CE First School

Inspiring Learning for Life

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Whole School Letter 16th December 2021

Thursday 16th December 2021

Dear Parents,

Incredibly, despite the challenges that families and schools continue to face, we find ourselves at the end of a very successful term here at Cropthorne with Charlton CE First. Recent weeks have seen a flurry of festive activity, I am sure one of the highlights for many of us was the thoroughly enjoyable performance of the Nativity story at Fladbury Church. The children performed and sang superbly and it was wonderful to be able to have our families back in attendance to watch them shine, the joy they took in putting on such an amazing show for everyone was fantastic to see. I know all the staff are very proud of all of the children, and particularly of Cats class and from all of the lovely comments from audience members it is clear we are not the only ones! I would like to thank everybody involved in putting on such a great show!

Last week we also enjoyed a visit from a very special someone who is very busy at the moment and managed to find time to stop and deliver presents to all our pupils at Cropthorne, we really appreciated his visit and all of the hard work put in by his many elves to make sure everyone received a gift. Thank you Elves! Pershore High also delivered us a lovely Whole School Christmas dinner, all the children and staff looked great in their Christmas Jumpers. We are also very thankful to all the parents who came to help serve the children’s dinner, it was quite the undertaking but lots of fun!

A selection of other recent events which have been taking place have included a brilliant Christmas Disco & Grotto last week, thank you to all the parents and staff who volunteered to make the event such a success. Years 4 & 5 were this week treated to a visit to Cheltenham Everyman Theatre to watch Jack and the Beanstalk, whilst Years 2 & 3 loved their Magic Show, which took place at the Village Hall. Cats Class have enthusiastically headed off to Smart Trees today for some festive magic too! These events were made possible through the excellent support for the PTFA by parents and staff, thank you.

Of course all of this has taken place despite the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the emergence of a new variant. In response to this all schools have been asked to revisit their contingency plans and you will have noticed that staff and visitors are required to wear face coverings once again. As outlined previously our contingency plans here at Cropthorne would likely mean a return to consistent groupings (often referred to as bubbles), the use of separate entrances to avoid staggered starts at collection and drop off, requesting the use of face coverings and social distancing at these times, and the suspension of school gatherings such as in person assemblies. These routines of course will be familiar to many of you as this is very similar to how we were required to operate last year. Of course we all hope these measures are not necessary, and that we can start next year, in school, in the same way in which we have finished this one. We will of course let you know in January if any changes to our operations are required.

We were informed by the Department of Education that one change which has now come into effect this week, is that if children, staff or visitors have been identified as close contacts of a positive case of COVID-19 (for example as part of their household) then they will need to send school confirmation of a negative Lateral Flow Test, each day, for a period of 7 days, prior to attending. Confirmation of this result should be sent to We know many families are testing frequently in any case, alongside all staff who test at least twice weekly.

We conclude our term with a traditional Carol Service on the school playground starting at 11.15am, where we will take time to pause and reflect on this wonderfully special time of year. Families are warmly invited to attend, although if there are large numbers in attendance please be aware seating is limited, so we kindly ask that it is provided to those who may need it most. There will be plenty of standing room available. Children will very briefly return to their classes before dismissal onto the playground in the normal manner at 12pm.

School will reopen for children on Wednesday 5th January. Until then, I truly hope that all of our families plans for the festive season remain able to be fulfilled and on behalf of everyone here at Cropthorne with Charlton CE First I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and an extremely Happy New Year.

Yours sincerely,

Rob Bothma

Head teacher