Weekly Bulletin: Friday 19th June 2020
Messages for children at home
Hopefully this week has been a little different, with the start of our Tunbury online lessons. I hear that you enjoyed seeing your teachers and each other – it’s been quite a while since we last saw you!
If you haven’t looked at the lessons, please ask your adults to help you to get involved. For every year group, we have a pre-recorded video lesson, followed by a live online lesson later on in the week. You can join the live online lesson by clicking on an invitation which is emailed to your Mums or Dads. We look forward to seeing you there next week!
Headteacher’s message for parents/carers
I would like to start this week’s bulletin with a huge thank you to our hardworking Tunbury staff team. Throughout the last few months, everyone (our cleaners, teachers, midday meals supervisors, teaching assistants, office staff and leadership team) has coped so well with the many challenges thrown at them by the Covid-19 crisis. As a team, they have worked together, showing wonderful dedication, compassion and adaptability as they have all had to adjust to completely new ways of working. One example of this is the start of this week’s pre-recorded and live online lessons for each year group, prepared and delivered by teachers working from home. Despite everything being so new, teachers and children really enjoyed their first online sessions and we look forward to developing these opportunities further over the coming weeks.
In school, the number of children is continuing to rise, with an expansion of the number of key worker/vulnerable child bubbles in Year 2-5 both this week and next week. Thank you for informing us in advance of any new requests for children to return to school, as this makes it possible to plan our staffing and room allocations. Please email us at email@example.com with any new requests. The deadline for this remains at 5pm on Wednesdays for any new attendance the following Monday.
However, please note that this week’s government guidance recommends that schools should offer a ‘last call’ to parents/carers of children in Year R, 1 or 6 (other than key workers), so that we know whether or not we need to include these children in our in-school teaching groups before the summer break. If you are in this group, we are asking you to let us know next week (ie by 5pm on Wednesday 24th June) if you wish your children to return to school this term. The last intake of children in Year R, 1 or 6 will then take place the following Monday, 29th June, space permitting. If you do not contact us, we have been advised to assume that a school place is not needed and therefore this will no longer be available to your child before the summer break. Please note: as we are so close to our capacity in school, it may not be possible to admit all children who wish to return. If this is the case, we have been asked to prioritise children of key workers and our younger children in Year R and Year 1. If you have any queries about this, please contact the school office before Wednesday’s deadline and we will be happy to discuss these with you.
Also in this week’s government guidance, we have a further update on the ‘flexibility’ offered to schools to admit more children this term. After careful consideration of our options, we are sorry to confirm that due to the number of children already in school, we will not be able to offer any in-school provision to children from additional year groups, other than Year R, 1 and 6 and our key worker/vulnerable child groups. This is because we do not have the capacity do so, both in terms of staffing levels and classroom space. This will clearly be a disappointment to many children and we are aware that with this news, thoughts will start to turn to transition into the next academic year. We are working on a new range of online transition activities, including live lessons with children’s new teachers for the next academic year, and we will share further details in the coming weeks.
Ahead of this, we can publish our staffing allocations for the new academic year - see letters and forms in the parents section - please read this information and share the relevant details with your children. We’re proud to have a strong teaching team at Tunbury and all of our teachers are looking forward to welcoming their new classes back to school, although of course we do not know exactly what the start of term will look like in September. We’re all hoping for a return to a more ‘normal’ way of working, if this is considered possible, but we will work within the relevant guidance at the time.
One important change in our staffing for September is the move to a new phase structure for Tunbury. Currently, each year group has a Head of Year, but these roles are being replaced by new Phase Leader roles for the three phases, which are Year R-1, Years 2-4 and Year 5-6. Children within each phase will work together, for example through assemblies and other learning opportunities. For children, staff and parents/carers, our new Phase Leaders will fulfil the key middle leadership roles, in between class teachers and our Deputy Headteachers. This change takes effect in September and we will explain this in more detail at the start of the new year.
Please continue to contact us at school if you have any queries or concerns about transition to the new school year, or anything else concerning your children’s education. Thank you for your continued support.
Have a lovely weekend everyone – please take care of yourselves and your families.
Thank you: We have been very fortunate to receive a very generous donation of £1000 from Jo Clayton's uncle Johnny who sadly passed away. His family are keen to support children with SEND and we have been able to buy three IPADS to support SEND pupils with software that will best support their learning needs.
Collecting belongings: Arrangements are being made for parents to be able to collect their children’s belongings from school before the end of term. For Year 6 only, this will also include the collection of children’s exercise books (from both their Year 5 and Year 6 classes). For all other children, exercise books will remain in school to aid transition and the previous year’s books will be sent home at Christmas.
For Year 6 classes, collection of books and belongings will start next week, with Crimson class on Monday, Emerald class on Tuesday and Violet class on Wednesday. Children in school will bring home their books – please send them in with a strong carrier bag for this purpose. For children not attending school, books and belongings will be available at the school office during the day for parents/carers to collect – please come into school to collect these items at any point during the allocated day. If you would like another parent to collect your child’s books on your behalf, please email the school office to let us know. Thank you.
SEN: If you have any queries related to SEN, AEN or DLACT, please email Miss Byrne at 8862530.Senco@tunbury.kent.sch.uk. Miss Byrne will be viewing this email account daily within school working hours (not during school holidays) and will endeavour to reply to emails within two working days. If your query requires a more urgent response, please phone the school office. Please do not use Miss Byrne’s personal work email address.