We have now returned to school following this latest lockdown. Parents may have questions and concerns about how school is operating now, so below we have tried to answer some of these. This is accurate on the date of publishing (3rd March 2021) but details are subject to change as the government updates its guidance.
Returning to school on 8th March
School will remain as it has been since September. Classrooms will be set out so that children are in rows, facing their teachers. Teachers will be maintaining distance from pupils and other staff as much as possible. Children and their teachers and TAs will be in class bubbles so that we can minimise the contact between the children and staff across the school. We will still be asking them to clean their hands thoroughly and promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach for used tissues to ensure that we prevent the transmission of the virus.
Each class will continue to have their designated playtime area, and playtimes and lunchtimes will be staggered. All children will have packed lunches. Those who normally have hot lunches will have packed lunches provided at school (hot lunches may resume after Easter if legislation allows, but we will keep you informed on this). Lunches will be eaten in the children’s classrooms.
PE sessions will still take place outside so please ensure that your child has suitable PE kit for outdoor PE. Inside, the advice is still to keep areas well ventilated, so windows and doors will be opened. Therefore, please make sure your child is wearing enough layers – we are heading for warmer weather but it can still be chilly some days. All pupils will need a coat in school please.
Please can children not bring in their own stationery from home. Each pupil has their own stationery pack so that they will have everything they need to work in their classes.
We will send reading books home but it might be that the children do not get as many sent home as they would previously, as the books will have to be ‘isolated’ on return. If you are able to support the staff in this and read other books that you have at home if your child finishes their school book, that would be great.
We will continue to have worship in school via school radio and other technology.
Some children may feel anxious when returning to school, and staff will work through focused activities to support their classes in settling back in.
Some children may want to wear masks. Children can wear a mask if they would like to, but government guidelines do not require primary-aged children to wear masks, and it is not something we require them to do.
For your information, here is a link to government guidance with respect to children returning to school: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/what-parents-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-during-covid-19
Catching up with missed learning
The government has promised schools some money to help pupils catch up with any learning they have missed out on during the pandemic. We have no specific details about this yet but will update you when we do.
We will continue with the drop-off system that we have been using since June, when we allocated drop-off times to prevent the carpark from becoming congested with cars. Please keep to your slot so that we can keep a steady flow of traffic through the carpark in the mornings. Staff will be waiting for the children as they arrive and we ask that you do not get out of cars If you can you make sure pupils are on the left hand side of the car so they can easily get out, with all their bags and coats ready (therefore not having to stop and open boots), that would be great. That way we will be able to move through the queue easily and get everyone in on time. The children will then be guided straight to their classrooms where their teacher will be waiting for them.
Drop off times, based on surnames
A-J: 8.25 – 8.35am
K-P: 8.35 – 8.45am
Q-Z: 8.45 – 8.55am
As in the previous guidance, we cannot receive parents at the office or on the school site so please make sure pupils are ready with letters to hand in so that they can give them to a member of staff on drop-off duty. If you need to speak to your child’s class teacher, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and they will let the class teacher know that they need contact you. If you do have to come on site please remember to wear a mask.
The school bus will continue to run for those children who normally travel by bus. Children are not expected to wear masks. When arriving at school, they will be met by a member of staff and sent to their classes like everyone else. A member of staff will also take them to the bus at the end of the day.
To maintain the class bubbles separation, we will dismiss the children from the top field. Key Stage 1 pupils will finish at 2.55pm: Lake Class will exit from the first gate, Lower Woodford from the middle gate and Netton from the far end gate. Once you have collected your child, unless you are waiting for a sibling in KS2, we ask that you leave promptly so that parents in KS2 can park. KS2 pupils will be dismissed at 3.15pm: Wilsford will exit from the first gate, Durnford from the middle gate and Upper Woodford and Salterton from the far end gate.
We cannot stress enough that you must leave as soon as you can. Please don’t be tempted to stay and chat. Even if adults remain socially distanced, your children will tend to run and play and this will be out of their bubbles. We are trying so hard to keep everyone separated at school to make it all work, so would be very grateful if you could help us when you pick up too.
If your child is unwell, please do not send them to school. Regularly checking their temperature would be helpful. If your child shows any symptoms at school then we will contact you to pick them up and they will isolate in a designated room with a designated adult wearing PPE till they are collected. This area will be deep cleaned.
If the school were to have a positive case then we would still have to close the bubble and isolate for the 10 days. In all instances we would continue to work with PHE (Public Health England) and follow their advice.
Please continue to let us know if you are isolating as a family.
Regular Coronavirus Testing
School staff will continue self-testing twice a week. Additionally, the government has announced that households with primary school, secondary school and college age children, including childcare and support bubbles, can test themselves twice every week at home as schools return from Monday 8 March.
Around one in three people with Covid-19 do not have symptoms but can still pass it on to others. Regular testing of people without symptoms (asymptomatic testing) is important to help stop the virus spreading.
As a school, we cannot give test kits to parents, carers or household members. You will need to organise your own tests in any of the following ways:
- Via employers if they offer testing to employees.
- At a local test site. Testing at these sites is assisted, which means you will swab yourself under the supervision of a trained operator. You may need to book an appointment. Find your nearest rapid lateral flow test site.
- By collecting a home test kit from a test site. You can collect up to four home test kits at a local collection point. Each kit contains seven tests. Anyone 18 or over can collect. You can check online if the location is busy before you go. Find your nearest home test kit collection point. These are available from the Beehive Test Centre in Salisbury in the afternoons.
- By ordering a home test kit online. Please do not order online if you can get a test through other methods. This frees up home delivery for those who need it most. Order rapid lateral flow home test kits
The test will come with instructions on reporting test results. If anyone tests positive or gets coronavirus symptoms, they should tell the school and:
- self-isolate immediately
- get a PCR test to confirm the result
- follow the stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection
A negative result means the test did not find signs of coronavirus. However, this does not guarantee you do not have coronavirus, so you should keep following all coronavirus advice including:
- regular handwashing
- social distancing
- wearing a face covering where recommended.
There is also more guidance here on who can be tested and how you can get a test.
Please do not contact the school regarding household testing as we will not be able to provide any further information than we have shared above.
If you have any questions, please email the school office, and we will try to keep this webpage regularly updated with answers.
Woodpeckers After School Club
After school club
Welcome and Thank you for your interest in our after-school club.
Woodpeckers is an independent business within the school. We offer childcare for all children at Woodford Valley exclusively. It is run from 3-5pm every weekday. This is broken up into two sessions where children can join us for the whole two hours, just come 3-4 or can come to us 4-5pm if they are in another school club. We pick up direct from the classroom for KS1. The cost of the club is £5 an hour. This includes a healthy snack. Our preferred method of payment is bank transfer, but we can take cash.
The club is run in Durnford class, with pick up from the outside entrance opposite the wooden gazebo.
So, who are we?
Both of us work as Teaching Assistants within the school. Dawn works in Durnford (year 4) and Helen works in Netton (year 2). With us both in school all the time it really helps us get to know the children and them to get to know us. So, we are not a strange face!
What happens at Woodpeckers?
We start by having a snack and relax after our day at school. Snack is provided but it is up to the individual child if they would like it. We always have a few different things on offer: Cheese, ham, peppers, carrots, crackers, fruit, and toast. We can cater for any dietary requirements. We then have some free time to play lots of different toys such as Lego, cars, dolls, beads, playdoh, and board games. There is also a quiet place to sit and relax as well. We then provide some sort of craft; this is again completely up to the child if they want to join in. It could be painting, drawing, modeling our list is endless! When the weather allows, we also try to go outside for some fresh air, we are lucky to have use of all the schools outside facilities.
Our biggest wish at Woodpeckers is for the children to be safe, relaxed and have a lovely time.
We have had some wonderful feedback from parents “you are like a little Woodpecker family” “he asks everyday is it a Woodpecker day!” “they love coming to you”
We are not just for working parents we are here for anyone who would like to use us.
We send out a termly booking form if you know the dates you need. There is also a weekly one. It is also possible to have late booking for those unexpected emergencies. All you must make sure is your child is registered with us. As we are separate from the school, we must keep our own records. If you register and never use us that is fine at least you know you have that back up. For legal reasons if we do not have a registration form, we are unable to accept your child. The registration forms are never shared anywhere else.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact us firstname.lastname@example.org we are always happy to help.
We look forward to meeting you all,
Helen Evison and Dawn Sims
At Woodford Valley we believe that children learn best and thrive in a play based environment. We celebrate how children are all unique and we work hard to ensure that children can follow their own interests in an environment that supports them to make progress and imbed new skills. This means that children are engaged and motivated. We use a mix of adult led and independent child led activities which are facilitated by our continuous provision. Our provision offers children a constant environment allowing them to explore their interests and new experiences, whilst challenging their learning. It allows children to become independent in making choices, supporting children in becoming active learners and enabling them to imbed new skills, enhancements and challenges are regularly added to complement children’s interests, next steps or Topic. We support children’s learning and development across all seven areas of the Early Years Curriculum whilst celebrating the importance of the Characteristics of Effective Learning.
We have a new Topic for each full term (see below), the Topic Web acts as a general guide, although the Topic remains the same the objectives taken from the Development Matters Document and activities may change depending on the skill development and interests of the children at the time. So when we start a new Topic we use a child initiated planner to record children’s interests that we have identified through observations, we then link this with assessment of the children’s primary needs and skill development and generate possible activities to address these needs. Here are examples of our Topic webs throughout the year;
Objective Led Planning
Focuses on one specific area of need, differentiated into levels with next steps, suggested activities or areas of provision that could be enhanced, one or more adult will use to observe, enhance or develop a skill. It will also include an adult led input. We introduce a new focus for literacy and maths each week but sometimes they will continue for more than a week depending on children’s progress.
TEACHING BRITISH VALUES
At Woodford Valley Primary Academy we promote British Values through our spiritual, moral, social and cultural education which permeates through the school’s curriculum and supports the development of the ‘whole child’.
We recognise that such development is most successful when those values and attitudes are promoted by all the staff and provide a model of behaviour for our pupils.
The DfE have recently underlined the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs”
The Government set out its definition of British Values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy and these values have been reiterated this year (2015). At Woodford Valley Primary Academy these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is embedded within the school. Pupils are listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully with concern to each other, respecting the right of every pupil to have their opinions and voice heard. We empower our pupils by giving them opportunities to make choices about the things that they believe to be important. By valuing each ‘voice’ and by listening and responding to that voice we demonstrate that we support democracy and liberty.
Each year the pupils decide upon their class behaviour rules and the rights associated with these. All the pupils contribute to the drawing up of the rules along with the staff.
We have a school council which meets regularly with a member of staff to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. The council has access to a small budget if required and is genuinely able to effect change within the school, for example requesting new playground equipment and markings. Every pupil on the school council is voted in by their class. The Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary are voted for by every pupil. They run a campaign and the school holds a ballot.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced at Woodford Valley Primary Academy.
Pupils are taught the rules of the school from their induction visits in Reception. These are the school and class rules. Pupils are taught the value and the reasons behind class, school and national rules and laws: that they govern and protect us, that they involve responsibilities, and that there are consequences when laws are broken. This type of environment enables pupils to feel safe and secure; this in turn, promotes the optimum conditions for learning to take place.
Pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for pupils to make informed choices, through a safe environment and an empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms, and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E Safety and PSHE lessons.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Pupils learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community, including, staff, pupils and parents, treat each other with respect.
Tolerance of those with other Faiths and Beliefs
Children can be from different faiths and cultures. We promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures. Each person at Woodford Valley Primary Academy is respected and valued equally without regard to ability, gender, faith, heritage or race. RE and PSHE lessons reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. Members of different faiths are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school i.e. Diwali in school assembly.
Pupils are encouraged to experience British Culture through our curriculum themes. For example, pupils have visited: Salisbury Cathedral, theatre groups have performed plays and as a school, we take part in local sporting activities which helps to instil ‘fair play’ and engender a ’team spirit’.
This term our topic is India. We will be exploring Indian culture, eating Indian food and researching the animals that live there.
Our RE work will be focused on learning about the people of God in the Old Testament. We will look in detail at Noah, looking at the qualities of his personality and his adventure with God.
In our Science Lessons we will be learning about rocks and fossils, looking at the world around us.
In art we will be drawing tigers, inspired by the art of Henri Rousseau. We will research Bengal tigers using the internet and use the information we have found out to inspire our writing. After half term we will learn about Indian elephants and make sculptures of them in our art lessons.
In the week before half term we will be going on our class residential trip to Hooke Court. We are looking forward to lots of fun, friendship and learning.
Our intention within Music is to engage and inspire children to develop a love of music that will last their whole lives. We believe that Music has a vital role to play in the spiritual and cultural development of children, so at Woodford Valley, we aim to provide all children with a wide musical experience. By nurturing trust, strength and resilience in their learning, the children are given space to be creative and develop their full potential, whatever their particular strengths may be. All children have the opportunity to join in a musical community in some form throughout school, and to learn musical instruments both inside and outside the classroom.
We want all children to have the opportunity to perform, compose and experience a wide range of music. To help us implement this at Woodford Valley Academy, we use a range of resources such as Charanga and Music Express as part of our curriculum planning, as well as building whole school performances into the school diary so that performance has the space to be celebrated. We organise these resources so that the topics that the children study in music build upon prior learning and enable progression of skills. Music is taught by a Music Specialist Teacher from Reception to Year 6.