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Weekly Newsletter Friday 11 December

Keeping Everyone Safe at Avondale

As we approach Christmas, we are particularly keen to avoid having to close any bubbles and to keep any transmission of the infection to a minimum. If your child does show one of the key symptoms, please keep them at home and arrange a test. Please could we also remind everyone that if one person in a family has to seek a test, the whole household should self- isolate until a negative test result has been received. If, of course, a positive result is received then the person tested needs to self-isolate for 10 days and the rest of the household for 14 days.

School is feeling very festive at the moment. All the classrooms have been decorated and I must say they are looking extra special this year; everybody has been working very hard.

Children decorating the tree in RJ

I think it is fair to say that the children deserve a really super last week in school and we will be doing all we can to finish off what has been a very strange year, in the best way we can. So, continuing to be extra safe and despite all the restrictions around Covid and bubbles, we have got quite a few things happening next week:

Also and as I said a couple of weeks ago, the school has invested in an online pantomime for all the children to watch at a set time during the week.

We will also have the Reception production to enjoy. Obviously, this has been done differently this year. The green screen has really helped, along with Mrs Speakman’s amazing computing skills. We will post the performance on our school website for you to enjoy.

Each class has been practising a festive song to perform. These will also be recorded and shared on the school website, as well as in our end of term Assembly. Although the performances are somewhat different we still wanted to make sure we performed for Christmas.

Christmas Lunch

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.

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

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

Christmas Cards – Last Chance!

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 Monday 14 December & Tuesday 15 December. The cards will then be stored safely in the relevant classroom until Friday, when they will be given out. A few parents have asked about gifts for staff and we would ask that you follow the same approach.

Stars of the Week

Well done to all our stars!

Autumn Report

As I mentioned in last week’s newsletter, our aim is to send out our Autumn Reports next week via email. However, due to the volume of reports they will not all come out on Monday. So, if you have more than one child in school you may get reports on different days. We hope to have all reports out by Wednesday 16 December.

A very fond farewell …….

Many of you will know Mr O’Dea who has worked at our school for over 30 years. Mr O’Dea first came to work at the school in 1987. There are many parents who remember him as Avondale’s Caretaker from when they were at school. Mr O’Dea has not been in school this year due to illness and he has unfortunately decided to retire. It is difficult to say goodbye to somebody that has become part of the fixtures and fittings, but reluctantly we have to do so.

We wish him all the very best and we hope to welcome him back into school as our very special guest when it is safe to do so.

Out of School Clubs

For those parents that have made bookings for either Breakfast or After School Clubs, for the period 4 January to 26 March 2021, these are now confirmed. If you haven’t already logged onto School Money and reserved the sessions you need, please do so as soon as possible as places are very limited. Bookings will close on Tuesday 15 December. If you have any queries please contact the Club Manager on – outofschoolclubs@avondale.blackburn.sch.uk

Please remember that access/egress arrangements will be changed in January – due to work on our new kitchen. Please see the diagram below to see where to drop off and collect your child/ren, i.e. via the Hindle Street gate.

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!

Reading

Children read or are read to on a daily basis in school. Reading really is the key to all learning. Just a reminder please to share books and listen to your children read. A huge thank you to all the parents who do read with their children three times per week; your support is very much appreciated. However, we have some children who haven’t read this half term. Any reading that can be done at home, in addition to what is completed in school, does make a difference. Thank you for your support.

End of Term

You may well have read in the media that the Government has permitted schools to amend their school calendar and have Friday 18 December as an INSET Day. This information has been released very late and we feel that changing our holiday pattern at this late stage could negatively affect parents’ child care arrangements. In addition, we already have plans in place for the final day of term. So, Avondale will remain open on Friday 18 December.

As has been the case since we returned to school in September, there will need to be a staggered end to the school day next Friday. Please see the table below for when your child/ren will finish on Friday 18 December:

Winter Covid Funding

The Department for Education has made a sum of money available to help those families whose children are eligible for free school meals. Blackburn with Darwen has used their allocation to provide families with £15 of food vouchers for over the festive period. These vouchers are for use in either Blackburn or Darwen markets. A separate letter about this will be sent to eligible families, but if you think you may be eligible for free school meals, please follow the link to make an application.

Kitchen

Further to last week’s newsletter, just a reminder that on Monday 4 January 2021 our catering team will move into a temporary kitchen, which will be set up in the school Hall.

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. Please be reassured that on these ‘cold lunch’ days, there is more than enough food for the children, so additional snacks from home will not be needed.

Humanities Week

Most of the school has enjoyed taking part in a special humanities-themed week this week, doing lots of history and geography work linked to different topics.

  • Year 1 has enjoyed comparing toys - today's versus those from the Victorian era. They created a timeline, and placed toys from the oldest to the newest. They also made their own hand puppets, having watched a traditional performance of Mr Punch and his wife Judy
  • Year 2 has spent time looking at 'The Great Fire of London'. They made their own bread, as the fire started in a bakery. They also had a special visitor via zoom - Mr Pepys! They made their own house from cardboard, which they set on fire! School is very glad that we have the correct resources to tackle a fire, not like in the 17th century.
  • 'Farm in a Box' was the focus for Year 3 - looking at how food gets from the farm to our plates. School linked up with Gazegill Farm and made their own butter, they tasted different types of milk and cheese. Their day finished with a zoom call to the farm or maybe it was to their cows and pigs in the barn?
  • Years 3 and 4 spent time outdoors acquiring a whole set of survival skills - shelter building, fire lighting and cooking on an open fire
  • Year 4, whilst learning about Mountains and understanding the forces that help create and shape these important features, went foraging for food. Ask your child what they found!
  • Years 5 and 6 looked at the Victorians and enjoyed exploring the Museum Box that we loaned - children enjoyed a Victorian Wash Day with Dolly Tub, posser, clothes horse, wooden tongs and a flat iron!
  • Year 6 also had a virtual visit from Charles Dickens!

Thank you to staff who arranged such a fabulous Humanities week, it has been lovely seeing the children having such fun whilst, of course, learning lots.

Thanks for Reading!

Credits:

Created with images by Couleur - "santa claus christmas motif figure" • Unknown - "School Black Green May Refer · Free image on Pixabay" • Unknown - "Farewell 1080P, 2K, 4K, 5K HD wallpapers free download ..." • Unknown - "Book Books Bookshelf · Free image on Pixabay" • lukasbieri - "mediterranean cuisine eat food"