Mailbag 11 September 2020


Mailbag 11 September 2020    Plain text version for Google Translate


We made it to the end of the first week - phew! The children have, once again, been fantastic at following our three school rules ‘Be Safe, Be Kind, Be Respectful’.


They have been using their zones in the playground. One child today commented that they preferred it because, over the week, they have been able to use every part of the playground!


Mr McIntyre has been working hard organising and promoting reading throughout the school. He visited all the classes today to give every child in our school a Reading Record book - do find the time to read his message inside the front cover.


Do you remember the Nature Table from your school days? I love a Nature Table! I’ve set one up in the KS1 corridor. There’s plenty of room for more things so if children find something interesting they’d like to add they can hand it to their teacher. And on the subject of nature, check out our fun Wildlife Photography competition - this week’s homework - at the end of this Newsletter.


Our new Reception children have been on a part time timetable so far and have been settling in well. We look forward to having them in full time from Monday.


I’d like to wish all our new families a very warm welcome to the Hillcrest community.


Have a lovely weekend.

‘Flu Vaccination - You should have received an important email today about the nasal spray vaccination available for children in all year groups when the School Nursing Immunisation Team come school in November. Please fill in the form (whether or not you wish your child to have it) and return it to school, by email, before 28th September. The form and information leaflet were attached to the email but you can also download them from the school website here.


Drinking water - Please make sure your child brings a clearly named water bottle to school with them every day. They can refill it at the classroom tap. The water fountains have been turned off as a Covid precaution, and, for the same reason, we are not able to provide cups. If your child doesn’t bring a bottle they will not be able to have a drink all day.


Social Distancing - If you’re staying for a (socially distant!) natter when you drop off your children please can you move right away from the entrances and exits especially if there is another class arriving after yours?

We have work very hard to ensure our bubbles stay separate in school, even in the playground, to keep children and staff as safe as we can. Please support us by exercising a reasonable level of social distancing between classes and families outside school too - when children are playing in the park after school, for instance.


Name EVERYTHING! We are STILL coming across mislaid clothing without names in. If found items are named they will be reunited with their owner. For hygiene reasons, we can no longer keep a lost property box and won’t be holding on to anything that’s not named.


SeeSaw Permission, Yrs 1 - 6 - Don’t forget to sign and return the permission letter, if you haven’t already done so. You can download the letter here. Thank you.


Reading News from Mr McIntyre

Today, every child in the school will be coming home with a brand new Reading Record book and children in Reception to Year 5 will also have their login for Reading Eggs or Reading Eggspress.


Reading Record Books
Mr McIntyre has handed a Reading Record to every child in the school today. On the inside cover is a message to each child about embracing their own reading journey.


All children in the school are expected to read at home at least four times a week and we are asking parents or carers to sign the Reading Record book each time they do.


Remember, the children don't always have to read a book from school. We want to see comments in their reading record about books from home, the library, the bookshop and newspaper and magazine articles, as well as school books.


And please don't think reading is just for a set time at night. For many a set routine will work but it is important to find a time that is right for you and your child to get cosy and enjoy a book.


Reading Eggs / Reading Eggspress

This program is a highly engaging and effective way of helping your child to read and improve their comprehension. When they first log in they will be asked to take a placement test, which will set them at the correct level. In order for this to be as effective as possible please do not help your child too much.


You can find out more about Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress HERE.


Reading means prizes
Obviously the main reward for working hard on reading is fine-tuning a skill that can be enjoyed for a lifetime... but there is more:

  • Each week a random child who has at least four signatures in their reading record book will receive a special prize.
  • If your child fills in a reading token from the Book Barn and puts it in the Book Token Box they are in with a chance of winning a special prize.
  • The words 'Book Barn Bonanza' are written in three books in the Book Barn, if your child finds it they will win a special prize.


Yr 6 - Please bring a torch to school, if you have one, for our science lesson on Monday.

Poorly child? Just a sniffle or potential Covid? Have a look at our handy flow chart here, and our Covid-19 flow chart here.

Can we help? Are you having a one-off financial crisis, such as your benefits not being paid or losing your job that means you have no money for basic needs such as food, school uniforms, shoes etc? If so, please contact the school and ask to speak to our Family Support Worker, Tina, for a sensitive conversation. There may be things we can do to help.


Ukulele Club - Sadly, we’ve had to say goodbye to our uke teacher, Aidan. He didn’t get enough take up to carry on teaching his class on Zoom. He is having to explore other work options and probably won’t be back at Hillcrest. Tough times for musicians.


Guitar Club is continuing though, Hazel still has spaces available for her Zoom guitar tuition. Email her at for information.


Yrs 1 & 2 Tennis Coaching - Petra has a few spaces in her Tuesday after school coaching session. Email her at for information.


Curriculum Meetings for parents - Most year groups have had their Zoom meetings now. We are posting the slides from the meetings on the Year Group pages on the school website so you can have a look if you couldn’t make it to the meeting.


Term 1 Year Group Newsletters and Timetables are also on each Year Group’s page (or will be very shortly).




Next Friday we will start posting spellings and other home learning tasks related to what the children are doing in class.


For this week, however, we thought it would be fun if we had a Seesaw Wildlife Photography Competition.


So, when you are out and about over the next week, take some snaps of all things wildlife and post them on your class Seesaw page so your classmates can enjoy them. You’ll be in with a chance of winning a special 'Seesaw Wildlife Photography Competition' award!



Look out for your Mailbag every Friday.