Welcome back to a new school year and for those of you whose children are just joining us, a warm welcome to Priory Woods. From what I have seen, everyone seems to be settling well.
I hope you have all had a lovely summer and have been able to enjoy this week’s sunshine whilst your children are in school!
It is always our favourite day when our students return all shiny and new and ready for the new school year and I think this has been even more so this year after all the disruption of the last year and a half. We have everything crossed for a much calmer year.
As always, we wonder what you’ve been doing with your sons and daughters as they all seem to stretch over the summer!
Just a couple of things I was unable to let you know when I sent the newsletter at the end of term. We have had to say farewell to two of our lovely Teaching Assistants, Dot Hill and Liz Hiddlestone. Both have been part of the Priory Woods family for a long, long time and although we wish them all the very best in their retirement, we are sad to see them go. I am sure you join me in thanking them for everything they have given our pupils during their time with us.
We also welcome three new members of staff to our teams. Firstly, we have a new School Business Manager, Susan Robinson. We also have two new teaching assistants, Stephanie Bint and Michelle Gresmann. We also welcome Helen Latif as a permanent teacher.
As you know, things are different now in relation to how we keep everyone safe with regards to COVID. In school, we are no longer in strict bubbles, but we have not gone completely back to how we were previously. For example, we have put more settings in the dining hall to reduce numbers all in one place, and Lower School are continuing to have a mixed dinner time with some children in classes and some in the hall.
Many staff are continuing to wear face coverings depending on the situation and we continue to observe high standards of hygiene. We are lucky in that we have good ventilation. We are due to receive the C02 monitors next week which will check the air quality.
We’re not planning any full school assemblies in the hall yet.
Staff are encouraged to test twice weekly and as you know, we encourage you to test your children in Upper School and Post 16 regularly too.
If anyone lives with someone who tests positive, they no longer have to isolate. The need to have a PCR and can come to school whilst waiting for the result. However, can I ask that you are vigilant and look out for signs of infection in your child. It would be wise to continue with lateral flow tests even if a PCR is positive as we know people can become infected up to ten days later.
Please may I take this opportunity to remind families about procedures regarding attendance?
If your son or daughter is absent, please ring school to inform us, giving the reason why. Please do not send messages with bus escorts as they may not see the member of staff they need to and sometimes messages are missed. If we have no message from you, then we will call you to check that everything is OK and to see if there is anything we can do to help. If we cannot contact you by phone, then Paula Smith, our Family Liaison Officer, may visit again to check that everything is OK and to offer help if it is needed.
Requests for holiday leave.
May I also remind you that I am unable to authorise holidays during school time except in exceptional circumstances? All requests for time away from school must be sent in at least two weeks before the intended absence to allow for full consideration of each request and a response to be sent.
We have lots of exciting things planned for this term for the children and young people. You will get to see some of this through Class DoJo and social media. We hope to have events which you can attend, but let’s just take things slowly to see how things go.
I know many of you will be wondering about after school clubs. We intend to have these up and running by half term. We intend to have a different approach in that we will be asking the students what they want to have and will then have to plan around this. Watch this space!
As always, thank you for your continued support and I’m sure that working together, we will have a fantastic year!
PD days this year:
Children are not in school on these days.