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Mailbag 27 November 2020

Mailbag 27 November 2020


A MASSIVE thank you this week to one of our parents, Mr Sam Gibson, film maker extraordinaire. Due to current restrictions we are unable to show prospective parents our school but Mr Gibson came to our rescue. In close collaboration with Mrs Newstead he has skilfully crafted a welcome video which is a joy to watch - thank you again. You can see it here.


Another parent, Hayley Orange, drew our attention to an opportunity to have musicians from the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Zoom-ed live into every class in the school. They will be talking to children about playing their instrument, life in the orchestra and what it takes to be a professional musician


Covid-19 Yr 2 and Yr 5 study. Thank you to those who have signed up to take part. The children who are taking part in the study will be tested for the first time on the morning of Tuesday1st December. The Yr 2 children will be giving their saliva samples at 9am so please would you make sure they have finished breakfast and cleaned their teeth before 8.30am so there is a clear 30 minutes before the test? Thank you.


We’re sure you’ve read the information about the study we sent last week but we would like to clarify a few points in response to questions parents have raised:


  • The study aims to pick up asymptomatic cases and to help the community feel safer.
  • The study team will double check any positive test results to minimise the chance of false positives.
  • If a positive case comes to light we will have to abide by the current advice from Public Health England (PHE), even if the person has no symptoms, just as we have been doing for the last few months when a parent or child has told us they have a positive test result.
  • If we do have someone who is confirmed positive we will seek immediate advice from PHE and they may ask us to close the year group bubble or send home close contacts.
  • This would apply even to those whose own tests were negative, as well as to those children who didn’t have a test but are in that year group

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me



Secret Readers wanted - We’re sure you already know that Hillcrest is packed to the rafters with amazing authors, from Reception all the way to Year 6. All great writing needs readers so we are on the hunt for a crack team of Secret Readers - parents, grandparents or older siblings (12+).


If you would like to take part, a teacher will send you some wonderful writing from their class. You will join the class via Zoom and read it to them. The children won’t know in advance who their Secret Reader will be, or which child’s writing they’ll be sharing.


Drop an email to Mr McIntyre if you would like to be part of the fun:


Climbing 10,000 stairs - Mrs Howell and her family are fundraising for Stroke Association and would very much appreciate your support. You can read their story and donate to her JustGiving page by clicking HERE.


New Counter Terrorism website ‘Act Early’. This website is aimed at family and friends and to reach out to communities. The purpose of the site is to increase awareness of the signs of radicalisation, where to go for help and support and to increase understanding and confidence in the referral process.


Also being launched is a National Prevent advice line for friends/family/community members to call - 0800 011 3764. This number will be staffed by Prevent teams to ensure the advice being given is appropriate and consistent.


Counter Terrorism Policing South West is supporting the launch, working with partners and police force Corporate Communications teams to promote the site and campaign. We have been asked to play a part in disseminating these materials in our communities. This is particularly relevant in this current climate with the impact of Covid 19, social isolation and the rise in hateful extremism online.


Thank You - All the toys so kindly donated for the Salvation Army Christmas appeal will be picked up next Tuesday, so we will no longer be collecting after that. Huge thanks to our school community from Tina and from the school. We honestly never expected such a kind and generous response. The office is looking like Santa's grotto! Your kindness will make a huge difference to Christmas for many children this year.


From 1st December, however, we will be collecting tins, packets, toiletries etc. for the Matthew Tree Project again. Families need support now than ever so please, if you can spare anything, send it in with your child. There will be a box in each classroom for donations.


The Kirby Family have asked us to share this message with everyone:


A Huge Thank you from the Kirby Family

From the office staff, to Tina, to the year 6 team and to Bridget and Mr Mac - thank you so much for your concern, kind words, support, inspiring home learning and cool, calm and efficient leadership. Within an hour of me making the dreaded call to school, Public Health England were contacted, decisions made, parents contacted by several means, the year group closed and home learning organised, all whilst offering reassurance to us and other families. So impressive and it’s continued this week, check ins and messages of support and fantastic home learning provided - to all the staff at Hillcrest thank you, you’re amazing and doing a fantastic job in very difficult circumstances.

Also to the Hillcrest community as a whole - thank you so much. We’ve had so many messages, well wishes, offers and provision of help and we feel so lucky and grateful to be part of such a lovely, kind and caring community. If there’s one thing that’s come out of the experience it’s a whole lot of gratitude!


Reading News - A massive congratulations to Kit in 3NA who is 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. He has won a genuine leather, personalised bookmark. Keep reading everyone and next time it could be you!


FRIENDS COLOUR-THEMED NON UNIFORM DAY / HAMPER COLLECTION - Friday 4th Dec Rather than asking for cash, we’d love it if you could make a CHRISTMAS HAMPER DONATION in the colour theme of your year group, and for your child to come to school wearing something in the same colour! The class colours are:


Rec - GOLD/SILVER         Yr 1 - GREEN         Yr 2 - YELLOW         Yr 3 - RED         Yr 4 - PINK/PURPLE         Yr 5 - BLUE         Yr 6 - BLACK/WHITE


Ideas for hamper donations - non-perishable Christmas goodies such as Toiletries, Candles, Games, Stationary, Crafts, Sweets, Chocolates, Jams, Pickles, Wine and more Wine! If you can, please to bring something that corresponds with your class colour.


The items will be collected in the classroom and set aside for a week to quarantine.


Meanwhile, Friends will be hosting an ONLINE RAFFLE for the school Hampers AND a bonus Fox & West Hamper. Details to follow….



Thanks to all the fundraising efforts so far, Friends have commissioned Christine Hagan-Bassett (Mother of Stephene in Yr 5 and Joe and Leo in Yr 2 and Founder of Let's Pretend - Drama Power Productions) to spend the day performing a Christmas play with her touring group.


The performance will follow Covid safety guidelines and will be staged for all the children in their separate year bubbles to instil a bit of festive cheer. The 20-minute performances will be staggered over the course of Friday 11th December in the main hall, with adequate breaks between shows for the space to be ventilated.


The show - The Christmas Family Secret - is about Father Christmas and his family - and there are two secrets that are unravelled. One of the secrets is that even Father Christmas gets worried. He was initially scared about the mammoth task that was passed down to him, but after facing his fears, he conquered them. So does his daughter in the story, and she discovers that not only is it not scary but it’s actually fun!


The message is about believing in yourself and pushing past anxiety and worry - and for the younger ones, Father Christmas too!


Kate Timney (Nell & Erin’s Mum, Year 2/Reception)

Friends of Hillcrest - Co-Chair with Cecily Palmer



Reception & KS1 Christmas Dinner

KS2 Christmas Dinner

Reception Trip letter

Yr 4 Eyesight letter

Future Stars Christmas Holiday Clubs flyer

Yr 6 TikTok letter - We’ve been alerted about this safeguarding issue by Oasis Brislington


Craft Night flyer - I'm Emelye (Sophie's mum from year 6) and I'm organising a craft evening again this year, on 4th December, in aid of the homeless cafe in Easton where I used to volunteer. I live at 8 Maxse Road so you can come and pick up a bag of goodies from me to make in your own home. Get in touch with me if you've got any other questions: 07909 441846. We will be on zoom! Thank you for supporting this! Emelye



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


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