Welcome to our first Newsletter of 2021. I hope that you and your families are staying safe and well.
Thank you for all of your support for the school and for my school staff who have been working hard to set up online lessons and online learning, along with arranging for laptops to be collected by parents who need them and setting up Parent Consultation Meetings. This has been a difficult few weeks with school closure, and I am sure that parents have also found it difficult trying to get used to a new way of working.
Please continue to help your child as much as you can. If teachers have any concerns with the work being produced by your child(ren) then they will contact you directly. You are doing a great job!
According to the Prime Ministers speech to the House of Commons on Wednesday 27th January, he confirmed schools in England will not be able to open after the half-term break next month but could begin to return from 8th March. I realise that this news will be a disappointment to you, however it is caveated with the statement that a final decision would depend on meeting vaccination targets and that schools would get two weeks' notice.
We await further details on wider re-opening and will share with you as soon as we have any confirmation of arrangements. In the meantime, please keep helping your child(ren) access their lessons/work online.
Thank you for booking your Parent Consultation Meeting with your child's teacher for this week. I hope that this was a useful meeting for you and an opportunity to see the teacher face to face and discuss the Autumn term.
Please continue to take care and look after each other. We hope we can see you all again in person soon!
Lockdown would be even worse without digital technology. At the moment, children are constantly on their screens for school work, fun, and talking to their friends. Use of social media platforms has soared.
Even though the school is closed to most pupils at the moment, we are still monitoring attendance. So please report any illness where your child is unable to access school provision or home learning.
We also need parents to inform us if their child or anyone in the household have tested positive for Covid-19, and are subsequently isolating. Please include dates of isolation when notifying the school.
On the 26th January, the Department for Education confirmed that schools will close as usual over February half-term and are not expected to remain open to vulnerable children and the children of critical workers during that week. As such parents need to be aware that the school is closed in order to allow for deep cleaning, essential maintenance and repairs to be undertaken.
Contact tracing over the February half-term
The school continues to play an important role in contact tracing for those pupils and staff who continue to attend school. However, where pupils or staff still attending their school test positive having developed symptoms within 48 hours of being in school, they must report the case via the school office email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Department for Education expect the School Leadership Team to continue to identifying close contacts and advising self-isolation, as the individual may have been infectious whilst in school. Where pupils or staff still attending our school test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) during the holidays, having developed symptoms more than 48 hours since being in school, schools are not required to take any action. Staff, parents and carers should follow contact tracing instructions provided by NHS Test and Trace.
RISING STARS READING PLANET
The PTA have been working closely with the school during lockdown to identify where their recent fundraising efforts can support and benefit our students whilst they are learning remotely at home. They have this term agreed to generously fund the purchase of Rising Stars Reading Planet an online e-book library resource.
The introduction of this new resource will strengthen home-school links by allocating eBooks – the library can be accessed by parents and pupils anywhere, on any device: desktop computer, laptop, tablet and mobile.
It will also enable practise and improve comprehension skills and vocabulary acquisition with interactive, self-marking quizzes for each eBook and track progress via the easy-to-use reporting tool. Use the integrated features such as read aloud audio (Reception and Key Stage 1 only) and highlighting and comment tools, to engage children even more with each eBook.
The school is now busily creating the relevant teacher and pupil accounts to be able to roll this out across the school and information on how to access this will follow in due course. We hope this new resource will enrich the range of resources pupils have access to at home whilst allowing teachers to continue to track children’s reading progress.
COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP WITH MORRISONS
We are delighted to have forged a partnership with our local supermarket Morrisons where we are working closely with Annis, their in store Community Champion.
With their help we have been able to support some vulnerable families in our school community, when they have hit upon hard times. Some of our most recent beneficiaries have benefitted from support for everyday essentials when they were displaced from their family home following a catastrophic roof collapse. It is wonderful to see large corporations supporting local causes within the communities they serve.
We are eternally grateful for their ongoing support.
DONATION FROM TK MAXX TO PTA
We would like to send our sincere thanks to Dani Colley, daughter of Mrs Colley, who works for TK Maxx.
She has obtained a very generous grant of £500 made payable to Vaughan School PTA.
This additional funding will allow us to support disadvantaged children gain digital access which will support their learning at home during this period of national lockdown.
We are very appreciative of their support and thank them for the opportunity to bridge the digital divide for more pupils within our care thanks to this additional funding.
LOCKDOWN LUNCHES AND MEAL PLANS
Change4Life have created recipes and shopping lists for families which can be used to create lunches for around £15 each week. Free school meal vouchers to spend? Struggling for meal inspiration with the kids at home at the moment? We've got you covered with our simple lunch ideas.
At Vaughan Primary School, we are committed to the safety, wellbeing and happiness of all our pupils. If you have any concerns about a child’s safety or wellbeing, please speak to a member of our safeguarding team.
Vaughan Primary School Safeguarding Team
Ms Keohane – Designated Safeguarding Lead
Mrs Davies – Deputy Safeguarding Lead
Mrs Fink - Deputy Safeguarding Lead
Ms Perschky - Deputy Safeguarding Lead
Support and Advice for children
If you have a worry or need some support and a trusted adult cannot help, you can contact the following organisations for help.
Childline (0800 1111, www.childline.org.uk) – This is a confidential service for children and young people. No problem is too big or too small and they’re there to listen and support you with anything you’d like to talk about. Or you can have a 1-2-1 counsellor chat online.
Harrow Children Services – Emergency out of hours 020 8424 0999
Police – in case of an emergency - 999
Year 6 only
Kooth – Kooth is a web based confidential support service available to young people. Kooth provides a safe and secure means of accessing mental health and wellbeing support.
Kooth offers young people the opportunity to have a text-based conversation with a qualified counsellor.
Counsellors are available from 12 noon to 10 pm on weekdays and 6 pm to 10 pm at weekends, every day of the year on a drop-in basis. You can access regular booked online counselling sessions as needed.
Outside counselling hours’ young people can message the team and get support by the next day.
When you register with Kooth, you will have support available now and in the future. Support can be gained not only through counselling but articles, forums and discussion boards. All content is age appropriate, clinically approved and fully moderated.
To find out more visit www.Kooth.com where you can register and find out more about the service.
You can also view a short video about the service at:
Looking after yourself, looking after your children
There is a lot of uncertainty around COVID-19 and understandably, this is causing a lot of worry and anxiety for people.
Having children and young people at home, often when people are trying to work themselves, adds another layer of stress. It is therefore important to not only consider our physical health during such challenging times, but also to pay attention to our mental health.
It is normal to feel worried, stressed and anxious when we are faced with uncertain situations, but the sooner we acknowledge and learn to take care of our mental health, the healthier and better equipped we’ll be to cope with the situation we're having to face.
Below are sources of support which might be helpful
Contact your GP if you are feeling really low/depressed or very anxious.
The NHS website offers expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing.
Shout is the UK’s first 24/7 text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help. Shout is powered by a team of volunteers, who are at the heart of the service. They take people from crisis to calm every single day.
Call Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline for free and confidential advice, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247. Visit the helpline website to access further information, a contact form and the live chat service. If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police.
The FamilyLine service supports people who are dealing with family pressures in a new and innovative way by using a network of volunteers from across the country to support family members over the age of 18 through telephone calls, email, web chat and text message.
Family Lives offers a confidential and free helpline service for families in England and Wales (previously known as Parentline). for emotional support, information, advice and guidance on any aspect of parenting and family life. The helpline service is open 9am – 9pm, Monday to Friday and 10am – 3pm Saturday and Sunday.
Grandparents Plus is the only national charity (England and Wales) dedicated to supporting kinship carers - grandparents and other relatives raising children who aren't able to live with their parents.
KEY MESSAGES FROM WELFARE
Medical Conditions and Health Care Plans
If your child has a diagnosed medical condition, a Health Care Plan needs to be completed (if we have not got one already). It is important that the school are aware of any medical conditions.
If there are any changes to a child’s existing medical condition and/or a new medical condition emerges, parents/carers need to complete a new Health Care Plan.
If we do not receive a new or updated Health Care Plan, your child will be unable to attend school. If we do not receive medicine (as outlined in your child’s Health Care Plan), your child will be unable to attend school.
The Health Care Plans are available on the school website here.
If your child uses an epi-pen at school, please can you provide three epi-pens so that we can keep one in the lunch hall, classroom and welfare.
The Harrow School Nursing Team advise if any child has been prescribed an inhaler for either asthma or viral induced wheeze, they should be reviewed annually. That can be done by either the GP, practice nurse or respiratory team. The school requires a copy of your child's latest Asthma Plan for their records.
Please ensure that inhalers are kept in their original packaging with the child’s name and instructions. We also require an age appropriate spacer together with the inhaler.
Inhalers for children in the Junior School
If your child uses an inhaler, please can you provide a third inhaler so that we have a spare one available.
If your child is prescribed medication which has to be administered at school, please complete a consent form which can be found on the school website with clear instructions. It must come via the school office or alternatively, call Welfare tel: 0208 427 7222 Ext 2 and arrangements can be made to collect from outside the school office.
Any medical queries, please contact Mrs O’Rourke or Ms Goodspeed in Welfare.
And lastly a reminder about medical appointments. If your child has a medical appointment during the school day, please remember to email email@example.com with the details and with proof of the appointment. This is still the case even during school closure. Thank you.
Every day people in the UK go hungry for reasons ranging from redundancy, receiving an unexpected bill on a low income, changes to benefits, not being eligible for benefits (for example due to immigration status) or delayed wages. A simple box of food makes a big difference and the Harrow Foodbank can provide families with three days of nutritionally balanced food and support.
The Harrow Foodbank is part of a nationwide network of foodbanks, supported by The Trussell Trust, working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK. Their belief is that they don’t think anyone in our community should have to face going hungry.
Vaughan Primary School understands that at such times, some families may need emergency support or aid, therefore we are an agreed voucher referral partner and we are able to support families and provide them with emergency support. Please contact Ms Keohane, Mrs Fink or Ms Perschky if you require the support of the school or the Foodbank. We have assisted many parents to access this support and they have found the foodbank very supportive. Please be reassured that there will be complete confidentiality in this matter.
What happens at a foodbank?
Foodbank clients bring their voucher to a foodbank centre where it can be redeemed for three days’ emergency food. Volunteers meet clients over a warm drink or free hot meal and are able to signpost people to agencies able to solve the longer-term problem.
What is in a typical food parcel?
Food parcels can include: Breakfast cereals, soup, pasta, rice, pasta sauce, tinned beans, tinned meat, tinned vegetables, tinned fruit, tea or coffee, sugar, biscuits and snacks.
The Foodbank can usually adapt your food parcel to meet your dietary needs, for example, gluten free, halal or vegetarian. When you arrive at the foodbank centre, a volunteer will chat to you about any special dietary requirements you may have.
South Harrow Baptist Church
270 Northolt Rd
Monday 4th January 2021 to Wednesday 31st March 2021
Monday 15th February 2021 to Friday 19th February 2021
Monday 4th January 2021
Monday 22nd February 2021
SUMMER TERM 2021
Monday 19th April 2021 to Friday 23rd July 2021
Monday 3rd May 2021
Monday 31st May 2021 to Friday 4th June 2021
Friday 23rd July 2021
School will close at 1.35pm on the last day of each term
(please see separate letter sent regarding the end of the Autumn term)
Afternoon Nursery will be closed on the last day of each term.
After School Club finishes at 4.00pm on the last day of term.
Please do not book holidays for during term time as these will not be authorised. If you wish to request leave from school, please complete a Request for Leave form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org for Mrs Jones' attention.