11th September 2019

Dear Parents and Carers

Welcome back to our new school year. I hope that the summer was kind to you and that you found moments of calm, peace and quiet in amongst the hubbub of having your child/ren home.

It is always a pleasure to welcome the children back. School is a very quiet space without them, always with a feel that something is missing. It was really lovely last Thursday seeing the children so pleased to be back with their friends and classmates. There was a fabulous vibe – and incredibly only one or two tears.

We are of course particularly delighted to welcome our new Sparrows and hope that Epping Upland becomes a place where they feel happy and safe to be and a place where they feel inspired to grow, develop and learn emotionally, socially and academically. If any Sparrow parents/carers have any queries or ‘don’t knows’, please do not hesitate to ask us.

Just a few ‘reminders’:

The School Day
The school is open from 8:30am for children, unless they are attending Breakfast Club, which starts at 7:30 am. Details of Breakfast Club are available from the office.

Key Stage 1 finish school at 3:05pm and Key Stage 2 finish school at 3:10p.m.
Please ensure that you collect and drop off your child/ren promptly. We recognise that on occasion there may be genuine reason why you may be late and we would always be understanding of this. That said, there are some children who are consistently collected/dropped off late on almost a daily basis and this is not ok.
There is considerable volume of parents and children in the playground at the end of the day and in the interests of safety please ensure that your children stand with you rather than running around.
Please also note that dogs, apart from Bracken, are not allowed into the school playground – and that some of our children have a genuine fear of dogs. Therefore, please make sure dogs are always attended by an adult if left outside the playground gate.

Parking
PLEASE be considerate and safe in the way that you park, not just in Carters Lane, but in the village as a whole. Some of the attitudes that are displayed by adults collecting and dropping children from school are wholly unacceptable and do not model appropriate behaviour to the children. Regrettably the school has little, if any, jurisdiction over the way people drive, park or share expletives and therefore it is your conscience I appeal to when parking.
Please can I also again remind you that we do not have any permission to park down the Copped Hall track.

Healthy Schools
At Epping Upland, we try very hard to be a ‘Healthy School’, mentally, physically and in what we eat and drink. Please can I therefore remind you that children are allowed water only in their drink bottles. Can I also remind that break time snacks should be healthy, preferably a piece of fruit or sticks of carrot, cucumber, celery, cheese, crispbread or crackers – or something similar.
Please do not send in crisps, chocolate or sweets – or anything that is particularly sugary. If your child has a packed lunch we would also request that this be as healthy as possible.

Absence
Registration is taken at 8:55a.m. each day. Arrival after this time will be marked as late. Please contact the school office to inform us if your child is absent for any reason.
Holiday requests for during term time will not be authorised unless there is an exceptional circumstance. Please note that Headteachers are able to request evidence to prove an exceptional circumstance.
I would also remind you about how honest your children (and their fellow classmates) are in telling us where they have been or where they are going, both with holidays and appointments.
If you take your child out of school without authorisation, it is likely that your absence will result in a Penalty Notice and fine issued by Essex County Council.
Whilst we obviously do not want any child to be in school when they are poorly, we also do not want them to be absent for very minor ailments. We will always notify you or call home if we think your child is not well enough to be in school.

Uniform
Please can you ensure that your child/ren adhere to our school uniform policy for both their everyday wear and their PE kit. If you are unsure about the specifics of this, details are on our school website or you can ask for clarification in the office. Please ensure all uniform is clearly labelled with your child’s name.
As reminded at the end of the summer term, uniform also applies to footwear. School shoes should be shoes and not trainers.
Earrings, for safety reasons can only be be studs or sleepers.
Please also remember that nail varnish and make up should not be worn in school, unless there is an exceptional circumstance permitted by the HT.

P.E. Kits
Please check your child’s PE kit to make sure they have the correct items in there, including plimsolls/trainers that fit and that are matching. Some very interesting PE kits have returned to school following the summer break. Please can we also request that any children wearing tights to school could add a pair of socks into their PE bag as PE cannot be done in tights.

Monies
We would be grateful if any money that is required to be paid is done so as promptly as possible. This particularly applies to dinner money. This must be paid as requested. The school budget is not able to sustain the amount of money that we are in arrears. Late payment on dinner money also causes us problems when we are audited.
Please could you ensure that all money sent into school is in a sealed, clearly named envelope, with details of the amount enclosed and the reason for payment.

Parent Mail
We are going to be using Parent Mail as a means to contact parents/carers. The system is not yet ‘live’ and we will inform you as soon as it is.

Apologies for so many reminders, but such things help to facilitate the smooth running of school life.

As always, please do not hesitate to speak with me should you have any concerns or queries.

Yours sincerely,

Sarah Hurwood
Headteacher