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Newsletter – 18/12/20 Merry Christmas!

18th December, 2020

This Week in School…
What a fantastic week we have had in school finishing off our projects and enjoying spending time together. On Thursday, Santa visited us and held a question and answer session with all of the children in their classes – it was magical and their questions were fantastic. We were all interested to hear about the thermal and hydro power they have in the North Pole!
‘Didn’t you used to wear green?’ Jamie (Penguins Class). A discussion followed about Coca Cola and even a red leather Santa suit like the one he wore in the Christmas Chronicles!
‘How many letters and emails do you get?’ Penguins Class trying to trick Santa with the lack of electricity in the North Pole until he reminded them of the hydroelectric power! 😉
‘What did Mrs Claus get you for Christmas last year?’ Molly, Owls Class (we loved his stripey socks!)
The children were so polite and well-behaved and we were all so very proud of them, as always.

Parrots and Owls Nativity Performance
This fantastic video has now been uploaded onto your child’s class area within Microsoft Teams and a link to it has been shared with parents in Owls and Parrots Class. We know you will love it and your children were amazing, as always!
Christmas Hampers and Christmas Eve Boxes
I would like to say a huge thank you to all of you who brought in donations for our Christmas hampers from the Reverse Advent Calendar campaign we held, as well as the Christmas Eve Boxes. They have all now been delivered and the response has been so very touching. Our families have been truly overwhelmed by your kindness – thank you so very much. We can all enjoy our Christmas break knowing that we have all we need for a relaxing and enjoyable time with our families.
COVID Protocol for the Holiday Period
While we all relax and have some well-deserved time from school and work, it is vital that we keep our lines of communication open. As you know, keeping everyone in our school community safe must always be of paramount importance. With this in mind, I will be on call to cover COVID-related queries until 4pm on Thursday 24th December when the DfE helplines close. This means that if your child/children test positive up until the 24th December, please let me know so that I can help Track and Trace gather all information they need to limit the spread of the virus. If anyone in your immediate family tests positive please also let me know so that I can make the necessary preparations should your child end up poorly and needing to self-isolate. I know this is a time when we want to forget the virus exists and enjoy spending time with family and friends, but we need to continue to be extremely careful. I will be checking my emails daily throughout the holiday period, so please email me at head.3233@long-wittenham.oxon.sch.uk and I will endeavour to respond to you asap.
Sleepovers and Play Dates
Please make sure that you adhere to the guidance and not allow any sleepovers or play dates outside your bubble for the duration of the holidays. This has a significant impact on the spread of the virus in children and then onto adults. I still intend to keep our school open and therefore we must all work together to limit the spread as much as we possibly can.
PTA Raffle
Yesterday we drew the Christmas Raffle! The video recording of this is on the PTA Facebook page as well as a list of winners. Thank you so much if you donated raffle prizes and congratulations to all of those who won.
Madame Brooke-Taylor and Mrs Richards
It is with a heavy heart that we have had to say our good byes to Madame Brooke-Taylor and Mrs Richards. Both ladies have made a significant contribution to the school and we are all very sad to see them go. I know that Sally will be popping in and out when it is safe to do so and we will still see her at the school gate every day. Mrs Richards is embarking on her new role as Headteacher so I know we will remain in touch. She came to our school at a time when we needed her data guru skill and brilliant
teaching and she settled so very well into life at LWPS. She has supported so many of our children and staff and I know we will miss her dancing skills and enthusiasm in all that she does! I know she is very touched by all of your kind words and messages and would like to say this to you all:

Dear Penguins and their Parents,
It is with a heavy heart I write this final letter to you all, at the end of a term which has been filled with so many changes. I have been truly blessed to have been able to spend the last three years at Long Wittenham – you have the most hard working and kindest children I have ever taught, and I have been truly blown away by their resilience this year, through very challenging times.
I have so many great memories over the years here. The Fiver Challenge was a real highlight. I was always in awe of all the creative business ideas the children came up with and touched that so many of them raised much needed funds for charity along the way. Who can forget the cakes, the interesting craft stalls, and the chaotic market at the end of the project which was always a roaring success. I can definitely see businesspeople of the future springing from Long Wittenham! The family science challenge last year was also something I enjoyed running. It was amazing how many different variations of design there were for a successful elastic band powered car. All of them made it off the start line – some with a little encouragement. It was also a great opportunity to meet some of the younger children in the school properly.
Finally, I have great memories of the residential we did last year with the existing year 6. I was possibly the most terrified person in the cave we visited on our caving activity, but I used the excuse that I was looking after the children who needed a bit of extra help so I didn’t have to go into those really tight small spaces. Despite this, I was inspired by so many of them to
go as far as I did. I felt very proud not just of myself for surviving, but all of the children who naturally and thoughtfully supported me. Long Wittenham is a very special place to be. I will miss all the staff who make it the fantastic place it is, the children and the parental support here. I will definitely keep in touch with Mrs Bellingham to find out how everyone is getting on and look forward to hearing reports from her. I am looking forward to the new challenges which lay before me in January in my new
job, but I face them so much richer and well equipped from my time here at Long Wittenham. Thank you all for your support over the years and have a safe and restful Christmas.
Mrs Richards


And finally…
We have reached the end of term and all that is left for me to say is to
wish you all the most magical of Christmases. We would also like to
thank you for your gorgeous gifts. It is a real privilege to work with your
children and we are all looking forward to seeing them again next term on
the 4th January 2021. Please stay safe and well. Let’s hope that 2021
brings more positivity and a return to normal!
Take good care and merry Christmas,
Alison Bellingham BA (Hons) MEd CMgr FCMI
Headteacher

We are a nut free school.

Families please note that we are strictly a nut free school. Please ensure that no nut products are brought into school or included in packed lunches (even on school trips). Please also ensure that no nut products are consumed within the school grounds at any time of day. Thank you.