St Joseph’s RC Primary School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. All staff, governors and volunteers are expected to share this commitment. For more information please see our safeguarding policy which can be found under Key Information > Policies & Statements > Safeguarding Policy.
Wednesday 1st September 2021
Beginning of the new school year newsletter
Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope that this first newsletter of the year finds you all well, having enjoyed the summer break with your children. I hope too that the children are as excited and eager to get the new term started as I am, with the hope that this school year will be somewhere near ‘back to normal’ compared to the previous two!
I am so pleased to inform you that the building works have now been completed and we have a fabulous new school kitchen, an enormous school hall and a learning resource centre which I hope will blow you away when you see it! It has been a mammoth task and took far longer than expected and certainly took its toll on the workings of the school day during the final few weeks of the term, but I can now reflect back and see that it was definitely worth it. We hope to have some open afternoons in the comings weeks where we can welcome parents in to school to see the changes and improvements made. This and the next generation of St Joseph’s pupils will certainly have a building that they can enjoy and be proud of.
The Early Years outdoor learning area has also been completed. We are thrilled with the results and we are busy working out how we can open this area up to all pupils in the school so they too can enjoy some outdoor learning in this incredible setting. We cannot wait to show this off to you too!
School Uniform - I wrote to all of you during the final term and provided all families with the school uniform policy. Please can I remind you that it is very important that the children present at school in full school uniform or full school p.e. kit, ready to learn every day. Please encourage your child/ren to be proud of their uniform and proud of being a super smart pupil at St Joseph’s. Remember p.e. kits are to be worn on p.e. days. We will share the children’s p.e. days with them on their first day (Monday 6th) so ALL children are to attend in school uniform on their first day back.
School bags - from 6th September, we will be allowing the children to bring a book bag to school. Please note though we do not want any child to come with a rucksack. We simply do not have the space around school to store these, they are far too big for what primary children require and they actually create a safety concern in classrooms because of their size. So please do not buy one for your child or send them to school with one. A book bag is perfect for what our pupils need.
Drop off in the morning - we are going to continue with our drop off zone in the morning. This will continue to be the middle gate for the children in Years 1 to 6.
Reception age children will start the year being brought up to their classroom by their parents, but as the year progresses, they too will then be dropped off here.
All children must now be dropped off between 8.30 and 8.40 a.m., so all children must be at the middle gate by 8.40 a.m. at the latest.
First few days arrangements - for the first two days class teachers and TAs will meet their children on the drive, we will allocate a spot for teachers to stand and greet the children from 8.30 - 8.40 and at 8.40 they will all head to class together going in the doors allocated to them. Then on the Wednesday, just the TA will meet them and bring them up. Then from the Thursday we will start a rota of TAs around the site and on the doors at this time and children will head up independently and go in through their door.
New home time / pick up arrangements - from Monday 6th September, we will be reverting back to all children finishing at the same time each day, at 3.15p.m. Parents will come up to the school site to collect their children from different exit points.
Reception - classroom doors
Class 4 classroom door
Class 3 KS1 fire doors
Class 6 fire doors near their classroom
Class 5 main school entrance
Class 10 classroom door
KS2 Classes 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13 and 14 will exit via the first aid doors on to the back playground. Teachers will walk their class outside to an area (the same each day). The children will stay with their teacher until their parents or whoever is collecting them arrives. If you are happy for your child to walk home, or walk down the drive to meet you then please send an email to the school office informing us of this. Children will not be allowed to leave the school site alone unless we have permission in writing from a parent.
We will have lots of staff around at home time during the first few days to signpost parents to their pick up door / area so don’t worry, just come and ask if you are unsure.
At home time on the drive, we will have to keep the barrier up so parents and children can use the pavement and the road. We will have a staff member at the barrier to stop cars coming up the drive during this period. Please do not try to access the school drive and car park between the times of 8.20 to 8.50 and 2.55 to 3.35.
School meals - please remember to order your child/rens meals in advance via the app. You can order for the week or for the next few weeks and even up to half term. Now that we have our wonderful new kitchen, we want to try and encourage all of our children to enjoy a delicious school meal each day. For children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 the school meals are free. If you need any information about school meals, please contact the school office on Thursday 2nd or Friday 3rd September.
Outbreak Management Plan and new risk assessment for Covid-19 - now that many restrictions have been lifted nationwide we have created a new risk assessment for the management of the pandemic in school. This has been developed in line with the government’s latest guidance and includes an Outbreak Management Plan, which will inform all parties of what will happen should an outbreak of Covid-19 occur within school.
In brief, we will be doing all we can to keep as many children as we can in school; however should 3 or more children test positive from within one class (or from within an after school club or Cool Cats) then we may have to re-introduce some enhanced measures for that group of pupils and staff in school. If Public Health England felt that the outbreak was not being controlled effectively through enhanced measures then the children may be asked to switch to remote education for a short period - but this will be the very last measure taken and it will not be taken unless absolutely necessary.
As you will know, under 18s and fully vaccinated adults, no longer have to isolate if they are a contact of a positive case - even if it is a household member. However, for anyone with symptoms then the advice remains the same - book a pcr test and isolate until the result is known. If a child displays symptoms at school then we will continue to follow the same procedures as before - they will be isolated in school with a first aider and a parent will be asked to collect them and take them for a pcr test. The Outbreak Management Plan and the new Risk Assessment for Covid-19 can be found on the school website here https://www.stjosephsrcprimary.rochdale.sch.uk/school-arrangements-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/
If you have any questions about this, please contact the school office via email and we will endeavour to reply to your query as soon as possible.
Handwashing, good ventilation and enhanced cleaning measures will all continue at school as prevention measures.
Attendance and punctuality - all pupils are expected to attend school as normal from Monday 6th September. It is very important, now more than ever following the disruption of the past two academic years, that all children attend school when they are fit and well to do so. Please do not allow your child to have days off school for any reason other than illness - holidays, day trips or just days off for no reason have a significant impact on a child’s education. Attendance will be tracked regularly and parents will be written to and invited in to school should a child’s attendance become a concern.
We very much look forward to seeing you all return and welcoming out new families and children on Monday 6th September and thank you again for the support you have given throughout the last academic year. Let us all hope and pray for better times ahead for all.
Mrs C Dunne
New Playground is ready and waiting for our new children to arrive!
As you will remember from your visits, we were having some major works done on our Early Years outdoor area and I am pleased to share the news with you today that it is all finished and just needs the finishing touches... our new children to play in it!
We cannot wait to meet you all again in September and enjoy learning in this wonderful new environment together our new pupils.
Welcome to all of our new parents, whose children will be joining us in September 2021.
During these uncertain times, we are unsure as to when we will be able to welcome you and your child in person and so we have set up this section on our website which will be dedicated to providing you with up to date information around the ongoing situation with school closure, information about preparing your child for September and also introductions to our staff and our learning environment.
If you do have any questions of queries that are not answered here, please contact Mrs Dunne (Head teacher) or Mrs Hale (Early Years Leader) at school on 01706 369340 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If your child has special education needs which you would like to discuss, then our SENCo is Mrs Russell and she too can be contacted in this way.
We hope you find this information useful and we hope to do all we can to support both yourselves, but more importantly your children as they prepare to start school with us in September .
WELCOME LETTER FROM THE HEADTEACHER TO OUR NEW INTAKE FOR SEPTEMBER 2021
Wednesday 21st April 2021
Dear Parents and Carers,
It is with great pleasure that I write to you, and your child, to welcome you to our school community of St Joseph’s. We are delighted that your child has been offered a place here at St Joseph’s and are greatly looking forward to meeting you all and to begin sharing in your child’s learning journey throughout the next seven years.
Under normal circumstances we would have two events organised for you in the coming months – one for parents only and one an opportunity for your child to come along with you and spend some time here at their new school. However, in these uncertain times due to the Covid-19 Pandemic unfortunately I cannot write with the details for these just yet.
We are hopeful that we will be provided with some guidance by the end of May, which will help us to confirm plans for us to organise our usual welcome visits to our school. As soon as I am able to, I will write again with the information confirming our arrangements.
The governors and I would like to assure you, that we will do everything we can to make the transition of your child to our school as smooth as possible in light of these difficult circumstances. We will hold transitions meetings (via video calls / phones calls) with all nurseries / child minders / EY settings throughout May and June. We will be able to provide online events if we are unable to organise in person meetings, but before we commit to these, we want to wait to see what happens with regards to the government guidance around social distancing and large gatherings in the next few months in the hope that we can invite you to school.
During this period our school website has become even more important to us and we have decided to use this as a way of keeping the parents of our September 2021 Intake informed. In coming weeks we will be creating a new area on the website within the ‘Parents’ section. This new area will be entitled New Intake 2021. Within this area, we will be sharing the information that we will also share in the parents meeting in June and we will also be sharing information about how you can help your child - even in these difficult circumstances - to be ready for school in September. The Early Years Team are also busy preparing photographs and videos that they will put on this area of the website for you to show your child. They will be ‘walk throughs’ of our Early Years classrooms - indoor and out - and also introductions to the staff. We will also post any letters that we are sending out to you on this area of website so that you know to watch out for them in the post. Please watch out for this section appearing soon and regularly check it throughout the upcoming months!
The website can be found here - https://www.stjosephsrcprimary.rochdale.sch.uk/
We very much hope to be meeting you during the summer term, but if not, I hope that this letter has eased your mind that we will be communicating with you regularly and we will be doing all we can to support your child and yourselves throughout this period.
Please contact the school office on 01706 369340 if you would like to discuss any of the above or if you have any further questions or queries with regards to your child starting with us in September.
We look forward to seeing you soon,
Mrs C Dunne
BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL CLUB - Cool Cats and Wild Things
Once the Reception children are full time then they can access our before and after school club. Cool Cats is open from 7.30 a.m. in the morning and runs until 5.30 p.m. in the evening.
Parents will receive an information leaflet in the admissions pack that we deliver to homes in May. If you require regular use of Cool Cats then when you child starts with us in September, you will be able to collect a Cool Cats Contract from the school office and fill it in to let us know when you require this provision and how you will be paying for it. We do not take cash on the school site, so payment must be via BACs transfer, direct debit, standing order or a childcare voucher scheme. The full details will be within the information pack.
If you wish to discuss Cool Cats provision prior to September, please contact our school business manager, Hayley Clarke, via the school office on 01706 369340.