Dear Parents and carers,
We hope you are all keeping well and staying safe. As we get towards the end of a very strange and unique year, we are ensuring that as many of the usual things still happen. There are some events that are just not possible and hopefully we can do these in the new school year.
This newsletter has a lot of information on it about the rest of the school year and the beginning of the next. There will be regular updates on the school Facebook page @stthomaswerneth and the school website during the summer holiday, so please keep checking these.
School reports have been written and will be sent out to homes from the 9th July.
Times have been allocated for each year group to collect this year’s school books, PE kits and to return any reading books to school. Any books left in school will be recycled during the summer holiday.
The transition to the new classes will be harder this year as the children will not be able to visit their new teachers in school. The teachers will be posting a video introducing themselves to the children through Seesaw explaining some of the things to expect in their new year.
From September, the cost of school dinners will be rising from £2.30 a day to £2.40 per day (£12.00 per week). This will still be paid through the online payment system you have used this year. All children in Reception, Year One and Year Two will receive a universal free school meal and will not need to pay.
If you feel through a change in circumstance or income through universal credit, you may be eligible for free school meals. This will entitle you to the free school meal vouchers over the summer holidays and then free meals after the summer. Either visit the following website or call the office staff: 0161 633 0539.
The government have agreed that the free school meal vouchers will be sent through the 6 weeks of summer. These will be sent in one payment during the first week.
The voucher system has not been easy to maintain. If you feel that you are eligible and have not received please either call the school office or visit the school webpage where an email link is. Some people are still struggling with vouchers not arriving due to incorrect email addresses. Please fill in the contact information on the school website under parents and then free school meals and I will get back to you.
From September, things will look slightly different in school. A comprehensive risk assessment has been completed and approved by our governing body and the local authority. This will be posted on the school website as soon as possible. This includes information about how the school will maintain its best endeavours to keep all children, staff and parents safe when we are all back.
All children will be expected to be in school every day, as normal from Thursday September 3rd with the exception of the Reception which will be explained below. Some of the routines in school will change slightly around picking up and dropping off children and some break and lunchtimes will change too.
All children will need to wear their school uniform and we would recommend that uniform is washed each evening.
The school day will change slightly for the Year 5 and 6 children.
They will need to be dropped off at school between 8:40 and 8:50 and will depart school at 2:50. This is to ensure that only one year group at a time is using the corridors.
Years Reception, 1, 2, 3 and 4 will all begin and end school at the normal times of 8:50 and 3:00.
Reception children have been contacted about when they begin the school year. Children new to our school and didn’t attend our nursery will begin school on Thursday 3rd September and all other Reception children will begin on Monday 7th September.
Each of your children’s teachers will post a video on Seesaw showing you which door your child will need to use to enter school and where you will be picked up.
To keep the contact between people to a minimum, parents will only be allowed to drop their children at the relevant door and leave the yard immediately, respecting social distancing guidelines at all times. A member of staff from their class will be waiting at the door to welcome them where they will wash their hands and go straight to their class.
One their PE day, which will be shared on the Seesaw video to be posted next week, the children need to come to school in their PE kit (shorts or tracksuit pants, t-shirt, jumper and pumps or trainers) and will stay in it all day.
Swimming for the Year 3 and 4 children will be taking place, but we are unsure when the pools will be opening and the exact date when the lessons will start.
Times to pick up books from school:
Monday 13th July
Morning : 9:00-10:00 - Reception
Afternoon : 2:00-3:00 - Year 1
Tuesday 14th July
Morning : 9:00-10:00 - Year 2
Afternoon : 2:00-3:00 - Year 3
Wednesday 15th July
Morning : 9:00-10:00 - Year 4
Afternoon : 2:00-3:00 - Year 5
Thursday 16th July
Morning : 9:00-10:00 - Year 6
Due to restricted access at this time, these are the only times you will be able to pick up the books from school.
Finally, we say goodbye this week to two amazing members of staff who have been with our school for a long time.
Mrs Service has taught at St. Thomas and Summervale for many years and has supported the children, parents, staff and wider community for the entire time she has been here. She is retiring, but we are assured we will be seeing her visiting and helping us out on trips.
Mrs Smith has been at St. Thomas’ for over 10 years as teacher and deputy head. She has worked with, taught and supported many children and staff over that time making an incredible difference and impact that will last in school for many years. She is retiring too but, like Mrs Service, has offered to come and help us. We will be having a more formal celebration later in the year, when we are allowed to do so, and a collection will be organised next term.
School will close as planned on Friday 17th July at 1:30 and reopen on Thursday 3rd September.
Please keep following government guidance and stay safe so that we all return well and ready to learn in September
Mrs A Knowles