Author Archives: Gary Avery

End of Spring Term – Newsletter

Happy Easter!

We have all made it to the end of what has been a very unusual term and I think we are all ready for a well-earned rest. I must thank you so much for supporting your children to return to school in such a positive way. The staff and I have really enjoyed these past few weeks and seeing the school full of children again has been fantastic. It has been such a positive experience and fills us with hope for the summer term.

It is hard to believe that it is just over a year since the first lockdown and I certainly did not think we would still have restrictions in place now. All the current procedures around Covid-19 in school will continue from the start of next term. Again, I thank you for your co-operation with these protocols.

Today, the children have been able to go on an Easter Egg hunt around school and I would like to thank FOECS for organising this. I am sure the children are very happy that this traditional event has been able to go ahead this year!

Finally, I just wish you a safe and restful Easter break – I look forward to welcoming you all back again on 20th April.

There are a few other items I need to bring to your attention, and these are listed below.

School Uniform

From Tuesday 20th can all children now be back in full school uniform. Please can you name any clothing, as the weather improves children are likely to start leaving jumpers etc around school and, if labelled, they can be returned swiftly to their rightful owner. More information on uniform can be found on our website :

Contact Tracing

Again, Public Health England have asked schools to remain contactable for the first SIX DAYS following school closure at the end of term to assist with contact tracing.  Therefore, we are asking you to continue to notify us of any positive cases with children registered at East Claydon School and Preschool up to and including Wednesday 7th April  Please notify the school via the office email:

School Meals

Just a reminder that if you want to order a hot school dinner for the 1st week of term then these need to be ordered by Wednesday 14th April.

Swimming Lessons for Y3 & Y5

Swimming starts on 21st April and will run until 14th July. All children are expected to wear appropriate swimwear – shorts for boys and a one-piece for girls. All children need a swimming hat and goggles. Please speak to Mrs Prudhomme if you have any further questions.

Remote Learning Feedback

Now that we have all had a chance to reflect on our experiences over the last term, I would really welcome your feedback on the remote learning used during the lockdown. Please email the office with your thoughts about what worked well and what could have been more useful or helpful.

Our Core Value for Next Term is:


We will be looking to this core value to support our learning in school and will be focusing on independence and resilience.

And endurance produces character, and character produces hope. Romans 5:4

Letter 24th February – Quick Update

Dear parents,

Following the Government’s announcement on Monday we are pleased to be welcoming all pupils back to school from Monday 8th March. The staff and I are working through final preparations and I will be writing to you again in the coming days with further information to support your child/children’s return to school.

We will continue to follow our risk assessment, which will be further reviewed again before the 8th to ensure the latest guidance is included, and maintain the control measures as advised by PHE. These will include:

  • Enhanced hand washing and sanitising
  • Retaining class bubbles
  • Ventilated classrooms and occupied spaces
  • Home test kits available for all school staff

The government is very clear in its expectation that all children are to return on the 8th and that attendance rules return to normal. Pupils of compulsory school age must be in school unless a statutory reason applies e.g illness, medical appointment etc.  Unfortunately, this means that if you are keeping your child off school from the 8th March, we will require a copy of the shielding letter to confirm that the child has been advised not to attend school.

If there are any further issues that mean you are reluctant or anxious about your child/children attending school I ask that you put these concerns in writing to me via so that we can discuss these together.

We are really looking forward to seeing everyone back and I hope the children are excited about returning to school.


Gary Avery


Letter 12th February

Dear parents,

I am hoping that when you are finished for today, you are sat down with your drink of choice in your hand (mine will be a hot cup of tea) and that collectively we can reflect on what has been another challenging term for us all. The restrictions that have been placed on all of us are unprecedented in our lifetimes and 12 months ago we had never heard of, let alone used, Google Meets or Zoom and certainly remote learning had not even crossed our minds. I am very proud of my staff for their hard work and dedication to keep learning going and engaging the children at home as well as those in school.

In these extreme circumstances I must also pass on my appreciation for everything you have done to keep the COVID risk as low as possible and for the support you have given the children. Once again, some of you will have had to become teacher/teaching assistant as well as juggling the demands of your own job. This may not have been easy, but whatever you have been able to do to support your child’s learning at home will have a made a difference – thank you!

The media reports that we will get a ‘roadmap’ from the Prime Minister on 22nd February where it is likely that the plan for schools to return will be laid out – I sincerely hope that the plan does involve a swift return for all pupils as soon as possible. As soon as there is some clear direction, I will be making further plans as guided and will update you as soon as I can.

The school continues to be required, by the DfE, to report any confirmed, or suspected, cases of coronavirus. Please inform us if your children are self-isolating because they have been in contact with someone who has coronavirus, have booked a test because they have symptoms or have a positive test result. This does include the half term break,  so that I can make any arrangements to close keyworker bubbles if necessary – please use to keep us updated.

There one very pleasing piece of positive news to report – the planning permission for the additional classroom has now been approved! Nothing will be happening instantly, and we are starting to make plans with the Diocese that will put another key piece of the expansion puzzle into place. I am delighted that when this is completed, and the current restrictions are lifted fully, we will be able to use the hall space in the way that it was intended and bring the whole school community together.

I remind you all that school begins again on the 22nd February for both remote learning and keyworkers in school.

All that remains is for me to personally wish you all a safe and relaxing half term. It is supposed to get warmer from Monday and I hope, with spring around the corner, that it reminds us that brighter days are ahead.

Take care and stay safe.

G Avery

Gary Avery


Important – School moving to Remote Learning

Dear parents and carers,

Thank you for your patience today and I apologise that it has taken me a bit of time to finalise all the arrangements. I am sure you will have watched the Prime Minister’s broadcast last night and will no doubt be aware that we are now back in lockdown. As per his announcement the school has to now move to remote learning for all classes (this includes our pre-school). The school will use a range of different teaching methods during remote learning to help explain concepts and address misconceptions easily. For the purpose of providing remote learning, the school may make use of:

  • Google Classroom
  • Purple Mash
  • Times Table Rock Stars
  • Doodle Maths
  • Online learning portals (e.g. Oak National Academy, White Rose Maths)
  • Educational websites

Remote learning will be posted via Google Classroom or Tapestry. Work packs will be made available for pupils who do not have access to a printer – these packs will either be collected from school, hand delivered or sent through the post; please can you liaise with classteachers if you need this support. All we ask is that pupils attempt the work set and do their best in these very difficult circumstances; we are here to help and support as best as we can. If you have any issues at all with accessing the online learning then please contact the classteachers. If necessary we have a very limited supply of Chromebooks that we are prepared to loan out. Please contact the classteacher for further support with this.

We will be providing the opportunity for vulnerable children and children of critical workers to attend; those children will have supervised learning and be completing the same work as for those working remotely, but in a class bubble.

Currently, the numbers of children attending school require me to group into bubbles as follows:

  • Robins & Puffins
  • Swallows
  • Woodpeckers and Golden Eagles

The Robins & Puffins bubble will be staffed by one member of the Robins team (Charlotte or Alice) and one member of the Puffins team (Mrs Ganderton or Mrs Richards).

The Swallows bubble will be staffed by Mrs Bearman.

The Woodpeckers & Golden Eagles bubble will be staffed by either Mrs Duxbury or Mrs Prudhomme.

We have collated the critical worker responses sent to and if you have indicated you would like a space, this will be provided for you from tomorrow. My Office Manager will follow up on particular queries received regarding attendance patterns for this period of lockdown.

Important notes if your children are attending school:

  • School uniform will not be needed for children coming into school.
  • Hot dinners will be provided for those those children who have ordered them and are in school.
  • PE sessions will still run on a Tuesday and Wednesday so please ensure children are wearing suitable clothing on that day.
  • Pick up and drop off times remain the same.
  • Parents will not be allowed on site and children will be collected from and returned to the playground gate.

Pre-school invoices:

All invoices will be re-worked and re-issued once we know when pre-school will be fully open again after the lockdown. If you have not paid your invoice, please wait for new ones. If you have already paid the invoices, the difference between what you have paid and the new invoices will be carried forward as a credit to your summer term invoice. If you have any queries about this, please contact the office.

School Meals – paid for:

Anyone who has ordered and paid for school meals that will not be taken due to the lockdown will be provided with a refund by St Pauls. The refund should be processed by the end of this week. If you have any queries about this, please contact St Pauls by email on

Thank you for your continued support.

Stay safe.

Mr Avery

Urgent School Update – Start of Spring Term

Dear parents and carers,

As you will no doubt be aware, there has been a huge amount in the media about Primary schools returning after the Christmas break. The situation is changing all the time and you may already be aware that the Prime Minister is holding a televised addressed this evening at 8:00pm. I do not have any inside information on what he is going to say, and this address may change our plans for school opening once again. However, as things currently stand, the following sets out the position at East Claydon School from Wednesday 6th January.

Whilst it has always been my intention to welcome all children back to school on Wednesday, I need to inform you that this will now not be possible. Our current staffing situation means that I must implement a move to remote learning for these classes:

  • Robins (Preschool)
  • Puffins (Reception)
  • Woodpeckers (Y3/Y4)
  • Golden Eagles (Y5/Y6)

For these children, work will be provided through Google Classroom (as was the case from March 2020) and, in the case of Reception and Pre-school, we will be using Tapestry and Class DoJo to set the work. If you have any difficulties with accessing online learning, then please contact your child’s class teacher in the first instance so that we can support you over the next few days to get up and running.

I anticipate being able to provide face to face learning in school, for the following:

  • Swallows (Y1/Y2)
  • Children of critical workers from classes on remote learning
  • Vulnerable children

The definition of critical workers is as listed by the Government and you can refer to it by using this link. To summarise, you are likely to classed as a critical worker if you are employed in: health and social care; education and childcare; key public services; local and national government; food and other necessary goods; public safety and national security; transport and border; utilities; communication and financial services. It will be very important that I know as soon as possible how many children of critical workers we will be expecting on Wednesday and I ask that you use the email address: to let me know by 11:30am on Tuesday 5th if you are sending your children in. Please include in your email:

  • the names of your children
  • your job title or role, and
  • the name of your employer.

If neither parent is considered to be a critical worker then there is no need to email in.

The office is liaising with our new hot dinner provider to find out the situation for those who have ordered them through WisePay and we anticipate being able to continue with PE sessions on a Tuesday and Wednesday. As you will appreciate, the current situation is a fast moving one and I will do my very best to give you the relevant information as swiftly as possible so that you can remain fully informed and updated. I sincerely apologise for the inconvenience that this situation may cause you and I hope that school will return to ‘normal’ as quickly as possible.

Stay safe.

Mr G Avery

Gary Avery