Weekly Update 8.2.21

Dear Parents and Carers,


I am writing to you with my weekly update. 

Firstly, as we approach the end of this first term of 2021, I want to say a massive thank you all your hard work, determination, commitment and support with regard to helping your child learn remotely. As I have said before, this is a very challenging time for parents and children, and I am aware of the sacrifices many of us have had to make to ensure that our children are safe, well and looked after. You are all doing a marvellous job.

In terms of plans for school re-opening, the Prime Minister continues to state that schools will not reopen until at least 8th March and there will be a two-week notice period to support reopening. It is important to state that this is an aspirational date and that many factors will need to be considered by the government and SAGE before schools can begin to safely reopen more fully.  When we have more information regarding this, we will share it with you.  Until that time, we will be continuing with our remote schooling provision. It is important to state, and to reassure you, that I will only open the school more widely when I believe that it is safe to do so, following the scientific advice.

In terms of our pupil’s engagement, we continue to be impressed with attendance and involvement and we hope that your child is finding it worthwhile and beneficial. If you have any questions about this, please don't hesitate to contact the senior leader for your child's Bubble, which is listed lower down.


Laptop Support

To support remote learning we have so far loaned 20 laptops to pupils who are currently at home. If you feel that you need a laptop to help your child get online, we still have more available to loan. Please contact Caroline Whitlock to arrange collection on cwhitlock@castle.w-berks.sch.uk


Online Learning Resources

Please remember that our webpage on home learning resources is packed full of things that you and your child can do whilst at home. There is lots there to use so please go and visit. We will also try and add a few more videos as we go of staff, including myself, reading stories, singing songs etc. Of course, if you have links you think might be useful to share then please email me. The resources can be found by clicking the link below.



Any queries

In terms of any other questions you may want answered please speak to the Senior Leader of your child's Bubble. Below are their names and email addresses, just in case you do not have them:


Red Bubble - Kate Mason - KMason@castle.w-berks.sch.uk

Green Bubble - Caroline Whitlock - cwhitlock@castle.w-berks.sch.uk

Blue Bubble - Shannon Booth - SBooth@castle.w-berks.sch.uk

Orange Bubble - James Whybra - JWhybra@castle.w-berks.sch.uk


COVID Reporting over half term

Similar to the Christmas holidays, I wanted to make you aware of how to let us know if your child receives a positive test for COVID-19. Please follow the advice below whether or not your child currently has a place in school as it may impact our future provision.

If your child tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) during half term, please contact school using this email address covid@castle.w-berks.sch.uk stating your child’s full name, the date of the positive test result was received and the date that the symptoms started.

Parents and carers should follow contact tracing instructions provided by NHS Test and Trace following a positive result.


I hope that you are able to have a pleasant half term with some improved weather (some sunshine and less rain would be welcomed by most I would think) and we hope that things improve so that we are able to look at a time in the not too distant future where can all gather once again in school and be together as the wonderful Castle School family that we are.


Best wishes,


Jon Hewitt


The Castle School