School Logo

Mailbag 11 December 2020

Mailbag 11 December 2020


I make no apologies for more ‘Thank You’s, of a festive nature, this week.


You have always been marvellous in supporting the Friends Christmas Card fundraiser, even when some the designs have looked like a snowman hiccupped across a wintery scene. NOT THIS YEAR THOUGH! This year the children's cards would not look out of place on the shelves of [insert name of well-known retailer here].


Obviously the talents of our children have shone through, but they have been ably assisted by Mrs Bonner and Mrs Sharples. Our artists in residence - we salute you! Many thanks to Leanne Morgan for all her hard work co-ordinating the fundraiser.


Another thank you goes to Emelye Chanot and Ruthy who have been working with our Reception, Yr 1, 2 and 3 children. The children were considering the question 'What do Christians believe about the characters in the Christmas story? 'The 'Christmas in a Box' workshop provided a spiritual development and learning opportunity for children of all faiths and none and encouraged them to understand and celebrate diversity and to be respectful of people who are different from them - a great No Outsiders message.


Thanks to Christine Hagen-Bassett and her fellow thespians, who delighted year groups today with a Festive Pantomime (it was a pleasure to see Dom Beddard-Coll, an ex-Hillcrest pupil who left ten years ago, in the cast). Everyone left the hall singing or humming the songs and wearing broad grins. And finally, thank you to Friends for funding this treat for the children.



Chair of Governors message - Click here to read a message from Jon Ross to parents and staff.


Gelatine-free ‘flu vaccine - We were aware that some of our Muslim families do not to take up the annual nasal flu vaccine for their children because it contains traces of porcine gelatine. Mrs Fleming learned that they were being denied access to the alternative vaccine (the injection given to adults). She brought this to the attention of local MP, Karin Smyth, who contacted the Chief Executive at the BNSSG Clinical Commissioning Group.


As a result, NHS England and Public Health England has confirmed that an offer of inactivated Influenza vaccine (IIV) can now be made to children whose parents would prefer an alternative to the live attenuated Influenza vaccine (LAIV).


This is a nationwide change and a testament to the value of writing to your MP and making a fuss!


The alternative flu vaccine will be available at community clinics. Download the letter from the immunisation team at Sirona here.


Term 3’s Enrichment Programme is here. A pared down offer again, but hopefully children will find something that appeals.


No idling! If you’re picking up children from school in your car please be considerate and turn off your engine whilst you’re waiting. We appreciate that it’s been chilly and people want to keep their heaters on but please wrap up warm instead. Particulate pollution from car exhaust is harmful to all and particularly dangerous for children with asthma.


Podcast - We’re all agog for the next edition of Hillcrest’s very own podcast - ‘From the Crest of the Hill’ - due to be released next Wednesday. Look out for it on the website. In the meantime, check out the cool poster here!


Christmas Lunch next Thursday - If you have not ordered a Christmas meal for your child, please remember that they will need to bring a packed lunch from home that day.


Lunch on Tuesday 5th January, the first day back, will be the takeaway style pizza the children would normally have on a Monday.


2021 Reception Intake - If you have a child whose 5th birthday will fall between 1st September 2021 and 30th August 2022 they are due to start school in September 2021. The deadline for school applications is midnight on Friday 15th January. Click here for information about how to apply.


Christmas Jumper Day - We have raised £446 for Save the Children today! Thank you for donating to this great cause. The Just Giving page is still open:


Consultation - In line with the School Admissions Code, Bristol secondary schools are carrying out their annual consultations on their admission arrangements, with respect to the academic year 2022/23. If you would like to participate you can find the all their consultation documents here.


Yr 6 Parents - Next week, Yr 6 will be watching a couple of films to celebrate Christmas and to tie in with the end of our Enquiry.


The children have really engaged with the topic of WW2 and some have expressed an interest in watching 'Boy in the Striped Pyjamas'. We wanted to give the children the opportunity to watch this on Wednesday as it conveys such a powerful message. However, we also understand that it is a very emotive film and not everybody will want to watch it. Therefore, there will also be Home Alone on at the same time in the other Yr 6 classroom which the children can choose to watch instead.


If you are happy for your child to decide which film they will watch on the day, then no need to get in touch. However, if you wouldn't like your child to watch one of the films or have any questions then please let Mr Taylor or Mr Boyle know before Wednesday so that they can ensure your child watches the alternative film.


On Thursday, we will watch a festive film as a whole year group to celebrate the end of term.


Head Lice - We’ve had reports of the wee beasties in Yr 5 and Yr 3 this week. Hopefully, everyone will have chance to check and clear over the holidays and we will start 2021 bug free!





Hamper Raffle A reminder that you can still by raffle tickets for the Christmas Hampers up until 21:00 tonight. It’s a chance to win some bumper treats, including a Fox and West hamper and Bristol Blue Glass offering.


All proceeds go toward FRIENDS OF HILLCREST FUNDRAISING and winners will be announced on Monday. A big THANK YOU to Leanne Morgan for co-ordinating this and the Christmas Cards. She will be making contact with the winners to arrange collection.


Christmas Enrichment

FRIENDS also wanted to say a massive THANK YOU to Chrissy HB and her festive merry makers for putting on a Christmas play for all year groups today. What a marathon! The play was commissioned by FRIENDS as a Christmas enrichment project in the absence of any school trips this term. This was all made possible through the generous donations of the Hillcrest school community.


Other items supported this year have been a library of non-fiction books to support each year group’s “enquiries” and a commitment to a series of author/illustrator talks that we plan to roll out next year.


If you haven’t yet made a donation and would like to make a one off contribution or regular payment please go to


Upcoming Event….Front Window Winter Wonderland/ Christmas Scene

Following the success of the half term Autumn front window display competition, FRIENDS will be hosting another competition over the Christmas holidays. Entrants can email pictures of their display for a chance to win a prize. More details to follow in the end of term mailbag



Reception Nativity Play letter

Gelatine-free flu vaccine

Secondary school admission consultation documents

Term 3 Enrichment Programme



Yr 1    Yr 6


Look out for your Mailbag every Friday