Thank you for your continued support.  Please see update letters below for ongoing information.

Welcome to Calstock School, where every day is a new day for learning – for all of us!

Set high on the Cornish bank of the river Tamar, we are part of our small but vibrant local community, surrounded by the beautiful Tamar Valley with its rich cultural heritage. For us, education is about nurturing creativity and inquisitiveness. School must welcome children to a community of learning, broaden horizons, and provide the knowledge, skills and confidence to flourish in the wider world.

Have a look around our website, and get in touch if there is anything you'd like to find out more about, or if you want to get involved. 

I look forward to meeting you.

Ben Towe

 

 

Everyday life at Calstock School

Reopening Letter 29/5/2020

Dear Parents and Carers

I hope you’re continuing to enjoy the beautiful weather and all is well with you and your families.

Re-Opening Plans

I wanted to write to you and confirm that following the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday, both our schools will be re-opening on Monday as planned. We’ve been working really hard this week to ensure all plans are in place and that classrooms are prepared. Therefore, I ask that parents of those children who are returning remind themselves of the various procedures we’re putting in place (available on at the end of this letter), ready for Monday morning. Mr Pengelly will be out at the front of the school, ready to welcome children and parents at Calstock and I’ll be doing likewise, with Mrs Payne, at Stoke Climsland. Please don’t worry as we’ll be there to guide you through any initial concerns about routines and procedures. I hope it goes without saying but we’re very much looking forward to seeing some familiar faces and welcoming some of our children back to school.

With regard to those parents who have made the choice for their child/ren not to return at this point, I want to reiterate that we support you in making this decision and your sense of what feels right for you and your family.

In my last letter of the 22nd May, I had asked for any changes you wished to make regarding your child restarting school to be communicated to us at least 5 days in advance. I’d like to add a further request as we embark on these early stages of re-opening. Due to the complexities of organising this provision, we would appreciate a two-week settling in window, in which we can find some sense of routine. Therefore, if at all possible, we’d encourage any new requests for school returns, to be made with a view to a 15th June start date. To clarify, this does not apply for children of key workers in any year group.

Home Learning

While some children are returning to school, we recognise that many more will be continuing to access their learning from home. To this end, we are hoping to tweak and evolve our home learning provision as we move forwards. Our provision will include:

  • Use of the school website to post a Summer Term 2 Home Learning Menu.
  • Weekly updates, on the website and sent directly to you via email as well.
  • Fortnightly well-being phone calls for home learners.
  • Weekly Zoom video ‘Get Togethers’, based around specific, assigned and bespoke ‘challenge’ activities, sent out via the updates.

The Zoom ‘Get Togethers’ will be shorter in length but also involve smaller group numbers, therefore increasing opportunities for interaction and feedback between children, their peers and their teacher/teaching assistants. The first ‘Get Togethers’ will take place the week beginning 8th June.

With regard to the ‘Get Togethers’, I recognise that for some children they may cause unwelcome anxiety and are simply not a positive forum for them to communicate within. Therefore, please don’t feel pressurised to make your child take part if you as a parent feel it would not be in their best interests. Teachers will be very happy for you to interact via email or another agreed format, if that feels more appropriate.

The Summer 2 topic menus will be available from this Monday, 1st June on the school website, alongside an explanatory letter from your child’s teacher. I’d just like to highlight that the nature of this provision may look different between classes and particular age groups as we recognise the needs of our children differ greatly.

As always, please feel welcome to contact teachers directly should you need any clarification or further support.

And finally…

I haven’t mentioned the work that our staff have been doing over these many weeks but as we approach the wider re-opening of our schools, I’d like to give them some public recognition. Rather than list the many and varying tasks that they’ve been undertaking, I just want to pass on the personal gratitude I have for the work they’ve done in supporting you as parents and also myself. It’s incredibly reassuring to have colleagues who I know can deliver the educational and emotional support that is so core to the philosophy of how we’ve worked during this extremely challenging period. Many will now be returning to school to care and support the children that are very special to you – and us, and I know they will do this with warmth, endeavour and compassion. The media has been awash with many opinions around wider school re-opening and I feel very fortunate to have such a supportive and trusting staff team, who are approaching next week with their usual professionalism, commitment and enthusiasm.

I ask you to be mindful that many will now be combining a provision which supports both those children in school but also those who remain at home. Please be patient with us as we adjust to this next phase.

As always, thank you for your continued partnership. We value it greatly.

Take care, enjoy the sunshine and we look forward to seeing some of you next week.

Very best wishes

Ben Towe

Executive Headteacher

File icon: pdf COVID-19 Operational Policy [pdf 488KB] Click to download
File icon: pdf Calstock Procedures for the phased reopening of schools [pdf 343KB] Click to download
File icon: pdf Calstock Parent Processes and Procedures [pdf 396KB] Click to download
File icon: pdf Calstock Covid 19 Risk Assessement [pdf 215KB] Click to download

Reopening Letter 22/5/2020

 

Dear Parents and Carers

I hope you and your family continue to be safe and well.

Firstly, I apologise for the length of this letter but as you’ll understand there is a large amount of information to share with you.

As promised, I am writing to you with our confirmed plans for the re-opening of both our schools for children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 from the 1st June. To be clear, the Government have not yet given the go ahead for this re-opening and this decision could be made as late as 28th May. We will obviously update you as soon as possible with any changes, should this become necessary.

Thank you to all those parents in the above year groups who responded to our survey and helped us to understand the potential numbers we might be expecting to see in our schools. Many of you have rightly wanted to make a decision, based on the nature of this provision and ‘how it might look’. To reiterate, we completely support you in this choice and understand that you will make a decision that feels right and appropriate for you and your child.

We have been asked by a number of parents, whether part-time schooling can be an option in these first few weeks. At present, we are happy to offer this but request that arrangements are communicated to us with at least 5 days’ notice and are as fixed as possible. We also recognise that some parents may choose to delay their child/children re-starting school. Again, we ask that any changes you wish to make are communicated to us at least 5 days in advance.

We also want to make you aware that as numbers of children potentially increase in school, the provision may well evolve. This could include a decrease in the number of hours children would be able to attend and/or an increase in the number of ‘bubbles’. However, we would continue to ensure we communicate any proposed changes to you with good notice.

Rigorous risk assessment has been undertaken and this has informed the plans we have put in place. Throughout, we have followed Government and Local Authority guidance. For both schools we have written the following key documents which are available on the school websites:

  • Federation Covid-19 Operational Policy
  • Individual school’s procedures for the phased re-opening
  • Individual school’s parent/carer re-opening plan and procedures
  • Individual school’s risk assessment

File icon: pdf COVID-19 Operational Policy [pdf 488KB] Click to download
File icon: pdf Calstock Procedures for the phased reopening of schools [pdf 343KB] Click to download
File icon: pdf Calstock Parent Processes and Procedures [pdf 396KB] Click to download
File icon: pdf Calstock Covid 19 Risk Assessement [pdf 215KB] Click to download

We encourage you to read these documents to ensure you feel fully informed about how our schools will operate during these times. I particularly draw your attention to the Parent/Carer Plan and Procedures. I completely understand that much of this documentation deals with the physical systems we are going to put in place but I want to reassure you that we are determined to make school as ‘normal’ as possible and ensure children’s emotional well-being is very much at the forefront of our practice and that they receive an engaging and enriching curriculum.

Rather than re-write the detail of the documents referred to above, I just wanted to list some key points below:

  • Both schools will open from Monday to Friday lunchtime for pupils in Reception, Y1 and Y6 as well as key worker children. Details of arrival and departure routines are detailed in the Parent/Carer Re-Opening Plan and Procedure.
  • Both schools will close to children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 at 1pm on Friday for the schools to have a deep clean and for teacher planning and preparation time. Provision for key worker children will be provided, where necessary, on a Friday afternoon.
  • There will be staggered arrival and departure times for children in different ‘bubbles’. Where parents have children in more than one ‘bubble’, please drop off and collect both children at the earlier time.
  • We must reiterate the need for parents to ensure that they and their children maintain a 2 metre social distance from other families during drop off and collection times.
  • Breakfast Club will only be available for key worker children and this will be provided in their respective ‘bubbles’.
  • In both schools, children will be in ‘bubbles’ of no more than 15 children. At present, numbers are expected to be well below this threshold. To clarify, children of key workers in Reception, Y1 and Y6 will join their year group ‘bubble’, rather than the key worker ‘bubble’. These ‘bubbles’ are detailed below but may be subject to change, depending on any increase in children attending:
  • Calstock: YR/1 ‘bubble’ and Y6/key worker ‘bubble’
  • Stoke Climsland: YR ‘bubble’, Y1 ‘bubble’, key worker ‘bubble’ and Y6 ‘bubble’
  • At present, all ‘bubbles’ of children, other than some key worker children, will be taught by their usual class teacher and teaching assistant in their usual classroom.
  • Throughout the week, each ‘bubble’ will remain with their adult(s) and not mix with any other ‘bubble’.
  • Children’s learning will be based on the same topic menus being accessed by those children who remain at home. Opportunities for children at home and children in school to connect virtually, will be utilised where possible.
  • Children are likely to be learning outdoors for a significant part of the day. Access to the outdoor areas will be timetabled for each ‘bubble’ throughout the day.
  • We request that pupils wear clothing and footwear appropriate for the weather conditions, together with their school top.
  • The staff will use age and developmentally appropriate ways to encourage children to follow social distancing, hand washing and other guidance. However, as the Government have laid out in their guidance, ‘primary age children cannot be expected to remain 2 metres apart from each other and staff’, so we will not be enforcing this heavy handedly.
  • Equipment, toys and hard surfaces will be cleaned regularly and disinfected more frequently.
  • Children will not be allowed to bring in toys from home and books will not be sent home. Therefore, there is no requirement for your child to bring their book bag to school.
  • A school meal service will be operating. However, this will not be a cooked meal in either school. A packed lunch will be available and prepared on site at Stoke Climsland. At Calstock, this will be prepared from a satellite kitchen in Liskeard. If your child qualifies for either universal or free school meals, this entitlement still applies. For children at Calstock, Mrs Maunder will be in contact to discuss your requirements. At Stoke Climsland, children can state their preference on the day.

I realise that there is a lot of information to take in and this may seem quite overwhelming. However, we feel very confident that once parents and children are back in school, the ‘lived’ experience will feel much more ‘normal’. You will understand, I hope, that it is important we work together to make sure children, staff and parents feel as reassured and safe as possible.

We would now ask that you take the time to read the documents available on the website and make a final decision regarding your child’s return to school. We are asking that you complete a further survey (see link below) which will provide us with finalised numbers, should we return on Monday 1st June. Your decision only relates to a 1st June start date. Therefore, if you are considering your child returning at a later date in the term, please indicate a ‘will not be in school’ response on the survey form. We would kindly request that this survey is completed by a deadline of 12pm on Tuesday 26th May and you complete a separate form for each relevant child.

To be clear, this survey only needs to be completed by parents of children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. However, if you are a key worker, you still need to complete this survey if your child is in any of these year groups. For key worker parents who have children in Years 2, 3, 4 and 5, please continue with the previous arrangement in which you contact Ms Jenkins or Mrs Hardy via email to confirm your child/children’s attendance arrangements in school.

The survey is now closed

As I’ve reiterated throughout, we greatly value the positive and supportive partnership we have with you. Therefore, if you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We recognise that it will feel like there are many unknowns at the moment and although we can’t necessarily provide you with definitive answers, we very much want you to feel that we’re here for you.

I will be back in touch towards the end of next week with a further letter and details about our home learning provision for the second half of the summer term.

In the meantime, if work and time will allow, I hope you have a peaceful and enjoyable bank holiday weekend.

Very best wishes

Ben Towe

Executive Headteacher

File icon: pdf Reopening Letter - 22.5.2020 [pdf 563KB] Click to download

Coronavirus Update Letters

File icon: pdf Reopening Letter - 22.5.2020 [pdf 563KB] Click to download
File icon: pdf Letter to Parents - 20.5.2020 [pdf 399KB] Click to download
File icon: pdf Reopening Letter - 15.5.2020 [pdf 474KB] Click to download
File icon: pdf Coronavirus Update Letter - 7.5.20 [pdf 371KB] Click to download
File icon: pdf E-safety letter [pdf 867KB] Click to download
File icon: pdf Coronavirus Update Letter - 24.4.20 [pdf 395KB] Click to download
File icon: pdf Zoom Parent Letter Calstock [pdf 596KB] Click to download
File icon: pdf Coronavirus Letter - 10.4.20 [pdf 394KB] Click to download
File icon: pdf Calstock Coronavirus Letter - 27.3.20 [pdf 371KB] Click to download
File icon: pdf Calstock Coronavirus Letter - 20.3.20 [pdf 907KB] Click to download
File icon: pdf Calstock Coronavirus Letter - 19.3.20 [pdf 626KB] Click to download