Weekly Bulletin: Wednesday 21st July 2021
Headteacher’s message to parents/carers
On the last day of term, we look back at the year – as ever, it’s been eventful! We end it with an immense feeling of pride for the whole of Team Tunbury, and although we are so disappointed not to have every class with us for the last few days of term, we hope that all of our children are able to look back on the year with many happy memories.
Today, we’re also saying goodbye to a wonderful group of Year 6 children. We are so proud of everything that they have achieved during their time at Tunbury: they are resilient, caring and intelligent young people, ready to take on the world! We wish every single one of them all the very best for a bright and successful future. Also, for our Tunbury parents and carers who are leaving us for the last time today, we would like to say a huge thank you for the support you have given your children and our school over the years.
Additionally, congratulations to the winners of our Year 6 awards:
Fraser (Crimson class) Headteacher award
Henry (Violet class) Outstanding attitude and achievement in Maths
Ella (Crimson class) Outstanding attitude and achievement in English
Mollie (Emerald class) Outstanding attitude and effort
Today is also the last Tunbury day for a number of our staff team, with Mr May, Miss O'Brien, Miss Frampton, Mrs Black, Miss Carr and Miss Harman moving onto pastures new, near and far. I know that parents and carers will join me in thanking them for their many contributions to the school and wishing them well for the future.
Looking ahead, we have been planning for the next phase of school operation in September, so please read the information section below, where we outline some of the key changes.
We wish all of our families a very happy summer break. We look forward to welcoming you back to Tunbury on Thursday 2nd September.
Key information for September
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, school operation has changed numerous times under government guidance. We now have our guidance for September 2021 onwards, and we wanted to share the key points from this with parents/carers, ahead of the summer break.
The main difference is that schools are no longer required or advised to work with a ‘bubble’ system, meaning that many of the features of normal school operation can resume.
However, we noted from the recent parent survey that some of our current systems have been positively received. For example, the free-flow entry and exit with a staggered start has been popular. As a result of this, we have tried to keep some aspects of this system in our new plans from September.
Entry/exit routines: Entry will be 8.40-8.50 for all children, exit 3.10 for Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 and 3.15 for Years 3, 4, 5 and 6. The details are as follows.
In the mornings, the playground and side gates will be opened at 8.40.
- The gates will remain open from 8.40-8.50 and will close promptly at 8.50.
- Parents/carers will say goodbye to children at the gates, as you do now, and then children will free-flow from both gates directly to their classrooms.
- Class teachers will remain in their classrooms in the mornings, while teaching assistants are on duty throughout the school grounds. There will be a greater number of staff on duty during Term 1, while our children get used to these new procedures.
- Parents/carers can choose which of the two gates they wish to use, but we would strongly encourage Reception children to use the playground gate.
- At the side gate, the orange barriers will still be used to prevent turning or parking outside the gates. At the playground gate, the park gate will still be opened to create more space. In the afternoons, the same two gates (playground and side gates) will be opened at 3.10.
- Parents/carers will enter the school site to collect their children from the upper playground, Reception fenced area or lower playground.
- Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 classes will dismiss children from 3.10-3.15. They will be ready to start dismissing children at 3.10.
- Reception classes will dismiss from their fenced area, with parents lined up on the upper playground as they currently do, but without the need for social distancing in the lines.
- Year 1 and 2 classes will dismiss from their classroom doors onto the lower playground (Lavender & Year 1) or from the door outside Pink (Pink and Orange), similar to pre-Covid routines.
- KS2 classes will dismiss at 3.15, with parents gathering on the upper playground. Classes will dismiss from designated positions in front of the Reception fence and in front of the small hall, similar to those used pre-Covid.
- In Year 6, children who have permission to walk home by themselves will be dismissed from their classroom external doors, before the teacher walks the children who are being collected by parents onto the upper playground.
There are different arrangements for our new starters in our Reception classes and these details are being shared directly with them today. In the transition period from 2nd September – 10th September, parents will be accompanying Reception children to the classroom doors, after the main 8.40-8.50 entry window for older children.
Overall, our entry/exit routines combine some of the positive features of our current and past routines. Teachers will be available at home time for a brief chat on the playground, and we know that this contact with school will be welcomed by many parents. Teachers will not be available in the mornings, as they will be in their classrooms. As in our pre-Covid routines, the front gate will not be used for entry/exit because this a mixed vehicle/pedestrian gate, as well as being a longer distance from our classrooms.
Both of our open gates will feel much more crowded that they currently do, as the whole school is using the same 10 minute window for entry. However, we would encourage families to use the whole 10 minute window, rather than everyone arriving for an 8.40 start. Pre-covid, our start time was 8.45, so the 8.40-8.50 window is designed to provide some flexibility around this time.
PE: Children will need to bring a PE kit with them into school and keep the PE kit on their peg or in their locker, ready for PE lessons.
From September, the responsibility for teaching PE will be transferred from Sports Coaches to class teachers. This was a planned changed, unrelated to Covid guidance. This means that classes will have two separate PE lessons each week, enabling teachers to timetable different aspects of the PE curriculum into the two lessons, rather than children having one half-day PE session as they did before. If a class is swimming, this will be one of the two weekly sessions timetabled. We will still have our Sports Coaches Mr Kent and Miss Payne working with us, but they will now be supporting teachers, rather than leading the lessons themselves.
We will resume swimming lessons for Year 4, as usual. These will be on Tuesday mornings: Ruby class going in the Autumn term, Scarlet class in the Spring term and Lilac class in the Summer term.
In addition, we will provide swimming lessons for children in Year 5 and 6 who previously missed their Year 4 swimming slots because of Covid disruption. These will be on Wednesday mornings: Emerald and Magenta classes in the Autumn term, followed by Indigo and Turquoise classes in the Spring term.
Further information about swimming will be provided in September.
Lunchtimes: All children will go to the main school hall to eat their lunch, both for school dinners and for packed lunches. In Years 3-6, children will no longer be eating lunch in their classrooms.
Energy Kidz: Our on-site breakfast and after-school club will continue to operate in September and will be moving back from the main hall (where they needed more space to work within the bubble system) into the small hall (where children will gather and play together as they did previously).
Uniform: We expect all Tunbury children to wear their school uniform with pride, including school shoes (not trainers). Also, for the avoidance of doubt, we can confirm that black trainers are not allowed, even if the trainer is black and all the logos on the trainer are also black! Thank you.
For families in receipt of the Pupil Premium, we have already provided a £20 voucher per child for school uniform costs and we will provide another £20 voucher per child on July 27th. As a result of this support, we do not anticipate that financial pressures will prevent any Tunbury child from wearing a full school uniform. If you would like to check if you are eligible for free school meals and Pupil Premium, please visit www.kent.gov.uk/education-and-children/schools/free-school-meals
Covid outbreak management: The current government guidance states that Covid measures for schools can be stepped up or down in the future. For example, if there was an outbreak of Covid (ie several confirmed cases within a 14 day period), then measures such as non-mixing of class or year group bubbles could be re-introduced, but only on the advice of our local health protection team.
Meet the team: In September, we will hold our usual start of year ‘Meet The Team’ meetings for you. We will hold these meetings online via Teams and the dates are in the ‘Dates for your Diary’ section at the bottom of this bulletin. Please join us to meet the key staff who will be working with your children in the new school year.
Other information: There will be many more aspects of school life that we hope to re-start next year, including opportunities for parents and carers to visit our school and become more involved in your children’s education through events like class assemblies, nativities and open afternoons. We’ll share dates for these events as soon as we can in the Autumn term.
End of Term Team Points: Congratulations Rowling team! You held on to your points lead for the final week, resulting in your first term win! Well done! This means that all four of our house teams have achieved at least one win this academic year.
As their reward, children in Rowling team had extra playtime outside today.
Contact tracing: Schools are no longer responsible for Covid-19 contact tracing – this change occurred at Step 4 on 19th July. From this point onwards, close contacts from any cases in schools will be identified and contacted by NHS Test and Trace. This means that if you do experience a positive case of Covid-19 at the start of the summer holidays, it is not necessary to email the school to inform us. It also means that the school will no longer be contacting parents/carers about any future self-isolation.
Site manager: Unfortunately we had to say goodbye to our site manager Mr Arnold in June - I know that the whole of the Tunbury community were appreciative of his contribution to our school, particularly during the heavy snow in February and burst water main in March. We are now looking for a new Site Manager to join the team in September: our advert is now live at https://www.kent-teach.com/Recruitment/Vacancy/VacancyDetails.aspx?VacancyId=90225
Year 6 trip: We have now booked the residential trip for Year 6 children to PGL Marchants Hill, from Monday 8th November to Friday 12th November.
Free school meals: Families in receipt of free school meals will receive the summer school meal vouches (£15 per child, per week) over the summer holidays.
Letterbox parcels: If your child is currently receiving the letterbox parcels and they are not in school, these are available for collection from the main office today.
Tunbury school library: In September, we will be launching our brand new school library for all of our children to use. To help us set this up, we will be looking for some parent/grandparent volunteers who have time to assist with setting up a new cataloguing system for our books. We’ll contact you again to ask for volunteers on our return to school in September, but we thought that we would also mention this now.
Great Tunbury Summer read: This week in our assemblies, teachers and phase leaders drew the winning raffle tickets for the class/phase book vouchers, as well as the three kindles. The winners of the kindles were Henry (Hedgehogs class), Harry (Azure class) and Michaela (Indigo class). Congratulations to our winners, as well as everyone who read three times a week at home, or read more frequently at home, this term. Please keep reading over the summer holidays – here are a few ideas that you might like…
Kent Libraries: Running Saturday 10 July – Saturday 11 September, The Summer Reading Challenge introduces families to their library, encourages children to choose books freely and independently and addresses the “dip” in children's reading that can occur over the summer holidays if they don’t have regular access to books and encouragement to read for pleasure. And this year, Kent Libraries have introduced some new elements such as children can choose to take part either by visiting their local library or online, a virtual launch available to all via our Kent Libraries Facebook page and some live virtual events.
Free Events – early bird offer: Funded by the KCC Reconnect programme, Kent Libraries are able to offer families the chance to access free online Zoolabs – these are interactive themed story sessions, a chance to virtually meet a variety of animals such as stick insects, tarantulas, scorpions, giant African land snail, tree frogs and lots more. We’d like to reach families who wouldn’t necessarily consider taking part in library events and are offering an ‘early bird’ opportunity to book their place on one of these free sessions before we open up booking to everybody. Please see the Parents- Letters and forms section on the website for the leaflet for the Virtual Zoolabs which includes the early bird booking links.
Dates for your Diary
Term dates for 2021/22: https://www.tunbury.kent.sch.uk/Parents/Term-Dates-21-22/
Wednesday 1st September – INSET day
Thursday 2nd September – First day of term 1 for pupils
Monday 6th September – Meet the Year 6 Team / residential visit to PGL Marchants Hill 3.30-4.00 (online via Teams)
Monday 6th September – Meet the Year 5 Team 4.00-4.30 (online via Teams)
Tuesday 7th September – Meet the Year 4 Team 3.30-4.00 (online via Teams)
Tuesday 7th September – Meet the Year 3 Team 4.00-4.30 (online via Teams)
Wednesday 8th September – Meet the Year 2 Team 3.30-4.00 (online via Teams)
Wednesday 8th September – Meet the Year 1 Team 4.00-4.30 (online via Teams)
Thursday 9th September – Kent test day
Thursday 21st October – Last day of term 1 for pupils
Friday 22nd October – INSET day
Monday 8th November to Friday 12th November – Year 6 residential visit to PGL Marchants Hill