December Update/Returning to School

Dear Parents/Carers,


I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a safe and merry Christmas and a happier 2021 than 2020 has been for so many within our community.


I am incredibly grateful for the way you have supported the school during the autumn term; being so adaptable to the many changes that have had to take place at a rapid rate due to the pandemic. 


The children of St. Mary’s have been brilliant and a real credit to you, your families and the school.  They have settled into the new routines with confidence.  I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all my colleagues that have supported me during these unprecedented times to keep things as ‘normal’ as can be.  Despite COVID, Sing Out Loud has taken place, nativities have happened.  Carol Services, as well as Christingles have ensured that the hope that Jesus Christ brings remains central in our community, Santa Claus has visited, SMASH Christmas Raffle drawn, promotional prospectus video created, Christmas staff video shared, festive discos danced, Christmas dinners eaten, Harvest gifts given, Pupil Governors elected, Eco-Warriors chosen, House Captains selected and Head Girls and Head Boys and their deputies democratically chosen and a quarter of a million pound kitchen refurbishment about to begin! 


However, what is most important is that the children have remained positive, happy and well-cared for by the staff, as well as being provided with many joyful memories by my colleagues and SMASH.


A reminder that the last day of term is tomorrow, Thursday, 17th December, with school times being normal for the day, with Breakfast Club and After-School Club running as usual.  Therefore, Friday, 18th December, the school will be closed.  Another ParentMail will be sent regarding to the track and trace procedures over the festive period.


The Board of Governors have agreed that the first day of the spring term for face-to-face teaching will now be Tuesday, 5th January, with Monday, 4th January being a day of online learning.  This decision has been taken to ensure an orderly start to the new term, whilst allowing all children, staff and parents to be tested in the community testing programme that has been established in Southend before returning to school.  It is hoped that such an approach will limit the spread of the virus.  As a Headteacher, I await further guidance from the authorities about the arrangements for the beginning of next term, so it may be prudent to have a contingency plan in case further last minute changes are made. 


I encourage you to have a safe, restful and peaceful festive period.  Wishing you every happiness for 2021.


Keep well, keep safe, keep social distancing!


Regards and God bless,


Mr N Booth