get back into the rhythm of school. This week I have noticed some fantastic writing work in all of the classes from pupils really grasping their new phonics sounds and using them in their writing up to the increased productivity in Years 5 and 6. This week there seems to have been a food theme in some of our classes. Food has been used to teach and demonstrate fractions and the phases of the moon. Some of the Early Years pupils have helped me pull the last of our carrots that we have been growing in our poly tunnels. They all did a great job and then they all tried them as part of their lunch on Thursday.

 

Our chosen book this half term, The Boy, the mole the fox and the horse has been really well received by the pupils and the discussions that are taking place in PSHE as a result of it are helping pupils understand further our Key theme of Choosing Kind. We all love the book.

 

Next Thursday we shut for the Easter break. On Sunday Christians celebrate Palm Sunday and the run up to Easter is regarded as the most important week in the Christian year. Lent and Easter time is a time for reflection and I'm sure whether you are a Christian or not, you all have a lot to reflect on and be thankful for over the last year.

 

Normally we hold our Easter egg decorating competition and the pupils send in their fantastic creations.

This year we want the pupils to either decorate an egg or create an Easter scene, but instead of sending it in, can you please take a photo of your child with their creation and upload it to their Seesaw page by Wednesday 31st March . You always amaze us each year with your fantastic ideas.

We will of course have some chocolate prizes as it's Easter.

Mr Scott is also starting a new whole school Sumdog competition from Monday 29th March. As he is very competitive I'm sure he'll be encouraging his class to win this time. So come on everyone let's make it a great competition. Mr Scott tells me that there will be individual prizes as well as a reward for the highest scoring class too.

After the Easter holidays we will be contacting you and providing you with further information about our parents consultation meetings. These will be held during the weeks of the 3rd and 10th of May.

 

J Conway-Headteacher

Letter for Y3 & 5 parents regarding drop off arrangements

Friday 19th March 2021   WHAT A HAIR RAISING DAY

 

Mad Hair day has been a real hit today with all of our pupils. As a group of parents you are so creative with your ideas and styles. Thank you so much for the effort you have put in to today and supporting your children and Comic Relief. We have been blown away with all of your designs and creations.

You can log in to school money to donate towards Comic relief. This charity makes such a difference to the lives of people across the Uk and around the world. We love that our children and families are so charitable even when times are hard for them too.

I will share some of the many images from today on our Facebook page later on.

This week in Year 1 they have been carrying out some Bushtucker Trials as part of their Topic-I'm in Y1 get me out of here. They have been using all of their senses to identify some interesting objects. All of Y1 have been so brave an adventurous and also had to eat some strange foods blindfolded. They really are becoming resilient pupils.

 

 

 

 

  

 

I wanted to just remind parents about our procedures for when you have a concern.

 

If you have a concern and need to raise it with school.

  • If your child is upset or had a disagreement in school, please talk to them calmly and try to get to the bottom of the situation. 9 times out of 10 this helps resolve the concern.
  • If you are then unsure because your child maybe can't remember or you need to understand the schools perspective please initially speak politely to the class teacher so they can inform you about what has happened.
  • Usually if there is something we are concerned about we will ring you.
  • We have an extremely supportive and visible staff team and SLT at WGE, so please work with us to support your child, most problems can be solved in this way.
  • We sometimes receive backlash in school because pupils often can't tell their parents the whole story and as a consequence parents don't have the whole picture and can jump to the wrong conclusion.
  • If you are still not happy with the situation you can arrange to speak to a member of the Senior Leadership Team by e-mailing school. One of us will get back to you as soon as possible.
  • If following this, you are still not happy you can complete a formal complaint form as per our complaints policy which is online.

I would ask you not to :

  • Jump to conclusions about what your child may have told you.
  • Become judge and jury and make accusations towards members of staff, pupils or other parents.
  • Display aggressive language or behaviour on or around the school premises.
  • As adults we are all role models and this behaviour is not setting the right example for any child at Whitegate End.

Thank you for your support at all times.

Mrs J Conway

 

 

 

 

Friday 12th March 2021   CHOOSE KIND

This week has been absolutely brilliant. All of the children have returned to school with great attitudes  to their learning. I am sure for those of you at home it may have been a little difficult getting back into the school routine and some of the children might have been quite tired this week.

Today we managed to have our first Whole school Zoom assembly and we heard from all of the teachers about the fantastic attitudes of pupils and those who have been Choosing Kind which is our whole school theme for this term.

All of the classes have been also been using the book, The Boy,  The Mole, The Fox and the horse by Charlie Mackesy.

They have been reading it, listening to audio versions and using key phrases and themes from the books to help stimulate  conversations in PSHE  in all of the classes.

 

 

Thank you to all of the parents who have supported us with the staggered start and finish times. We know it isn't ideal but at present these are the procedures we have put in place to help us follow the Government guidance. I know at times it is difficult but, you can help by not turning up too early as we are trying to avoid bubbles mixing as much as possible. If you are early, it may be safer to wait on the other side of the road until we are ready for your child's class.

  One of the reasons we have to set different start and finish times is because classes share doors and cloakrooms. We cannot have 2 classes trying to use these so we need an amount of time to allow each group of children to get into class safely before the next group arrives. Unfortunately when it is wet we don't have the facility to bring pupils in early.

 

Next Friday is Comic Relief day and we will be sending a separate letter about our plans for that day. We have tried to plan for things that avoid you having to spend any money for the day and all we ask is for a donation towards Comic Relief.

 

J Conway-Headteacher

 

Friday 5th March 2021

                                                                                     

 

We are all so excited in school for Monday, when all of our pupils, who have been home learning  for 8 weeks return to school.

I am sure many of the children will be excited but also a little concerned or anxious.

All of the staff are ready in school and will do their utmost to help everyone settle back in and help to reduce any concerns as quickly as possible.

 

This week there have been lots of activities on home learning and in school linked to World Book day. Miss O'Callaghan our Reading leader has been so impressed with everyone's efforts and wanted to thank all of the parents too for encouraging your children to really get involved.

 

This week I spoke to several other Headteachers of local schools about remote learning and I have to say that the Whitegate End parents are way ahead of the other schools.  From looking at our statistics on Seesaw we have over 99% engagement from our pupils. That is virtually every child in school carrying out the learning activities set on Seesaw.

WOW!! THAT IS FANTASTIC

 

 

Thank you to those parents who have rung us this week to clarify expectations around the lateral flow tests.

As I mentioned last week the government are asking all parents and carers of Primary age pupils to take a lateral flow test twice a week.

Primary Pupils do not have to take tests. Whilst not compulsory, the government are urging parents to take regular tests to help reduce the transmission of the virus and to quickly detect anyone who maybe asymptomatic. If you haven't done so already, I would urge you all to order your home test kits via the link below.

https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests

 

Just a few reminders about procedures from Monday

As I mentioned last week, schools are still operating under the same government guidance as last term, including bubbles being separated, staggered start, finish and lunchtimes. If parents need to contact school they should e-mail or telephone school.

Visits to school are still not allowed.

Please also continue to support us by wearing a face mask over your mouth and nose whilst waiting outside school and when collecting pupils from the playground. 

 

Please check my note from last week about start and finish timing especially for our Nursery class.

 

If you have more than one child, please wait and drop off the youngest child first and then bring the older child to their gate.

 

Pupils should bring as little as possible. So just water bottles, glasses(if needed) and book bags. Please avoid bringing large rucksacks into school.

 

PE Kits(indoor and outdoor) should be brought into school on Monday and stored in pupils individual lockers.

PE kits can stay in school all week.

Pupils should not come to school in PE kits.

 

If you are unsure, please remind yourselves about our uniform expectations including school shoes.

 

NO jewellery including earrings is allowed in school. A simple wrist watch is appropriate.

 

Please be respectful of the residents who live on Butterworth lane and near school. Please do not park across their drives or on double yellow lines.

 

If you have any queries or need to make us aware of anything that may affect your child next week please take time to let us know as soon as possible so we can help them settle as quickly as possible.

 

On behalf of all of the staff and Governors we wanted to thank you for your fantastic support during a difficult time for everyone and look forward to seeing you all on Monday morning.

 

J Conway

Tuesday 2nd March 2021- RETURN TO SCHOOL LETTER FOR MONDAY 8TH MARCH 2021

 

Dear Parents & Carers,

From Monday 8th March all pupils are expected back in school. The staff and I certainly can’t wait to welcome everyone back. We know at times it has been hard for you and your children at home and nothing can ever replace face to face teaching & learning.   

 

We will do our utmost to get back to as normal a day as possible even under the current Covid safety guidance. It may take a little while for all children to settle and reconnect with their peers and adults in School.

Our whole school theme for the rest of the Spring term is CHOOSE KIND. The pupils will have a daily PSHE session to help support them to reconnect and understand what everyone has been through and how they have coped. We hope that you will support us with this and spend time talking to your child about being kind and compassionate towards others.

 

You may be aware from a government briefing last week, that the government are asking all parents and carers of Primary age pupils to take a lateral flow test twice a week. Although Primary age pupils do not have to take a test twice a week as Secondary pupils do, the government are urging parents to take regular tests to help reduce the transmission of the virus and to quickly detect anyone who maybe asymptomatic.

I would urge you all to order your home test kits via the link below.

https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests

 

The procedures for all positive test results will remain the same. Please contact school immediately if one of our pupils or anyone in your household tests positive in order that we can conduct our own track and trace and notify Public Health.

 

Please see below the start and end of day times for your child. Please note all pupils in Nursery will now start at 8:50am.

 

For Nursery and Reception pupils, parents enter school via the usual EYFS gate and can line up in front of the red stop barrier in the morning and when collecting your child.

When collecting your child, please then wait in the line by the barrier for an adult to let you know that it is the right time to collect your child from the class.

Please also try to follow the IN and OUT routes to help speed up the process and keep everyone as safe as possible.

We hope this will free up some space on the footpath for other pedestrians walking past.

 

For Year 1 and 2 parents and pupils you can line up on the main driveway slope and wait behind the stop barrier, both in the morning and when collecting at the end of the day.  

Please wait for the adult on the gate to let you know when it is safe to proceed to collect your child from the classroom. Please also try to follow the IN and OUT routes to help speed up the process and keep everyone as safe as possible.

 

For pupils in Years 3, 4, 5 & 6 please continue to line up in the same place as you were before Christmas. Please wait with your child by the fence until they are collected by an adult.

 

For pupils in Year 6 who walk to school on their own please spend time talking to them about the time that they arrive so that they are not arriving too early and mixing with pupils in Years 3, 4 & 5.

Arrangements for collecting Key Stage 2 pupils from the Top playground will continue. Please wait in the allocated box for your child’s class to be dismissed and then use the correct route to leave the playground.

 

For all parents, please try to ensure you are as close to the drop off and collection times as possible. Unfortunately, if you are too late for your child's time slot, the staff on the gates will ask you politely to wait and will let you know when it is safe for you to drop off or collect your child. We hope this will avoid holding up other parents.

 

Within school, the pupils will continue to be in their class bubbles and wider bubbles. Pupils will be kept in these bubbles for their breaks and lunchtime. Pupils will not be able to wander around school still and class lines will move around school with an adult to keep everyone safe.

 

At Whitegate End we pride ourselves on how well you support your child with their uniform and how smart they always look. Please take time this week to prepare your child for coming back to school with their correct uniform, shoes and that their PE kits are in a bag ready for Monday.

 

As in the Autumn term we are advising that pupils bring as little as possible each day except their water bottles to avoid having large bags taking up space in the classrooms. PE kits can be kept in school all week. Please make sure that all earrings are removed before school and all long hair is tied back neatly.

 

For pupils in Year 5 their swimming lessons will not resume until after the Easter holidays. Mrs Walker will provide you and the pupils with further details nearer the time.

 

Year group

Drop off time

Collection time

Nursery part time

8:50am

11:50am

Nursery full time

8:50am

2:50pm

Reception 9am 3pm

Year 1

8:50am

2:45pm

Year 2

9am

2:55pm

Year 3

8:50am

2:45pm

Year 4

8:50am

2:45pm

Year 5

9am

2:55pm

Year 6

9am

2:55pm

 

If you have any questions or concerns regarding pupils returning to school, please contact us by

e-mail and one of us will get back to you as soon as possible.

Please bear with us whilst everyone gets used to the school procedures again.

 

Thank you for your continuing support.

 

J Conway-Headteacher

 

 

 

Friday 26th February 2021

 

Finally, there is light at the end of the Covid tunnel. Only one more week before all pupils are back to school on the 8th March. We certainly can’t wait to see everyone and I know from many of your phone calls that the children are so eager to get back too.

Next week is World Book day and I will add more information about that further down my note.

Next week there will be 4 days of Home learning set. On the Friday there will be no learning set and this will enable pupils to catch up on any activities they may have missed or that they want to return to. The pupils can continue to access Sum Dog, Bug club etc online for more work. The younger pupils may also want to refresh their Phonics knowledge and re-watch their videos.

 

For those pupils who have had devices lent to them, they can be returned to us on Monday 8th March.

 

Next week I will upload a letter outlining our safety procedures that we have to follow as part of the government guidance. We will still not be back to school as we know it and the pupil’s bubbles will still remain apart and the staggered safety procedures in place until we receive further Government guidance.

 

We will be starting some clubs back up and these will be arranged for the wider bubbles as outlined in our risk assessment.

You will receive a separate link to sign up for the clubs from the 8th March until the Easter break. We will then change the clubs for the Summer term.

From the week beginning 8th March, Mr Musgrove will be running Dodgeball for Years 1&2 on Tuesday, Dodgeball for Years 5&6 on Wednesday and Football for Years 3&4 on a Thursday.

All pupils attending clubs should be collected at 4pm from the front door.

 

Next Friday the 5th of March is the deadline for Nursery applications for starting in September 21. If you know anyone who might be interested in a place and hasn't received our Nursery link, please ask them to ring our office on Monday.

 

World Book Day information

World Book Day 2021 is on Thursday 4th March and although this year will be very different at Whitegate End we will be celebrating all week, beginning Monday 1st March. Each class teacher will be setting a Book Week themed activity each day in place of one of the usual daily activities. You are also invited to join in with some whole school activities too!

 

We are asking for all of our children to display their favourite story from home in their front window, and would like everyone to look for these books as you take your daily walks in the local area. How many can you spot? Take some pictures of your hunt and share them with us on Seesaw.

 

There is also a craft activity launching on Monday, with a prize for the winner. You will be asked to create your favourite book character in a creative and innovative way – look out for the details on Seesaw.

 

A quiz will be available to complete, see if you can work out the members of school staff hiding behind their favourite children’s stories. You might see some familiar faces popping up with a story on your Seesaw page too.

 

Most importantly take this time to enjoy reading!

Miss O'Callaghan -Reading Leader

Letter to all parents about Nursery from September 2021

Friday 12th February 2021

Dear Parents, Congratulations to you for making it to half term after a long 6 weeks of lockdown. During this time, we've had weeks of rain, snow and extremely cold temperatures which hasn't helped at times to get out into the fresh air.

During half term there will be no work set on Seesaw so please all have a good rest and hopefully the weather will be a little kinder to us all.

On Monday 22nd February we are hopeful that we will find out how the country will be coming out of lockdown and when and how this will affect schools. We will of course contact you immediately once we receive any new guidance regarding the full opening of schools.

A few weeks ago, I informed our Year 1 parents that Miss Straffon was not in school due to ill health.  Sadly, due to continuing ill health she has had to make the decision to no longer work so that she can focus on her health at this time. I know that you will join me in thanking her for all of her work up to now and wish her well.  

Since Miss Straffon has been on leave Miss Smith has been leading Year 1. Miss Smith will continue to lead Year 1 for the rest of the year. I appreciate that this is not an ideal situation half way through the year and not only affects Year 1 but our Nursery class too. In our Foundation stage unit all of the staff support the pupils in both Nursery and Reception. Miss O’Callaghan, Mrs Macmillan and Mrs Smith will continue to work with the Nursery class too.

The Governors and I will start to look to recruit a suitable teacher for the Nursery class but in the interim period Miss O’Callaghan will ensure the planning and provision for the Nursery pupils is as good as it has always been. Miss O’Callaghan and the other staff are highly skilled Early Years practitioners and will continue to ensure access to the Early Years curriculum for all of our Foundation stage pupils.

Thank you for all of your continued support this term and a big thank you to all of the parents who have supported the children with their Home Learning during difficult circumstances.

 

J Conway

 

 

Mrs Conway's challenge- Natural Art work

Friday 5th February 2021

 

This week has been another busy week in school and at home with lots of fantastic learning being shared on Seesaw too.

Each week the home learners are increasing the amount and quality of work that is uploaded. All of the staff have commented this week how brilliant everyone has been and how much resilience is being shown at this time.

 

We are hopeful that this situation will come to an end soon if everyone plays their part and keeps following the Lockdown laws.

In school we are now at our Risk assessment capacity in a lot of our bubbles. This is due to a high number of critical worker pupils. Unfortunately we have no further capacity as this is down to the number of rooms we have and the number of available staff too whilst trying to ensure that pupils and staff are distancing appropriately and the bubbles continue to be kept separate.

 

As parents you are also demonstrating considerable resilience whilst managing the Covid situation, working and supporting your children at home. I wanted to say a massive thank you to all of the parents who have been ringing school, talking to the staff and thanking everyone in school for what they are doing. We really do appreciate it and know that it is hard for everyone at the moment to keep spirits up and stay positive.

 

In school and at home the children have been celebrating Children’s mental health week. All of the children both at home and school have made us all proud with their fantastic pieces of work. Thank you to all of the parents for helping with this too.

I have also been impressed with the natural art work that some of our pupils have sent in. We have such a creative group of pupils.

I have uploaded a document with the great work that has been sent in

 

Next week I am setting a slightly different task as it’s a Geography challenge.

I would like you to try and learn and locate on a map some of the counties in England and if you can the main county town. Maybe you could start with all of the counties that are near to where you live and then learn the ones that are further away. Let me know on Seesaw how you get on.

Next Friday we close for half term. There will be no work by set by teachers on Seesaw during half term.

I hope you have a good week and that the weather allows you to get out for your daily exercise. There are a few signs that Spring is around the corner maybe you can spot them whilst on your walks.

 

Jo Conway

Thursday 28th January 2021

Since I last wrote to you we have heard from the government that the earliest date for opening schools will be the 8th March if all of their criteria are met. I know this is disappointing for you and all of us.

I look at the pupils work everyday on Seesaw and I am continually blown away by how much you get through.

Thank you so much for all of your hard work and patience.

 Please remember you are not competing with anyone and you can only do your best. If you need any further help then please e-mail school and we will do our best to get back to you as quickly as possible.

At the moment we have a reduced office staff due to illness so it may take us a little longer than usual to get back to you.

 

Sadly this week we also had to shut our Year 2 bubble due to a staff member testing positive. Following the Government guidance all staff are now having Covid tests twice a week.

I have been blown away by all of  the children's brilliant Lego models and scenes. I have attached a separate document with lots of the images you have sent in via Seesaw.

Next week I am asking if your children could try an activity using nature and the environment. There is a famous artist called Andy Goldsworthy who creates art from natural materials in his environment. I have copied some photos below for you to view.

Could your child collect some materials whilst out on a walk or from your gardens and make their own piece of art work. Feel free to post their photos on Seesaw.

Also the National RSPB Birdwatch will be carried out between Friday the 29th to Sunday the 31st January. If your child is interested in participating in this I have attached a link for further information below.
https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/birdwatch/everything-you-need-to-know-about-big-garden-birdwatch/#Resources


Next week in school we will be planning a whole host of activities linked to Children's Mental Health Week for pupils at home and those in school. This has been a big focus for our school and we are proud of the work we do in this area. All the teachers and staff have been extremely busy planning a range of activities under the theme 'Express Yourself'. Throughout the week the children will be encouraged to express their hopes, dreams, likes, dislikes and emotions in different ways.

To bring all of the hard work together we will be celebrating this in our Zoom class assemblies. We are asking all children to wear clothes that express who they are. We want the children to be as creative as they can and we have given all the school staff the challenge too. Most importantly we want to stress that there is no need to purchase anything new. Just pick some items from your wardrobe. It might be a brightly coloured t-shirt or a funky coloured hat or a whole outfit that expresses who you are. 

 

The children in Early Years (Nursery and Reception) will need to dress up on Thursday as this is when their weekly Zoom assembly takes place. The rest of the school will do this on Friday. We can't wait to see all the children in school and at home expressing themselves.

We are sure all the children will enjoy taking part in the activities during the week. 

Please continue to take care of yourselves and contact us if you need any help or support.                                        J Conway

 

 

Friday 22nd January 2021

This week we have seen lots & lots of rain and a downfall of snow but we've also seen some fantastic home learning too.

Last week I managed to pop in to every class assembly and this week so far I have been to our Early Years assembly. It has been lovely to see so many of you participating and sharing your stories from the week.

 

The resilience the children have shown is truly brilliant and all of the staff have been so impressed. I can't thank all of our parents enough.

We know that it isn't easy juggling work and supporting your child with their learning. But each week I hear fantastic stories about how you are managing and the creative ways you have found to make it work for all of your family.

The week after next is Children's mental health week. The staff will be planning activities for the pupils at home and in school. So keep an eye out for those from Monday 1st February. 

 

Next week I would like to set an additional fun challenge for those pupils who wish to participate. The following week will be a totally different challenge.

Next weeks challenge will be the Lego Challenge. Can you design then create your own structure or scene with lego (other blocks are allowed).

Please then upload a photo of your Lego structure/scene to your Seesaw page and I will add lots of the photos to the website next week for everyone else to see. 

Please all look after yourselves, keep safe and follow the guidance to help us beat Covid.

 

J Conway

Thursday 14th January 2021

 

Dear parents, I have been blown away by the work that I have seen on Seesaw. You are all so creative and hard working. The engagement we have overall within school is phenomenal.

At the moment I know that lots of people are feeling stressed, overwhelmed and under pressure by everything that's happening. This includes the work being sent home for your child. I wanted to just give my perspective on it all as a Headteacher and I hope this can help with that somewhat.

 

Firstly, you aren't Home schooling, because that is a careful choice made by parents to take their child off roll in a school and educate them at home. What you are being asked to do at the moment at very short notice is to try and support your child as best you can with their remote learning. We know that it is not an ideal situation and there is no format for remote learning that can replace a child being in school with their teacher and classmates. So we are all adapting to having to change our routines.

Many of you are also working from home whilst helping your child. Every child is different and some will adapt quickly whilst others may struggle at times. If they are struggling to engage, please give them a break and allow them to return to the learning when they are feeling better. The last thing you need are lots of arguments on top of everything else.

 

There is no right or wrong way of doing home learning at present. We know that many of you are scheduling times in the day to work with children or breaking learning down into 30 minute slots. Some are working with children later in the day and allowing children to carry out their own activities and learning at the rest of the time.

 

You are, and always have been, your child's first teacher. It is for you to decide how best to do it. Please do not feel guilty if one day your child plays outside in the dirt or wants to bake. These are valuable activities in themselves.

 

Likewise, please don’t compare yourself or your child to others. Everybody’s circumstances are very different and each of our families are unique. How you deal and cope with the current situation is up to you and it isn’t helpful to anyone to feel you need to compete with other families. You need to do what is right for your child/ren.

In school staff are working as hard as they can to find new ways to present work on Seesaw whilst also teaching full time to those pupils who have to be here.

Just as each of our families are unique, so are schools. What works in one school may not in another. This may be due to staffing levels and capacity, numbers of pupils attending, ICT infrastructure etc.

Many schools are using different formats for Home learning. Many are still producing physical packs to be collected by parents each week, some are using Teams, Google Classroom, Purple Mash, Tapestry or Seesaw like us. What is suitable for Secondary schools may also not be suitable for primary age pupils ranging from 3 to 11 years old. The Seesaw platform is recognised as one of the best formats for Primary Schools and we looked at various options before deciding to use this. Like all other formats/platforms it has its limitations, but it enables us to respond quickly to pupils and parents, it enables families and pupils to log on at any time of the day and complete work that is conducive to each home environment and works on multiple devices. I have uploaded further information about how school is meeting the expectations for remote learning at this point in time.

Over the next week staff will be continuing to develop their on-line learning and utilise audio/video clips where necessary and be able to insert audio descriptions to power points etc. We hope this will further improve the remote learning.

During the last week the staff have spoken to a large number of you and responded to queries and questions you may have. We really appreciate all of your feedback and supportive comments at this time.

 

Please look after yourselves, you are doing enough. You are loving your kids and supporting them through a difficult time.

J Conway

 

 

REMOTE EDUCATION-JANUARY 2021

How to use Seesaw for parents.

Friday 8th January 2021

Well, this is not the best start to a New year but thank you to all of our parents and pupils who have quickly adapted and been busy on Seesaw this week. It's so pleasing to see nearly everyone undertaking the learning tasks set by the teachers and uploading work, photos and videos back to school.  We have had some excellent feedback just within a few days and we love seeing all of the children work.

The office has been very busy re-sending codes to families. Please bear with them as they are trying to get through your requests as quickly as possible.

We will be having a weekly Zoom assembly for each of the classes and you will receive notification on Seesaw about the timings and with a link to the meeting ID and password. These assemblies are for the children and should not be videoed or photos taken during this time. The assemblies are another way of the teachers staying in touch with all of the children and allowing them to still feel part of the class. Our team of staff have also spent a lot of time this week making phone calls home. If you need to contact a member of staff about learning, you can use the Seesaw app. If you wish to contact staff for other reasons, then please e-mail the office with a brief summary of what you wish to discuss with a member of staff and they will endeavour to get back to you within 24hours (school day).

One of the greatest benefits of using Seesaw is that pupils can access the learning tasks at any time as we know that it can be difficult supervising your child's learning whilst working as well and some of you are sharing devices too. As I mentioned during the first lockdown last March, there is no right or wrong way to carry out home learning. If you find that your child is getting stressed, then leave it for a while and either go back later or change the activity. The children can also send messages to their teacher on Seesaw and parents can use the Seesaw Parent App. Anyone who has a smartphone that they use for Facebook etc. will be able to access the App easily.

We appreciate that for the younger children there is more reliance on parents helping at times. For pupils in Early Years there is less direct input work as this is how the pupils work in class. A lot of the learning is through play and guided activities. In class Nursery and Reception pupils would not sit down for hours and hours at a table each day as part of their learning.

For those pupils who are in school can you please ensure they are on time and that they wear their PE kits on their PE days as I mentioned in my note last week. Outdoor PE kit is either Black or Navy blue jogging bottoms and a sweatshirt along with trainers. If you don't have a black or navy blue sweatshirt pupils can use their school sweatshirts. Alternative colours and patterns are not part of our uniform.

Thank you also to those parents who despite being critical workers have not taken up a place in school. The government are still saying that the majority of pupils should stay at home and if need be alternative working patterns and structures can be arranged with employers. Sadly, the situation with the Covid virus is not looking good at present and we all have to play our part in trying to suppress the transmission to help relieve the pressure on hospital beds and reduce death rates too. We really appreciate all of the efforts you are making to keep yourselves, our pupils and staff safe too.

Please take care and keep safe.                             J Conway

 

Tuesday 5th January 2021

Many thanks to all of the parents for your support this week. We are as frustrated as you about the lockdown, but also want to see an end to Covid 19 and will do our part in supporting the countries efforts to stop the increasing spread of the virus.

We have had an overwhelming number of applications from Critical workers and have had to work with the Government list of critical workers and vulnerable children who can access education. The majority of pupils should be at home.

From  our list of applications we have had to prioritise places during this half term.

This is not a situation we wanted to be placed in and have had to say no to some applications too.

For those pupils who are attending from tomorrow please ensure that your child continues to wear their full uniform and PE kit on PE days as mentioned in  my previous notes.

Pupils should continue with their normal dinner patterns and the kitchen will be continuing to provide their usual service of meals.

The pupils will continue with their staggered start and end to the days. Please ensure you keep to these times to help the smooth running of the learning day for everyone. We will continue with the same safety procedures for lining up and collecting pupils.

 

For those parents who have chosen to keep their children at home, we thank you. We know that this isn't an easy time and staff are working really hard to make sure that your child is engaged with their home learning. Mr Scott will be sending you a  letter soon regarding Home learning and the use of Seesaw.

 Please bear in mind that staff in school are teaching during the day and managing the home learning for the rest of the pupils.

If you have any concerns or questions then please e-mail the office and a member of staff  will get back to you as soon as possible.

 

Thank you for your continued support

J Conway

Monday 4th January 2021

As you will be aware Boris Johnson has tonight announced another national lockdown so it is with a heavy heart that we have to switch to remote/home learning for the majority of our pupils.

Our whole staff team have shown time and time again how committed they are to continually putting your child’s education first through their unwavering efforts to keep school open as long as possible. However, in light of tonight’s announcement and the ever changing situation we have to make some immediate changes.

We have been proactive and have been forward planning as much as possible today should such an announcement be made.

However, in order to finalise key worker groups and staffing we have to close school due to the short notice given to us tonight.

We fully understand and appreciate the difficult position this leaves you in as parents and carers and share your frustration with the current situation.

We are continuing to gather requests for key worker/critical response workers and ask you to complete this should you need it by 10am on Tuesday.

I reiterate the need to look closely at the information we have provided to you today and only request a place if this is absolutely necessary.

Most people have been urged to work from home.

 

We will allocate places, but must forewarn you that these are limited and we may have to prioritise places.

We will notify parents by lunchtime on Tuesday if we have a place allocated for your child/ren.

Our staff team will ensure home learning is uploaded to Seesaw by lunchtime on Tuesday. If you require passwords for Seesaw, Read Theory (KS2 only) or Sumdog please request these via email to the school office rather than phoning.

 

Staff will provide more information via Seesaw and please use this as your primary point of contact using the parents app. Our staff team will contact children on a regular basis to provide support as we did during the initial lockdown.

The safety of our school community is paramount and as always we will do our upmost to support our children through this difficult time.

We ask for your continued support and want to assure you we will do our upmost to keep you updated as soon as we hear any further information.

 

Kind regards

Mrs J Conway(Headteacher)  &   Mrs K Painter(Chair of Governors)

 

 

Saturday 2nd January 2021

Happy New Year to all of our pupils, parents, staff and Governors.

I hope you were able to have some good times within your family during our Christmas break.

Last term you continued to support us with all of our safety measures and Government procedures expected of our school and again I want to thank you for this.

This term the Governors and Local authority are expecting us to continue with all of our procedures to help keep the pupils and staff as safe as possible in school. Ultimately we all want to see a reduction on the transmission of Covid but we will all have to play our part by following the Government guidelines regarding face coverings, social distancing, washing hands, avoiding contact with anyone apart from our families and complying with public health guidance including track and trace.

By dropping off pupils we appreciate that you may come into closer contact with others so to help reduce the chance of the transmission please help us by:

  • Wearing a face covering
  • Keeping your distance from others
  • Avoid having long conversations with other adults
  • Move away from the gate area as quickly as possible once you have dropped your child off
  • Avoid turning up too early for the start of the school day (we have some parents & pupils who are waiting in the line for 10 minutes or more earlier than their allocated time)
  • Similarly, if you are late for your child’s drop off or pick up you are holding up the other classes, please be considerate of others too and the possibility of being asked to wait until a bubble has cleared the school grounds.

As you can appreciate it is difficult for young pupils to keep their distance from adults however, we are being urged to be even stricter with pupils keeping their distance as much as possible from adults in school. I am asking you to talk to your child/children (at an age appropriate level and the reasons why) they need to maintain their distance from adults.

For pupils in Years 1-6

In school we have tried to maintain your child’s full access to their PE lessons, because at this time it is even more important to exercise and keep healthy. With this in mind, to maximise the time the pupils have we are asking that on PE days your child comes to school in their PE Kit. They should wear their indoor kit, plain white T shirt and plain black PE shorts underneath their outdoor kit (Plain black or navy jogging bottoms and sweatshirt) along with trainers suitable for outdoor play. Black indoor pumps should be kept in school so that they can change for indoor PE, but these are not suitable for outdoor play or for wearing all day long. Pupils in all year groups need black pumps.

Alternative colours are not appropriate in school and I ask you to keep to our uniform expectations to help the pupils see that we are being consistent with everyone.

For the next few weeks, the office will send you a text the day before your child’s lesson as a reminder about PE kits.

 

For all pupils

If you have been watching the National news regarding schools, you will realise that the Government expectations are ever changing. Please bear with us if we have to make any changes or ask you to be patient whilst we work through any new guidelines. We kindly ask you to check your text messages and email (those registered on school contact list) as this will be a primary point of contact. We know that this can be frustrating but our ultimate aim is to keep everyone safe and ensure our procedures in school work to support your child.

If there are any further changes I will of course contact you as soon as I possibly can to let you know how these will affect you. It may take us some time to put alternative or additional arrangements into place.

Thank you for your continued understanding          

                                     

Mrs J Conway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday 17th December 2020

 

I have uploaded our end of term newsletter to the Newsletters page under the Parents tab. Please take time to read our letter.

On behalf of myself and all the staff and Governors may I wish you a Merry Christmas. I hope you are able to have a lovely time whilst following the latest government guidance and that we see you all back in school safely on Monday 4th January.

 

Mrs J Conway

Thursday 10th December 2020

 

Christmas activities at Whitegate End are increasing by the day. We've already started making decorations and most of the classes have recorded their Christmas songs ready to be viewed by the other classes next week.

You've continued to be superstars again this week by carrying on giving  with lots of toiletries.

Friday the 11th December is our last day, and on this day you can donate anything you like from our Giving Calendar.

 

Here are a few reminders about key dates for next week. Please take time to read these carefully as they are different for each class.

Next Wednesday is Christmas jumper day and Christmas dinner for all of the school.

Pupils can wear their Christmas jumper instead of their school sweatshirt/cardigan. They must still wear the rest of their uniform as normal.

 

Pupils can come to school dressed in their own party clothes for their party day. Please remember they will still need shoes that are suitable for going out side and a warm coat. Pupils are to wear their normal uniform on all other days.

 

Nursery and Reception party is on Tuesday 15th December in the morning so that all pupils full time and part time can celebrate together. 

Year 1 party is on Thursday 17th December in the morning, 

Year 2 party is on Friday 18th December in the afternoon. 

Year 3 party is on Monday 14th December in the afternoon. 

Year 4 party is on Thursday 17th December in the afternoon. 

Year 5 party is on Tuesday 15th December in the afternoon. 

Year 6 party is on Wednesday 16th December in the afternoon. 

 

Thank you for continuing to wear your face coverings, we really appreciate it and want to keep everyone safe and prevent any illness or closure of bubbles before Christmas.

Whilst waiting for school to start please keep your child close to you and once they have entered school with a member of staff clear the footpaths quickly. If need be, please cross the road to enable the next set of parents to line up and walk past safely.

 

If your child wishes to send Christmas cards the last date for bringing in to school is Friday 11th December.

 

We really pride ourselves at Whitegate End on how well our pupils look and you do a great job ensuring they are ready and look the part for school. We certainly look a lot smarter than most other schools in the area. Let's keep up the high standards.

Just a few quick reminders about our uniform expectations and hair styles.

  • For those of you who take your child to a barbers/hairdressers please remind them that  pupils should not have any cuts that use a blade less that a number 3.
  • Boots are not allowed in school at all, this includes short ankle boots for girls and boys. In bad weather if children need to walk to school in boots they must change into their school shoes once indoors.
  • Trainers are not allowed except for outdoor PE.
  • There are a very small number of pupils who have to wear a specific shoe due to medical reasons. (If this is the case, a consultants letter to explain why they need to wear different footwear should be shared with our office and the SENCO-Mrs Armour)
  • Those pupils who have longer hair,  they should tie their hair back with a  small clip, bobble etc

 

Next week we will let you know if your child has won one of our Christmas food hampers. If you don't have transport we can always arrange to have it delivered.

School will close next Friday 18th December at normal time and re-open on Monday 4th January.

 

Mrs J Conway

Friday 4th December 2020

With two weeks left of school there is still so much to do. I promised last week that I would let you know the day that your child's class will be having their party and when they are watching the Virtual Pantomime.

 

Pupils can come to school dressed in their own clothes for their party day. Please remember they will still need shoes that are suitable for going out side and a warm coat.

Rules regarding jewellery and make-up still apply.

We have had to arrange the dates carefully to allow classes to access the hall separately so that bubbles do not cross and tie in with other classroom based and curriculum activities too.

Nursery and Reception party is on Tuesday 15th December in the morning so that all pupils full time and part time can celebrate together. They will watch the panto on Thursday 17th in the morning.

Year 1 party is on Thursday 17th December in the morning, They will watch the panto on Wednesday 16th.

Year 2 party is on Friday 18th December in the afternoon. They will watch the panto on Friday 18th in the morning.

Year 3 party is on Monday 14th December in the afternoon. They will watch the panto on Tuesday 15th

Year 4 party is on Thursday 17th December in the afternoon. They will watch the panto on Friday 18th.

Year 5 party is on Tuesday 15th December in the afternoon. They will watch the panto on Monday 14th

Year 6 party is on Wednesday 16th December in the afternoon. They will watch the panto on Thursday 17th.

 

Thank you so much for continuing to send in your fantastic donations as part of our Giving Calendar. The last day for donations is next Friday 11th December.

Although we are coming out of the second lockdown schools are still having to follow strict government guidance.

This means that we still have to keep our bubbles separate, have staggered start and end times and have no visitors in to school. As part of the Governors risk assessment we also ask that you continue to wear your face masks whilst waiting in the line or collecting your children.

 

I appreciate that this may be a little problematic for some of you but we are trying to keep everyone safe and prevent the closure of bubbles in every way possible.

Once we receive further guidance from the government regarding school procedures, I will of course notify you of any changes to our systems.

 

You may have heard in the press yesterday that there have been some changes to the end of Key Stage 1 and 2 statutory assessments. For end of Key stage 1- Year 2 pupils will still be assessed in school but will not have to complete any of the tests that contribute towards the assessments.

Schools will moderate with each other to ensure consistency in assessments.

For pupils in Year 1 they will continue to take the Phonics screening check in the Summer along with any pupils in Year 2 who haven't passed this term.

For pupils in Year 6 they still have to sit their Reading, Arithmetic and 2 Maths papers but it is not compulsory to sit the Grammar Punctuation and Spelling test this year.

I would also like to say a massive thank you to all of those parents who have stopped to say thank you to staff this week for everything that we are doing and can see that we are only trying to keep the pupils, parents and staff as safe as possible.

Mrs J Conway

 

Thursday 26th November

 

Another week has flown by and soon we'll be in December.

You are all really helping with our special Giving Calendar, please keep sending in your fantastic donations.

 

Sadly, this week I had to shut the Y6 bubble again following a positive Covid test. These decisions are not taken lightly and involve a lot of discussion with our Public Health team as well as analysing timetables, talking to staff, clarifying seating and measuring distances between places in the classrooms. When a child tests positive in a primary school Public Health more often than not close the whole class or bubble.

If children have to isolate at home, staff will start to upload home learning by the end of Day 1.

 

I mentioned earlier in the term that the Governors agreed a Remote Learning protocol and this can be found on our policies page and on the current Year 6 page too. This clearly sets out the expectations for pupils when working from home. Please take time to read this. If any other class has to isolate we will automatically upload this to their class page too.

Please remember the Government guidance regarding isolation, this means that the child cannot leave the home, walk to the shops, go to the park etc this is because they may potentially develop symptoms  or be asymptomatic during this time and therefore increase transmission.

 

All of the staff are busily preparing activities ready for Christmas and they are going to put together some special Christmas hampers. Every child who earns a DoJo in December will automatically be put into our Christmas draw and could win a hamper to take home for Christmas.

Tomorrow is the deadline for those pupils who usually have a packed lunch to let us know if they want a Christmas dinner on December 16th.

By the end of next week I will be able to share with you the day when each class will be having their Christmas party.

 

All of the classes are using Seesaw for homework and learning when classes or individuals are isolating. If you or your child needs to ask the class teacher any questions about the learning on Seesaw please  use the parent app for this. The staff will try to get back to you as soon as possible. Please do not use Seesaw for other general enquiries or concerns. These should be sent to the main office by e-mail (info@whitegateend.oldham.sch.uk)  or by ringing 0161 770 5460.

 

Thank you for all of your great support during these difficult times, we really do appreciate it.

 

Mrs Jo Conway

None of us like wearing a face mask but unless you have a medical exemption certificate you must wear one whilst on the school grounds.

We are trying to protect you and your children.

 

Thursday 19th November 2020

I can't believe how quickly these weeks are flying by. Next week is the last full week of November and then we will be into December.

Thank you for all of your kind donations so far as part of our Giving Calendar. We will send you a weekly text reminder of what items we are collecting that week.

I'm sure everyone's hearts and minds are turning to Christmas and what we can and cannot do in our home lives and in school. 

Under the current guidelines Christmas in school may look a little different but we will do our utmost to create that Christmassy feeling and celebrate in the best ways in which we can at this time.

Sadly we won't be able to hold our usual concerts with parents but in school the pupils will be:

Making Christmas cards

Sending heartfelt messages to the residents of Ashgrove house and other residential homes in the area

Making Christmas decorations

Performing songs to other classes via video(unfortunately we  cannot share videos as we have a lot of children who cannot be identified and have no permission to share images publicly)

Watching a special online Pantomime

Having their class parties and I'm sure we will have a special big visitor at some point too!!

Having their Christmas Jumper day on the 16th December along with Christmas lunch.

Many thanks to our PTA for sponsoring the Panto again this year.

For pupils who are normally on a school dinner we will automatically book them a dinner on the 16th December.

If your child normally has a packed lunch but would like a Christmas dinner on the 16th December you can book this with the office. Mrs Draper will send a special link to those  parents of children who are on packed lunches, so you can order the Christmas dinner.

As the kitchen have to place their order 3 weeks before, the deadline for ordering extra school dinners will be on Friday 27th November at 4pm. Unfortunately we won't be able to accept any orders after this date.

We know that some children like to write their own Christmas cards to send to friends and staff. The pupils can still do this, however each class will have to collect the cards as they come in from home and will quarantine them until the last week of term. We will then hand out all of the cards during the last week of term.

All cards will need to be sent to school by Friday 11th December.

Alternatively pupils could write one special card to the whole class that the staff could read out and display once they have been quarantined.

 

Thank you for your continued support with our measures to prevent the transmission of Covid. Please keep this up by wearing your mask at all times around the school grounds and whilst waiting outside school(unless you have a medical exemption certificate). Every week I receive regular updates from the local authority regarding school closures. Increasingly, local schools are being affected and we are seeing more groups, bubbles and in a couple of incidences whole school closures. Schools are remaining open during this period of lockdown and this is absolutely the right decision, I firmly believe this and so do the Whitegate End team. The children need to be in school learning, playing and laughing they need to be with their friends, teachers and teaching assistants. Whilst children are not usually adversely impacted by the illness (it is usually very mild with them, thankfully), they can transmit the virus to others.

As Headteacher, I have a duty of care to the staff team as well as the children. Every day my staff come to school because they are determined to continue to provide a great education to your children. If staff become unwell with Covid, year groups will close and children will need to isolate, staying at home for two weeks, learning remotely. We don’t want this disruption, so we are doing everything we can to make our school Covid secure and safe so please help everyone by following the rules.

Please help us to keep safe and open by following the safety measures.

I want to thank those families who diligently follow the rules but sadly, I have heard of a small number of families not adhering to the current lockdown rules and in turn increasing the risk to the school community. Staff have been informed of and have witnessed first-hand play dates, birthday and firework parties all of which have taken place since the second lockdown began. This is too important to ignore and to think it doesn’t apply to you and your family. Please remember these rules are set by the government not school.

None of us like wearing a face mask but unless you have a medical exemption certificate you must wear one whilst on the school grounds. We are trying to protect you and your children.

 

We are all in this together. The more of us that work as a team to stay safe, the better the outcomes will be for us all and the sooner we can return to normal.

Mrs J Conway

 

Thursday 12th November 2020

We've had a really busy week with the pupils participating in the Children In Need 5 to Thrive activities, and respectfully marking Remembrance Day. Thank you for all of your kind donations towards Children In need and your orders for Pudsey biscuits. Children will be given their biscuits tomorrow to bring home in their own paper bag. We really appreciate the extra work that the kitchen have put in this week to help produce them. Next week is National Anti-Bullying week and children will be taking part in a wide range of activities related to this important topic throughout the week. To start the week in style and to celebrate the fact that we are all different we would like pupils to come to school in odd socks on Monday 16th November. This is a national initiative and is about raising awareness and reminding pupils about our systems of support in school. We are not asking for any donations.

Giving back Advent Calendar

One of our nominated school charities in Early Years is the Oldham Food Bank and you always pull out all the stops and help us donate to this fantastic charity.

We know how you love to help others and this year has not always been the most joyful so why not help us, make this Christmas as happy as possible for our community. This year with your help we wanted to try and donate a few extra goodies.

Rather than having an advent calendar where we take something from it each day, we thought it would be nice to create our own GIVING CALENDAR and donate items.

On our calendar we have put some suggestions for items for each day starting on Monday 16th November that would really be appreciated at this time of year.

We will be extremely grateful for whatever you can donate at this time and if you have something please feel free to send it in with your child and we will add it to our collection. We certainly don't expect everyone to send in an item each day but we thought it may be useful to have an idea of the type of item we are collecting up to the 11th of December.

It may be nice to get your child/children involved and discuss with them the reasons why we are making donations to this charity at this time.

As a school we will put everything together to ensure as many families and individuals have a Christmas to celebrate this year.

 

 

GIVING CALENDAR

Children in Need-Friday 13th November 2020 

 

We know every year that you value supporting the Children in Need appeal. Despite the current restrictions in school we wanted to ensure that the children could be part of this again this year.

This week as part of Children in Need, the pupils will be involved in 5 to Thrive.

This  is a daily Children in Need activity that focuses on several well-being elements.

As part of this years Children in Need, Joe Wickes is undertaking a 24 hour workout starting on Thursday morning and ending on Friday morning.

On Friday morning all of our children will be joining Joe Wickes for the last part of his his 24hour workout.

 

We are asking that all pupils come to school in their outdoor PE kit so that they are ready to join in with the activities

For the children in Early Years who don't have an outdoor PE kit, they can wear jogging bottoms a T shirt and a sweatshirt along with pumps or trainers for the day.  If children already have Children in Need merchandise they can wear this too.

 

Our kitchen staff have kindly set aside time to make Pudsey biscuits. We know that a lot of you purchased these last year and we sadly ran out at the last minute. We will be asking for a £1 donation for each biscuit.

To avoid disappointment you can order and pay for a biscuit  as a shop item on our School Money site. Please order these by the end of Wednesday. We can only allow one biscuit per child.

On our School Money site you can also pay your own donation towards Children in Need and this will enable you to donate in advance and avoid sending cash into school.

All of the donations will be sent directly to Children In Need.

 

                                                 Thank you for your continued support with our Charity Work.

 

                                                                            Thursday 5th November 2020

Dear Parents,

As we go into Lockdown we have had to update and amend some of our procedures to help protect yourselves, pupils and staff.

We hope that by all working together we can help reduce the chance of transmission of Covid and the number of positive cases. I’m sure we all want to see an end to the Covid crisis.

From Friday 6th November we are asking that whilst you are waiting in the line to drop off your child, you wear a facemask(unless you have a medical exemption certificate) and whilst you are on the school grounds collecting your child at the end of the day.

Can you please let other adults who are part of your childcare bubble know about our new expectations.

 

Staff who are supervising and near the gates will also be wearing face coverings at this time.

In school staff will continue to work with the pupils as usual and no face coverings are needed inside. This is in line with the current Government guidance for Primary schools.

We have already seen at Whitegate End and across many Oldham schools the impact on the education of pupils when adults are positive with Covid. Whilst the current rates locally and nationally continue to rise, we hope that these measures will reduce the chance of adults getting Covid.

The last thing we all want is to have to close more bubbles.

 

We know you greatly value the after school clubs however, under the latest guidance we have now been advised to stop after school clubs in the short term. Our clubs will not operate from Monday 9th November but hope that we will soon be able to re-start the clubs once the guidance changes.

 

Under the latest guidance Brightstars is able to continue to operate it’s wraparound care.

We really appreciate your ongoing support and dealing with the changes we have to make at times to help keep everyone as safe as possible.

J Conway

The Health and Fire service have asked us to share this important information regarding Bonfire night and the use of Fireworks.

Friday 30th October 2020- Autumn 2 half term

As we approach the start of the the second half of the Autumn term I wanted to welcome you all back and remind you of a few things.

I know that it is particularly difficult at the moment being in a Tier 3 area but I  do hope that you have managed to have a good break and spend some quality time together.

 

As we know, the announcement was made on Saturday about the national lockdown beginning on Thursday. We want to ensure you all that we are following current guidelines  and will remain open. We strongly encourage all our families to follow the guidelines to help protect our school and all our children.

 

  • Please can all parents/carers and childminders ensure they maintain social distancing when dropping off and collecting the children from school. We have taken feedback and adapted out procedures to make this as safe as possible .
  • Could you please ensure you stand next to or behind your child when waiting at the relevant drop off point as this ensures others can pass on the pavement without having to step into the road. Remember the markers on the fence are there as a rough guide to show you where to stand. 
  • Please make sure your child/children have a coat suitable for our changeable weather each day as the pupils do go out even in the rain.  The children have limited movement in the classroom so it is vital they are able to go out for some fresh air, so coats are needed at all times.
  • Please make sure that all of their school clothing is labelled clearly as some names wear off after a few washes.
  • Pupils need their full uniform each day-this includes a  sweatshirt or cardigan with our school logo. Classrooms have to be well ventilated and as the temperature starts to drop they may well need them even more.
  • Please ensure your child has an extra layer of clothing in their outdoor PE  which can be stored in the lockers. As mentioned, the classrooms have to be ventilated so as the weather cools an extra layer will be handy should it be needed. 

 

Early next week you will receive information about your child's progress report and how we will be conducting telephone conversations with you at set times for each class. You will have plenty of time to book your time slot online just as you have done so in the past year for our face to face meetings.

 

We know that it is hard at the moment not being able to have face to face meetings but we thank you or your understanding at this time and your recognition that as a school we  have many new guidelines that have to be followed.

 

If you need to speak to a member of staff please either ring the school office or e-mail info@whitegateend.oldham.sch.uk

Unfortunately at the moment staff aren't able to have conversations on the gate or at the end of the day  and often it is not appropriate to have those chats in front of other parents.

 

For those parents of pupils in Nursery or Reception we will be using some of the early years path to line up in the morning.

Please wait for the adult on duty to let you know when and where you can stand with your child.

 

You have already done a great job in informing us if you are waiting for test results etc.

If your child has had to isolate during the half term please inform the office when they will be returning to school. 

 

We heard at the end of last term how many other local schools were having to close multiple classes and bubbles, unfortunately this may well continue. As we move forward this half term and the national infection rates continue to increase I can't stress enough how important it is that you follow Public Health guidance. If your child or anyone in your household displays any Covid symptoms it is imperative that all of the household isolates until test results are returned negative. This procedure also applies to any pupil who may have had contact with someone outside their household who starts to display symptoms(such as childminders, grandparents etc) by doing this you are helping to protect the rest of the school and support the consistent education of all of our community.

If we receive any updated guidance from the Government we will of course notify you if we have to make any changes to our procedures.

 

Please help us to help you. Our systems and procedures can only work if everyone follows the guidance.

 

I look forward to seeing you all return to school on Monday.

 

J Conway

Tuesday 20th October 2020

I can’t believe we are already at half term. The time has flown since September and we were all able to return to school. The rest of the staff and I are immensely proud of all the children for their attitude and how they have adapted to our new procedures. I think we all know now that life under the Covid restrictions will be with us for a long time and we are all having to get used to what we can and can’t do. Ultimately we all want to keep safe and prevent others from getting ill and that means making a few sacrifices. Thankfully we have only had to close one bubble this half term but we have had lots of individual pupils having to isolate due to contact with family or friends who have tested positive. These gaps in education are a constant reminder of the impact of COVID on our children. If your child has been in contact with anyone displaying symptoms or whilst waiting for a test result keep them off school until you know the results of the test. We are being urged to not break or even bend the current rules if we are going to get back to some kind of normality. However tempting it may be you are putting others at risk by doing so. Sadly, a lot of the pupils are telling us how they are visiting other houses, going to parties and who is in their support bubble. To

clarify only single people living on their own can join another family or single person to form a support bubble. Only one support bubble is allowed. By breaking or bending the rules you are jeopardising the health and education of our pupils. I cannot urge you enough to keep to the rules and refrain from visiting other households. Thank you for all of your help and support by following our procedures whilst waiting to drop off and collect pupils by maintaining your social distance from others, stepping aside to let others pass safely. Our procedures will only work, if you support us by following them.  We have amended some of them to create more space and will continue to do so after half term. All of our procedures have had to be carefully scrutinised by the local authority health and safety team to ensure we are following the government guidance. Every school environment is very different, so what works in one school may not necessarily work in others.  Thank you to all of the parents for your constructive and positive comments. We really do appreciate them especially at this time. If you have any comments to make please e-mail the school office.

It is not appropriate to criticise staff whilst working on the gates whilst they are trying to keep everyone safe.

Please try to keep to the timings and inform any other adults who may drop off and collect your child what our new procedures are to avoid any confusion.

Today we say goodbye to Mrs Harris who is starting her maternity leave. We will let you all know when the baby is born and what she has. We wish her well and hope she has a quiet couple of weeks to rest before Baby Harris arrives.

I hope that you have the opportunity to have a good rest during half term and enjoy the outdoors and the Autumnal weather. We look forward to seeing you all on Monday 2nd November.

Mrs Jo Conway

 

 

Friday 9th October 2020

 

We've had another busy week. Despite the terrible rain, it hasn't dampened our spirits at Whitegate End.

I can't believe we only have a few weeks before it's half term. We close on Tuesday 20th October and re-open on Monday 2nd November.

 

Please remember to always send your child with a coat suitable for all weathers as we do go outside even when its raining.

This week we've had an Apple Feast.

We have picked all of our cooking apples from our trees and the cooks have used them to make apple sauce and apple crumble. We've also got a bumper crop of eating apples on our tress and are gradually picking these and the pupils are having these as a healthy snack.

For those  parents of Year 1 & 2 pupils you will have noticed that we have modified the drop off procedure in the mornings.

Parents will be asked to walk their child down the driveway and stop before the crossing. Parents are asked to stay with their child until the class teachers, Miss Straffon and Mrs Armour collect the class, this then allows the gate staff to continue to monitor the gate area.

This gate area gets particularly busy mainly due to pedestrians walking past after dropping off from the EYFS and main pedestrian gate in the morning.  Some of you have already commented that this has made a difference.

We are always reviewing our procedures and trying to make them better whilst also meeting the vast amount of Government legislation. Some of you have made suggestions and we appreciate your support, however at times although ideas may seem great, we are unable to use them as they don't fulfil the Government guidance we have to follow as a school.

Friday 25th September 2020

We've had another busy week with Year 4 and 5 learning how to ride safely as part of the Bike-ability scheme. The instructors have been so impressed by our pupils and their behaviour.

I continue to be impressed by our Nursery and Reception children who are carrying their own trays at lunchtime and trying so hard to use their knife and fork correctly(keep practising at home)

Our Year 5 have also impressed the swimming team at Chadderton Baths and have coped brilliantly with the new procedures at the pool and whilst travelling to and from the Baths. We certainly are becoming more Resilient and Responsible.

 

Homework and Seesaw

For pupils in Years 1 -6 their weekly homework and challenges will be posted on Seesaw. All children have now been sent home their new QR code for Seesaw this year so please take time to access the pupil and parent app.

 

This term we are unable to have face to face parents meetings as we would normally do for our parents evenings.

We will send home your child's termly progress report on Thursday 5th November. We will then arrange telephone conversations with staff on allocated days during the following 2 weeks -Wb 9th and 16th November. We will arrange a set afternoon during the week beginning the 9th of November for each class and an after school time slot during the week beginning the 16th November.

Further details of  these will be shared with you after half term  and you will be able to book an appointment on line with the teacher during the

wb 2nd November.

Parents many thanks for continuing to help us at the start and end  of the day. It makes it alot easier if you are at the gates on time to avoid and mixing of bubbles. Sadly if someone is late it can have a knock on effect for the other classes.

Thank you also for all of your kind messages for the work that the staff are doing to keep the children safe during these interesting times.

Here is the latest advice and guidance from the Government that we have been asked to share with you.

If a positive case is confirmed at Whitegate End ...

 

Where a member of the school staff or pupil, test positive for Covid-19, the school will work closely with Oldham’s Public Health Protection Team to reduce the risk of infection. We will take advice from the Local Public Health Protection Team who, together with the Local Authority, will make the decision as to how best to proceed. On occasions, it may well be limited to the students with symptoms, a class or the entire year group or bubble. Decisions on the appropriate step will be taken by the Local Public Health Protection Team. If we are instructed to follow the direction from the Local Public Health Protection Team and the Local Authority, it is important that those within the affected group must self-isolate for 14 days from the date of last contact with the student/staff member who tested positive. We will ensure we communicate clearly what the period of self-isolation is to be and when students are to return to school. We will share this with parents via our website and by text.

If a student or group of students is asked to self-isolate, we will use Seesaw to deliver our curriculum and home learning in a similar way to the end of last academic year. This will enable the delivery of appropriate learning which will be reviewed and feedback offered. It is crucial that all pupils and parents re-access their Seesaw app. Each pupils Seesaw code has been sent out in a large white envelope during the last few weeks. Please keep hold of your Seesaw code, this does not need to be returned to school.

It is important that we are all aware of the symptoms of Covid-19 and only well children attend college. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • recent onset of a new continuous cough or
  • a high temperature
  • or a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia).

Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms. Information about Covid-19 symptoms and management of the virus can be found here,www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.

If you or your child develops any of the above symptoms or becomes unwell please contact please book a Covid test on https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test and inform school immediately.

 

This will be a worrying and confusing time for our pupils and families. At the start of every new school year we always have several children with colds etc. this is to be expected. We will not ever share a child’s health circumstances or whether they are poorly with other families. As parents can you please try to avoid scaremongering and speculation about children being off school. There may be many reasons for absence the majority of which are not Covid related. This information is confidential and belongs to them alone.

 

We will only contact families when we have a confirmed positive case.

Thank you for you continued support in helping us find our way through the extensive guidance and making it work for our school. The staff in school are trying their very best to identify any gaps in learning and plan for the best way to enable pupils to catch up over time.

Our 3 core values of RESPONSIBILITY, RESILIENCE & RESPECT are most definitely needed by all of us at the moment.

J Conway

Covid Checker- A quick guide for schools and parents

11th September 2020

 

Thank you to all of the parents who are continuing to follow our procedures when dropping off and collecting children.

It makes it less busy when parents move away from the gate area quickly. We are all gradually getting used to the new system.

 

We now have all of our Nursery class in school. I have been so impressed with how well they have come into school and how brilliant they have been at dinner time. All of the staff can tell that parents have been working hard on their independence skills, toileting, feeding themselves, carrying trays and following instructions.

I wanted to also thank parents for ensuring your child has the correct uniform. The pupils look fantastic in their Whitegate End uniform and I know you have checked the uniform policy before making purchases. Just a quick reminder that earrings are not allowed in school. If you need to use something for newly pierced ears, then please purchase the transparent retainers. Pupils are not allowed to do PE if they have earrings in.

Sadly, we also had to work with Public Health Oldham this week due to having a confirmed case in Year 6. They were extremely efficient at helping us identify contacts and supporting our procedures in school. Whilst our Year 6 are working at home, we know they will continue with that great resilient attitude and they have already taken responsibility for doing their home learning which has been uploaded each day. They are certainly well on their way to becoming independent learners which is key for starting secondary school.

Thank you to all of their parents for their understanding and the support they have shown with their children's learning.

 

All of the other pupils have settled in well and have adapted very quickly to the new expectations. Our new office administrator Mrs Wood has sent home this year’s Seesaw code and data checking sheets. Please take time to use the QR code to log back onto the Pupil Seesaw app and the parent app too. We will be using Seesaw to upload homework and for home learning in the event of having to shut a class due to Covid. The Governors have approved a remote learning policy which has been uploaded with our other policies.

 

As staff supervising the gates have a lot to do, and we are not able to have parents in to school at this time can I please ask that you either ring or e-mail school with any queries or information for staff.

 

We really do appreciate your fantastic support and positive feedback at this time. 

Mrs J Conway

 

WELCOME BACK

 

First of all, I wanted to say a massive thank you to all of our parents for helping to make our new procedures work.

We know that it isn’t easy adapting to change but you have clearly worked with your children to support them returning to school.

All of the children have settled back in to their new classes well. They amaze me by how quickly they adapt and have very quickly got used to the new layout of classrooms and timetable changes.

The staff are working hard to ensure that the children understand the reason behind the changes, the lining up, regular handwashing and sanitising and separation from other classes and bubbles. The children are just getting on with it.

Could I please ask as more classes are now back at school that you stand close to the fence when waiting. Please make sure you leave enough space on the footpaths for others to pass safely.

Please do not step into the road to get past other parents. This is extremely unsafe, please just ask others to politely move aside.

I am sure you will not be offended if other parents ask you to move over.

Please do not turn up too early for your child’s start time, this will then reduce congestion. If you are early I suggest you wait on the other side of the road until the previous classes have moved.

If you are anxious about being close to others, please feel free to wait across the road and then help your child join the back of the line as their class enters the gate.

Once your child has entered school please leave the footpath quickly and if necessary cross the road to allow more space and a safer footpath for other users.

For children in years 3 & 5 you are expected to line up by the pedestrian gate. Please remember you can stand to the left and right of the gate. Please don’t all try to squeeze into one space.

There will always be a member of staff on each gate. If you have an urgent message, please see them or e-mail the office.

When you are collecting your child please wait in the correct area and a staff member will send you down to your child’s collection area. We will do this once we know that the class are completely ready for collection.

Please do not enter the school site unless a member of staff has given you permission.

At present we are not allowing any visitors into our premises, so please make sure your child has everything they need each day with them.

If we need you to come to school, we will telephone and make suitable arrangements with you.

If your child displays any Covid symptoms we request that you keep your child off school and book a test that day. As soon as you receive the test results either negative or positive please e mail school with the results. If a child has a negative test they will then be able to return to school.

 

 

You can help keep everyone safe by:

  • Lining up carefully against the fence facing in the same direction towards the gate.
  • Keeping your distance when walking down towards the collection point.
  • Use the whole collection space to keep your distance from others.
  • Move away from dropping off your child quickly.
  • If you wish to chat with friends find a safe space across the road or away from the school entrances.
  • If you are anxious about crowds, stay across the road until you are happy to drop your child off or enter the collection area.

 

Here is the NHS advice

If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), get a test as soon as possible. Stay at home until you get the result.

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • 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

Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms.

What to do if you have symptoms

If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus:

  • Get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible.
  • Stay at home and do not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test.
  • Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must also stay at home until you get your result.

 

                                                                       

 

 

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