A Colourful Start

Headteacher Newsletter - Monday 13th September 2021

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Good afternoon one and all,

We've just completed our first full week back and it's definitely been a colourful start...

The new active school uniform definitely brings diversity, uniqueness, and choice - the children look awesome!

It's truly fantastic to welcome yourselves, your child(ren), and the community back to Bardwell. The teachers have been working extremely hard to prepare for an engaging, purposeful, and safe return for us all and I am thrilled to say that things couldn't have gone much better...so, long may that continue!

With reference to safety, please see again the link, below, for our September Covid Risk Assessment; we are delighted that some things will be returning to normal. However, there are still some important measures, which we will all need to adhere to.

It's a bumper edition with lots of notices and information; therefore, please do try to absorb all that is relevant and, as always, please don't hesitate to contact us should you require any further information, support, or advice.

Here's to a cracking term ahead!

Let's bring the colour to Bardwell!

1. Risk Assessment Summary

Key points:

  1. Good hand hygiene is still essential for everyone entering the school site, especially children during key times e.g. on entrance, after contact with items touched, before eating or drinking;

  2. There is no longer the requirement for a one-way system at drop-off and pick up.

  3. Visitors incl. parents are allowed in the building - masks do need to be worn unless health-related factors prevent this - please inform the headteacher/deputy if this is the case;

  4. A full return to school uniform is required - for PE/Forest School sessions, children must come in PE kit/Forest School clothes for the entire day;

  5. Children should not attend if they are unwell and displaying any of the Covid symptoms - children will also be sent home if they demonstrate any of the Covid symptoms - testing will also be advised;

  6. Remote education will be offered for self-isolation cases/children well enough to receive remote learning and completion of all work is expected from day 1 of absences of the child*;

  7. If someone tests negative, if they feel well and no longer have symptoms similar to coronavirus (COVID-19), they can stop self-isolating;

  8. If someone tests positive, they should follow the ‘stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection’ and must continue to self-isolate for 10 days from the onset of their symptoms (or from the date of their test if they showed no symptoms) and then return to school only if they do not have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell/taste;

  9. Please speak with the school/class teachers if you require support with wellbeing - continue to utilise the link to Suffolk Hub for wellbeing support.

2. Reporting illness & Remote Learning

As always, please phone the school before 9 am (rather than emailing) if your child is unwell; if you need to leave a message, please give an indication of the nature of the illness, and let us know if there are any Covid symptoms (new continuous cough, temperature, loss or change to a sense of smell or taste). If your child is off with a confirmed case of Covid, but has no symptoms and is feeling well, the government expects all schools to provide remote learning and we will do this via Google Classroom.

The guidance for families on how to access Google Classroom is here.

If you need to borrow a school Chromebook in order to access this learning, please contact the office staff.

If your child is off with a confirmed case of Covid, or any other illness, there is no expectation that they complete remote learning if they are not well enough.

Please see the code your child(ren) will need to access Google Classroom with (in the event of remote learning being required)

Rowan & Silver Birch - gf2lfnn

Hazel Class - kb2hb6s

Oak Class - akeyunl

N.B. Please see the guidance above for how to access it.

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3. Early Help Clubs (Breakfast and After School)

Clubs have now restarted and are bookable via Arbor. Please note that Early Help Clubs are all FREE and the after-school clubs tend to get booked up very quickly. If you book a space for an after school club that you then no longer require, please let the office staff know as soon as possible so that the space can be released.

4. Asthma plans

If your child has asthma, please ensure the up-to-date version of their care plan is held in school and that any medication is well within its expiry date. Please check with your child’s class teacher or Mrs. Allman if you need to see the medication/plan date. Mrs. Allman will be in touch with you if the School’s records show that we don’t have an asthma plan for your child, or if it is out-of-date.

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5. Uniform

It's great to see so many children wearing the new, active uniform. The uniform change does allow the children to take part fully in our physical OPAL sessions at break and lunchtimes. We do, however, understand that parents want to keep this new uniform unmarked and beautiful for as long as possible. With this in mind, children should therefore come to school wearing a set of old clothes that they can get dirty and wet in for their Forest School session. As the weather gets colder, please make sure that they have adequate layers, wellies, and coats.

PE sessions follow all Forest School sessions which will allow children to change into their Active Uniforms for the remainder of the day. If your child is still wearing the older uniform version please send an appropriate set of labelled PE clothes.

You can always check the Uniform information on the website

6. School Lunches

The menus are online; please ask the office staff if you would like a printout. The school’s cook will trial these for 2 full rotations at the start of term, then may make amendments if any dishes don’t prove to be popular. Please note that, at Bardwell, the first lunch listed is our main course served to all children except those listed as vegetarian/vegan who will receive an alternative. On a Friday your child can have sausages instead of the fish option - please let the office staff know if you’d like this listed as a dietary preference. We always have jacket potatoes (with cheese/beans) or a School Packed lunch available as well.

There is a charge of £2.30 per day for lunches for pupils in Y3 and above. Please ensure your lunch payments are made in Arbor in advance.

From our caterer: As you will have seen in the national press and media there are ongoing issues with the supply chain across the country. Vertas are working with our food distributor, Bidfood, on a daily basis but the catering team will have to make menu adjustments as necessary if a product cannot be delivered. Alternatives are being allocated to minimise disruption and the Heads of Kitchen will ensure that all allergen information is recorded daily.

My sincere apologies for any disruption caused.

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7. Y5 & Y6 - walking home unaccompanied

In Y5 & Y6 you may opt to give permission for your child to walk home unaccompanied.

If you would like to do this, please complete this form.

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8. Wasps in front holly hedge

There are wasps in the front holly hedge on School Lane - near the sandpit. Mrs. Allman has spoken to our pest control contractors who have advised that no treatment can be applied, as they are not nesting but are feeding on plants in the hedge. They will dissipate over the next few weeks as the weather changes and as they seek other food sources. We keep children away from this area during OPAL.

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9. Parking

Please park courteously in the local area at drop-off and pick-up times. We’ve had feedback from a local resident about people parking in the 'Residents Only' section of 25-43 School Lane (marked red on the map, below). Parking is allowed in the spaces directly on School Lane (marked green) but not in those beyond the ‘Residents Only’ sign. We recognise that parking is limited around the school, so we have arranged with the owners of the Dun Cow pub that you may use their car park (also in green) at drop-off and pick-up times; this is around 3 minutes’ walk from the school. You may also park at the Church, near to its porch.

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10. Class Dojos - NOW available for parents/carers

As part of our Behaviour for Learning Policy, we use a reward system called Class Dojo. This year, we'd like to invite you, the parent/carer, into our Class Dojo online system in order to share the many positives of your child's experiences at school - here, you can view your child's Dojo Monster and 'awarded' dojo points, and, see what Cog they got them for. The first challenge, however, is to help your child hatch their egg...be sure to log in once the invite is sent.

Also, this year, we'd like to make the sharing of your child's learning even more personal, therefore, once a week, you will be updated with a weekly blog on the 'Class Story' section of Class Dojo.

Please lookout for an email invite to Class Dojo, shortly.

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11. Google Reviews

We’d really appreciate parents and carers taking a few moments to add a favourable Google review for our school, to help raise our profile in the community. To do this, please search for Bardwell Primary School within Google then click on ‘Write Review’.

If you have any queries that would prevent you from posting a positive review, please raise these with the School first, via your child’s class teacher or the office staff as per the Communications Flow Chart.

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12. Year 5 Bikeability

Year 5 pupils will be taking part in Bikeability (cycling proficiency) on 15th and 16th September. Please read the letter that has been sent to you this week and ensure you complete/return the required form promptly.

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13. Health & Fitness Day

Team Bardwell will be continuing with its focus on well-being by taking part in the National Health & Fitness Day on Tuesday 21st September.

We've got a super day planned with activities including, a 'Work It With Hurkett' morning session, Pilates, Yoga, and Mindfulness workshops, Mr. Hurkett 1-minute fitness challenges, and, of course, a day of OPAL delights.

I'm so excited.

Mr. Hurkett

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14. Music lessons Y5 & Y6

Recommencing next week, pupils will need their instrument in school on Thursdays, if they take them home (a loan form needs to be completed if this is the case).

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15. Y5/Y6 Residential

We will be hosting a Q&A session and distributing a kit list very soon; please lookout for an email. In the meantime, if you’d like to remind yourself of the letter we sent, it is on the website.

We have arranged for you to be able to make your payments by instalments, if you prefer, and these instalments may be made as and when you wish, starting from as little as £5. The full payment must be completed by Friday 1st October. Any families wishing a payment plan, or other advice in relation to finances, can speak with Mrs. Allman in the school office.

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16. School Milk

Our school provides a milk scheme that is available to all of our pupils and we would like to invite you to register your child. School milk is free for under-5s, and for over-5s it is available at a subsidised* price of around £14 per term. We can also provide milk for pupils in receipt of income-related Free School Meals - please contact the office if you would like to register your child.

Each child that registers with Cool Milk will receive a 189ml portion of semi-skimmed milk every day, delivered fresh and chilled to the classroom. Their school milk will not only provide them with essential nutrients but as it is rehydrating and energy boosting it also bridges the gap between breakfast and lunch to help children stay focused. For more information on how milk can benefit children visit www.coolmilk.com/why-milk-is-great.

How to register

If your child is under five:

  • The school has registered your child for free milk and they have received their first portion today (Friday 3rd September)

  • Free milk will continue until the Friday before your child’s fifth birthday. If you wish your child to continue to receive school milk after this time, please follow the instructions below.

If your child is five or older:

  • Register and pay online at www.coolmilk.com

  • You can pay Cool Milk either online, over the phone, or at a local PayPoint in half-termly, termly or annual installments.

  • Please pay by a Tuesday at 5 pm for your child’s milk to start the following week

If you have any questions regarding school milk please visit www.coolmilk.com or contact Cool Milk directly on 0800 321 3248. More information on milk is also available from the school.

* The UK government continues to support school milk. Milk for under-5s is fully funded by DHSC via the Nursery Milk Scheme. Milk for over-5s is subsidised by Defra via the School Milk Scheme.

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17. Free School Meals - please check your eligibility and apply

All children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are entitled to a free school meal. This is known as the Universal Infant Free School Meal (UIFSM). Your child may be eligible for income-related free school meals (FSM) throughout their schooling - this will save you around £437 per year. We encourage all eligible families to apply for FSM, as the school will receive additional funding for these pupils.

To check or apply online, visit: https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/children-families-and-learning/schools/school-meals-uniforms-and-trips/apply-for-free-school-meals/

Check if you're eligible

Your child will get free school meals if you receive any of the following:

  • Income Support

  • Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance

  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

  • Guarantee element of State Pension Credit

  • Child Tax Credit but no element of Working Tax Credit and have an annual income (as assessed by HM Revenues & Customs) that does not exceed £16,190

  • If you are supported under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

  • Working Tax Credit during the four-week period immediately after your employment finishes or after you start to work fewer hours per week

  • Universal Credit (provided you have an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400 (£616.67 per month), as assessed by earnings from up to three of your most recent assessment periods).

To check if your child is eligible, apply online for an immediate response or call 01473 260989.

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18. Trash & Treasures fundraiser for SARS

On Saturday 25th September our emergency medical charity, Suffolk Accident Rescue Service www.sars999.org.uk is holding a fundraising event "Trash & Treasures" at The Tithe Barn in Bardwell, from 10.00-16.00. There will be everything on sale from bric a brac, books, jewellery, garden bits, etc plus refreshments and I would be so grateful if you could share the attached Trash & Treasures poster with parents and staff at the school. It would make a big difference to us and help our fundraising efforts.


19. Safeguarding & Wellbeing

Please use the links below to learn more about important topics including online/social media, safeguarding and wellbeing resources, updates.

Self-care September (Action for Happiness)

It is more important than ever to be aware of our mental health. Action for Happiness is a charity founded to create a movement of people committed to building a happier and more caring society.

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