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Newsletter March 2021

www.academy.thomas-s.co.uk  
info@academy.thomas-s.co.uk
Twitter: @ThomassAcademy
Facebook: Thomas's Academy
02077362318

Dates to Note:
March

1st: St David's Day - Daffodil house may wear something yellow
4th: World Book Day
8th: Full re-opening of school 
8th: International Women's Day
8th: After-school tutoring programme resumes
11th:
Safari Pete for KS1 and EY
14th: Mother's Day
17th: St Patrick's Day - all Shamrock house may wear something green
19th: Red Nose Day
22nd: Chick eggs arriving in EY
April
1st: Easter Parade for Nursery -Y2
1st: Easter Egg Hunts led by TAPs
1st: Last day of Spring Term - 2pm finish
19th: INSET Day
20th: Children return to school

20th: Piano lessons resume
20th: Y5 to Hurlingham Club
 

Looking forward to 8th March

Whilst we are very proud of how the remote learning package has worked, we are very much looking forward to welcoming all children back to school on 8th March. Safety and children's wellbeing will be our priorities. For the most recent risk assessments and guidance, please refer to our website.
Some things to know:
  • Children will work in their pods like they did in the Autumn Term. 
  • There are staggered start and finish times to avoid crowding at the school gates.  Please ensure you stick to your gates and times and leave the site promptly remembering to keep your distance from other families.
  • Everyone over 11 years of age will be required to wear a face covering on the school playground. 
  • Art and Spanish lessons will be in classrooms rather than the specialist rooms to prevent children unnecessarily moving around the school. 
  • Children's tables from year 2 will be forward facing. 
  • Handwashing/sanitizing will be done frequently
  • On P.E. days, children may come to school in their P.E. kits and can remain in them for the day
  • Pupils in Years 1 - 6 will be assessed in English and maths using a variety of methods during the first week back
  • Early Years children will be assessed via observation as normal on an ongoing basis. They will be assessed in the Areas of Development as they would usually. In addition, children in Reception will have an informal phonics assessment during the first week back with their teacher.
  • Parents meetings have been diarised for the week beginning 10th May
  • Other than reading, there will be no after-school home learning until after Easter to allow for children to settle into a new full routine without this extra pressure
  • Staff are participating in regular voluntary COVID testing
To ensure we can stay open to all pupils, it is essential that those required to self-isolate do so and do not attend school.  If you are showing symptoms of COVID, please do not come to school. Please see the poster below for more information. 

Red Nose Day is on Friday 19th March and this year it's never felt more important to have some fun and raise money to support people living incredibly tough lives.  We need the power of funny to turn laughs into lasting change. Children may wear their Red Nose Day merchandise if they have any but this is optional. 

We have 2 challenges for children (with maybe some help from grown-ups) 

  1. Bake a Red Nose Day themed cake and send/bring in a photo to be celebrated
  2. Present a joke to your class - the funnier, the better

House Days

With two house days in March (Daffodils on 1st March and Shamrocks on 17th) we thought it would be a good time to revisit the houses.

At Thomas's Academy, all children belong to one of our 4 houses:
Shamrocks -  The house colour of Shamrocks is green  The linked patron saint is St Patrick of Ireland.
Daffodils - The house colour is yellow.  The linked patron saint is St David of Wales.
Roses - The house colour is red.  The linked patron saint is St George of England. 
Thistles - The house colour is blue.  The linked patron saint is St Andrew. 

We have these posters, designed by Thomas's Academy pupils, around the school. 
 
 On the relevant patron saint's day, children from that house may wear an accessory of that colour. 
World Book Day is taking place on Thursday 4th March.  Even though we're not all in school, there are still lots of ways in which we are going to take part in this special day.  As always, we are encouraging everyone to dress up as their favourite book character.  There will also be Zoom story times from members of staff all week and 'Masked Readers' performing poems - it is up to you to guess who is behind the mask.....

With so many exciting events and activities running this year at our school, we really hope it will be a fun day for all.  Together, let's celebrate the joy of reading.  For your £1 book token, please click on  this link

Online Safety

As I'm sure you're aware, all Social Media accounts have age restrictions.  Below is a poster which clearly shows these restrictions which you may find useful when discussing social media with your children once they become interested. According to Digital Awareness UK: Screentime amongst young people has reportedly increased by 500% during lockdown, so keeping young people safe online has never been more important.  Online issues such as bullying, hate speech, fake news and exposure to upsetting content have increased at an alarming rate during the pandemic.  
If you have concerns about anything related to this, please speak to your child's teacher. 

Maths Tutoring - Years 3 - 6

From 8th March, the after school maths tuition sessions will resume as before.  Children who were accessing the tutoring before the Christmas break will be offered places first as they have yet to finish their cycle of tuition. Where places are available, we will invite additional children.  Allocations will be reviewed regularly in order that we can offer places to more pupils were appropriate. Miss White, our maths lead, is organising this catch-up strategy. 
We are registered with @easyuk, so over 4000 shops and sites will now donate to us for FREE every time you use use @easyuk to shop. Please press on the link below to organise this if you haven't already: 

https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/thomassacademy/?utm_campaign=raise-more&utm_content=gs-t1
To keep up to date with what's going on in the school, please refer to the school website which is regularly updated.  Daily blog posts, showing pictures of what life is like in Thomas's Academy are available on our blog, Facebook page and Twitter. Please show your appreciation by 'liking' and commenting. 
Facebook: Thomas's Academy
Twitter: @ThomassAcademy
Website: www.academy.thomas-s.co.uk  

Photo Permissions

As you can see from the newsletter, we are now using children's faces in our pictures to celebrate what we do at Thomas's Academy.  This includes any work done at home and shared through the school apps. Thank you to all the parents who have completed the permission form for this.  If you haven't responded to this request, please complete this form.  Please be reassured that we use these photos to celebrate what is happening at school and that these photos will be of a positive nature only. Photos are posted on our school blog, Twitter, Facebook and soon Instagram.   You can also change your mind about your permission for this at any time.  

CAN Service

Hammersmith and Fulham CAN is the volunteer community aid network launched to support residents in need during the coronavirus pandemic.  Working with the voluntary and charity sector, and alongside the ward and street-level mutual aid groups, CAN offers support to residents who don't have friends or family close by to help them out.  To receive help or if you are worried about a friend, neighbour or relative, call  0800 145 6095, 8am - 6pm, seven days a week. 

Mental Health

Hello, my name is Ellen and I'm an Education Mental Health Practitioner based at Thomas's Academy.  My role is to help children understand their feelings and emotions through workshops and groups.  I also work with staff and parents/carers through workshops, coffee morning and 1:1 interventions. 
We also have a telephone drop-in service for parents to talk about children's wellbeing.  This can include discussing challenging behaviour or any unpleasant thoughts or feelings they are experiencing.  In these drop-in calls we can support you to find the help that you need - this might involve a 1:1 intervention with us, or useful signposts to other services.  If you would like to book a 20-minute drop-in session, please follow the steps below:
1. Email dutyyouthservices@hfmind.org.uk
2. In the subject write 'Thomas's Academy drop-in service expression of interest'
3. Include your name and phone number
4. Select your preferred time - 3pm, 3.20pm, 3.40pm, 4pm or 4.20pm
Another way children can get support is online through Ollee - a digital friend for children aged 8-11, created by Parent Zone and funded by BBC Children in Need's A Million & Me initiative, which aims to make a difference to children's emotional wellbeing. 
It is designed to help children reflect on how they feel and to process their experiences with the support and help of their parents and carers - and it does this by offering them advice about a range of subjects. Find out more at: 
https://parentzone.org.uk/Ollee

Paying money to school

As you are aware, we now have an online system for parents to pay money to the school such as lunch money.  Thank you in advance to all of you who have been using this.  To use this, please download the app: Teachers2Parents.  

Absence

If your child is due into school but is going to be absent, please email the school on absent@academy.thomas-s.co.uk . This is the most efficient way to inform us. Please include as much information as you can.  This should be done for each day a child is absent. 

Personal Details

Please let the office know on info@academy.thomas-s.co.uk if you change any personal details such as your email address in order that you receive all our communications.  This is vital to the success of our remote learning programme. Also, let us know if someone different is collecting your child. 
Thomas's Academy places the safeguarding of children's welfare as our very highest priority. If you have any concerns about a child's safety or welfare, inside or outside school, please contact one of our Designated Safeguarding Leads or call us on the number above.