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Private Fostering Awareness Week 21st-25th September 2020

This week is Private Fostering Week and will highlight the importance of notifying the local authority about Private Fostering arrangements. The local authority has a duty to assess and ensure the safety and well-being of the children in these arrangements, which are often not reported.

Private Fostering is when a child under the age of 16 years old or under 18 if they have a disability, is cared for by someone who is not their birth parent, person with parental responsibility or a "close relative" - step-parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, uncles or aunts. Any other family member, family friend, parent of the child’s friend, or a host family would be a private fostering arrangement, including agencies caring for a child while they study in the UK either from the UK or abroad.

The arrangement is made between a parent or person with parental responsibility and a carer, with the intention that it lasts for 28 days or more. It is not Private Fostering if the arrangement was made by a social worker or if the person looking after the child is an approved foster carer.

These arrangements may be; teenagers living with a friend or family of their boyfriend or girlfriend, children on a holiday exchange or sent to the U.K. for education or health care by their parents, children with another family due to their parent’s work or study commitments or relationship breakdown.

The Private Foster carers are responsible for safeguarding the children and their day to day care. Financial responsibility remains with the children’s parents or person with parental responsibility. Children in Private Fostering arrangements are deemed to be a Child in Need and will be supported as such.

Any person involved in making arrangements or aware of a Private Fostering arrangement, must notify the First Response team (Telephone 0800 13 13 126) immediately. Following this a referral will be made to the Safeguarding Unit for an assessment who will in turn refer to Family and Friends for their assessment to be completed within 42 days of notification. A recommendation will be made whether the arrangement is suitable or unsuitable.

In suitable arrangements, the local authority has a duty to maintain and record statutory visits to the carers and children where they will support Private Foster Carers with advice, links to other services, training and assistance to resolve family difficulties. If an arrangement is unsuitable parents or person with parental responsibility are responsible for making appropriate alternative arrangements and the local authority can serve a prohibition notice if required.

For further information  or to report at a child is being Privately fostered please call First Response on 0800 13 13 126


St Nics Run The World Challenge 21.09.2020

Well done Team St Nics, over the weekend lots of you were out being active and we have clocked up collectively 285 miles! 

This would get us from school to St Ives if travelling southerly,

or from St Nics to just past Edinburgh if heading northerly! 

Ice Cream Man

A couple of parents now have contacted me to raise concerns about queuing for the ice cream van after school (this Friday was a particular case in point).  

The ice cream van is well within their rights to position themselves in any of the streets surrounding school, as long as within the highway restrictions and I have no jurisdiction over this.   Likewise parents are entitled to stop and buy one (I love an ice cream myself!) J.   Also I appreciate that with Autumn on the way and such small businesses having had loss of trade from lockdown, these last few warmer days are a last chance of generating income.

However on Friday images of families queuing for an ice cream that were sent in to me, appeared to be bringing adults and children in to unnecessary close contact and causing waiting children to run on neighbours gardens.

Please do maintain distance from one another in such instances, otherwise the work to maintain children in year group bubbles in school is rendered futile.

Thanks for your help.  

Increasing School Based Measures

Staff Absence

We are quite depleted this week and it is only Monday!    We have managed to cover all classes with the deployment of specialist teachers and reorganisation of support staff but I am writing to make parents aware that we have a number of staff undergoing testing or unwell. Currently we have 3 teachers and 2 teaching assistants who cannot be in school either through illness or self-isolation.   As you know either testing is required or the 10 or 14 day isolation period. (NB 10 days if staff member has symptoms, 14 days if their family member has symptoms)

As you would imagine access to supply teachers is scarce as naturally some are choosing not to work at the moment and others are so in demand covering absences like we experience today.   As such we have been proactive and advertised to appoint a key group of known supply staff in a bid to keep all classes open.   We never like to use agency supply teachers, preferring staff who know our school routines and expectations and in time get to know the children.

Staff absence this term is unavoidable and in accordance with the government expectations.   We hope to have most staff back following negative tests as soon as possible.   However access to testing and timescales for results are a challenge as a result of high demand for testing.

Therefore we would ask that parents are really mindful to only book tests if their child has the specific Covid-19 symptoms, not for normal cold and flu symptoms which we know resurface at this time every year. We know it is hard and a worry for parents, but this way those with symptoms can be tested and returned to work/school as quickly as possible.

Rising R Rate

As the R rate continues to rise and staff are starting to have symptoms/colds etc, we need to be really mindful of distancing or continually mitigating risk when in school. As such staff remain in the year group bubble as far as possible to minimise exposure to different groups.   However sometimes when needed to cover lessons or support children across the school then staff are being reminded to:

  • consider and evaluate the use of face masks/visors
  • maintain a 2 metre distance from pupils and staff (Caretakers have marked out a safety zone/teacher area in each class for visiting teachers/supply staff/support staff who aren’t normally based in that room and for vulnerable staff to stay within. You should note that some classrooms do not allow a 2 metre distance and to do so this means standing at the wall as in the picture below.   Nevertheless maximum distance is still better than no distance. Please see pic to illustrate in 3G.)
  • work outdoors if it is possible with weather conditions

As always hand washing and hand gel remains a high priority.

Parent visits to school

We will not be allowing parents in to the school building to meet staff this term.   To do so would mean the need to meet in a small confined space, even my office is only 4 metres long and many others much smaller.   Should emergency meetings be needed where communication cannot be carried out via email or phone call then these will be carried out using Microsoft Teams (our preferred school means) or Zoom (if this suits parents better). Where parents feel that this is too difficult of course a good old fashioned phone call can be organised also.

Thank you to all who have taken seriously the need to stay away from the small school office Reception area as much as possible, this has been noted and appreciated.   From today we would expect all visitors to the school office for essential visits only please to wear a face mask.   Our office team are essential to the smooth running of the school and I have a duty to protect them, in the same way as other adult facing workers would be protected (e.g shop staff, bus drivers etc).

New parent visits to school

Where we have new parents wanting to look around the school this will be conducted outdoors, showing the external site, with visitor again asked to wear face masks. These will always be carried out by Miss Parker to minimise staff mixing with adults that are not from within their households.   This is a measure that will protect staff and children, as well as our visitors.

Parents Evening 2nd November

This is under continual review. As you know we hoped to invite parents in throughout the day for a socially distanced face to face appointment.   As things develop over the coming weeks this may not be possible, but we will keep a watching brief.   

We have been fortunate to not have a confirmed positive case within our immediate community and long may this be the case.  Please do support us with these measures to keep our school and classrooms open.   

Many thanks Miss Parker

Covid What to do when...

Another flowchart design to help parents know what to do with children or household members who have symptoms.   We appreciate it is confusing for everyone! 

Please select a file to download:
Download this file (flowchart covid19.pdf)flowchart covid19.pdf

Staffordshire Lockdown Memories

Staffordshire Archives and Heritage Service has launched a new project called ‘Lockdown Memories’. The aim of the project is to create a lasting record of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown measures and how they have affected the lives of Staffordshire people.

Everyone has been affected by the pandemic. You might have spent lockdown home schooling, or socially isolating in your own home, or may even have suffered through illness. Whatever your experience we would like to hear your story.

We also want to collect as many reminiscences as possible - these will help us to document Staffordshire’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, and may be used for an exhibition, publication, or website.

If you have any objects, photographs, drawings, paintings or documents relating to your lockdown experiences that you would like to lend or donate to the Archive Service or the County Museum’s collections, please let us know. This might be photographs, protective clothing or leaflets, things linked to VE Day or the Black Lives Matter events, or anything else which you associate with your lockdown memories.

We would like school pupils to let us know their experiences of lockdown:

  • What did you do during lockdown?
  • What was good about lockdown?
  • What didn’t you like about lockdown?
  • Name, age and school.

Please email or send written responses to:

Chris Copp, Senior Museums Officer, Archives & Heritage,
Unit G, Beacon Business Park, Weston Road, Stafford ST18 0WL

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

St Nics Run The World Challenge reminder!

Please don't forget to log your run or walk online here.   For more info about the challenge please see here.   Thanks to all who have taken part so far, we will update you with where we have travelled to next week! 

School Parking and Consideration for Neighbours

I have had complaints since the new road markings have been in force from local families about:

  • access to driveways being blocked on Chillington Drive
  • children running across gardens whilst waiting for the ice cream man in Walton Gardens.

As you can imagine we wish to exist in harmony with our neighbours who are generally overwhelmingly supportive of the school’s work and the events we run from time to time that might immediately impact upon them.

Please be considerate with your parking and watch children on the way to and from school to ensure that they are keeping off gardens and driveways.

Thanks for your help.

Letter About Lockdown Learning

Please see attached letter with information about St Nicholas Home Learning Arrangements for the eventuality that we ever have to ask a class or year group to self-isolate.  You will find within the letter attached a sample lesson and a brief introduction.   

Please select a file to download:
Download this file (Home learning arrangements .pdf)Home learning arrangements .pdf

Home Learning and Curriculum Topic Webs

Please see link here to our weebly where you can find your child's home learning grid and topic web under each year group heading.   The home learning is optional and can be used to support the curriculum in school, at home, to support.   


School Uniform incl. polo shirts

We have met with Crested a Wolverhampton based uniform supplier, who provide online sales, as well as in shop support as another supplier of school uniform.   Uniform can still be purchased from Bradsports, in Bilbrook as before also.  

Uniform can be seen online here or in store at Crested.

Likewise at Bradsports here.

We want parents to have as many options as possible.   Bradsports sell clothing with school logos, as do Crested. Equally Bradsports will put logos on to supermarket or shop bought uniform.  

Most items are similar prices, but each supplier may be better for different items and so we want you to be able to choose where you shop. The school has no preferred supplier.

Finally a number of parents have asked about school polo shirts. These CAN now be worn all year around.   We appreciate that they are cheaper, easier to wash, dry and iron and more comfortable for smaller children to wear and put on. We hope this helps.   Equally parents who prefer the traditional Winter long sleeved shirt, can choose for their child to wear this to suit.   It is a matter of child and parent preference.

Confirmed Covid Cases

Over the last few days we have had notification of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Codsall in a number of different educational settings,  spanning almost all phases of education.    To confirm arrangements please read below.  We understand that many of our families have siblings in Codsall Middle and Codsall High particularly.

At this point in time children with siblings that are sent home into isolation (who have no symptoms) as they may have come into contact with a person who has had a positive test, may come to school as normal.   If a sibling sent home starts to display symptoms then the whole family would need to isolate for 14 days. 

As Head Teachers we are simply following the advice provided by the Local Authority Health Protection Teams, however we do understand that things are confusing for families and naturally you will worry.

We will continue to revisit our school risk assessments, enforce cleaning regimes and insist on hand washing and hand gelling protocols to try and contain the virus.   

DFE Covid-19 Helpline

Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline is available to answer questions about coronavirus (COVID-19) relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline by calling:

Phone: 0800 046 8687

Opening hours:

Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm

St Nicholas Covid-19 Risk Assessment 4th Review

Please see recently reviewed and updated school Covid-19 Risk Assessment.  

Please select a file to download:
Download this file (SNFS RA COVID 4th Review.doc)SNFS RA COVID 4th Review.doc

St Nics Run The World Challenge!

St Nics Run The World Challenge


I think we would all agree that lockdown has affected children and adults in all sorts of ways.   One thing that really helped my family was to be active and to go out for a daily run or walk, I know many St Nics families enjoyed this also.   With the continued Covid-19 threat, it is important that we all remain as fit and as healthy as we can, whilst also looking after our mental health.   At school we have been keen to build in additional physical sessions for the children to ensure they have short periods of high intensity exercise within the school day, along with more calming and mindful activities.  

As a steady runner, who isn’t overly concerned about improving time, but more enjoying the freedom and headspace a run provides, I decided as a motivator to keep track of my daily runs and map these with my son.   We wanted to see how long it would take Mommy to run to St Ives (where we would be visiting on holiday).   From discussions about this with the staff team (within which there are a number of other keen runners), the St Nics Run The World Challenge was born!

We would like you and your child to let us know every time you go for a run or brisk walk and the distance, logging it here in MILES please.    Where possible use decimal format for a 2 and a half mile run simply enter 2.5 and so on.   To do so takes seconds.   We will then each week show the children on a map in my assembly time how far their community together has travelled on foot.   This will help (we hope) to motivate children to move out of school, spur on some of the adult community to put their trainers on and give everyone a collective goal to celebrate. In turn it will have (again we hope) a positive impact on the physical and mental health of the community.

From the simple logging form, we can announce to children who has run the furthest both individually and as a year group.

Parents who may be new to running, might find the Couch to 5K info useful.   Calculating your distance walked or run can be easily achieved using a smart phone/watch or by downloading the map my run app to your phone or by working out distance by marking out your route on map my run on a computer/device afterwards.

Teachers will try and allow some additional running time in school for as long as the field allows weather wise.   We hope that this is something you and your child will enjoy.  

Running is a great way to keep you and your family fit, it can easily be slotted in to the day as you can do it from your door and relatively inexpensive as long as you have some running shoes/trainers.  

Let’s see where our feet take us first…

Miss Parker

Prayer from St Nics Church to the community


Dear God, we pray for our families.

For all who care for children at this time.

For those who are fearful bring peace and comfort.

Keep our families safe from all harm.


We pray for our children.

Thank you for their enthusiasm and energy.

In these strange times may they delight in the new things they are learning,

and may they find laughter and joy among friends.


We pray for our school.

Thank you for all who teach us, clean after us, cook for us and work in administration.

We pray for our Head Teacher, Chair of Governors, and governing body.

as together they work to keep us safe and make our school a safe and happy place.



A big thank you to Rev Marg and her team for their care for us as we begin this new term.

Donations for Nursery

Nursery would be grateful of any unwanted toys from home (in good condition please). 

For example, cars, trains, diggers, tractors, farm animals, small figures and puzzles. These will be sterilised before use.    Before we purchase any new items, we thought we would ask as we are often contacted by parents who have had a clear out and are keen to donate.    

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