Letters Home / Latest News
Please use this page to read copies of letters that are sent home over the year, just click on the links below to open the letter you want to read.
For the most recent letters home regarding Covid-19, please see the Covid-19 information section of the website
SECAT NEWSLETTER - February 2021:
Please see the attachment at the bottom of the page to read the latest news and updates from SECAT this half term.
In the event of disruption caused by heavy snow, the prime concern of the Trust is to always ensure the safety of the pupils and staff in our schools.
However, if the weather is not serious enough to close a school and the school remains open, the decision whether or not to send a pupil to school must be at the discretion of the parents. However, the expectation is that pupils who live within walking distance should attend.
The Trust’s aim is for the schools to remain open in the event of snow.
However, there are certain factors which may lead to any or all of our schools closing, such as whether:
- enough staff are able to journey to and from school safely in order to provide safe care for the children;
- the severity of the weather conditions is such that it is unlikely that sufficient senior staff are able to get into school to open safely;
- the school has sufficient heating, lighting and hot water to function appropriately;
- the school can provide lunch for the children;
- following an assessment of the site, the school grounds are considered safe for children, parents and staff;
- external agencies, e.g. police, local government, motoring organisations, etc. are advising against school travel in our area.
If any of our schools are to be closed we will declare this a ‘Snow Day’ and will send a communication (whichever way each school normally does) as soon as possible and normally by 7.30am on the day. The school/s will also notify parents via the website and school app as well as by the local radio stations’ announcements.
In the current pandemic, we have excellent remote learning provision already in place. This will automatically be accessed by pupils who are normally in school at this time, but who are not able to because of the school closure or their parents/carers exercise their right to keep them at home.
We will update our website: www.richmond-avenue.co.uk normally by 7:30am on the day to provide information to parents/carers to inform them whether the school will be open or closed in the event of a snow or school closure day. The school will also notify parents via the local radio announcements: Heart FM / Essex Radio as soon as possible and normally by 7:30am.
If you have any further questions or queries, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
SECAT Letter - New Headteacher Appointment
The Trust Board are delighted to announce the appointment of Miss Kate Moneypenny as the new headteacher for our super Richmond Avenue Primary and Nursery School and community.
Miss Moneypenny fought off stiff competition over an intensive process, culminating in a two day assessment period. The pupils, governors and executive team were all involved in the process from the beginning, helping to form the key attributes they wanted for their headteacher and assess their responses to tasks and interviews.
We extend a big thank you especially to the pupils who helped us in our search. They put forward some marvellous questions for the candidates. Our thanks also to the staff who did a great job facilitating the process and supporting the pupils through it.
We are thrilled for the pupils, staff, parents and community at Richmond Avenue Primary and Nursery School and we know they will move from strength to strength under her leadership. The Trust Board are looking forward to working with and supporting her in her new role.
Welcome, Miss Moneypenny!
Chair of Trust Board
SECAT Letter - School Gates Campaign (5.11.2020)
Dear Parents and Carers
Welcome back after the half term. I do hope that you and your loved ones are all safe and well and managing to keep upbeat at this time. We know how difficult this second lockdown is for all in the community and further afield.
As we enter the second half of the autumn term, collectively, we face another challenge. A second lockdown was not what we all wanted but has been deemed necessary. However, as per Government guidance, we continue to open our schools, keep your children safe and ensure they learn and have some normality at this challenging time.
It is refreshing to receive emails that congratulate us on how well you feel SECAT schools have managed the return to school. It continues to challenge all of us, but you too are to be congratulated. You support your children and their schools constantly and we thank you all for that.
Having received some communication from parents regarding the ‘Southend School Gate’ campaign that all SECAT schools entered into, I would like to take this opportunity to address some concerns that have been raised.
I will add that this campaign is causing much consternation across the Borough. Interestingly, from what appears to be two opposing camps.
I hope it will be helpful if I explained to you - in case you did not know - that the Executive Team meet fortnightly and communicate regularly in between. All of the Headteachers are an integral part of that team which also consists of me, the Chief Operations Officer, Finance Director and managers of HR and ICT.
When the initiative came to us, we spent much time debating it. Our risk assessments were already amended (as they are almost daily when we receive the DfE announcements) but some schools were encountering additional concerns where there was bottle-necking at entrances, too many people for the available road/pavement, or other reasons.
We researched how many other schools in Southend were joining the initiative. Almost all. Whilst that did not directly impact on our decision, it would be wrong to say it was not part of our decision-making process.
It was decided that we would make a request in line with guidance about social distancing. We would not simply release the poster. We felt that this wasn’t right for our community and not appropriate for some schools, where parents have told us they prefer to read information in newsletters rather than as attachments.
We agreed the wording and that each Head Teacher would decide where in their newsletter they would put it.
We recognise that we cannot police it and will not attempt to do so. Our basis for the decision and recommendation was around the Government guidance of ‘if you cannot socially distance, wear a mask’.
The Trust Board fully supports the stance we have taken and are aware of the concerns parents on both sides have presented. Not to mention the concerns that the Local Authority are managing across the Borough about this initiative.
I am in constant contact with Brin Martin at the Local Authority and have had several communications with Public Health. We are all jointly satisfied not just with this action that we took at SECAT, but also with the superb way we at SECAT have collectively managed the COVID pandemic.
Individual parents have had responses to letters or emails, from me or their headteachers depending on who they wrote to. I hope that this letter further explains the process and the involvement of Headteachers in that process as part of SECAT’s Executive Team.
I hope you have a good rest of the half term and that you remain safe and well.
Chief Executive Officer
Friday 4th September 2020
Dear Parents/ Carers,
As the start of the school year draws close, we wanted to let you know that we are all looking forward to seeing all the children and welcoming everybody back to school next week.
Staff have been busy over the Summer Holidays preparing for children to return and the school may look and feel different. We are establishing new procedures and school rules to help everybody feel safe and be protected ready for all to return on Monday 7th September.
There are many changes in line with Government and DfE guidance, so please read through the whole of the attached guidance carefully which, along with the School Risk Assessment (available on our website) provide important information about returning to school.
We will share and guide children through the new expectations in as child friendly way as possible within their classes in an age appropriate way. We want children to enjoy their return to school, ensuring that they continue to feel safe, secure and cared for whilst with us each day.
We understand that returning to school will be an exciting prospect for many but also that some may be reluctant or anxious. Please spend some time explaining the information in the Parent Guide and from the messages sent out on the App and Facebook page throughout this week in the most appropriate way for your child. We will, where possible be following the 2m social distancing rule - some children are unlikely to understand what 2 metres looks like so it would be useful to show them this at home. You can also help by teaching them how to wash their hands thoroughly.
Parents are also encouraged to visit the Government website to help them plan for their children’s return to school. This includes the latest update to ‘what parents need to know’ https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak
©ELSA support have produced an excellent ‘Back to school after coronavirus story’ which
you can access here: https://www.elsa-support.co.uk/back-to-school-after-coronavirus-story/
We also recommend watching the following video with your child, younger children.
We hope that these measures will prove temporary and we shall of course keep you informed of any change in guidance and practice. If you have any questions or queries, please email the school office email address email@example.com.
We would like to reassure you that we will continue to make the school as safe as it can be and look forward to seeing all of the children on Monday 7th September.
Thank you in advance as we work together to keep your children and the school staff as safe as possible so that we can all return to what we enjoy most, supporting your children in achieving and learning together.
On Site Lead
For the full letter and Parent guide, please scroll to the attachment at the bottom of the page
Other letters regarding COVID-19 are available on the Coronavirus update pages
New School Year Information:
To help prepare pupils for the new academic year, transition packs have been made available to all pupils.
The packs included a letter regarding the new term - which can be read here
Teachers working in each year group can be found on the 'Our Staff' page of this site
The packs also contained a summary information sheet / FAQ's about the autumn return which can be read below:
If you, or any member of your household has a high temperature or a new cough, then all in the household should self isolate for 14 days. Please do not come to school. You only need to call school on hte first day of absence to notify of isolation.
If you have any concerns about the Coronavirus in you or your child, please call 111.
The Government and NHS are well prepared to deal with this virus. You can help too.
Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19, especially washing hands more; and the catch it, bin it, kill it strategy for those with coughs and sneezes.
Wash your hands more often for 20 seconds with soap and hot water.
In addition to handwashing before eating and after sneezing, you should also wash hands after using toilets and after travelling on public transport.
Germs can live on some surfaces for hours. To protect yourself and others:
- Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze.
- Bin the tissue, and to kill the germs, wash your hands with soap and water, or use a sanitiser gel.
- If you have arrived back from China within 14 days follow the specific advice for returning travellers.
This is the best way to slow the spread of almost any germs, including Coronavirus.
For further information, please visit: