Children will continue to be kept in ‘bubbles’ and will not mix with other bubbles to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. However, from September our bubbles are our year groups rather than groups of 15; this is fully in line with government advice.
Our drop off and pick up times will still be staggered and once the children are on site, we will separate them into their bubbles. The staggered times gives us a chance to get the children on site, in their classrooms/ out of their classrooms and off site, whilst avoiding direct contact with other bubbles.
For this reason, we ask that you help us by sticking to your child’s allotted time slot and helping the start and end of the day to be as smooth and quick as possible. If your child arrives on site 15 minutes after the time their teaching day has started, they will be marked as late in the usual way. We have always recorded lates in this way.
Please note, from September there will be no playtime before school begins and children will go straight to their bubbles. We will have plenty of staff on hand to supervise and take care of the children as they are taken straight into their classrooms.
For your convenience, we have introduced ‘Holding Time’ so that children can be supervised in class before/after school to assist parents with children in multiple year groups to have one drop off and pick up time. ‘Holding time’ also supports parents who are signed up to Breakfast Club and After School Club.
This will mean that if parents have several children, then one of them may enter their bubble before their start time.
For example, a parent with a year 3 child and a year 6 child may wish to do the following: when they drop off the year 3 child for 8:45am, the year 6 child can also be dropped off to utilise ‘Holding Time’, where they will wait for the year 6 teaching day to officially start at 9:00am. Likewise, instead of picking up the year 3 child at 3:15pm and waiting until 3:30pm for the year 6 child, the year 3 child would utilise ‘Holding Time’ at the end of the day so that the parent could collect both children at 3:30pm.
Holding time is a supervision and not teaching time, activities will be provided by the teacher until the school day starts for their bubble.
For working parents, we will be providing Breakfast and After School Club as normal.
This must be booked through our online booking system for the whole term. This is to enable us to plan carefully for our provision. We will let you know when this goes live. You don’t need to use it every day but we are asking for planned commitment to allow us to plan for everyone’s safety.
We will not be taking temperatures on arrival from September. If any children or adults in school display Covid symptoms, as per the government guidelines, they will be isolated immediately and we will phone home so they can be collected. That person will need to be tested. If the test is negative they will be able to return to school as soon as they have recovered. If the test is positive, they will need to self-isolate for 7 days. We will also be forced to close their bubble for 14 days.
In the case of a bubble being closed we will inform parents and send all children and adults home from that bubble. The teachers of those bubbles will then revert to remote home learning, from the next school day.
In order for us to meet the guidelines, we have also found it necessary to restrict parents on site for the time being. We understand this is not ideal and we hope you will continue to feel able to contact us and approach us if you need to discuss anything about your child. Therefore, the following applies;
- Parent meetings can be made by appointment but 24 hours’ notice must be given
- Meetings to happen in open spaces where possible
- No parents on site without an appointment
As part of our ongoing plan to support our children’s and families’ well-being during the return to school, we are inviting you to complete an on-line survey to let us know of anything significant which may have happened during your children’s lives during the pandemic or whether you have any concerns about their well-being which we may need to know about to support them in school.
Here is the link to the survey:
If you would prefer to speak to your child’s new teacher or with a member of our well-being team if
your child is experiencing significant anxiety, please contact the school office to arrange this.
Thistle Hill Academy is a Primary School on the Isle of Sheppey
Please take a good look around our website where you can find lots of information about our school. You can scroll through this page and then use the navigation at the top of this page for even more information.
To help parents get a feel for our school and in particular our EYFS, watch our video to see a ‘day in the life’ of our reception classes. Filmed with our current reception children, we hope you can see how settled, happy and engaged in learning these young children already are.
Do you want to help your child’s transition into their first year at school?
Then join our Rising 4s facebook group!
In our group you can:
- Get weekly video updates from EYFS staff
- Become familiar with our school setting
- Enjoy a story or fun activity with school staff
- Build new friendships with other parents and children
- Receive lots of fun activities for your children to complete at home
- Ask the EYFS Team questions about starting school
Engaging and rich EYFS experiences
Our children are excited and motivated to engage in rich and challenging experiences, both inside and outside of their classroom. We have high ambitions for all of our children, with staff planning carefully to meet each child’s needs and stage of development, ensuring our children get off to a great start in their education. Child initiated play based learning is at the heart of our practice. where we carefully plan for opportunities, activities and experiences that develop all of our children into independent, resilient and confident learners.
Wrap Around Care
We recognise the importance of providing childcare options to assist working parents.
Thistle Hill Academy is open from 7:30am – 6:00pm Monday to Friday.
As well as our Breakfast Club and After School Club, we offer a range of free Extra-Curricular Clubs every term that children can take part in after school.
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An Engaging Curriculum
Within carefully selected topics, our children make meaningful links between Art, Music, History, Geography, Design Technology, English, Mathematics and Science.
They are helped to understand how these subjects bring a deeper understanding to their lives, other people and the world.
Children are given the opportunity to attend numerous educational visits linked to their topic and are regularly visited by a variety of interesting professional who give talks or provide exciting workshops.
A LOVE of reading
Our broad and balanced curriculum ensures that teaching of reading is tailored to the children, with a clear understanding of the skills needed to be a successful reader and how these develop during each term and year. Teachers are clear of the barriers to learning to read and are forensic in identifying these in individual pupils and groups and they use a range of strategies to overcome these, including careful deployment of skilled adults.
Take a look back at last year
It was a memorable year for all children, parents and staff at schools in The Stour Academy Trust.