Dear parents and carers of Stepney Park Primary School,
Welcome back to school. I hope you all had a nice rest last week and a good break away from remote learning.
Return to school
As you know, the Government has asked all schools to re-open to all children from March 8th. We are very busy planning for a good transition for all children back into school, we can’t wait to see them all again! Please remember that school attendance will be mandatory.
We will have a gentle start to the return to school and we will make sure that we will put focus on children’s physical and emotional wellbeing. We know that some children may be a bit anxious, so we will have more frequent PSHEE lessons. We also know that some children have not been able to be very active so we will have more frequent PE lessons, as well as a focus on subjects which we have not been able to do as well in lockdown such as practical Science and the Arts.
We will also assess all children once they have settled in, so we can make a plan for the summer term and target support where it is needed.
School start times
All of our school gates will be open at 8.55 am and staff will still be on hand to receive the children in the playground. The bell will ring at 9.00 am, to signify the start of the school day. Families who arrive late need to go to the small gate in Smithy Street, where the late register will be taken.
Please keep the boxed area in front of the entrances free for children to line up, and say your goodbyes beforehand, as this is safer. I’d also like to remind parents, for safety reasons, to leave straight after drop off, instead of chatting to other parents
Some families drive up in their cars to the large Smithy Street gate, stop or double park their car, and then walk across the street with their children or let their children cross the street by themselves. Apart from double parking being illegal, it can also be quite dangerous. Some parents stop/ park right in front of the zebra crossing, which makes crossing the street very unsafe as it blocks the view of the zebra crossing.
Can I kindly ask all parents who drive to school to park their car in a safe and appropriate space and walk to school with their children.
School finish times
When we return, we will open the school gates again at 3.30pm, instead of the previous 3.20pm, so we can maximise learning time in the afternoon. Please try to not arrive too early to line up along Smithy Street, as this is not needed and it makes social distancing difficult. Once the gates open, it only takes a few minutes for everyone to come into the playground. Less waiting time in a queue is safer for everyone
INSET day and Occasional Closure day
We have been asked to be a polling station for local elections on May 6th. We have decided to move the planned June Inset day to May 6th, so we don’t lose an additional day of learning. School will therefore be closed for Inset on May 6th.
We will have an occasional closure day on either May 12th or May 13th, this is dependent on the sighting of the moon. As we can not be sure which day this will be and will only be able to confirm this the night before, we will be able to be open for childcare on that day for parents who work (no need to be a key worker) and vulnerable children. Please email the admin team if you would like a free space that day. We will also remind you nearer to the time.
Term Times 2021-2021
I know this is a long way off, but wanted to tell you that our term dates for next year are available on our website.
As part of the amalgamation, the Local Authority has agreed to carry out some improvements to our south building (old Smithy Street school building). They will make alterations to the office areas and will create a new Nursery classroom.
This means that the Smithy Street small entrance will not be used for access to school until the end of the summer term. All visitors to school will need to enter via the North entrance on Redman’s Road (old Redlands entrance). The start and end of day routines will not be affected by this.
Mental Health support for children
Here are some details of courses which could be accessed by parents. Please let us know if you are interested, so we can book them for you. Courses are of course online:
Supporting children who are anxious to return to school
Date: Wednesday 10th March
Time: 2 - 3pm
Led by: Julie Burns (Senior Educational Psychologist), Dr Lauren Coates (Educational Psychologist) and Guy Tamlyn (Trainee Educational Psychologist)
A session for parents and school staff who support children who are expressing worries about returning to school post-lockdown.
Let’s play! The importance of play across the age range
Date: Wednesday 3rd March
Time: 2 – 3pm
Led by: Dr Lauren Coates (Educational Psychologist) and Penelope Edwards (Trainee Educational Psychologist)
Play! What is it good for?! Well, lots of things actually! Parents, join us for a short webinar followed by a Q&A. We will explore ways to bring playfulness back into your life during lockdown, and explore why it’s so important.
Supporting home learning during Covid and beyond: Primary
Date: Monday 8th March
Time: 2pm - 3pm
Led by: Dr Patrick Sullivan, Dr Michael Palmer (Educational Psychologists) and Jack Hammond (Trainee Educational Psychologist)
A short webinar for parents of primary aged children, followed by a Q&A session. We will explore the current challenges of home learning, what children are gaining, what they are missing, and share some practical strategies for how to support children at home.
Relationships, Sex and Health Education
We have decided to postpone the ‘Changing Me’ unit (which covers puberty and Sex Education) until the next academic year. We will however start our consultation process shortly. There will be an online survey soon, and this will be followed by individual year group meetings next term. Parents will be invited to respond to the survey and to attend the online year group meeting.
In the meantime.
Where applicable: I hope you will have a successful last week of remote learning with your children.
There will be a children’s newsletter next week, this will be a celebration of all the fantastic remote learning we have done in the last few weeks.