Newsletter 18th February 2022
Dear Milton Abbot families,
As we draw towards the end of spring half term, concluding with a school closure due to Storm Eunice, I reflect on many a February during my time in education, where schools have been closed at this time – mainly due to snow, rather than wind! I hope you are all warm and safe indoors and managing to access the online learning which has been provided by the teachers.
Information for Parents/Carers-Attendance
This week, the Milton Abbot school governors reviewed and updated our attendance procedures. The link between a child’s attendance at school and improved outcomes and life chances is well documented. We want to help all children and young people to fulfil their potential and get the most out of their education.
In line with our policy and government expectations we would like to share with you the following updated procedures:
No term time holidays will be authorised unless there are exceptional circumstances. Every day in school counts, even a small drop in attendance can lead to a child missing a significant part of their education.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch with school at any time if you have any queries around attendance expectations and procedures.
Information for parents of pupils aged 5 to 17 years old on the vaccination programme
Vaccinations help to increase protection against COVID-19, which is particularly important for those with underlying health conditions. Being vaccinated minimises the need for children and young people to have time off from school or college and helps them to continue to carry out their hobbies, attend social events and live their lives to the full.
Guidance on how to book appointments for children aged 12 years and over is available on the NHS website. Further information on the vaccination of high risk children aged 5 to 11 years old is available in the guide for parents of children aged 5 to 11 years published by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).
Some frequently asked questions (FAQs) have been published on the vaccination programme including information on eligibility, accessibility and advice for parents of children at high risk from COVID-19. We are being encouraged to share these FAQs with parents/carers, particularly those of you with children who are clinically vulnerable.
We have recently been made aware of a potential e-safety issue which you may need to consider. The issue is in connection with a popular children’s online game, called Roblox in which there is some explicit content, not appropriate for children’s viewing. Roblox is a platform that is very popular among children, and allows children under 13. Particularly worrying is children and adults potentially socialise together in these spaces. Part of the game includes an instant messenger where users can talk to each other - and to everyone else playing the game. The following article from the BBC news outlines the issues:
As a school community, we want to ensure that our children are protected, so we hope by raising this issue with you, it will help to keep your child safe online. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me or one of the Designated Safeguarding Leads at school.
Little Owls News:
Little Owls have 'travelled the world', stopping off at Australia, looking at cricket and aboriginal dot art, then off to Africa for a Safari trip and some African drumming, and then China for Chinese New Year – they loved making their own Chinese dragon and performing it to all their friends! They have tasted foods from around the world, looked at different celebrations and had a look at the weather in each country – they like it when its warm!
It has been a lovely end to the half term looking for signs of Spring and how things grow, which leads us on to our topic after the holiday learning all about animals (even dinosaurs!)
The children have been fantastic in their learning and have been a delight to work with. They truly are a credit to Milton Abbot school! I cannot wait for Spring term 2 and all the exciting things we have in store.
Barn Owls News:
On Monday we welcomed Marie from Animals 2U Southwest to Milton Abbot Primary School as part of our work in science: Animals including Humans.
We had the opportunity to get to know Prince, Venus, Blue and Horatio and demonstrate our extensive knowledge, understanding and vocabulary around the subject.
In art, we have each created a barn owl in the style of our featured artist, Kim Kimbro, using the medium, charcoal. Within this unit we have explored in detail, the seven elements of art, developing our skills along the way. Although it’s been challenging and particularly messy (sorry parents), the children have been engaged and inspired at every stage of the journey.
Our final day of half term was not what we expected thanks to Storm Eunice but the important thing is that we are all happy and safe. The class were able to put into practice our circle time discussions of gratitude, trusted adults and PANTS, as well as planning a week of meals for Miss King by applying everything they have learnt in science.
Finally, our class book challenge continues with another three books finished this week! We completed The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Creature Features by Natasha Durley and Lost and Foundby Oliver Jeffers. After halfterm we will begin our next book, The Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl.
And finally ...
This week, in addition to this newsletter, you will also receive an update from the Chair of Governors, Jane Byrne regarding a leadership update.
I will be returning after the half term holiday to work alongside Mrs Debbie Buckingham in order that she may take up the reins as Headteacher. I am delighted to still maintain my connection with Milton Abbot through my role, leading on curriculum.
On behalf of the staff and governors of the school, I would like to wish you all a happy, safe, and relaxing half term break. We look forward to welcoming the children back to school on Monday 28th February for the next chapter of their learning journey at Milton Abbot School.
With kindest regards,
Mrs Elizabeth Underwood
Primary Executive Headteacher
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