I'm very happy to tell you that Year 6 have now finished their period of self-isolation and will be back in school tomorrow morning. Happily, we have not had any further cases in this or any other year group. Year 6 have worked hard from home whilst they've been off and you can see some lovely examples of their work on the year 6 blog here.
The other staff who have been isolating and I will also be very happy to be back in the morning and we are all hopeful for a lovely couple of weeks run up to Christmas and the end of term.
We will be having our Christmas dinner and Christmas jumper day on Wednesday 16th. More information on how to book a Christmas meal will be emailed out this week.
Contact Tracing during the Christmas Holidays
If your child has a positive test for COVID during the Christmas holidays, please inform me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will then follow the guidance as to whether I need to contact families of children in the same bubble. Where a child or staff member has tested positive for COVID but has not been in school in the time period 2 days before the onset of symptoms to 10 days after, there is no requirement for any contact tracing to be carried out with the school, but we still need to know of any cases for our records.
Free School Meals over the Christmas Holidays
DCC have now put in place arrangements to provide supermarket vouchers to nearly 15,000 children across Devon who currently receive free school meals, to help their families buy groceries over the Christmas holidays.
They have asked me to share the message below which is relevant to families in receipt of free school meals, but not those in years R,1 and 2 who receive universal infant free school meals.
We don’t want anyone to miss out on this vital support so we are asking for your help in ensuring parents and carers know about the scheme and ensure they look out for a letter or email from us next week for details about how to access their vouchers or an alternative food box. Further details are provided below:
From Tuesday 8 December we will be sending a unique code per child to all families known to the Local Authority, that are currently in receipt of Free School Meals. The LA will provide every school with a list of all their students that are being issued a voucher early next week via Anycomms. If there are children not on this list that the school know to be receiving free school meals, please will you notify the free school meals team immediately by emailing them at email@example.com. Each code can be used once on a website called ‘Hawk Select’ to redeem vouchers to the value of £30 per child (£15 per week for the two weeks of school holidays) for Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrison’s, Asda, M&S Food and Waitrose.
The website requires families to provide an email address for the vouchers to be sent to once they have chosen their preferred supermarket. When received, they can save the vouchers to their phone or tablet to use online (depending on the supermarket) or show at the checkout in store. Alternatively, they can print the vouchers off to give to the cashier.
We are conscious that a few parents may not have access to the internet or a mobile device to receive and store the vouchers on and so we are hoping that, in these exceptional cases, schools will be prepared to complete the process for the parents on the Hawk Select website and print off the vouchers for them. Parents will need to provide the school with their unique code in order for you to redeem the voucher on the Hawk Select website on their behalf.
Our education helpline is available on 0345 155 1019 for any questions about the distribution of the unique codes, and can be used by schools or parents. There are also some useful FAQs on the Hawk Select website along with contact details for any technical support about using the codes and vouchers.
I will share with you a copy of the letter we will be sending to parents next week for your information, as it also provides details about the vouchers and an alternative food box should they not be able to access the supermarkets listed.
In addition to the letter, we also have information about the scheme on our website.
If you think a child may now be eligible for free school meals due to a recent change in their family’s circumstances, please help us ensure they can access this holiday voucher support over Christmas by encouraging them to apply online through the Devon Citizen’s Portal to check if they are eligible as soon as possible. This is the quickest and easiest way for their eligibility to be assessed and they will get an instant decision. Alternatively, they can call our education helpline on 0345 155 1019. To ensure that they receive the free school meals holiday vouchers for this Christmas period they must apply by Friday 18 December 2020.
We would be grateful for your help in promoting the scheme to parents and carers as soon as possible, so they know to look out for our detailed letter or email next week, and please direct them to our website if they have any questions in the meantime.
Finally, if you are aware of a family who are worrying about money and struggling to pay for basic household essentials, please let them know that they can also apply for help through funding that we have made available via the District Council hardship funds. There’s more about what financial and food support is available for families in Devon on our website.
Thank you to all those who had a chance to clear out cupboards and wardrobes. We collected 320kgs worth of unwanted clothes and textiles which converted to £96 for PTA funds!
As it was so successful, we plan to do another collection again next year but will aim to get a later collection time (drop off by 9am was difficult for some) and have the collection point somewhere else in the village that is more accessible.
Virtual Balloon Race:
A huge thanks for making this race such a success! 148 balloons were purchased for our cause which has raised £444!
The balloons were virtually launched from Harrods on 1 December and the race will finish at midday on Tuesday. At first the balloons travelled south of London to Crawley before heading west to Lyme Bay and are now near Glastonbury, some having travelled nearly 200km!
We will announce the 3 winning balloons mid week.
The PTA have paid for a 'virtual pantomime' of Cinderella as a Christmas treat for the children. This will be screened in classes during the last week of term.