Category Archives: Juniors

Junior Update

Dear parents and carers,

I am aware that it has been a while since I last wrote to you all.  As you will appreciate, the situation has been very fluid, with ongoing changes to government guidance.

As we have expanded our provision, in response to this, we have needed more staff in school which has had a knock-on effect on some of the other things we were previously able to do, such as the teacher phone calls.

As you may be aware, today we have been able to expand our on-site provision to more children.  These places were offered initially to year 3 (who have had the least time with us) and year 5 (as they have SATs next year).  Despite the increase, we are not able to bring all children who wished to return back on site and we still have capacity for less than half of the school to attend.

As we have continued to develop our use of technology during lockdown we have been making increased use of GSuite for Education.  The use of Google Forms, to send you information and seek responses, has been invaluable in allowing us to swiftly expand our offer – such as the Google Meet sessions.  We will continue to use this and also add the content of the forms to the blog (signillsblog.wordpress.com) so that you can re-refer to the information provided.

Online Learning – Whilst we are incredibly mindful that many children and families are struggling to remain motivated towards home learning over such a long period, we will continue providing work until the end of term.

Google Meet sessions – Over 100 children are accessing the online literacy and numeracy sessions with the Teaching Assistants each week. These seem to be proving very popular with the children and are beneficial to them on a social as well as academic level.  Please contact the office if you would like your child to participate.

Before the end of the year, the Google Meet sessions will also be used to allow children at home the opportunity for a check-in with school staff and their peers.  If your child is already accessing the literacy / numeracy GMeet sessions we will include them in these sessions automatically.  If your child IS NOT already accessing GMeet through school and you wish them to participate in the catch-up sessions, please follow the link below to request their inclusion.

https://forms.gle/1ZaFuNVe6twJJ2Qb6

Finally, with regards to the end of the year and arrangements for September, the academy will close to all pupils on Friday 17 July and we are due to start the new academic year on Tuesday 1 September.  We will post out your child’s annual report – including the details of their class for September before the end of the year.  As yet, there is no government guidance on how schools will be expected to operate in the autumn.  Once this guidance has been published, we will make the necessary arrangements and inform you of our plans as soon as we are able to do so.

Can I thank you all for your continued patience and support during this incredibly challenging time.

Kind regards,

Mr Steve Carr

Headteacher

Art Work

At school last week we had great fun creating a wide variety of art work, from aboriginal wall hangings, to pinch pot monsters and Optical Art hands! As you can see, we certainly used our imaginations well and we all learnt new skills. Well done everyone!

Year 6 Parent Letter

26th May 2020

Dear parents and carers,

I apologise for the delay in corresponding to you regarding the potential expansion of provision from 1 June 2020.  We have been waiting, for some time, for clarification from the Local Authority on their position in relation to social distancing in classrooms.  This information is vital to our expansion plans.

The Local Authority has confirmed today that their expectation is that 2 metre social distancing is in place in all classrooms.  This, coupled with increasing demand for Critical Worker places (which government guidance gives priority to), has a huge impact on our ability to extend our provision, as the academy’s classrooms are already undersized compared to the majority of schools.
Most classrooms in the academy can only accommodate 6 children under these criteria.   We are therefore not in a position to welcome all year 6 children back into school during this phase of the government’s plans to reopen schools.  

For Critical Worker families (including those of year 6 children), you should continue to book your places as you have done via the support@signhillsacademy.co.uk email.  If you received a text today confirming your provision you need take no further action, other than continuing to update us as to changes to your needs.  This provision will continue, but from 1 June will be located in a number of classrooms.  We will text you with the details of which entrance your child should use from 1 June.

For families of children in year 6 who do not currently access the childcare provision, we will offer as many places as we can.  We have been advised to use an admission criteria to support us in allocating places.  We will therefore initially use a needs based approach.  For all other children, we will continue to provide remote learning.

If you would like your child to be considered for a place, please email support@signhillsacademy.co.uk stating your child’s name, whether a family member is a Critical Worker and the details of your needs by midday Thursday.  From this point we will begin to allocate places, with an aim to begin welcoming the children in from 1 June.  We will inform you on Friday whether your child has a place and, if they do, details of their start / end time etc.  We understand that this timescale is incredibly tight, but the only alternative open to us is to delay starting the year 6 provision, which we do not wish to do.

I understand the frustrations that you must be feeling, we share these as we had been making plans to potentially accommodate more children, but the safety and well-being of children, staff and parents must take priority and the LA is clear in how we should interpret government guidance to do this.  

Yours sincerely,

Mr Steve Carr

Headteacher

Expanded Opening Update

18 May 2020

Dear parents and carers,

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement and the subsequent Department for Education (DfE) guidance releases, we have begun to make preparations for the return of more children to school, potentially including all year 6 children, from Monday 1st June.

We have, since the start of lockdown, provided care for the children of key workers and vulnerable children – as defined by the DfE.  This provision will continue to operate in a similar way to the current arrangements and we are aware that, as the government’s access criteria are amended and more people return to work, there may be an increased demand for places from those eligible.  If you wish to access the provision, please email ‘support@signhillsacademy.co.uk’, briefly outlining your circumstances and the days / times you require.  This provision may ONLY be accessed by booking places through the email as there are a fixed number available.

For children in year 6, as they prepare for the transition to secondary school, the DfE have stated that they ‘will benefit immensely from time with their friends and teachers to ensure they are ready’ and, as such, ‘are strongly encouraged to attend (where there are no shielding concerns for the child or their household), so that they can gain the educational and wellbeing benefits of attending’

We fully recognise, as do the government, that there will be high levels of anxiety for some families concerning a return to school at this time.  As such, we have been provided with some guidance about how we might prepare, including the operational systems we should aim to implement on 1 June.  Even with these systems in place it is acknowledged that some parents will not feel it is the correct course of action – as it will not be possible to enact 2m social distancing in the classrooms and children will struggle to maintain it on the playground / field – and they will therefore not send their child into school.  In light of this, the guidance states that ‘parents will not be fined for non-attendance at this time, and schools will not be held to account for attendance levels.’

The government guidance recommends groups of up to 15 children that do not interact with other groups in the school. As such, we will need to split the year group into distinct groups. Children will be allocated to these groups, which we envisage will be taught by the same teacher each day. The groups will not be able to mix at all, including during the start and end of the day and during break times. Lunches will be eaten in classrooms. The guidance acknowledges that ‘unlike older children and adults, early years and primary age children cannot be expected to remain 2 meters apart from each other and staff.’ However, as we have done throughout the lockdown, our planning and systems will be designed to support as much social distancing as is practicable.  This will include operating a staggered start and end to the day for the different groups.

If your child has a health condition which makes them ‘clinically vulnerable’ under the government guidance, you should be aware of this and consider whether you should keep them at home. Please follow any medical advice you have been given.

As ever, if there are ANY household concerns about possible Covid 19 infection – fever / raised temperature, new continuous cough or loss of taste / smell, children MUST NOT attend school.

We will continue to adjust our plans in light of new or amended government guidance and provide you with more detail about the year 6 provision as soon as we can.  In the meantime, can I take this opportunity to thank you for your support and positivity during this challenging time.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Steve Carr

Headteacher

Home Learning

Our children have been working so hard at home. As teachers, we have loved seeing pictures of their work and here is some we’ve been shown.

 

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Safeguarding hub for parents

 

Hub banner 

The Key (who we use to access professional guidance) have, through their Safeguarding Training Centre, created a safeguarding hub that allows parents to access interactive guidance on setting up parental controls on their child’s devices, as well as guidance on apps like TikTok, YouTube and Instagram and more.

Follow the link below for more details;

https://parenthub.thekeysupport.com?uuid=6fb6c515-f5cb-4c39-a882-270011f72842

Emotional Well-being

In these uncertain times we want to reassure you that we are working hard to try to ensure that we are there for you to help with any worries, concerns or support that you might need.

The Learning Mentors are available from Monday – Friday on the following numbers:

Mrs Heinzman – 07395948325

Mrs Davie – 07871734186

There is also a member of staff answering the school phone between 7.30am and 3.15pm

We are also available via email on, support@signhillsacademy.co.uk

Please reach out if you need anything, we are here to help.

Some additional links to National Support agencies are here.  

 

Enter the 2020 film competition from home

The Childnet Film Competition is now in its 11th year and is open to all young people based in the UK. The challenge is to create a short film or a storyboard with a script in response to this year’s theme.

This year’s theme:

We want an internet where we’re free to…

What are we looking for?

We are looking for films or storyboards that tell us why you want an internet that allows people to feel free and safe online and how we can make this happen. Once again we’re on the look-out for films with a positive and clear message about the ways we can use of the internet.

There are 3 different categories this year:

  • Solo category – Young people make their own film, with minimal support from an adult.

  • Group category – Work with friends or family to make a film.

  • Storyboard category – Create a short storyboard and script for a film.

Follow the LINK for more information.  Good Luck!

Field Studies Council – Live

Primary (Ages 7-11)

We are pleased to announce that the free #fieldworklive lessons hosted by Encounter Edu and led by our expert field tutors are now available to book. The sessions will build students’ geographical and scientific enquiry skills in a range of inspiring locations.

#Fieldworklive encompasses ten live lessons broadcast for different age groups, giving all students the valuable opportunity to take part in real fieldwork around the UK this spring, taking place from Monday 20th April to Friday 1st May 2020.

To book on to a session, click the link below !

Join us live as we look beneath the surface, exploring gardens, the earth beneath our feet and become explorers, experiencing wild spaces in ways that you might have never thought of before.

Soil Exploration – Monday 20th April

Creative Exploration – Friday 24th April

Habitat Exploration – Thursday 30th April

Ideas from Childnet International

Primary aged children may find the opportunity to spend lots of extra time using their online devices hard to manage. With lots of their entertainment and social time coming from the internet, it can be hard to know when to switch off.  Use our activities below to help them manage their online lives whilst staying at home.

WEBLINK

Fortis therapy

In this surreal time, we want you to know that support will always be found at Fortis.  In the resources hub, their therapists will be sharing a whole lot of useful information, advice, and tools to support you and your loved ones with their mental health, from children’s coping techniques to mindfulness exercises.

20 tips for managing anxiety

The Coping Calendar  has 30 suggested actions to look after ourselves and each other as we face this global crisis together.

Coping calendar

 

Children and Young People

Balloon exercise

 

 

Closure Letter

Dear parents and carers,

As you know we have closed our doors this afternoon with no idea of when we will reopen them.  It is an unprecedented, challenging and uncertain time for staff, children and yourselves.   Whilst very few of you will see us over the coming weeks, we will try to be here for you as much as we can.   We, as a staff team, are incredibly proud of the manner in which the children have conducted themselves over the last few days.  The situation is unprecedented in our lifetime and they have maintained their positive, kind and focussed approach to all aspects of school life.

In relation to queries over the remote learning the children are doing, we will publish four days’ worth of work on the Monday and the answers with explanations on the Friday from Monday 20th April.   Please do as much or as little as you wish.  The work is being provided to help you through this time and must not become an additional pressure.  Teachers will also respond to queries sent to the class email addresses.

These are;

Year 3                                                                             Year 4

jellyfish@signhillsacademy.co.uk                              starfish@signhillsacademy.co.uk

turtles@signhillsacademy.co.uk                                 seals@signhillsacademy.co.uk

lobsters@signhillsacademy.co.uk                             dolphins@signhillsacademy.co.uk

Year 5                                                                             Year 6

sealions@signhillsacademy.co.uk                             seahorses@signhillsacademy.co.uk

sharks@signhillsacademy.co.uk                               mantarays@signhillsacademy.co.uk

barracudas@signhillsacademy.co.uk                       swordfish@signhillsacademy.co.uk

 

If you require pastoral support, signposting to additional services or advice, Mrs Davie and Mrs Heinzmann are available between 9am and 4pm on the mobile numbers below.  You can also email them at support@signhillsacademy.co.uk.

Mrs Davie            07871734186                      Mrs Heinzmann                                07395948325

 

If you or your children become ill, please follow the government advice and visit the NHS website https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

 

Please continue to check our school website and the blog.  As things start to return to normal we will update you with information about returning to school.

We appreciate how patient and understanding you have been, particularly given how many of these changes have been incredibly sudden.  We understand that this latest move will have an impact on you and your family and it’s far from ideal, but we’ll continue to keep in touch with any updates as the situation develops.

Once again, thank you for your continued support during this difficult time.

Take care,

Mr Steve Carr

Headteacher

Urgent – Closure Information

Following the Government announcement, school will close today for the vast majority of pupils.

The government has asked parents to keep their children at home wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend. Our Academies will be operating on a skeleton staff and will only be able to provide childcare for families where all adults are considered ‘critical workers’ and will be required to attend their place of work during the school day.

Should it be requested by the Local Authority, children from other schools will be required to join our children and similarly, our children may be provided for at another educational setting.

Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined below. Many parents working in these sectors will be able to ensure their child is kept at home. Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.

Please, therefore, follow these key principles:

  1. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
  2. If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has parents who are critical workers, then educational provision will be available for them if there is absolutely no other childcare available.
  3. Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults, although clearly this will not be possible if their child is attending school.

Many parents working in the critical sectors will be able to ensure their child is kept at home. Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be. This is an offer to parents and carers and there is no requirement for parents and carers to send their children to school if they do not need or wish to do so.

For vulnerable children, your child’s social worker will work with you to assess the best option for your child. Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans. Children who have a social worker include children in need, children who have a child protection plan and those who are looked after by the local authority.

Critical workers include NHS staff, police, farmers and food retail workers, who need to be able to go out to work. You may be eligible if you fall into one of these categories:

  • Health and Social Care
  • Education and Childcare
  • Key public services
  • Local and National Government
  • Food and other necessary goods
  • Public Safety and National Security
  • Transport
  • Utilities, communication and financial services

If you think you fall within the critical categories above and:

  • you carry out your vital work, outside of the home, during school hours
  • there is no other adult that can provide childcare for your child(ren)
  • you have confirmed with your employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, your specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service

Contact the relevant Academy at the email addresses below outlining your circumstances. Please ensure you provide your contact details in the email.

Children may not attend the school site under any circumstances unless their attendance has been approved by the Academy.

We would both like to thank you all for your continued support and understanding during these incredibly challenging times. We will write to you again before the end of the day to outline how we will continue to try to support you through the closure period.

Yours sincerely

Ms A Majer                                         Mr S Carr

Headteacher                                       Headteacher

 

Infant Academy: school@signhillsinfants.co.uk

Junior Academy: support@signhillsacademy.co.uk

 

Coronavirus Update 18.3.20

Coronavirus Update

As part of our daily review of the ongoing situation and with the long term view to remain open as long as possible or until told to close, we have taken the following steps to try to minimise the risk of infection.

Please remember that doors are open from 8.45 to 9.00 am – please try to arrive within this time and not overly early. From tomorrow can you ensure the following steps are taken:

• Adults are not to approach any staff on the door at drop off or pick up unless the matter is urgent.
• Adults remain at least 2 metres distance from the door and try to avoid one another when children are dropped off in the morning.
• Those children who attend Breakfast Club are sent to walk across the playground to the door. We will ensure that an adult is on the door to safely receive your child.
• Breakfast club will not accept cash during this time – we will send a bill out to parents when amounts owed reach £20 and over.
• Please do not come into the school office for routine communication – if you need to speak to someone please ring or email. If you have an urgent message please come into the office but remain away from the desk.
• At pick up time, please leave the school site promptly. Please do not stop to converse on school site or on pathways.

We are no longer holding whole school assemblies in school and we have made the decision that all after school clubs, peripatetic and lettings are cancelled with immediate effect. We have postponed the Year 5 play and hope to be able to rearrange this in the future. We will no longer be inviting visitors into school unless absolutely vital.

Thank you for your continued understanding during this time.

YESTERDAY’S LETTER REGARDING CORONAVIRUS

Dear Parents and Carers
Coronavirus Update

As you will be aware, the Government has moved to the next phase of the “Delay” strategy to control Coronavirus. Current guidance is for households to self-isolate for 14 days if any member is showing symptoms of fever and/or continuous cough. Schools have been advised to remain open. However, we are postponing all events that parents may have been invited to.

We do not have any more information than has been published by Public Health England and the Government. If the decision is made to close schools, it will probably be announced in the Prime Minister’s daily update and we will find out at the same time as you.

In the event of children having to self-isolate we have produced a Home Learning pack for every child, which we are sending home today. This may also be used in the event of a school closure. Please don’t use this as holiday homework or extra learning whilst your child is in school.

We have planned activities for two weeks. If your family has to self-isolate, children can complete the activities. Should a closure continue beyond the Easter break, class teachers will set further work via the academy website. The information in your child’s Home Learning pack can also be found on our school website. We will continue to update you via the blog (https://signhillsblog.wordpress.com) during any closure.

Any work completed in exercise books should be handed in when your child returns to school.

During their absence from school, children and parents can keep in touch with their class teachers via email. The class email addresses are the class name, followed by @signhillsacademy.co.uk. So Seals Class email address is seals@signhillsacademy.co.uk.

Please use these links if you have any concerns and to check for updates.

Public Health England Blog (https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/)
NHS UK website (www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/)

Thank you for your continued understanding during this time.

Yours sincerely

Mr Steve Carr
Headteacher

Year 5 Play

Our Year 5 production, ‘The Keymaster’, will take place on;

• Tuesday 31st March 2:00pm
• Wednesday 1st April 9:15am
• Wednesday 1st April 6.30pm

The play will take place in the New Hall. We are pleased to say that with the installation of the new seating system everyone will have a good view of the performance!

Please  click below for the full letter.

year 5 play letter

Sport Relief

Today the children took part in a range of sporting activities in aid of Sport Relief including a whole school relay marathon and ‘it’s a Knockout’ style relay races. We even managed to persuade some of our teachers and TAs to join in as pace setters. A massive thank you to our year 5 Sports Leaders and some of our year 6s for all their help today.

Relay Marathon
Year 6 Champions
Year 5 Champions
Year 4 Champions
Year 3 Champions

Sport Relief

Please can all children remember to bring their outdoor P.E kit tomorrow as they will be participating in Sport Relief activities throughout the day. We do not require a donation but Sport Relief wristbands are on sale for £1.

Girls Football Primary Stars

This morning our girls footballers took part in the PL Primary Stars competition hosted by GTSET at Bradley Football Development Centre. After winning the group the girls played runners up Scartho in a tight and nervy final. With the two teams unable to be separated the game was decided on penalties. Unfortunately for us Scartho came out on top winning in sudden death. A fantastic morning of football and a great effort by all involved. Well done girls.