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Newsletter 28/01/2021

St Luke’s CE Primary School Newsletter

28.1.2021

Dear Parents,

What a wet week we have had January seems determined to go out with a whoosh. It feels very dark and gloomy as the sun has not managed to break through the clouds, however your children’s work and messages are bringing the sunshine to us all. I continue to be so impressed by you and the way you are organising learning at home, less than 1.5% of our children are not attending school or their live lessons and we are hopeful that those very few children will be able to join in before long. That regular contact with the rest of the children, their teacher and teaching input is so important for the children. Thank you for making sure it happens, I do not underestimate how difficult it can be.

I am starting to see sunflowers and messages appear in people’s windows brightening the gloomy winter scene, thank you. For those of you who have missed the two-week project for every class on Seesaw the whole school is working on Van Gough’s ‘The Sunflowers’, do go on and check out the ideas for home learning. As part of the project we have suggested that children can make pictures of sunflowers to put in their windows with messages to brighten up everyone’s daily exercise. The story goes that Van Gough had invited his friend Gauguin to visit, Gauguin said he would come so Van Gough got his room ready and put some fresh sunflowers in it to make it bright but Gauguin didn’t come. This kept happening until in the end Van Gough decided to paint the sunflowers so the room would always be ready for Gauguin if he came. We are all looking forward to seeing our friends again so are putting sunflowers in the window to let them know we are thinking of them just like Van Gough.

You will have heard on the news last night that schools will not start to open more widely until at least 8th March. I am sorry but we have got to keep protecting our whole community. As ever if you need anything do let us know. If what you need is a chat, we are here for you we know just how lonely it can be at home with the children all day.

We have been told that schools should shut as normal at half term. Just like at Christmas if anyone who has been in school, adult or child, tests positive over half term they must let me know as I may need to ask others in school to isolate. As the school office will be closed please inform me by texting or emailing headteacher@st-lukes.derbyshire.sch.uk

As we are in this strange time we are not able to hold our annual House Verse Speaking event which we all love, however we have a plan! Any child who would like to learn a poem and recite it on Friday 12th February we would love to hear it. All they have to do is let me know by Wednesday 10th that they want to join in the event and I will set it up. Get looking for those poems to learn.

I hope you all have a good week this week.

Stay happy and healthy

Alice Littlehailes


Newsletter 21/01/2021

St Luke’s CE Primary School Newsletter

21.1.2021

Dear Parents,

I don’t know if you are surprised we are at Thursday already, can’t believe it is only Thursday or like me both at the same time! Anyway well done we have all managed another week, actually amend that judging by what I have seen in school, on zoom and on seesaw we have all bossed this last week. The children are engaging with their learning and seem happy and relaxed. As ever if you have any concerns about your child emotionally or academically please, please contact us. A message on seesaw will get privately to the class teacher, an email or text to school will get to the class teacher or me and I am nearly always at the end of the phone.

I know the weather has been rubbish and made getting your children active even harder. If you can’t face another Joe Wicks session, you have all learnt all Oti’s dances and the thought of another set of chair exercises makes you want to scream, have a look at the cricket session I sent out yesterday. The live session is on a Wednesday but a recording of it is still available by following the link.

Thank you to all of you. Why? I hear you ask because as members of the PTA you have bought us some more ipads and a new ipad trolley to keep them in. They are a very useful addition to the equipment we have in school.

I have an apology to make to the lovely children who come along to Story Time every day at 4pm. I had promised them another Dick King Smith story tonight but I have to be in a meeting. So the bad news is they will have to wait until Friday for the story, but the good news is Mrs Hillier is going to be doing story time instead. Everyone is welcome to join in and listen to a story at the end of the day, it is lovely to see those that come along.

I hope you all have a good week this week.

Stay happy and healthy

Alice Littlehailes


Newsletter 14/01/2020

St Luke’s CE Primary School Newsletter

14.1.2021

Dear Parents,

Thank you all so much for the way you have just stepped up and helped us get remote education working. I have been amazed at just how smoothly it has gone. I know there have been a few teething problems at our end and yours but we seem to have got those sorted. If you are having any problems at all technological or emotional please get in touch.

You will have seen that the guidelines around part time timetables have changed. The children of critical workers are expected to be at home if they can be and can now be in for part weeks, vulnerable children are expected to be in school full time.

You will have seen that there has been some controversy over the quality of the food hampers provided to the parents of children in receipt of free school meals in some parts of the country. I am pleased to be able to tell you that the hampers provided by Derbyshire Catering Service to our parents have been great. They contain a lovely mix of fresh and tinned produce and would make tasty, healthy lunches. The Catering service should be commended on the speed with which they put together these hampers across the whole county. I know our catering team assembled them as well as providing lunches for the children in school. A huge thank you goes out to them.

I am missing you all.

Stay happy and healthy

Alice Littlehailes


Letter to children 07/01/2021

7.1.2021

Dear Fabulous St Luke’s Children,

I am so sorry that you are not able to come to school at the moment. The corona virus is doing what viruses do and infecting lots of people. Luckily it is not making lots of children ill but it is making adults ill. Most children are being asked to work at home so that you can help keep the grown-ups safe and well. Thank you so much for doing this you are really helping. Some children have been asked to come into school to help make sure everyone in our country can still be looked after, thank you to those children too.

We were told this was happening after school closed on Monday so I was not able to see you before it happened. I am sorry I was not able to answer your questions or reassure you that we are all still here and still care about you. I am still here for you. If you need me or any of the other adults in school you can send a message on See Saw, the other children will not see that. You can email school at info@st-lukes.derbyshire.sch.uk or you can phone 01457 852602.

It is really difficult for the adults at home with you so please be kind and helpful. There will be days when you feel grumpy and fed up, there will also be days when your grown-ups feel grumpy and fed up! We all need to be patient and forgiving.

Please remember to take care of each other. Please be kind on line, don’t say or write anything you would not say to me. Please make sure nobody is left out of group chats. If you think somebody is feeling sad please tell a grown-up.

You are all amazing. I am so proud of the wonderful young people you are. The St Luke’s team can get through this.

Remember as a church school we believe in hope for the future, things will get better. I am so looking forward to the day when we will all be at school together again.

Mrs Littlehailes


Newsletter 07/01/2021

St Luke’s CE Primary School Newsletter

7.1.2021

Dear Parents,

It was lovely to see everyone back on Monday I am just sorry that it was only for one day. I was pleased to see the announcement by Gavin Williams the Education Secretary that schools are safe and the closure is not because they are unsafe. Thank you all for all you have done to help us manage this rapid move back into partial closure and online learning your patience and understanding has really helped. The St Luke’s family is such a strong team I am so pleased to be part of it.

I thought yesterday’s online learning went well, there were some glitches but hopefully we can iron those out. Almost the whole school was online yesterday which was amazing. If you are experiencing problems with devices or data allowances please contact me and I will see what I can do to help. This may well mean passing the problem on to others as I am a bit of a luddite, or just old!

If you need any equipment such as paper or pencils, please be in touch and we will help.

If you are experiencing any problems at all please get in touch by phone, text, email or see saw we want to help support you through this. We know having to have your children at home all day, get them to engage with their learning and carry out your normal work, paid or unpaid, is incredibly difficult. I am very grateful mine are now adults. Even if all you need is an outlet to vent your frustration, please, please give me a ring.

During the last partial school closure there were some issues around the children keeping in touch over social media. There were some children who were excluded from zooms by other children and some unkind things said on social media. The children are not at school where disagreements and fallings out can be quickly resolved in person either on their own or with adult support. I know this is another job for you, and I am sorry, but please can you keep an eye out for these kinds of behaviours and if you cannot help your child resolve it let school know and we will try.

Remember the closing date for Reception places next year is 15th January. If you haven’t applied yet you need to. If you know of others who should be starting school in September please remind them.

I am attaching a letter for the children please can you share it with them.

Stay happy and healthy

Alice Littlehailes


Newsletter 17/12/2020

St Luke’s CE Primary School Newsletter

17.12.2020

Dear Parents,

Well here it is the last newsletter of 2020! What a year it has been, so many highs, so many things to be proud of and so many challenges to face. I wish I could say the challenges would all be gone as we go into 2021 but we all know that is wishful thinking. It makes the Christian Christmas message of forgiveness and hope so much more important. (I am a bit annoyed with Boris Johnson because he referenced the song I was going to use in this newsletter today in his speech yesterday, grrr, honestly I had planned this before then.) At the weekend I was listening to Kylie Minogue’s version of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and thought how apt it was for this year with lines such as;

‘Next year all our troubles will be miles away’

‘Faithful friends who are dear to us will be near to us once more.

Someday soon we all will be together if the fates allow.

Until then we’ll have to muddle through somehow.

So have yourself a merry little Christmas now.’

Here is a link to her version of this song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9K4_1zMu-Cg I hope we all manage to enjoy and make the most of our pared down Christmas this year and can hold on to that hope for the future.

Tomorrow we are holding our carol service online at 9.15 here is the link to it https://youtu.be/cOFX5j0BLnA it is locked down at the moment and will be opened tomorrow. Please be forgiving and remember we are not the BBC. The children have written all the readings and have done a great job. The words of the carols are on the screen so you can sing along as we will be doing in our own bubbles in school. Thank you so much to Mr Holt for the hours he has spent editing this.

Remember if your child tests positive for Corona Virus up to and including 24th December you need to let me know either by texting the school texting service or by emailing headteacher@st-lukes.derbyshire.sch.uk . If your child develops symptoms and you are having them tested it would be really helpful if you let me know just so I don’t have a surprise amount of work on Christmas Eve!

Derbyshire County Council has asked me to share the information below with you.

If you are a family on a low income you could get food vouchers for your children over the Christmas period. The money to pay for these vouchers has come from the government through its COVID-19 winter grant scheme which is over and above the other support schemes already provided by Derbyshire County Council. The family of every child who gets free school meals in Derbyshire schools because of low income can get a £30 food voucher for the Christmas holidays. You will get another voucher in February if you are still eligible, the amount will depend on the number of children who qualify at that time. Some other families are also eligible based on financial hardship. You will receive vouchers if you meet one of the following criteria:

• Have a child aged 3 to 18 in a Derbyshire school (nursery to year 13), eligible for free school meals because of low household income.

• Have a child aged 3 or 4 not in a Derbyshire school nursery that receives free childcare and qualifies for ‘pupil premium’ based on low income (this is sometimes called ‘economic funding’).

• Have a child aged 2 that is eligible for free 2-year-old childcare because of low household income.

You do not need to do anything if your child already meets these criteria (see our website for full terms and conditions). We will contact you and you should receive a payment by email or text message that should arrive by 21 December 2020. If you have children and you do not currently claim free school meals or means tested free childcare you may still be eligible. For full details of the scheme or to see what help and support is available, please visit www.derbyshire.gov.uk/winter

If you still owe any dinner money please can you pay it as soon as possible.

Have a lovely break if you can and I look forward to seeing you all on 4th January.

Stay happy and healthy

Alice Littlehailes


Newsletter 10/12/2020

St Luke’s CE Primary School Newsletter

10.12.2020

Dear Parents,

Well here we are contemplating the last week of term next week. What a term it has been! Thank you all for all you have done for the whole community by following the guidelines school has put in place such as the one-way system and the staggered beginning and end of the day. Whilst I am thinking of that if your child is being picked up by someone else please can you let them know about the system just so we can keep all visitors to the site safe.

For most of this term we have had very few children late for school, the staggered start has helped you get your child to school on time, but over the last few weeks a number of families are starting to arrive after 9.05. I understand that very occasionally there are good reasons for being late which we accept but please can I remind you that it is your responsibility to get your children to school on time.

This week we have been thoroughly enjoying the Carrot Productions Snowman streamed concert. Thank you so much to Zoe Bowers who organised it for us.

Next week we are doing our best to keep as many Christmas traditions alive as possible whilst remaining covid safe. Our Plans are:

Each class to watch ‘The Snow Queen’ online. Thank you to the PTA for funding this.

I believe that Santa is going to try to fit in a zoom meeting with us. We know he is very busy preparing for Christmas but he says he just might squeeze us in.

On Wednesday 16th Y5 and Y1 are going to have their parties.

On Thursday 17th it will be Y2, Y3, Y4, Y6 and Reception’s turn

All parties will be in class bubbles and the children will not mix with another bubble. On the day of the party the children can come in their party clothes. Please bear in mind that normal school life will happen in the morning including PE for those who usually have it, that playtimes will still need to be on the field, and that the classroom windows have to be open for ventilation. In other words a strapless ball gown and stilettoes is probably a bad idea!

On Friday 18th we are holding our Carol Service. This will be streamed to each classroom and to you. The link will be sent out. The children will not be mixing with other bubbles.

Also on Friday 18th we are having our Christmas Dinner. We have ordered a dinner for everyone who has not told us they are having a packed lunch. If you remember I asked you to let the office know if you did not want your child to have Christmas Dinner. This year we will not be able to all be together but we will still make it festive in everyone’s classroom.

We finish for Christmas on Friday 18th and school will reopen on Monday 4th January.

The Government has asked that all covid cases confirmed in the first 6 days of the holiday (up to and including 24th December) are reported to school so we can inform any contacts of the need to isolate to protect others. As the office will not be staffed over the Christmas break, please do not leave telephone messages. Instead please text the school text service or email me on headteacher@st-lukes.derbyshire.sch.uk . I can then pick up your message and take any necessary action. I am hoping that you will all remain fit and healthy and fully able to enjoy the holiday.

The Government has given schools the option of swapping a future Inset Day to Friday 18th December to allow school’s responsibility for track and trace to end a day earlier. In making a decision about this, we have taken into account the following:

– The resulting need for some parents to arrange childcare at short notice.

– The current attendance levels within the pupil and staff community.

– The existing training plans for the remaining 3 Inset Days.

– The plans already in place for the end of term.

We have decided that we will open as usual on Friday 18th December.

Stay happy and healthy

Alice Littlehailes


Newsletter 03/12/2020

St Luke’s CE Primary School Newsletter

3.12.2020

Dear Parents,

Here we are again on another Thursday! I hope you have all had a reasonable week, given how dark and dismal it has been reasonable feels like a win. I hope you are all enjoying your advent calendars, yes I know some of you have your own so you don’t have to steal the chocolate from the children.

This week we have been making our annual Christmas Trees.

Due to covid restrictions and keeping in our bubbles we have made them in our classes this year not in our houses. We are all looking forward to being able to work in our houses again once the restrictions are lifted. As promised here are the trees:

Stay happy and healthy

Alice Littlehailes


Newsletter 26/11/2020

St Luke’s CE Primary School Newsletter

26.11.2020

Dear Parents,

I hope you are all bearing up during this extra uncertainty, hopefully by the end of today we will all know what tier we are living and working in for the next few weeks. I know lots of people are having to make difficult decisions about Christmas Bubbles, who is in who is out? Is it safe to include this person? If we are in this Grandparent’s bubble that means we cannot be in that Grandparent’s who do we choose? A social and emotional minefield. As ever we are here for all of you, not that we have the solution to any of the above.

The festive period is rapidly approaching. I am looking forward to seeing the trees each class makes this year. I will send out photographs as I know many of you love coming to see them and will miss this. The children are talking very excitedly about their advent calendars; I know some doors have been opened already! We are also approaching the time when we all have to annual Christmas Card dilemma. In recent years the number of children and adults sending cards has declined mainly due to their environmental impact. Some children still like writing them and others feel it is a big chore. Some children like receiving them and feel really upset if they don’t get one from one of their classmates others are less interested and they leave them lying around the classroom. Please do not feel you and your child have to send cards, some parents encourage their child to write one card for the whole class as a solution which works well. If your child does bring cards in for their classmates we will distribute them but it may not be on the day they come in.

Stay happy and healthy

Alice Littlehailes


Newsletter 19/11/2020

St Luke’s CE Primary School Newsletter

19.11.2020

Dear Parents,

I hope you are all alright. As we reach the end of week two of the second national lockdown I hope you are all coping. I know it is difficult and lots of the things we would have been doing at this time of year like Christmas shopping, planning to meet up with friends and family or enjoying a meal out just can’t happen. Who am I kidding I never do any shopping if I can help it, but I know some people like it! The positives are that the rate of infection is coming down so it is working and it will have saved many lives. If any of you feel in need of any support do phone we want to help all our community.

The weather is getting colder and we are keeping the classrooms well ventilated as this helps keep the risk of infection down. The result is that the temperature is school is lower than it normally would be. The children seem to be fine, in fact many of them take off their jumpers, but if your child might feel the cold do dress them in layers. I recommend a long sleeved t-shirt under their normal shirt and or a vest. If any child seems to be cold we also encourage them to put on things like their outdoor PE jacket/top. We will continue to monitor the situation and make sure they stay warm enough. As I said they are not feeling the cold at the moment but I am planning for those cold days that are to come.

Thank you for all the bags of old textiles you brought in – what a magnificent heap. That was very kind of you.

Stay happy and healthy

Alice Littlehailes


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