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Weekly Newsletter 4 December 2020

Dear Parents & Guardians

A huge thank you for your support and thank you to all the parents who are remaining socially distant on the yard. This weekend we have our first weekend in tier 3; though for Blackburn with Darwen this isn’t much different to the national lockdown we have just had, other than some shops are open.

Please at the weekend continue to abide by the rules, as this helps keep us all safe. You have to trust us in school and we need to trust you out of school. As a school, it is remarkable that we have all our bubbles intact – school attendance is 96.5% and long may this continue.

If anyone in your household is displaying Covid symptoms then please remember the whole household needs to self-isolate.

I must express my thanks to the whole staff for their work for this week. It has truly been a team effort to ensure all the children are taught, are fed, that the school is clean and that the gates have been opened!

Our stars this week are:

Well Done!

Autumn Report Cards

This term we are planning to send report cards home via e-mail. If you have changed your email address since you last shared it with us, please contact us with the updated information. We need your child’s name, your name and your email address. Please send this to: office@avondale.blackburn.sch.uk

Christmas Lunch Arrangements

Despite Covid, our amazing kitchen team are still going to prepare a school Christmas lunch. However, due to capacity restrictions in the Hall and with our bubbles we will only be able to serve this to the children who usually have a school meal.

We cannot accommodate any changes in meal patterns on this day so children who are currently on home prepared packed lunches must bring their packed lunch in as normal on Thursday 17 December.

Festive music will be played in the classrooms and there will be christmas crackers for all!

New Kitchen

For almost three years now we have been eagerly awaiting a new school kitchen, both in terms of re-modelling and new equipment. The work was due to take place over the Summer break however, due to Covid, it was delayed.

A couple of months ago we were informed that the project had been approved. A contractor has been appointed and work is due to start after the christmas break, although there will be some preparatory work before we finish in December. In addition to a new kitchen, there is some re-modelling work in the Hall to help make the whole lunch period operate a little smoother.

On Monday 4 January 2021 our catering team will move into a temporary kitchen, which will be set up in the school Hall. A secure compound will be set up outside the existing kitchen (internally and externally), so no contractors will be coming into school.

The current arrangements for children arriving and leaving school will remain in place. So, although you may see some barriers (particularly near the Year 6 doors), please continue to follow the usual processes.

Breakfast and After School Clubs will operate as normal, although some bubbles will be based in the Gymnasium and some will remain in the Hall. For both clubs, all children and parents will have to use the small gate on Hindle Street, and then walk onto the main playground and enter the building via the double doors near to the steps that lead to the gym. New lighting will be erected to help show the way. Don’t worry, staff will be on hand the first day or so to assist and there is a helpful diagram below.

During the project, all children will be eating their lunch in their classroom. The menu for those children on school meals will operate on a two-week rota and hot options will be included, eg a slice of homemade pizza, a burger etc. There will be days, however, when only cold foods are available, eg a range of sandwich options.

There may be some disruption to PE during this time, as the Hall will not be available. We will keep you informed of any changes but we will endeavour to go outside when the weather is kind to us!

The scale of this exciting project will mean that there is some impact on school but I am confident it will be short term and minimal but the long term benefits will significantly outweigh these.

If you do wish to change your child’s meal pattern, please let us know by Friday 11 December as we need to place our January food orders before we finish for the holiday.

Water Bottles

A polite request – please ensure that your son/daughter has a water bottle with them each day. Also, that this only contains water. We have had had a surge in children either forgetting their bottles or bringing in fruit juices!

Collectable Cards

We’ve had an extremely positive start to the term with children showing exemplary attitudes to their learning and behaviour. To ensure this continues, we’d like to clarify our expectations around trading cards and toys. All cards (Pokemon, football etc) and all toys are not allowed in school and should be kept at home.

Our reasons for this are:

  • Cards/toys get lost or damaged which causes upset
  • Cards/toys are swapped, children change their minds and this causes arguments
  • Cards/toys get played with during lesson time and this causes disruption

Parents and carers are kindly asked to ensure that children do not come to school with any toys and/or cards.

The overall care and welfare of our pupils is our main priority. Toys and cards cause arguments which leave pupils upset and distressed. Any child caught with cards or toys will have them removed by a member of staff who will keep hold of these items and return them to parents/carers at the end of the school day.

Out of School Clubs

Bookings for January through to the end of March are now live on School Money. Places are limited, so please make your bookings asap. There were a few hiccups earlier this year with bookings, so please ensure that you save your bookings to guarantee your place. If you have any questions or need any help please email : outofschoolclubs@avondale.blackburn.ssch.uk

Christmas Cards

Children are welcome to bring Christmas cards into school for other children in their class. Cards will only be able to come into school on a Monday/Tuesday - so there is:

  1. Monday 7 December & Tuesday 8 December
  2. Monday 14 December & Tuesday 15 December

The cards will then be stored safely in the relevant classroom until Friday of the same week, when they will be given out.

Christmas

EYFS are busy preparing a performance for us and we wait to be able to watch this remotely. Each other class will be preparing a Christmas song to share with you online and to perform at our end of term remote assembly. Although we are unable to go to the panto this year we don’t want our Avondale children to miss out completely, so we have booked an online panto – oh yes we have! During the final week all the children will get the chance to watch Cinderella and we will even have a snack and treat at the interval.

Thursday 17 December is Christmas jumper day and will also be our party afternoon. School closes for Christmas at 1.30 pm on Friday 18 December.

Festive items for sale

The Friends of Avondale are offering festive treats for you to purchase. The available items are:

  • Reindeer Food (50p)
  • Hot Chocolate Cone (£1.50)
  • Sweetie Cone (£1.50)

If you wish to buy an item, please log onto your SchoolMoney account and navigate to the ‘School Shop’ section where the items will be listed amongst our uniform items. Simply click the plus button to add the required item/s to your basket and then click the basket icon at the bottom of your screen to check out.

If you wish to make a purchase, please do so by Monday 7 December, to allow the items to be made and distributed before school closes for the holidays. Once the items are ready, they will be sent home with your child in a carrier bag.

For further information on the items available, please contact the PTFA on friendsofavondale@avondale.blackburn.sch.uk

Dates for the Diary

Term Dates

The school calendar for 2021/2022 has been approved by the Governing Body and can be found on our website. Please click the link below.

Online Safety

The Think U Know website has lots of top tips for keeping children safe online. Play, Like and Share has some informative films with the aim of helping 8-10 year olds learn how to stay safe online. In particular, the films teach them to spot the early signs of manipulative, pressurising and threatening behaviour by people they might meet online, and develops their confidence to respond safely and get help.

Thanks for reading

Credits:

Created with images by congerdesign - "christmas christmas decoration advent" • Unknown - "Free stock photo of chef, cocina, cocinar" • ClassicallyPrinted - "water bottle hydration water" • BiljaST - "merry christmas merry christmas" • Silvia_Rao - "christmas winter holiday" • Couleur - "marshmallows cup cocoa powder"