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Avondale Newsletter 28th February 2020

Welcome Back

I hope that you all had a good half term break, despite the awful weather we have had.

Unfortunately, we had some intruders during the school holiday and they caused some considerable damage to the garden area. We were lucky that a neighbour contacted the police and alerted them to the youngsters before any further damage was done. If anybody knows who made that call, please pass on our thanks.

Please remember that school is not open in a morning until 8.35 am. There have been a number of children on the playground this week earlier than this. If you need childcare before this time please book a place at breakfast club. A wet and soggy start to the day for some children, who have stood outside for a long period of time is not ideal.

Attendance

Just a reminder that if your child’s attendance is below 96% and they are unwell and off for more than 5 days in a term we will need a medical note. If we do not have a medical note the absence is recorded as unauthorised.

School Value Focus - 'Making the Right Choice'

The value we are currently focusing on in school and during assembly time is 'make the right choice'. We make choices every single day and we need to know that with choices come consequences. To make a good choice we need to have the following: self esteem, confidence, thinking and reasoning skills, communication skills, knowledge about issues and consequences and knowledge of how others might feel in given circumstances.

In school one of the choices we make is about our behaviour - we promote the saying 'you own your behaviour'. We need need to think about what we are responsible for and what we are not. The image below gives some examples of this. At Avondale we are always catching children making the right choices - it is so important to reinforce how pleased we are at the good choice they have made. Promoting positive behaviour is crucial!

Coronavirus

You will have no doubt read and heard about the evolving situation regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

I want to reassure you that we are following the precise information given to us directly from the authorities that we will act quickly and appropriately to any specific situation. Dominic Harrison, the borough’s Director of Public Health, is working closely with Public Health England to monitor the situation and deal with any local response should it be required.

The UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate. But the risk to individuals remains low.

In the UK, as of 25th February, numbers of those testing positive for the virus remain relatively low at 13 people. Over 6,000 people have been tested in this country so far.

Below is a useful summary of the latest guidance:

Advice for anyone returning to the UK on or after February 19th from specific parts of the world, including northern Italy, can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-specified-countries-and-areas/covid-19-specified-countries-and-areas-with-implications-for-returning-travellers-or-visitors-arriving-in-the-uk

There are steps we can all take to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses like coronavirus.

The main principal is to ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’: cover any cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin.

You should also:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces with your usual cleaning products (following product instructions.)

For regular and official coronavirus updates, advice and information you can visit:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Thank you for your ongoing support and I will of course provide all parents and carers with updates should the situation change.

Dates for the Diary

Book People Bus

As some parents will be aware, The Book People have gone into administration and therefore the booking for 3 March has been cancelled.

World Book Day

Thursday 5th March

Children voted to dress up on World Book Day. They can come dressed as a favourite character or they can dress up to represent a word. For example to represent the word active, children could wear sports gear. There will be lots of reading activities taking place during the day across school.

Please remember if you have any books that you no longer want at home, please send them into school as we are collecting these and donating them to Darwen Rotary who will be sending them on to children in Gambia, some of whom have no books of their own.

We have a range of books, that unfortunately didn’t quite arrive in time for parents’ evening, (although they were ordered well in advance) that will be on sale after school for £1 if anyone would like to purchase them.

Robinwood Parent Meeting

For those parents that have a child taking part in the Year 5 Residential Trip (27-29 March) there will be a final arrangements meeting to go through what is needed and for you to ask any questions you may have. To try and accommodate all parents there are two meetings. They will both take place on Wednesday 4 March, the first at 3.15 pm and the second at 5.00 pm.

Friends of Avondale

Faced with shrinking budgets and increasing demands on resources an active Parents' Association is incredibly important in a school. Our group – Friends of Avondale – needs new members. So, if you have some time to spare and you want to help raise monies for your children/the school please get in touch. You can contact directly on friendsofavondale@avondale.blackburn.sch.uk or call the school office on 703449.

The Friends have helped the school tremendously over the years. More recently, they contributed to the cost of the new sound system and new lighting in the Hall. They also helped with the purchase of books and other items for the Reading Den. At present they are starting saving for a replacement minibus, this may take us a good while to achieve our goal so any help you have would be much appreciated.

Staff Update

We have welcomed Miss Phillips back from maternity leave to school this week. She will be working with staff and children across the school until the Summer break.

Further to the advert that was placed in the newsletter a few weeks ago, it is pleasing to let you know that we have appointed Mr Michael Mears as a new Site Supervisor. Mr Mears will be starting with us on 9 March.

School Closure Procedure

With the flurries of snow and sleet we have had over the last week or so, I thought it would be useful to remind you of our school closure procedures.

The decision as to whether we close will be based on health and safety grounds, i.e. whether staff and children can safely get to school and if the school has enough staff to function safely.

  • IF a decision is made not to open the school at the usual time, and to have a delayed start, we will send a text to parents
  • In the event that we are not able to open the school at all (and this would only be in extreme circumstances) we will send a text to parents and put a message on the school website and on local radio stations
  • If we need to close during the school day (and this would only be in extreme circumstances), we will send messages to parents

Please update our records if you've changed your contact details. Please do not phone the school office to ask if we are open.

If there is snow on the ground we will strive to clear a path at the front entrance into EYFS and across the yard from Avondale Road to the KS1 classrooms.

We will always try our best to open on time and stay open but at the same time we must always consider the safety of children and staff.

Clubs

A whole host of new clubs have started this week for children. They include – Boccia, Debating, Hockey, Swimming, Reading, Digital Leaders, Yoga, Choir, Times Tables and Cross Country. A huge thank you in advance to the staff that give up their own time – before, during and after school – to run these clubs.

We have several pupils and staff that are allergic to nuts in school. Please could you ensure no nuts are brought into school, this includes snack such as Snickers. Thank you.