Mailbag 12 June 2020


Mailbag 12 June 2020   Plain text version for Google Translate


We have been truly bowled over by the fantastic attitude, behaviour and general smiley-ness of our Year 1 children over the last two weeks and we can’t wait to welcome in Reception and Year 6 from Monday 15th June.


Like many of you since the start of lockdown, I have listened daily to the government’s 5pm briefings. What I hadn’t realised is that some of you, not unreasonably, have assumed that I was privy to schools-related information in advance. I can assure you that this is not the case! When you hear these announcements for the first time, so do I. So when the Prime Minister’s ambition regarding full primary opening before the Summer was announced I, like many of you, wondered what this would look like in practice.


As you will have heard, this is no longer the expectation. From Monday we will be using all of our fourteen classrooms. Twelve of these will be used for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 and the remaining two will accommodate our key workers’ children.


Last night I listened as a plan to open up schools for ‘catch up’ sessions was announced and I have today been emailed by several parents asking me what that will look like at Hillcrest.


I can say that, although the school building will be open during the summer holidays for the Future Stars Holiday Club, we will not be providing ‘catch up’ lessons for our children, nor will we be open for key workers’ children. The Summer holidays will be a time for the staff to switch off and recharge.


Regarding September, I, like you, await further announcements from central government. I was reassured today by the Director of Education and Skills for Bristol’s announcement to local Headteachers that Local Authority schools will know of the arrangements for September BEFORE we break up for the Summer holidays. I will, of course, pass these on to you.


Future Stars Holiday Club - Booking for the Summer holidays opens at 3.30pm on Monday. Places are limited so don’t delay. You can find all the details here.



Yr 6 Returners - We can’t wait to see you on Monday!

  • Please bring a pencil case
  • Please bring a reading book
  • Please wear clothes you can do physical activity in but don't bring a separate P.E. kit
  • Please bring a water bottle, clearly labelled with your name


Reception & Yr 1 - Please don’t allow your child to bring in any toys, cuddlies or show and tell items at the moment. Thank you.



Hello Online Learners - Do you like seeing teachers do things they don’t want to do? Like maybe getting drenched in water or perhaps even having lots of beanbags thrown at them? Well then, the Hillcrest House Point competition is the competition for you!


You can earn up to five House Points a day, every day, for your house. It is up to your parents what you earn the House Points for - it could be one for doing a writing activity; one for a maths activity; one for reading; one for tidying your room; or one for not annoying your little sister for a couple of hours.


Simply email your House Points to at the end of each day (making sure to clearly state which house you are in) and post them on Seesaw, too, for your classmates to see. The house with the most points will get to send in suggestions for a teacher forfeit which you will then vote on. The resulting video will only be sent to members of that house.


What are you waiting for? Get earning those House Points!


(Check out Mr Mac’s video about the competition on the Lockdown Social page here!)




Do you receive any of these benefits?


  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit - if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)


If so, you can apply for Free School Meals.


The Department for Education is currently giving supermarket vouchers to families of Pupil Premium children who are not in school because of the pandemic.


Even if your child normally has Universal Free School Meals because they are in Reception, Yr 1 and Yr 2, if you are in receipt of any of these benefits please complete the Pupil Premium Checker form and send it to us so we can check if you qualify for Pupil Premium.


This is extra funding (around £1,320 per year) paid directly to the school for every child who is eligible for Free School Meals throughout their time at Hillcrest. It pays for things like school trips and additional teachers and assistants to provide extra support and one to one tutoring. This money makes a big difference to schools and the eligible pupils.





New in Learning at Home

  • BBC Bitesize SEND toolkit on Mrs Sewell’s SEND & Additional Needs information page here.
  • French food activities from Miss Wilson on her French page here.
  • Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s on line children’s project on Mrs Price’s Music page here.
  • Next week’s Art activity from Mrs Bonner on the Department of Art page here.
  • Anti racism resources under SPESCH on the Resources for Home Learning page here.




Mr Barham’s Big Run!


I am going to be running 105km (two and a half marathons) to raise money for Show Racism the Red Card. I’ll be running laps around Redcatch Park, over 10 straight days, starting at 4pm on Monday 22nd June.


I would love it if children from Year 3 either join in for some of it or do their own sponsored exercise challenge for the same charity.


Come along, show support, donate or even run a bit with me.   


This is my Just Giving page: 


Thank you


Dan Barham



Sam, Tom and Betty Hague read about Mr Barham’s Big Run on the Social page and have already been inspired to raise money for Show Racism the Red Card too! They have decided they are going to climb the stairs the equivalent height of Snowdon, and Sam is going to mountainboard our local park the height of Snowdon too, but twice. This will take place over two days later in June. 


If you would like to support their imaginative fundraising efforts go to their Just Giving page:



The Hombre and Harris Lockdown Link Up 10-11AM - SATURDAY 13th JUNE

In this week’s edition of Link Up we’ll hear from Kate who manages the amazing Community Garden in Redcatch Park, plus local superstar artist Anna Marrow. Harris' cousin Hana tells us about school life in Sydney down under and Maya recommends a good read for any Famous Five/Secret Seven/Malory Towers lovers out there. Use Mixlr's chat function to request a shout-out or ask for a dedication. Read more here.




Look out for your next Mailbag on Tuesday.