Bridge Schools is an empowered learning community committed to creating the best environment for its pupils to learn and grow. Our schools all have their individual identities and their own stories to tell. Bridge Stories allows our pupils the chance to explore, to connect and to have their voices heard. Stories are an essential part of the human experience: they inspire, they bring hope, they reassure us, they teach us something new and they allow us to imagine. They connect us.
Our young journalists are creating the stories, features and messages they wish to share - reporting from their own schools or reaching out to report on events across the trust. As such, they are active members of a much wider community, exploring the experiences of others, whilst reflecting on the ways in which our Bridge values have been brought to life as they document these through interviews, articles and images.
Following an external review and project support from the professional marketing team ‘Stranger Collective’, we are proud that our trust ethos was recognised and validated. We are ‘stronger together’ because of our shared values, ‘stronger together’ because of our shared practice, and essentially, we are ‘stronger together’ because we embody the mindset and the research that states that ‘collective teacher efficacy’ has the greatest impact on teaching and learning (Hattie, 2019). Inspirational teachers help foster curiosity and as a consequence, our inspired and curious children have stories they want to share with the world. Hence, the concept of Bridge Stories was born.
See for yourself how this philosophy shines throughout the Bridge Stories and we are sure that you will see why we are so proud to be sharing this new platform with our schools, families and external partners.
A team at Duloe have been crowned champions at a Lego robotics competition run by Cognition Learning in Bude. The children had to compete against a number of other schools. They built their Lego robots, wrote code to direct them and gave a presentation to the judges. The children were an absolute credit to the school. We are so proud of what they have achieved and learnt through their determination and creativity.
A huge thank you also to all the parents who supported the children on the day. We couldn't have done it without them.
We had such good feedback for our Bridge Schools Trust Advent Calendar that we thought we'd leave it up for January too so you can enjoy the great snippets from each of our schools.
Click the picture or this link to view the calendar.
We hope you enjoy the lovely work the children have done.
Best wishes, Adrian Massey - Chief Executive
VIEWING NOTES: The Advent calendar is optimally viewed in full screen on a high resolution monitor (desktop or laptop) and by expanding any video to full window size by using the 'in window' controls, where you can also adjust the sound. If you don't see the view to the left (or similar - each box will only be revealed as each day arrives) then use your browser menu under 'View' to 'Zoom-Out'. Use the 'Back' box in the bottom right corner to navigate back to the main screen when you have clicked in to view each days content. The Advent will work on a mobile device but you may experience a slightly different view. If you spot any bugs please email John Wareham.
Good morning everyone, An auspicious day today with Remembrance. The eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month. I know everyone will find time today to remember the fallen. Our Trust English Lead Dani Towe has pulled together the two projects outlined below for our schools to be represented in France to commemorate Wilfred Owen and his poetry from the First World War; as well working with The Eden Project to allow our children’s work to be seen at COP26. Big projects to extend thinking and learning for the children and us as staff. Thank you to the school staff involved - you have put Bridge Schools out there on the world stage, demonstrating our commitment to these important issues
Last week, poetry created by pupils at Polperro Primary Academy and St Cleer Primary Academy was celebrated in a very special international project led by Dani and Sally Crabtree (international poet and official ambassador for National Poetry Day). Sally took the poems to be exhibited at the Wilfred Owen Museum in Ors, (see below) which is built upon the site of the forester’s house where Wilfred Owen hid in the cellar and wrote his last letter home to his mother the night before he was shot in 1917. The poetry also formed part of a special commemorative ceremony for the lead up to Remembrance Day. French pupils read out some of the poems in an evening concert attended by the local mayor, those serving in the forces and members of the Wilfred Owen Museum. The poems focus on the experiences of the soldiers in the trenches in World War 1 and are inspired by learning about Wilfred Owen and reading the poems of the great war poets, who used poetry to record the events and emotions of that time.
We are very proud of the children’s work; the project really has shown the importance of cultural exchanges and creativity within a global pandemic. Having helped to draw the project together with Sally, we have worked with teachers and students who have shown real talent and creativity, as well as great empathy for the feelings of those brave soldiers. It was wonderful that Sally stayed in touch from France, sending through photos and clips of the ceremony that could be seen by the pupils in each school. It is also testament to the resilience and courage we have seen in our schools over the past 2 years that we can still come together to mark these important occasions – from different schools, in different geographical areas – with students of different ages; united in their determination to express the reasons why we remember the most poignant moments in history, and are thankful.
Whilst all 90 poems from Bridge Schools are now in France on exhibition, Sally also judged the top 3 entries from each school and the winners will receive their prizes later this week.
Following the success of our large-scale collaborative project with Eden in the lockdowns based on ‘The Lost Words’, Eden have since taken it to be showcased at the ‘mini Eden’ built for COP 26 in Glasgow.
Our young ‘Eden Ambassadors’ (from Wadebridge, St Cleer, Duloe and Polperro) are now ‘teaching’ children across the world how to research like scientists and write pieces or create illustrations that contain an environmental message. Bran Howell (Eden) who is attending the event with Sir Tim Smit, has been talking about and promoting our project to many this week, including the Chilean President (Photo 3 below) and Sky Youth News. The majority of the children who took part in the project during lockdown have also had their written work featured on the resource. Here is a reminder of the webpage on the Eden website featuring the Eden Ambassadors and the work of those who took part in writing or drawing a piece for the project last year: https://www.edenproject.com/learn/schools/school-lesson-plans/found-words
We are all very proud of the work the children have produced and how articulately they conveyed the messages about conservation.
Take some time today to remember and then reflect on those things in your life which make you feel fortunate.
Take care everyone.
Adrian Massey - Chief Executive
Welcome back! I hope you are well and enjoyed the summer.
The children have all returned to school, happy to see friends and start new learning. They look so smart and tidy in their uniforms, thank you. Everyone has seen a good start to term, we all look forward to increasing learning opportunities for your children.
Our schools are taking part in the school-led tutoring programme where appropriate, using recovery funding to release staff to take small groups to focus efforts to make good progress. Despite three lockdowns, self-isolation and all the challenges COVID brought to us, we still managed to average our normal 3 points of progress with the children. This is a fantastic result to keep learning moving forwards and testament to a strong staff team who did everything they could to support your children. The same staff team are in place- with a few new welcome additions, I have every confidence they will be able to do the same again this year for your children.
Buildings and IT Projects
We took the opportunity to complete a number of building projects while the schools were empty over the summer, investing £441,000 as well as working through upgrading lighting systems spending £81,000. The final parts of the IT spend were completed providing 470 iPads, 10 iPad charging trolleys, 30 Desktop PC’s and monitors, 50 webcams, 25 Staff laptops, 3 new servers (moved to cloud-based systems), 16 new 65” Classroom Smart screens and 3 new 75” Hall screens, 3 Telephone systems, 4 whole school Wi-Fi systems, and 4 schools were upgraded to Gigabit broadband, with over £100K of DfE funding secured. All in all, a successful year of improved resources for children and learning.
18 months ago, COVID changed everything for all of us, and the fight continues. The government’s rules have changed, but we will continue to work within them. Bubbles have gone, as have some of the follow-on aspects of guidance. I have copied some of that information provided by the Local Authority below.
As you will have seen from media, there are more cases around, Cornwall had a huge spike during the summer with Boardmasters and other events as well as the increase in visitor numbers. This has now thankfully dropped to come back in line with England’s average, but we all need to continue to take care. We have already seen several positive cases across schools. We know that you may find this concerning, but we are continuing to monitor the situation. The information in this letter is to inform you of the current situation and provide advice on how to support your child. Please be reassured that for most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.
Following the change in guidance on 19 July 2021, the school setting will continue to ensure confirmed cases of COVID-19 do not attend until the end of their self-isolation period but contact tracing within the school setting will no longer continue. To help prevent avoidable spread, we encourage staff to continue with the twice weekly LFD testing, follow-up any positive results with a confirmatory PCR test. Families need to be vigilant for symptoms, there are walk in testing facilities in Liskeard on Westbourne Car Park as well as Wadebridge.
Advice to All Parents - Warn and Inform
I would like to encourage all parents to consider taking up the offer of protection with two doses of the covid vaccine. You can book through the NHS portal.
If you have any concerns about the vaccine then please find links to the NHS Kernow website which has some Frequently Asked Questions to help you.
Our schools remain open, and your child should continue to attend as normal if they remain well. Please speak to schools if you have any concerns.
What to do if your child develops symptoms of COVID-19
If your child develops symptoms of COVID-19 at any time, however mild, please isolate as a household and book a test for the person with symptoms (even if they have already taken a test). Symptoms of COVID-19 are:
A new, continuous cough, and/or
- A temperature, and/or
- A loss of, or change to, sense of test and/or smell.
You can book a test through https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or by calling 119. If the test is negative, your child can return to school once they are well and have been fever free (without the support of paracetamol of Calpol) for at least 24 hours.
If the test is positive only unvaccinated members of your household over the age of 18 years must self-isolate for 10 days from the date symptoms started. If other household members become unwell they need to extend their isolation period as shown in this infographic.
Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable should be supported to minimise their contact with other people in the household during this period, regardless of whether others have symptoms or not.
If you are concerned about your child’s symptoms, or they are worsening you can seek advice from NHS 111 at https://111.nhs.uk/ or by phoning 111. For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.
Household members staying at home for 10 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community.
How to stop COVID-19 spreading
There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with Covid-19
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- wash your hands as soon as you get home
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- Keep indoor spaces as well ventilated as possible – let the fresh air in, even if for a short period a day
- Participate in twice weekly LFD testing following national guidelines (recommended for 11 years and over).
We encourage you to log your results here: https://www.gov.uk/log-test-site-covid19-results
Further information is available at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
We want all our communities and schools to stay safe and well. By following the guidance above we can all play our part in reducing the number of cases. If new guidance is issued or things change, we will keep you informed.
I hope everyone enjoys a positive first half term.
With all good wishes,
Adrian Massey And everyone in Bridge Schools
Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope everyone continues to be well and you are enjoying the mini heatwave we have had over the last week.
Last summer when I wrote to you, we were only allowed to partially open our schools as we moved towards the summer holiday. I think we were all hoping COVID would disappear from our lives in the Autumn of last year – how wrong we were. Thankfully, we have had very low numbers of cases in our schools with only 12 occasions we have needed to close class bubbles this year. All children have been allowed back in school since March and the NHS vaccination programme has been rolled out to almost all adults. As you will have seen from communications from school heads, despite the law changing this week with the relaxing of some measures we are keeping everything in place in all our schools until the end of term, just to be safe.
Children are making better than expected progress
We have all adapted to the new circumstances using remote learning during the year where needed and utilising the small amount of additional catch-up money to ensure children make rapid progress. Normally we aim for 3 points of progress in an academic year one for each term but this time last year, with some children not having been able to be in school – we talked to staff about increasing expectations to help children to close any gaps staff could see. I am delighted to report that overall children have met this increased expectation with most children making more than 3 points of progress, some have made more than 4. Considering the amount of time schools were closed to all but children from critical workers where we were working remotely, this is an incredibly strong picture and helps all the children in readiness for the next academic year. We have some extremely hard working and talented staff who have brought this about by working in partnership across the trust. Thank you for helping to get children to school at the allotted time, following the guidance in place and supporting children with home learning. This has all helped to keep our attendance figures high and enabled us to make this amount of progress with your children.
Remote learning has been a big success this year. Despite reduced income we protected IT budgets over the last two years, which turns out to have been a good decision. Our IT Team of one and 2 part time technicians were almost there with capability before lockdowns were announced but COVID hastened our plans. We learned from the parent questionnaire over 700 of you kindly completed for us and adapted our approach. By the time lockdown 3 came we switched overnight to remote learning after opening schools for just one day. Everyone has worked through new learning and the new opportunities this method of delivery provides. Microsoft Teams has enabled us to run whole Trust INSET days as well as keep all staff and children in touch with each other. The Executive Heads and I can quickly update all heads and schools on new guidance as well as sharing ideas to fresh challenges. During the last year we have invested £218,000 in IT infrastructure and hardware for children in all our schools including:
iPad case x470
iPad charging / security trolleys x9
Desktop PC x28
Desktop monitors x28
Staff laptops x23
Servers x3 (moved to cloud)
Smart screens x19
Telephone systems x2
Wifi systems x4
Webcams / headsets x50
Gigabit broadband x4 schools
Total investment: £218k
Our small buildings team have stretched themselves to keep maintenance in buildings to a good standard. We are still advertising for two caretakers to join the team to increase capacity. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you know of someone who is interested in joining the team.
We apply each year to the Department for Education for CIF (Condition Improvement Fund) money to improve our buildings. Due to the skill of the team in writing the bids, we have been successful every year. This year we will receive grants totalling: £441,311 to add improvements to our school buildings on top of over £5,500,000 we have received in previous years.
Brunel window and door replacements = £326,436.36
Darite safeguarding = £ 41, 593.01
Pelynt safeguarding = £ 44,632.58
St Cleer safeguarding = £28,650.49
The criteria are very tight, we aren’t able to apply for everything we might like but it all helps to improve the environment for our children, families and staff in which to work and learn.
Parent questionnaire about communications
Thank you to everyone who filled in the latest parent questionnaire. Almost 70% of you prefer email as the best method to send communication, to read on a smartphone. We are obviously keen to reach an even higher number of you to keep you informed. One of the items raised in the questionnaire was some parents felt there isn’t enough information about the trust. I try to put as much as I can on the website www.bridgeschools.co.uk and limit the amount you receive here by email to be the latest updates. We will share more information in the Autumn Term.
Farewell Year 6 – Class of ‘21
Thank you for all your best efforts working with us this year and the previous years. For listening, working, reading and writing, adding, multiplying and dividing, experimenting, singing, spelling, understanding and giving, running, painting, acting and climbing – the mountain that has been your final year of Primary Education! We hope you have learned all you need to. Remember us and go on to achieve great things, we all wish you the very best.
We have an extraordinary group of people who have chosen to work with your children in Bridge Schools. Staff have gone above and beyond again this year to ensure your children have the very best opportunities possible. I would like to thank them for working through another extraordinary year to achieve great things for all the children in our schools. Governors, trustees and members have all given a great deal of time this year to test, challenge and support our ideas in delivering the recovery curriculum, my thanks also go to them. To you as parents working with us, I am also grateful. My greatest thanks and accolades go as ever to the children. This has been another topsy turvy year for them to navigate but they have done it, the assessments show their determination and ability to succeed despite the odds supported by all of us: staff, governors, trustees and parents working as one big Bridge Schools Team.
Our plan is to open all schools in September as normal, but we will see what happens with the Delta COVID variant and watch the news for the Prime Minister’s updates towards the end of the holiday. In the meantime, I hope everyone is able to stay safe and enjoy a lovely summer holiday, ready to face fresh challenges in the autumn.
With all good wishes,
Adrian Massey and everyone at Bridge Schools.
Dear everyone, There is so much to celebrate across Bridge Schools at the moment but this blog is just to say thank you – it’s thank a teacher day today!
As we are one team, I am thanking everyone, in whatever role you work you are there supporting children in getting the best education we can possibly manage – and our best is really strong!
So - in every language, in every way, thank you!
I hope you have had a great day!
Adrian Massey - Chief Executive
Join us on Tuesday 15th June where Wendy Delf, the UK's Visible Learning Lead Consultant (and Bridge Schools school improvement partner), will be talking to two of our Bridge Schools lead practitioners, Dani Towe and Katie Lee Elkins, three years after starting our journey with Osiris. We are proud to be associated with Osiris and even prouder that our staff will be leading the session with Wendy.
I hope everyone continues to be well and you are enjoying what we all hope is the beginning of some decent summer weather!
Our two Executive Heads Louise Gilbert and Sarah Sanson keep in contact with the schools by phone and email and
visit the schools regularly to help each school site. I have been visiting all the schools with them over the last few weeks to check everyone has everything they need and to identify how we continue to push forward to help children to make the necessary gains. Everyone has done an amazing job to welcome and settle children into a normal school routine this half term. The work around the classrooms exemplifies the high standard to which the children are working and is testament to the skill of staff in helping to give your children those exciting and interesting learning opportunities. I was at Pelynt yesterday and enjoyed joining Class 1 who were burning their best work in the form of houses they had made styled from 1666, concluding their studies to re-enact the Great Fire of London - it was a spectacle to behold! These are the memories staff in all our schools are helping children to acquire.
There are several updates I would like to share to keep you informed of developments across the Trust.
We have organised tables in most classrooms into rows but now schools are fully occupied, we will go back to grouped tables and remove the forward-facing arrangement to allow free flow around the classrooms where that is needed.
Secondary School colleagues have been operating class bubbles in year groups of 250 plus. After half term we will start to relax our class bubble system with small schools operating as one bubble, medium and large schools may wish to operate as Key Stage bubbles in EYFS, KS1 and KS2; heads will advise you of what is safe and logistically easy to manage on each school site.
New Central Office
Our landlord at Lanhydrock wanted a large rent increase as our lease with them comes to an end. With training and meetings mostly taking place on Microsoft Teams, it is unlikely we will need, or return to using the two training rooms so we started to look for a new, smaller office space. We have found a much more cost-effective alternative on the Callywith Business Park in Bodmin. We hope to make the move in July.
The new budget has been set to apportion our £10.5m for September 2021/22. We will carry forward a reserve after working through the last three years to stabilise our financial future paying off inherited school debts. Everyone in every school has helped us, working within a reduced public purse. We were congratulated by the Education Skills and Funding Agency on effecting such a quick turnaround. Our financial health puts us in the top quartile of all Trusts in the Southwest, which is a tremendous achievement.
School allocation of additional funds
By working together, we have saved over £1m of costs and added over £3m of monies secured through grants to improve our school buildings. This is money our schools would never have received had schools stayed in the Local Authority as the political decision was taken to move monies into the academy sector. We have taken full advantage of this and will continue to do so to benefit the children in our schools.
To start the reinvestment programme the Trust Board agreed £100k of funds will be added to extend IT provision in all 14 schools. We will also allocate an additional £50k to small, medium and large school budgets to be used as head teachers and governors see fit, for additional Key Stage resources. Small schools will receive £750, medium schools £2500, large schools £8000 which on a per pupil basis seemed the fairest way to allocate an additional £50k. More information will follow from heads after half term.
We look forward to the whole Trust INSET Day on Friday 11th June via Microsoft Teams. All Bridge Schools will be closed on this day. These opportunities to bring together the best from all the schools are invaluable in sharing expertise and helping everyone to raise our expectations through high quality professional development.
There will be another opportunity to share your views after half term, specifically on communications. More news on that after the holiday. Until then, I would like to thank you for your continued support for Bridge Schools and hope you enjoy the bank holiday.
With all good wishes,
Adrian Massey and everyone at Bridge Schools.
Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope everyone continues to be well and you managed to enjoy time with your family over the Easter Holidays.
As you know, all the schools returned last week and everyone is looking forward to returning to a more ‘normal’ way of operating during the Summer Term. We continue to follow all the measures in place and staff have access to lateral flow tests twice each week. Most of us through age, or by being put forward as key workers to the NHS, have received at least our first vaccination. This all helps to build confidence to ensure safety for each other and for you and your families using our service. The changes in guidance from 12th April haven’t really affected day to day operation in schools, but we anticipate possible changes on the next stage of the government’s roadmap on 17th May to such things as staff use of masks, how we operate bubbles and so on, but we will await further guidance. ...
Face to face provision on site in schools is the most effective method of providing the learning opportunities children need. I am sure you agree that all our staff did an amazing job of continuing to provide online remote education as well as providing for those children attending our schools, but we are all glad to have everyone back. We are aware we have one term left in this academic year to help the children to reach their end of year goals. Developing skills in writing was the most challenging aspect of working remotely and this has now become the focus from teachers and teaching assistants in all the schools. We will continue to use the learning catch-up funding enabling us to work in smaller focused groups with children. Whilst any extra funding is welcome, this will only provide 1 or 2 sessions per week. We will be adding to this money where we can give the children as much input as possible over the coming weeks.
We took the opportunity whilst the schools were closed in the Easter holiday to complete maintenance works at each school. They may not be visible from the outside, but 35 projects were completed during the holiday with a buildings team of 5 people. We are actively looking for 2 additional staff to join the team. If you know of anyone who may be interested, please email: email@example.com for more information. Details can also be found on our Vacancies page.
The continuing professional development this term for our teaching staff is targeting training on ‘Closing the Word Gap.’ Studies have shown that children’s exposure to and use of words affects their overall performance in school. Language opens doors, helps children to articulate concepts, develop imagination and become creative learners. We want them to be skilled practitioners with a wide vocabulary which helps them with reading, but also enables them to choose words carefully which they can apply in their writing tasks. You can help us with this simply by spending more time talking with your children. This can be through the week with things you become involved with as a family; sharing a book talking through the pictures or plot; following a vocabulary list of words given to you by your child’s school or simply choosing your own words. We had one example where a teacher had shared the word ‘dilapidated’ with their class and was encouraging them to find sentences where they could use the word. The head teacher walked into the classroom and one child leapt up to say: “Mrs **** you are looking exceptionally dilapidated today!’ We will continue to support the children to find a wider vocabulary set to describe our heads!
Thank you for your continued support for Bridge Schools.
With all good wishes,
Adrian Massey and everyone at Bridge Schools.
The full reopening of schools has gone remarkably well. Before this year it was so rare that a school needed to be closed but having navigated three lockdowns, we have become well-rehearsed. We have worked together to update relevant documentation, provide PPE, interpret the increasing volumes of guidance and support each other in finding solutions to any new issues as they arise. Everyone has risen to the challenge and continues to do so.
We have come through the pandemic to be stronger as a Trust working collaboratively. Our systems are tighter, our staff are utilising shared resources both internal and external and the children have had a better experience as a result. Employing central managers to lead on the information school heads have needed has worked well and benefitted our childrens education....
We are all grateful for parents support in making the transition to full reopening as easy as it has been. Some have staggered start and finish times but everyone has cooperated in arriving to and leaving from the school sites swiftly to minimise the number of people meeting reducing the potential of cross contamination. The next test will come over the Easter Holiday. The weather is getting warmer, the rules change, and we can meet outside with other families, but we need to remain cautious. We not only risk our own health but also the health of those around us if we become carefree. So far, parents have been sensible in keeping children at home if any of the recognised symptoms are evident. We have only had a handful of positive cases this term, almost all of which were confirmed as contracted off school site, outside of school hours. Out of 2,500 children across all our 14 school sites that is a remarkably low number. Families are clearly being sensible, taking as many precautions as possible and following government guidance. We thank you for that.
As a Trust we have also come through stronger from a financial point of view which means we can invest money back into school resources. We are mid-way through replacing the managed Wi-Fi in three schools and a further three schools are having additional iPads for the children to use; more investment will continue through the Summer Term. The Trust Board are keen for any money accrued as a result of the pandemic to be reinvested back into schools to benefit your children in making the gains they need. We have benefitted from DfE monies made available to us as well as some parish councils who have approached schools with sums of money too to provide home learning equipment. All of this has gone into providing additional IT for the children to use in and outside the school day. If ever we have to partially close a school again, we are ready to switch to our online learning platform – as you will have seen in the first half of this term.
The Trust Board have continued to meet, as and when strategic decisions need to be taken on the next steps for our schools. Sometimes this has been weekly but more recently we have been able to move to monthly meetings. As Lead Officer for the Trust, I am very grateful to all of them. This is a group of people, who alongside the members, and local governors in each school volunteer a great deal of their time to support everyone in Bridge Schools.
As ever the children have been the stars of this half term. They have enjoyed time with friends and allowed staff to guide them on in their learning to make sure we do make the gains needed. They have been a credit to the Trust.
And so, finishes another ‘unprecedented’ term, it is time for everyone to pause and enjoy a lovely Easter break. We look forward to welcoming everyone back from Monday 19th April.
With all good wishes,
Adrian Massey and everyone at Bridge Schools..
We are already into week 3 of lockdown 3! Thank you so much to the many parents and carers who continue to guide their children through the online learning and have sent kind messages to support and encourage staff to continue the good work. We learned a great deal from lockdown 1 and 2 and now seem to be getting it right. The digital revolution has taken place to the benefit of your children.
Everyone should have received by email a letter from me and Trust staff offering further guidance on safeguarding, access to Teams and looking after well-being – your own and your children’s. We have also issued guidance on accessing Free School Meals for those who are eligible whether children are in school or at home. Please speak to school staff if you are in need of any additional support, we will do our best to assist you.
Thank you to all our parents and carers who have worked with us to ensure children are regularly accessing the learning materials we have put online. All children from Year 1 to Year 6 have access to Teams, we have issued over 1000s of new accounts. We will be issuing accounts for children in YR Reception across the schools in due course but for now continue to access the learning from school websites as advised by your child’s class teacher.
It is important that you encourage children not to share their account details, each account is unique to them enabling us to track their progress with activities. I will be writing to everyone again with supplementary guidance on the use of Teams and how to ensure your children are safe using the platform. It is a ‘closed’ facility meaning only people with account details can access learning. Staff are monitoring activity and logins using cameras to identify they have the correct children attending each session and can see children’s level of engagement.
I hope everyone had a good (socially distanced) Christmas Holiday and had plenty of time to relax with family. It was a little different to normal but hopefully enjoyable all the same.
Heads will have contacted you as parents and carers already, but we have worked through the weekend to ensure we are ready to reopen tomorrow. All staff we were expecting are well and will return to work tomorrow.
As parents bring children to school please follow the guidance in place on all school sites. It seems unnatural to keep our distance from friends and other children you will see tomorrow but it is important for all our sakes.
We look forward to another successful term of learning.
This note is to say thank you to all our parents, carers, pupils and communities. Thank you for all your support throughout what has been a testing year for us all.
With your support, we managed to navigate the additional measures and changes which needed to be put in place in 2020. Let us hope for brighter things in 2021!
I hope you and your family stay well and enjoy a lovely Christmas holiday, with plenty of time to rest.
and everyone in Bridge Schools.
The whole Trust took time to reflect today, Wednesday 11th November 2020. Schools displayed different approaches of how to bring everyone together to remember the fallen and the tragedies of war.
We have had our first INSET Day for the term on Tuesday 3rd November following preparation days at the beginning of the autumn term. Later in the week we ran our first whole Trust Teams session. As a vehicle for communication it has been invaluable to help us all to keep in touch.
All trust board meetings, governance, heads’ meetings, subject leader meetings and training is all now run successfully through Microsoft Teams. I am grateful to John Wareham our IT Manager for bringing the concept forward and enabling us all to stay connected.
This half term has been another extraordinary time for schools. All the schools came back in September with children from all year groups, and with 95% of children attending this showed parent confidence to be high. The new measures put in place everywhere do add a layer of additional work to staff but we all know why we are following guidance and so far it is working with no cases reported in any of Bridge Schools. Children are pleased to be back with their friends and teachers and have produced some fabulous work this half term. Everyone is pleased with how this half term has gone thanks to everyone pulling together.
At a peculiar time, we have welcomed Maria Ashurst to take over as Trust Chair. Cheryl Hill has unfortunately had to step down due to health reasons. We are all indebted to Cheryl for the time she put in together with her fervent interest in all things Bridge Schools. We are all pleased that Cheryl is to remain as a member for the Trust. Maria has been Vice Chair for a number of years so takes over with a good knowledge of the schools and the governance within the Trust.
Bridge Schools Trust is pleased to announce the appointment of Jane Wills as new Head of School at Polruan Primary Academy. Jane originally taught at Polperro Primary Academy which joined Bridge Schools Trust in 2016. Jane is an experienced teacher and one of our Visible Learning Leads across the Trust supporting the implementation of ‘VL’ across all schools delivering training to Impact Coaches. As one of the Bridge Schools ‘Learning Adventure’ curriculum team Jane has also helped to develop the enquiry led curriculum model for the Trust.
Over the years Jane has developed her leadership skills and knowledge to enable her to successfully move into this headship role at Polruan Primary Academy. We are very pleased that she applied for and accepted this post. She is sure to have received a warm welcome by the staff, children and parents, as she stepped into her new role at the beginning of September.
We have seen a summer of change but all our schools are prepared and ready to welcome all our children back to school again. We can return to something approaching normal with everyone back in class. There has been additional cleaning and preparation on each school site. Staff have been in school over the summer making preparations and planning the catch-up curriculum. They have all been in school on Thursday 3rd and today Friday 4th to ensure everything is in place ready for children. Hand sanitisation, social distancing, staggered entry and exit arrangements will all need to continue to be in place but we will be able to celebrate the schools being back to being schools full of the sound of happy children learning again. We very much look forward to seeing you all on the 7th September.
We have nearly reached the end of an extraordinary Summer Term. I would like to thank the staff for managing to navigate all the new procedures and systems, working through from February til May to provide such dedicated service to your children. Parents have been very supportive of the schools and the Trust as a whole for which I am very grateful. It has made all our jobs so much easier knowing you have been working with us to find the best way forward. The children in and out of school have been remarkably resilient displaying all the Bridge Schools values : Curiosity, Creativity, Responsibility, Excellence, Enthusiasm and Determination. We are definitely stronger together. Without the support of the whole staff team we would have found this curious period in history to have been considerably more problematic than it has been. I would like to thank everyone in the Bridge Schools community for their support: governors, trustees, members, staff, parents and of course our children – for whom we endure! I hope everyone enjoys a lovely summer. We look forward to hopefully welcoming all the children back in the Autumn Term on Monday 7th September. Stay safe everyone.
We have been asked by the government to consider more children being able to come back to school. We have put measures in place at each of the Hub Schools to allow all of the Year 6 children to come back into school. We are hoping that we can then look at readmitting the children from Year 1 and those children in their Reception Year. Our aim is to get the children from Year 5 back into schools as soon as we can in order for them to prepare for their final year in Key Stage 2 completing their Primary Phase. Maintaining the social distancing and all the procedures means we are unable to accept everyone back into school at the moment as to do so would break all the precedents set and possibly open everyone to exposure to the virus. As things stand not a single child or staff member has contracted the virus in Cornwall, we would like to keep it that way.
We have access to a wide variety of digital reading material available through the Education Library Service. We spent over £30,000 to give children a rich experience of both printed and digital literature. Please do make use of these links via school if you can.
Thank you for your understanding over us closing on Friday afternoons for this half term, giving us more time for the cleaning of rooms and equipment. We will be continuing the school closure on Friday afternoons after lunch for at least the first half term in the Autumn in order that we can maintain our hygiene levels. We will make provision where possible for those who need to continue to work and rely on us for childcare
Plans were underway to roll out Microsoft 365 to pupils in 2021 but, we have brought those plans forward for obvious reasons. We are now progressing plans for our Year 5 children to be able to access our digital platform Microsoft 365 which we run across all sites. Whilst schools remain on restrictive attendance, Year 5 pupils will be given access to communicate with classes and individual pupils, holding online video or audio lessons and by text-based chats, as well as storing and sharing documents for collaborative working. This will allow us to measure children’s understanding and progress. If you are a parent of a current Year 5 child and have not yet given consent, please follow the link: https://www.bridgeschools.co.uk/distance-learning-survey
I hope everyone continues to be well. We continue to operate in uncertain times. Staff in the schools have responded with the dedication we would expect working through the Easter Holiday and three Bank Holidays. This has all been by choice, working with those staff who are themselves shielding due to health issues. I am pleased that nobody associated with our school communities has so far contracted the virus to our knowledge. The measures in place are working.
Staff have continued to provide distance learning material on school websites for children to access and packs for those without online access. As I have said in parent letters, please complete those activities you can, it is better to do some of the material than none but trying to run a ‘normal school day’ at home is almost impossible. If there is any clarification needed please contact schools direct, staff will be more than happy to call you back.
Don’t forget to access the short online survey about the current home learning and give us some feedback. We will continue to review the approach and learn from you in terms of what works well and what is more difficult to complete at home. It can be accessed using the following link: https://www.bridgeschools.co.uk/home-learning-survey
We will be closing for the May Half Term Holiday to give everyone, children, staff and parents time to relax and refresh after a long period of continuous work since February. To assist with preparations for schools returning our whole Trust INSET day will be brought forward from 5th June to 1st June. Again, I am grateful to parents for bearing with us as we respond to a fluid situation providing the best ‘EduCare’ that we can for your children. I hope everyone is able to take some time with family over the Bank Holiday weekend. Stay safe everyone.
Everyone has responded brilliantly to the new set of arrangements. The School Hub Model is working well with staff on rota to take classes working with all the children from key worker families and those deemed vulnerable. Thank you to all the parents who responded to the parent survey asking who would need a place in school. This really helped us to plan provision. Teachers have been busily posting learning opportunities onto the school websites to motivate and inspire our children as well as continue to develop key skills across the curriculum. We do appreciate that many parents will be juggling other commitments as well as supporting home learning so if you have any questions or queries please do email the school. A member of staff will get back to you.
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