Newsletter – Face Coverings & Starting The New School Year on Sept 7th


Message from Mr Applegate

I hope you’ve had a great summer break. Doesn’t it go fast?! Some may say it can’t end soon enough! It’s not over quite yet, but an early communication from school will hopefully help everyone.

I know we all have a mixture of emotions with going back to school. Many children haven’t been to school since March- that’s a long time ago. And we have lots of children joining us for the very first time! We are fully expecting children and adults to be feeling differently about the return, and anxiety is normal. However, I do want to reassure you that as a staff we have spent many, many hours making the school environment as safe and friendly as possible, including the day-to-day logistics. Our experience previously has been that whilst children may be nervous at first, it doesn’t take long before they settle in. Please know that we will welcome everyone back with a smile and our usual cheer!

And of course a huge welcome to our new Year R children and families, as well as those in other year groups who are new to our school. We hope that you find our school community to be warm and welcoming, and we look forward to you feeling at home with us.

See you on the 7th September! Mr Applegate

Important Messages / Summary

  1. Read the section on Face Coverings/Masks below- it’s affects parents too.
  2. Read the ‘September plans‘ (the only change has been the guidance on face coverings/masks). Youtube video may be helpful! Remember to have a back-up plan in case we have to call you to collect your child.
  3. We’ll be posting a child-friendly YouTube video for children this week. Also, Google Classroom accounts will be re-enabled to allow children to watch the video made in July about their new teacher.
  4. Got questions? Please email the office.

Can you help us please?

Can you give a couple hours on Saturday 5th September? 9-11am. Adults only please. We’ll tidy the grounds. You just need to bring any of the following: brooms, hedge trimmers (manual or electric + extension lead), wheelbarrows, fork, shovel, trowels, gloves, anything for weeding, etc. Click here if you can help. Thank you.

Face Covering / Masks – who should and shouldn’t wear a mask?

A hot topic! We hope this brings clarity to you and your children, and reassures you that we take everyone’s safety seriously. Remember, this is about keeping everybody safe, including the adults who work in the school. Having over 1000 people on site at drop-off and pickup times, and almost 750 during the day, means that we need everyone to play their part. As we reduce the risk at school, it also reduces the risk for families at home.

  1. Parents must wear face coverings/masks when on the school site, including when dropping off or collecting a child, or visiting the office (having first spoken to the office via email/phone).
  2. Pupils must not wear face coverings/masks whilst in school, although they can wear them to and from school. If a child has particular health needs, then please consult with the school about this. Where they wear a mask to school, we ask that parents take the mask home.
  3. Staff won’t be wearing face coverings/masks within the classroom environment (ie within the bubble), but will do so outside of the classroom where a distance of 2m cannot be maintained (for example, when in communal/office areas, walking within school, using the photocopier etc). Breakfast club and lunchtime staff will be wearing masks.
  4. Visitors, including those who visit the school regularly to meet with pupils, must wear masks at all times; where this is not deemed possible because of the nature of the work, the system of controls must be strictly adhered to.

Where face coverings/masks are worn, they must be suitable and appropriate in style.

Why do we still need Google Classroom accounts?

Homework and spellings will be on GC, and perhaps other activities that the year group set.

Also, if your child has to self-isolate, and is well enough to do school work, then work will be set on GC.

Note that Year R pupils will only be using Tapestry. Year 1 pupils will have a mix of both GC and Tapestry.

Covid-19 Symptoms? For a child? Someone in the household? Need to quarantine?

Find out what to do here – a quick and easy guide.


Is your child going to be absent because of illness?

Please phone the school on 01256 346 111 by 9am, leaving a message on the answer machine.

If it’s because of having COVID-19 symptoms, please also contact the school as soon as possible, and we will call back. Alternatively email us. DO NOT COME INTO SCHOOL!

Car Park

The car park can not, and must not, be used for dropping off/picking up children, except for breakfast club. There simply isn’t space, and it’s not safe. Thank you.

Have your circumstances changed?

Have you been out of work, or currently unemployed? Are you receiving benefits?

Your child could be entitled to Free School Meals, as well as the school receiving additional funding of around £1300 per year.

Please complete this form so that we can check for you; we’ll do the rest of the work for you and let you know of the outcome.

School Meals

School meals start again on 7th September. This is Week 3 of the menu.

Meals are free for those in Years R, 1 and 2, and those who receive FSM; meals cost £2.40/day for others. Children order their meal on the day. Parents pay online.

All meals will be eaten in the classrooms.

Online Payments only – no cash!

When we return in September we will be cashless and no longer able to accept cash and cheque payments. In order to pay for school lunches, breakfast club etc you will need to use Tucasi, our online payment system, by registering with a pupil link code specific to your child. We will be sending emails with further details and the link codes to all those that aren’t currently registered on 3rd and 4th September.

Fruit and Veg starts again – KS1

We are pleased to confirm that the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme will recommence and will be available as of 9th September. This means that fruit/vegetables will be available daily for all children in KS1 as of this date (please still provide a named snack on the first 2 days of term).

Unfortunately the scheme isn’t available for children in KS2 but you are welcome to send in a fruit or vegetable snack in a named bag/box for children to have at breaktime. Remember, all breaktime snacks should be healthy fruit or veg.

SCL After School Club – 3:20pm – 6pm

Book here!blank

Mr Carter and Mrs Hygate

Thank you for your kind words and donations following the passing of Mr Carter and Mrs Hygate. If you missed this sad news, or would like to give a donation, please see here.

We have almost completed a remembrance area for Mr Carter, and are working on one for Mrs Hygate. We will be involving the children in this too.

From Hampshire School Crossing Patrol Team

We are pleased to confirm the School Crossing Patrol (SCP) on Woodbury Rd / Lapin Lane will be resuming work on 7th September 2020.



We’re having to make a range of adjustments to teaching and learning. One of these is the depth to which teachers mark the children’s work. Don’t worry – we have a plan to ensure that children continue to receive excellent teaching and learning; in fact, it will be more effective than before.

Need to request an absence?

We’ve moved our absence request form online. This is for absence requests such as holidays, weddings, funeral, special events, and more. You don’t need to use this form for sickness or self-isolation (but please email/phone the office if they are unwell). Remember, absences are only authorised in exceptional circumstances, but you still need to request it.blank

DfE Youtube Playlist – Returning to School

DfE Help – What parents need to know

Click here to read “What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges in the autumn term

There is also a brief leaflet here.

Email and Contact Details

blankIf you don’t receive the school newsletter and year group emails via email, you can sign up here!

Remember, if you change your contact details, please let the office know here.


Get in touch with us

Summer Update – 19th August

Dear all,

We hope you are enjoying the summer. Just a few things to communicate ahead of starting school on Monday 7th September.

1. SCL After School Club – 3:20 – 6pm … is available to book now. Click here for more info.

2. Breakfast Club – For those who applied for a B/C space, we emailed at the end of July to say if you have been successful. We have no breakfast club spaces left, apart from a few places for children needing care from 8:20am. The subject of the email was “Breakfast Club – Place Allocations”.

3. Outdoor Tidy Up! Can you give a couple hours on Saturday 5th September? 9-11am. Adults only please. We’ll tidy the grounds. You just need to bring any of the following: brooms, hedge trimmers (manual or electric + extension lead), wheelbarrows, fork, shovel, trowels, gloves, anything for weeding, etc. Click here if you can help. Thank you.

4. September Plans. As things stand, there are no real changes to our announcements in July about plans for September. Please see here for details about September if you haven’t seen them.

5. Anything to update us on? Contact numbers? Email addresses? Medical issues? Family circumstances? Please do let us know via email. Remember not to visit the school office unless you have phoned first.

6. Google Classrooms for Years 1-6: We’ll open up the accounts again on Monday 31st August. You’ll be able to watch the teacher-welcome video again, which may help your child settle in.

We’ll be in touch before we start on the 7th, including a video to help the children see what school will look like.

Best wishes, Mr Applegate

Breakfast Club Allocations

All places have been allocated, and emails have been sent to the parents who applied. Please check your spam if you have not received one.

All parents who requested a place were given a place, and there are no spaces left, apart from starting at 8:20am.

For more information, see here.

Newsletter – End of Year and lots of information about September – 20th July


Summary & key points

  1. Read/watch our September plans. This is a key page!
  2. Apply for a breakfast club place by Friday 24th July
  3. We finish Wednesday at 12-12:30pm for all pupils, including key worker families.
  4. See our uniform updates
  5. Final worship – Youtube Weds 9am. Link to be posted here.

End of an era – one we will never forget

It is with a sense of relief that we have made it to the end of term, after a period of 4 months that we will never forget. Every aspect of our life has been challenged, but we have finally made it to the summer holidays.

We had an emotional send-off for our Y6 children on Friday. We have loved having them for 7 years, and know they are ready for the next part of their journey. Keep smiling, work hard, and according to Freddy, keep eating beans!

Whilst we still don’t have our full freedoms just yet, I do hope you are able to have a proper break over the summer. On behalf of the staff and governros, thank you for all that you give to St Mark’s.

Best wishes, Mr Applegate


PS -we are aware that times are still tough for so many. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you need help.

Thank you’s!

Parents: For many of you, it’s been the hardest 4 months on record. Whether it’s been managing work, teaching at home, dealing with ill-health, or everything combined, you have made it through in one piece. Your support of our school and the sacrifices you’ve made to enable school to function for key workers has been so appreciated. From the bottom of our hearts, we say thank you.

Children: We’re all very proud of you. You didn’t ask for lockdown to happen, and it’s been tricky at times. But you have got through this season! You’ve worked hard on Google Classrooms, and hopefully enjoyed our Feel Good Fridays too. Have a good break over the summer, and thank you for working so hard.

Mrs Ford and Mrs Alsey: As our two deputy head teachers, you have worked so hard since March 23rd in enabling children and adults to be safe, and to ensure our entire community has been supported in this crisis. Hours and hours and hours of work has been put in, and on behalf of our school community, we say thank you. As head teacher, it is a privilege to serve our community with you.

Thank you’s (continued)!

Mr Blake and Mrs Barbour: our outstanding site team, alongside our cleaning team. Your role has been more important than ever in keeping us safe, and your attitude and effort has always been top-notch.

Our home learning team: whilst being at the computer 24×7 hasn’t always been fun, you’ve put your heart and soul into making our children’s home learning engaging, creative and consistent. I know our parents are very grateful, too. Thank you.

Our in-school team: day in, day out – you reduced the anxiety about being in school, and worked hard to enable our children to learn, feel safe, and enjoy this strange time.

Our governors: we’ve met around 8 times online since lock down – some routine business but also extra-ordianary meetings to ensure our school is safe. Thank you for all that you give in supporting our school.

September Plans – watch our easy video

Important!!! We have a new page to keep you updated about September. Click here!



Action required for Breakfast Club

  • Click to read about breakfast club and look for the request a place button. blank By Friday 24th July! Note – This is different to the recent questionnaire.
  • SCL After School Club will be running as per normal at St Mark’s from September! Bookings will open soon on the SCL site – see here for more information.
  • An alternative ASC is Hatch Warren ASC – see here for more information. HWASC collect from St Mark’s after school, and then take the children to the community centre. You would then collect your child from the community centre.

Plastic toys needed for September

If you are having a clear-out this summer of your children’s toys, then we would love to use them in school for our continuous provision in Year 1. Any toys being donated would need to be plastic, with no fabric, so they can be cleaned easily. We would love toys such as:

  • lego (large or small), stickle-bricks, or k-nex for our construction areas;
  • small world toys such as little people, playmobil, figures and animals;
  • plastic role-play items such as toy pots, pans, plates etc and plastic food;
  • large plastic outdoor cars.

Please leave any donations outside the main front door. Thanks! Year 1 Team

Milk and Fruit from September

As things stand, the government’s free milk and fruit schemes are not in operation. Therefore, please ensure that your child brings a fruit or veg snack to school, for a mid-morning snack.

School Uniform for September – updates

It’s important to read the updates on this page, which include changes for uniform for September.

Google classrooms – accounts will be turned off over the summer

From Friday 24th July until Sept 1st, Google Classrooms and the Google account will be turned off. Please remember your password for when it restarts! We’re turning it off so that children and adults can have a break from it.

Is your child shielding?

It would really help us to know if your child is shielding, so we can plan for September. Please email the office if so.

Dinner menu week Beginning 20th July


Key events during the last week

  • 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!
  • We finish on Wednesday at 12-12:30pm for all children, including key-worker children.

Need Summer Holiday Club Care?

Whilst we are fully closed over the summer, there are two local options:

  1. SCL Club Energy, at Hatch Warren Community Centre. Click here to find out more and to book.
  2. Magma Holiday Camp run at Hatch Warren Infant School. Click here for more info.

An amazing team effort – thank you all!

A huge thanks goes to:

  • Mr Blake & our fantastic 6 parent volunteers for giving their time on Saturday to widen the path by the Y5/6 side of the school.
  • DStoneGrab for providing material, delivery and advice (and to Mrs Stone for initiating it!).
  • M&T Landscapes for providing a Whacker plate.
  • Mrs Grant for providing materials too.

Well done and thank you St Mark’s community :)


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

Saying Thank you

blankMany 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.

Thank you Miss Goddard

You may have noticed a new feature we introduced- a daily maths challenge. Miss Goddard has produced 50 of these, and we’ve loved being challenged by her questions. We hope you have too! Thank you! Find them here.



Anyone seen a lion around? Marwell is missing one.

Apparently he was amazing at playing rounders, and had brown shoes on.


Email and Contact Details

If you don’t receive the school newsletter and year group emails via email, you can Sign up here!

Remember, if you change your contact details, please let the office know here.


Admissions Policy – 2021-2020

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we have been instructed to make an amendment to our 2021 Admissions policy.

Under criteria 6 (i) of the over-subscription criteria, an additional clause giving clarification relating to the definition of a regular church attendee has been added which relates to the period that churches have been closed.

The amendment has been approved by the Governing Body, and a request submitted to the appropriate authorities for agreement. The full amended policy is available on the school website here.

Graham Robins, Governor

Get in touch with us

Welcome to St Mark’s CofE Primary School!

About St Mark’s

St Mark’s has a strong Christian ethos, brilliant pupils, fantastic staff and a supportive community. Our four Christian values underpin all that we do, resulting in a high quality of education for all of its pupils at all levels. We are keen to “Grow and learn together in God’s love”. Our learning behaviours and HeartSmart ‘High Five’ help us to learn well and be emotionally strong and resilient, too.

We are pleased that Ofsted recognised our great work, validating our judgement of being a ‘Good’ school in March 2018. Read more here. In July 2019, SIAMs judged our school as ‘Excellent’, noting that “The vision shapes this exceptionally caring and compassionate school community.”


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