Hello to all of our children, parents, carers and the wider school community.
Welcome to our October newsletter!
We hope this letter finds you and your families well.
It has certainly been a start to the year like no other in history, however, we have been amazed by the children's positivity, resilience and adaptability since returning in September. They quickly grew accustomed to new break zones, entrances, handwashing, classroom layouts and staff in face shields. In many ways the children helped us - the adults - to move forward with more hope and they prove to us daily that they can really make a difference in our one PCP Team.
We are also very grateful to all of the families who have taken care to follow the guidelines, talk to their children about new rules and - above all - continue to talk to us, albeit at a distance, to ensure that we all put the wellbeing of the children first.
Risk Assessment October 20
As rates of infection in our area remain high, we will maintain those procedures that have effectively minimised risk to our children, staff and parents.
We would like to remind you that you should not get a COVID test unless you are showing symptoms. However, if anyone in the household shows symptoms or is tested, that person and others living in the same household must then self-isolate until a negative test result is received - this includes children.
We have reviewed our risk assessment and can confirm that the staggered starts/ends of the day will remain unchanged after the half term break. We will continue with this routine until Christmas and review again. Children will continue to enter/leave the school site through the same gates as this seems to be working well.
Parents/Carers are allowed to accompany Nursery and Reception children to class each morning but from Y1 up to Y6, children can walk independently to their allocated door. This has been working well as it reduces adult traffic and the children are used to being that little bit more independent.
Pick up at hometime will also remain unchanged. Thank you for leaving space between each other and the teaching staff.
Please continue to wear masks or visors when on the school site.
Thanks to parents/carers for communicating via phone or email rather than visit the school's main office. We would urge you to continue this after half term to minimise visitors to the school site.
Handwashing or sanitising will continue to be a priority throughout the school day. Children can bring their own handwash or handcream (labelled) if you notice problems with dry or sore skin.
With the onset of colder weather, we will review our routines for lunchtimes. Packed lunches will no longer eat outdoors if the weather is unsuitable. Warm coats, gloves and hats will be needed as we will still try to take the children out as often as we can.
School dinners will continue to be served in the canteen, with our 'PCP Favourites Menu' (alongside jackets, paninis and sandwiches), running for the foreseeable future.
Monday: Pizza & wedges
Tuesday: Sausage & mash
Wednesday: Lasagne & salad
Thursday: Roast dinner
Friday: Fishy Friday
PCP Zebras settle in.
We have been amazed with how well our new Reception Zebras have settled in to school life after a prolonged period at home. We must never under-estimate the changes our little learners experience when they start Reception, with new faces, new routines and longer days. Our Reception staff would like to say thank you to the children for coming into school with a smile - and thanks to the parents for their continuing support.
PCP Nursery has opened it's doors for morning sessions and has also been very happy with the smiley faces that come through the doors every day. Teachers have been working on developing self-help skills with the children and also the all-important speaking and listening skills.
Over the holidays, encourage our little ones to put on their own wellies and coats ready for the cold winter months ahead.
We are very lucky at PCP to have 1:1 iPads already in place for Y2 upwards. We are very happy with how Y3 have taken care of their devices, especially now that they are being taken home. Y2 are developing their techniques for using them in the classroom but would be able to take them home should self-isolation be required.
From Y2, all of our children have access to Google Classroom. This is used regularly during lessons in school and can be easily accessed if working from home. This allows teachers to post tasks and resources and also allows children to respond and send work back in. We know many parents and carers became familiar with this during lockdown. We are currently in the process of setting up a Y1 Google Classroom that can be used for class/home learning. Watch this space, Y1.
Children in KS2 are also very familiar with other platforms that support their learning. TT Rock Stars, Prodigy Maths and Accelerated Reader are all regularly used in class and enable the children to take ownership of their own progress.
Children from Y1 also have myOn log-ins that gives them access to over 6000 books. We think this is an amazing resource and one that can be used easily at home.
We continue to consider the pros and cons of live lessons and believe that providing unscheduled online work is currently the better solution for most families. We appreciate how hard it would be for young children to log in to live lessons at home - even without potential internet issues, device availability, adults who are working from home or younger siblings to worry about.
Our EYFS families have Evidence Me/Parent Share that will celebrate learning and set new activities should children be learning from home.
We are committed to providing a regular, robust home learning provision for your children should the need arise.
Cashless Payment System
We are pleased to announce that we are introducing a more convenient way to pay for school meals, breakfast and after school club and other school items using an app called Arbor.Many parents have been asking for us to introduce a convenient payments system. The Arbor App offers the flexibility of making payments whenever and wherever you like, 24 hours a day, 7 days aweek.
Through the Arbor App school can send In-app messages, emails and letters.
During the week commencing 19th October 2020 you will receive an invitation via email to register by a link, to set up your user details and password. You can download the Arbor App from the App Store or Google Play Store, log in and start making payments straight away. If you have registered your child for breakfast or after school club, session bookings MUST be made through the Arbor App and paid for at time of booking (unless you make payment by childcare vouchers or a grant). If you do not make payment, sessions will not be booked by the system.
School meals MUST also be paid for through this app and no longer by bank transfer into thes chool bank account.
Funds MUST be in your child’s school meal account before 9am on the day the school dinner is to be taken. If your child does not have funds in his/her meal account a school dinner will not be ordered in their name.
Please remember to advise the school office if your child wants to change their school dinner choice i.e. school dinner or packed lunch.
Please contact the school office if you have any queries or require any help with any of the above.
Accelerated Reader - an overview for parents and carers.
We have been using Accelerated Reader in school for about four years and continue to be impressed with how it supports us in tracking pupil progress with reading. It analyses reading habits and sets individual targets that the children can own and work towards, knowing what they must do to improve. We also love how the scheme promotes real books.
The current climate may present it's learning challenges but we know that children can still access all that Accelerated Reader has to offer from home, especially when their 1:1 iPad is already in their rucksack! It also makes it easy for the children to continue reading even without the school library.
KS2 Parents and Carers can see everything they need to know about their child’s reading habits and progress on their school iPads. Our children already know their way around this site really well. They will have taken a Star Reader test, which is highly individual and which will give them a personalised points target and a ZPD, or Zone of Proximal Development. This is a number range which encourages your child to choose and read books which will interest and challenge them whilst improving the many skills they need as readers.
There are three screens to see once you are logged into Accelerated Reader.
The first one is a search tool. You can search by book title, author, or quiz number if you know it to find the book you have read. It’s also good to identify if a book is part of the Accelerated Reader programme before you read it. If it isn’t, you won’t be able to quiz on it, although you could still read it just for fun! This page will take you straight to the book’s quiz.
The second page is the progress page, (see image below). This is where you will find your child’s individual and personal targets, and the progress they have made towards them. The date line at the top of the page shows how far into the half term we are and how long is left to reach those targets.
The first target is the accuracy target. We ask for 85% accuracy when quizzing (as shown by the blue marker). The orange line displays your child’s actual accuracy. A full orange line is 100% across all quizzes!!
The second orange line shows the points your child has received by quizzing on the books they have read. Each book has an allocated number of points which our readers can earn. Again, they have a target (shown by the blue marker) and the orange line maps their progress towards that target.
The third orange line shows how many of the books they have read have been within their ZPD. You will find the ZPD number range underneath this bar. This changes as children take the Star Reader test and acquire new targets.
At the bottom of the page you can see the number of books read so far this school year, and the number of words read. Everybody wants to be a Millionaire so this is one to keep an eye on.
The third page is a bookshelf. This shows every single book your child has ever quizzed on. Clicking on the latest book takes you to the TOPS report which gives lots of information about reading practice.
You can find more information about the Accerlerated Reader programme here:
For a couple of years now, we have introduced the children to five key texts each year; these stories often link to curriculum projects and are often read more than once during the course of the year. We call each set 'Our Favourite 5'.
We hope that the children get to know these texts really well and build up a bank of stories, poems and plays that cross genres and offer diverse views of life.
Here are a few of our 'Favourite 5s'.
PCP Wolves talk Digital Wellbeing
Our Y6 children have taken part in their first PSHE Conference of the year and have continued to learn about 'Digital Wellbeing' in their lessons. The children have spent time thinking about their relationship with technology.
As an Apple Distinguished School, we believe it is important to teach our children not only about online safety but also about how technology makes them feel. Y6 reflected on the question, 'Do you have control of your technology or does it have control over you?' Many adults should also consider this question - what role models do we provide for our children, especially as they are now born into a digital world.
We really value the Google 'Be Internet Legends' scheme that families can read more about here:
Across the course of October, we have been focusing on Black History and significant people who changed the world for the better. We have looked at the contribution made by black polititians, activists, actors, sports stars and others.
Through whole school video assemblies and class work, we have highlighted the inequalities and discrimination faced by black people in the past and the problems still faced today. We have celebrated the successes achieved in the face of adversity and will continue to 'Dig deeper. Look closer. Think bigger'.
Pupil voice - how's the start of the year been for you?
I have really enjoyed this school year so far I love being in Year 6. I love the work and really just feel like my work is just like doing a hobby.
I have not liked being in lock down but I have enjoyed spending time with my family. Lock down helped me find new things that I didn't know I would enjoy.
I was extremely excited when I found out that I was part of the house team. I am so excited for when we get to do jobs on playgrounds after Corona virus has passed.
Again so far I am loving Year 6 and I don't want to have a different class. I can tell that this year is going to be amazing.
I have loved school so far especially being in year 6 ! Can't believe I am in the last year in primary which is so sad , but I will work hard all year and be ready for high school.
I was so sad when we got put into lockdown and had to stay at home for 6 months . I was safe but missed my friends and school, it was a bit confusing with working from home but it was much better with our iPads and reading . I loved spending time with my family .
What made things so much better is when I got a call from Mrs Seddon saying I got the blue house captain role - I was so excited to go back to school. I really like year 6 work. I feel like I have really improved in all subjects especially maths which I struggled with and the year 6 work has really helped and challenged me.
It would be so sad to go into another lockdown and I really hope this doesn't happen again. I am looking forward to the rest of the year and PGL .
At this time of year, we would normally have invited you into school to talk about your child's progress and join in with our Curriculum Showcase. You have hopefully now had a phone call from your child's teacher. Thank you for some great feedback on our re-opening and the way children have settled back in to routine.
In October, we would also normally invite you to complete a parents' survey that is taken from the recommended Ofsted survey.
We have prepared a Google Form with the same questions for you to complete by clicking this link: