Covid-19 Head Teacher updates

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Message from the Head Teacher, Friday 22nd May

Dear parents and families,

This is an important message -please share with other Falconbrook families as far as you are able.
I hope you are all staying well and safe, and that you have managed to enjoy some of the sunshine this week. I also want to congratulate you all on the wonderful work your children have been doing at home. I have seen the photos that you have been sending in of your children’s work, what you have achieved is astonishing.

Following last week’s message when I told you more about the governments plans for school to re-open for some classes, this letter is to update you on our plans so far.

The government have said they would like school to re-open for some children from the beginning of June at the earliest. The final decision to do this will be made by the government on 28th May.

If the re-opening happens the government want the following year groups to return first: Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. The children will not be expected to all return at the same time, the classes will return in stages.

Will our school be the same when the children come back?
• The same staff will be at school ready to welcome the children.
• School will be very different when we go back, however we will do all that we can to make the changes comfortable   and fun for your children. We want your children to feel confident and happy when they return to school.
Here are some of the changes that will be made in school, which are in line with government advice:
• Children will be put into small groups (no more than 15) and will have at least one adult with them. Some of these groups will not be with their usual teacher, but they will be with someone they know.
• Bubble groups will start school and finish school at different times. This is to make sure the groups are kept away from each other.
• Children will stay with this ‘bubble group’ all day. They will not mix with other children or adults.
• When they are in their bubble group the children and adults will need to follow social distancing rules, and keep 2 metres away from other children and the adults in their group.
• The classrooms will look different. Tables will be separated so that the children sit 2 metres apart. Some equipment and toys, soft furnishings and games that we will not be able to wash each day will be packed away and not used.
• Break time will be shorter. Children will have a playtime partner they can play with. They will not play games that involve touching each other, like football.
• Teachers will arrange outdoor PE sessions where the children will play non-contact sports (e.g running and skipping). Teachers will also arrange to have some other lessons outside too.
• We won’t have assemblies together in the big hall – but we work out a way to do these together using the technology we have.

What changes will there be for parents?
• We will not be inviting parents (or any visitors) into the school, including the playground, unless an important meeting needs to take place, or there is an emergency.
• We will ask parents to bring their child to school and wait outside the gate following social distancing rules. The teachers will come and collect the children from the gates.
• Parents must make sure that school can get in contact with them at all times, in case we need to phone you in an emergency.
• We will still keep in contact with you all by phone and email, and you may phone or email when you need to.
• If you decide not to send your child back to school you will not be fined – and your decision will be respected.
If schools re-open which children may return and when?
• If we re-open it will be the week beginning 8th June. This is so we have the time to compete a deep clean the school, rearrange classrooms and finalise our new safety arrangements.
• Children with EHCP, or who work with a social worker or who have parents who are keyworkers will be invited to return. These children will be in their own separate bubble group, until their class also returns.
• The classes the government says should return first are: Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. We will not be inviting these classes to come back at the same time. We will invite each of these year group back in stages, over a period of some weeks. We are doing this to make sure that each class is supported to return safely.
• We will telephone all parents before your child’s class is due to return.
• Children must not return before parents have been telephoned to confirm the return arrangements for their child.

Possible dates for first group of classes to return (to be confirmed):
• 8th June – 12th June: Year 6 groups
• 15th June – 19th June: Nursey class groups and reception class groups
• June 22nd -June 26th: Year 1 groups.
• We will begin our phone calls to Year 6 parents during the week beginning June 1st.

When will the rest of the children return?
• We are not yet certain about how or when this will happen, but the return may be in stages between 29th June -17th July.
• When we know more we will telephone parents to let know about our plans for these classes too.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact us in the usual ways and we will do what we can to help.
In the meantime take care and stay safe. Eid Mubarak to all of our families who will be celebrating this weekend.

My very best wishes to you all.

Mrs Stella Smith

 

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Message from the Head Teacher, Friday 15th May

Dear parents and families

This is a very important message, please share with other Falconbrook parents as widely as you can.

In last week’s letter I let you all know that we had heard at the same time as you that the Prime Minister was hoping to re-open schools for some year groups on June 1st at the earliest. The Department for Education (DfE) have said that the nursery, reception, Year 1 and Year 6 should be the first year groups to come back to school, along with vulnerable children and children of key workers. They would like the other year groups to come back to school later on in the term. However, the DfE say this will only happen if they believe it is safe to do so.

This letter is to tell you what advice we have been given by the DfE about how to re-open, as well as being honest with you about the questions I still have regarding the safety of any potential re-opening.

Should schools re-open the DfE have advised the following:
   • Classes to be split into groups of no more than 15, with at least one adult.
   • This will mean some children will not be in a group with their usual teacher.
   • Children will need to follow social distancing “as far as possible”.
   • This will mean they will be expected to work 2 metres away from each other and their teachers at all times.
   • Children will stay with this group and adult all day, including break times.
   • There will be no contact games played, including football.
   • Strict hygiene rules will need to be put in place (hand washing, using tissues, keeping worktops clean).
   • Groups will start and finish school at different times, to make sure they do not come in contact with other groups.
   • This will mean that school may start later and finish earlier, and this will be different for different groups.
   • Parents will be asked to follow strict social distancing rules too.

We miss your children tremendously, and want them back with us. Falconbrook is just an empty building with out them, we want it to become our school again. But, I only want to do this if it is safe for your children and the staff. In the interests of being honest with you all, I can say that I still have concerns about the current plans to return, and in particular around achieving social distancing with children, more so with the younger classes. I would also like to understand more about risks involved when putting groups of children and adults together in this current situation. I am hoping that we will be given clear information about this soon, and before we are required to re-open.

However, these are your children, and it will be your decision whether you send them back at this time. You will not be penalised or fined if you don’t. I will respect your decision.

Finally, before your child’s year group is due to return we will contact you to ask your opinion on this. In the meantime, school remains closed.

I will continue to update all parents each week.

My very best wishes to you all and of course to all of the Falconbrook children
Yours
Stella Smith
Head Teacher

 

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Message from the Head Teacher, Monday 11th May

Dear parents and families,

As you will know last night the prime minister announced a possible phased re-opening of primary schools, starting with Year 6, Year 1 and reception classes from June.

Schools had not been informed of this decision prior to the government announcement. As you may imagine there are many questions we still need answered before we can move forward and make any plans to open the school for the named year groups. The most important of these will be around the safety and well-being of pupils and staff and their families.

Please know that all arrangements that are currently in place at school (collection of school work, food boxes for families, telephone calls and welfare checks from teachers and other members of the school team) will stay the same until further notice.

When we have the detailed information we require from the government plans can then begin to be put in place. I will stay in contact with you all and update you as soon as I am able.

In the meantime take care and stay safe.


Stella Smith
Head Teacher
Falconbrook Primary School

 

 

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Message from the Head Teacher, Friday 8th May

Dear parents and families,

I hope that you are all well and staying safe.

I want to congratulate you all on the wonderful work you are doing at home with your children, under the most difficult of circumstances.
A number of you have sent in pictures of the work you and your children have been doing at home. This has ranged from imaginative role play to creative writing, and maths practise. Supporting your child to engage in their learning and do school work at home is a challenge for any parent – but you are all doing an impressive job – thank you.

You will also know that there are many rumours around about when school will re-open for pupils. Please know, that at the time of writing this I have not yet been informed of any date when this may happen. When I do know, I will contact you directly.

FSM: We have received notification that a number of parents have not yet redeemed their FSM supermarket vouchers. Entitled families should have received one voucher per child. Please check your emails, including the junk mail box. If you are having difficulty in doing this let us know, and we will help.
Reminder: weekly arrangements that are now in place at school for all parents:
• Mondays 12pm-2pm: Collection of work packs and reading books.
• Thursday 1pm-3pm: Collection of food boxes.
If any of the above times change we will let you know.

Remember any of you can contact us at admin@falconbrook.net. We are more than happy to help in any way we can.

My very best wishes to you all and to our children

Stella Smith
Head Teacher
Falconbrook Primary School

 

 

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Message from the Head Teacher, Friday 1st May

Dear parents and families,

It was good to see so many of you yesterday when you came to school to collect your community food boxes. These food box collections will now take place every Thursdays from 1pm-3.30pm.


Parents can also collect a paper copy of their child’s weekly work pack from school on Mondays from 11.30pm-2.30pm.


We would love to see some of the work you and your children are doing at home. If you are able to, please email us at admin@falconbrook.net  with pictures of children and their work.


Please also continue to contact us by email with any questions or concerns at admin@falconbrook.net. We will get back in touch as soon as possible.

Take care and stay safe.

Stella Smith
Head Teacher
Falconbrook Primary School

 

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Message from the Head Teacher, Friday 24th April 2020

Dear parents and families,

I hope that you are all managing to stay safe and well. This message has important information about food boxes, Free School Meal vouchers and children’s work packs. Please share the information in this message on my behalf with any parent you may know who could need help with accessing it or with translation. Thank you. 

Food Boxes: 

Arrangements are now in place, and I hope to have more information about when these boxes will be available by the end of next week. 

FSM Vouchers: 

We know that there has still been a delay in receiving the new FSM vouchers for many of our families. So we have made a special arrangement to purchase Wonde vouchers for all FSM families to help to see you through this delay. You should receive these by email very soon. These will be in addition to the delayed vouchers.

We have been informed  by the DfE that the new vouchers from Endred were emailed to our FSM families on 17th April. Please check you emails, including your junk boxes to make sure you have not missed this email. If you have not received this please let us know by emailing us at admin.falconbrook.net. We will then re-send them to you.

Children’s Work Packs: 

Some families have let us know they are having difficulties accessing the work packs online, or via the school website. So we are now offering paper copies to all families that would like these. Paper copies of work packs can be collected from school every Monday from 12pm starting this Monday 27th April.

If you are collecting a pack from school please remember to practice social distancing. 

Reading  – a message from Ms McAlpine to all parents and children:

This term, all children in Reception-Year 6 have access to Scholastic Reading Pro – a fantastic online resource that gives us access to 800+ e-books! Teachers will select books weekly that the children will enjoy, and children can choose their own e-books too, the choice is endless! Make sure you log on and get reading!

Coronaviris: A Book for Children from Nosy Crow (a free e-book)

This is an excellent book written by teachers and medical professionals.  It explains the current COVID-19 situation, what is happening and why in a child friendly way. Please follow this link.

Finally, I would like to wish Ramadan Mubarak to all our families who will be celebrating this month.

Best Regards

Stella Smith

Head Teacher

Falconbrook Primary School

 

 

 

 

 

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Message from the Head Teacher, Friday 17th April 2020

Dear parents and families,


I hope at you are all well and managing in these continuing difficult circumstances. Yesterday we were all told that the government lock-down would remain in place for at least another three weeks. It is with this in mind that I am writing to you with this update on how we will continue to support our families as much as we can in the coming weeks. Please keep emailing us with any questions or worries that you think we can help you with. We are checking emails every day and responding to individuals and families as needed. You can contact us at admin@falconbrook.net .


We will continue to send out work packs for your children to do at home. As you know these packs are put together by your child’s class teacher. Your child may need support to get going with the work, especially younger children. However, once they have started they should be able to manage the work independently. We are not expecting children to work in the same way as they do at school. Getting school work done at home, and under these extraordinary circumstances, is going to be a challenge for any parent. If your child manages to do an hour or two of school work (according to their age) a day that would be impressive. There are other kinds of learning they can do at home – life skills for example. I may even present an award to children who have learned to cook, tidy or clean during this period of lock-down! We have also had pictures of the art work some children have done at home emailed to us, some has been put up on our twitter page. If you want to email us examples of the work you and your children have done at home (including non-school work) please do. We may be able to share these on our twitter page too. Please know that however you make things work for you at home, will be the right way for your family. The most important thing is that you are happy and safe.


If you are having any problems accessing the work for your child please let us know. If you are aware of any families that are struggling to access this work of their child please contact us on their behalf and we will do what we can to help.


We are aware that there has been a delay with the new free school meal (FSM) voucher system. In last week’s message I let you know that this was because the government changed arrangements for issuing FSM vouchers. Their new system became overwhelmed and unable to cope with the large numbers of voucher orders. However, we now have confirmation that voucher orders for 14th April have been received. They should be sent out on early next week. Vouchers for next week have also been ordered. Following yesterday’s announcement we are now ordering vouchers for the next three weeks too. If you have concerns or do not receive your vouchers please contact us at admin@falconbrook.net
We have had some queries from parents asking why their child in KS1 & EYFS who have been getting a free lunch at school is not being issued with vouchers. This is because all children in this age group receive a free school meal. This is called universal free school meals, and is separate from FSM. If a family receives certain benefits they are able to apply for FSM for their children. It is only the families who already receive FSM who are entitled to the vouchers at this time.


Best wishes to you all and to all of our Falconbrook children.

Stella Smith
Head Teacher
Falconbrook Primary School

 

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Message from the Head Teacher, Thursday 9th April 2020

Dear parents and families,

I hope that you and your families are well and keeping safe. We continue to be in direct contact with a number of our families, and should anyone want to contact us please remember that you can do so by emailing us at admin@falconbrook.net. We are checking these each day, and responding to all questions and queries. Please continue to keep in touch – we will always try to help where we can.

Free school meals (FSM) update:
As you may already know the government has changed the arrangements for FSM vouchers. Unfortunately, there have been problems with this changeover. This is as a result of the large numbers of school having to switch to the government’s new system. We are aware of these issues and are doing all that we can to sort this out. We now expect there to be a delay in the delivering of the vouchers, which we had been told would arrive early next week. Please know we will continue to do all we are able to sort this out on your behalf – and will do so until the problems are fixed. If you have any questions you can contact us by email.

I am thinking of you all – and send my very best wishes to your families and of course to all of the Falconbrook children.

Take care
Stella Smith
Head Teacher
Falconbrook Primary School

 

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Message from the Head Teacher, Wednesday 1st April 2020

Dear parents, carers and Falconbrook families,

I hope that you are all managing to stay well and safe during these worrying times.

I am sure all of our children are following the government rules of social distancing and staying at home, however I do not underestimate what a challenge this must be for our families.

I hope our children are enjoying the messages from their class teachers as well as their school homework. I look forward to seeing the work you have done when we all get back to school.

Free school meals update.
If you usually get a free school meal you will hear very soon (if you haven’t already) from the Wonde voucher scheme. They will be contacting you to make the final arrangements to get super market vouchers sent to you. They will contact you by email and by text. This arrangement will be transferred to the government voucher scheme, we will update families when we know more.

School closure and keeping in touch:
As you know the school is now closed. Parents of children who are eligible to be considered for an emergency place at school were able to make alternative child care arrangements. Many also felt that their child would be safer staying at home. This is in line with government advice that only children “who absolutely need to attend” should do so.

We are keeping in regular contact with many of our families, including those with an EHCP and those who may be vulnerable. This is a good opportunity to talk about how children and their families are managing the current situation, as well as being an opportunity to share any concerns that families may have, including childcare.

If you have not heard from us and would like to please email admin@falconbrook.net with your name, your child’s name and your phone number. We will then phone you back as soon as we are able. If you prefer you can just leave an email message. Messages left on the answer machine may not be responded to for a while.

Please continue to check the school website for updated messages.

Sharing this message:
If you are in contact with a family who may not have seen this message, or may need parts of it explained or translated please may I ask you to get in touch with them to make sure they get this information. Thankyou.

In the meantime take care, stay well and keep in touch.

Best wishes to you all.

Stella Smith
Head Teacher

 

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – School closure update, Wednesday 25th March 2020

Dear parents, carers and children,

I hope you are all well and keeping yourselves healthy.

As you all know the school is now closed for children and parents have been able to pop in to collect work and lunches. From Friday the school will be completely shut.

Keeping in touch:
• If you need to contact us you can do so by email on admin@falconbrook.wandsworth.sch.uk. We will continue to check emails throughout this time and will respond as needed.
• Ms Mensah and Ms Tugwell will also continue with their welfare phone calls.
• The teachers are also sending emails to their classes to say hello to their children and to check they are all enjoying their work!
• I will keep posting these updates too, so that everyone is kept up to date.
Children’s work:
• We will continue to send out work via email. This will also be uploaded onto the website under the Curriculum Framework heading. Each year group has their own section.
School Lunches.
• We have registered with a company called Wonde to supply eligible families with supermarket vouchers. You will be contacted by email and then text to set this up. Do not expect to hear from them before next week.
• Please contact school today or tomorrow to update you contact detail if needed.

Take care and keep safe. I am thinking of you all.

Stella Smith
Head Teacher

 

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – School closure update, Friday 20th March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope you are all managing and things are not too difficult for you at this challenging time. Please telephone us if you have any concerns that you feel we could help you with. Below is an update on the arrangements we have now been able to put in place at Falconbrook.

Free School Meals for next week – Monday 23rd – Friday 27th March.
Our kitchen team will supply a packed lunch for children who currently receive free school meals (FSM).
Parents will need to order these in advance. Please let us know by 4pm today, Friday if you want this lunch for you child / children.
Packed lunches can be collected from the school reception between 10am-2pm each day next week.

Work packs for all children: Nursery – year 6.
Each child will have a work pack. This includes guidance on how to help your child do their work at home. The pack includes learning tasks and activities, a work book, pencils, reading books and online links for additional learning.
Children who are in school today will being their packs home with them.
If your child is not in school please collect their packs between 1pm and 4pm today, Friday 20th March.

School closure:
Falconbrook will be closed from Monday 23rd March to all children and until further notice.
The reason for the closure is to help prevent the further spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 and to keep our children, their families and the staff safe and well.
It is safer for children to remain at home and to be cared for by their family.
However, if absolutely necessary we are able to accommodate a limited number of children next week here at school.
If both parents, or the sole parent is a key worker, or your child has a social worker or an ECHP and you are unable to make a safe arrangement for them to be cared for at home please contact school today so we can discuss this with you.

We will update all parents weekly with our plans and with any changes.
You can contact us by email admin@falconbrook.wandsworth.sch.uk. Or by phone (answer machine). We will do our best to get back in touch with you as soon as possible.

Take care of yourselves and keep healthy.

Best wishes to you all
Stella Smith
Head teacher

 

 

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) update Thursday 19th March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

As you will know the government has made the decision to close schools. Falconbrook will be closed for the majority of children from the end of the school day on Friday 20th March until further notice.

School will be open only for vulnerable children and the children of key workers.

Key workers include NHS workers, care workers, police and delivery drivers.

Vulnerable children are those with and Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or children who have a social worker.

All other children should remain at home with appropriate care.
I will be sending out another message soon asking you to reply if your child fits either of the above groups and you wish to confirm their place at school for the next week.

We have homework packs for all of our children and will be in touch soon to let you know how to access these.

We are arranging food for all children who are currently receiving free school meals (FSM) and will be in touch soon to let you know more about this.

These are worrying and unusual times for us all. Please know that we will do all that we can to continue support you and your children.
Please telephone us if you have any questions or concerns that you think we can help you with.

Stella Smith
Head Teacher

 

 

Coronavirus – update Wednesday 18th March 2020.

Dear parents and carers,

Thank you to all parents and families of Falconbrook for your continued support at this extraordinary time.

Further to the precautions we have already implemented I am now updating you on the additional actions that are being put in place.

• We are cancelling non-essential visits and visitors to the school.
• If you have a meeting booked at school this will still take place. If this changes we will contact you.
• All after school clubs will be cancelled from tomorrow (Thursday 19th March) for the rest of this term
• Reading café will be cancelled for the rest of this term.,
• The school book fair has been cancelled from today.

All of the decisions being made continue to be based on government and NHS advice. This advice is being added to on a daily basis and we are responding to this as it is published. This official advice will underpin all the actions we take.

We will inform parents of any changes as soon as we can. This information will be communicated directly by the school and will also be posted on the school website.

Yours faithfully

Mrs Stella Smith
Head Teacher

 

Coronavirus – Falconbrook update 16th March 2020

Dear parents and carers,

I am writing to update you on the plans Falconbrook School is putting in place in response to concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

As you will know we are all currently dealing with a complex and rapidly changing situation. My first priority will always be the health and safety of the pupils and staff in our school. Now, more than ever, this remains our primary focus.

Already at school we have introduced hand sanitisers and are ensuring that the children are washing their hands more frequently. As from Monday 16th March we have cancelled all trips and visits, including swimming for the rest of this term, when we will review the situation.

We will continue to follow the official advice given from the government and the NHS. This advice is being added to on a daily basis and we are responding to this as it is published. This official advice will underpin all the actions we take.

We will inform parents of any changes as soon as we can. This information will be communicated directly by the school and will also be posted on the school website.

Yours faithfully

Mrs Stella Smith

Head Teacher

 

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