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St James E-News 

7th October 2021

Welcome to the St James Primary School's E-News, a weekly roundup of the latest goings on at the school.

Latest Headteachers Blog

Dear Parents,

Covid measures 

As we reach the final two weeks of half-term, it has been lovely to return to a bit normality in school over the last few weeks. Sadly, as we move towards the winter, we are starting to see a small number of positive Covid cases across the school and we are monitoring the situation closely.  All children concerned are isolating and the school and families have followed government guidance.  In the event of further cases within the next week, we will need to take steps to ensure the infection doesn't spread quickly. These include

  • 'bubbling' affected classes so that they do not mix with other children or staff. This will mean staff and children will have separate playtimes and lunchtimes to the rest of the school, will not join in with whole school events such as assemblies and will not go on external trips. 
  • if further cases occur in other classes, then we will return to the same arrangements as last term, where all classes will be bubbled and assemblies etc will be virtual. We may ask staff to wear masks in school in communal areas, depending on the severity of the outbreak. 
  • only as a final resort will the school be closed, and this will be because we have been advised to do so by Public Health England 
  • regular hand washing and twice daily cleaning still take place across the school

Any measures put in place will be reviewed regularly and the school will aim to return to normal routines as soon as possible. 

In order to prepare for remote learning for individual children currently isolating, some teachers will be setting class assignments on Teams.  It seems we can only set class assignments for the whole class, so unless your child is at home, this work does not need to be completed. 

Please can we remind you to be vigilant to Covid symptoms and to book a PCR test for your child if you are worried; we cannot accept lateral flow test results because these are not as accurate as a PCR. 

End of day 

A few weeks ago, we sent out a quick survey asking you whether you wanted to return to the previous one-way system for pick up. The survey results were split down the middle with 49% of parents wanting to return to the old system and 51% wanting to keep the new arrangements. Given the rise in cases, and as a compromise, we won't impose a one-way system again, but we will open the car park gates at the end of the day, starting on Monday.  This will give you the choice of entering and exiting through three different points and should relieve any crowding. 

Please also remember you can wear a mask at these times too, if you prefer. 

Harvest Service

On a brighter note, we are looking forward to our Harvest service next week. We will be asking for harvest gifts as before, such as dried foods and tinned items, which we hope to donate to a local food bank. Please send in any donations on Wednesday 13th October. 

Open Morning

Tomorrow we are holding an Open Morning for prospective parents and have put in place specific Covid measures to keep everyone safe.  Parents have only been able to book in advance, so that we can limit numbers and they will be asked to do a lateral flow test before coming, sanitise hands on arrival and wear masks at all times.  Whilst the parents will be able to walk around the school, they will not be able to enter classrooms and the Y6 children will not be conducting tours as before. Visitors will also be asked to socially distance. 

In deciding whether to run an Open Morning, we listened to the feedback of prospective parents from last year, who felt it was very difficult to choose a school for their child as they were unable to visit many local schools. 

Best wishes

Valerie Elliott

School Notices

  • Virtual Parent Consultations - these will take place week commencing 18th October.  Appointments will go live from 10am tomorrow, Friday 8th October.  Please see the letter on the parent portal for further information.
  •  Elstead Food Bank Update 7th October - Rev'd Hannah writes; 'Thank you for all the harvest gifts from Elstead and Thursley which will be a great help to those in need. We continue at St James church on Thursday mornings, from 10am to 11.30am, with a few loyal volunteers working from 9.00 am. If you can spare a few hours on Thursday mornings maybe once a fortnight please come and help, and please keep this in your prayers.  We need to continue to operate the foodbank in Elstead and support members of our community most in need.

    Items we would value this week: jam, instant coffee, tea bags, tinned soup, sugar, shower gel, pasta or rice, pasta sauces, pot  noodles, Biscuits, Tinned baked beans or tomatoes.'

  •  Wear it Pink DayJoin us on Thursday 21st  October, by wearing something pink or red for all those affected by breast cancer.  Children are being asked to wear their house tee shirts that day for our first inter-house competition but can accessorise with pink or red.  Please follow this link to Kate Arif-Hayman's Just Giving page.
  • St James Primary School App - To ensure you have even easier access to the information on our website, please consider using the St James Primary School mobile app. The app allows parents to keep up to date with all the latest news, dates, photo galleries and more all in one handy place on their phone. Parents can also receive push notifications from the Hub and subscribe to alert groups.  The app is free to download so please  give it a try!  

Covid-19 Information

  • Please remember; if your child or a member of your family have Covid-19 symptoms please do not send your child to school - Please immediately arrange a test for the symptomatic member of your family and inform the school office as soon as possible. Your child and all members of your household will need to self-isolate at least until you receive the test result.
  • NEW COVID-19 INFORMATION FROM PHE - In response to the transmission of variants of concern, Public Health England (PHE) South East, is advising all close contacts of COVID-19 cases to get a COVID-19 PCR test (ideally 5 days after exposure or day five of isolation) whether or not they have symptoms of coronavirus COVID-19
  • Weekend Results: It is very important that you continue to notify us of Covid-19 test results still over the weekend by using the below email address which is monitored out of school hours. 

    A negative result will require a confirmation from the school before your child and siblings can return to school.  Please do not send your child back to school until we have been in touch with you. 

 Letters this week

The following classes have had letters uploaded to the Parent Portal this week.  Note: You will need to login to view this area.

  • Penguins
  • Woodpeckers
  • Eagles
  • Whole school

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