September 11th 2020

Dear John Randall Family

Welcome back to school!

It has been so lovely to welcome you back through the gates during these strange times. Having the children back in the classrooms has been wonderful. They have loved seeing their teachers and friends once more.

I would like to talk about 4 changes to school – and work with you to ensure that you and your children feel Ready, Respectful and Safe at all times.

Firstly can I apologise for some mis-communication. I have not seen some parent emails and therefore not answered as I would usually do. Hopefully this email will answer your questions.

  1. Covid-19 Thank you all for being so careful and socially distanced when you are coming in and out of the school playground. Please feel free to wear face coverings in the play-ground. Nothing has changed for the children- we are keeping them in their bubbles at all times. They have special places on the playground to play and have lunch in their classrooms.

Our gates open at 8.30 am and 2.45 pm  to allow you extra time to come in and out of school without queuing. The virus is still very dangerous and we are taking all precautions to keep you safe. If there is a positive case in school then we will be writing to that class bubble and explaining what to do. If someone in your family TESTS positive then the whole family must isolate for 2 weeks. If any child or adult has 1 of the 3 symptoms : dry continuous cough, High Temperature and lose of taste and smell – do not come to school but isolate at home and let us know.

  1. Uniform and curriculum – At the end of the the summer term I wrote on the newsletter that we were going to continue with our Covid uniform of jumper and polo shirt on top with joggers and trainers. For this reason: We are increasing the amount of outdoor activities for your children. They will be having the usual 2 PE sessions a week plus completing the mile track every day and they will be starting a new adventure – being a Nature Friendly School! We are developing our curriculum with a specialist teacher who will be teaching us all about the natural world how to take care of our environment. This is a great opportunity to teach our children about looking after the environment for the next generation. Its so important that we teach our children through ideas they can use all 5 senses to learn.  I know that you haven’t been able to let your children play outside during the summer so this means that our children are spending active time outdoors in the fresh air – which is very important in these times.  Wearing joggers and trainers also means that they are cheaper for you to buy, easier to wash and none of the children need to get undressed whilst in school. The classrooms are set up with front facing desks and we don’t have room for spare bags and clothes.

The teachers are unable to come into close contact with the children to support them changing.

We are also asking you to have school dinners where possible and minimise all the bags and lunch boxes into school.

We are keeping the cross contamination to a minimum.  So no need for any bags to be brought into school at all. Thank you so much for your patience with this.

Early years children have been asked to bring a spare set of clothes if they need to.

  1. The School Menu- Firstly I am so sorry about the launch of the school menu. It has been really frustrating that the introduction of something so important to us all has not been able to be shared with you as I wanted to.

I know it all looks so different! I am listening very closely to parents in the playground and to our parent governors who are reporting back your thoughts and concerns. Before lockdown we have been working with our chefs to develop food linked to the topics in our curriculum. For example; when year 5 did the Egyptians we planned, prepped and cooked modern Egyptian food, the same in the 6 when we had a Greek banquet. All the food will link to learning in the school; bringing learning alive for our children. The children in Early Years picked, cooked and ate peas from their school garden! We live in the 21 Century and are so lucky to have international links with our staff and our curriculum. The plan was to invite you all into school to taste the different dishes that will complement our learning links. We are now rethinking how we can safely do this. The menu has been carefully planned in this first 2 weeks and I apologise for it not being on the website sooner.

In the 21st Century learning does not stop for lunch! The food offered through the day supports the children’s energy levels and their well-being. All food is local, fresh and high quality, we are including in the price of a dinner a selection of freshly made snacks. These are a variety of both savoury and sweet snacks. We will still be sharing the free fruit with early years and key stage 1.

We wanted to share this food vision with you in person and to invite you to taste and understand the ideas behind it – but Covid -19  got in the way!

Some parents have questioned the named dishes on the menu – we are using lunch times as another opportunity to broaden the experiences of the children and this includes food. In our curriculum we teach 11 different subjects. All these topics have special, ‘technical’ words and food is no different. On the menu we will be using the proper name for dishes and then explaining each dish underneath. This is teaching the children about world culture and they are then able to take this back into the classroom – learning more!

I have made a very conscious decision- with the governors – to offer your children the very best of everything. This includes the food quality that we are serving and the style in which it is cooked and served. No more canteen style – but family service- just as you do at home.

The food is very different from the previous lunch offer. But it is not intended to put you off – it is intended to support you in offering your children the very best.

In the coming months we will be inviting you to meet our team of chefs – in the mean time you can look on the website and find out about the new look menu. In the future you will be able to cook with our chefs in the school curriculum kitchen!

I will be in touch with invites for sharing our food next week.

A reminder –  you will be able to pre book your child’s menu choice using parent pay log in. If you are eligible for free schools meals this still applies. Check the website for the menu.

  1. Building works- As you will have noticed we are having substantial building works to both our site and Haughton’s site. I will be keeping you up to date when the final plans have been released. We will be having another block of classrooms including a curriculum kitchen and sensory room as well as a pizza oven for family meals! I will keep you updated as always.

Can I thank you for the communications that you have with me and our governors / staff. I know that the school has changed in the last 3 years, but you can be assured that we are making sure we always bring the best to our children and that they will always be

Ready, Respectful and Safe.

Best wishes

Stephanie Dowley

Dear John Randall Family and Friends,

As part of our ongoing food project we would be eternally grateful if anyone with fruit trees and spare vegetables would be happy to donate any surplus to our school.