School Newsletter

Goodbye Class of 2021!

We have reached that sad time of year when we must say goodbye to our Y6 pupils. This week they have really enjoyed a lot of rites of passage including the ‘signing of the school shirt’, a non-uniform day at their request; and it’s a pizza and chips dinner on their last day finishing with graduation at the end of the day on Friday!

The ‘pièce de résistance’ though during the final few weeks was definitely the opportunity that they had to visit London last week – we are so pleased that they got to go on this as it was a really memorable experience and many haven’t stopped talking about it since our return.

We always wish them well, telling them that we hope they have CVPS wings with which to fly, and CVPS roots to ground their values. They have shown resilience and resolve to manage their online learning – and their SATs scores (despite Covid) were the best in the school’s history! Well done Y6 we know you are truly going to ‘rock’ wherever you go next! We wish you well, thank you for making your mark with us, and we hope to see you revisit us in the future!


Covid Update

During the transition weeks we have decided to continue with all of our existing Covid control procedures given the substantial positive test results in the community at the moment. This means we will continue to respectfully request that all adults who come onto site to visit school (even in the school field for the sports celebration days), will be asked to wear masks and respect the social distancing arrangements. To keep our staff and existing bubbles as safe as possible we ask that only one adult per child attends the sports activity afternoons, and that both older and younger siblings don’t attend.

I appreciate this is disappointing, but we do feel that we are on a knife edge managing not only potential Covid transmission, but also the significant numbers of staff that have been subject to the legal isolation requirements.

The end of isolation….Hurray!

Once we get to August 16th – we will no longer need to isolate any child other than those who test positive for Covid. This will mean a lot less disruption in the future and we are so looking forward to that! We are proud to have only lost 23 school days in total throughout the current academic year in terms of the days when we have closed bubbles. Huge thanks to you all for playing such significant part in that

– it’s definitely been a team effort.


Final day pizza and chips with three cheers for Chef Lynn!


Year 3 bubble closure

It was absolutely heartbreaking to have to send Y3 home this week due to a positive Covid test in the class. The children were really looking forward to their showcase of their fairground carousel models at The Discovery Museum. However these situations happen through no fault of anyone, and so we have to show resilience and model that to our children. We are trying to link with Cheree and Michael to be able to get them to repeat their planned Discovery experience as soon as possible or for an alternative treat if that’s not possible.
The more frequent sound of ambulance sirens outside are a reminder that we must still play our part as a school in adhering to the guidelines to minimise transmission rates of the virus for as long as possible.

Transition Time

Around the rest of school there’s definitely been mixed emotions this week. Some children have been slightly nervous (understandably) about moving to their next classes. Some have been excited. Some have been rather more wistful than usual, and some have been more tetchy and unsettled than is usual. We have tried to keep things as much to our usual routine as possible, and openly talked about reflecting on the positives at the end of this year. Then starting to think about the new things we’ll be excited about in our new classes. I’ve been surprised that the children seem to have been more impacted this year about the change, with them all having been so settled where they currently are. I think some of the unseen impact of lockdown, uncertainty and Covid means those things which are certain (teachers, classrooms and routines at school) are more precious to us.

Reflections : huge thank yous and goodbye…

As we arrive at the end of another busy year, we take time to reflect and take stock of the events and special activities that have taken place.

Our three key themes and topics this year have certainly been a great springboard for many widely varying experiences and the children have exceeded our expectations in many ways. The topic

entitled ‘Does Art change the world?’ brought about some fantastic responses from KS2 working with our artist in residence, Jane Lee McCracken. Jane has continued to do some work with some of the children who showed exceptional gift in art. I was delighted to have received an image this week created by one of our Y6 pupils Tallulah Dowden who was inspired by Jane to use biro for this beautiful tiger drawing. A true artist already! Well done Tallulah!

Then in our topic in the spring term we reviewed the question ‘Is it good to be different?’ This brought about some excellent discussions about human rights, and we were able to explore diversity, socially as well as culturally at age appropriate levels.

After nearly a full term in lockdown in the spring, we returned to school just before our Easter break to be able to launch the summer term ‘Can we be fairground experts?’ This gave us an amazing opportunity to be able to get the children out and about after what felt like a year of being inside! With bookings for coaches and fairgrounds we enjoyed a fantastic trip to Ocean Park Pleasure Beach and had a great time. We wove into the theme all our science curriculum looking at forces, motion, electrical circuitry, history as well as some cultural appreciation. Seeing the delight on the children’s faces as they spent time at the rides on a glorious spring day was worth all the planning.

And so we reach the end of another brilliant year. Thank you so much for all the feedback forms that have been completed – we really appreciate the time taken to share your views and the encouraging words for the hard working staff team are a real boost at the end of a busy year. We will close the survey on Weds 21st July so please add your comments by then. Click here.

Staff changes

There’s a bitter-sweet time at the end of every school year when we must say goodbye to some of the wonderful staff who have supported the school throughout the year and who are moving on. It’s bitter because we know we will miss them, but sweet as we know they are moving on in their career or to just do something different that they’re looking forward to.

This year we are thankful to both Amy Biggins in Y1 and Christy Shirley in EYFS who have both come to the end of their contracts with us. They have had a hugely positive impact, on supporting the children’s emotional well-being and pastorally providing the children with everything they have needed and more. The children have loved their time in their classes and they have been highly valued members of the staff team. We will miss them both and wish them well for the future.

Then we have three more staff who have shouldered leadership responsibilities at CVPS for around 25 years between all three of them!

Ashleigh Galloway leaves her role at CVPS to take a career break to support her husband’s increasingly successful business. Ashleigh has been instrumental in developing the forest school provision at CVPS and has inspired our children over the ten years since she has (more or less continuously) led our distinctive forest school offer. She created a progression of skills and unique badge system and has taught many children the skills for bushcraft and fire-making. Ashleigh has developed our forest school ranger recognition programme for those children who have a real passion for learning in the outdoors. The children have loved Ashleigh’s leadership in forest school and have really benefited from her many creative ideas, highly skilled knowledge of tools, fires, nature and the environment. As a staff team we will miss Ashleigh’s ice breakers at staff training days – especially the hungry hippos! We wish Ashleigh and Lee well and every success with their business and want Ashleigh to know that we will protect her legacy as Paul Leedham takes over the forest school coordination ably supported by Debbie Thompson next year.

Lisa Brown steps away from CVPS this coming year after being a key player in the early development of the school since before it opened! Lisa has left a legacy throughout the school within both early years and our phonics provision across school. Our early years basic skills have been pioneered by Lisa, and she pioneered some home grown Little Angels approaches to risk management and conflict resolution with the youngest children such as our ‘Hazard Harry and Safety Sue Risky Business’, and ‘Bother and Best’ programmes. All the children who came to us in reception during the early years of our school opening, have been part of Lisa’s classes and they enjoyed the creative teaching activities she provided them. Who can forget the letters the reception children received from The Giant or the Bears?

Under Lisa’s beady eye, the children learned to read, write and to have excellent recall of number facts alongside lots of baking opportunities and fun games which were innovative and exciting . Her skills supporting parents with ideas for home learning and her experiences of providing potential solutions for and advice for families in early years have always been very welcome. She has shown outstanding judgement in her role as our designated safeguarding lead and has held many tenacious conversations. With Lisa going it’s definitely the end of an era and we are so grateful to her for galvanising the many routines, systems and culture that we have in school. Her passion and commitment to the profession putting the children at the heart of everything we do will follow her wherever she goes and will be sorely missed!

And finally Sarah Koratzitis came to us as a trainee teacher in 2014, and has excelled throughout her time training with us. She leaves us for a promoted post as a deputy headteacher at a first school in North Tyneside. We are hugely excited for her taking the next step in her career and we wish her well despite her leaving very big shoes to fill! Sarah has an adept warmth to her teaching style that inspires children no matter what their ability. Her astute focus on perfecting her teaching styles through many creative ways has been an absolute gift to the school that many of our remaining team have used as a model. I am delighted for Sarah to be innovating teaching and learning in a new environment and look forward to see her taking on a headship in the future!

The departing team as well as the arriving team will be at school throughout the transition weeks, ensuring an effective handover time and a great opportunity for staff training and making plans for next term. Some parents have asked if they can give end of term cards and gifts, and we have relaxed our approach to this.


New faces

We also say hello to new members of the team this term. And are delighted to have welcomed two of them many months ago as they first joined the team earlier in the year. Alice Sutton joins the early years team as the classroom teacher for reception children. Mark Watson joins Y3 and Alison Jones joins Y6. We are excited to be coming together as a new team and have lots of exciting plans for the next academic year. I’ve enclosed a summary of next year’s teaching teams and their personal updates so you can read them together.

Arrangements for arriving and departing during transition weeks: Please note the following start and finish times:

8.30 to 2.30 for Y1 to Y6 Monday to Thursdays

8.30 to 2pm on Fridays


Arrival and departure arrangements for transition weeks

Our new reception children will be informed separately about the drop off and collection points.


Y1 and Y2 will enter the side gate (next to Little Angels) using the same one way system we have done since lockdowns.

Y3 and Y4 will enter school at the side gate half way along the school field.

Y5 and Y6 are asked to come into the school grounds independently through the side gate at the start of each day.


Achievement Awards

Kindness Champions – Elizabeth Rutherford and Katherine Doris
Children achieving gold this weekY3 – Kain Usher
Footballer of the week – Zack Thompson (Y5) and Joseph Collins (Y6)


Ashleigh’s outdoor idea and tallest sunflower winners

Ahoy there! This week I would like you and your family to create your own treasure maps to solve. You could then take turns following the maps you have all created to find the treasure good luck!

Ashleigh announced the winners of the sunflower growing competition as follows:

KS1 with 130cm height was Joseph Collins

KS2 with 130cm height was Kain Usher


Dates for your Diary

School Newsletter

Countdown to the end of a challenging year

This week we’ve started the end of year assessment tests that take place annually when we look at what learning has been strongest for the children. It’s not the only measure of our children’s success but it is important to be able to show what worked well with our teaching. We find out whether there are any gaps left and then put things in place next year to work on closing those gaps. And it’s a great chance for us to celebrate progress made by the children with them too.

We have completed these assessments as late in the year as possible so you will be given the feedback about them when you have your parent consultations. These will confirm whether the children are working below, above or at age related expectations. We always work positively with this information with the children and use it as an opportunity to boost self esteem. We know the lockdowns have left us with lots to do as a staff team to regain the momentum we had prior to Covid.

The children have all tried hard so you may have noticed them coming home a little bit more tired than usual!


Covid Update

We are conscious that Covid rates are starting to rise this week and we have had to cope with both staff and children having to isolate.

At the moment the law has not changed about isolation periods. If your child is asked to isolate, it is a legal requirement for them to stay at home for the duration of the isolation period. The rest of the family can continue to go about business as usual unless the isolating child develops symptoms. Then the whole family must isolate until they receive a negative PCR test from the walk in test centres. If you have been asked to isolate you are allowed to leave home to be tested or to go to hospital if you are unwell but only for those reasons.

I appreciate that this is challenging for some families, but it has been a really effective way for us to minimise the disruption of closing off whole class bubbles. We have been informed of a number of positive test results in children, who have contracted the virus AFTER being asked to isolate (usually from a family member at home). This means that the rest of the class is not put at risk, allowing them to continue ‘as normal’.

As we hear and read in the media that there have been a lot of discussion about the merits of isolating, but until the DfE guidance documents change we must all continue to follow these legal requirements. These are national laws not policies created by CVPS or by me! Thank you so much to those of you who share the responsibility for our school community so well by following school feedback about testing and isolating.

Reports next week

Following our rigorous quality assurance process, your child’s school report will be sent out on email by Friday the 9th July. This will be different days for different children so please be patient! All classes will have received their full report for the year by the end of the week. Please check your emails!

London 2021

Y5/6 are taking their annual learning expedition to London next week from Tuesday to Thursday and I will be accompanying the children to support any Covid scenarios.

While I am away Melissa Costello as our Vice Principal will lead school in my absence on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Plans for transition to new classes

We have included a short pen portrait of your child’s new class teacher that will be sent out with their reports next week. This will give you an insight into their plans for the year.

Appointment of new Vice Principal

We are delighted to share with you that we have appointed our new Vice Principal Paul Leedham who will work alongside Melissa Costello. Paul moves to us as a senior leader from Burnside Primary School where he has led Y6 for a number of years. He is looking forward to joining the school and his role will involve a class teaching commitment, which he actively sought to continue, demonstrating his enthusiasm for working directly with children. Paul

writes “I am delighted that outdoor education is such an important part of the CVPS offer and can not wait to get involved with the forest school. I myself have been given so many opportunities through outdoor interests with the Scouting and Guiding associations as a young person and a leader.” Paul has undertaken the lead role in Mathematics at Burnside for a number of years which he will continue at CVPS. He is brimming with enthusiasm and energy which will be a hit with our lively pupils at CVPS!

Sports activity afternoons

During our last week of term, as promised we are planning an afternoon of sporting activities to which one adult from each child’s family can attend in line with government guidance.

Please check the dates below on our diary list if you wish to attend. We are only able to allow one adult per child to attend this event which will be held outdoors, subject to fair weather.

Achievement Awards

Kindness Champions – Tilly Merrett

Swimmer of the week – Miles Straker

Children achieving gold this week – YR – Logan Singer and Millie Mitchinson

Footballers of the week – Leonardo Trevisan and Louis Archbold

Ashleigh’s outdoor idea

For our sunflower competition I would like you to take a picture of your sunflower (with you in the photograph) and measure it. Submit your entry onto your class Facebook page or to your class teacher and then we will announce the winner next week. Good luck!

Dates for your Diary

School Newsletter

Bill hooks, fire and gold, gold and more gold!

Across school there’s a real air of excitement as our children continue to inspire us with their positive attitudes to learning. In Y5 Ashveer moved onto gold celebration by 8.50 one morning! This was the result of excellent homework completion, sound TT Rockstars and really focussed reading work! And across school we had some discussion work during one of our remote assemblies learning about kindness and vocabulary and descriptors of what it means to be kind with some examples shared by the children. We also saw some random acts of kindness offered by some children at another school as we are planning something similar for next half term.

During forest school the children have been hard at work on their badges. With “our World’ badge incorporating a lot of geography fieldwork such as map reading, orienteering and identifying the points of the compass they are well underway with achieving their badges later this term.

Learning the ‘respect’ position in front of the preparation of fires, and playing safely with our Brownie the pig are also large aspects of the Animal Welfare Badge that the children are working towards. This involves learning about what types of food the children need to provide for the animals and the importance of giving them lots of stimulation – which is especially important for our pigs. And our newly hatched chicks are no longer tiny after just two weeks! They are now sprouting feathers and becoming busier and busier in their pens.

Our reading challenges are really taking centre stage for the vast majority of children. They are becoming more and more interested and engaged in reading. Thank you so much for all the encouragements that you are giving at home to ensure this happens. We are so pleased as reading at home really does make a huge difference to children’s progress as well as to their interest in reading as they grow and develop to be ready for the future.

Covid Update

We have taken the decision as a school that from Monday 7th June we will no longer require families to
wear face masks outside when dropping off or collecting their children. This alongside a few other minor changes to practices will be reviewed by our governors and the revised risk assessment will be added to the school website by the end of May. More easing of restrictions is great news for us all. Hurray to be  able to have our tea out somewhere on special occasions from next Monday!
However we are still tasked with the responsibility of sending home any child if they present at school with a cough, high temperature or loss of taste and smell. These are all symptoms of Covid. Please don’t tell your children to hold a cough in, not to tell us they’ve been coughing or to lie to us about who has been
coughing at home! (These situations have all happened!) It’s unfair to the children and puts the rest of the
school community at risk until the affected person receives a negative PCR Covid test. 

Thankfully the Covid rates in the community are exceptionally low. We know that coughs are likely to be viral, laryngitis or even hay fever related but if it is a new and persistent cough children can only return to school when a negative PCR test is received. Lateral Flow Device Tests are insufficient if you or your child have symptoms. 

A huge thank you to all those families who patiently organise tests and who have been diligent to get these sorted as quickly as possible. Please believe us that the disruption of sending a child home is the last thing we want to do too!

The Big Ask

Our children throughout school will be given an opportunity to take part in the national children’s survey next week at school. This is a national programme led by the Children’s Commissioner who was recently appointed.

Ashleigh’s outdoor idea

We’ve noticed an abundance of dandelions and daisies in our school field recently. It would be lovely if you could find some in your local area, pick a small bunch and tie some string around them. You could give them to someone you care about and make them smile.


Achievement Awards

Kindness champions

Jaxon Gunnell and Anne Brown


Children achieving gold celebration on the learning ladder this week

Y2 – James; Y3 – Maisie M, Sienna; Y4 – Eeva; Y5 – Ashveer


Dates for your Diary


Shool Newsletter

Getting back to a bit of normality!

The school council returns!

Our avid school council members have diligently attended throughout lockdown using some creative remote communications ably led by Allison Morton. This week and last they ventured into the large space created by the hall to meet socially distanced as a whole team once again. They have been discussing the ways that we can improve our eco ratings and come up with the need for some new bins for the fruit and veg that gets thrown away at the end of every playtime. So now we have some new bins which are now added to the compost each day. Alongside new labels for our existing bin systems they’re doing a great job of making our school a better place to be. Thanks so much to the team!


School Newsletter

The return of learning expeditions at CVPS

We were delighted to see the children’s faces as they whirled, drove, swung, whizzed, slid and overloaded their senses at Ocean Beach Pleasure Park in South Shields this week as part of our themed topic on ‘Can we be fairground experts?’. A million out of ten was the scoring for the day, and the children were filled with enthusiasm talking about it thereafter. The sun shone all day, we managed a great deal from Layla’s ice creams which gave us an unexpected ice cream treat, and the team of staff at the rides diligently made sure that rides were kept safe for us on every level.


School Newsletter

The pace quickens as we plan for the summer! School has been really busy this week! It’s no surprise that we have completed Maths assessments this week, but we’ve also ordered new reading books for each child – that’s just under 200 new individual book orders (thank you to Gertie and Sophie!) and all teachers have been released to spend time planning our new topic for next term too.


School Newsletter

The fun returns to face to face learning! St Patrick’s Day definitely brought a smile to the children’s faces in Y4 and Y5 this week, as Mr Mullaghan showed off his Irish roots, with a Leprechaun outfit, a Y4 ‘Irish’ scavenger hunt, and a few Irish jokes.


School Newsletter

Welcome back everyone! Not only did we welcome the children back this week but we also welcomed a parliament of owls into early years to launch their new topic of “Owl Babies’ where they are learning all about whether it’s good to be different.


School Newsletter

Counting down to our Grand Return 2021. We have used the assemblies this week to remind the children of our countdown to being back together again as a whole school community and it is now officially only two more days after today! Our photos above show the online learning taking place in school this week and some of the live lessons.I am once again exceptionally proud of the staff efforts and children’s responses. We have led the way in primary provision by live streaming online lessons – none of us will be sad to see online learning go as it’s definitely a second best option to teaching face to face.


School Newsletter

‘Snow’ Exciting! This week we had the perfect antidote to any winter blues as the snow came down and actually lay thick on the ground around school. I was able to cancel lessons across home learning as well as in school to allow plenty of time for the children to get outside and enjoy the snow before it melted!