20 May Newsletter – May 2021
Message from Mrs Goodfellow & Our Governors
It has been lovely to be back in school for a whole half term and we are so glad that everyone is settling back into a good routine. Swimming lessons for year 5 have returned last week and all of our children are enjoying the outdoor teaching especially as the weather improves. Please remember to put some sunscreen on your children for school as they are outdoors more frequently. Children can also wear a hat when the weather is good.
As in my previous communications we are working hard to ensure our school remains as safe as possible for our children. We are carrying out regular hand washing, keeping our bubbles separate and spending as much time outdoors as we possibly can. All of our staff are all doing twice weekly lateral flow tests to ensure that nobody attends school who is Covid positive. Please remember that families of school aged children are able to access two tests per week whether you have symptoms or not and we encourage all families to make use of them, information on that can be found here.
We are so pleased that the building work is nearly finished. We appreciate the patience that you’ve all shown as the scaffolding was moved around the building. I’m sure you’ll agree that it is looking very smart and it will keep our school warm and dry for another 40 years. The entries to the roof competition were all fantastic and we are so grateful to Everlast Waterproofing Ltd and Eddisons Project Management for their generous prizes.
School will close for the May Half Term holiday on Friday 21st May and the term begins again on the Monday 7th June.
Sports week will take place in the week commencing Monday 14th June and all children should come to school that week in PE kit for the whole week. They should have their school house coloured PE top with them for that week too.
School closes to children for summer holidays on Tuesday 20th July (staff will still be in school) and we reopen to children for the new school year on Tuesday 7th September.
- A reminder that SATs for our Yr6 and Yr2 pupils are not taking place this year because of the disruption to the school year. The official updates can be found here.
- Our Toddler Group isn’t yet back up and running. When the room is available again, we’ll be sure to let you all know and you can tell your friends who would like a friendly spot to bring their toddlers to play.
- Mrs Judge has asked for some help sourcing materials for Forest Schools.
We would greatly appreciate any old shelving that anyone may have so that we can kit out the greenhouse.
- All children are taking part in our Walking to school challenge so if you can, please walk, scoot or ride to school. If they do this once a week for a month they will receive a special badge. Please don’t worry if you aren’t able to walk to school, it’s not an option for everyone.
- We are focussing on pupil well-being in school since our return and because of this, we have chosen to reduce the expectation for formal homework for the rest of the school year. However, we do still expect all of Reception – Yr 4 pupils to do 15 minutes of reading a day with their parents and Yr 5 and Yr 6 should do 30 minutes reading to a parent a day. Please try and make time for this as it is vitally important practise for all of our pupils.
- Our relaxed school uniform will stay in place until the end of the summer term and our teachers are finding it very helpful that children are coming into school dressed for PE on days that they have it so thank you for helping with that.
- Please take a moment to nominate our school to win £5000 of National Book Tokens and help us build a wonderful school library – Nominate here.
- Dunston Help For Families are running a litter pick in our local area on Sunday 13th June and are looking for volunteers to help. More information is available in their Facebook group.
All parents of children under three years old who wish to attend our school nursery need to register for a place to ensure they are allocated one. If you need to register a child for nursery, please contact the school office.
Inconsiderate Parking Around School
As a school we like to prioritise the safety of our children and local residents by ensuring that parking in the local area is both legal and considerate. We regularly get complaints from parents and residents linked to inconsiderate and on occasions, dangerous driving and parking.
If you can walk to school, please do, or even consider parking a distance away and walking the final half-mile or so. Our pupils would also enjoy cycling or scooting to school if this is practical and please remember they should wear a helmet if they are cycling or scooting. But if you really need to drive to school, please make sure you avoid the ‘Keep Clear’ zig-zag markings and yellow lines when parking. To help ensure this happens, Gateshead Council staff carry out regular enforcement and issue Penalty Charge Notices (tickets). There have been several instances of vehicles causing obstruction to the main car park gates at drop-off times, preventing our staff from being able to enter the car park.
We also ask that you avoid parking near the front gates as this is not only a problem for staff access but for emergency access too. Emergency access is required at all times.
We also need to remind parents that when dropping your children off or picking them up, please don’t sit in your car with the engine running. Firstly, it is illegal and could result in a fine but more importantly it is affecting asthma sufferers and the environment of our school community. We realise it is becoming cold but please turn off your engine when parked.
Many thanks for your help and cooperation with this matter.
We have launched the MyEd app in school as a simpler and more cost effective way of keeping in touch with our community. It is simple to setup and you will receive all updates directly to your smartphone. It is available on both Apple and Android phones. We are encouraging all parents to use it as it is a huge cost saver for us and it means we can spend money on classroom equipment and improvements to our school instead of text messages.
If you are having any problems with the app and getting it setup, please contact the school office.
Breakfast & Tea Time Club bookings
We politely remind you that the deadline for booking Breakfast Club & Tea Time Club is Thursday prior to the week required. Registers for the clubs are printed each Friday for the following week, to allow us to ensure we have an appropriate number of staff and food supplies for all clubs. We continue to have a number of parent/carers booking their child into clubs over the weekend following the deadline, meaning a number of children are turning up unexpectedly on Monday morning.
If you require a last minute booking into either club, we ask that you first contact the school office to check availability as places are limited or alternatively for Breakfast Club bookings you can contact the staff directly each morning from 7.30am, by choosing Option 4 from the main switchboard. If you are told that space is available, you can log in to your SIMS Pay account to make payment.
Your ongoing cooperation with SIMS Pay is very much appreciated.
Until further notice, PTFA meetings will not be held as we can’t organise many in person events. If you’re interested in being involved with the PTFA in the future, please leave your details at the school office or speak to Mrs Clare Freemantle during the school run at the KS2 gate.