Category Archives: Latest News

Newsletter October 2020

A strange term!

In so many ways, school feels exactly like it should do. The children are fully settled into all the new routines and they have been working hard in class. The strangest thing is that a school that is built on the strength of its relationships with the community, has not been able to welcome you in and share the success of the children with you. This is one thing I am very mindful of and one of my priorities next term is to ensure that we can share with you the amazing things the children have been doing in one form or another.

Buildings Update

Over the summer, work was successfully completed on the school hall and Mrs Bearman transformed it into Swallows temporary classroom. The picture does not quite do it justice as it is a fabulous space for children to learn.

As I write this, we are still waiting for formal planning consent for the new classroom building.  The Diocese and I are in regular contact and they are working hard to resolve the final sticking points. As soon as we get any further information I will, of course, share this with you. At this stage, it is fair to say that the new building will not be ready for the January term and our temporary arrangements will need to continue for a little while longer than planned.

School Lunches

For the second time, a provider who was willing to take the school on after the October half term has now informed us that they are unable to provide us with school meals. Due to this, I need to extend the current temporary arrangement into next term and I apologise for any inconvenience this causes. If you wish to order a packed lunch next term, please complete and return your order forms by Friday 23rd October.

Please can I remind you that we are a ‘nut free’ school.

Collection / Drop off

I am delighted with how well these arrangements are going and I wanted to say ‘thank you’ for your continued support and patience. As the weather becomes a bit more changeable, I would like to draw your attention to the ‘wet weather plan’ so that children are not lining up on the playground at the end of the day in awful weather.

  • Pre-school children are collected from their playground door.
  • Puffins and Swallows are collected from the main reception door.
  • Woodpeckers and Golden Eagles are collected from the side door of the Verney building.

When we trialled the arrangements, they worked well and as it becomes colder and darker, we may use this option increasingly frequently to ensure that the children remain warm and dry. In these current times, all we ask is that you continue to social distance from other parents while we get your children to you.


Please can I remind you to phone the school 01296 712765 or email if your child is not going to be at school. When these have been reported on Class Dojo the teacher has not always seen the message as they are busy getting ready for the day’s lessons in the morning.

Parents’ Evening

As you will note from the diary dates we are planning to have parents’ evenings for children in Reception to Y6  on Tuesday 3rd & Wednesday 4th November. Current guidelines are that we will need to carry these out ‘virtually’ or by telephone so your child’s classteacher will be in contact with you to book in a time.

Maths – Home Learning

We have been working hard encouraging all our children with their home-learning. All children have been provided with their DoodleMaths logins and the older children have their TTRS rockstar names! Some serious battles have been going on with this, including Samuel O and Julia B who have been rocking out at all hours trying to improve their instant recall! A BIG shout-out to Callum D who successfully completed his DoodleMaths Summer challenge – your badge will be with you very soon!

Sporting Competitions

With Covid, we are unable to compete as we have done over the last few years with our small school partnerships. Most children have loved being able to go to The Buckingham School or Sir Thomas Freemantle to participate in these events. This year – we can still do it, virtually!! The children in Key stage Two competed in a cross-country challenge. We timed our runners and submitted our times to be compared with our local schools. We will also be doing some tennis challenges in our PE lessons. Again, results will be shared with our partnership and hopefully we’ll have some more tennis success, just like our finalists two years ago!

Golden Eagles

Golden Eagles have launched themselves into their USA topic and have thoroughly enjoyed learning about the geography of the country and then zooming into New York for some close-up learning, including a virtual tour through the streets of Manhattan! Some beautiful artwork has also been created and makes a wonderful display in our room. As part of the topic, the children have immersed themselves into our class book, Holes. They are totally gripped and can’t wait for each new chapter. The writing being produced has been incredible, including a report on the deadly yellow-spotted lizard! In Maths, we are conquering bigger and bigger numbers! We have worked our way through place value and are happily working on our four operations. There has been so much wonderful learning going on in our classroom – we can’t wait to show it off to you all soon!


This term we have kicked off our learning with an amazing topic – Our Restless Earth. I have been blown away by the enthusiasm of the children as they have started finding out about volcanoes, rocks, earthquakes and tsunamis around the globe.  As ever, we like to make our learning practical and have consolidated our understanding of what makes up the earth by creating our own models with clay!

We have been reading The Firework Maker’s Daughter to inspire our English sessions. The children are loving the story, have come up with VERY interesting ways to celebrate our learning and written some persuasive letters! In RE we have explored Hindu murtis and had some lovely meditation sessions. All this in addition to our VERY focussed maths and grammar recovery programme. The children have been wonderful to teach, very receptive and hard working. It is lovely to be back!


Our first half term in Swallows has been an exciting journey back in time to ‘The Great Fire of London’. We have compared past and present London and even designed a new London of 1666, with separated buildings, stone houses and a new St Paul’s Cathedral. Our ‘mini-me’s’ helped us gain a real perspective of what it may have been like walking through the streets 334 years ago!

We have also been learning about the human body in science, comparing humans to other animals. We were super ‘hooked into’ the story of The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch’ where we wrote about the character’s adventures, painted scenes from the story and made collage lighthouses. Swallows are currently finishing off the half term looking at the life of a Victorian hero ‘Grace Darling’ and finding out about the RNLI and other emergency services.


Puffins have had an exciting start to the term by finding out all about themselves. The children have painted portraits of their faces and created a picture of their face using buttons, making sure they have chosen the right colour buttons to represent their eyes and hair.

As well as finding out about their bodies, the class have explored their senses. They particularly enjoyed making potions using different smelling ingredients! They even played a Guess the smell game!

After finding lots of ways to move their bodies, the children enjoyed making moving people using split pins and even made their own skeletons linked to the Funny Bones story.

In maths the children have measured their height using socks and spent time matching the socks and other objects. They then went on to sort objects including a variety of special buttons linked to the beautiful story The Button Box.

Alongside all of these activities the children have enjoyed a multi-sensory approach to learning their phonics by writing their sounds in sand , herbs, play dough and pipe cleaners. They have also enjoyed using magnetic letters to build simple CVC words.



COVID-19 update and going back to school

26 August 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

I hope you have all been having a wonderful summer and this letter finds you well. The school is very nearly ready for the return of all pupils on Thursday 3rd September and our new hall area looks fantastic.

The school is still in negotiations with school dinner providers so I must remind you that we are not able to offer school dinners for the start of term and will be working hard to resolve this situation.  If providing a packed lunch causes you any problem, please contact us and we will do our best to support you.

Since writing to you before the end of the previous term, we have been carefully planning for the return of all year groups and been adapting the risk assessment to support us in minimising any risks of whole school opening to both pupils and staff. If you wish to read the full risk assessment document, I will be posting a link on our school website.

Our most important consideration is the safety and welfare of the children and staff.  The staff are still the same welcoming and friendly people and firstly, we want to make school as ‘normal’ as possible but keeping within the Government guidelines.

I write to update you with some information about the start of term but also to reassure you that these procedures can and will be adapted if needed to ensure the safe operation of the school for your children.

Dropping Off and Picking Up

We are using the main school gate and you have a ‘window’ to drop off and pick up your children.  The idea being that not everyone will arrive at the same time and please ensure you are socially distancing keeping a distance of 2 metres from others. If you have children in Pre-School and main school, you can drop off and pick up at the Pre-School times so that you, or your older children, are not waiting around.  On arrival at school, all children will need to go straight into their classroom; they will not be using cloakroom areas and will have all their coats etc by their desks.

  • Entry window 8:30 – 8:40 for Pre-school
  • Entry window 8:40 – 8:55 for Reception to Y6
  • Exit window 3:00 – 3:05 for Pre-School
  • Exit window 3:05 – 3:20 for Reception to Y6
  • Pre-School children will enter and leave the building through the classroom door to the playground.
  • Reception, Y1 and Y2 children will use the main school reception entrance door.
  • KS2 children will use the Verney building main door.

The expectation is that parents will not generally be allowed onto school grounds, however, we are mindful that some children may need to be settled in if they are distressed.  If this is the case, a parent will be allowed onto the school playground with their child to settle and reassure them so that they can enter school. All we ask is that you maintain social distancing and leave as soon as your child is in class.  If your child/children are confident enough to proceed to class on their own then please let them do so, we are more than happy for older East Claydon children to walk their siblings to the doors if that helps.

We are also aware that we may have times when the gate could become congested and so if that happens we will use a two gate system where you will enter from the playground gate, walk along the playground and leave via the gate near the staff carpark.

General Principles to Minimise Risk

All the children will be reminded about social distancing and the need to stay within their bubble when in school. They will have an allotted place on the playground/field but if the weather suddenly takes a turn for the worse then we have plans in place to stagger playtimes on the tarmac playground. Each bubble has an allocated toilet area and in line with the current government guidelines, there is a continued emphasis on hand washing/sanitising and we will be wiping surfaces in the classroom regularly.

Social distancing is much harder for younger children and we will ensure that we are mindful of group sizes when they are participating in activities in the classroom. Our older children will sit side by side in class, facing forwards rather than in table groups and we have organised the classrooms so there is a gap between each table.  Each child will have their own stationary to use and they will be reminded not to borrow from each other. If you wish, your child may bring in a small pencil case but it should be made of a material that could be wiped down daily. We know fluffy pencil cases from a well-known high street retailer are popular but we think these will be difficult to wipe down safely.

We will be keeping rooms well ventilated. We need to find out if the air conditioning units in the Verney building recycle the air or draw in fresh air, so until we know for sure they will not be used.

Staff will wipe down surfaces before and after eating (which will take place in the classroom), please send your child/children in with water bottles which will be brought home every night to be washed and refilled for the following day. Lunch boxes, snack pots etc are fine to be brought in and will be sent home each day.

Please can you minimise what is brought into school; children will only really need a water bottle, their packed lunch, coats etc, reading book and pencil case if necessary. If your child requires any medicines, please send these in on their first day back. Please ensure the correct paperwork has been completed for medicines.


Children will need to wear school uniform. The Government guidance states that uniforms do not need to be cleaned any more often than usual, nor do they need to be cleaned using methods which are different from normal.

Children in Reception to Y6 will have a PE session on both Tuesday and Wednesday.  Please send your child to school in their PE kits on these days.


We are approaching that time of year when coughs, colds etc become more common. To keep the whole school community safe we all need to make sure we follow the public health guidelines and get tested if experiencing any symptoms.

Our children sometimes just get a high temperature and I know I will not have been the only parent to dose them up on Calpol etc and send them into school.  Please just be more aware in these exceptional times. It is very important that you inform us if your child is unwell as soon as possible so that we can discuss next steps with you.

We will be actively engaging with Public Health England and any Track and Trace initiatives.

Face Coverings

We currently have no plans to ask children to wear face coverings in school and will be following the guidelines set out by the Government for Primary aged children.

In summary, I hope this information answers some of the general questions you will have had about the school reopening.  Please direct any further comments or questions to

Thank you for your continued support and I cannot wait for the school to be full of children again.

Yours sincerely,

Mr G Avery,

Darwin’s Delights

On Wednesday 13th December, the Golden Eagles went to the Green Dragon Eco-Farm to volunteer their services to build them a new bug hotel. As part of their expeditionary work on Darwin's Delights, they have been learning all about the world around them and how living things have adapted and evolved to survive in their environments. The class decided to support some of our smallest creatures by building them a brand new hotel with community support from the experts at Green Dragon Eco-Farm. The hotel is situated in the pumpkin patch for all to see and welcomes all creepy-crawlies!

East Claydon C of E School are ‘Thinking of Yves’ …with shoes

A friend of the school, Alexandra Verney,  is part of a network of individuals who, as a community, identify as ‘TOY’, which stands for ‘Thinking of Yves’. Yves was the son of Monique and Max Burger who brought this network together after his unexpected passing in 2011. At TOY, we have learnt that it is very important to cherish every moment of growing up and, since its inception, instead of lingering on the negative aspects of sad events in our lives, this group does things that matter. TOY has since grown into a community that is dedicated to doing things that matter in Yves’ name and, in such actions, keep his memory alive. We work and collaborate to create meaningful projects all over the world to help others. Today, Monique and Max have expanded the meaning of TOY to ‘Thinking of You’ and encourage everyone to do good for others in the name of the loved ones they too have lost.

Alexandra was deeply moved on discovering Sal’s Shoes and the work they do to redistribute outgrown though not outworn shoes to those who cannot afford them. There are 300 million children in the world for whom walking with shoes is a rarity. This makes them extremely vulnerable to infection by parasites and injuries that are almost always left untreated.

Utilising the TOY network as well as so many wonderfully generous others, she is delighted to share that they have given 1,805 pairs of pre-loved shoes another chance to splash in puddles and kick up leaves on a new pair of feet. The first batch will be heading to the Ukraine at the end of this month in time for winter.

Sal’s Shoes sends pre-loved outgrown though not outworn shoes to 43 countries world wide, but their passage does not come for free. They ask for a minimum donation of £1 per pair so they are equally delighted to have raised £1,815 to speed all of the shoes on their way.

As a personal touch, they attached to every pair a personal keyring and letter that recipients can cherish long after they too have grown out of the shoes they have received from Sal's. Special thanks are due to Mount Street Printers who kindly printed the keyring inserts for free as well as Strutt & Parker who printed our letters for us.

Special mention must also be given to Gayhurst School who donated over 550 pairs of shoes and equal funding to ship them. Equally, East Claydon C of E School has wholeheartedly supported our cause as has numerous other schools, parent networks, National Trust volunteers and other generous individuals across the country.

Alexandra should highlight that Monique, on learning of their plan to support Sal’s Shoes, donated a very special pair of boots – Yves’ very first pair. CJ, founder of Sal’s Shoes, who joined us on Saturday with her son Sal and daughter Clemie, will personally take this pair out to Africa on one of her next trips out there in the New Year and will send photos of the next child to have the benefit of wearing them.

Alexandra would like to thank Buckinghamshire Family Centres who supported them during their celebrations and final count on Saturday. They came armed with wonderful craft activities which kept all attending children happily engaged all morning and were so kind to care for and encourage children during their play. She hopes to welcome Buckinghamshire Family Centres every Wednesday morning for more free craft sessions for young children and she will be sure to let you know when this is up and running.

Below is a snap shot from Saturday 2nd November showing some of the many fantastic people who have helped gather, clean, and bind together all of the shoes they have collected since July – they needed 70 bags in total to fit them all in!

For more information see: and

Alexandra Verney

We have been awarded the Silver Kitemark Award for PE

At the end of the summer term, we were awarded a Silver Kitemark Award for our PE at East Claydon C of E School. Thank you to all parents who supported their children with all events, competitions, sports day and extra-curricular activities. We are so proud of this achievement so thank you!

This year, we need to aim for the same award, if not better! To kick it off, let's collect some Aldi stickers to give us the chance of winning £20,000 for the school and some sportswear for the children. Everytime you spend £30, you will be awarded a sticker which we'll be collecting at school. Don't forget to ask your family and Friends too.
Please drop them off at the school office.