Life during lockdown, for me, has provided an extraordinary opportunity to take stock of the things I have previously taken for granted. To be able to travel to work, teach and talk to children, and return to a calm but companionable house – simple, quotidian things that I have learned to be profoundly grateful for. It has been a privilege to be in school supporting the small group of children who continued to attend. It is rare for a class teacher ever to have the experience of seeing in one tableau the whole trajectory of learning through the school; in one morning to go from helping the youngest learners with their phonics to elucidating the poetry of Blake for Year 6s, from counting and ordering single-digit numbers to solving problems involving simultaneous equations. It was a stark and beautiful reminder of the purpose of what we do, and in such a strange new circumstance, the children did themselves proud.
The other remarkable facet of the pandemic in my experience has been the flowering I have seen of community volunteering. Where I live in Arbury was one of the worst affected places locally by the pandemic, and a significant fire at some local flats caused additional distress for the residents and the community. On our community Whatsapp thread, though, it is a matter of moments between someone asking for help with errands because they are shielding and someone else offering to help. During the half term and Easter breaks I have also had the privilege of helping collect donated food for the Community Fridge at the local church and join in with Cambridge Makespace’s projects to make PPE, mask clips and sew-it-yourself mask kits (which can be requested from their website). It was humbling to see the number of volunteers and the amount of expertise and time that were mobilised by these local community groups to support the pandemic response. I am looking forward to a return to normality whenever it comes, but I hope to always value community, family and relationships as much as I have learned to over the last few months.
Thank you once again to all those who have submitted their Dreams over the past few weeks. To make sure everybody has been involved in the Dreams Phase a team of support staff will be phoning families over the coming weeks so you can quickly and easily tell them your Dreams over the phone. If you have already submitted a dream online, you should not be contacted. We are looking forward to speaking to you.
A few weeks ago, you were invited to take part in a transition project from the Head of Music at Bottisham Village College. The deadline for submissions to a group performance of 'Imagine' was actually today, but Mrs Andrews has been happy to extend the deadline to get more people contributing. So, please check your previous email about this and get your submissions to Ms Andrews before next Friday 3rd July.
The government has produced advice for parents and carers about the main risks children may be particularly vulnerable to at this time and information about available help and support. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-keeping-children-safe-from-abuse-and-harm
We are really pleased to hear that the Erasmus links set up for this year have been extended into 2021. This means that we will be able to re-plan our trips overseas and continue to ensure that pupils get a chance to apply to be part of this amazing opportunity. The Year 5 children who were selected but unable to attend this year will be given priority. We want to thank Amaya, the Head teacher of our link school in Madrid, for her continued support.
We know that many of you are wondering how we might be able to say goodbye to Mrs Thorpe at the end of this year in a way that suitably reflects her dedication to and the impact she has had on the school over so many years. The Governing Body have been considering this over many months and plan to send out a separate correspondence about this shortly.
Parents of children joining us in Reception in September 2020 will have received an email about the transition. There is a Zoom question and answer session on Tuesday 30th June at 8pm. Please see the email for details.
Please take a look at our health and happiness zone (https://www.fulbournprimaryschool.co.uk/health-and-happiness-zone/) where children can access activities designed to aid children's physical and mental well-being, for example fitness tips and recipes for healthy eating. There is also an area designed for parents and carers to get help and advice with how to help a child through some common issues. It also has some useful links to promote discussions. We hope that you find this area useful and if you have any other topics you think would be good to add to this area, please contact us.
We are now moving to using My Child At School for all payments rather than accepting cash or cheques through the office. If you aren’t sure of your MCAS login details then please do get in touch with the office (email@example.com) and we’ll be more than happy to help. If you have a balance on your school dinner money then we would appreciate it if that could be cleared as soon as possible. If you have a credit for school dinners or have paid for a trip that has not happened then we are working on ways of refunding that money to you, do get in touch if you have questions.
If your financial circumstances have been affected by the COVID 19 crisis you could now be entitled to Benefit Related Free School Meals. The Covid19 crisis has also highlighted the difference between Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM) and Benefit Related Free School Meals (FSM). The government can only offer help to those who are in receipt of Benefit Related Free School Meals so we encourage applications from all year groups. To find out if you are eligible please fill out our simple online application form at https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/children-and-families/schools-learning/help-with-school-learning-costs/free-school-meals where you will receive an instant response as to your eligibility status. If you are eligible for FSM your child’s school will be informed within 3 days.
Please see the links below to the KS1 and KS2 newsletters from the Cambridgeshire Police.
Don’t forget to look at our Showcase of Children’s work to see some of the wonderful things our children have been creating. Congratulations to all of you working very hard at home and in school.