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Weekly Newsletter 2 October 2020

Dear Parents & Guardians

Friday afternoon seems to have come round rather quickly this week and I hope you have all had a productive week. We continue to be an area that has enhanced restrictions in place and remain in a local lockdown. People from other households are now not allowed to mix, both within houses and also in gardens. Rules around child care have been slackened and extended family members and friends who do this regularly, to enable people to work, is now allowed. However, children attending each other’s houses for tea or birthday parties is not permitted.

Please can I remind people that the school field is also private land and therefore children/people from other households shouldn’t be mixing on there either and if caught doing so then they could be fined.

Harvest

A huge thank you for all the harvest donations that have arrived in school over the past couple of days. We have been blown away yet again by your generosity and I’m sure the Food Bank will appreciate our donation. Once we know how much (in weight) we have contributed then we will be back in touch to let you know. In school yesterday we celebrated with a Harvest Lunch and enjoyed eating a meal together.

Our new Reception Classes

This week I have been into both Reception classes and had a good chat about Avondale School, our expectations and our values, as well as reading a story. I must say what an absolute delight it was. To say the children have only been in school for four weeks, they sat beautifully and showed that they could follow the good learning rules: good looking, good listening, good sitting and they certainly turned their brain boxes on. So, a big well done to our new Reception children for starting their Avondale Adventure so well.

Although we cannot have a whole school assembly at the moment staff are still choosing a star of the week from each class. The star of the week will receive a phone call home from the class teacher to explain why they are the class superstar. Our stars of the week this week are:-

Our assembly theme this week is our school value of 'Learning'. We will also be exploring the question ' Should you always try to win?'.

A few reminders

  • School lunches should be paid for on a Monday for the coming week. School lunches are £10.00 per week
  • Children should not be bringing mobile phones into school please. If phones are found on children they will be taken off the pupils and only then returned to an adult.
  • Please check when your child’s homework is set and due in. Although it is currently being set on line there is an expectation that it is still completed alongside reading a minimum of three times a week.
  • Now the weather is getting chillier and wetter please ensure your child comes to school with an appropriate coat as we will continue to try to get the children out to play as much as we can.
  • Just another reminder about parking please. Cars should not be parked on the yellow zig zags, double yellow lines or blocking a dropped kerb. This week we had quite a few cars who received a parking ticket from the traffic enforcement officers. Staff are out and about trying to keep school as safe as we can, but we need you to help us. It isn’t pleasant having to remind parents about parking and the last thing I’m sure anyone would want to do is hurt a child so please, please abide by the law and keep all our Avondale children and families safe.

Primary School Applications

It’s great to know that there are people already contacting us for a place in September 2021. We have decided that we will go ahead with an Open Event. We have set a date for our open evening and this will take place on Thursday 15 October 2020, from 5.30pm.

However, in current circumstances we need to ensure that we adhere to guidelines and recommendations. As such, our ‘tour’ of school will be slightly different to what we would normally like to offer but will hopefully give you a good insight into our fabulous school.

Each small group will be led by a member of the Senior Leadership Team and therefore will be in a position to answer any questions you may have. In addition, on the evening we will have copies of our latest prospectus which provides lots of information about our school.

If you would like to bring your son or daughter that may start with us in September 2021 that would be lovely, however, please do not bring any other siblings so that we can keep numbers of people in school to a minimum.

Please send an email (office@avondale.blackburn.sch.uk) to school clearly identifying:

  • Who will be attending – names of adults and children
  • A telephone contact
  • The time you would wish to attend – 5.45 pm or 6.00 pm

We fully appreciate some parents may not feel comfortable coming into a school, or the date given may not be convenient, so we have put together a video which also shows the different areas of the school. This will be available on the school website shortly.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ring or email the school.

Secondary School Applications

The closing date for secondary school applications is Thursday 31 October 2020. Traditional visits from local secondary schools to our Year 6’s cannot take place this year though most schools are providing virtual tours. Please look on individual schools’ website to find out their arrangements. The application form to complete is available on Blackburn with Darwen’s webpage or on our school website under Admissions.

Free School Meals

If you are currently in receipt of any of the following benefits:

  • Income Support (IS)
  • Income Based Jobseekers Allowance
  • An income-related employment and support allowance
  • The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit (PCGC) support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Child Tax Credit, provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual income, as assessed by Inland Revenue that does not exceed £16,190
  • Universal Credit and have an income, as assessed by the Inland Revenue that does not exceed £7,400.

then you could be entitled to apply for free school meals, even if your child is in KS1 and automatically gets a free lunch. Applying for free school meals may mean that your child is entitled to free meals throughout their time at school as well as receiving subsidised school trips and additional support. For every successful application the school will receive an additional £1345. This additional money helps us to pay for enhanced learning opportunities and without it school would have an even tighter budget than it already does. So, please help us if you can to keep our budget as healthy as possible. We need you to apply otherwise school won’t get all the money it is entitled to. Please help us by applying and completing the necessary form (link below). Thank you in advance.

Flu Vaccinations

For those parents that have opted in, nasal flu vaccinations will be administered in school on Tuesday 6 October. If you missed completing the online form, you can ring 0333 358 3397 (select the East Lancashire option). Information from the NHS is that "the nasal spray flu vaccine for children is very safe. Most side effects are mild and do not last long, such as: a runny or blocked nose or a headache".

School Photographs

Individual school photos will be taken on Wednesday 21 October.

Also, if you can remember back to before lockdown we had class photographs taken. Order forms for these came home last week. Please follow the instructions on the form if you wish to order. Ideally, do this online and pay online by Friday 16 October. If you order and pay online your photos will be delivered to school on 21 October. If you wish pay by cash, please send the form - along with payment - back to school as soon as possible. However, please note that these orders will not be collected from school until 21 October and so the photos will not be delivered until after the half term break.

Contingency Plan

As you will have seen from the daily figures the number of people infected with Coronavirus continues to rise. With this in mind school has put together a contingency plan so that we can continue to provide quality education in the event of a bubble bursting or in the absence of staff. This plan can be located on the school website under Covid 19. Whilst I’m hoping we don’t need to use our the plan it is better to be prepared and organised.

If a bubble needed to self-isolate then we would revert back to home online leaning as we did during lockdown. However, to make the teaching more interactive there would be daily registration via zoom at 9.00 am for all children in the class during which the teachers would talk the children through the set work. There would also be a round up to the school day at 2:30 pm, again via zoom, for teachers to talk through with the children the work they have completed and take any feedback that needs to inform the following day’s lessons. We have decided on these times as we are aware parents may have other siblings to collect. If you don’t have access to devices at home for your son or daughter to complete their work on then please can you contact the office to let us know, either by telephone or email, so that we can ensure we have alternative appropriate work prepared.

It certainly feels that Autumn is now here as we have entered October; I think that the heating may even have to go on this weekend! Let’s just hope it stays dry enough that we can all venture out for some fresh air and a walk.

Have a lovely weekend everyone and see you all on Monday.

Mrs Brown

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