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Mailbag 2 October 2020

Mailbag 2 October 2020


We are going to be holding Parents' Evening this term, in the week beginning 12th October, although the arrangements will be slightly different. I have left it up to individual teachers to choose whether to offer face to face meetings in school, at social distance, or online appointments, using a new facility on our usual Parents Evening Booking system.


RCN, 1JF, 1MH, 4CS, 6PB and 6RT will be holding face to face meetings. To book your appointment please ring the office, 0117372244, from 9am on Tuesday 6 th October. Speak to Cat, in person please. We won’t be taking bookings by email, text or answerphone message. If you do not wish to come into school for a face to face meeting, Cat can make an appointment for the teacher to phone you instead.


All other classes will be holding online appointments. Booking will be via the Parents Evening Booking system and will be open from at 9am on Tuesday 6th October (click here for instructions). You will be able to book your appointment as normal and on the day simply access the system on your phone, laptop or tablet to join the video call. You will be automatically connected to the teacher for your ten minute appointment. There's no app to download as all video calls take place in the web browser at the same web address you use to book your appointment. All video calls are encrypted.


October is Black History Month. This is a great way to celebrate and recognise the contribution of black people to British society. Schools play a significant role in teaching children about the importance of having respect and tolerance for all cultures. At Hillcrest we are committed to the teaching and support of Black history all year round. Read more in the news item on our website here.



Wearing masks - In last week’s Mailbag we asked you to mask up if you need to wait around for the second drop off or pick up. We are, of course, aware that there are a small number of people who have conditions that prevent them from wearing a mask. It goes without saying that the normal exemptions apply, just as they do anywhere else. Please be tolerant and respectful and give others lots of space.


Future Stars will be running their popular Holiday Club at Hillcrest again over the half term break and are taking bookings now. Click HERE for their flyer.


Fish Finger Fridays and Pizza Mondays! The take-away style meals on Fridays are so popular that, from Monday week, 12 th October, Chartwells will offer ‘take-away’ cheese and tomato pizza and chips, delivered to the classrooms, every Monday. This will be instead of the school packed lunch.


Caution - Oasis Brislington have forwarded this message the police have asked them to share with their parents:


There have been four separate incidents across South Bristol which have involved two men, in a white van, acting suspiciously around young people. If your child goes out without an adult, please remind them how to stay safe as they travel to and from school and when they are out in the local community.


Yr 6 Debate - The children will be hosting a live Zoom debate between Capitalism and Socialism that Yr 6 parents are more than welcome to watch. The debate will start at 1.45pm next Friday and we will be sending out the Zoom details on Thursday.


Anti-social behaviour - A Park Street resident has emailed to say that some of our pupils have been throwing sticks and bottles into the back gardens from School Road Park, hitting windows and skylights and, on one occasion, actually breaking a lean to roof. This has been happening after school, between 3.30 and 4.30pm. Please make sure that children are supervised in the park.


SEND Local Offer - Take part in the SEND High Needs Block budget engagement survey

There is a survey to get feedback on the draft High Needs Block funding process. This is to make sure the process is clear and accessible. The draft funding process is explained in a video at the start of the survey. The survey is open from 30 September 2020 to 22 October 2020. Click the link below. If you have any problems accessing the survey or require the information in a different format, email


Watch the video and fill in the survey 


School Gateway App - If you are setting up a Gateway account please ignore the prompt to download the app to your phone. Please stick to the web version as we’ve had lots of problems with the app. It looks as if there are quite a few parents who still have the app on their phones. Please can you uninstall it?


Reading Winners - A massive CONGRATULATIONS to Sammy and Jakey in 3DB who were this week's random winners of the 'I Read At Least Four Times This Week And An Adult Has Signed My Reading Book To Prove It' competition. And a hearty well done to Roxy in 2KL whose Book Token was pulled out of the Book Token Box. They have all won a personalised bookmarker. Keep reading folks and next week it could be you!


Friends News - Thank you to all who attended The Friends of Hillcrest AGM by Zoom yesterday - we had a brilliant turn out. You can read the minutes of the meeting HERE. Despite the many events we couldn't run due to the COVID-19 pandemic, last year our school community raised an amazing £5,300 to support Hillcrest, with the Christmas fair and the Three Parks Challenge sponsored walk being particularly good fundraisers. The money raised has funded the new Book Barn and the shiny new books within it - thank you to everyone who turned up, took part, sponsored, volunteered, and encouraged!


At the AGM we discussed the forthcoming year and the challenges of fundraising safely under COVID restrictions and public health guidance, particularly as our main events depend on large groups coming together at the school. Friends has therefore decided to trial-run an alternative way of raising funds this year, by asking parents to make a VOLUNTARY upfront contribution to Friends of Hillcrest. The committee all agreed that a change in approach would enable Friends to run more events online alongside activities that would have less of a fund-raising focus but could be enjoyed by the whole school community. A more detailed proposal will follow in the next Mailbag.


Next Friends meeting - 7.45pm on Tuesday 13th October (by Zoom) to discuss ideas and plan activities for the forthcoming year. ALL WELCOME. Look out for the Zoom link email.


Charity Run - Isa Thomas from 3DB has decided to run at least five laps of Perrett’s Park to raise money for Disability Rights UK. Isa would love people to come and cheer her on! She’ll be running from 4pm next Thursday, 8th October, come rain or shine. This is all her own idea! If you would like to support her fundraising effort the link is



Yr 1           Yr 2           Yr 3           Yr 4           Yr 5           Yr 6


Look out for your Mailbag next Friday.