Headmaster’s Newsletter – 6 March 2020

Dear Parents,

Yesterday was World Book Day and the school was filled with events to mark the day. In Small School as well as the pupils and staff dressing up they had a special Bedtime Story Party. More than half of the children returned to Flood Street at 5pm in their pyjamas accompanied by, to quote Mrs Heald, “well behaved teddies and lots of very enthusiastic parents” for hot chocolate and a bedtime hot chocolate and a bedtime story. In Cadogan Gardens there was also lots of dressing up, and as you can see this was not restricted to the children. There was a very broad range of characters, which was wonderful to see. In Hans Place there was a secondhand book sale to which more than 1000 books had been donated. The children either wore or brought in an accessory to represent their favourite character. The Science department in Hans Place made a particularly strong effort. The proceeds from the book sale in Hans Place and the collection in Cadogan will be collated and I will give you the total next week, which we will be donating to The Children’s Literacy Charity

Earlier today you will have received an email with an update on the Coronavirus situation. In summary very little has changed in the advice we have received. The most significant change yesterday was the advice regarding Italy. If you have travelled from ANY part of Italy in the last 14 days, outside of the lockdown areas and develop any symptoms you should self-isolate for 14 days and contact NHS Direct 111. There is now a specific helpline for teachers and parents set up by the Department for Education.

We are continually monitoring what we as a school can do to ensure we are as safe possible. The school nurses have spoken to the children in every building to remind them about good hygiene practice and especially the importance of hand washing and how this can be done most effectively. We have paused the expectation of shaking hands at the beginning and end of the day but pupils arenonetheless expected to make eye contact and say good morning or good evening as appropriate.

On another medical note, which is of equal importance, please remember that we are a Nut Free School. This is vitally important, especially if you are considering sending in food for birthday celebrations. Please see the information below.

What is a Nut Free School?

  • If you are sending in food with your child (e.g. a treat to share with their class on a birthday) this must be nut free.

What products are not be allowed in school?

  • Peanuts and nuts and products containing peanuts or nuts.
  • Peanut butter or peanut based chocolate snacks (Snickers/ Reece’s pieces etc).
  • Items where peanuts or nuts are listed as main ingredients.
  • Nut or peanut based oils or products.

What products are allowed?

  • Items that “may contain nuts” and “may contain traces of nuts” or “made in factories that use nuts” These present a low risk and are not direct ingredients in the products.
  • All other non nut-based snacks and food stuff.

All pre-packaged food sold within the EU, including the UK, must declare and highlight the presence in the ingredient list of 14 major allergens even if they appear in small quantities. These 14 allergens include peanuts and common tree nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashew nuts, pecan nuts, Brazil nuts, pistachio nuts, macadamia nuts and Queensland nuts).

If in doubt please don’t send it to school.

Best wishes,

Richard Townend