Mailbag 12 February 2021
Mailbag 12 February 2021 - Plain text version for Google Translate
What a fantastic way to end the term! I hope you enjoyed the themed days as much as the staff enjoyed planning them.
It was a delight to receive so many pictures of the children’s inventive responses to the Baked Bean Challenge and their colourful designs for the Buddy Bench and Food Compost Bins (Click on the links to have a look at a selection). I still can't decide on one particular design so I am going to ask the staff to help me choose.
A massive thank you to all our staff this term, including the office team, lunchtime staff, teaching assistants and, of course, Mr Dean. Your passion, enthusiasm and level of engagement with the children in your classes has never wavered. I hope you have a well-deserved break over half term.
I’d also like to thank the Shabir family, who treated everyone working in school yesterday to a delicious, home-made curry lunch! What a kind thing to do - it was very much appreciated by all.
If you have already completed the Home Learning survey, thank you. If not, please would you take a few minutes to do it? Click on Home Learning Survey or use the link on the Home page of the website. We would appreciate your feedback on what’s working well and things we could do better, for the home learning that still lies ahead.
As you are aware, we are still awaiting the next announcement from the government about when primary schools will be able to open fully again. The target date is 8th March but this, of course, depends on the ‘containment’ of the Coronavirus. We will keep you updated on any information that we receive from the Government and DFE.
Have a good half term. Friends of Hillcrest have organised some fun competitions for all the family!
Friends of Hillcrest Half Term Activities - Download the instructions for the Pancake Scavenger Hunt, find out how to enter the Best Decorated Pancake competition and read about the search for Hillcrest’s Champion Pancake Flipper 2021 on the Hillcrest Social page HERE.
From the Crest of the Hill - The next episode of our very own Hillcrest podcast is ready to listen to HERE. It’s hosted by Ruben and Moses and features:
- Voices from the playground - Children from across the school tell us how they are staying positive during lockdown
- Dear Miss Norman - Our headteacher celebrates children’s learning from across the school
- Chatty Children - Roving reporter Mabel C finds out more about Iraq
- Teacher Tales - The second in our series of ‘No Outsiders’ stories where teachers tell their own personal tales of resilience
Friday lunches - As parents of children currently in school already know, we will be closing the school at midday on Fridays after half term. Children can still order a school packed lunch to take home with them if you wish.
Free Piano - We need to find a new home for the upright piano from the Music Room (we have one in the big hall and don’t need two). If you, or someone you know, is interested please drop us an email. You would need to arrange your own collection and transport.
CoMMinS COVID Study extended to include Years 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 - As you may know, Hillcrest (along with many other schools across the city) is supporting the CoMMinS study, an urgent public health research study of Covid-19 transmission in schools. This study involves University of Bristol researchers visiting the school, in full PPE, to collect saliva samples from children and staff. These samples are tested for current infection in a University of Bristol lab, using a test that is as accurate as the NHS swab PCR test. The test is non-invasive (just dribbling into a vial) and doesn't cause any discomfort. The test is not related to vaccines at all.
Despite the welcome news that vaccines are now being given out, this study is still important. Vaccination protects most people from getting seriously ill with COVID-19 but scientists do not yet have a clear picture of how, or whether, the vaccine changes how Covid spreads. This is an important question that the CoMMinS study will seek to answer as more people have the jab, and the study team would like people to take part whether they have had a vaccination or not.
Participation was initially to children in Yrs 2 and 5 and school staff. Once all the children are back at school, however, it will be open to any child, from Year 2 upwards. Obviously, we don’t yet know when this will be but the team would like to get the new participants registered over half term, to be ready.
If you haven't yet signed up to the study but would like your child to be involved, please watch the study YouTube video with your child: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EK5lpoLTfB0.
Then please read the study information sheet, and provide your consent and contact details if you want to go ahead, by visiting this link:
If you have any questions about the research, please contact the study team by emailing
If your child is already signed up to the study, there is no need to do anything further. The next sampling visit from the team, just for those children who will be in school anyway on that day, will be on Wednesday 24th February.
Dojonator results: https://youtu.be/XJYsj_l0zOo
Reception - Yr 2 Celebration Assembly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_QsmX83bK8&feature=youtu.be&safe=active
Yr 3 - 6 Celebration Assembly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAMaO4iGGUc&feature=youtu.be&safe=active
Art Challenge - Let’s Make a Sky Diary (for Week 1 of next term but it’s a fun activity for half term)
Children’s University February Newsletter - Including half term activities. For all, not just CU members.
Families in Focus Bulletin - Information & Support for Families, Parents & Young People
Look out for your next Mailbag on Friday 26th February.