Autumn Term 2021 Newsletters


Welcome to the Autumn Term Newsletters page.  Enjoy!

Friday, 10 September 2021:

Please see this week’s newsletter below:  we will NOT be sending home a paper copy! 

Newsletter 1 10 Sept 2021

Newsletter 2 17 Sept 2021

Details here of a parenting course run by our local cluster for families with teenage children: TAKE 3

Newsletter 3 24 Sept 2021

Elsa’s Arc:

Please see the poster below for a special September Raffle for Childhood Cancer Month to support the brand new branch of Allice’s Arc (called Elsa’s Arc) for our very own Angel, Elsa McGee, who died of cancer in 2020.  We would be really grateful if you could buy a ticket to support this wonderful new organisation which is a very important part of our school community.  Please send money into school in an envelope with your child’s name, their class and the amount sent in… only if you are able… we know things are tricky for everyone at the moment.  We will all be very grateful for your support.

Go Gold For September Elsa’s Arc 2021

Additional information/new/requests!

I have been asked by someone who was involved in the planning of the new school to ask you to complete a simple travel survey to help with his Masters Degree studies.  I have been on it and it will take literally moments to complete would make a big difference to his studies.  It is entirely confidential and is only about travel to and from school.  The survey can be accessed here:

https://forms.gle/gikxqedaETDYvTob6 

Thank you in advance.

There is also a updated version of the LCC Risk Assessment for the school and this can found on the COVID-19 page.  

We also have a position in our AFTER school club that is advertised on the VACANCIES page! 

Thursday, 2 September 2021

Lots of you have already been on the website looking for this information which is really touching! However I have only just sent the link to this page!

Firstly, I hope you have all had a great summer break.  I think we were all ready!  We are super excited about starting back and having some sense of normality (at least for the time being!) which is what we’re planning for.  In this regard the following plan is important for you to read and digest.

Plan for September 2021 V2

Please read the above carefully and also check out the checklist on the last page!  However in brief:

  • Bubbles are no longer in operation

  • School will start and end at the same time as it did before the pandemic

    • 8.55 start for all pupils… doors open from 8.45 as they were in the past for a staggered entry into school

    • 3.15 finish for all pupils

  • We are still using the various entry and exit points we used in Covid times

  • The drop off is still in use in the morning

  • The school carpark will be closed at the end of the day (please let everyone know who is collecting at the end of the day).

  • Gold and Silver permits will be back in use

  • We are still asking adults to wear a face covering on site if they feel able to; we can’t force this but to be frank there are still people dying of the Virus and they have been double jabbed so we are asking you to remain vigilant, alert and cautious.

Fundraising over the summer!

Congratulation to Scott S (ex of 2GW and now of 3TA) who has raised over £1100 for Bethany’s Wish which is an amazing achievement and we are all super proud of him. Mum has requested that we do something in September to support Children’s Cancer Month and we will coordinate this with the launch of Elsa’s Arc this term, so please watch this space!  But well done Scott (and Alara) who have done such a fabulous job this summer… wow!

A number of the staff (and Mrs Grady, ex-DHT of Upper School and now HT at St Patrick’s) are doing a 10k fun run on Sunday for Candlelighters (the charity that supported the McGee family) and they have asked me to put this link on the website to get some sponsorship for their herculean efforts! They are all a bit nervous about it so I am sending all our love and best wishes to help them get round OK! The link to the fundraising page is here:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/teamtheresasleeds10k?utm_source=whatsapp&utm_medium=fundraising&utm_content=teamtheresasleeds10k&utm_campaign=pfp-whatsapp&utm_term=914d9ed97c8d499e8fa35fd022f1ce40

And finally… I am very much looking forward to seeing you all back in school on Tuesday!  It has been a funny old summer with one thing and another and I think we are all craving a bit of normal again! (I certainly am!!)

God bless you all and please stay safe,

Mr Hutchinson

PS Apologies to anyone who has received this text in error because they have left Nursery but the system has not updated yet! 

The information below relates to Autumn 2020-2021 and is left for reference only. 

Monday, 19 October 2020: This is an important update from NHS England about the forthcoming Flu immunisation programme.  Given the importance of being protected from Flu this winter with the COVID-19 crisis can you please register your child using the links given on the text I sent out today or do so by clicking on the link below:

https://www.nhsimms.uk/FLU/information?Id=108039&Type=FLU    

There is a letter from NHS England explaining the process and how important it is to give your consent this year:

Flu immunisation letter for parents Oct 2020

Thank you for your cooperation here,

Mr Hutchinson.

Please click on the links below to access the newsletters from this term:

Autumn 1 Newsletters:

Newsletter 1 8 Sept 2020

Newsletter 2 15 Sept 2020

Newsletter 3 29 Sept 2020

Newsletter 13 October 2020

This is the link to the latest HM Government advice for our area in terms of social distancing:

The Three-Tier System:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/prime-minister-announces-new-local-covid-alert-levels?utm_source=13%20October%202020%20C19&utm_medium=Daily%20Email%20C19&utm_campaign=DfE%20C19

Our area is Tier 2: High

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-covid-alert-level-high?utm_source=13%20October%202020%20C19&utm_medium=Daily%20Email%20C19&utm_campaign=DfE%20C19

Please click on the link below for the current lunchtime menus for Sept/Oct:

Lunchtime menus for Sept/Oct 2020

Please click on the link below for the application form for Free School Meals:

Application for Free School Meals Sept 2020

If you need a paper copy, please come into school for one if you cannot print it off at home.  We are only too happy to help… please; if you are entitled, please apply it helps not only you but the school too!

Autumn 2 Newsletters

Below you will find all the updates that were put on the COVID-19 Notification Page in the Autumn Term 2020:  (Normal Newsletters were not prepared at this time)

Friday, 18 December 2020:

Congratulations everyone!  We’ve made it! It’s the end of what has been a very hard term for everyone… you, the children and especially my gallant staff. Thank you again for all your support, kindness and patience with us this half term.  Up to just, we have not had a single case of CV-19 in the pupil body that I am aware of and neither have we had a new one in the staff body either.  This is remarkable given how rife the virus is both locally and nationally.  However, it is very important to stay vigilant over the next couple of days and let me know immediately if you have a positive test (see below).

Christmas Surprise:  The children have been working on a special Christmas Surprise over the past few weeks and it is here for your delectation now:

We hope you all have a happy, holy and restful Christmas; thank you so much for the wonderful gifts, cards and good wishes we have all had for Christmas; we are all deeply grateful for your overwhelming generosity.  Thank you so much.

Please stay safe.  Please look after each other. Please have a lovely beak and we’ll see you on Monday, 4 January 2021!

With every good wish and in prayer,

Mr Hutchinson and Mrs Ryan.

URGENT: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY: If your child is tested for the virus and tests positive in the next few days IT IS VITALLY IMPORTANT THAT YOU TELL SCHOOL IMMEDIATELY.  We break up on Friday for the two-week Christmas Break.  If your child tests positive within 6 days of us breaking up then you must inform me ASAP using the school email address: headteacher@st-theresas.leeds.sch.uk so that I can sort the Track and Trace arrangements for the school. This takes us up to and including Christmas Eve and Mrs Ryan and I will manage any potential outbreaks during this 6-day window.  Sadly, if you are told to self-isolate in this period then regardless of any Government relaxations of the rules over Christmas, you must isolate your child and yourself, if you too catch the virus.

There is a lot of chatter in central Govt at the moment about the relaxing of the rules for meeting over Christmas; we are all desperate to see family and friends this Christmas but I am appealing to your sense of duty and community spirit here too about how you act over the holiday season; it is VITALLY important that you do not compromise the beginning of next term by mixing with goodness knows who over Christmas and New Year and thereby getting you and your child infected with the virus.  Choose your Christmas Bubble carefully please… yes, see Family, especially grandparents and your older siblings if they are not at home but please do not go crazy and party like it’s a normal Christmas… it isn’t.  The virus is mutating and we are a long way off everyone in our community being vaccinated… the virus doesn’t know it’s Christmas… but you will if you catch it!!  Your child’s education is worth more than any Christmas gathering and if we hold our nerve for the next few weeks and months there is a chance things might get back to normal in the summer. We all need to act collectively to avoid a potential 3rd Wave of the virus… and the numbers are already rising.  Remember… this is not about what we COULD do but really about what we SHOULD do! Thank you… Mr Grinch has now left the building!

Parent Governor: There was a text earlier about the Election for Parent Governor: please see Mr Nicholson’s letter announcing Theresa Jacobs as the winning candidate here:

Chair of Governors’ letter; successful Parent Governor Dec 2020

Winter Voucher Scheme:  There is a VERY important note coming home today to some families in our community regarding the Winter Voucher Scheme.  If you receive a letter it is VITALLY important that it is returned immediately for the attention of Mrs Clark in the office.  Thank you.

Christmas Masses: Please see the message from Mary Gairn about the provision of Mass over the Christmas period: Christmas Masses 

Thank you:  I would just like to say a massive thank you to everyone for being so kind and patient with us this term.  You have been brilliant and you have more than played your part to keep our community safe and well; for us to have only one set of bubbles collapsing around October half-term is amazing and testimony to the due diligence paid by everyone in the Team Theresa’s of which you are all honorary members!  Huge, huge thank you to all my staff too… Mrs Ryan and I are just blown away by all of them and how hard they have worked, not only to keep the school open, but also to help the children catch up and produce work of outstanding quality.  I will write again before we finish to wish you all a proper Happy Christmas!

Stay safe; stay strong; stay well and stay socially distanced when out.

With every good wish,

Mr Hutchinson, Head

Monday, 7 December 2020:

Just a quick one!  Just to let you know that Asda are providing free meals for children in all their cafes in their stores throughout December 2020:

https://corporate.asda.com/newsroom/2020/11/30/kids-can-eat-free-in-asda-cafes-throughout-december 

Adults don’t have to buy a meal either.  Every little helps… I know, wrong supermarket, but you catch my drift!

Super event yesterday organised by Mrs Katrina Slater for the kids of Cross Gates and Seacroft/Manston involving lots of Santas and even more elves!  Might even make Look North tonight! Some picture on the Twitter page: @StTheresasRCPS

Last thing for now… I need to inform you of the proposed boundary changes to our Catchment area around the old Seacroft Hospital site.  Details can be found on the Admissions page here. 

More updates during later in the week; remember we’re closed on Friday for an INSET day.

Stay safe,

Mr Hutchinson.

Wednesday, 2 December 2020:

Good morning everyone, just a couple of updates to keep folks in the loop and aware of what is happening in school, especially around Christmas and the coming weeks.

Nursery:  I just want to reiterate how proud I am of my Nursery staff and children at the moment.  They are just about managing to be honest and many staff are really struggling with Covid exhaustion; however I am delighted that we have managed to stay fully reopen; I know that lots of mummies and daddies and all those people at home who look after our beautiful young people are deeply grateful to staff for all they are doing especially as some staff are literally on their knees at the end of a day.  Post-Covid fatigue is completely debilitating as many of you already know and the fact that the staff affected by this have been able to continue in school is deeply humbling for all of us… it would have been very easy for them to have taken the easy option and put themselves first and not come in… but not our staff!  Fabulous effort and thank you to all of your who have sent messages of support and good wishes on Tapestry… much appreciated, they give staff a big boost when they are feeling absolutely exhausted. [Well done to Mrs Wells too who is also suffering from post-CV-19 fatigue… as I’ve said before, if this virus takes hold of you, the long term effects are horrid.]

INSET Day:  The observant among you will have seen on the school calendar that we have an INSET day a week next FRIDAY on the 11 December 2020.  School will be closed on that day to all pupils.

Advent/Christmas Events: We have a number of lovely things planned for our young people this Christmas period many of which our wonderful Mini-Vinnies are coordinating.  We have already made, blessed and lit our Advent Wreaths.  Y6 are going to celebrate Mass tomorrow with Fr Josh where they will remember and pray for the whole school. F2 are preparing their lovely nativity that will be filmed for mums and dads next week… always a treat to look forward to.  We are also planning a number of other little events to try and make it as special a season as we can for the children:

Christmas Dress Up Day, Thursday, 10 Dec 2020: We are planning a Christmas Dress Up Day (Christmas Jumpers if you have one) when the children can come into school in something Christmassy like a Christmas Jumper or a Christmas outfit if they have one… please do NOT go out and buy anything special for this day… things are hard enough without needing to do that.    We are asking for donations on that day for our chosen Christmas Charities this year which are: Alice’s Arc; St George’s Crypt and the SVP.  We normally have a collection after each of the presentations/plays at Christmas and obviously we can’t do that this year so we are going to have a collection on dress up day instead.

Christmas Dinner Day:  Cook is preparing a special Christmas School Dinner Day for Thursday, 10 December too! This is just for the children who have school dinners.

Christmas Parties in class: This would normally be a shared feast but we are not comfortable with doing this in 2020 for obvious reasons so what we are suggesting to staff is that they organise their own party day in the final week (which they will communicate to you through Class Dojo or Tapestry). Staff will then sort out games or treats for the party afternoon at an age appropriate level and they will communicate this to you directly; they will also communicate to you what the food arrangements are for your class.

Christmas Cards and Christmas Presents:  Once again we should not really be bringing things like cards in from home but at the risk of being Grinch-like we have agreed that classes will create a Christmas Card post box in their classes into which cards can be placed up to and including Thursday, 10 December after which they will be quarantined until Monday, 14 December on which day/week they will be passed out to take home.  If you want to send in cards please do so before the 10th then we can store them before giving them out!

One or two parents have caught me outside to ask about gifts for staff this Christmas; this is a really tricky one here because however I put this it doesn’t feel right.  It is fine to give staff a gift if you feel you would like to; staff are always overwhelmed and deeply grateful for your kindness and it is something that I know lots of you will wish to do.  However, we are also acutely aware that many of our families are experiencing real hardship this year and it is more important than ever to ensure that look after yourselves and your families first this year.  To be honest the greatest gift any of us can wish for this year is to stay well and virus free.

Advent Booklets:  The little Advent activity booklets (super value at 50p) will keep little minds and little fingers busy and active to at least a couple of hours are still available in school.  Just a gentle reminder!

Working from Home:  If your child is working from home and you need additional data to help with your data allowance please contact me immediately as I have some additional (free) data sims from Vodafone which can be used to help.  We also have some additional Chromebooks in school that can be loaned out to families who are isolating and need access to a laptop type device to help with home learning.  These machines still belong to school and are set up to allow access to their Google Classroom account only but this is important for them to access home learning if they need it and do not have access to a device at home.  If you are in this situation then you need to speak to me, Mrs Ryan, Mrs Strong, Mrs Gibbons or your class teacher.

Parent Governor Ballot Papers:  The ballot papers are coming out today for the Parent Governor elections.  There is a range of paperwork (which has been adequately quarantined in school) relating to this process.  There is a covering letter from the Chair of Governors, a letter from me explaining how to vote (one vote for each parent/carer) and envelopes to return the ballot papers in.  Please put your ballot paper envelopes in the larger envelope and return it to school by Thursday, 10 December 2020; we will quarantine the ballots and then process them on Monday, 14 December 2020.  No postal ballots!!  No post-Presidential hissy-fits this year either! Thank you again to the candidates for putting their names forward for this process… very much appreciated!

Car Park:  Generally things are going really well in the car park and fewer and fewer people are turning right out of school which is amazing.  Thank you for that.  Can I please just ask that folks drive really, really slowly through the drop-off zone and out of school especially at busy times and that folks really take care reversing into and out of the bays?  It seems very obvious to me to do this but there are just a few folks whizzing round a bit too fast and it’s giving me the collywobbles especially when we’ve got such young children being dropped off and collected. I have to say though that generally the drop-off and pick-up are working very well indeed.  I would hate someone to get hurt (or worse) by someone not paying this the due diligence it deserves.  Thank you again for your support and cooperation here.

Attendance:  A message from Mrs Gibbons who monitors attendance in school; please could you leave messages on the absence line rather than Class Dojo as it is her that needs to know about absence not your child’s teacher… you can do both if you want but the absence line is essential please!  Thank you.

FOST:  FOST are sending home some proformas for a special Christmas Treat for our young people in the form of a personalised message from himself! If you wish to take part please do… if you don’t please don’t feel obliged.

Gentle Reminder: COVID Update:  We have now moved into Tier 3 as of midnight last night.   All of this is explained in the Covid Winter Plan which can be access here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/937529/COVID-19_Winter_Plan.pdf   

There are a range of restrictions for our area and our City which I would ask you to follow so as to keep us all safe.  The letter below is from the leader of the council and the leader of school in Leeds:

LCC Letter to Parents Nov 2020

Please also continue to do the right thing (because it is the right thing to do!) like your children do, up to and over the Festive Season!  The virus doesn’t know it is Christmas and will not be taking a holiday… you know how important family is to me and how important Christmas is to me too… but let’s not celebrate this Christmas with our loved ones at the expense of spending many, many more Christmases with them in the future! The phrase on everyone’s lips should be… what should I do this Christmas… NOT… what could I do this Christmas!

Please keep yourselves and your families safe and well;

Stay safe; stay strong; stay well and stay socially distanced when out.

With every good wish,

Mr Hutchinson, Head

Friday, 27 November 2020:

My weekly update before the weekend begins! I would like to begin by congratulating the Nursery staff for their mammoth effort in keeping Nursery open full time all week!  Well done everyone… what a team effort this has been… we are all very proud of you!  Well done to Mrs Wells too who has also managed to come in full time this week (towards the end of the week) after having been sideswiped completely by the virus.  We keep all our pupils, staff, parents and friends who have been affected by the virus in our thoughts and prayers.

Parents’ Consultations: Mrs Ryan and I spent a long time agonising over the best way to conduct these events this year and the feedback we have had from staff has been overwhelmingly positive.  I know it hasn’t been the same but almost all of you have had the chance to speak to (or see on zoom) your child’s class teacher and have the opportunity to speak to them about their progress.  Thank you for being on time and for being so supportive of your child’s teacher and their education.

Advent Greenery:  massive thanks to all those who have sent in greenery to help make our Advent Wreaths… we will be blessing them in assembly on Monday which will be done via Google Classrooms.  Very much appreciated.

Advent Books: We have acquired some gorgeous little Advent workbooks for the children to play with and learn about Advent.  They are perfect for little and older ones to do something a little extra for Advent.  There is a special booklet for KS1 and one more suited to KS2; they are 50p each and they really are super! Please send the 50p in the usual way… named envelope… we will be sending booklets to each class!

Advent Liturgy online:  last night I sent you out an email link to register for the children’s Advent Liturgy zoom from the SJHN parish.  I managed to send the wrong link so if you are interested then please register using this email address: office.stjohnnewman@dioceseofleeds.co.uk The liturgy is this Sunday, 29 November at 10.15; this would be a wonderful way to start Advent and our preparations for the Jesus to come again at Christmas.

Travel to School: I had a conversation with a very concerned mum this morning about the behaviour of motorists on Barwick Road.  She observed a white van driver (not from our school) mount the kerb and drive on the grass just be Southwood Gate this week because he was fed up of waiting behind someone waiting to turn right into school, in the morning. I have asked many times for people who ‘get stuck’ waiting to turn right into school to please drive on and go round the estate and approach from the left thereby keeping the traffic flowing.  Fewer people are turning right out of school at busy times but it does still happen and it would be much better for everyone if it didn’t!  Sorry to sound like a broken record here but I am really anxious someone will get hurt and worse that it would be one of our young people!

Behaviour in School: As we approach the end of a period of learning we always get a bit of a deterioration in behaviour… not massively because our children are angels (in the main!) and behave really well but one or two just need their wings clipping, just a little.  There is some quite wilful and stubborn behaviour at the moment, especially from some of our younger pupils… a strong word at home about doing as you are told at school would go a long way please!  It is much easier to learn and much, much easier to teach if children behave in a reasonable manner! Thank you.

Update on sickness:  Jack in 4RM is progressing really well with his treatment and we will hopefully be seeing him in school very soon.  I spoke with his Nurse today and she was very positive about him and we are meeting next week to discuss when he can come back in safely… it will be great to have him back in school.

The other person I mentioned last week was an ex-pupil of our called Millie Durkin.  Millie had been poorly for some time and sadly lost her battle with cancer on Monday night and died that day.  She was 19 years old and I know lots of you have older children who went to school or college with Millie; she was also a big character in the parish, serving on the altar, going to Youth Group and being a greeter at the door. She was a beautiful soul who always had a smile on her face, always Walked in Theresa’s Little Way and was a model pupil in our school.  She will be sorely missed.  Eternal rest grant unto her O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace, Amen. May her soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the Mercy of God, rest in peace, Amen.

COVID Update:  Unless you’ve been living under a rock you will know that we are coming out of lockdown on Tuesday night at midnight and enter Tier 3 lockdown measures on Tuesday, 2 December 2020.  All of this is explained in the Covid Winter Plan which can be access here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/937529/COVID-19_Winter_Plan.pdf   

There are a range of restrictions for our area and our City which I would ask you to follow so as to keep us all safe.  The letter below is from the leader of the council and the leader of school in Leeds:

LCC Letter to Parents Nov 2020

Please also continue to do the right thing (because it is the right thing to do!) like your children do, over the Festive Season!  The virus (which is extremely unpleasant if it catches hold of you!!) does not know it is Christmas and will not be taking a holiday… you know how important family is to me and how important Christmas is to me too… but let’s not celebrate this Christmas with our loved ones at the expense of spending many, many more Christmases with them in the future! The phrase on everyone’s lips should be… what should I do this Christmas… NOT… what could I do this Christmas!

And finally… I attended a meeting with Bishop Marcus Stock this morning and he gave us all an Advent message.  The message in essence was all about hope.  Hope for the future.  The hope that comes every year with the birth of Jesus at Christmas.  This year this message has special poignancy as we all hope (and pray) for a better future in 2021 and beyond.  The hope that will hopefully come with a vaccine and a programme to get it to everyone in time; the hope that people will return back to their normal lives ‘changed’ from the experience of the lockdown and with their behaviour modified and acting out of a more generous spirit towards others… especially those in public service who have put themselves on the frontline in the Pandemic. The hope that people will remember the kindness shown to others in recent months and the gratitude to those who look after us when we are ill or when we need caring for…  There is always hope…

God bless you all and have a lovely weekend and we’ll see you next week for another week at the fun palace!

In the meantime:

Stay safe… stay strong… stay well!  Stay socially distanced and stay indoors if you can! Look after yourselves and be kind to one another!

Mr Hutchinson

Head

Friday, 20 November 2020

Just a brief update to keep you up to date with things in school and to say a quick hello!

Generally things in school are ticking over very nicely.  The children are very settled at the moment and they seem to be working very hard in class.  School feels very calm and ordered, so a massive pat on the back to all parents, staff and pupils from me to you all!  Thank you, keep it up!

School meals: the new dinner regime that we started this term is working really well and the children are loving the hot dinners and the revised menu.  If anyone is wanting to swap from sandwiches to hot dinners then this is more than possible; you just need to contact the school office and ask! They’ll explain about prices and how to pay etc.

BBC CiN: The PJ and own clothes day last week yielded £450 in total which is a fab total in these constrained times.  Thank you so much for your generosity once again… much appreciated.

Feast of Christ the King:  Sunday, 22 November 2020 is the Feast of Christ the King… the final Sunday of the Church’s Liturgical Year.  This heralds the beginning of Advent which starts the weekend after this one… so we are on the scrounge for any luscious EVERGREEN greenery you might have in your gardens that we could use to make our advent wreaths in class… we have to make 15 so if you have any evergreen plants (especially holly with berries on it or variegated holly) then it would be greatly appreciated (Thursday or Friday please).

Turning Right out of the Car Park:  One of the local childminders who brings and collects children from our school has highlighted a problem that she fears is going to result in a serious accident. Drivers are turning right out of the school car park and zipping across to Southwood Gate very quickly… especially when it’s busy on Barwick Road.  This means that anyone who might be crossing the road has to take very quick evasive action… not easy when you’ve got three of four children and a large buggy!  Please turn left out of the car park at busy times and double back on the roundabout and approach Southwood Gate from the roundabout instead of zipping across before we end up with a tragedy in our school. Believe me it would be quicker and safer to just turn left! Thank you.

Poorly children: We have a poorly little boy in 4RM; Jack J has been in hospital receiving treatment this week.  His mum, dad and big sister would be very grateful to you if you could remember Jack in your daily prayers.  We have also had some sad news about an ex-pupil of our who is also quite ill; This young person was a model St Theresa’s pupil and we are all praying for her in school.

Parent Governor:  We have five potential candidates for the position of Parent Governor.  I am currently liaising with the Chair of the Board over the finer details and I expect to be launching the ballot next week.  Thank you to those parents who have stepped forward for this role.  Hugely impressive.

Parents’ Evenings:  These seem to be going very well and the staff are extremely grateful for parents/carers being so accommodating with the arrangements that we have had to put in place to make these work this time.  All the feedback I am getting from staff is overwhelmingly positive.  Thank you again for working with us on this initiative.

Nursery:  Nursery will be back open as normal next week.  Grateful thanks to all involved here both for your patience and my staff’s commitment to the cause… again, I’m blown away by you all!

Thank you:  Just a massive thank you from us to you… you are all doing so well with all of this stuff and nonsense at the moment… the changes of routines, the wearing of face coverings and masks, the coming and going and the patience you have shown with us.  It’s very impressive and makes our job (which is hard enough in normal times) much easier.  The virus is rife in our area and the fact that we have kept all our bubbles open in recent weeks is amazing… let’s keep paying this the due diligence it deserves.  We still have a number of staff who are still not right after the Covid-19 Virus so please… do everything you can to avoid catching it! Have a lovely weekend and we’ll see you on Monday.

Stay safe.  Stay strong.  Stay well.  Stay socially distanced if you’re out and about and… stay home unless you  have to go out for anything. 

With every good wish,

Mr Hutchinson

Head Teacher.

Friday, 6 November 2020

Good afternoon everyone, I hope you are all as well as can be expected in these difficult times.  I know the lockdown will not be easy for some of you and you are all in our thoughts and prayers at this time.  Please do not hesitate to contact us if there is anything we can do to help especially around issues like free school meals (FSM) if your circumstances have changed… as I have said many times, this is too important an issue for your child for something like pride to get in the way of asking.  All of these matters are dealt with in the strictest confidence in school. Details around eligibility for FSMs can be found here at the bottom of this link: School Dinner Menus

School dinners: We are now serving hot meals again in school and this is going really, really well.  If you want your child to have a hot meal then please contact school by contacting the school office.  Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 can have a free school meal as part of the Universal Free School Meals initiative; all you need to do is tell us that your child wants a meal.  (They can have a pack-up if they prefer).  Sadly, Nursery and Y3-6 have to pay for meals unless your child qualifies for FSMs. The cost of paid lunches is £2.00/day in Nursery and £2.40/day in Y3-6.  The school dinner menus are here: School Dinner Menus

Awesome children: I would just like to add how amazingly impressed we all are with our young people and the way that they have adapted to the new dinnertime arrangements; they have been super grown up about it, especially the KS2 children in the middle of the school who have not been able to sit with their friends who might be having lunches in the hall when they’re having packed lunches up in class (and vice versa).  They just shrug their shoulders and say things like, “Well, it’s just how it is with Covid rules!”  Out of the mouths of babes; and what a lesson for us as adults to do the right thing.  I liked what Mark Drakeford, leader of the Welsh assembly said earlier this week; the question we should be asking is not, “What could I do in the these circumstances?” (i.e. how can I bend the rules to suit my own purposes) but rather, it should be: “What should I do in these circumstances?” (i.e. what should I do to keep my family, my community and myself safe).  Regardless, your children have been very impressive this week… so a big pat on the back for them!

Parents’ Evening: At this time of the year we typically have a 10min parent/teacher consultation in the hall over a couple of nights just to have a catch up on how well the children have settled and what their targets are for the first half of the year. Obviously we can’t do this face 2 face which is a massive shame and would always be our preferred option.  We have therefore devised a plan which we hope will be agreeable for most people.  Please read the letter below carefully, a copy of which will be coming home with your child today.  You should also be receiving a text message with a link to the appointments system we use to book appointments.

Parents’ evening letter Nov 2020

These arrangements are for Y1-6; Reception will be meeting with their parents face 2 face as most of them come into school every day and Mrs Ruane and Mrs Miller will arrange that with you.

Clinically Extremely Vulnerable Children/Adults/Staff:  It has been made very clear by HM Govt that people who are considered to be Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (and the definitions of this are in the link below) should neither be in work nor should they be expected to be either. These members of our community and society should be protected at all costs:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19?utm_source=5%20November%202020%20C19&utm_medium=Daily%20Email%20C19&utm_campaign=DfE%20C19#cev

There is a simpler FAQs document here from LCC about this issue:

FAQ for parents and staff – November 2020

Please pay this the due diligence it deserves.

Parent Governor:  Just a gentle reminder that we are looking for a parent governor and to date I haven’t had the usual response that I would expect.  One parent has come forward so far so if you are interested could you please let me know by email to headteacher@st-theresas.leeds.sch.uk by close of play Monday, 9 November 2020 please?  Thank you.  The letter about this and further information are here:

Parent Governor 2020 The Role of a Governor in School Nov 2020

Parent Governor Letter 2020

Nursery:  Nursery is reopening on Monday but at a reduced service due to staff still not being fully better after having had the COVID virus.  We still have a number of staff who are not well enough to be back in school at all yet.  Your continued patience is much appreciated here.  Nursery parents/carers had a text about this earlier this week and should look on the Nursery Page for more details.

Remote Learning:  Massive thanks to 6DK and 3GL for trail-blazing the way for our remote learning policy and practice.  Both classes were in lockdown this week and both managed to host morning check-ins with the vast majority of pupils which went down really well.  I am told that plenty of work was sent home and that it has worked as well as could be expected given that none of this is ideal. I am very grateful to Mr Kearney and Miss Laidler for their hard work here; at least we know that if further bubbles collapse for whatever reason we should be able to maintain some level of contact and quality first provision.

Staff returning:  We have a number of staff returning next week too as well as some shielding who are clinically extremely vulnerable as discussed above.  Miss Laidler, Mrs Wade, Mrs Taylor, Mrs McNutt, Miss Nicholson, Mrs Wells (Tues – Friday; am only), Mr Hutchinson (both), Mrs Gibbons and Mrs Tunstall (am only) will be back in school many of whom have either been poorly or have been isolating like myself. Mr Kearney has been back in this week already. The virus has left some of our staff exhausted and we are making reasonable adjustments to their timetable to enable them to come back to work safely and stay well. Long-Covid is as nasty as the virus itself; your kindness and patience here is very much appreciated.

Latest Government Guidance for Schools:  The latest guidance from HM Govt is listed below:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/education-and-childcare-settings-new-national-restrictions-from-5-november-2020?utm_source=5%20November%202020%20C19&utm_medium=Daily%20Email%20C19&utm_campaign=DfE%20C19

Unless you’ve been living under a rock then you will know that we are now back in lockdown and that schools are required to be open to all pupils who are not clinically extremely vulnerable.  This means that we expect to see your child in school unless they are poorly and are clearly showing symptoms of the virus or are having to self-isolate due to someone in the family having the virus.  This guidance has not changed.  Children are legally required to be in school if they are well, able and clinically sound.

Remembrance Day: Wednesday Armistice Day and as part of our school’s traditions we are selling poppies and British Legion merchandise in school.  We will also be observing the 2mins silence at 11.00 on Wednesday, 11th November 2020, in the playground as we always do (but this time in a socially distanced way) to remember the fallen; the flag will be put at half mast for the remainder of the day as well as a mark of respect.  It will be nice to have just a little normal, or as normal as we can make it, again… and this is way too important to miss. Please support this fabulous cause if you are able and please remind your children to wear their poppy this week, and especially on Wednesday, if they have one.

Flu Immunisations:  These have been moved to Friday, 13 November 2020 due to staffing issues with the Nurses.

School Photos: Individual photos will take place on Wednesday… best bib and tucker please.  If you have PE you need to come in your uniform and do PE in that… what a treat! Just individuals this time… no sibling shots.  Might make nice Christmas fillers… just a thought.

Lockdown Procedures:  I know that many of you will now be working from home.  Please remember if you do not normally collect your child(ren) from school that you check out, with the person who normally does, what the usual procedures are for dropping off and picking up.  We normally only have ‘problems’ with people who do not know the rules and cannot understand why we are being pernickety about things; please have that conversation mums and dads (or grandparents) so that you know what’s what!

For example:

  • Please wear a face covering on the school site.
  • Please only one adult to collect your child
  • Please use the drop off in the morning if you can
  • Please use the school bus if you can
  • Please come at the allotted time for your child and don’t block up the car park by coming too early!
  • Please park up before collecting your child and don’t beckon them to come to you when your still in your car.
  • Don’t stand callin’ and chattin’ in the playground or outside school and please keep a social distance from each other.

And finally… this has turned into a bit of a newsletter really hasn’t it!  I have really missed being in school though it feels like I have been in with the number calls Mrs Ryan and I have had this week.  I would like to thank the staff team this week because they have been brilliant (as they always are) but they really have gone above and beyond this week especially the office staff and Mrs Ryan who deserves a big glass of something nice this weekend; we are truly blessed to have such a brilliant, calm and incisive Deputy Head and I for one am very grateful to her.

Have as lovely a weekend as you can in lockdown and remember…

STAY SAFE.    STAY STRONG.    STAY WELL.   STAY SOCIALLY DISTANCED.

With every good wish,

Mr Hutchinson

The section below is still relevant so remains in blue:

Monday, 2 November 2020

Dear Parents/Carers

For your information and consideration this is a direct link to the new information regarding the NEW 5 NOVEMBER NATIONAL LOCKDOWN and the associated rules:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november?utm_source=2%20November%202020%20C19&utm_medium=Daily%20Email%20C19&utm_campaign=DfE%20C19

Please comply with them to keep all our young people, staff and community safe, well and Covid free.

Thank you for complying with the usual access and egress regulations this morning and this evening; they will continue from Thursday as will Before and After School Club (BASC). Mrs Ryan reports to me that lunchtime worked well today and as you can see we have had some portaloos delivered this morning to help with playtime and lunchtime down on the bottom yard.

Please continue to wear a mask on the school site, especially now that the national lockdown has been announced; this is to keep everyone safe and well.

Please find a copy of the slides below that were used as part of PM Johnson’s presentation on Saturday evening! They make interesting and grim reading I’m afraid:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/931774/Slides_to_accompany_coronavirus_press_conference-_CMO-_31_October_2020.pdf

I am not in school this week because I am self-isolating.  I am currently virus free, well and working from home.

Please continue to look after yourselves and those who are dear to you especially your wonderful children.  I hope you had a restful half term and a massive thanks to those of you who followed the rules and self-isolated recently when asked, especially over half term.

With every good wish,

Mr Hutchinson

STAY SAFE.    STAY STRONG.    STAY WELL.   STAY SOCIALLY DISTANCED.

Friday, 30 October 2020:

Firstly I hope you’ve all had a good week.  It’s been an interesting week for me for certain sure!  Couple of important notices:

Remote Learning Policy is now on the website: click here

Nursery, 3GL and 6DK: if you have siblings in school and there is no virus in your household then they can attend school as normal; please do all you can to ensure that the children who are isolating (and thank you for following these rules as they keep everyone safe) don’t come into the school grounds directly… fine in a car but please don’t let them out if you can avoid it.  I know this is awkward and I’m not trying to be difficult, just safe.

Staffing issues: We have an increasing number of staff who are either positive or self-isolating for others who have the virus.  Please be patient with us as you have been since this all began; staff are working very hard to keep things as normal as we can for the children.

Please follow the Tier 3 rules from Monday too, if not this weekend.  It is the nearest thing we’re going to get to a national lockdown which is probably what we need right now (not that I’m an expert!). The virus is beginning to take hold again and we all need to try and stop it as it is making a lot of people very poorly.

Changes to Lunchtime:  You should have picked up last week that we are going back to serving proper hot meals at lunchtime.  This will take some sorting so again patience is required.  If you wish your child to have a hot lunch then please let us know in the following ways:

F2/Y1/Y2:  Let your child tell your teacher as they can a free meal anyway

Year 3/4/5/6: currently we only have about 40 lunches but we expect this to increase now; if you want a hot meal then please send in the money in a named and sealed envelope.  We are sorting a way of paying for lunches using the ParentPay App so please watch this space… coming soon!

We will be in touch this week re: menu choices etc as we do normally.

Hope you’ve all had something of a rest and thank you again to those who have been isolating… I know it’s no fun, I’ve done it… twice!

With every good wish,

Mr Hutchinson

STAY SAFE.    STAY STRONG.    STAY WELL.   STAY SOCIALLY DISTANCED.

Friday, 23 October 2020:  This is still largely relevant so it’s remaining blue! 

Just a quick note to wish you all a very happy and restful half term. Apologies for the lack of a newsletter this week… I started it but the week just ran away with me!  There are couple of really important things that I hope you have not missed:

FIRSTLY: we are reintroducing hot meals again after October half term.  The menus are on the website and can be seen here: School Dinner Menus

SECONDLY: Nursery has been closed all week due to a number of staff testing positive for the Covid-19 virus; children in Nursery should be isolating unless told otherwise by school.  What is very important (and this goes for ALL children) is that you let me know IMMEDIATELY if your child tests positive for the virus during the half term break via email on headteacher@st-theresas.leeds.sch.uk

THIRD: We need an additional parent governor for the school.  We don’t send letters out anymore so here is the letter I would have sent on behalf of the Board of Governors as well as some further information about the role of Governors in school.  If you wish to register your interest in becoming a Parent Governor at St Theresa’s please contact Mrs Childerson, Mr Nicholson or me at school before Friday, 6 November 2020 and we will take your details:

FINALLY: I just want to say a massive thanks to everyone in our community for being so amazingly helpful so far this term.  The staff and children have worked incredibly hard and you have worked alongside us to provide the very best start to 2020-2021 that we could under the circumstances.  Have a good half term break.  There is a also special Hallowe’en Pumpkin Trail that has been organised by our local Health Team which is being advertised locally… please look out for this. Lots of our children have drawn or painted pumpkins for this trail so please try and take part.

With every good wish,

Mr Hutchinson

STAY SAFE.    STAY STRONG.    STAY WELL.   STAY SOCIALLY DISTANCED.

Friday, 16 October 2020:

Just a quick update to end the 6th week of this term… yes, the last 6 weeks have flown by, though it hasn’t always felt like for you (and for us) I’m sure!

Massive thank you to everyone for taking on board the new car park rules.  The only very minor issue I have with folks using the car park is the issue of turning right out of the school when it’s really busy… fine if you can go quickly and get out to the right without a fuss but if you can’t then you really need to turn left and go round the roundabout and go back… same with turning right into the school from the roundabout when it’s busy.  The latter is a much bigger problem tbh!

ALL OF THAT SAID… the school has felt extremely calm in the past few days on my return and I am majorly impressed with you all… thank you so much for doing as you have been asked.  Almost everyone is also wearing a mask which is fantastic. Well done… HT’s award for all of you!

The virus is becoming more and more virulent in our community and everyone must be on their guard.  Unnecessary gatherings must be avoided at all costs please and if you or your child is poorly with Covid Symptoms and/or if you (or they) test positive THEN YOU MUST CONTACT SCHOOL IMMEDIATELY PLEASE.

If you need a test then please use the website below as provided by LCC:

https://www.leedsccg.nhs.uk/health/coronavirus/coronavirus-where-to-go-for-testing/  

All that remains for me to do is to thank all our wonderful staff for all they have done to keep everything going along so smoothly in the past few weeks and I know how tired they are and I hope you all appreciate the extra work they have been doing to keep your children safe, especially our premises and admin staff who have been working tirelessly for the school.  I would also like to thank Mrs Ryan in particular for her excellent work whilst I was isolating… it is great to be back but it is even greater to come back knowing that everything has been handled so well.

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

With every good wish,

Mr Hutchinson

STAY SAFE.    STAY STRONG.    STAY WELL.   STAY SOCIALLY DISTANCED.

PLEASE READ BELOW CAREFULLY!

Please pass the message on to everyone who collects from school. Thank you.

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Please read this update very carefully as it affects everyone and the message is designed to keep everyone safe, especially our youngest and most vulnerable pupils and their baby siblings.  Just to be very clear; if the following is not implemented to the letter then I will have no option but to close the main car park at the end of day.  Things are not working as well as they were so Mrs Ryan and I have decided to re-instigate the original timings for collection from school (egress) with one or two minor tweaks.  The car park was increasingly busy towards the end of last week and this week it is just getting worse and worse. We have the car park rules to keep everyone safe.

These are the main problems:

People are generally arriving too early for their pickup times so as to guarantee a place… please don’t this as it clogs up the car park and stops the free flow required to give everyone the chance to use the car park; please arrive at your allotted time.

People leaving the car park (at peak times) are turning RIGHT out of school and this causes a SERIOUS backlog in the car park; trust me, it is quicker to turn left and go round the roundabout and back on yourself

People are dwelling when turning right into the school (from the ring road) when it is busy… if you find yourself ‘stuck’ please move on and go round the estate and approach school from the left otherwise the roundabout backs up. [If this continues to happen I will have NO CHOICE but to close the car park because the police and LCC will insist on it! So it’s in your hands not mine!! This applies to the morning drop-off as well as the evening pick-up]

People are parking (only occasionally) outside the main bays… this is not safe and must not happen.

People are also using the drop area as a pick-up zone at the end of the day; we have allowed this up to now for some parents but this now has to stop.  Please park up and collect your child(ren) in person.

We have an increasing number of children (some pre-schoolers) some of whom are Nursery and Reception age who are running away from their parents and running down the driveway towards the main car park… WE ARE EXTREMELY ANXIOUS ABOUT THIS! As a result I have instructed Mr Temperley and Mrs Ryan to tape off the area from the car park to the road way down from school meaning that the access to the car park (especially once you have collected your children) is to be from the main concourse where the benches are and through the gap near the main pedestrian fence.  Please do not step over the tape to take a short cut because the children will follow your example and it is not safe.

There are increasing numbers of children ‘playing on the mound’; as I have explained to those I have seen doing this, the mound does not belong to us yet so it is out of bounds for the time-being… it is still VERY BOGGY on top of the mound.

Finally, the overwhelming majority of you follow the rules and do as I have asked in the past and for this I am deeply grateful; where we have problems is when it is not the usual person who is collecting your child(ren)… it is your responsibility as parents/carers to make sure everyone who is collecting your child knows what is expected and that they are strongly encouraged to follow the above guidance.

The solution going forward:

From tomorrow, Thursday, 8 October 2020, and until further notice we will be reverting to the original pick up times for the end of school.  Please see the following for your times… it is pinned at the top of this page too for future reference:

Drop off and pick up times October 2020 V2 (REVISED AND NEW!)

The drop off is not really affected as this runs really smoothly.  The main changes affect Year 1 and Year 4 as they have reverted back to their original 3.20 pick-up time.

Year 4 parents are also going to collect their children from the turning circle near the entrance to school.

No more drive-by pick-ups at the drop-off zone at the end of school.

Whilst I have your attention; Mrs Ryan (in my continued absence) will be speaking to all the children in school about behaviour at pick-up time, especially about charging down the hill on bikes, scooters or running away from siblings. Her main points will be:

  1. You walk out of school calmly regardless of when you leave
  2. NO RUNNING, CYCLING OR SCOOTING DOWN THE MAIN DRIVE… walk with your bike/scooter please
  3. Family groups MUST stay together and younger siblings must remain with their older brothers and sisters
  4. Children and families MUST remember to socially distance and not dwell on site chit-chatting

Please can you have a strong word about behaviour too… especially family groups as this seems to be the main problem… no one wants a situation where families are having to wait for the last child to be dismissed because everyone comes out with their discrete class.

Gold and Silver Permit Holders: no change to the morning (9.20 drop off).  Evening pick up back to3,30 please.

No change to the provision for bus children… you are still chaperoned from and to the MyBus.

None of these changes affect the arrangements for  childminders.

I appreciate this there is a lot of information here and I hope you appreciate why I have felt the need to restate the provision for the egress arrangements at school.  No one wants a situation where the car park is closed but I will shut it in a heartbeat if I think for one moment that it is dangerous and/or unsafe for our (your) young people.

With every good wish,

Mr Hutchinson

STAY SAFE.    STAY STRONG.    STAY WELL.   STAY SOCIALLY DISTANCED.

Tuesday, 6 October 2020:

You may have noticed that I have not been at the drop-off and pick up for the past couple of days.  This is because I am self-isolating for family reasons as is Mr Hutchinson Jnr.  We are both very well and will return to school as soon as we are able.  I continue to work from home but Mrs Ryan is in charge of day to day matters at school though I am, and will continue to be, in daily contact with her.

Please look after yourselves and your families during this difficult time.

Google Classrooms:

I know there have been some teething problems with the launch of Google Classrooms over the weekend and we are working hard to try and resolve them; we are also aware that there are some issues around the use of MS Word and that some families don’t have access to this either.  We are also trying to resolve this too.  Thank you for your continued patience.

With every good wish,

Mr Hutchinson

STAY SAFE.    STAY STRONG.    STAY WELL.   STAY SOCIALLY DISTANCED.

Friday, 2 October 2020:

Just a short message to say thank you so much to everyone who has been so wonderful this week and who has kept to the simple rules put in place to keep us all safe and well whilst on the site.  Thank you for wearing a face covering and thank you for dropping and collecting your children at the right time.

Can I please make one earnest request?  Can you please ensure that if someone new or someone who does not normally pick up is collecting your child that you tell them what the rules of the pick-up are now that we are doing things slightly differently!  Namely:

  • We have to arrive at the allotted time
  • We can only park on site in the allocated bays… if the bays are full you can circle the drop off area or even better park off site (please do not park outside the bays)*
  • Please wear a face covering on the site. 

Thank you for your continued cooperation in these and all the matters that keep our young people and our staff safe at this time.  Please note the revised times for drop off and pick up at the top of this page.

Have a lovely weekend,

Mr Hutchinson and Mrs Ryan

*I had to speak to several different people today about parking outside the bays and didn’t always get a favourable response… we don’t really want a situation where I close the car park as that would be inconvenient to everyone.  Please make sure you speak to everyone (especially Grandparents) who pick up seldomly about what the car park rules are… they are there to keep everyone safe. Thank you. 

STAY SAFE.    STAY STRONG.    STAY WELL.   STAY SOCIALLY DISTANCED. 

Thursday, 24 September 2020:

The following is a letter from Public Health England (PHE) regarding the symptoms of Coronavirus and what you need to do to try and avoid it.  There are also two hyperlinks to posters that will help as well:

PHE letter to parents and guardians CV19 Sept 2020

This is consistent with the advice I have provided for you in the past.  Thank you for your cooperation in keeping all our young people safe and well.

Mr Hutchinson and Mrs Ryan

STAY SAFE.    STAY STRONG.    STAY WELL.   STAY SOCIALLY DISTANCED. 

Friday, 18 September 2020:

Thank you all again for another very good week in school.  I have been round lots of the classes today and the children are all very settled and work of real quality is starting to emerge which I am absolutely delighted about; we are doing SEMH check-in boards with them throughout the day to make sure that they are all feeling OK in school and that nothing is worrying them.  The drop-offs and pick-ups are also working really well and the vast majority of parents/carers are remembering to wear a face-covering too and for that we are all really grateful.  Thank you so much for all the due diligence you are paying these procedures; it is helping us have very calm beginnings and ends to the day.

We have had a number of parents/carers asking about whether or not their child should be in school if they are displaying symptoms of a cold etc.  I had a webinar with LCC and some doctors from the Leeds Teaching Hospitals this week.  The advice was relatively clear, or as clear as it can be in these circumstances… please take this in the context that we are not medical professionals too! The Consultant Paediatrician strongly suggested  the following:

The main symptoms to be mindful of in young people are as follows:

Fever:  If your child has a fever or a high temperature (over 37.8 degrees) then you must get them checked and tested for CV19.

NEW persistent cough:  If they have developed a NEW persistent cough and this appears alongside a higher than normal temperature and/or one of the other symptoms below, this should raise alarm and you must get them tested and keep them away from school especially if they feel poorly with it.

A cough which is accompanied by a running nose and the child not having a fever and is feeling OK generally is most likely not going to be CV19 as this would normally be happening alongside one of the other main symptoms.  A runny nose is not a typical symptom of Covid. Typically your child will be ‘off-it’ if they have Covid but obviously there have been cases where children have been asymptomatic which is very unhelpful and almost impossible to diagnose or cater for in school.

Loss of Taste or Smell: If your child has a sudden loss of taste and/or smell then this is a major symptom of the virus.  This alongside the other symptoms will need you to act quickly and get your child a test.

If your child has any of these symptoms and they feel quite poorly (feverish and unwell) and they are not themselves then it is important to get them tested and to keep them away from school.

If your child has a bit of a cough and/or a sore throat and is generally OK but not quite themselves it is most probably not Covid and they should be fine… if you’re not sure and you want to ask please do so.

The Doctor on our webinar said the fever was the biggest thing in young people to look out for and them feeling poorly and definitely not themselves. If you’re really NOT SURE about your child and they have a temperature  then please err on the side of caution, and seek medical advice immediately by dialling 111 or 119.

The doctor was absolutely insistent that the best way to keep everyone safe was to practice the following:

Good Hand Hygiene

Maintain Good Social Distancing

Wear a face covering when out and about especially in confined areas and indoors

WE ARE NOT MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS AND THIS ADVICE IS GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH.  If you are concerned about your child’s health in any way then you should always seek professional medical advice.  You know your child better than anyone and if they are feverish and off-it then you will know before anyone.

Given that we are only a matter of what feels like days away from another national lockdown (or local one at best) then can I please urge you to do the right thing and avoid places where you are mixing with people other than those you can really vouch for (like family or very close friends) and STICK TO THE RULE OF 6 in your household.  I understand how difficult this might be but believe me lockdown again will be disastrous and we want to avoid it at all costs… we all have our part to play… don’t be that person! Be like your children and do the right thing because it is the right thing to do!

The revised LCC Risk Assessment is published below as is a letter from the Director of Children’s Services, Mr Sal Tariq OBE:

LCC Letters to Parents Sept 2020

LCC Risk Assessment V3.4 Sept 2020

God bless you all and see you all soon; have a safe and happy weekend.

Mr Hutchinson and Mrs Ryan

STAY SAFE.    STAY STRONG.    STAY WELL.   STAY SOCIALLY DISTANCED. 

Friday, 11 September 2020:

Just wanted to say a massive thank you to all parents/carers/childminders/grandparents and other family members who have been dropping off and collecting our children and young people this week.  Monday morning was a tad chaotic because of the numbers involved and the rain (which didn’t help) but the rest of the week, both in the morning and at the end of school time, have been very efficient and calm; thank you to those of you who have remembered to wear a face-covering and thank you also for coming at the right time… both of these measures have really helped us keep your beautiful children (and our amazing staff) safe and well.

Please can we continue to pay this situation due diligence as we go forward; there is a clear and present danger that Leeds will end up in full lockdown (which we all want to avoid like the plague) if we do not get control of the Infection Rate which is around 50/100,000 people at the moment… this is much higher than it was and we all have our role to play in getting this number down to a more acceptable level. If we all pull together we can beat this insidious virus and we might one day get back to something like normal again.

Your children have been amazing this week… so calm, so well-behaved, so lovely just to be with, never mind such a pleasure to teach… they have come back with renewed vigour and a desire to learn which is both inspiring and impressive at the same time.  Please keep this level of positivity up at home too and encourage them (as I know you do daily) to ‘do the right thing, because it is the right thing to do’ and to ‘Walk in Theresa’s Little Way’ every day, as they are at the moment.

Thank you again for all you support and cooperation at this tricky time in our school’s history.  Have a lovely restful weekend before we go again next week!

God bless you all and see you all soon,

Mr Hutchinson and Mrs Ryan

STAY SAFE.    STAY STRONG.    STAY WELL.   STAY SOCIALLY DISTANCED.

Tuesday, 8 September 2020:

Thank you for this morning!  School was significantly calmer because people came on time and largely at the right time.  It would be helpful if people waited in the drop off area until told they can come up to school though as this will avoid people queuing at any of the school doors. The school doors will not be opened until 8.40am at the earliest.

Thank you also to those parents/carers (who are able) that wore face coverings this morning… it is even more essential to wear them tonight, especially when waiting in the drop off area or on the yellow/green spots.  Please come at the right time for your child’s year group tonight!

With regard to Before and After School Club (BASC): this is now up and running again and if you are wanting to access it then you will need to speak to Mrs Jackson; places may well be restricted because we have a separate member of BASC staff for each year group bubble and they don’t change so we are limited somewhat to the ratio of 1:8 (Adult:Child).

Below is the updated version of the LCC Risk Assessment that has been issued this last few days.  This will remain under review… the new sections are in red typeface:

V3.3 – Covid 19 RA for Sept 2020

Stay safe.  Stay strong.  Stay well… this is far from over and we need to ultra-vigilant in Leeds at the moment.

God bless,

Mr Hutchinson.

Sunday, 6 September 2020:

Tomorrow is the BIG day for many of you!  I know F2 and Nursery are in school later on in the week but the majority of you are back in school tomorrow morning at your allocated time. Please refer to the document below which is included in the longer plan but it is the simplest way of me reminding you when your child should be dropped off or collected.  Please come at the allocated time as this will really help with our social distancing. Senior staff will be outside to assist from approx. 8.30/2.30.

Drop off and pick up times Sept 2020

Please read the above carefully and take note of what I have said about social distancing for adults.  This is critically important now given the fact that Leeds as a city is under close scrutiny… the last thing any of us wants is a city-wide lockdown with all that that entails!  It’s in all our hands and we as a VERY LARGE community have a vital role to play here in being socially responsible.  I would strongly advise parents/carers who are dropping young people off on the school premises (i.e. not using the drop-off) to wear face masks or some kind of protection for our staff and yourself… all the evidence points at the transmission of the virus being heightened between adult to adult contact.  It is everyone’s responsibility to look after everyone else.  Only one adult should be accompanying your child(ren) to school and this includes child-minders. ALL ADULTS ON SITE MUST OBSERVE SOCIAL DISTANCING.

Formal learning will begin at 8.55 as per the normal school day unless the children arrive after that… children who come before this will be given holding activities in class.  Those arriving after 8.55 will begin formal work ASAP. F2 children do not have formal breaks in their learning which is why they look like they are in later and leaving earlier than their peers in other classes… they are also our youngest learners and will tire the quickest.

Car Parking:

Beginning of school:  There will be some capacity in the main car park but when it is full it is full.  Parents must not park in the top car park at any time.  The drop off will be in operation for all pupils Y2 onwards but especially for KS2 pupils who will be more than fine making their way up the secure zone; there will be senior staff outside at all times… please use the drop off if you can as this will help enormously with both car park pressure and also social distancing and reducing the number of adults on site.  Before school club parents MUST not drive up to the turning circle but should park in the main car park; before school club is open from 7.30am tomorrow (7/9/20) and young people should enter through the main entrance.

End of Day: Again there will be some capacity for limited parking in the main car park but when it is full, it is full; premises staff will be operating the car park… please respect their decisions here as abuse towards any member of staff will be taken very seriously.  Y4.Y5 and Y6 pupils will be brought down to the drop off area at the end of the day by their teachers.  Mr Hutchinson will be in that area too.  Please arrive at your allocated time as it will be significantly busier than it was in lockdown and please stand in a socially distanced way.  After school club is operating as it always has and children and young people should be collected from the main entrance.

I would urge as many of you as possible to walk/scoot/cycle to school at the beginning and end of the day if that is at all possible. Getting the children in and out of school is going to be critical for a smooth start and end to the day and it is everyone’s responsible to make this happen in a safe and calm manner.  Thank you so much for paying this as much due diligence as I know you will.  Together we can do this folks!

Remember the virus is anything but gone and it will come back with a vengeance if we don’t take of one another!  Stay safe.  Stay strong.  Stay well and stay within the rule please.

Thank you and God bless you all… can’t wait to see you all at some point this coming week!

Mr Hutchinson and Mrs Ryan

PS: we are planning to completely ‘cashless’ in school ASAP… this includes paying for lunches… office staff are getting this in place for as soon as training can be completed!

Wednesday, 26 August 2020:  ALL OF THIS IS STILL RELEVANT!

Good afternoon everyone!  I hope you are all well and enjoying the summer break.  As the beginning of the Autumn Term and the new Academic Year approaches I thought I would just touch base with you all and say ‘Hello!’

I am aware that there has been a lot of chatter in the media about schools returning for the new term and about how anxious parents/carers are about this which is why I have written to you today.  Mrs Ryan and I have been in school again today and we thought it would be a good idea just to post a message with a few key messages for our school community.

Firstly… the plan for organising the school and the detailed Risk Assessment have not changed.  You can find them on the links below… just scroll down.  These plans have been thought out carefully and are based on the successful plans we had in place during last term.  They have been designed to keep everyone as safe as possible so it is important that you know what you need to do for your child… especially drop off and pick up times; all of which should be very clear in the plan.

The September Plan and the LCC Risk Assessment:

Plan for September 2020 v1.2

LCC Risk Assessment for Sept 2020 Amended by JH v1.2

Secondly… there are a few messages that might be worth re-stating here:

  1. Uniform: Formal school uniform including school shoes please
  2. PE Kit: PE Kit is the Team Theresa’s Kit or a green top and navy shorts (I am aware that there are some issues around getting the TT Kit labelled but this will be sorted when things are a little more back to normal). Pumps and/or trainers.  Plain trackies or joggers (TT trackies) will also be good for the colder days as most pf the PE sessions will be outdoors. PE will be worn on PE days and you will be told when these are in the first week.
  3. School Bags: the guidance on school bags has changed but our preferred option is that your child(ren) only bring into school what they need and nothing else.  A small rucksack type school bag is allowed but please be aware this bag will be at your child’s workstation/desk because the cloaks areas will not be used due to crowding.  Common sense needs to be applied here please.
  4. Lunches: Reception/F2, Year 1 and Year 2 children will be entitled to a free meal at lunchtime. There is a hot and cold grab-bag option. I am urging you to take up this option as this means there is less to bring into school i.e. lunchboxes.  I will publish the menu as soon as I can.
  5. Face-coverings:  HM Government has been very clear that primary-aged children do not need to wear face-coverings in school.  This advice remains the same and we are not encouraging this.  Staff who have been shielding or who feel vulnerable in school will be given the option of a face covering/shield especially those who are working in close proximity to pupils i.e. 1:2:1 work

We are all very excited to get the children back into school and we will be open on Monday, 7 September 2020.  Mr Temperley and the Premises Team have worked tirelessly to deep clean the school and we are all very grateful to them for their hard work and dedication during the summer.  All of the premises team have also been afforded the opportunity to have a little break as many worked every day during lockdown too!  Thank you for reading this little note; I’ll write again next week with a further update before we are back in person!

Take care; stay safe… stay strong… stay well.  CV19 is NOT over and it hasn’t gone away… we need to continue to work together and be vigilant to keep all our children and staff safe and well.

God bless,

Mr Hutchinson.