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Letter from Essex to Parents and Carers

Remote Learning Information for Parents and Carers

2nd November 2020

Dear Parents/Carers 

Welcome back after half term. Following on from the statement yesterday from Boris Johnson about the start of a second lockdown from Thursday 5th November, I confirm that Holy Family will be operating as normal. We are looking forward to seeing everyone again for the start of Autumn 2.

 

Kind regards 

Mrs Kelliher 

 

 

23rd October 2020


Dear Patents/Carers

End of Autumn1

September and October have passed by with relative speed, and thanks to everyone following procedures and taking precautions when necessary we have been able to keep all the children in school. I would like to say a big thank you to you all for supporting the staff so well. Our arrivals and departures seem to be working well, even when it’s raining.

 

Everyone should by now also have had communication with your son/daughter’s class teacher about how they are progressing. Class web pages also tell you about what is happening in class.

 

Underneath the class pages you will see class remote learning pages. These are being populated with work, should your child need to use them when isolating or quarantining.

 

Essex have confirmed with schools what to do should anyone get a positive test during the half term holidays. They say:

 

The timeframe that contact tracing is undertaken is 2 days prior to symptoms displaying. This means that if a child develops symptoms during half term week (Monday onwards) you would not need to undertake contact tracing for school based contacts. Parents should still inform you of children who receive a positive test result, or if they have been advised to self-isolate as a close contact, as the self-isolation period for those individuals will continue after the half-term break. The usual contact tracing for social contacts will still apply and this is outside of the school’s remit.
 

If you have any doubts please phone Mrs Buet in the office before coming back into site on the first Monday back. 


I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff at Holy Family. They have worked tirelessly to keep the children safe and happy. They have made learning fun, whilst ensuring that after the initial well-being project at the beginning of term, the pace is picked up again, to work upon the recovery curriculum.  Thank you everyone.

 

I wish you all a lovely half term
 

Kind Regards

Mrs Kelliher 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2020.05.29_T&T_PlayYourPart.mp4

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2020.09.09_HandsFaceSpace_30sTVAd.mp4

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25th September 2020

 

Dear Parents

Arrival and departure

We’ve had a few close shaves this week, when I held my breath and waited for COVID test results from families. Thank goodness they were negative. Had they been positive it would have had a direct affect upon some pupils and staff being able to be in school.

 

After much consideration and with the aim of doing everything we can to reduce opportunities to spread the virus on our site, from Monday 28th September staff on duty outside of the internal boundary gates will be wearing masks. I cordially invite all adults bringing children into school in the morning, and collecting them at the end of the day to wear them too. I will not be policing this, but send this call out to you all to support this protective measure. Please let other adults collecting your child know this too.

 

23rd September 2020
 

Dear Parents

Re: Arrival/departures and social distancing

 

With the current rise in the number of COVID cases I must remind everyone to maintain social distancing when arriving and departing from school. Please also vacate the area outside the school gates straight away to allow other families space as they arrive to drop/collect their child(ren). 

 

If when you leave our exit gates you are turning ‘left’ you will have a lot more room to walk if you cross the road at the pinch point, and then walk along the other side of the road. This will also allow more space for families arriving to drop/collect their child, especially as the pathway is very narrow.

 

I thank you for your cooperation in this matter. I know everyone will want to look after each other and also help reduce opportunities for Covid to spread. 

 

Kindest Regards

Mrs Kelliher

Updated Risk Assessment Leaflet - Key Messages for Parents (Sept 20)

2nd September 2020

 

Dear Children

We’ve been working hard today putting the finishing touches to classrooms and the school grounds ready for you tomorrow. We’re looking forward to seeing you all. We’ll take the day nice and gently so you can get to know your new classrooms and the areas that have been allocated to your class bubble. 
 

Your teachers have planned activities that will help you settle back into school. We’ll do this as a whole school theme over the next two weeks. 
 

See you all tomorrow 😀

 

Mrs Kelliher 

 

 

Our school ready and waiting for you

Arrival and departure times for years 1 to 6  from 3rd September and until further notice

 

Please see videos in this page posted in May.

 

Years 1 to 6 will all arrive and depart from the main gates which lead into the playground.

 

Foundation children will use the Foundation gate to arrive and depart each day.

 

All children will need to use the hand sanitiser located in the gates before they go into the playground.

 

As for June and July please say farewell to your son/daughter as you approach the gate so that you can drop them and go. Sorry no hanging around at the moment to chat. Also follow the pathway around the front of the office and exit via the gate nearest the bike rack. This ONE WAY system is exactly the same as it was last term.

 

I’ll be outside each morning with Mr Fyfe and Mrs Buet to help guide you.

 

If you arrive by bike still come in through the IN GATE and walk it around to the bike rack once you have dropped your child.

 

Thank you.

 

Year Group Arrival Departure
Years 5 and 6 8:40am 3:00pm
Years 3 and 4 8:50am 3:10pm
Years 1 and 2 9:00am 3:20pm

 

It will be essential that all families stick to their child’s allocated arrival/departure time. 

 

If you have children in two or more classes please arrive and drop your children at the earliest time.  Any younger siblings will then be able to wait in class or playground (Supervised).  Collection should be at the later time.  So for example if you have children in years 1 and 5, you would drop both children off at 8:40am, and then collect them both at 3:20pm (the older sibling would wait in class) until 3:20pm.

 

Foundation

Our new EYFS children will be starting on a partime basis.  Mrs Willsher has given out dates and time to groups.  We look forward to seeing everyone.

 

Please remember that at the peak times of 8:30am - 9:15am and 2:45pm - 3:30pm NO-ONE IS TO DRIVE INTO SCHOOL, unless they have a disability badge and have confirmed this with the office.  This is for the safety of everyone.  Thank you.
 

 
 

27th August 2020

 

Dear Parents

I hope you are having a good summer holiday. I just wanted to give you the link below to the latest updated parental advice about schools reopening from the Government

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-in-the-autumn-term

 

Please read through the information given in the document above as it outlines useful information.

 

I have gone through our COVID risk assessment with our Governors. I will add more information to this page next week.

 

In the meantime staff have been working hard to ensure that we are ready for the children’s return. We are very much looking forward to seeing everyone. Mr Fyfe has been orchestrating a deep clean of the school, and also arranging for many areas in our school grounds to be painted.

 

We’ve received a few questions from parents so I thought it might be useful to do a Q&A below.

 

Enjoy the last week of the holidays.

 

Kindest Regards

Mrs Kelliher 

 

Q) Does my child have to return to school in September?

A) Yes, the government say that all children must return to school. We appreciate that some families might be anxious. If this is the case please phone or email the office and we will talk through any concerns. 
 

Q) My child is anxious about returning to school will they be OK?

A) It is totally understandable to be anxious, but hopefully also excited about returning to school. We will look after all the children and take them slowly through all new routines and what they can and can’t do. We will give time for the children to talk and reflect. We will be doing a while school topic based on Oliver Jeffers book ‘Here We Are’ that will give us time to do this is a creative way. 
We will all look after each other by washing/sanitising hands and distancing when we can. We will look out for each other. 

 

Q) My child is feeling unwell and I don't know whether to send them into school. What should I do?

A) Identify what symptoms your child has and monitor them. If they have recognised COVID symptoms: High temperature, new continuous cough, loss of sense of smell/taste, you should book a COVID test via the website or phone NHS 119 and they can book one for you.  You should keep your son/daughter at home with you until you have the results back.  Please inform the school once you have the test results.  Hopefully they will be negative and once your child has recovered from whatever illness they had they can return to school.

 

If they have non COVID symptoms monitor them and act as you would for that illness.  Always ring Mrs Buet in the office if you need advice.  We would always say be cautious if unsure and liaise with your doctor.


 

Q) Can I come into school to talk with a member of staff?

A) At the moment we would prefer as many people as possible to contact us by phone or email rather than come into school in person. If a face to face appointment is absolutely necessary yes, of course we will set up a safe place to meet. 
There will be member of staff, including myself at the entrance gates daily so we can also take messages and ring you back during the day.

 

Q) Will my child need to wear school uniform?

A) Yes, everyone must return in school uniform. We use summer uniform until the October half term.

 

Q) Will my child need a PE kit?

A) Yes, please send your child into school with their PE kit, each item being named.

 

Q) Will my child need a water bottle?

A) Yes, please send your child in with a NAMED water bottle. They will keep these on their table for easy access. They will also bring them home each day so that they can be washed. Please also ensure that your child is able to open their own water bottle. We found younger children were struggling with the design of some bottles.
 

Q) Will my child need a bag?

A) We want to keep items coming into school to a minimum. They will only need a book bag and lunchbox if they are having sandwiches.

 

Q) Will my child need to bring in their own stationery?

A) We have made up individual stationery sets for each child to keep in school at their desk.

 

Q) We the school be offering hot dinners?

A) Yes, we will be offering hot dinners as usual (ordered in advance in the usual manner).  These will be eaten in the dining hall, which will be set out differently to normal. Less children will be in the hall at any time and there will be less movement once in there.  Adults will serve drinks to the children once they are seated and also will remove their empty tray and plates once they have finished.  Tables will be thoroughly cleaned between use (as they would be in a restaurant)

 

Q) Can my child wear a mask?

A) The government say that no children aged 11 and under need to wear a mask. If you wish your child to wear one that is fine. It would be down to your child to manage their mask themselves though.
 

Having just read through all the latest government information on masks I think it might be useful for children to bring their own mask into school with them. They can then pop it on if they feel they need to. We will not make any child wear one, this would only be for them to choose if they felt they needed to for a short period of time. At least then they would have the option. 

 

Q) Can my child bring in a mini bottle of hand sanitiser in their book bag?

A) Yes of course if they wish. If they do it should be 70%+ alcohol to kill off the virus. We will have lots of hand sanitiser around the school, at the entrance gates, outside each classroom and within every room for children and staff to use.

 

Q) Will my child be near other children?

A) Yes to some extent.  Each class will have their own classroom space.  We will be pairing up classes into extended 'bubbles' so make movement around/to and from the school easier.  So Years 1 and 2 will be considered as a bubble, years 3 and 4, and years 5 and 6.  These pairs of classes will have the same arrival/departure times, the same day for the hall, the same playground area, the same toilets.

 

Tables in classrooms will be in rows facing the front.  Every child will have their own stationery kit and tray/books by their table.

 

Q) How will the school keep the children safe?

A) As a school we have had a COVID risk assessment in place for many months.  A parental version of this risk assessment has been shared with you and is on this website page.  I will update it again soon. We have carefully considered all movement around the school and use of resources so that  the children, staff and you, keep as safe as possible.

 

It will be vital that you as parents don't send your child into school if you have any concerns about them having possible COVID symptoms. To do so would be to put us all at risk. Gain a test for your child straight away, and then share the outcome with the school. Under 5 year old can now be tested too.

 

We will all need to work closely together to look after each other and be responsible for keeping everyone safe. 
 

If you have any questions that aren’t answered above please send them into admin@holyfamilyrc.essex.sch.uk

and Mrs Buet can pass them on to me. You could also use the class email address too. I can then add more Q and As.

 

Finally, please know that as always we will all work very hard to ensure that the children are safe and happy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

17th July 2020 Newsletter

Lockdown movie

Holy Family School Witham, during 2020.

Class Photographs

In the summer term we always have class photographs taken, but obviously this year we have been unable to do so.  However, we are delighted that Peter, our school photographer, has been able to put together whole class photographs using the individual ones taken in the autumn term.  These may be found on his website petergammonphotography.co.uk.  Mrs Buet sent out passwords to each class last week. 

 

Kind Regards

Mrs Kelliher

 

 

6th July 2020

 

Dear Parents

This will be our last 'normal week' as next week we will be having our 'Transition Week'.  We are all looking forward to seeing many of our children who have not been able to be in school.  I am delighted that so many can attend, even for just a day. 

 

The final day of term for many children will be Friday 17th July at 3:10pm.  For some it will be whatever day their Transition Day is on.  If in doubt please ring Mrs Buet.

 

In light of all the guidance that came out last week from the Government I am now planning for September and how this will operate in Holy Family.  Transition Week will give me a taster of how everyone moves coming into and out of school.  Please check your child's arrival/departure time carefully and only arrive at that time.  Don't try to come earlier as you'll get caught up with those arriving at the earlier time slot.

The instructional videos found below on 20th May give guidance for arrival/departure.

 

It is not going to be possible for me to have planned and risk assessed everything in readiness for September before next Friday.  Please therefore, keep checking this page during August as I will update it and ensure that we all know how the school will run.  Also it is highly likely that we will get more updates during August.

 

One thing is very clear from the guidance and that is that ALL children must return to school in September.

 

Kind Regards

Mrs Kelliher

Pupil End of Year Reports

 

Please look out for your child's 'End of Year Report' which will be sent to you on the afternoon of Monday 6th July.  We have adapted the usual format as we have no updated formal assessments or exam results to give. The last reliable set of results were given to you at the February 2020 Pupil Progress meetings. We have added a section for you and your child to add photos and comments about work that you have been doing out of school.  We have also attached a short questionnaire which we would love to have feedback on.  Completed reports and questionnaires should be emailed back to your child's class teacher, via the class email.  Alternatively you may download a paper copy to complete and give to your son/daughter to bring into their teacher on their Transition Day.

 

The cover letter with the report will give you details of your child's next class teacher.

 

Kind Regards

Mrs Kelliher

 

 

Start and Finish Times for WB: 29th June AND 6th July 2020

8:50am - 3:10pm = Key Worker Pupils (please do not arrive before 3:10pm)

9:00 - 3:00pm = Year 6

9:15 - 1:00pm = Year 1

9:30 - 12:15pm = Foundation 

WB: 13th July is Transition Week

Your son/daughter should only attend school on their allocated day.

For example: A year 4 child with an allocated day of Tuesday 14th July should arrive to school at 9:35am, and will be greeted by their teacher at the double gates.  They should be collected from the same gates at 2:40pm.

 

Please try to keep your arrival and collection times as precise as you can so we can give everyone plenty of space.

Key Worker children may have a slightly different agreed arrangement.

Transition Timetable

 

Key workers

Foundation class and hall

Year 1 classroom

Year 2 classroom

Year 3 classroom

Year 4 classroom

Year 5 classroom

Year 6 classroom

 

 

For current EYFS pupils

For current Y1 pupils

For current Y2 pupils

For current Y3 pupils

For current Y4 pupils

For current Y5 pupils

Which gate to use

Usual doors

Though EYFS gate

Through

double gates

Through

double gates

Through

double gates

Through

double gates

Through

double gates

START TIME

8.45

9.30

9.15

9.30

9.35

9.40

9.00

LUNCH TIME

12.00-12.45

11.45-12.30

12.00-12.45

12.45-1.30

12.45-1.30

12.45-1.30

12.00-12.45

END TIME

3.10

12.30

1.00

2.30

2.40

2.50

3.00

 

26th June 2020

 

Dear Parents

Please find below a copy of the letter emailed to you today from me.  I have just amended it a little to confirm that for the next two weeks arrangements for EYFS, Year 1, Year 6 and Key Workers remains the same. Same days and same times.  Apologies for any miscommunication.

 

As I've stated in my letter plans for any wider return have been thwarted with the extension of critical vulnerable shielding.  In replacement however, we are using the week beginning 13th July 20 as a 'Transition Week'.  Your child's current class teacher will be emailing you today from the class email. Please read their letter carefully and let them know if you would like your son/daughter to attend their allocated transition day.

 

The final day in school for year 6 (unless you have selected the option of keeping them in the key worker group all of that week) will be WEDNESDAY 15th JULY.

 

The final day and end of term for all other children (regardless of what bubble they are in) is FRIDAY 17th JULY at their allotted time (see letter below)

 

Kind Regards

Mrs Kelliher

 

 

 

 

Important Letter to all parents - Deadline for responses by 30th June 20

Important Letter to all Parents - 12th June 2020 (Deadline for response - Friday 19th June)

Start and Finishing Times for Children - WB: 15th June and WB: 22nd June 2020

8:50am - 3:10pm = Key Worker Pupils

9:00 - 3:00pm = Year 6

9:15 - 1:00pm = Year 1 (Lunch included if you have confirmed this)

9:30 - 12:15pm = Foundation (Lunch included if you have confirmed this)

 

Start and Finish Times for WB: 8th June

8:50am - 3:10pm = Key Worker Pupils

9:00 - 3:00pm = Year 6

9:15 - 11:45am = Year 1

9:30 - 11:30am = Foundation 

 

5th June 2020

Dear Parents

Thank you to all of those who have been following our new one way entry/exit system into/out of school. 

 

For parents in EYFS and Year 1 who are bringing in their children next week please remind yourselves about this by seeing the instructional videos below.  Year 1 to arrive at 9:15am with children being collected by Mrs Eardley at the double gate near to Mr Fyfe's house.  Parents then follow the pathway around to the exit gate. 

 

EYFS parents follow the one-way system round to the EYFS gate where Mrs Willsher will be there to receive the children.  Then follow pathway round to exit gate.

 

Collection of Year 1 will be at 11:45am from the double gates (where you dropped off in the morning).  EYFS to be collected at 11:30am from the EYFS gate.

 

It has been colder in the past two days and the children may want to bring a warm coat with them too as they will be outside for some of the time.

 

Finally, if your son/daughter has hayfever please give them any usual medication that they would have.

 

Kind Regards

Mrs Kelliher

 

 

2nd June 2020

Dear Parents

Please see below a summary of key messages from our school's Risk Assessment document.  Also a copy of the COVID Health and Safety Policy (model version) in place for the rest of this term

 

Kind Regards

Mrs Kelliher

 

31st May 2020

 

Dear Children (Year 6 and Key Worker)

We are looking forward to seeing more of you returning to school tomorrow. It will be lovely to hear your voices in school again after so many weeks without them. We have had to rearrange classrooms and also put desks in the hall (for key workers) to ensure everyone is safely spaced out. I know this will be strange for you at first, but I know you will understand that this is what we have to do at the moment. Luckily we have beautiful school grounds so will be able to take you outside into the sunshine too. When you first arrive back in school your teachers will tell you all about the changes and reorganisation, and will guide you through all the new ways of doing things. 
I’m looking forward to seeing you all.

 

King Regards

Mrs Kelliher 

20th May 2020

 

Dear Parents

You will see below some short video clips where we have tried to show you our one way system to enter/exit the school premises should we start expanding pupils numbers in June in some year groups. We have two letters that have been sent out to EYFS, year 1 and 6 parents which give details of our risk managed offer.
 

Unacceptable risk for us at the moment is too many children back as there is a significant decline in ability to social distance. At this stage of the pandemic I am not prepared to ask our staff to take risks more than we have a chance of managing.  Rotas will give us at least a sporting chance. I shall be watching data carefully to see what is happening to inform us of when we can take more pupils. This may not coincide with government guidance. It is heartening that many EYFS and Year 1 parents also agree that distancing this age group is extremely difficult at best, many choosing to remain home learning. 
 

I now must talk about key worker children. If we don’t keep numbers very manageable within this group there will be an affect upon year 6’s ability to attend school. This is because we will need more space to use. We’ve had to move tables out of the library as it gets too hot even with all the windows open. We’re going to take small groups into year 3 classroom too. I urge you therefore to only request a place if you have no alternative. It is still the directive to work at home where you can. If you do so your child stays with you unless they are in one of the three year groups who may begin returning in small numbers. This is the safest way for us all.

 

We’ll be watching carefully to see if death and infection rates continue to decline. Since Boris Johnson’s announcement earlier this month hundreds of people have  still died due to COVID. I want Holy Family to be mindful of this and to take small steps through June, watch what happens in the wider school community in England, and then we’ll review risk assessments again. 
 

Stay alert, control the virus, save lives. 
 

 

 

Instructional video for entering HFS premises

Still image for this video

Instructional video for dropping off key workers

Still image for this video

instructional video for dropping off a Foundation (EYFS) pupil (and for their Transition Day in year 1 during WB: 13th July)

Still image for this video

Instructional video for Year 6 and Year 1 (and Years 2, 3, 4 and 5 in Transition Week) pupils coming in through the main playground.

Still image for this video

Classroom layouts

19th May letter to EYFS, Year 1, Year 6 and agreed Key Workers

15th May 2020

Copy of letter sent out to EYFS, Year 1 and Year 6 parents

13th May 2020

Dear Parents

As expected schools have been receiving lots of documents to read to guide us in preparing for pupils in EYFS, year 1 and then year 6 to return. I wanted to write to you briefly now, although we are still risk assessing, to let you know that it is already clear that it would not be safe to have too many children back at one time. It is highly likely that provision will be part time on a rota basis (one or two days a week depending upon year group, and no more than 7 children in at a time in a classroom), with staggered starting and collection times. Once I have finished liaising with all staff and then Governors (I’m meeting with them virtually, early next week) I will be able to give more detail. Whatever the final plan it will be in small controlled steps. To reassure you again no-one will be fined for deciding not to send their child in. I will be sending out an email next week to those three year groups, asking if you are considering sending your child back to school in June. This is just to give us an indication.

 

Take Care

 

Kind Regards

Mrs Kelliher 

 

10th May 2020

Dear Parents

What next after Boris Johnson’s speech?

 

In the short term for schools nothing has changed. The rest of May will continue as we are now.
 

Over the course of this week I would expect that schools will receive more detailed information about what a possible reopening for some pupils may look like. I’m sure that we all share the same concerns. I am hoping that schools will be given a lot of autonomy in how children will be safely reintroduced back to school. 
 

If the national guidance (once known) cannot be safely applied in our school, we will retain the power along with our governing body to make decisions regarding the safety of pupils and staff based on our own individual risk assessments. This may ultimately mean that our school is not in a position to expand pupil numbers in the way the government has indicated on the 1 June.
 

I will keep you informed   

Stay safe.

 

Kind Regards

Mrs Kelliher 

 

 

6th May 2020

Dear Parents/Carers/Children

I hope that you are all keeping well and enjoying doing some of the VE Day activities on the class pages.  We can't wait to see photos/videos of what you have done.

 

Class teachers have been keeping in regular contact with everyone and from what we are being told everyone is managing the new way of living, and most importantly keeping safe.  This brings me onto the subject of schools reopening.  Like you we await news from our Prime Minister on Sunday to see what the future holds for schools.  We don't hear anything beforehand.  Whatever is shared with us on Sunday, I know that everyone at Holy Family will always put the safety of the children, you and staff first.  I have already been having some discussions about health and safety, and how we would alter routines and class layout to accommodate what I hope will just be a partial reopening of some year groups to begin with, but only when it is safe to do so.  As soon as I hear on Sunday I will continue with our planning and keep you informed.

 

Until then enjoy the sunshine and VE Day on Friday.

 

Take care and stay safe.

 

Kind Regards

Mrs Kelliher

2nd May 2020

Another week has passed by and I hope that you are all keeping safe and well. The daily Coronavirus updates still give us no clear idea of when, and in what capacity schools will reopen. Hopefully everyone is able to access the great variety of work and activities that class teachers are putting on the class pages. Next week we look forward to seeing and hearing about all the lovely things you’re doing as part of our celebrations for VE Day in Friday 8th May. It’s seeing all the great things you’ve been up to that brings us joy, as we miss you all. 
 

Take care, stay safe

Mrs Kelliher 

27th April 2020

 

Dear Parents/Carers

I hope you are all keeping safe and well.

Please see below information about a new national helpline for queries about home learning.  Also a weblink to free online courses.

 

Kind Regards

Mrs Kelliher

 

National Home Learning Support Helpline for Parents

A national parent helpline has been set up, known as StarLine, and backed by the new virtual Oak Academy, as well as Star Academies, the Confederation of School Trusts, Triple P UK and a number of academy trusts. It is also staffed by Ofsted inspectors who have been redeployed alongside teachers to provide advice about home learning to parents. The helpline is designed to help parents and carers create regular routines and study habits, offering practical steps to take and access to resources, such as support with a specific topic or advice on how to structure the day, deal with difficult behaviour or manage the learning of several children.
StarLine is open six days a week and covers all areas of the curriculum across all phases of education. The number to call is 0330 313 9162 (calls charged at local rate).

 

 

Explaining Coronavirus to children

Letter to parents from Schools Sports Partnership

22nd April 2020

Dear Parents/Carers
I hope that this email finds you all safe and well.  This week schools have been asked to enquire not only after their families deemed vulnerable, but all pupils.  We have thought best how to do this as I know that many of you are communicating with your son'/daughter's class teacher Tapestry in EYFS/Y1 or SeeSaw in other year groups.  Not wanting to create extra work for everyone, I have asked teachers to contact every two or three weeks any families that have not been active on the class pages via Tapestry or SeeSaw, just to enquire that you are safe and well.  
 
Kind Regards
Mrs Kelliher

 

22nd April 2020

Update on use of FSM vouchers

Please note that these may now be used in Aldi too.

 

19th April 2020
Dear Parents and Children

I hope you are all keeping safe and well. Please see below a link to new information from the government about learning at home. 
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/help-primary-school-children-continue-their-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19

 

Teachers will be adding new work and activities for you to do at home. Please also see on the class pages a letter from Mrs Lonergan about activities that can be done outdoors. We are also delighted to announce in that letter that HFS has been awarded ‘silver’ in Learning outside the Classroom Quality Mark. Well done to everyone.

 

Take Care

 

Mrs Kelliher 

 

31st March 2020

Dear Parents/Carers and Children

I hope that you are all keeping safe and well, and are settling into your new routines at home.  The school feels very different and we miss you all.  Last week and this week class teachers have been arranging their class pages and systems of communication. I would expect this to evolve again for the summer term as we get used to working in different ways. 

 

There are also many weblinks that might be of use.  Whilst mentioning online please can you ensure that you have reviewed your home e-safety routines.  This was a reminder sent out to schools recently.

 

Underneath this message I have added a new link to support mental health and well-being.

 

We've also been putting information and weblinks to resources to support our faith and religious education.  These can be found on the 'Our Faith' section on the Key Information tab.

 

Finally, it will be Holy Week next week and I'm sure that more links will be sent to us. We usually do a special Stations of the Cross Assembly with the children as close as we can to Holy Week.  I'll add our Holy Family booklet that you may wish to use at home for your own Stations of the Cross reflection.

 

Take care, stay safe

Mrs Kelliher

 

 

25th March 2020

 

Dear Parents/Carers

In addition to Fr David’s message below please see a message from Abbott Hugh (link below).

https://www.facebook.com/norbertines/videos/212416166657485/

 

24th March 2020

 

Dear Parents/Carers

Like us I am sure that you are adjusting to a new way of doing things. Today I was seeing how school and home interacted in our EYFS class. After Boris Johnson's message to us all last night it is vital that we stay indoors and follow all the latest requirements.  I've added a few bits below.

 

Take Care.

 

Kind Regards

Mrs Kelliher

Coronavirus: doctors and nurses post message urging public to stay at home

Healthcare workers on the frontline of the coronavirus outbreak have made an appeal to the public.

61.20 Attachment 1 Corona Animation.mp4

Still image for this video

Message from Witham Foodbank

If people would like to donate food or money to Foodbank, they can bring them to the Centre @ Witham Methodist Church (nearly opposite the Catholic Church) on a Friday between 10-12. In these desperate times, we are giving out more food than we are receiving.
Many thanks.

Stella Thompson

 

22nd March 2020 

Dear families of the Holy Family School Community,

I want to assure you, especially at this time, of my love and prayers and know that I am saying Mass daily at home. These are hard times but trust in the Lord and keep the faith. Whatever we have to face we will face it together and hope for brighter times ahead.

 

God love you all,

Fr David.

 

20th March 2020

Dear Parents/Carers

It has been a strange kind of day knowing that we won't see the children for a while.  They have all been fantastic, and although they must feel uncertain about what the next few weeks, months will bring, I am so proud of how they have behaved. They are a credit to you all.

 

I have had to take a difficult decision, and be very strict with which key worker children we can support, in child care provision over the next few days/weeks.  The aim of school closures is to reduce the opportunities of us spreading the coronavirus to each other.  Schools have held on as long as they could, and the government acknowledged this.  Seeing the rapid increase in coronavirus cases they too made the difficult decision to close schools.

 

My response to help Holy Family keep going for as long as we can, has been to concentrate solely on families with two identified key workers, and those single parent families who had no other support network around them.  I would like to thank all those families who supported me in this, and made the challenging decision to speak to their employers, or change their lives around to care for their children at home.  In doing so they have allowed their key worker partner, and staff at HFS to last longer to support those families for whom there is no other option.

 

My thanks go to our staff who have given me their unfailing support and will continue to do so.  They are concerned about their families too.

 

Over the next week staff will be reviewing their class webpages to ensure that we have lots on there for the children to do.  Please check the pages regularly for information.  We'd love to receive emails with work that your children have done or videos of them talking about it.  Send then to the admin email and I will ask Mrs Buet to send them on.  If you're in agreement we might be able to put them on the class webpage too.

 

Thank you everyone.  Keeping looking after each other, I know you will.

 

Kind Regards

Mrs Kelliher

 

 

Dear Parents/Carers

I have spent much of the morning reading through latest Government, LA and Union guidance about school closure, and who should be offered a child care place in schools.  It is summed up by 'every child who can be safely cared for at home should be'.  Below is a letter from me explaining how these 'offers' of child care places will operate and also a form for those key workers with no alternatives for keeping children at home.  For these families we will do our very best.

 

From next week we will be offering a very different type of provision than schools usually provide; for these children, it will be about care, not education.  This is about keeping our children safe, and allowing key workers with no other child-care alternative, the ability to go to work and care for the sick, or to keep food supply chains moving.  All expectations regarding educational provision have been lifted.

 

Please follow the very latest guidance in social (physical) distancing and keep yourselves and families as safe as possible.  Look after each other.

 

Kind Regards

Mrs Kelliher

 

19th March (22:10hrs)

Dear Parents/Carers

Please see letter below.  We still have many things to establish and will update you as soon as we have heard from the government.

 

Kind Regards

Mrs Kelliher

In addition to children of defined key workers, it is also my understanding that children with EHCPs may also be eligible to be in school. We are still waiting for information. 

19th March - letter to parents

Dear Parents/Carers

At 5.15pm today, the Secretary of State for Education gave a public statement that all state-funded schools in England would be closed from the end of the school day on Friday.

 

He also indicated that all the GCSE, AS and A-level examinations due to take place this Summer, have been suspended; and that students would be credited for their learning in some other way.

 

Having indicated that all schools would be closed, he then indicated that they would be expected to remain open for the children of key workers and for those in various vulnerable categories – providing a safe place and access to meals. We are expecting a definition of ‘key worker’ tomorrow from the Cabinet Office. It will take time to determine the nature of this provision. Please contact our office once The definition is published and you fit into this category. This provision will also be affected as more school staff themselves need to self isolate. 
 

Although we have been anticipating such an announcement, and prepared for various scenarios, the limited details so far released raise considerably more questions than answers. You will all have your own legitimate concerns and queries.

 

The Secretary of State gave no undertaking that schools would be expected to sustain a pattern of normal learning during the closure; rather that any available staff would be expected to support other frontline efforts. Our school response is yet to be determined.

 

I will be working my senior leadership colleagues, and all staff, and the local authority to clarify as best we can what this announcement means for the school, for our pupils and for you. I anticipate providing more details later tomorrow.

 

Thank you for your support and for your patience in the meantime.

 

For the next two days, pupil attendance is expected to continue as normal within the COVID-19 Public Health England guidance.

 

Kind Regards

Mrs Kelliher 

 

 

NHS Guidance to follow

Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms

Stay at home if you have either:

  • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new, continuous cough – this means you've started coughing repeatedly

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.

Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you're staying at home.

 

How long to stay at home

  • if you have symptoms, stay at home for 7 days
  • if you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms

If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.

If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.

 

Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

 

 

18th March 2020

Dear Parents/Carers

We have good procedures in school and all is calm with our daily life, with the children being well looked after.  Please help us to maintain this by NOT sending your son/daughter into school is they have a cough or temperature.  I cannot stress this strongly enough.  I appreciate that I am usually saying how important attendance is, but this is a unique circumstance.  If your household is having to self isolate for the 14 days we will code attendance as 'Y'.  This means that you will not get prosecuted or have any school action taken against you for your child not being in school.

 

Strictly follow the 14 days isolation.  Keep safe.  Ask for help from family and friends as necessary.

 

Thank you

 

18th March 2020 Essex Communications to Parents

17th March 2020

Anyone with a temperature or persistent cough should stay at home for 7 days if they live alone or 14 days if they live with others. The whole household needs to isolate themselves under the new guidance. 

People who have to isolate themselves or their household should ask others for help if necessary.

Coronavirus Explained for Children

For our youngest children in school, we have used this video to help explain what is happening around them to help alleviate any worries they may have. Many have commented as to why do we need to keep washing our hands all the time? We found the video useful to help them to voice their concerns and find answers to questions also.

How to Talk to Kids about Coronavirus? In this video, Billy explains to your kids what is Coronavirus, where it comes from, how it works and most importantly...

Dear Parents/Carers

You already know that the safety and care of our children has, and always will be, central to our school.

 

On this page I will add current national guidance, and also local updates (as in what Essex are telling us to do, and also any decisions that we have to make as a school).

 

Please check the page regularly as it will give you accurate information.

 

Holy Family aims to remain open as directed by our Prime Minister. We continue to follow all hygiene guidance and remind the children of the need for effective handwashing techniques.

 

To help me to look after our school community I need:

  • Everyone following national guidance.
  • Everyone following hygiene guidance.
  • Everyone taking appropriate social distancing measures.
  • Everyone informing the school if they need to self/family isolate.
  • Everyone informing the school if there is a confirmed coronavirus case in their family or colleague.
  • Everyone supporting each other as best they can, should there be a need.

 

As none of us know exactly what the next few weeks will bring, it would be prudent to arrange provisional child care cover for your child(ren) just in case.  Should the school have to close partially (eg: because too many staff in a given class are having to self isolate), temporarily (eg: for a deep clean), or a full closure (eg: because of a National directive, or local directive from Public Health England) you will be prepared.

 

If I have everyone communicating effectively we can make informed decisions with the appropriate authorities should the need arise.

 

I thank you all for your continued support.

 

Mrs Kelliher

 

 

HELPLINE NUMBER
A new helpline has been set up to answer questions about COVID-19 related to Education, Staff, Parents and young people.

The DFE also states that no school should close in response to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case unless directed to do so by Public Health England.

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday
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