Bumper Newsletter – staffing, transition, end of year arrangements, Summer, September, and more – 6th July 2020
Message from Mr Applegate
Are we really only 2.5 weeks away from the end of term?! There’s lots in this newsletter, so can I just highlight a few things:
- Our St Mark’s Heroes volunteer campaign is going well. Please do sign up if you can spare some regular time in the Autumn term to help our children catch-up. Details below.
- The key dates section is, well, key. Especially about the last few days.
- Reports AND new class/teacher details will be emailed out on Friday 10th July to 1 parent/carer per family. Please forward it carefully to others who you want to read it. It will come out at some point after 1pm; remember to check your junk/spam mail if it’s not come through.
- Whole School Worship on Youtube – Wednesday at 9am. Link here!
- School is closed over the summer to all pupils. We’ve sign-posted local holiday clubs below.
- Got a library book at home? Please drop it in a box at the front of the school (outside the reception). Thanks.
What about September? Barring any outbreaks or major changes from the government, we will be fully open from Monday 7th Sept, although there will be some staggered times such as drop-off and pick-ups. Getting almost 1,000 people on and off site everyday within a short window is more than most supermarkets have to manage! We love the challenge!
Saying thank you… Many parents have asked how they can say thanks to their teachers and staff at St Mark’s, at the end of the school year. We don’t expect anything! Unfortunately we’re not taking physical gifts because of Covid-19. If you’d like to give something, please give a donation to our new staff room kitchen fund, which includes the need for kitchen items. All staff would benefit. We’re grateful for any gift, small or big. Click here to give a gift. If you’d like to email a message of thanks, instead of a card, please do email the year group emails. This means a lot! Thank you.
Have a really good week! Mr Applegate
Key dates and events over the coming weeks
- Friday 10th July – Feel Good Friday Sports Day
- Google Meets with new class teacher – 14th, 15th, 16th July, between 3-5pm. Exact times will be emailed out on 10th July, and sessions will be around 30 minutes.
- Friday 17th July – Feel Good Friday will focus on transition activities, which will be set by the new teacher.
- Mon 20th – Weds 22nd July – we’ll be setting Google Classroom activities as normal for Years R-5, but they will have a fun twist!
- For Years R-5, school finishes on Wednesday 22nd July at 12pm-12:30pm. This will be for all children, including key-worker children. There will not be an after school club on this day. Any Year 6 children will finish on Friday 17th July at 12pm-12:30pm due to secondary transition the following week.
We are very sad to say goodbye to Miss Hall, class teacher of 1H. Miss Hall joined us two years ago, and will be much missed at St Mark’s and in Year 1 in particular. She is moving to a school closer to her family in London. We wish her all the best in the future. We welcome Mrs Phillips to join our Year 1 team.
We also say goodbye to Mrs O’Reilly, Miss Rainbird, Mrs Levett and Mrs Coles. They have been key members of our LSA team, providing vital support for our children. I want to publicly thank them for all that they have given whilst at St Mark’s, and wish them every success in the future.
Some of you may remember Mrs Parker, who rejoins in teaching 3PG, alongside Mrs Gregory, who returns from maternity leave.
Classes for September
On Friday 10th July from 1pm, look out for an email which has both your child’s end of year reports and also details of their new class for September. Needless to say, classes cannot be changed! Please trust us in our decisions, which have taken into account your child’s friendship requests and our knowledge of all of the children. We know that the classes we’ve chosen will work out well.
The classes and class teachers for September 2020 are as follows.
- Year R: Mrs Baird (Penguins), Mrs Hearn (Puffins), Mrs Mitchell & Mrs Rushton (Parrots)
- Year 1: Mrs Carter 1C, Miss Jamieson 1J, Mrs Phillips 1P
- Year 2: Mrs Rosso 2R, Miss Burgess 2B, Mrs Brackenridge & Mrs Tickle 2BT
- Year 3: Mrs Spiers & Mrs Boyle 3SB, Miss Tamblyn 3T, Mrs Parker & Mrs Gregory 3PG
- Year 4: Miss Goddard 4G, Miss Hardy 4H, Miss Pettitt & Miss Crow 4PC
- Year 5: Mrs Stone & Mrs Poole 5SP, Miss Thomas 5T, Miss Fowler 5F
- Year 6: Mrs Silvester 6S, Mrs Chapman 6C, Miss Barnett 6B
The email will also include a link to a video, which introduces your child’s new class teacher.
St Mark’s Heroes – Can you make the difference?
Our children need your help! They would massively benefit from an hour, an afternoon, or whatever you can give to help them during school hours. From September 2020, we’re launching St Mark’s Heroes, a volunteer scheme to gather as much support as possible to help our children catch up from missed learning during Covid. It could involve reading with a child, supporting a small group, or generally helping in class. It’s also great experience if you’re looking to get more involved in schools. There would be a simple application form to complete, a chat with Mr Applegate, and a free DBS check to complete. Click here to register your interest, and to find out more. Thank you for thinking about this – and for thinking of the difference you could make!
Google Classroom – Updates
On Friday 10th July, a new classroom will be added to your child’s account. This is a new classroom for their Sept 2020 class.
Google Classroom will be closed for the summer, from Wednesday 22nd. The children will be unable to login from this point, although their work will be saved.
Google Classroom drop-ins are becoming more flexible. Each Year group will post details on their streams with the days/times and how they will be used. The weekly Google meets will still be at the same time.
Feel Good Friday – Sensational Senses – 3rd July
We hope your children enjoyed the activities! See some of our Year 5 drawings here:
Feel Good Friday – 10th July
Can you beat our teachers at these events? Here’s a taster of the activities, detailed in Google Classroom on Friday 10th July. Don’t forget to submit your scores! There will be lots of other activities to do, too.
- Blindfold Balance – how long can you hold it for?
- Book Balance – how long can you hold it for?
- Bunny Hops – how many can you do in 1 minute?
- Star Jumps – how many can you do in 1 minute?
- Taekwondo Challenge – how many can you do in 1 minute?
INSET Days 2020-2021
- Thur 3rd Sept 2020
- Fri 4th Sept 2020 (School starts Monday 7th Sept)
- Mon 4th Jan 2021
- Thur 1st April 2021
- Mon 7th June 2021
Changing Chair of Governors
We are very blessed as a school to have such a strong governing body of 16 members, all of whom are active and have continued to meet during the lock-down period. They all play a vital part in holding our school to account.
As we reach the end of the year, I would like to say a particular thank you to each one of them. It is very unusual to have 16 governors in a school, yet alone 16 active governors! It’s a busy and responsible role – attending multiple meetings per half-term, reading reports, making decisions, coming to school events and asking questions, to name just a few of the activities. Each one takes the role seriously, and we are a better school because of them. Thank you.
Many of you will know our Chair of Governors, Steve Milligan. Steve has been on our GB for over 6 years, and has been chair for the last two. He has always held the role of parent governor. Steve’s insight and support have been extremely valuable to St Mark’s over the years; they have been changing times, with many challenges and of course successes. As his daughter leaves us in July to go to secondary school, Steve has made the decision to step down from the governing body. I know you will join me in thanking him on behalf of the school community for his service to our school. Being a governor requires much dedication, and he has shown this abundantly. Steve has always wanted the best for our school, and he finishes knowing he has significantly helped our school to become what it is today. Thank you Steve, and we wish you and your family all the best.
We are fortunate in that this role does not go vacant! Aidan Kinnell, who has been on our Governing Body for almost 2 years as a parent governor, will take up the Chair role from September. Aidan brings the school much guidance in the areas of education, finance and business. We are in safe hands as a governing body and school.
Find out more about our governing body here.
Year 6 PGL Windmill Hill November 2020
Our latest guidance remains the same. We have every intention of going, so please do continue to make payments to the school using the online SCOPay system.
Miss Campbell’s baby
You’ll be pleased to know that Miss Campbell has had her baby- a beautiful baby boy called Jack, born on 7th June. All doing well!
Previous Whole School Worships on Youtube
Dinner Menu for 6th July
Thank you FOSM and parents!
Since Easter, you’ve given over £2,500 to our FOSM charity. Mr Applegate’s hair was cut at £1,500, and now Mr Blake’s leg will be waxed having reached £2,500!! Thank you for your generosity and of course the FOSM team for their heroic efforts. The money will be used for curriculum resources, COVID-19 expenses, and travel for Year6 Windmill Hill 2020 (FOSM fund raising goes towards this every year, so all children benefit!). Thank you!
Summer Reading Challenge
The Summer Reading Challenge launches in Hampshire and there are more ways than ever for children to take part in 2020.
The annual Summer Reading Challenge launched in Hampshire’s libraries on Wednesday 1 July and this year there are move ways than ever for children to take part this year!
The challenge supports the literacy of children aged 4-11 by encouraging children to read (at least) six books over the summer holidays. Every participating child who signs up online at www.hants.gov.uk/library will receive a medal and a certificate we hope to distribute these rewards through schools in the autumn.
There are more ways than ever for children to take part this year:
- Sign-up online and read the books they have at home, or borrow eBooks and eAudio books from our digital collection – we have lots of choice of kids – look for our ‘Summer Reading Challenge’ bookshelf www.hants.gov.uk/summer-
- Sign-up online and use our free Ready Reads, We Select You Collect service to get actual books from the library – for more information check out this page on our website: https://www.hants.gov.uk/
- From Monday 6 July make a short visit to your local library, children who can’t sign-up online can get help to sign-up for the Summer Reading Challenge and family groups can visit together to browse and borrow books. For more information on making short visits to the library please visit our website www.hants.gov.uk/library
- As well as the Summer Reading challenge, there are all kinds of activities for families and children on offer this summer through the @HantsLibraries Facebook page, including bedtime stories, Baby Rhyme Time, Virtual Construction Club, Code Club and Mini Craft Corner. To access the free digital resources from Hampshire Libraries, visit https://www.hants.gov.uk/
always-open-onlinewhere you can also find links to the social media sites. Membership is available for free to anyone who lives, works, or studies in the county.