Information for Families: Tackling race inequality in Lewisham schools

We are delighted to share this important letter: Race Equality Letter from Lewisham Learning, that outlines the significant work all Lewisham schools are doing to tackle race inequality.  This is work that we take very seriously and committed to in this year’s School Improvement Plan.

Our work at Myatt Garden is focused on:

  • Achieving equity for engagement in learning and academic outcomes for BAME children;
  • Celebrating difference and diversity;
  • Promoting the achievements of other cultures and BAME individuals;
  • Developing an anti-racist school.

Our Governors have signed the Lewisham pledge on behalf of the school, which will be officially launched on the 22nd June, Windrush Day (more information in the letter above). As a school we have held two INSET days to develop this work and were lucky enough to work with Jeffrey Boakye during our most recent INSET. Jeffrey is an author, broadcaster, commentator, educator, journalist and teacher with a particular interest in issues surrounding education, race, masculinity and popular culture. He provided us with a hard-hitting and thought-provoking morning that explored the history of racism, white-privilege and racial literacy.

In addition, a large number of staff have attended a wide range of training including unconscious bias and decolonising the curriculum and a steering group has been established using the NEU’s Anti-racism Framework to start evaluating elements of our practice and develop next steps. Curriculum coordinators have been looking at our history, science and geography curriculum and we are continuing to diversify our book stock across the school.

Our anti-racist work will remain a priority on the School Improvement Plan and will continue to be a long-term focus for all Lewisham schools. Next year, working with families and our extended community will be a particular focus.

We will be holding a special assembly to mark Windrush Day and celebrate contributions of the Windrush generation and their families who have contributed to every part of British life.

 

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Fundraising for Myatt Garden

Three of our fabulous parents are planning a sponsored walk to raise money to support the school, specifically to support the school in bolstering its technology resources. 

On July 3rd, John Beech (dad of Albie), James Dutson (dad of Emilia) and Brian Garvan (dad of Magnus and Rory) will all attempt to complete the Welsh 3,000s challenge in a day.

The challenge involves reaching the peak of all 15 of the mountains over 3,000ft in Wales within the space of 24 hours, without using any form of transport. The walk which begins at the foot of Snowden, is 32 miles in length and includes a total ascent and descent of over 4,000m – equivalent to half of the altitude of Everest. The estimated time to complete it – for someone who is fit and active – is 22 hours. More often this challenge is attempted over three days. 

Over the last year, Myatt Garden has faced the extremely difficult challenge of trying to give all of its pupils the same educational opportunities whilst contending with very different levels of access to technology, the internet, and a quiet space in which to work. Increasing the school’s technology resources will enhance teaching and learning throughout the school, as well as empowering the children to use technology as a tool through computer lessons. 

These ambitious dads are hoping to raise £8,800 to purchase a smart-charging trolley and a set of 15 new laptops.

If you feel you would like to help, you can sponsor their walk so that we can make this possible. To make it easy to donate you can use the Friends of Myatt Garden donation page: https://donatemyschool.com/friends-of-myatt-garden-2586 or scan the QR code here: QR code

All donations will then be forwarded to the school and can benefit from gift aid.

Massive thanks to John, James and Brian, we’ll all be cheering you on!

 

 

 

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Information for Families: 11.6.21

What a glorious week! It might have been a short week, but it has certainly been a busy three days at Myatt.

Take One Picture

This week we have been having great fun being inspired by this year’s selected painting from The National Gallery. Take One Picture is our national programme for primary schools, which aims to inspire a lifelong love of art and learning. Every year, they take one picture from their collection to inspire art and cross-curricular work in primary classrooms.

This year the painting is The Finding of Moses by Orazio Gentileschi: https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/orazio-gentileschi-the-finding-of-moses

In three days, across the school, we have had so much art going on! We have had Year 5 children hammering away to create nail and string art, Year 6 weaving representations of their identity and Year 1 exploring hands in a host of different media. In Year 2 they have been creating water tones through collage, marbling, painting and Year 3 have been creating self-portraits on woven textures. Reception have been making baskets, Year 4 visited Hilly Fields to research to draw landscapes for their own photographic poses and nursery have been exploring hand prints and baby pictures.  Once all the work has been completed we will be sharing a virtual tour of all our art with you.

COVID Restrictions

We are all awaiting the government’s announcements on Monday. Once we know what has been decided, we will be reviewing our risk assessments and procedures for the rest of the term in light of the new guidance. Please continue to be vigilant; Lewisham’s current infection rate has risen to 44.5 with numbers of new cases doubling from the previous week.

Eat them to Defeat Them

Every child from Reception to Year 6 should have brought home a pack this week that aims to encourage them to eat more vegetables. This is a 6 week national campaign and you may have seen the adverts on TV. 80% of children are not eating enough vegetables. Veg Power is on a mission to inspire kids from early years through primary school and into their teens to veggie loving habits they will keep for life.  Each week a different veg is highlighted, this week is tomato (I know it’s technically a fruit!!) Children will be encouraged to try the veg of the week and get stickers when they do. See here: Vegtastic-Lunchbox-Hacks for ways to get more vegetables into packed lunches.  Veg Power have lots of good ideas to help you at home with this. Here are some recipe ideas for seasonal veg: https://vegpower.org.uk/seasonalveg/

Advice on how to keep kids safe in the sun

  1. Use a good sun cream

Make sure your child wears sunscreen that covers any exposed skin – use plenty, and don’t forget their shoulders, the back of their neck, the tops of their ears, nose and cheeks. Choose a sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 15, and at least 4 stars for UVA protection.

Try and put sun cream on your child at least half an hour before heading out – remember that long-lasting sun cream is now available. Alternatively, please send a clearly labelled tube of sun cream to school that they can reapply at lunch-time.

  1. Wear a sunhat

It’s a good idea for children to wear a floppy sunhat that protects their face and neck whenever they’re out in the sun. Wearing a hat yourself can really encourage a reluctant child to follow suit.

  1. Drink lots of water

Make sure you child has a water bottle so that they have access to water throughout the day. We will encourage them to drink regularly – particularly when they’ve been running around.

  1. Wear appropriate clothing

No sunscreen offers 100% protection so it helps to cover up with loose fitting clothing (such as cotton) which allows air to reach your child’s body and sweat to evaporate rather than stick to the skin and cause irritation. A tight weave will block as many of the sun’s rays as possible. You can check this by holding clothing up to the sun – the less light that shines through, the better.  Please take care with your child’s footwear – not all summer sandals are suited to running and climbing, etc.

 

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Information for Families: 28.5.21

As we approach the final half term, I’d like to thank you all for your continued support. I think we are all understandably ground down by the current restrictions and are keen to get things back to normal. Please bear with us, we will be continuing to follow national and local guidance as we navigate the final few weeks of the summer term.

I have attached a letter below, regarding the notification of confirmed cases where symptom onset/positive test occurs within 48 hours of the child last being in school and travel arrangements.

Letter for families May half term

INSET Days

Please remember Monday 7th and Tuesday 8th June are both INSET days. Children will be returning to school on Wednesday 9th June.

Parent Survey

Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete this year’s parent survey. We have collated the responses slightly differently this year, using your scores to provide a numerical average. We have attached below a summary of your feedback and will be producing an information sheet and action plan in response.

2021 Parent Survey Feedback

School Dinners

I have continued to sample school dinners every day this week – chickpea curry, vegetarian sausages, chicken breast burger, macaroni chees, roast turkey, vegetable pie, lamb Bolognese, cheese and tomato pizza, fish fingers and quorn dippers. This week I have also been encouraging children to try a sample of dishes that they have not chosen and have even converted a few to Jackie’s delicious chickpea and potato curry!! The meals have continued to be really tasty and as a result of feedback, Jackie will be trying her best to brown the vegetarian sausages and serve the gravy separately. All of the other meals have had a positive response.

I have also had a productive meeting with Chartwells this week who have increased their quality assurance to now include taking photos of each service. We have a number of plans including giving the children the opportunity to try taster pots and a parent tasting in the Autumn term. We will share more information after half term.

Packed Lunch

Please remember that chocolate bars are not permitted in packed lunch boxes. We encourage a healthy balance of foods e.g. sandwich, carrot sticks, yogurt, banana and a biscuit/small cake.

You can find more ideas here: https://www.nhs.uk/change4life/recipes/healthier-lunchboxes#lunchbox-recipes

Book Trust Resources

If you need some ideas to keep your children entertained this half term why not head over to the Book Trust website: https://www.booktrust.org.uk/books-and-reading/have-some-fun/activities/#!?q=&sortOption=MostRecent&pageNo=1 

You’ll find a wide range of fun reading activities.

Half Term Ideas

Saturday May 29 – Sunday June 6

Tickets: £5 (under 3s are free)

Tickets may be purchased in advance online at https://spontaneousproductions.co.uk/events/the-gingerbread-man-june-2021/#bookings …or at Kirkdale Bookshop, 272 Kirkdale, Sydenham SE26 4RS in person or by phone 020 8778 4701 (Mon-Sat 9.30-5pm).

  • Or try out the National Maritime Museum. It is offering free workshops that explore the ways sailors kept their spirits up and their moods positive through activities promoting wellbeing. Suitable for all ages and abilities.

Please Note: Free tickets. £1 non-refundable booking fee applicable to bookings online and over the phone.

These include:

Folklore at Sea: Tales, Songs and Facts

Date: Sunday 30 May        Time: 10.30am | 12pm | 2pm | 3.30pm

Join Olivia for an interactive storytelling session for the whole family. With sea-bound folktales and stories of life on board ship, explore how sailors kept busy and kept their spirits up whilst away from home.

Sea Shanty: Spin Drum & Tambourines

Date:  Tuesday 1 June      Time: 10.30am | 12pm | 2pm | 3.30pm

Music, singing and entertainment kept homesick sailors’ spirits up! Create your own spin drum with artist Charlotte, and discover how they are used as part of sea shanties.

Explorers: Sailing the Polar Seas

Date:  Thursday 3 June     Time: 10.30am | 12pm | 2pm | 3.30pm

Inspired by polar exploration, join storyteller Dani and work as a family to create your own story to keep you entertained on a long sea voyage into the ice!

Sailors: A Day on Board Ship

Date:  Sunday 6 June        Time: 10.30am | 12pm | 2pm | 3.30pm

Sea travel was slow and often sailors could be away for years. They needed a way to keep entertained and playing games with others on board was the solution. Come along and create your own game that you can take away to play at home. 

Hopefully the sun will keep shining and we are all able to enjoy some relaxing days ahead!

See you back at school on Wednesday 9th June!

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Information for Families: 21.5.21

Important message from the Police

Please see letter below from the Safer Schools Partnership following reported suspicious activity around some schools. Please be assured that we have not had any reports at Myatt Garden or the local area.  Suspicious Activity Reports Information for Parents

 COVID

Whilst the rules are relaxing in the wider world, we are remaining vigilant at Myatt Garden. The infection rate in Lewisham has risen to 18.3 and there are currently a small number of local cases involving the more transmissible variant. Public Health are taking this very seriously and are convinced that there will be another surge in infection. They are encouraging us all to take a very cautious approach.

In line with this we will not be making any changes to our current policies and procedures. Whilst we will keep this under review, we really appreciate the way you have worked with us under the current restrictions. Thank you for your continued support.

Important Upcoming Dates

  • Friday 28th May – last day of this half-term
  • Monday 7th & Tuesday 8th June – INSET days
  • Wednesday 9th & Friday 11th – Take One Picture
  • Friday 23rd July – break up for Summer

Myatt Garden is 50!

Myatt Garden is 50 years old! As part of the celebrations, we are looking for any former students/members of staff who might want to be interviewed by our children or send a video message about their time at Myatt.  Also, anyone who has old photos, memorabilia etc. or who lived nearby while the school was being built. It would be especially great if we could find some of the original students from the 1970s.

If you know of anyone who might be able to help us out, please pass on the attached info and/or ask them to email: memories@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk . I’m also sharing this on Twitter and local Facebook groups so please retweet/share/comment if you see the posts.  We are planning a week of events and activities for the beginning of the Autumn Term.

 Summer Holidays

At present we should only be booking holidays in green list countries. The government guidance states that people should only travel to destinations on its amber list in “exceptional circumstances”.   Myatt Garden re-opens for the children on Friday 3rd September. Please make sure that you build in enough time to allow for any periods of quarantine and still be ready to return to school on time.

Punctuality

Being on time is a skill for life. Due to the current restrictions every year group has a ten minute window. If you are someone that struggles to make it to the gate on time, please aim for the opening, not the closing time to allow for any delays.

School Dinners

The current Lewisham contract for school dinners is currently out to tender. This is now in the final stages and we should know soon who will be providing school dinners in September. 

In the meantime, I have sampled every school dinner on offer this week (a meat or vegetarian option each day or baked potato) and I am delighted to report they have genuinely tasted great. From the tender roast lamb to the lasagna, cheese and tomato pizza to the vegetable roll, chicken curry to vegetarian bolognese.  Each day this has been accompanied by rice, pasta or potatoes, two vegetables, salad and fresh bread.

Jackie, our Chef, is very proud of her cooking, but has to cook the recipes provided by Chartwells. The burger and meatballs on Monday were not such a success and following feedback, Jackie has happily agreed to swap the burger option and tone down the heat of the meatball’s tomato sauce.  I will keep you updated as I continue to investigate.

The menu is available on the school website – next week we will be on Week 3.

Walk to School Week

Well done everyone for embracing walking to school this week. Where 70% of primary school children in the 1970s used to walk to school, this has now dropped to just over half (51%) in the UK. The number of Myatt children that walk to school is always well above this, but across the school this week we have seen levels of active travel increase with 100% of children reporting that they have made an effort this week. We have walked, cycled and scooted our way through the week. Well done Myatt Garden!

FSM Vouchers for half-term

Lewisham have once again agreed to fund FSM vouchers for this half-term. We will be distributing vouchers for £18 per child (includes our previous Bank Holiday) on Wednesday next week at the gate.

 Assemblies

Every week I film two assemblies for the children. These have recently covered a whole range of topics including World Earth Day, Asthma Awareness, Ramadan, Fairtrade and mental health. If you don’t hear about them already, please ask your children to tell you about what we have discussed. This is a great opportunity for the children to articulate their learning and discuss issues at home. This week our assemblies focused on Walk to School week and food waste.

Parents Meetings

Thank you to everyone for booking slots for parent meetings. As the date of your meeting approaches, you will get an email confirming your agreed time.

Online Behaviour

We have all probably spent a lot more time online over the last few months. This has also been many children’s experience too. Across the borough there has been a significant increase in incidents related to primary school age children having watched inappropriate sexual content, some reported as young as Year 2.

It is important to talk to children about staying safe online as soon as they start using technology. Children can accidentally stumble across pornography either by following links, clicking on adverts or sometimes through typos in their searching. They might also actively look for this content online as they are curious or are unsure what something is or means.  Whichever way a child accesses this type of content it can leave them feeling shocked, disgusted or worried and it may prompt questions about sex and relationships.

You can find out more at:

https://www.childnet.com/parents-and-carers/hot-topics/online-pornography/children

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/inappropriate-explicit-content/

https://www.internetmatters.org/resources/addressing-online-pornography-with-6-10s/

 

 

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Myatt Garden is 50! We need your help….

Myatt Garden is 50 years old!

As part of the celebrations, we are looking for any former students/members of staff who might want to be interviewed by our children or send a video message about their time at Myatt.

Also anyone who has old photos, memorabilia etc or who lived nearby while the school was being built. It would be especially great if we could find some of the original students from the 1970s.

If you know of anyone who might be able to help us out please pass on the attached info and/or ask them to email: memories@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk

 

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Information for Families: 14.05.21

School Dinners

I am aware that there has been considerable discussion about school dinners amongst families. I would like to assure everyone that now that this has been shared, I will be following up each of the issues raised e.g. quality of food, choice and quantity of options and reporting back to families following discussions with Chartwells and close monitoring of the lunch hall.

Whilst I know this year has meant communication is more difficult, I am always available and will always listen when issues are raised. It is always better to deal with things at an early stage, so we can address them immediately. Children are at the heart of everything that we do and working together we can ensure the best outcomes.

Walk to School Week

Next week is ‘Walk to School Week’. We will be recording how children come to school on a wall chart and each child will be given a walking diary. The idea is the diary is taken home and then filled in daily.  This year’s challenge will focus on the walking superpowers that benefit individuals, communities and the planet.  Each day pupils will be introduced to a brand new ‘Walking Superpower’ taking the form of a fun comic-book inspired design.  

Walking has so many benefits from physical to mental wellbeing; aiding concentration and creativity and creating safer, less polluted and more welcoming streets. All this makes for a happy, healthy child set up for success in and out of the classroom.  HUGE thank you to Friends of Myatt Garden for funding the class packs – we know this will make a big difference to our children’s engagement in the week.

Parents’ Meetings

We will be starting three weeks of parents’ meetings next week. If you haven’t had time to do this yet, please follow the link below to choose as many time slots as possible on the day of your appointment.  Parent Meeting Link: https://forms.office.com/r/dg617DvKp8

This will be a good opportunity to find out more about how your child has settled back into their learning at school and what our priorities are for their next steps.

Year 3 workshop

Year 3 took part in their second workshop with Retrofit this week, learning more about our carbon footprint. As well as calculating our waste by tipping out bins (looking not delving in!) they have been exploring our school as an ecosystem, exploring how carbon flows in and out! It’s all very exciting.

Punctuality and Attendance

Punctuality and attendance is monitored by Orlaine McDonald (Pastoral/Safeguarding Lead) on a weekly basis and Orlaine and I review the figures half termly.  The focus is to identify families early, where patterns of low attendance may impact on their child’s learning. Any child whose attendance falls below 90% is regarded nationally as a child who has persistent absence. In this instance, Orlaine will contact families to offer support and discuss ways in which the situation can be improved. Further information can be found in our Attendance Policy.

Due to the challenges all schools have faced this year, Lewisham Attendance has made the decision that formal monitoring of attendance & punctuality is to start from April 19th 2021.   We really value working together, especially where there may be tricky issues to solve, so if you have any worries or concerns regarding your child’s attendance or are having difficulty getting them into school on time, then please do contact Orlaine at: o.mcdonald@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk or 020 8691 0611.

Wavelengths

Some of you may be aware that Deptford’s Wavelengths Leisure Pool is under threat of closure. There are no plans to reopen Wavelengths Leisure Pool now that lockdown has ended due to the need for a substantial refurbishment. This is an important resource for our children and families and as children recover from the impact of Covid, it’s even more important to invest in their wellbeing.

You may want to sign/share this petition: https://www.change.org/savewavelengths and there will be a stall on Saturday, 11-1pm at Deptford Market if you want to find out more or get more involved.

The campaign is also hoping to collect children’s artwork to share on social media #savewavelengths and with local Councillors. A fun way that everyone can get involved.

 Too Good to Go

‘TooGoodTo Go’ is an app that allows you to identify local restaurants and shops that have heavily discounted bags of food available – usually towards the end of the day. You won’t know what will be in the bag, it will depend on what hasn’t sold during the day. This can be a great way of obtaining more reasonably priced food, but also cut down on food waste.  You can find more at: https://toogoodtogo.co.uk/en-gb/

 

 

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Walk to School Week

We will be taking part in Walk to School Week (17-21 May). This nationwide event is organised by walking charity Living Streets and designed to help pupils experience first-hand the importance of walking to school. Children will be well on their way to reaching their recommended 60 minutes minimum of physical activity per day before even reaching the school gates! Not only will it set them up for a positive day in the classroom, but it will also help create healthy habits for life.

The theme of this year’s event is ‘Walking Superpowers’ and through the week, pupils will be introduced to five different Walking Superpowers who will teach them all about these benefits and reinforce the power of walking, superhero style!

Each pupil will be challenged to travel sustainably (walk, wheel, scoot, cycle or Park and Stride) to school every day for one week using wallchart and stickers to log their journeys. Each class will work collectively to make as many active journeys to school as possible across the week. Individual activity diaries, daily stickers and end of week pupil rewards will complement this activity, reinforcing the benefits and keeping children engaged.

What do we want you to do as a parent/carer? We are asking every family to try to travel actively to school on w/c 17 May, helping our school reduce congestion and pollution around the school gates. In return, your child will earn special stickers and a badge!  Walking, wheeling, scooting and cycling all count!

If you live far away from school and need to drive or take public transport, try parking the car or hopping off the bus/train ten minutes away and walking the rest of the journey.

We’re well on our way, but it would be great to get to 100%!!!

 

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Information for Families: 7.5.21

COVID Update

The news continues to be positive with regard to COVID. The current infection rate in Lewisham 14.1 compared to 21.9 across London and 23.4 across England. The R rate is estimated at between 0.8 – 1.1. Thank you to everyone for working with us to keep Myatt Garden safe and open. Please be assured staff are continuing to take lateral flow tests twice a week as an additional precaution.

Parents’ Meetings

You will be shortly receiving information about an opportunity for you to meet with class teachers to discuss your child’s learning. It has been important to get all of the children back in school and allow them time to settle, but we are now in a position to provide you with relevant, up-to-date information.  These meetings will be virtual and will take a similar format to those in the autumn term. Please tick as many boxes as you can when choosing your slot so that we can do our very best to accommodate all families.

 Summer holiday play-scheme

Once again, substantial works will be being carried out at Myatt during the summer holidays. This will involve the nursery, KS1 and KS2 building. This means that the site will be handed over to the building contractors and therefore sadly there will be no play-scheme at the school this summer.  Lewisham are currently putting together a comprehensive programme across the borough, which includes being able to offer all pupil premium children that would like a place the opportunity to attend. As we receive more information we will ensure we keep you informed.

 The Big Change

A huge well done to all of the children who made an entry to TfL’s The Big Change competition. Ms O’Brien was delighted with such a variety of entries including posters, animation and 3D models. Every entry depicted how changing our mode of transport from cars and buses to cycling, walking or scooting can have a huge impact on the air quality in and around our local area. Well done everybody. Golden Tickets will be awarded to all pupils who entered.

Walk to School Week

We will be taking part in Walk to School Week (17-21 May). This nationwide event is organised by walking charity Living Streets and designed to help pupils experience first-hand the importance of walking to school. Children will be well on their way to reaching their recommended 60 minutes minimum of physical activity per day before even reaching the school gates! Not only will it set them up for a positive day in the classroom, but it will also help create healthy habits for life.

The theme of this year’s event is ‘Walking Superpowers’ and through the week, pupils will be introduced to five different Walking Superpowers who will teach them all about these benefits and reinforce the power of walking, superhero style! Each pupil will be challenged to travel sustainably (walk, wheel, scoot, cycle or Park and Stride) to school every day for one week using wallchart and stickers to log their journeys. Each class will work collectively to make as many active journeys to school as possible across the week. Individual activity diaries, daily stickers and end of week pupil rewards will complement this activity, reinforcing the benefits and keeping children engaged.  What do we want you to do as a parent/carer? We are asking every family to try to travel actively to school on w/c 17 May, helping our school reduce congestion and pollution around the school gates. In return, your child will earn special stickers and a badge!. Walking, wheeling, scooting and cycling all count! If you live far away from school and need to drive or take public transport, try parking the car or hopping off the bus/train ten minutes away and walking the rest of the journey.  We’re well on our way, but it would be great to get to 100%!!!

 Mental Health Awareness Week

Next week is Mental Health Awareness Week and we will be using it to focus on ‘7 days of Kindness’. We will be encouraging Myatt Garden to improve everyone’s mental health by spreading a little kindness and encouraging pupils to do two acts of kindness each day – one for someone else and one for themselves. We aim to help children feel good, improve relationships, make us all happy and bond our community, class or family together.

You may want to develop this further at home …. we’d love to hear about it.

If you would like more information Mental Health Awareness Week you can go to: https://mentalhealth-uk.org/get-involved/mental-health-awareness-days/mental-health-awareness-week/  This year’s theme is ‘Nature’. Recent National Trust research found a link between feeling connected to nature and having improved wellbeing. Some simple ideas you may want to try:

  • Cloud watching is a fun activity for younger children and can provide a moment for mindfulness anywhere. It is also a simple way to get children out and about in nature, which has significant links to good mental health and wellbeing.  Suggested ideas can be found here: Cloud-Watching
  • Make mud pies. Early exposure to dirt/germs helps to build up a more robust immune system. ‘Friendly bacteria’ or probiotics present in the soil, can naturally increase the levels of serotonin in the brain resulting in a similar effect to prescription antidepressants. Getting your hands dirty can make you happier as well as healthier!
  • Hug a tree. Scientific data shows that trees can improve the symptoms of many health issues, including mental illness, ADHD, depression and concentration levels. The act of hugging itself is believed to be beneficial as it can influence levels of ‘happiness’ hormones.
  • Barefoot walking. It is thought that walking barefoot on the Earth enhances health and provides feelings of well-being. This practice occurs in diverse cultures around the world. Walking barefoot on uneven ground helps to strengthen core muscles and supports balance development. Simply choose an appropriate spot, check the area is safe and encourage your learners to remove shoes and socks. Stand still on the grass, soil, sand, etc. and take a moment to check on how this feels.

 Anxiety

Understandably, we are seeing an increased number of children showing signs of anxiety. This looks different in different children from a pain in the tummy, to a reluctance to go to school, not sleeping or angry outbursts and is particularly hard for children to understand and verbalise what is happening to them and why.

We thought it may be helpful to resend some links that offer good advice about how to help your child if this is something you are dealing with at home:

Please remember, we are also here to offer support and advice. You can contact us at: admin@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk  or call on 020 8691 0611.

 

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Information for Families: 30.4.21

The term has got off to a great start at Myatt Garden and throughout the school children have been excited about getting stuck into their new learning. In Year 6 they have been enjoying learning all about light refraction through practical science, whilst in Year 5 they have been busy creating their very own erupting volcanoes. In Year 4 children have been building Anderson shelters as they start to learn about the Home Front and Year 3 have been mummifying tomatoes, as well as preparing costumes for a upcoming Greek day.

In Key Stage 1, Year 2 went on a long flight to Africa where once they arrived they listened to African music and tasted tropical fruits. In Year 1 it’s been all about the minibeasts!

And it doesn’t stop there ….. in Early Years nursery have hatched 3 ducklings and a chick (bit of a surprise!) and in Reception they are loving finding out about all things under the sea! So much so that they’re carrying on into next week.  Myatt Garden classrooms are a wonderful, uplifting place to be right now!

Remember, next week starts with a Bank Holiday, so we will look forward to seeing you back at school on Tuesday morning.

Important School Dates

  •  Monday 3rd May – Bank Holiday (No school)
  • Thursday 6th May – Nursery only closed for elections
  • Monday 7th and Tuesday 8th June – 2 INSET days
  • Monday 31st May – Friday 4th June – Half Term
  • Friday 23rd July – Break Up
  • Wednesday 1st and Thursday 2nd September – 2 INSET Days
  • Friday 3rd September – Children return to school

FOLLOW THE RULES – Message from Lewisham Council

You can reduce your risk of catching COVID-19 by minimising the time spent with people you don’t live with. Social distancing is essential to stop the spread of the virus – go outdoors, where it is safer and there is more space, wear a face covering and maintain a 2m distance from others.  If you have COVID-19 symptoms, stay at home (self-isolate) and get a test. Go to: nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119.

If you’re asked to self-isolate, it’s really important you stay at home, even if you don’t feel unwell. You could still be infectious for up to 10 days. Help is available if you’re worried about self-isolating. You may be eligible for £500 support grant. Find out more by calling 020 8314 3535

If you are worried about money or need free impartial advice, there is support available. Visit https://debtfree.london/  or call free on 0800 808 5700 (open 24 hours a day).

Lateral flow / PCR tests

Please remember that anyone that has COVID symptoms, must take a PCR test (not a rapid lateral flow). These can be booked at: https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test  and you should get results back in 1/2 days.   The rapid, lateral flow tests should only be used if you have no symptoms, but want to check that you do not have COVID. More information about these tests can be found here: Rapid Testing Information

FSM vouchers

Lewisham will once again be providing food vouchers for families that qualify for FSM during the May half term. This time the voucher will be for £18 to include an extra £3 for this week’s Bank Holiday Monday.  Vouchers will be given out in the final week of this half-term.

Puzzles and games wanted

Do you have any puzzles or board games that your children have outgrown, but are still in good condition? Our Breakfast and After-School Club can put them to great use. Just drop them off at the main office and you’ll make some children very happy!

The Big Ask

The Big Ask is a survey for children and young people aged 4–17 in England. It has been split into different age groups, so children can fill in a version appropriate for their age.

It won’t ask for your child’s name; phone number or email and they’ll keep any information safe and private – it won’t be shared with anyone else. Children don’t have to answer any question they don’t want to.

The new Children’s Commissioner for England, Rachel de Souza has written to say “My job is to speak up for children in England, stand up for their rights, and make sure that the people in power listen to what children need and want. It’s time to give something big back to young people like you after COVID – and we need your help to do it. This is the largest ever survey of children and young people in England. We’ll use what you tell us to show the government what you think, and what children need to live happier lives.”

Myatt Garden children are so thoughtful and have such great ideas, I think the government should hear what they have to say! The survey will only take you 5-10 minutes.

https://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/thebigask/?utm_source=dynamics&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=tba-la-initial&msdynttrid=Ksx4dIv-wSodOqsL8wUW-caGBff4ASMhrLZPnz4sBOU 

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Information for Families: 23.4.21

 

I hope you had a lovely break over the Easter holidays. Coming back to school has certainly been made easier by the sunshine!

School Street

Great news that the School Street is now in operation. Hopefully, the small number of cars/ vans that have been using the roads will gradually decrease as everyone gets used to the closures.  It’s really important that you continue to carefully supervise your children as there will always be certain cars that will have permission to travel along the road during these times. Please take care.

Year 1/2 Playground

When we returned to school this week, we changed our Key Stage 1 play-times. Since September Year 1 and 2 have each been playing in a separate section of the top playground. This has been far from ideal, but was what we needed to do due to the restrictions. However, now that the infection rate in Lewisham is 10.8, we feel that the benefits of a better playtime far outweigh the risks.  It does mean that we will now be treating Year 1 and 2 as a bubble, although they will still be distancing inside the building. We have adjusted our risk assessment in light of this small change and will keep it under constant review should the situation change.

Packed Lunch/School Dinner

A reminder that due to the COVID restrictions we are unable to be as flexible as we normally are about swapping between school dinner and packed lunch. You and your child will need to decide whether to be school dinner or packed lunch for a minimum of half a term.

If you decide to change you should email: admin@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk and we will make the necessary arrangements.

Arriving Late

You have all been amazing in your support of the school during what has been a long, difficult time. In order to accommodate social distancing, we have 10 minute windows for each year group to arrive.  Please do your very best to ensure you arrive on time.  If for any reason you are late, please remember that you will need to ring the office to inform us that you will be bringing your child to the Rokeby Rd office and agree a time.

After-School Club

We have been able to be really flexible at After-School Club whilst numbers have been low, accommodating families as and when they need a place. However, numbers are now rising and in order to manage staffing levels, we need to ask all families that use the club to commit to the afternoons that they need.  We may well be able to help families out for additional days at short notice, but once booked children will need to attend or you will have to pay for unattended sessions.   If you would like your child to attend, please contact: admin@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk.

The club runs from the end of the school day until 6pm. Children are offered a range of art & craft, lego, games, outdoor play and a snack e.g. pasta, soup, rolls, beans on toast. The charge is £11 a session or £50 for the week. Sessions need to be paid for in advance via Parentpay.

Big Change poster

As part of our focus on Earth Day this week, we have given the children information about TfL’s The Big Change competition that they may want to take part in at home.  For this competition, TfL want children to get creative and make something that shows how we can make big changes to how we travel to help improve the quality of the environment.

They can choose any form, such as:

  • A poster;
  • Art: such as a sculpture or collage;
  • Film: a short film or animation (Please note they can’t accept films including identifiable close-ups of individuals);
  • Writing: such as a poem or short story;

They want to hear your own message in your own unique way. As young people, your message can be extremely powerful for other people your age.

This competition is open to all London school children and in two categories:

  • Under 7s
  • 8-10

Prizes

There will be a winner in each category. They will win a gift bundle from the London Transport Museum shop worth £75.  All winners and 2 runners up from each category will be displayed in our online gallery.

The competition closes on 5 May. Winning entries will be contacted via the email provided in the entry form in the week starting 24 May. Families can post their child’s entry to: https://www.ltmuseum.co.uk/stars/big-change or alternatively children can bring their entries into school and Ms O’Brien will enter them on their behalf.

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Easter Break

Our last day of school this term will be Wednesday 31st March. School will finish at the normal time. 

We will be returning to school on Monday 19th April.

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Information for Families: 26.3.21

Thank you for all your continued support over the last three weeks as the children have returned to school. Our pupils have been so excited to be back, loving being with their friends and keen to embrace face-to-face learning.  As expected we have also seen many children finding the transition difficult. After so long off school, it is completely natural for children to feel anxious about returning and this can be displayed in many ways. We are working hard to support children relearn the rules, manage their ‘physicality’ and re-establish emotional connections with their friends.

If you are noticing changes in your children’s behaviour e.g. reluctance to try new things, lashing out, worrying at bedtime, emotional outbursts there is lots of helpful advice at:

https://youngminds.org.uk/find-help/for-parents/parents-guide-to-support-a-z/parents-guide-to-support-anxiety/

https://childmind.org/article/what-to-do-and-not-do-when-children-are-anxious/

https://healthyfamilies.beyondblue.org.au/age-6-12/mental-health-conditions-in-children/anxiety/strategies-to-support-anxious-children

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/sites/default/files/anxious_child.pdf

Please remember, we are also here to offer support and advice. You can contact us at: admin@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk or call on 020 8691 0611.

Easter Break

Our last day of school this term will be Wednesday next week (31st March). School will finish at the normal time.  We will be returning to school on Monday 19th April.

COVID update

The current infection rate in Lewisham is 29.4 compared to 35.8 in London.  Please make sure that you notify us of any confirmed cases over the Easter break. Please email us at: admin@myattgarden.lewisham.sch.uk with the following information:

  • Name of child
  • Class
  • Date when symptoms started
  • Date when confirmed test result received

As we approach 29th March (Monday) we are all hopeful that we will be eased into the next stage and be able to enjoy the lifting of some restrictions.

You will be able to:

  • Meet up with others outside as a group of six (rule of six) or as two whole households. You can meet in public places like a park and in private gardens.   
  • Take part in outdoor sports or use outdoor leisure facilities.  For example, this means you can play tennis, basketball and use outdoor swimming pools.     

But still can’t:

  • Travel outside your local area or go on holiday.  
  • Mix with others indoors that you don’t live, including in your home.

Play-dates and Sleep-overs

I have been made aware of a few families organising both play-dates and sleep-overs. Whilst I understand the desire, it is crucial that we are all abiding by the rules. We are having to make so many adjustments in school in order to maintain bubbles and enable children to socially distance as much as possible and we need you to do your part outside of school.

Even from 12th April (the next milestone) you cannot:

  • Mix with others indoors that you don’t live with either in your home or a public indoor place.
  • Meet up as more than a group of six, or two households.

School Street

I hope you saw yesterday’s email regarding the launch of our School Street straight after Easter on Monday 19th March. We are really excited that this will be operating between 8.30 – 9.45am and 2.45 – 4.00pm each day.

Parent /Carer Survey

If you haven’t done it already, please take a few minutes to complete our annual survey https://forms.office.com/r/vQ8rVqfARM. Despite everything that we have all been through this year, we are still committed to continual improvement in light of feedback from you, the pupils and staff. The information you provide us with is important in helping us evaluate our practice and decide on our priorities for next year.

Dogs

A polite reminder to avoid bringing dogs to school at drop off or collection. The reasons for this are two-fold:

  • Some children are scared of dogs.
  • Others are fascinated by dogs, but need to understand that not all dogs are approachable. This is hard to manage at the school gate.

  

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Lewisham School Street Programme

I am delighted that Lewisham have confirmed their plans to activate our School Street from Monday 19th April, the day we return to school after the Easter holidays. This will operate between 8.30 – 9.45am and 2.45 – 4.00pm.

Cameras have been installed at the entrance of Upper Brockley and Rokeby Road to enforce the closure. Once the ANPR cameras go live, anyone that is not exempt and is entering the School Street during the closure time, will be liable to either a warning letter or a fine.  

Residents with a car will be able to register their vehicles and therefore be exempt if they live on either road or are blue badge owners. This means that their vehicle registration number will be added to a database and they won’t receive a fine for entering the School Street.

We don’t want any of our school community getting caught out, so we will be sending lots of reminders.

This is a huge step forward in safer journeys to school, easing congestion and cleaner air!

 

 

 

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Parent Survey 2021

What a year we have all had! It has been a year like no other and has meant that many things have had to be very different this year.

But throughout, at Myatt Garden we have held firm to our commitment to a broad and creative curriculum, where we offer children a wide range of active learning opportunities to challenge them and encourage them to develop a growth mindset.  Our children’s well-being has been our foremost priority as we have welcomed them back in school and carefully considered how to support, nurture and challenge them.

Despite everything that we have all been through, we are still committed to continual improvement in light of feedback from you, the pupils and staff. The information you provide us with is important in helping us evaluate our practice and decide on our priorities for next year.

Please take a few minutes to complete our survey:

https://forms.office.com/r/vQ8rVqfARM

It is really important that the survey is representative of the whole school community, so please find a few minutes and give us your considered opinion.  We look forward to reviewing your responses and using them to inform our plans for the future.

 

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Comic Relief 2021

A huge thank you to everyone who supported our wonderful School Council’s Comic Relief celebration today. It was lovely to see so much red throughout the school and hear so many hilarious/corny jokes. The best of these will be displayed on class windows to cheer up our neighbourhood.

So far, our amazing community has raised £1,190 – WOW!!!

If you still want to give to our Comic Relief fund, please use: https://app.parentpay.com/ParentPayShop/Foc/Default.aspx?shopid=2733 .

This page will stay open until next week.

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Information for Families: 19.3.21

COVID Update

As expected with schools returning and more households mixing on the streets, the infection rate, although still relatively low has gone up slightly. It is currently 28.4 in Lewisham – the biggest percentage rise (up 42.6%) in any London borough this week. The overall London rate is currently 39.4.  I know I keep saying it, but it is really important that we all keep following the rules – this way we will have more chance of successfully moving to the next stage on 29th March where two households can meet outdoors.

From 8th March

You can

 Meet outside with one other person. This means you can now go for a picnic or a coffee outside.

  • Use wraparound childcare if needed for work, learning or appointments.
  • Become a named visitor to someone in a care home.

 You still cannot

  • You must continue to stay at home as much as possible.
  • Meet up with more than one person outside that you don’t live with or who is in your support bubble.
  • Meet up with anyone indoors that is not in your household or support bubble.

 From 29th March (at the earliest)

You can

  • Meet up with others outside as a group of six (rule of six) or as two whole households. You can meet in public places like a park and in private gardens.
  • Take part in outdoor sports or use outdoor leisure facilities.

 You still cannot

  • Travel outside your local area or go on holiday.
  • Mix with others indoors that you don’t live, including in your home.

 We need your help to find pupils from the 70’s

We want to build up some local history resources about our school and to help us, we’re looking for ex-Myatt Garden pupils from the 1970’s.  If you know anyone who went to Myatt or lived in the area in the 1970’s, we would love to speak to them and to hear and capture their memories. We’d also like copies of any photos people may have of Upper Brockley Rd and Rokeby Rd before the school was built, during the build or after.

RAFT Workshop

Year 3 are taking part in the first of three workshops today with RAFT (Retrofit Action For Tomorrow), to explore the fabric and services of the school buildings and develop an appreciation of its history. The day was kicked off by Harry, the architect behind the work, providing an introduction into the project and its aims. The children are spending today:

  • actively looking at the building & recording what they see;
  • researching old photographs/plans/letters & writing/drawing/annotating;
  • presenting and displaying the findings.

This is part of a much bigger project by Lewisham Council to create a zero carbon plan for five schools, one of which is ours!

We were delighted to have been chosen and are looking forward to working with RAFT to further reduce our energy bills and carbon footprint. The proposal aims to engage, educate and empower children and the wider school community to reduce energy and carbon use at school and home.

 Census

A reminder that the Census is coming.  The Census is a unique survey that happens every 10 years. It provides a snapshot of all the people and households in England and Wales – the most detailed information about our society. Without this information, it would be more difficult to understand our community’s needs and to plan public services including school places, doctors’ surgeries or cycle lanes. Because these things matter to all of us, we are encouraging everyone to complete the Census.

Census day is Sunday 21st March 2021. You should receive a letter with an access code in the post and you can complete the on-line form as soon as you receive it. Alternatively, you can ask ONS for a paper form to fill in. There is help available over the phone if you or anyone you know needs it, including in a range of languages.   If you need help or have any questions, please visit: www.census.gov.uk

 

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Information for Families: 12.3.21

It’s been the most glorious week. Having the children back in school has been such an uplifting experience for all of us – they have breathed life back into all parts of our building and nothing makes us smile more than hearing the yelps, laughter and excitement from the playground on a windy day!  I hope it’s been equally glorious for you!

We have made this a special week for all classes, choosing learning that has whilst not focusing on ‘lockdown’ has allowed children space / time to reconnect, allowed then to re-establish routines and relationships and to feel safe and successful back in school.

Please be assured that we have given great consideration to our next steps and approaches as we move into the rest of the school year. It is crucial that we balance the demands of children that have returned to class with such different experiences over the last 8 weeks – rebuilding self-confidence, providing appropriate levels of challenge and making them feel proud.

COVID
Whilst we know that it will be a little while before we notice any change in figures because of children being back in school, the current infection rate in Lewisham is down to 19.9. This is an amazing number thanks to everyone’s hard work following the restrictions.

The biggest risk at the moment feels like the end of the school day when lot of adults are in the same location. Please help us by maintaining the 2m distance from other adults. This can be achieved by waiting across the road until your pick-up time and then standing 2m apart as you wait in line at the gate.

Please continue to stick to the guidance out of school and hopefully we will all be moving towards ‘normal’ very soon.

Rapid Testing
Local councils in England are offering a new type of coronavirus (COVID-19) test to people who do not have symptoms.

Around 1 in 3 people have coronavirus without displaying any symptoms, therefore regular testing for people with no symptoms will help to find positive cases earlier and break chains of transmission.

These ‘rapid lateral flow tests’ are free and you get a result 30 minutes after taking the test. They are now available for people without coronavirus symptoms who are part of a household with primary, secondary and college-age children and young people, including childcare and support bubbles.  Rapid tests have been really successful in identifying those who have coronavirus with no symptoms, which helps stop the spread of the virus and prevents outbreaks.

You can access rapid testing twice a week:
1. Get tested at one of our rapid test sites in Catford, Downham, Deptford or Sydenham. You can book a rapid test in advance or check the website for walk-in slots that may be available.
2. Collect rapid tests from a local testing centre to do at home:
• Vanguard Street car park, Vanguard St, Deptford
• Molesworth car park, Molesworth St, Lewisham

FSM
Families that qualify for FSM will be receiving a voucher for the Easter holidays. These are no longer funded by the government, but have been made available by Lewisham council.

Red Nose Day
Our wonderful School Council have organised a Comic Relief event for next Friday. We’ve kept it very simple so that everyone who wants to can join in – no need to buy anything special!!! The school council will be sending out more information on Monday.

Travel Survey
A reminder to all families to please complete the travel survey we sent out this week. You only need to complete one on behalf of your family and it takes less than 2 mins.  The more families that complete the survey, the more accurate our information which will be used to help us look at how we can reduce our carbon footprint in the future.

Wellies
Our nursery is short of wellies!! These are really useful when it rains and children want to splash in puddles, etc. If your children have outgrown their wellies, please drop them off at the nursery gate and we will put them to good use once they have been quarantined! We are particularly short of sizes 8 – 12.

 

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Information for Families: Return to School Letter

Please see letter from the Director of Education and Director of Public Health at Lewisham Council here: ReturnToSchoolLetterMarch2021

 

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Information for Families: 5.3.21

Thank you for all your patience and hard work over the last 7 weeks. It has been a mammoth effort on everyone’s part to navigate our way through, but we’ve made it. I have no doubt we will look back at these times and marvel at our capacity to keep going in the face of such adversity.

I know we are all delighted that school will be open to all our children from Monday. As we re-open, it is critical that we all do our bit in ensuring that we do not contribute to any rise in infection rates. With more community contact in school and at the gates, we want to minimise any rise in local figures and keep all bubbles open.

COVID Update

More great news!! Lewisham’s COVID figures continue to improve as we head towards re-opening on Monday morning.  The local infection rate is now 37.6, with the R rate between 0.6 – 0.8.

Re-opening Information

Please make sure that you read the booklet below before your child returns to school on Monday. We have updated our risk assessments and issued new guidance to staff and families. Whilst much of this remains the same, it has been 11 weeks since the majority of you and the children were in school and we need to refresh everyone’s memory of our routines and procedures.

Updated Handbook for Parents

Key Points for Families

Symptoms

If anyone in your household becomes unwell with:

  • a new and persistent cough or;
  • a high temperature, or;
  • has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell;

 you must stay at home and not come to the school.

 If in doubt, keep your child at home and discuss any associated symptoms with us – loss of appetite, diarrhea, extreme tiredness, headaches, joint pain/muscle ache, runny nose, sore throat or sneezing.

 Drop off/Pick up

Be on time and ALWAYS wear a mask at the gate (unless you are exempt).

Keep your children with you and stay 2m apart from other families – avoid gathering for a chat.

Once you have dropped off your child, please cross the road and go.

If you are running late, you will need to phone the school and arrange an alternative time to drop off your child. You will not be able to just arrive at a later time with your child.

If your child is wearing a face mask to school, you must provide a re-sealable plastic bag to store the mask during the day.

 

PLEASE NOTE YEAR 3 DROP OFF IS NOW 9.10 – 9.20am AND YEAR 5 IS NOW 9- 9.10am.

ALL OTHER YEAR GROUPS REMAIN THE SAME (A reminder of times are included in the attached information booklet)

 

Water bottle

Make sure your child brings a named water bottle which can be refilled in school.

Bringing things to school

Please ensure that your child(ren) are only bringing essential items into school.

There will be a real temptation as more people get vaccinated and the weather improves, to ‘get back to normal’. This cannot happen soon enough, but I urge you all to please continue to follow the rules and not meet up outside of school in groups beyond the restrictions. I have included the most current restrictions and the changes scheduled for the 29th for your convenience.

From 8th March

You can 

  • Meet outside for recreation or exercise with your household, support bubble or one other person. This means you can now go for a picnic or a coffee outside. 
  • Return to the classroom. Schools and colleges are open for all students again. 
  • Use wraparound childcare if needed for work, learning or appointments. 
  • Become a named visitor to someone in a care home. 

You still cannot

  • Leave your home unless it is for a legally permitted reason.  You must continue to stay at home as much as possible. 
  • Meet up with more than one person outside that you don’t live with or who is in your support bubble.  
  • Meet up with anyone indoors that is not in your household or support bubble. 

From 29th March (at the earliest)

 You can

  • Meet up with others outside as a group of six (rule of six) or as two whole households. You can meet in public places like a park and in private gardens.   
  • Take part in outdoor sports or use outdoor leisure facilities.  For example, this means you can play tennis, basketball and use outdoor swimming pools.     
  • Attend a parent and child group of up to 15 people outdoors.

You still cannot

  • Travel outside your local area or go on holiday.  
  • Mix with others indoors that you don’t live or aren’t in your support bubble, including in your home.

School Street

Sadly, despite some work having been completed, I have been informed this week that there has been a bit of a delay with the start of our much awaited closures of both Upper Brockley and Rokeby Rad at the beginning and end of the day. I have been informed that they hope to have them ready for our return after Easter.

MHST Wellbeing Support Line

Our wonderful Lewisham Mental Health Support Team have decided to extend their Lockdown support package for parents/carers who have concerns around their child’s emotional wellbeing.

They will provide a telephone support service where you will be able to speak to a practitioner for wellbeing advice, support and resources for your child. (This is not for any urgent mental health concerns).

To contact them you should email: lewishammhst@slam.nhs.uk and tell them:

– That your child (ren) attends Myatt Garden;

– A contact phone number;

– What you would like advice or support with (for your child).

They will then call you back within one working week of making email contact.

 

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