Coronavirus Update – 22/7/20

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Dear Parents,
We hope everyone is enjoying the start of the summer holidays. The links below give information about different schemes being run by the Royal Borough of Greenwich to support families and children during the school holidays.   

Summer holiday activities:  www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/summeractivities 

Free meals for kids during school holidays: www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/holidaymeals

Community hub (offering prescription deliveries, essential food and links to community services): www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/info/200329/coronavirus/2209/community_hub

We wish everyone a relaxing holiday. 

Mr Harris, Mrs Ahmed, Mr Khan 

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Update 17/7/2020

Please find below an update regarding school operations as of 17 July 2020- please read.

Thank you for all your support during the last few months as we have made our way through the different changes we have had to make to our school operations. As the summer term draws to an end, we have successfully opened half of our classrooms (Nursery, Reception, Year 1, Year 6) and this has helped us plan for the safe return of all of our children in September.

Here is an overview of school operations for the new academic year starting in September. Specific information for each year group has been sent out via email.

Attendance from September
The Department for Education has instructed schools that school attendance is now compulsory. If a child is absent for any reason, parents should phone the school office to note the absence and give a reason.
We will work with families to support full attendance from September. If you have any questions about our school operations, please phone the school office or email: sao@heronsgate.greenwich.sch.uk

If any parents are planning on travelling abroad during the Summer Holiday please check the quarantine arrangements for your return to the UK. Families need to leave enough time to complete any quarantine requirements before the start of the school term.

Start of term
We are planning to welcome all year groups back to school for the new academic year starting on Monday 7th September.

  • Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 will start on Monday 7th September
  • Years 1 and 2 will start on Tuesday 8th September 

Start and end of school day
To allow us to maintain social distancing at the beginning of school and at home time, these times will be staggered so that different year groups arrive and leave at different times. These times have been shared via email.

Changes to the school day
To keep everyone safe, children will spend most of their school day in their class group – this will be called a class bubble. There might be times when different children come together for learning, breaktimes or other activities. We will keep this to a minimum and we are creating a timetable that means only a limited number of bubbles meet each other. There will be no large school events – assemblies will be cancelled. We will also not be going on any school trips for the first part of the term.

School uniform
Children should wear school uniform as usual.

Face masks
Our current advice is that masks should not be worn in school. We will update parents if this advice changes. Adults using public transport will need to wear a mask.

School lunches
We will be offering school packed lunches from Monday 7th September, these will be eaten in classrooms. We will publish a school menu in Autumn. School lunches for children in years 3, 4, 5 and 6 must be paid for in advance using the sQuid cashless payment system.
Please note, from September the cost of a school lunch will be £2.75 per day.

Breakfast club/Happy Herons
Breakfast Club and Happy Herons will not be available in the first week of term. We hope to be able to offer these clubs from Monday 14th September. We will give more information about this when we return in September. There will be no other clubs in the Autumn term.

Royal Borough of Greenwich Community Hub
Royal Borough of Greenwich Community Hub – visit www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk and click on “Get help from our Community Hub”. The hub will be available during the Summer Holiday if you or your family need any help with including accessing community services including essential food packages.

Transport for London
Advice from TfL about travelling to school can be found at https://tfl.gov.uk/reopeningeducation

Keeping everyone safe – what to do if a member of your family is showing coronavirus symptoms
If a child, or any member of your family, is showing COVID symptoms then the affected person must not enter the school grounds. They must:

  • Stay at home AND get a test – get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible. Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, should also get a test if they have symptoms.
  • Phone the school – so that we can contact our local health teams. The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughingepisodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you have noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.

If a child shows coronavirus symptoms during the school day, then they will be removed from class and placed in an isolation space with a member of staff. Parents will be contacted, and we ask that they collect the child immediately and follow the steps above.

If you have any questions about any of the above information, please email: sao@heronsgate.greenwich.sch.uk

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Please find below an update regarding school operations as of 30 June 2020- please read.

Dear Parents,

SCHOOL OPERATIONS FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE SUMMER TERM

We start with a big thank you to all of our parents.

We know that home schooling has given families wonderful moments of shared learning with the odd tricky question that has proved to be a bit more challenging! Thank you to every parent for their work on home learning activities.

We are waiting for government guidance about our operations in September. We will update parents once we know more about how we will operate our school during the Autumn Term. At this point, we are hopeful that this will include a return to classrooms for all children.

Below, we give a short overview of the planned activities for each year group during the rest of the Summer Term.

  • Nursery: children are now able to attend for three sessions per week. If your child has not yet attended a session and you would like to enquire about a place, please phone or email the school office.
  • Reception, Year 1 and Year 6: classes are now open and children have been allocated a specific bubble with its own start and end time. We strongly encourage all children in these year groups to attend school. If your child has not yet attended and you would like them to return to their class please phone or email the school office and we will resend the information for your child’s bubble.
  • Years 2, 3, 4 and 5: home learning activities will continue and we will make fortnightly phone calls.
  • All year groups: We are planning transition activities including a year 6 leavers assembly and a chance forchildren to meet their new teacher. Some of these will be virtual activities.

We will send further details about these activities in year group letters over the next two weeks.

We thank everyone for their support during the last few months.


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Update 2/6/2020

Please find below an update regarding school operations as of 2 June 2020- please read.

Welcome to the start of the new half term.

It can be difficult to see the difference between school days and non-school days at the moment but we do hope that our families had some relaxation during the half term holiday last week.

From this week, we start to reopen classrooms.  Year 6 pupils return on Wednesday 3rd June and Year 1 pupils come back on Monday 8th June.   We will contact parents at the end of this week about the starting dates for Early Years. 

We have spent the last few weeks preparing our buildings and grounds so that we can safely welcome children back to their classrooms.  We have tried to ensure that our rooms continue to feel like classrooms but there will be some differences as we have moved furniture and changed resources. Please see an example of these changes below.

Pupils in Year 6 and Year 1

For children who are in Year 6 and Year 1, there will be some changes to the school day.

  • Children will be in smaller groups of no more than 15 pupils. 
  • Tables have been put in rows and there will only be one pupil per table. 
  • There is a new timetable for break and lunchtimes to allow for staggered sessions. . 

Parents

There are also some changes for parents.

  • For older children, we are asking that parents do not come into the school playground. 
  • For younger children, there will be a specified waiting area for drop off and collection. 
  • Parents will not be able to have conversations with teachers at the start/end of the day and the school office will not be open to parents.  If you want to talk with staff please phone (if urgent) or email: sao@heronsgate.greenwich.sch.uk and we will get in touch. 

And we have one big request, parents, you MUST continue to follow all of the guidance and direction from the government.  We must all make sure that social distancing is followed and this means that we don’t mingle at the school gates, we don’t meet in large groups and we stay within our own households as much as possible.  This will keep our whole community safe. 

We are currently reviewing our home learning plans for Years 2 to 5.  These will have to change as our teachers will be in school teaching in the learning bubbles.  The activities will continue from Wednesday of this week and we will update you on our plans for these year groups next week.  

If you have any questions about our school operations please email: sao@heronsgate.greenwich.sch.uk

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w/c 20 May

Please find below an update regarding school operations as of 20th May 2020- please read.

Update on School Operations

We would like to thank all parents for their support during the last few months and especially over the last two weeks.  We have been working to create a clear, staged approach that will allow us to plan our return to classrooms. 

We recognise that the first steps back to class will come with some worries and concerns but we want to assure every child and their parents that the school has taken a number of steps to minimise the risk of infection.  

We will take these next steps together and, supporting each other, we will make sure that we all stay as safe as possible. 

  • The following dates show the return for Year 6 and Year 1. 

                               From Wednesday 3rd June – Year 6 classes will restart.

                                  From Monday 8th June – Year 1 classes will restart. 

  • We will contact parents after half term about the planned start dates for Reception and Nursery but these year groups will not return before Year 1 have settled into their new routines. 
  • We will contact Year 6 parents about the specific arrangements for their child’s return to school by the end of this week. 

Social bubbles

As a school, we know that maintaining social distancing with children will be difficult.  

The government guidance is that we create a model that minimises contact and mixing between different groups.  

To achieve this, we will create smaller groups which we are calling social bubbles.

Each class will be split into two social bubbles. 

  • Each social bubble will have up to 15 children and allocated staff who will remain together throughout the school day.
  • Each social bubble will have its own timetable so that there will be minimal contact with other bubbles.  This will include staggered start and end times and specific times for break times.
  • If any person in a bubble shows Coronavirus symptoms then they will be sent home and tested.  If a positive test is returned then the whole bubble will be tested. 
  • Where possible, social distancing measures will take place in social bubbles, e.g. children will sit at single tables. 
  • At all times, children will be reminded of the importance of maintaining excellent hygiene and there will be regular handwashing. 

Home actions

We all have a responsibility to keep everyone healthy and by limiting our activities at home we can ensure that our school community is kept safe.  This includes only meeting with one other member of another household. 

We must insist that parents follow the directions from the government about the activities that we can and cannot do at this time at home.  We must continue to limit our contact with other households and we must ensure that as we take our exercise and visit supermarkets we follow the social distancing guidance of maintaining a distance of 2 metres from others.   

Children must not come to school if they have any symptoms linked to Coronavirus (high temperature, a new continuous cough). 

Collection and Drop off

The school will have specific rules managing the start and end of each school day.  This will include whether we admit parents into our playground to collect their child and where they should wait. 

These instructions must be followed as they are in place to keep us all safe. 

Parents will not be able to talk with class teachers about points that they want them to know about their child.   Parents should phone or email the school office with these messages and these will be passed on.

If parents wish to talk to teachers then please let us know and we will arrange a phone call. 

Face Masks

Children will not be allowed to wear masks during the school day.  

This is because the scientific advice is that if children wear masks then they are more likely to touch their face.  This increases the risk of infection.  Our actions of regular hand washing and the forming of social bubbles will minimise the risk of infection. 

Home learning

The lessons that children will follow in school (Reception, Year 1, Year 6) will be placed online so that any child who is not attending can complete these at home.  Home learning activities will continue to be delivered for Years 2, 3, 4 and 5.

There will be no home learning activities during Half Term (week beginning 25th May) or on Monday 1st June or Tuesday 2nd June as we will be using these days to prepare for Year 6 returning to school.

Childcare (for children whose parents are key workers and vulnerable children)

The arrangements for our childcare provision remain the same.  This will be open on Monday 1st June and Tuesday 2nd June as usual. 

If you have any questions about our plans please contact sao@heronsgate.greenwich.sch.uk

In the meantime, have a restful half term and stay safe.

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Update – 20/4/20

We hope that everyone is keeping safe and following the government guidelines during this time and staying at home except for a daily session of exercise.  

Although this is an unprecedented start to a new term, our whole staff team are working to provide learning activities and support for all of our children.  Our buildings remain closed but our school is very much open for the Summer Term.  

Home learning

From today, we restart our home learning programme with activities that can be completed each day.  We recognise that home learning can be difficult, so our tasks are designed to take no longer than 90 minutes and can be spread out throughout the day.  We want every child in our school to complete some learning each day so that they keep developing their skills whilst they are at home.  Teachers will continue their weekly phone calls giving you and your children the opportunity to discuss the learning activities.

These daily activities are uploaded via Showbie for children in Year 1 to Year 6 and via Tapestry for EYFS children.

Some other resources include:

Support for families

If you require any help at this time, please email sao@heronsgate.greenwich.sch.uk . We are checking this email regularly and will contact you if you ask us to. 

The Royal Borough of Greenwich Community Hub can provide support for families including:  

  • collecting / delivering prescriptions
  • delivering essential food packages
  • connecting families to local community services to support with other areas such as finances

More information can be found at www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/communityhub or phone 0800 470 4831 

We will update parents regularly throughout the term with any updates to school operations.


Update – 31/3/20

Whilst our school buildings are closed to most pupils, our school itself remains open and we are all continuing our learning from our homes with our families.

Suggested learning will be uploaded onto our website daily at 10:00 am.  These can be accessed by clicking Home Learning’. We are also using Showbie during this time and will be monitoring usage of this, checking that everyone has access to learning.  

Please note, we are aware of pressures on parents at this difficult time, so the activities are based around what the children already know and should be able to do. We will provide general feedback each day, but we do not expect children to keep the work completed nor bring it back to school when we re-open. 

There is also now a PE tab on the website with lots of links to exercise and dance videos.  This extra resource is for children to access – why not have a go with your child?

Keeping in touch

Teachers will be contacting pupils in their class by phone over the next few days, we are looking forward to saying hello to our children!  The call will come from a withheld number.  If you have any troubles logging in or accessing learning, do let the class teacher know.

If you are worried about your individual family circumstances during this period of closure then please email

sao@heronsgate.greenwich.sch.uk 

and someone will get back to you.

Please let us know if you are:

  • worried about your child’s emotional or physical health and would like to talk to school staff about ideas to support this during any closure.
  • you would like advice about your child’s behaviour if you are at home for a few weeks.

Update – 20/3/20

The most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of COVID-19 is clear. If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.

That is why 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.

Schools are, therefore, being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children – children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.

Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors are outlined here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus- covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on- maintaining-educational-provision.

Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home and every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.

If your child is vulnerable or either parent is a critical key worker to the Covid-19 response and the child cannot be safely cared for at home, then you need to inform the school today (Friday 20th March) by filling out and submitting the form here:

https://forms.gle/9nLSsLKL8V8Z9biC8

This is so we can ensure there is adequate staffing to supervise the children.

Please find below information about the provision available at Heronsgate.

  • Heronsgate’s provision is only available to children who meet the government criteria and cannot be safely cared for at home.
  • The provision will only be at the Thamesmead site- the Royal Arsenal site will be closed, however the provision is open to children of eligible families from both sites.
  • It must be stressed that the school is providing a childminding service. Whilst in school, the learning, and feedback available will be exactly the same as that available online and accessed at home.
  • Once we have identified parents requiring this service, we will send a COVID-19 Provision Form which must be fully completed and submitted before children attend on Monday morning.
  • Core hours will be from 9am until 3:30pm. However, the school will provide wrap-around care for critical workers only between the hours of 8am until 6pm. Children arriving in school between 8am and 9am will be offered breakfast. Please provide a snack for children, particularly if your child is staying at school past 3:30pm. We are aware key workers hours are flexible.
  • Lunch will continue to be provided as normal. If your child has a packed lunch, please continue to send this in.
  • All children must enter and leave the school building via the main entrance. Breakfast club and Happy Herons entrance will be closed.
  • Children in Years 5 and 6 who already have permission to walk home may continue to do so if they leave at 3:30pm. Should they stay for the wrap-around service, they will need to be collected by an adult.
  • Children attending the school who require medication, must ensure this is brought to school on Monday and handed to the office: all medication currently at school will be sent home today.
  • To provide some continuity, children attending should continue to wear clean school uniform where possible and bring in suitable clothing and trainers for physical activities.
  • Parents must keep their children at home if they are unwell OR if the rest of the family have been advised to self-isolate.
  • We expect that parents will collect children promptly should they become unwell during school hours.

We would like to remind parents that they should 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.

Update – 19/3/20

School Closure

Following the updates from the government today, we can confirm that school will be closed from Monday 23rd March until further notice. Please keep a regular eye on this website for all updates.

Home Learning

During this period of closure of the school building, we remain open as a virtual school and suggested learning will be uploaded onto our website regularly. On Monday, learning for the first three days will be available by clicking Home Learning’ on our website. We will also be using Showbie during this time (pupil logins will be emailed home shortly). We will be monitoring usage of this, checking that everyone has access to learning.

From Thursday 26th March new activities will be uploaded daily at 10:00am. Please note, we are aware of pressures on parents at this difficult time, so the activities are based around what the children already know and should be able to do. We will provide general feedback each day, but we do not expect children to keep the work completed nor bring it back to school when we re-open. 

We will continue to work to support our children and families.

If you are worried about your individual family circumstances during this period of closure then please email sao@heronsgate.greenwich.sch.uk and someone will get back to you

Please let us know if

  • you are worried about your child’s emotional or physical health and would like to talk to school staff about ideas to support this during any closure.
  • you would like advice about your child’s behaviour if you are at home for a few weeks.

Please note: if you are a key worker from either Campus and your child is going to be attending school then they need to come to the Thamesmead Campus. Further details will follow on the website.

Throughout any closure, the school can be contacted by emailing the following email address sao@heronsgate.greenwich.sch.uk .  We will answer all emails and will phone you if you ask us to. 

Frequently Asked Questions

My child is already at home and didn’t receive the work pack already sent home. Can I come in and collect it?

You will be able to collect work packs from Monday 23rd March from the Thamesmead school office, so long as you are well and are not self-isolating.

I don’t have a printer. How can my child complete learning tasks that have been posted on the website?

All of the online learning is uploaded at http://www.heronsgate.greenwich.sch.uk/school-closure/. However, it is also available on Showbie, which has digital tools to allow children to complete activities online without the need for printing.

How long will the school be closed for?

The school is closed until we are notified otherwise by HM Government.

Is the school open tomorrow (Friday 20th March 2020)?

Yes, the school will be open on Friday 20th March 2020 until 3:30pm. Breakfast club and Happy Herons will also remain open tomorrow.

I am a key worker. Am I eligible for my child or children to continue attending school?

Yes – HM Government will shortly provide a list of eligible key workers. Please contact the school office on 020 8317 0809 to register your interest and for further information.

How long should I isolate for if I or someone in my family has symptoms of coronavirus?

The HM Government advice is as follows:

If you are the first in the household to have symptoms of coronavirus, then you must stay at home for 7 days, but all other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.

For anyone else in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period.

Please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection for more information.

My child is eligible for free school meals. Am I able to get vouchers or meals for my child?

The school is working with the Royal Borough of Greenwich on how this will be implemented.

Apple Distinguished School

Heronsgate Primary School is pleased to announce that it has been recognised as an Apple Distinguished School for 2019–2022 for its innovative use of technology as a tool for learning across the curriculum made possible through its one-to-one iPad programme across Key Stage One and Two.

Apple Distinguished Schools are centres of innovation, leadership and educational excellence that use Apple technology to inspire creativity, collaboration and critical thinking. They showcase innovative uses of technology in learning, teaching and the school environment, and have documented results of academic accomplishment.

“Our school iPad programme has allowed our children to explore their ideas and collaborate with others in their class and beyond. This has had a powerful impact on their learning and has helped them realise their inner genius”. (Stephen Harris, Executive Headteacher).

The selection of Heronsgate Primary School as an Apple Distinguished School highlights its success as an innovative and compelling learning environment that engages pupils as well as the wider school community and provides tangible evidence of academic accomplishment.

Since 2010, the school has increasingly made use of Apple technology as a tool for learning across the curriculum, with all children in KS1 and KS2 assigned an iPad each and class sets shared in the Early Years Foundation Stage. The iPad as a tool for learning has enabled children at Heronsgate to work together, communicate and create, using a range of apps and services such as Showbie, Book Creator, iMovie and Pages across the curriculum. The school also recruits ‘digital leaders’ who support their peers and contribute to the school’s digital vision. Parents engage with the technology, viewing children’s work digitally as well as attending workshops on online safety. Teachers embed the use of Apple technology day-to-day, receiving regular training and coaching, with 75% earning their Apple Teacher status in the last year.

You can read more about our story by visiting https://books.apple.com/gb/book/tool-for-learning/id1487181133.

You can also download a non-interactive PDF version below:

Artsmark Gold

We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded the Artsmark Gold award for our ‘continued commitment to provide high quality arts and cultural experiences for pupils.’
The Artsmark council noted that at Heronsgate ‘You have continued to build on your already strong partnerships, including with Snap Theatre and developed new ones with the Tate gallery. Heronsgate Radio is an example of an innovative project which has engaged pupils and you have continued with a wide range of afterschool clubs.  Pupils have also had the opportunity to perform in a range of settings including a large-scale performance with Young Voices at the O2, and end of year arts showcase at a local venue. During the recent inspection, Ofsted has commented positively on your curriculum and provision for pupils, you have also provided ongoing CPD for teachers which has raised the ambitions for pupils and teachers.’  

Well done to our brilliant Arts team for their dedication and hard work.

Summer Term Displays

At Heronsgate, we regularly update our corridor displays to reflect the breadth and depth of learning that happens in school. Please browse through the photos in the gallery below to get a taste of all that’s been going on this Summer term!

Outstanding!

Tuesday 5th March 2019

Dear parents/carers,

Please find attached the report following our recent Ofsted inspection.We are sure you will be absolutely delighted to read what the Ofsted team said about Heronsgate. To be ‘Outstanding’ in all areas is a wonderful achievement. We gather, in the last school year, only 2% of primary schools have been graded as ‘Outstanding’.

During the inspection the Lead Inspector, who is one of her Majesty’s Inspectors of Schools (HMI), told the Leadership Team that this was a very special school and they did not often see such an amazing curriculum which sets children up for the rest of their lives.

They were hugely impressed with our work in Information Technology (IT). This was something they had never seen used so effectively in other schools (primary or secondary) and was one of our great strengths.

The children were wonderful! ‘Pupils are respectful, interesting, lively, engaged and happy. They are proud of their achievements’. What more can we say other than share the immense pride we felt when all inspectors told us what a delight our children were. ‘Pupils understood how unique and special and how amazing their school is’.

We work with the most wonderful team of adults who strive to ensure that the children get the very best possible education. We are thrilled that this hard work and dedication has been acknowledged as they recognised the ‘staff’s commitment to go above and beyond for the pupils of Heronsgate school’.

The school has a ‘highly effective, confident, resilient, reflective leadership team’. Mr Connors says ‘My leadership colleagues are by far the best team I have worked with in my 31 years as a Head Teacher’.

Thank you so much to our families. Parents and carers give strong support to the school and for that we are very grateful.

We truly ‘discover and realise the genius in everyone.’ With our very best wishes to you all.

Steven Connors (Executive Headteacher)

Michelle Beyram (Chair of Governors)

Heronsgate Extra!

Children in Year 5 and 6, assisted by the former radio producer Miss Robertson, have launched a new radio station for the school: Heronsgate Extra! Every fortnight, they record stories from around the school and then release the show in time for Friday afternoon ‘Golden Time’ for students to listen to.

Please do check out the episodes by visiting our Heronsgate Extra page!