Posted on: 30/03/2021
Headteacher's NewsletterDear Parents and Carers,
As we quickly approach the end of this term. I just wanted to thank you again for all the support you have given the staff since our return. The last few weeks have seemed like a whirlwind and have not been without their challenges.
I have said this so many times, but it is truly wonderful to have the children back in school.
Their smiles at the school gate each morning, as well as through the day, have lifted the spirits of us all. We are so tremendously proud of the care that the children show one another, as well as their resilience and thoughtfulness, particularly during these unprecedented times.
Reception Admissions 2020-2021
We received a very high number of applications for our Reception places in September 2021. The School had 162 applications for the 60 places, with 31 of them being siblings. I know the EYFS team will be looking forward to the summer term when we can invite the families to the school.
We are very grateful to Father Hyacinth for the whole school virtual Mass which summed up the message of Easter. A big thank you to Ms. Antwi-Bosiako for co-ordinating the Mass at the end of such a busy term. Can we please remind you to pick up a newsletter from Church giving times of Holy Week and Easter Services. We do hope that the Lenten message continues to be given at home.
First Holy Communion
Our Lady of Grace Parish is finalizing their First Holy Communion programme for this year. Many thanks to those parents who have already signed their children up to the programme. The closing date has been extended until Sunday 4th April.
We look forward to seeing as many of our Year 3 children as possible taking part in this special and important sacramental preparation.
Due to the current climate, the office has not sent out information this year for Parent Voluntary contributions to school funds. After Easter we will once again be asking parents for a £10 voluntary contribution. Please note these contributions are entirely voluntary and completely anonymous, so no family should be compelled to pay if it is beyond their means.
This year we are asking that you pay directly into our school fund account: Account name: London Borough of Greenwich Our Lady of Grace School. Sort Code: 20-98-57 Account Number: 80851000
Things to look forward to!
Educational Visits after Easter
As soon as it is possible, we will be organising educational visits and activities. We have provisionally booked the Seaside trip for Year 2 in June as well Outward Bounds day for Year 6. More details will follow after Easter.
We have provisionally booked Tempest Photography to come in on 10th May for class photos of EYFS, Year 3 and Year 6 as well as whole school individual / siblings photos. Also it has been 4 years since our last whole school Photograph, so we have provisionally booked them in for 30th June.
Sports Day / Summer Fayre / Whole School Performances / Masses
We are all desperate for these school community events to take place once restrictions have been eased. Please be assured that we will do our very best to make these events happen if it is possible.
Many of our Year 5 parents will be going through the Secondary Transfer process for the first time in October 2021. After the Easter break, I hope to arrange for some Secondary headteachers to come into school to discuss all aspects of the Secondary process with those parents.
Attendance by class and whole school:
St Francis 98.6
St Bernadette 97.7
St David 99.2
St John Bosco 96.9
St Joseph 98.7
St Gerard 98.8
St Peter 99.4
St Martin 98.1
St Martin De Porres 98.7
St Francis of Assisi 98.2
St Elizabeth 95.2
St Patrick 99.3
Whole School Attendance Total 98.2
I am pleased to say that many of the staff vacancies that were advertised have been filled in readiness for September 2021.
We have some new support staff working in school, Mr Veel in Year 5 is working part-time and we will have Mrs Senejoa who will be working with a pupil in Year 2 after Easter. We welcome them both to the team.
When we return, please ensure your child is wearing the correct school uniform and appropriate footwear.
As we all look forward to the summer term and the hot weather, Summer Uniform can now be worn. Please make sure you provide your child with a sun hat/cap every day. These may be any colour but plain in design. Can you also make sure you apply sun cream to your child before they come to school in the morning.
P.E – the children should be wearing the school PE kit as well as plimsoles or black/navy trainers, plain in design. If a child wears brightly coloured trainers they will not be allowed to take part in P.E. lessons.
I would ask you to be mindful of the way in which you drop off and pick up your children and request that you do not park across resident’s driveways or block/mount the pavement – this is dangerous for both pedestrians and parents pushing buggies who have to move into the road to avoid these parked vehicles.
On behalf of all the Governors and staff, we wish you all a Happy and Holy Easter break.
Living Holy Week following Jesus means learning how to come out of ourselves to reach out to others, to go to the outskirts of existence, to be the first to move towards our brothers and sisters, especially those who are most distant, those who are most forgotten, those who are the most in need of understanding, consolation and help. There is so much need to bring the living presence of Jesus, merciful and full of love.
Posted on: 25/02/2021
Headteacher's NewsletterDear Parents and Carers
Following Monday’s announcement from the Government, we are delighted to see schools reopening for all children from 8th March.
The guidelines for reopening are similar to those of the autumn term detailed in my letter to you on 16th July: https://www.ourladyofgracecatholicprimaryschool.co.uk/198/letters-to-parents
staggered starts to keep groups apart as they arrive and leave school
all children being taught in consistent group ‘bubbles’
packed lunches being eaten in classrooms. (It will not be possible to serve hot food until the guidance changes)
teachers and Support staff, including SEND staff, operating across different classes
Face Coverings will be mandatory for all staff and visitors, but this will not include the children.
Weekly testing for all staff.
NEW - Timetable for the School Day
DROP OFF TIMES
EYFS St Francis
LIME KILN DRIVE
EYFS St Bernadette
LIME KILN DRIVE
LUNCHTIME IN CLASSROOM
YEAR 5 & 6
10.25 – 10.40am
(20mins in classroom, 40 min play)
YEAR 3 & 4
10.45 – 11.00am
(20mins in classroom, 40 min play)
10.30 – 10.45am
(20mins in classroom, 40 min play
10.30 – 10.45am
(20mins in classroom, 30 min play)
10.30 – 10.45am
(20mins in classroom, 40 min play)
To ensure the school is ready for the return of the children there will be a staff INSET on Friday 5th March. The school will be closed to all children (including Key Worker children) and there will be no Home Learning on that day.
Parent Questionnaire: Review of Online Learning
Thank you to all those who filled out the online questionnaire. We had 102 responses with the following results:
My Child is spending too much time on a screen for learning.
56% of parents said their child spends the right amount of time on screen for learning.
My child is completing all their schoolwork in the set time allocated.
57% of parents agreed that their child completed the schoolwork in the set time allocated.
My child receives too much work.
76% of parents thought their child received the right amount of work.
My child doesn’t receive enough work.
88% of parents disagreed with the statement.
All of us would agree that Home Learning has been challenging, this review highlights the contrasting views of our parents. Teachers have done their best to continue educating our children in these very difficult circumstances. We are all pleased to be returning to the classroom!
Academic Review Day
It is essential that the partnership between home and school continues after this latest lockdown. In order to update parents on their children’s progress I have requested that
Wednesday 31st March (last day of term) be set aside as an Academic Review day. This will be an opportunity for teachers and parents to discuss their children via zoom. Once this date has been agreed by governors I will contact parents to confirm.
World Book Day
On Thursday 4th March, we will be celebrating World Book Day. It would be fantastic if the children could dress up as their favourite book character. During the week children will also be expected to read in unusual places, e.g. in a cupboard, on a car etc. Please could parents take photos of their children and post them on the class stream on Google Classroom. These will be shared with the whole when we return.
As we prepare ourselves for Holy Week, please continue to pray with your children and to share bible stories with them. Our faith journey during Lent is so important in these unprecedented times.
“Lent is a humble descent both inwards and towards others. It is about realizing that salvation is not an ascent to glory, but a descent in love.” Pope Francis, Lent 2021.
Finally, to make sure infection rates do not rise there needs to be minimal contact between parents at the start and end of the day. In order for the school to remain open after the 8th March, we need the cooperation of all our parents and carers to adhere to the social distancing guidelines and to wear the obligatory facemasks.
Mr Sean Small
Posted on: 11/02/2021
End of Term NewsletterDear Parents and Carers
As we start our final week, we have the snow! I do hope the children manage to go outside and have the chance to play in it whilst it lasts.
Thank you for your continued support with online learning. Lockdown fatigue is hitting us all, especially these last few weeks.
I keep saying it, but we all desperately want our children back in school. We heard from the Prime Minister that schools will not return until Monday 8th March at the earliest.
For most of the children online learning is going well. For those parents, whose children are struggling, please just do your best with what you can. Revisit work that has been uploaded or read with your children; this will help the teachers immensely.
It is important for us all that when we do finally reopen the transition back to the classroom is as seamless as possible. This week’s assessments will be invaluable in helping teachers plan for after half term and to address any gaps they have found.
We will be back soon, I promise.
Following meetings with the teachers, they have asked me to highlight some pointers. Though many are common sense, you would be surprised at the number of households not following these simple guidelines.
Please read over the Home Learning Policy on the Website
Whenever possible, children should be sitting at a table or at least in an appropriate place when undertaking their work to be able to produce their best efforts
During the live sessions with teachers, the behaviour of the children is so important. Please ensure your children are in a communal area of the house and are supervised
Finally, the children should be appropriately dressed during Google Meets.
Well done those children who have been nominated by their teacher for something special they have done over the course of online learning. We would normally give a range of rewards in school for impressive effort and attitudes. This consistency and seeing so many different children receiving awards from the teachers makes me so proud that the learning continues to be strong.
Review of Online Learning
We will be sending out a link to a simple questionnaire to gauge your views on the schools online learning. It is important for us to recognise what is going well and what can be improved so please fill in the form when you receive the text.
Ash Wednesday at the start of Lent is during Half term. Please share some of these online resources in preparation for this special time:
Resources to Download:
40 Ideas for 40 Days: https://www.loyolapress.com/catholic-resources/liturgical- year/lent/activities-and-resources/40-ideas-for-40-days/
Catechetical Activities for Lent: https://www.loyolapress.com/catholic-resources/liturgical-year/lent/activities-and-resources/catechetical-activities-for-lent/
Lent at Home: https://www.loyolapress.com/catholic-resources/liturgical-year/lent/activities-and-resources/lent-at-home/
Lenten Activities for Children: https://www.loyolapress.com/catholic- resources/liturgical-year/lent/activities-and-resources/lenten-activities-for-children/
Lenten Family Calendar: https://www.loyolapress.com/catholic-resources/liturgical- year/lent/activities-and-resources/lenten-family-calendar/
Holiday Dates 2021/ 2022: Please see link to next year’s term dates on our website: https://www.ourladyofgracecatholicprimaryschool.co.uk/196/term-dates
Over the course of these past weeks, I would like to thank all the Support Staff and PPA teachers who have come into school to work within the Key Worker and SEN Bubbles.
I would also like to pass on my thanks to the office staff who have been in school constantly and who have quite literally kept the show on the road, by giving parents the necessary information needed to access Home Learning.
To the teachers, who have tried their very best to keep the learning fun and interesting over these past 7 weeks. Remember, this learning platform is new to them too!
Finally, thank you to all parents. It has been a tough 7 weeks and its clear, we would not have been able to achieve the outcomes without your help and efforts. The juggling of your work, housework, cooking, being the teacher, the husband, the wife, the parent, and the shoulder to cry on. I thank you all and say well done, you have all earned your stripes!
Have a safe and restful half term!