20th January 2022 Newsletter
You have the right to choose your own friends and join or set up groups, as long as it isn't harmful to others.
New Nursery Children
We would like to welcome our new Nursery Children to Blanford Mere, they are all settling in well. We wish them a fabulous learning experience here!
We are holding our Parents Consultations this term, on KS2 Wednesday 9th February, Rec/KS1 Thursday 10th February, Nursery Miss Porter - Thursday 10th February. Nursery Miss Steadman - Friday 11th February 2022. Unfortunately, with the increasing cases of Coronavirus prevalent in school and the community, we have made the decision that our Parents consultations will take place over the telephone again this term, not face to face.
For this parent consultation, all appointments should be made online.
It is really important that you are logged into the 'SchoolLife' app or can access the website via a 'tablet' or 'desktop/laptop' computer.
All appointments will be 'active and live' to book from Friday 21st January 2022 until Friday 4th February 2022. Yrs Nursery - 6.
When booking your appointment - please select your child's name from the list for the time you require. Can you then please 'add a comment' by adding the name of the parent who will be called and their phone number - please remember to 'save' the comment. This makes it easier/quicker for staff to call the selected parent on the allocated number.
Each class teacher will have appointment lists indicating the times that they are available. Please note that these will vary for each teacher. This is a valuable opportunity for you to talk with your son or daughter's class teacher about their learning from October to now.
Appointments allow a maximum of 6 minutes for each set of parents. If you need additional discussion time you may need to make a further appointment on another day.
Please note that staff will ring the mobile number of the parent who is stated on the booking form and the allocated number that the parent has requested to be call on.
If there is no response at the allocated time, then staff will call you again after they have spoken to other parents, if time allows. If the selected dates are not convenient, please put a note in your child's planner if they are in school or email firstname.lastname@example.org adding 'Parent Consultation' to the subject line and the member of staff will arrange a mutually convenient time to speak to you between 8.15am and 4.00pm
We would be grateful if parents did not ring the office to make appointments - we simply do not have the capacity to make appointments on behalf of parents.
At this point in the school year, we ask parents to complete a short questionnaire to give us feedback. This year, we would like you to complete this via the school website. To complete the form please log on to the school website or use your School Life App. Click on the 'forms' tab, parent questionnaire 2022 - please read each question carefully and select the most appropriate answer from the drop down options. There is also an option for you to tell us what we are doing well, how we can improve or leave a general comment. This should take only a couple of minutes and is extremely useful for us. The parent questionnaire will close on Friday 11th February 2022.
Planners are an integral part of communications between home and school. The planner will be used daily to aid learning in school as they have valuable resources inside, messages can be written in the planner by parents, children and staff.
Thank you to the many parents who order their child's lunch on the online ordering system School Grid, every week. We send out weekly reminders asking parents to do so - you can order lunches in advance. However, we also have parents who do not order their child's lunch each day and this mean that teachers need to order the lunch for the child. This takes away from teaching and learning time and sometimes means that lunches are not ordered in time, which could mean that your child has no lunch prepared. Also, younger children do not always know what they want to eat, this makes them upset at lunchtime, as they do not want to eat the food that they had selected themselves. Teachers can no longer be ordering lunches if parents have not done so for their child. If a meal has not been ordered for your child, then school will call parents and ask you to bring a packed lunch for them.
Covid 19 Update
Self-isolate straight away and get a PCR test (a test that is sent to the lab) on GOV.UK as soon as possible if you have any of these 3 symptoms of COVID-19, even if they are mild:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
Information on the changes to the self-isolation period for individuals who test positive for COVID-19
Since Monday 17th January, the 10 day self-isolation period for people who record a positive PCR test result for COVID-19 has been reduced to 7 days in most circumstances, unless you cannot test for any reason.
Individuals may now take LFD tests on day 5 and day 6 of their self-isolation period. Those who receive two negative test results are no longer required to complete 10 full days of self-isolation. The first test must be taken no earlier than day 5 of the self-isolation period and tests must be taken 24 hours apart. This also applies to children under 5, with LFD testing at parental or guardian discretion. If both these test results are negative, and you do not have a high temperature, you may end your self-isolation after the second negative test result and return to your education setting from day 6 or 7 (depending on the time of day the test was carried out).
Anyone who is unable to take LFD tests will need to complete the full 10 day period of self-isolation. Further information is available in the stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection.
How parents can help at Blanford Mere?
The DfE recognises that the high rates of COVID-19 will cause difficulties with the availability of staff. Our shared priority is to keep education settings open and children continuing face-to-face education.
- If your child has any of the main Covid symptoms, please do not send them into school and arrange for a PCR test
- If a member of your household tests positive, then please follow the guidance above
- Please wear masks when dropping off/collecting your child from school - many of our children are collected by grandparents or adults who are vulnerable and are trying to avoid contracting Covid. Your support with this would be appreciated as we are trying to keep everyone safe
- Please send your child into school with all of the items they need at the start of the day (coats, packed lunches, PE kits, clothes for after school sports clubs etc). This will minimise the number of people needing to come to the school office.
- Pre-order your child's lunch daily.
As the temperatures are plummeting over the past week, we are aware that we may have snow. In snowy weather we will remain open as long as we have the ability to open safely (whilst most of our children are local and can walk to school, many of our staff live further away and have difficult journeys to get to school). Please make sure that you are logged in to the School Life App so that you receive all updates from us.
A reminder of our procedures.
If a decision is made to close the school, it will be announced on local radio
Free Radio BC - 97.2
Free Radio-B'ham - 96.4
Black Country Radio
We will also update the school website and send out a group text. To keep the school open we have to have enough staff in school to care for the children as well as premises that are safe enough to enter (gritted pathways etc.)
Please do not ring the school. We are unlikely to be able to make an early decision as many staff live a distance away and will be experiencing difficulty getting to school. As soon as a decision is made to close the radio stations will be informed.
As you know, where possible we do our best to stay open. However, if conditions are unsafe for either children or staff then we have no option but to close. We will do our best!
Friday 28th January - Vision testing for Reception children
Friday 4th February - Yr 5/6 trip to Black Country Museum
W/b 7th February - World Mental Health week
W/b 7th February - Parents Evening
Tuesday 8th February is Internet Safety Day. We always mark this event at school. The internet has an amazing range of information and opportunities online, but how do we separate fact from fiction? Learning opportunities set for this day will reflect the importance of children keeping themselves safe online, both at home and in school.
TTRS dressing up day Friday 11th February 2022
Friday 11th February 2022, all children who have achieved Rock Star, Rock Legend or Rock Hero status (for the 1st time) will be allowed to dress as a Rock Star or come in their own clothes. All children who are able to dress up will have a sticker in their planner.
Rock Star (3s - which is 20 questions in a minute),
Rock Legend (2s - which is 30 questions in a minute)
Rock Hero (1s - which is 60 questions in a minute).
Any child who has achieved Rock Hero status will always be able to dress up on TTRS days. Please encourage your children to go on TT Rock Stars. All children can go on TT Rock Stars, but it is aimed at children in Years 1-6. TT Rock Stars helps children improve their times tables when used regularly - it is recommended that children use it for at least 3 minutes per day.
There is no download needed and it works on PC and Mac, but there are free APPs available for Android, Apple and Amazon phones and tablets.
Please remember to use Mathletics too, as homework will continue to be set weekly on this. Thank you for your support.
Thursday 17th February - Children break for the half term holiday
Friday 18th February - Inset training day for staff. School closed for children
Monday 28th February - School re-opens at the usual time after half term break
Thank you for your continued support.
Mrs Miller and Miss Stanton.