Westwood Farm School

 

Dear Parents, Carers and Pupils 

 

This is the last newsletter of this year, a year which has posed so many challenges both in school, and in our wider community. It is a year that many of us will be glad to see the end of, with the hope that next year sees us all gradually return to normal. We have really missed welcoming parents and carers to performances, assemblies, parents’ evenings and just generally seeing you all on the playgrounds in the morning. However, this year has also shown us just how resilient our children are, the Foundation children have had to be independent when arriving in the morning and they have risen to the challenge – they are now the best in the school at lining up! You - their parents/carers had to ‘let go’ too, even though the children hadn’t been able to have their usual visits and meet the teachers!  

When the children returned, in larger numbers, in September, it was as if nothing had happened, friendships resumed and the school rang out with laughter and learning once again. The saddest thing for us is that we have not been able to keep everyone in school until the end of term, but we had to do the right thing and put safety first.  This final week has seen much reduced numbers, which we understand as we said and attendance figures will be understood!  

Those children who have been in school have enjoyed  

their parties and lots of fun! We are very grateful for all the messages of support and kind words from so many of you.  

All the ‘back room’ staff who do not get the same number of presents as those in the classroom have been given gifts, thanks to your kind generosity – Thank you! The lovely cooks enjoyed theirs – very much appreciated after the tough week they had last week producing the best Christmas lunches we had ever had at Westwood Farm! 

You have all been really understanding, even when it has been hard for you – you haven’t moaned at us – you have made a very difficult situation more manageable, especially when we have had to do things at such short notice – thanks Boris!   

Sadly, we say goodbye to two staff members this term. Mrs Higgs and Mrs Cooper are both leaving us to spend more time with their families (Mrs Higgs will still be supporting the school and Miss Lewis in January!) We thank both for their hard work and dedication to our school and wish them all the best for the future.    

We would like to give our massive, official thank you to all our amazing staff! The reason the children have been so settled is down to them - they have carried on despite the anxieties that we have all faced and have never shown their concerns to the children. They have become experts at Zoom meetings and remote learning, both of which added extra pressure to an already busy job. The main thing they have all missed is not being able to get together in the staffroom to moan about senior leadership or life in general, we really hope we can all do this soon!   

We really hope you all get to enjoy a safe and happy Christmas, but we do ask that you act within the guidelines to safeguard us all for when we return to school in January (see below, repeated from last week). 

Christmas Break and Return to School 

As you will already be aware, between the 23rd and 27th December the Government is allowing some mixing of bubbles to form a ‘Christmas Bubble’ which should be no more than three households. You can only be in one bubble and you cannot change bubbles i.e. you are not permitted to have one day with three families and then another day with a different three families! More information can be found on the Government website via the link below: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/making-a-christmas-bubble-with-friends-and-family 

If you manage to go abroad on holiday over the break or the rules are broken according to the above advice over the 5-day Christmas ‘allowed’ time, then please could you delay your return to school until the 11th January and/or ensure your family have a test before you return.  We are worried that due to all the mixing that inevitably will take place over the break, there will be more cases coming into school at the start of term, so we need to try and ensure we continue to put in as many safety measures as we can.  Thank you.  

COVID19 Reporting Positive Cases During the Holidays   

Information about reporting a positive case for your child/ren. 

Public Health England has agreed a 6-day window after the final day of teaching in which schools and further education providers are asked to remain contactable so they can assist with contact tracing where necessary. This will allow enough time for positive coronavirus (COVID-19) cases to be identified and confirmed by a test and for relevant contacts in the education setting to be traced. They are clear that beyond 6 days after the final day of teaching, school staff are not asked to play a role in any contact tracing.  It is also likely that the need to support the tracing process will reduce dramatically over the course of the 6 days as the majority of cases should be identified earlier in the week. 

As our final day of teaching is today – Thursday 17th December, we will be ‘on call’ until the 23rd December, for reporting positive cases only, for  your child, no need to report to us if another family member tests positive. We have a dedicated email address to report any positive cases as follows: covidinfo@westwoodfarmschools.w-berks.sch.uk 

This email will be checked between 1pm and 2pm daily, please provide a telephone number we can contact you on, the date your child first experienced symptoms, or if asymptomatic, the date of the test. Please do not use this email for any other messages and only message up to and including 23rd December. Thank you. 

 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and thank you for all your support as always. See you back – safe and well on Tuesday 5th January. 

 

Mrs Hunter and Mrs Ross