Welcome back and welcome to Woodford Valley Primary. We hope you all had a wonderful summer break and took the chance to meet up with family and friends. The weather was mixed but just so beautifully British! Remember to send in any photos or postcards of where you went so we can make a display of all our staycation adventures.
Our worship theme this term is Thankfulness. We have so much to be thankful for and we will be exploring that this term. Psalm 106:1 Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever. We hope that worship will be together this term for the first time in a long time.
Many of the rigorous cleaning and hygiene routines that have been in place over the past year will continue, including regular handwashing/ sanitising and enhanced cleaning of touch points and communal areas throughout the school day. Our processes and procedures will be published in our reviewed Covid-19 risk assessment for September 2021 and follow the four strands of good practice, identified by Public Health England.
All visitors to school will be asked to wear a suitable face-covering when in an enclosed indoor space with individuals beyond their regular contacts.
- Ensure good hygiene for everyone
- Maintain appropriate cleaning regimes, using standard products such as detergents
- Keep occupied spaces well ventilated
- Follow public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Arrival and Collection
We will keep to the drop off and pick up arrangements initially so we can focus on managing the lifting of restrictions in school before we look again at the movements outside of the school day. We will ask families to drop off in their alphabetical groups – see below. The new reception will be arriving at 9am for the first two weeks so we can help our new families to settle as quickly as we can. Pick up will be from the field and from the different gates – see below.
A to L 8.25 – 8.35am
M – Z 8.35 – 8.45am
Main gate 3pm 3.10pm
Middle gate L Woodford Durnford
Far Gate Netton U Woodford and Salterton
Remember Lake will have a later start of 9am for the first two weeks until Monday 20th September.
All pupils arriving in the mornings will go straight to their classrooms. We found that this was a good start to the day and helped settle any worries first thing. We ask that parents don’t come down to the office but phone us with any concerns or information. Please send in any slips or monies with your child and these will be collected and sent to the office as before or hand them to a member of staff on drop off duty. This might change later on in the term. We will have mixed playtimes and lunches as before.
Please make sure your child/children have a raincoat with them as the weather is so changeable and we will continue to make the most of using outside. Make sure all clothing is labelled so that we can reunite lost items with their owners ASAP.
Shoe Box Appeal
Remember to keep any shoe boxes for our Christmas shoe box day – send them in wrapped if at all possible so we are ready to go in the second term.
If your child is unwell. Please let the school know on their first day of absence and then everyday afterwards. If they show signs of COVID then please get them tested. If we see these symptoms at school then we will ask you to come and collect them. We are not asking bubbles of children to self- isolate anymore, only the child that is ill. This will be advised by Public Health England through the track and trace from now on.
We are welcoming Mrs Rachel Martin in the office in September as our new School Business Manager. She will replace Mrs Arrandale in time. We are fortunate to have Mrs Arrandale stay until the October half term to ensure a smooth transition. We are saying a sad farewell to Mrs Julie Shuttleworth who has retired. She will be sorely missed. Mrs Shuttleworth has been at the school for sixteen years. If you would like to send in a contribution to a leaving gift then please send one into the office. She will continue running our Breakfast Club and Ukulele lessons.
We dearly hope that the year will be uninterrupted this time and that we can carry on with school as before. If there was to be a lockdown then please make sure that you know how to access the online learning through the class pages on our website. Some homework will be using this so that we know you can all access it without problems.
Lastly, I look forward to the new school year and working with you all.
Chair of Governors letter to parents July 2021
I was about to start writing this letter to you when I saw an email telling me that Year 1 had to isolate, due to a case of Covid-19 in the class. The last time a class at Woodford Valley had to isolate was just before Christmas in 2020, so this feels horribly familiar.
At the end of an extraordinary school year, Woodford Valley CE Primary Academy seems to be in remarkably good shape, considering what all schools, and indeed the whole country, have had to go through over the past 15 months or so. This is, of course, entirely due to the superb work of the school staff, who have put in efforts well beyond the call of duty over that period of time to make sure that all children continued to receive a good level of education, even during lockdowns. We know that some children have, nevertheless, been affected by the events of the past year: some have slipped back a bit in their learning; some have lost some of their confidence or their normal sense of well-being. The school staff are well aware of these issues and have addressed, and will continue to address, these concerns.
The Governors are extremely grateful to all the staff of the school for the tremendous response they have made to the challenges placed upon them during the pandemic so far. We feel confident that they have done their absolute best for your children, not only in keeping them safe and maintaining their education, but in managing to preserve a wide range of activities despite the restrictions of the pandemic.
The school has also had a somewhat uncertain time recently with Mrs Carson being unwell and having to take extended sick leave on more than one occasion. I would like to thank our Deputy Head, Mrs Donna Young, very much indeed for leading the school so well during our Headteacher’s absences. Mrs Carson is currently working through a phased return to work, with Mrs Young’s support, and we hope that Mrs Carson will be able to return to work full-time by the end of September. I would also like to thank Mr Reavill for taking on the role of Acting Deputy Head during most of the Summer Term.
Despite all the restrictions, it was such a pleasure to see the whole school join together for our annual Confirmation Service in the Vicarage garden on 23rd June. All the children behaved perfectly and, as always, it was a moving and happy occasion.
We are looking forward to welcoming our new group of Woodford children in September, when the new Reception children join us. Once again, the school has been over-subscribed for its 30 Reception places, which shows that we continue to maintain our excellent reputation locally.
We will, of course, be very sad to say good-bye to our Year Six pupils when they leave us at the end of July. They have been an absolute credit to the school. We wish them all the very best success and happiness in their new schools.
We were very sorry to say good-bye to Mrs Suzanne Waters as one of our school governors, after serving the school as such since 1982. The Diocesan Board of Education has recently introduced a rule limiting Foundation Governors to a limit of 12 years of service, which Mrs Waters had more than exceeded. Mrs Waters remains a Member, overseeing the work of the Board of Governors.
I would like to thank Mrs Jo Rolland very much indeed for her work as a Foundation Governor for 3 years. Mrs Rolland has resigned due to increased work and family commitments and we will miss her wise and thoughtful input.
We have welcomed Mrs Susie Vivian as a new Foundation Governor during this academic year, and she has already proved herself to be a great asset to the governing body, taking on the Chair of the Finance Committee role. Mrs Verena Huntley has also become a Foundation Governor, instead of a co-opted governor, so we currently have two Foundation Governor vacancies, which we are hoping to fill in the near future.
As you already know, Mrs Diane Arrandale will be retiring at the end of October this year. Not only has she been the School Business Manager, she has also been the Clerk to the Governors. She has been the most versatile, hard-working and willing employee of the school and she is going to be practically impossible to replace. We are all going to miss her enormously.
Wishing you all a very happy summer.
Chair of Governors