School Alerts

Spring 1 News Week 3 January 19th 2022

Good morning,

We want to say a huge thank you to the Castle Academy Community as we have been so proud to see so many children online and accessing the remote lessons yesterday. Together we have managed to overcome technical issues and worked together to get our children learning remotely. Well done everyone!
Thank you to Miss Womack and Miss Heathcote who have been assisting with technical support! Please do continue to get in touch if you are experiencing any technical difficulties. Also a thank you to Mrs Wilcox, Mrs Duffty and Mrs Bond, who were out and about yesterday doing home learning deliveries!
And a huge shout out to our Head Girl, Lola! You not only managed to complete your own home learning assignments, but you also helped your Nanan out by supporting three other children in the family to access their online lessons too! All in the days work of a Head Girl!

For Year 1 to Year 6, we will be continuing to provide remote learning via TEAMs. Logins to the children’s accounts were sent out prior to the Christmas holiday. Please do get in touch with the school office if you are struggling to log in or access online lessons.

Please find below the remote learning schedule for Y1 to Y6 pupils:

Check In/Registration Sessions (10 mins)

8.40am Y1

8.50am Y2

9.00am Y3

9.10am Y4

9.20am Y5

9.30am Y6

Live Literacy Tree Lesson

9.00am-9.30am – Y1 and Y2

9.30am- 10.00am- Y3 and Y4

10.00am- 10.30am Y5 and Y6

Live Maths Lesson

10.30am-11.00am – Y1 and Y2

11.00am- 11.30am- Y3 and Y4

11.30am- 12.00pm Y5 and Y6

Live Reading/Phonics Session

12.30pm-1.00pm -Y1 and Y2

1.30pm- 2.00pm- Y3 and Y4

2.00pm- 2.30pm Y5 and Y6

Please follow the link to access TEAMS: 

Story Sessions

In school, we aim to foster a life long love of reading and have a daily ‘Reading for Pleasure’ session. To continue to provide such experiences whilst the children are not in school, I have created Nearpod presentations to tell the story of a classic C. S. Lewis novel called, ‘The Magician’s Nephew’ for our older pupils (KS2).

It was great to see that some members of Year 4 (Macie, Hadley, Josh & Francis) had logged in yesterday and listened to the first Chapter of the story. Here is Chapter 1 for anyone who missed it yesterday:

Chapter 1- The Wrong Door

And today we have added Chapter 2 to each Key Stage Two class channel:

Chapter 2- Digory and his Uncle

For Key Stage 1 we are sharing links to some fantastic story tellers on the BBC Bedtime Stories:

BBC iPlayer – CBeebies Bedtime Stories – 779. Somebody Swallowed Stanley

We will continue to keep you updated on any developments and hope that we can reopen to all pupils as soon as possible.

Miss Blagden


At Castle Academy we understand the impact of good attendance and punctuality has on our children’s learning and we believe in rewarding good attendance and punctuality to engage and motivate our children. We have many initiatives to support and celebrate attendance and punctuality so that it remains a high profile in school and with our families.

Every Monday myself and Mrs Bond meet to review the previous week’s attendance data and we will share this with you so that you can see how we are doing. The National expectation for attendance is 96%, however, our current attendance is:

We know that attendance has been impacted upon by COVID-19 and this is a national issue, however, we are looking at ways we can support our families to ensure that children get to school every single day.

How we support good attendance and punctuality:
  • The school Attendance Officer, Head of School and Safeguarding Lead,  along with Astrea Education Welfare Officer & our Executive Principal make up our strategic Attendance Team.
  • Weekly Attendance Team meeting.
  • Work closely with children and families to support and encourage good attendance and punctuality.
  • Weekly attendance groups identified needing support.
  • Weekly attendance league table for each class.
  • Half term celebration of good attendance – each child 96% or above.
  • Class attendance shared on half termly attendance newsletter.
  • For those children who require support on an individual basis, a bespoke reward system in place.

28 children were recorded last week with at least 1 late mark. Please make every effort to ensure your children is in school ready to learn.

Gates and doors close at 8.40am!

After this time, children arriving will be marked as late in the register.


COVID-19 Update

From 11th January guidance has changed and if your child has a positive LFD result you will no longer be required to get a confirmatory PCR test.

However if your child does have symptoms they will need to self-isolate and order a PCR test.

COVID-19 infection rates are very high and the Omicron variant is spreading rapidly. It is important that we all take steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 infection in the community. At Castle Academy, we will continue to have the following control measures in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19:

  1. Ventilate well- all doors and windows open.
  2. Sanitise on arrival and between lessons and before lunch.
  3. Clean well used areas more.
  4. Isolate children with symptoms ( cleaning areas well when child has been picked up.) Ask parent to show negative test result before return.
  5. Maintain as much distance as is possible in a school environment
  6. Lateral flow tests will continue to be conducted twice weekly by all members of staff, with results reported to the school

What do I do if my child has symptoms of COVID-19?

If your child has COVID-19 symptoms they should stay at home and self-isolate immediately. You should arrange to have a PCR test as soon as possible. If this PCR test result is positive, they must continue to self-isolate.

What do I do if my child is a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 ?

People who are fully vaccinated, or children and young people aged between 5 and 18 years and 6 months, identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, should take an LFD test every day for seven days and continue to attend school as normal, unless they have a positive test result or develop symptoms at any time.

If you live in the same household as someone with COVID-19 you are at significantly higher risk of becoming infected yourself.

Stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection – GOV.UK (

Will there be school closures?

At present, the school continues to be open and you do not need to do anything differently in terms of arranging

If staffing absences occur as part of the latest wave of COVID-19, including the Omicron variant, we will first seek to cover all classes through supply staff or internal cover.  We are determined to avoid disruption to your child’s education as far as we can. If we cannot secure the necessary cover, we will close the classes affected and you will be contacted as soon as possible.  Any child in an affected class will need to stay at home for a specified period.  A letter will be sent to parents later today explaining further details.

Advanced warning letter to parents 04.01.22

Spring Term Events

We are looking forward to the Spring Term in school and will keep you up to date with any upcoming events.

16th World Religion Day – we will be celebrating this on Monday the 17th January

23rd – National Handwriting Day

30th –National Story Telling Week

7th-13th -Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week

8th – Safer Internet Day

11th – End of Spring 1 Term

Week beginning 14th- Half Term Holiday

Parent Workshops and Drop Ins

In the past we have held successful parent workshops, both in person or virtually, and we would like to be able to offer a range of workshops over the Spring Term which will inform parents about what we are doing in school and also empower parents to support children’s learning at home. We will be hosting the following workshops:

  • A Parents Guide to Read Write Inc. (KS1 Phonics)
  • What is the Phonics Screening Check? (Y1 Parents)
  • KS1 SATs (Y2 Parents)
  • Fostering A Life Long Love of Reading
  • Maths- The Four Operations (KS2)
  • Maths- Timestables
  • KS2 SATS (Y6 parents)
  • SEN/Pastoral Drop In Appointments with Miss Blagden and Mrs Bond

You might also find the Astrea Parent Portal useful:


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