Newsletter 16/07/2020

St Luke’s CE Primary School Newsletter


Dear Parents,

It is hard to believe but this is the last newsletter of this academic year and what a year it has been. I want to extend a huge well done and thank you to everyone for everything you have done. I know lots of you are going to feel a huge sense of relief that you no longer need to be responsible for home learning. A number of people have told me that they are looking forward to having time with their children without worrying about schooling them. I also know that a number of you will miss working with your children every day.

Thank you to all of you who have sent in lovely messages to the staff we have all appreciated them.

There have been a number of queries following the letter I sent home about arrangements for September which I can answer now.

• Birthday treats, there is no pressure to send in treats for the class if it is your child’s birthday but if you want to please can they be something like little packets of sweets. Please no lollies and unfortunately I am going to have to say no home-made deliciousness from September.

• If your child is going to out of school care before and or after school we will work with the nurseries so they only have 1 drop off/ pick up time.

• Reading books – I have no answer now about these as we are being encouraged not to send them home, but I am working on it.

The county council is looking at what can be realistically done to get students to and from school. To help plan for the September return the council need every parent and carer to complete a short survey. The survey asks about how your children got from home to school before the coronavirus pandemic, and how you think they will get to school in September. It also asks how your children could be encouraged to walk, cycle or scoot to school. Please use this link to fill in the survey https://wh1.snapsurveys.com/s.asp?k=159431407337 , the deadline is 31st July.

If you have not yet paid for your dinners please can you, today.

For those parents who will finish being a St Luke’s parent thank you for all your support over the years. Thank you for trusting us with your child or in some cases children. It has been such a pleasure to be part of your lives over the years. Remember you never stop being part of the St Luke’s family. Please keep in touch, we will miss you as well as your children.

I hope you all have a lovely summer and I look forward to seeing you on Thursday 3rd September, 4th for new reception children.

Stay happy and healthy

Alice Littlehailes

Hello to all our new family!

We can’t wait to meet you all. See you soon!

Comments Off on Hello to all our new family! more...

Newsletter 09/07/2020

St Luke’s CE Primary School Newsletter


Dear Parents,

It has been lovely to welcome more children back into school this week. It has been great to see how quickly they have relaxed back into it. School has a funny feel at the moment; there are those children who have done weeks and weeks (some haven’t had a holiday since February) who are all feeling settled but end of termy and those who have done a few days who are tired because settling back into a routine makes you tired, but they are essentially full of beans. What is nice is each group is feeding off the energy of the other and there is a very happy atmosphere.

We are busy formulating plans for September and I will share those with you when they are finalised. One thing I have realised during this wet weather is that all the children, no matter what age group they are in, are going to need a pair of wellies in school. We need to get the children out no matter what the weather is doing and wellies and waterproofs are essential pieces of kit. I am saying this very quietly so I don’t jinx it but the weather looks much better next week, dry even, so no need to rush out and get wellies now but the children will need them for September.

As we only have 1 week left after this week it is the time when I nag you pay your dinner money debts. Please can you check if you owe anything and pay preferably before the middle of next week. As usually happens dinner money is going up in September to £2.20 A day £11 a week. Children in Reception Y1 and Y2 do not pay for their dinners under the universal free school meals scheme. Whichever year group your child is in if you think your child might be eligible for free school meals please do apply for them. Not only do you not have to pay for your child’s dinner but school also receives money, which is always useful. That is why we encourage people to apply for free school meals even if their child is in Reception, Y1 or Y2. You can apply at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals or by phoning 01629 536400 / 535743

We have not yet heard about fruit for schools as soon as we know what is happening with this we will let you know.

Stay happy and healthy

Alice Littlehailes

Newsletter 02/07/2020

St Luke’s CE Primary School Newsletter


Dear Parents,

So here we are in July looking at a very different end to the school year, usually at this point we are preparing leaver’s services and celebrations, visiting our new classes, looking back on the past year, celebrating our successes. I know we have 2 weeks left but I would just like to celebrate your successes this academic year. As parents you have really stepped up and played your part in this ongoing national emergency. For weeks you either carried our vital work and bravely sent your child in to school, or you started educating your child at home. You have been juggling trying to work in a different way from home with keeping your child both entertained and educated. You have calmly and in a considered way decided whether or not to send your child back in to school, without judging people who made a different decision to you. You all have my respect and admiration. I just hope, as some more of the lockdown restrictions are eased this weekend, all this that you have done is not undone by people forgetting that there are still rules about what we can and can’t do. Unfortunately, Corona Virus has not gone away and we all need to proceed with caution. I hope you all take a moment today to stop and feel proud of yourself, even a little smug if you like, the job is not done but you are doing it really well. Thank you.

Tomorrow we say goodbye for the summer to some of our children, the first group of years 2-5. This is sad we have not had enough time with you this year but September will be here soon and everyone will be back in school together. It will feel a little different and we won’t be able to do everything we would normally do but we will still be St Luke’s. We will still be supporting the children’s learning via the blogs for the next 2 weeks so do keep telling us what you are all doing.

On Monday we welcome back the second group of years 2-5 we are all very excited to be seeing you again. Please refer back to the letter I sent out on 16th June for full details of arrangements but here is a reminder of drop off and pick up arrangements:

Drop off times are: Surnames A – H 8.40 –8.45 I – Z 8.55 – 9.00 Pick up times are: Surnames A – H 3.20 I – Z 3.30

There is a one way system in operation – do not worry there are people outside to help you.

Reports will be going out over the next week. As I am sure you understand they are much shorter than usual because of the year we have had but they encapsulate your child as a learner.

Stay happy and healthy

Alice Littlehailes

Newsletter 25/06/2020

St Luke’s CE Primary School

Newsletter 25.6.2020

Dear Parents,

What a difference in the weather! From wet and soggy to hot, hot, hot. It has been lovely to welcome more children into school this week. Their excited but slightly nervous faces relaxing across the day to now just being pleased to be here. I know they are tired not only is it hot but they are not used to being at school. It is like September only more so. If you remember how tired they are that first week and multiply it up. You can tell how much they are enjoying being back because they are not moaning about being tired. If your child is in the second group of children coming back on 6th July we cannot wait to see you.

The children are all working hard, learning lots both inside and out. We have had botany, deserted islands, Elmer, Maths and English. I have walked the plank and been shown how to funnel rainwater using leaves. All the classes are loving our pond. Thank you so much to Annie’s parents for all their help in creating it. We now have pond skaters, a newt, frogs, beetles, water boatmen and aquatic plants and I have been told pond guardians. You may be asking where the pond is well ………..it is between the top field and the railway fence. We have a small secret garden there behind a locked gate so the perfect space to safely have a pond.

I know you are all wondering what the arrangements are for September. I am afraid I still cannot tell you the DFE has said they will give us information before the end of term but have not said when before the end of term so it may be very late. As soon as I have received the information and had chance to plan for September I will let you know what the plan is.

Stay happy and healthy

Alice Littlehailes

Newsletter 18/06/2020

St Luke’s CE Primary School Newsletter


Dear Parents,

This will be a short newsletter as you have had lots of information from me this week and probably don’t want any more!

We have had another lovely week in school with lots of fun and learning going on.

I am so pleased that we will get to see most of the children in school over the next 4 weeks. I have had a number of queries about things such as school shoes. I know lots of children have grown out of shoes over the lock down please do not try to buy new ones any shoes they have that fit are fine. This also applies to other items of school uniform. The children are enjoying being back in uniform because it signals to them that life is getting slightly back to normal, but if they have grown out of an item send them in in something as close to uniform as possible.

If your child is feeling a little uneasy about what school will be like remember there is a link on the blogs to a video where I explain a bit about it.

Please can you check your dinner money account on School Money as some of you still owe money from before the lockdown.

Stay happy and healthy

Alice Littlehailes

Newsletter 11/06/2020

St Luke’s CE Primary School Newsletter


Dear Parents,

I know you will have been disappointed to hear that whilst the Government’s hope is that more primary school children can come back to school before the summer holiday they are no longer expecting all schools to be able to do this. It is a real challenge to schools to get all the children in whilst following the guidelines. The children need to be in pods of no more than 15 children and be 2m apart. This means each class needs to be split into 2 and have a large enough space to work in. In order to make this happen schools would need to have twice as much space as normal. We are lucky that we have some spare capacity but not enough to accommodate the whole school. We know how important it is to your children to get back into school emotionally as well as academically and we will do everything we can to help make this happen. In order to help us plan for what might be possible it would be really helpful if the parents of children in Y2,3,4 & 5 could indicate on a text survey if you might be interested if we were able to offer a place for at least part of the time. This does not mean they would be offered a place or that they would have to take up any offer just an indication to help with planning. Please reply to the text by 1pm on Friday.

I promised you an update on how things are going in school for the children who have come back so here it is. I have been really pleased, all the planning the staff did before the children came in has paid off. The points when there are more people on site, drop off and pick up times, are going really smoothly thanks to the parents who are sticking to the new rules even when they feel a little daft because they appear to be the only person other than me there. We all would have liked it to be a bit drier but you can’t have everything! In the class pods the children are enjoying their learning. They are trying really hard to stay 2m apart, the older they are the easier they are finding this but they are all doing well at it. Lunchtime is taking longer it is spread over 2 hours, each child has an hour but because we are staggering it more time is needed. As the number of children we have changes we are making adjustments to timings to ensure the children can stay 2m apart but the system seems to be working. The parents of the children who are in are reporting that they are coming home happy but tired – sounds like a win to me. We are constantly reviewing what we are doing in the light of what is happening outside school and within school. We get information from the DFE, from Derbyshire County Council and from health and use this information to inform our decisions. I had a conversation with our school’s senior advisor yesterday who felt confident we were doing the right thing for our children, which may of course not be the right thing for other children at schools.

We have been asked about school reports. We are in the process of writing reports on your children but they will be brief this year as we have not seen most of the children for 3 months. It is not possible for us to have face to face meetings about the reports but staff will continue to be available for telephone conversations should you need them.

Please can you check your dinner money account on School Money as some of you still owe money from before the lockdown.

Stay happy and healthy

Alice Littlehailes

Newsletter 04/06/2020

St Luke’s CE Primary School Newsletter


Dear Parents,

Well here we are in June and the weather has reverted to typical summer weather. Despite this the children in school have been making great use of the outside space. They have been exploring the pond – we now have froglets as well as a newt, discovering fairy homes, making their own habitats, planting beans and setting themselves athletic challenges.

It has been lovely to have more children in school. Everything is running smoothly. The one-way system is working well at drop off and pick up time. Even more importantly we have happy relaxed children in school enjoying what they are doing.

I wanted to say a huge thank you to all of you for the kindness you have shown each other through this period. I have been told of some school communities where people have been accusing other parents of being bad parents for making a different decision to the one they personally made about sending their child back, whether that be to send their child to school or to keep them at home. I have had no reports of such behaviour here. I believe you have been treating each other with respect and understanding. I am very proud to be part of a community which can support others when they make a different choice from the one you would make. You have all been showing the children how to live our school text The Prayer of St Francis:

Oh Master, grant that I may never seek So much to be consoled as to console To be understood as to understand To be loved as to love with all my soul

I know a number of you who have children eligible to be at school because you are a key worker, they are in Reception, Year 1, Year 6 or they have an EHCP delayed sending them back to school because you have been unsure about how it would work. You can change this decision at any point just let us know that you are now ready to send your child back in. If you would like to talk through any concerns you have you can phone school for a chat.

Stay happy and healthy

Alice Littlehailes

Newsletter 21/05/2020

St Luke’s CE Primary School

Newsletter 21.5.2020

Dear Parents,

Thank you all so much for the messages you sent the staff for Thank a Teacher Day. There were lots of tears and smiles as they read them.

Thank you to whoever left us the beautiful flower pebble the children and staff loved it.

Next week would have been half term – I know nothing seems normal now. School will still be open for key worker’s children and vulnerable children apart from on Bank Holiday Monday when nobody needed us. The kitchen will be closed for the holiday so please can the children bring in packed lunches.

As you are all aware the government it hoping schools can widen the number of children they are open to from 1st June. If we are given the go ahead for this to happen the children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 will be invited to come back to school, as well as the children we already have in school. Attached to this newsletter is the detailed plan for how we at St Luke’s are going to do this safely and with the children’s wellbeing at heart. If your child is in one of these year groups I will be asking you to let me know if they will be able to come in. There are no more details about any plans for the rest of the children but if your children are in years 2-5 do read the plans so you have some idea about how we are intending to work.

As staff are very busy planning and preparing for more children in school I am encouraging them to have a holiday next week. This means the blogs will have less on and messages may well not be answered as promptly. I hope you all stay happy and healthy.

Alice Littlehailes

Information for Parents

This is the detailed plan for how to safely support the wider opening of school for children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 at St Luke’s when the Government decides it is appropriate for this to happen. At the moment they are hoping for a 1st June start, but this is not confirmed. The plan outlined below has been put together by all the staff and the Governors. When written out in detail like this it can feel scary, but please be reassured we will make sure school is a lovely, vibrant place to be. The children’s wellbeing is always our priority. If you have any concerns you want to talk through with me do not hesitate to phone school.

General information

Children to come in school uniform.

Children are not to bring books or book bags. Children need to bring their PE kit into school and leave it here. If possible, please bring a water bottle into school and leave it here, we will wash them. Children on packed lunches can of course bring this in.

The children will be in pods of no more than 15. The classes will be split alphabetically by surname. The children will stay in those pods for their school day and work with the same adults. This is to reduce the cross-infection possibilities.

Drop off and pick up

The start and the end of the day will be staggered to give everyone space in the playground to distance.

Only one parent to do the drop off or pick up.

A one-way system will be in operation due to the narrowness of the path outside school. Come in through the side gates to drop your child off, then walk round the back of the school and leave through the car park gates. This one-way system will be reversed at pick up time. This is so children are always using the path not the car park.

We would ask that adults do not come up to the doors at drop off or pick up times but to wait in the playground socially distanced from the other parents.

Merlins to go in through their door.

Kestrels to go in through their door.

Peregrines to go in through Osprey’s door.

Peacocks (the children of key workers or vulnerable children from Years 2-5) to go in through the main entrance.

Drop off times are:

Surnames A – H 8.40 –8.45

I – Z 8.55 – 9.00

If you are late and miss your drop off time your child may not come into school until after 9.10 and should be taken to the main entrance.

Pick up times are:

Surnames A – H 3.20

I – Z 3.30

On arrival at school the children will be asked to wash their hands. They should also have washed their hands before leaving for school. They will be asked to wash their hands several times across the day. Each pod will have access to soap and water. If there is no sink in their area they will also have hand sanitiser.

The school day

The children will be reminded to ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ in a tissue. Bins with lids will be in each pod area. If the cough or sneeze does not allow for time to get a tissue, elbows will be used.

As you know the guidance to schools makes it clear that primary school children are not expected to keep 2m apart. However, the children will be encouraged to keep a distance from each other whenever possible. We acknowledge that it is impossible for primary school aged children to do this all the time. The use of pods and hand washing is the best way to minimise cross infection opportunities. .

Each of the pods has their own area within school which they will be in for at least a week. Each pod will work outside as much as possible. The younger children will swap areas week-on-week to ensure they all get access to the whole curriculum. All the areas will be regularly and thoroughly cleaned and sanitised.

Playtimes will be staggered.

Lunchtimes will also be staggered:

11.30 – 11.55: The 2 Kestrel pods to have lunch in different distanced areas of the hall. The 2 Peregrine pods to be outside in different playgrounds.

12.00 – 12.25: The 2 Peregrine pods to have lunch. The 2 Kestrel pods to be outside in different playgrounds.

12.30 – 1.00: The 2 Merlin pods and the Peacocks to have lunch in different distanced areas of the hall.

1.00 – 1.30: The 2 Merlin pods and the Peacocks to play outside in different playgrounds.

Measures will be taken to ensure toilets are not overcrowded or contain children from different pods at the same time.

Guidance if someone is unwell

If a child or adult has any symptoms they must stay at home and be tested. If they test negative they can come back to school. If a member of a pod is self-isolating the parents of the other children in that pod will be informed and will be asked to keep them at home until the result of the test is known. If they test positive, all members of the pod will have to stay at home and self-isolate for 14 days.

If you need to talk to a member of staff please do it over the phone.

When this plan gets put into operation, the blogs for the other year groups will still continue with a teacher setting challenges, sharing links and responding to children’s posts. If a child in the year groups returning to school is not able to return due to them or a family member having been recommended to shield, staff will ensure they are supported at home.

We hope you will feel confident to send your child back to school when we are asked to expand the number of children attending. As you know there will be no fines for non-attendance.

I know there has been a lot of chat amongst the parents of the year groups not coming back to school and worries about how that will be done. I am afraid I cannot give you a clear plan at the moment because we have not yet been given any information about this next phase. When I know I will share it with you so that you can make an informed choice.

We realise this can all sound very daunting and appreciate that the decision to send your child to school will [or may] be a difficult one to make. School has remained open during this difficult time and we have managed to get a balance between keeping everyone safe and looking after everyone’s wellbeing. Nobody has got ill and children and staff are all happy.

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