Start of Term | 01st Sept 2021

Start of Term | 01st Sept 2021

Dear Parent/Carer,

Newsletter | September 2021

As the start of another school year is upon us, I wanted to update everybody on the new Covid plans and share some information with you about our school day.

School Opens

School opens for pupils on Thursday 2nd September at 8:55 am. 

This is for everybody in years 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. 

Children starting in Nursery and Reception will have had information from our new team about their own individual starting times following their personal one-to-one meeting with the team.

We are asking all parents to continue to drop their children off at school without entering the school playground in the morning to avoid congestion around the school gates but there will be adults on duty in the morning to keep everybody safe.

Parents of new starters can take their children to the door of their Early Years’ classroom and wait with them until their teachers come and get them.

See below for Term Dates

School closes

School finishes at 3:15 pm for years 1,2,3,4,5 and 6. 

The class teacher will take the class to their allocated spot on the playground where they will supervise the safe handover to their grown-ups.

Nursery finishes school at 3 pm whilst Reception at 3:15 pm. Both Nursery and Reception will be collected from the Early Years classroom door. 

We are a growing school and we are no longer staggering the end of the day finishing times, so please be mindful that this may be a busy period. Our playground space is huge so if we all stick to our allocated areas, we can keep each other as safe as possible.

New School Day

A consultation period will soon be starting to seek parental opinion on us extending our school day to finishing at 3:30pm. If you have any immediate concerns about this proposal, please do contact me via the school office 0151 652 5124

Covid Update

Absence

If your child tests positive for Covid using a PCR test they will need to self isolate for a period of 10 days. Please notify the school by phone or email if this is the case. Support for Free School Meals will be provided if eligible and work will be signposted to on our website for review and retrieval work to take place if appropriate.

Bubble System

A bubble system will no longer be in place. This means that children from all classes will be able to mix with each other throughout the school day. The system was previously put in place to reduce the number of children required to self-isolate after coming into contact with a positive case.

Self-Isolation

If a child or a member of staff at school tests positive for Covid, we will no longer be required to send close contacts home for a period of self-isolation or to engage in remote learning. Instead, close contacts will be contacted by NHS Track and Trace and informed that they should seek a PCR test. 

Whilst waiting on the results of a PCR test, no self-isolation will be required.

If the PCR test returns a positive result, a period of self-isolation of 10 days would then begin for that person.

Please note: schools are no longer expected to form part of the track and trace process so families will not necessarily hear from school should a positive case occur. The Government expects all children to continue attending school as normal unless they test positive for Covid (PCR).

Masks

Masks are entirely optional. Nobody will challenge you if you are not wearing one when you collect your child from our school grounds; it is entirely your choice as directed by the Government. Like the Co-op shops we ask that if you can, please do. You will see some staff still choosing to wear a face covering too. Thank you for your understanding.

School Expectations

Uniform

We are starting the new year with a real sense of purpose and with a commitment to get back on track with a new and enhanced curriculum.

To show our new standards our uniform has become a beacon of our new standards and is something that we now expect every child to wear every day.

Our uniform is very simple and can be purchased from many local shops or supermarkets. We expect our children to wear a grey skirt or grey pinafore or grey shorts or grey trousers and a white shirt or white polo shirt (has a collar). Black shoes or black trainers must be worn also, and a school jumper or cardigan with the Co-op Academy Portland logo on it is essential (these can be purchased for £10.00 each from the school office).

PE kits will no longer be worn to come to school in, but children will get changed for PE in school. Football kits are no longer allowed, nor highly expensive branded sportswear. Navy, black or grey jogging bottoms or shorts/skorts to be worn with a white t-shirt. Pumps or trainers as appropriate.

The deadline for a fully up to date kit is September 30th. Children may receive a consequence for not having a full uniform in school. Don’t let finances stand in the way of upholding our uniform policy – please let Mrs Tolcher know if you need help.

School Dinners

School dinners by Edsential have gone up to £2.34 per day. Please update your information at the office if you think you may now be eligible for for Free School Meals.

Dinners now need to be paid via ParentPay.

Wraparound Care and Enrichment

MSE is continuing to support our academy with Toast Club and after-school care for our working families of key workers or vulnerable children. This will start on Thursday 2nd September for all of the children who regularly used this service with Kev last school year. If you would like a place for your child, please complete the application form below.

Enrichments will begin w/c 13th September. The deadline for forms back is Wednesday 8th September (forms given out at the end of the week).

New and ‘Old’ Teachers (they know what I mean!)

I am so excited for the future of Co-op Academy Portland and we are fast becoming an improving school. I cannot wait to invite our parents to open evenings and information evenings where we will share our new curriculum with you and show off our children’s work and learning.

I am pleased to share the names of the full complement of the staff here at the academy now and the year groups that they will be teaching this year. You can contact the team directly via dojo or via the school office. You can catch the teacher for an informal chat at the end of the school day too.

Teachers will be as follows:

  • Nursery: Mrs Beedles and Mrs McMahon
  • Reception: Miss Munnerley
  • Year 1: Mrs Randles
  • Year 2: Mrs Allen
  • Year 3/4: Mrs Walsh
  • Year 4/5: Miss Kaur
  • Year 5/6: Mrs Ali
  • Writing (and Dyslexia) specialist: Mrs Mumford
  • SENDCo: Mrs McMahon
  • Welfare and Attendance Officer: Mrs Tolcher
  • Inclusion Team: Miss Smith (speech and language base), Mrs Barnes (EYFS), Mrs Carlton (EYFS), Mrs Shaw (KS2)
  • Mrs Allen is the Deputy Headteacher.

Grapes, Cherry Tomatoes and Nuts

Just a reminder to our school community that we have had to become a nut-free school due to pupils with serious nut allergies now attending our school. This means that no lunchbox treats with nuts, no cakes or chocolate with nuts can be allowed on our school site due to very serious consequences of cross contamination.

I must also remind our families to chop up grapes and cherry tomatoes in lunchboxes due to the choking hazard they pose when they are put in pupils’ mouths. They are the perfect size to be stuck in little throats and must ask that you chop them into smaller pieces to make them safer.

Thank you so much for your help and support with these requests. We are exceptionally good at keeping little people safe – we hope you don’t mind our reminders every now and again!

MIND

We are working closely with the mental health charity MIND to help support our children and families over the coming months following a very distressing and unsettling year with Covid. To help us direct resources effectively, please do make a private and confidential appointment with Mrs Tolcher if you may benefit from being signposted to agencies that can help you.

Behaviour Policy

We have updated our Behaviour Policy and wanted to share it with you. We have a clear consequence system and a wonderful rewards system now too with our Co-Co shop! Children will be removed from distracting their class and will complete their work in the school office independently. This will be recorded as an Exclusion and will be passed onto the pupil’s high school if they are in Years 4, 5 or 6. Fixed term exclusions will also take place (suspended from school) if it is deemed appropriate for your child to no longer attend the school for a fixed period. This is exceptionally serious. 

Similarly, a child on Beyond Red may not be able to take part in enrichment activities, or represent our school on trips or visits and may not be able to attend Toast Club or After School Care – we have to deem the activity safe to be accommodating to the needs of all pupils. 

We are a rapidly improving academy and will ensure that all learners have the opportunity to learn effectively, and that reasonable adjustments for poor choices are put into place. However, there are some actions and poor choices that will not be tolerated.

A copy of our Behaviour Policy will be sent home next week.

Portland 50

We need your help to shape the future curriculum here at Co-op Academy Portland! We know that there are some key things that we want our children to have experienced (or mastered) before they leave us in Year 6… so we are devising the Portland 50! A list of 50 things that our children will experience or master whilst they are with us from Reception to Year 6.

This could be to ride a bike or play an instrument… or visit a cinema or the ballet or a professional football match! Can you help us? Complete the suggestion form below or tell the team in the office or your child’s class teacher and we will make a note of it to be discussed with our governors.

This is how we grow citizens of the future. This is how we achieve our sense of belonging. This is how we grow dreams to work towards. Belong. Believe. Achieve.

Bikes and Scooters

If your child/children come to school on a bike or scooter, please can you make sure they are taken home at the end of each day. There are a number of them being left on the bike rack overnight and we can not take responsibility for anything left on the school site out of hours.

Thank you Staff

May I take this opportunity to thank our new Co-op Academy staff team for their hard work and dedication over the summer holiday period in preparing their lessons and their classrooms and getting ready to welcome the children back to Portland. 

You can be guaranteed that our new team will continue to show warmth, compassion, and the energy to do what matters most that you have been used to.

Co-op Academy Portland is rapidly improving, and despite our ever-changing lockdown rules, I hope you can see our efforts to work with our community and our mission to listen to what our families tell us.

Our mission is to learn about our ‘Ways of Being’ and develop into young adults who are ready for their next stage of learning.

  • Do what matters most
  • Be yourself always
  • Succeed together
  • Show you care

Please do not hesitate to contact our school office on 0151 652 5124 if you have any queries, or need further support. We want our children to take ownership of their learning and see the importance of having a good education. 

Thank you for your support.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs C Peace

Headteacher

Co-op Academy Portland Term Dates 2021 – 2022

*please note there will be an extra Bank Hol for the Queen’s Jubilee

Autumn Term Dates 2021

Open Wednesday 1st September, 2021

Close Thursday 21st October, 2021

HALF TERM: Monday 25th October – Friday 29th October

Open Monday 1st November, 2021

Close Friday 17th December, 2021

CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS: Monday 20th December – Monday 3rd January

Spring Term Dates 2022

Open Wednesday 5th January, 2022

Close Friday 18th February, 2022

HALF TERM: Monday 21st February – Friday 25th February

Open Monday 28th February, 2022

Close Friday 8th April, 2022

SPRING BREAK: Monday 11th April – Friday 22nd April

Summer Term Dates 2022

Open Monday 25th April, 2022

Close Friday 27th May, 2022

MAY DAY – Monday 2nd May

HALF TERM: Monday 30th May – Friday 3rd June

Open Monday 6th June, 2022

Close Tuesday 19th July, 2022

INSET DAYS

Wednesday 1st September, 2021

Friday 22nd October, 2021

Tuesday 4th January, 2022

Wednesday 20th July, 2022

Thursday 21st July, 2022