Welcome Back to 2022 from Cobham!
Welcome back to 2022! I truly hope that all our families and team members had the most wonderful Christmas and New Year and that it made up for some of the disappointment of last year. We very much cannot wait to see the children tomorrow!
A massive thank you for all my amazing cards and generous gifts! Too kind as always.
We have much to look forward to this term and the children always seem to make great progress during these Spring Terms!
I would like to officially welcome Miss Moore to the team as she will be leading our Year 6 class with Mrs Rose for the remainder of the year. I would also like to welcome Mrs Turner to Cobham as she will be working in Year R as a teaching assistant.
I know that most of you would have received your child’s end of term ‘mini’ report card in the last week before Christmas. Some of you have emailed about the attendance categories over the holidays – please do not worry too much. These figures improve significantly as the year progresses. All that matters is that everyone is fit and healthy to return to school and is ready for the challenges that 2022 will bring.
I am sure that you are aware that Government guidelines now stipulates that the isolation period has now been reduced from 10 days to 7 days, but this is only the case if lateral flow tests have been undertaken on Day 6 and Day 7, both proving negative AND that your child is well enough to return to school to undertake the learning!
The last 2 weeks of term, our attendance figures were the lowest that we have ever known, which was no surprise, however on the one day last term where I ‘manned’ the office – I sent home 5 children – many who had been off earlier in the week and had returned to school too soon! Please be mindful of this as we head through this term.
If a child is unwell and/or displays Covid symptoms, we will be asking you to collect them and ‘do’ a lateral flow test. We need to continue to protect the whole school community as much as possible as numbers of cases have undoubtedly increased over Christmas.
Dr Crowther and Mr Simmons (both team members in Year 5) were poorly before Christmas if you remember and Mr Burns proved positive the day after term ended. Mrs Serantes will not be in school this week as she too now has Covid. Whatever the Education Secretary is telling us to do when staff absence is high, one suggestion being ‘mix classes’ if we are short staffed – proves that there is little care for the quality of education that we provide each day, as this suggestion is impractical, downright idiotic and clearly more focused on school’s providing baby sitting services. We do much more than this!!!
The number of children with Covid across the school at the end of term was in fact minimal compared to many schools, however my team members were hit badly. It resulted in a huge reliance on my teaching support team to provide teaching cover, work additional days, support additional duties- all meaning less support for the children. This is not sustainable if we continue to have staff being poorly. At the end of term, there was a point where I was seriously having to consider shutting Year 5 down for the last day of term. But again my heavy reliance on many of my teaching support staff and their phenomenal good will allowed me to cover – although I should have been covering elsewhere! It is very unlikely that a class will be ‘shut’ due to the number of cases that they might have in the forthcoming weeks, but they may be ‘shut’ due to staff shortages. Supply agencies cannot cope with the demand already!
This all seems quite negative – but many of you know that we will continue to do our utmost to provide the very best educational opportunities, care and support that our children have grown to expect. But I wanted to give you the heads up, so that if we don’t get ‘book changes’ completed or homework hasn’t been sent – please understand the potential reasons why! I may have to be ‘pilfering’ team members from some teams to support others!
On a brighter note – Thursday 6th January is non uniform day! We have Kent Surf School coming to Cobham for a Body Surf Board/Balance session for all the classes! PACKED LUNCHES are needed please on Thursday and the children need to be in sportswear with appropriate sports footwear- trainers or plimsolls are grand! Something new for the children to try! Please remember the packed lunches as again we had to ring through to many families who had forgotten during the last week of term!
Premier Sports After School Clubs start this week – Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th! Breakfast Club starts on Wednesday 5th too!
We also have the week beginning Monday 10th January – ‘Our Life Workshops’ which are being held over 3 days – Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – these focus on Healthy Living, Fun and Fitness, Mental Health and Well Being! Starting the new calendar year with lots of positive thinking and an awareness of how our life choices can improve our mindset and overall well-being. We could all do with this! Apologies that we cannot have school dinners on these 3 days, but we need the hall space to ensure that all classes have their workshops over the course of the 3 days! PACKED LUNCHES AGAIN PLEASE for the 3 days!!
Anyway – I started writing this with the intention of it being a short email! I should know myself better by now! Never a woman of few words!
Here’s to 2022! It can only get better, but I feel like it might be a tough January!
Many thanks as always!