Mailbag 4 September 2020


Mailbag 4 September 2020     Plain text for Google Translate


It has been absolutely lovely to welcome all of our children and staff back this week and there has been a real sense of togetherness.


Heraclitus of Ephesus, an ancient Greek philosopher, is most famous for his theory of ever-present change, or flux, as the very nature of life. He observed that nature is constantly changing: cold things grow hot, the hot cools, the wet dries, the parched moistens.


That’s certainly been true since March 21st!  We’ve had nothing but change - change by the bucket load!


We have a robust risk assessment in place which we adapt as the official guidelines alter.


Whilst none of us are experts on infectious diseases, we do all have common sense!

I would like to thank those of you that have contacted us this week with thoughts and ideas for improving our processes, particularly pick up and drop off arrangements. Rest assured that we will keep tweaking until we find what works best. We are making changes to mitigate the congestion at the School Road/Arnos Street entrances - see below.


As we start this term, we may have a slightly better understanding of the direction of travel but it’s likely that we’ll encounter new challenges on the journey. We will continue to use our common sense.


Thank you for showing compassion and respect for other people’s boundaries. Fellow parents in our community, the school staff and our children have all had different Lockdown experiences. Some might need more time or more space at the school entrances and exits. They might be particularly vulnerable themselves, have someone in their family who is at high risk, or just be feeling anxious - please continue to be mindful and tolerant and give people space.


We are so impressed with the resilience the children are showing in the face of all the changes. We will continue to nurture them and tell them how remarkable they are, and we’ll never stop having sky-high expectations for them.

Drop off/Pick up points - As you know, we are using every available school entrance to keep our ‘bubbles’ separate. The School Road and Arnos Street entrances are close together, which has made social distancing a challenge this week. Here are the measures we are putting in place to help:


  • Staff presence - Ms Norman and/or Mr McIntyre are overseeing drop off and pick up.
  • We are asking parents not to drive down School Road and Arnos Street. If you drive your child to school please park WELL away from any of our entrances.
  • We have leafleted the local area asking residents to avoid driving down Arnos and School Roads at drop off and pick up times if possible, and to drive with extreme caution if they have no choice.
  • Only one adult dropping off or collecting, please. (If your child lives close to a friend in their class, perhaps parents could organise a pick up/drop off rota.)  
  • We are opening the gates in good time so that we can get the children off the pavement and in through the gate as they arrive.


Secondary School applications - If your child was born between 1 September 2009 and 31 August 2010 you will need to apply for a school place by 31 October 2020. You can find all the details about what you need to do, and make your on-line application, on our school website HERE. Please visit the websites of the schools you are interested in to find out what arrangements they are making for open days this year.


Yr 6 Seesaw - Apologies to Year 6 parents who may have been expecting their Seesaw logins today we just need you to sign the permission letter, downloadable HERE, and we can give out their logins from Monday.


Year 4 Parents - Please can you form a socially distanced queue at the main entrance pick up point at the end of the day, using the sign on the railing which says keep left?  We will send your child to you when you reach the front of the queue. This will make it quicker and safer for everyone as you won’t have to stand in the road, and we will be able to hear who is being collected and see who is collecting each child. Thank you for your understanding and co-operation with this during these unusual times.  Mrs Loader, Miss Silver and Miss Perkins.


Fish Finger Fridays are returning! It won’t be sandwiches forever… from Friday 18th September, the kitchen will be delivering take away style fish fingers and chips and beans/peas to the classrooms on Fridays. Children can still choose the school packed lunch or, of course, bring a packed lunch from home, if they prefer.



Curriculum Meetings for parents - Some year groups have already had their Zoom meeting, others are happening next week. We are emailing log in details to you. (We will put the slides from the meetings on the year group pages on the website so you can have a look if you are not available to join the meeting.)



Attention Year 6 children! Do you have what it takes to lead Hillcrest into a bright new future? Are you one of the great leaders of tomorrow? If so, then we would love you to enter the House Captain or School Council election race. Elections will take place in the week beginning Monday 14th September and we will announce the winners in the Mailbag on Friday 18th September.


To put yourself forward for election, you need to create a video (lasting approximately one minute) telling Hillcrest why you want to be a House Captain or a School Councillor, what qualities you will bring to the role you are applying for and how you plan to make a positive difference to Hillcrest.


Please send your video either to your class teacher or upload it to Seesaw, by Monday 14th.


Ms Norman on the radio - Huge apologies to people who tuned in to listen to Radio Bristol at 8.50pm last night. She was actually on at 8.10AM yesterday (she's blaming not having her glasses on when she sent the message!) to talk about reopening. Apparently, Hillcrest was one of the first primary schools in Bristol to have children back in this week. You should be able to listen on catch up.





Yrs 1 - 6 Seesaw permission letter - please sign and return



Look out for your next Mailbag on Friday.