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2021

Village school painting project

Wraxall C of E VA Primary School enlisted the help of Nailsea and Backwell Rotary for a spot of painting in the playground.

For many years Rotarians have carried out effectively all manner of school projects, both academic and manual, and have been proud to do so. 

And after a chat with headteacher Amy Townsend it was revealed the village school has several areas where help was needed. 

An immediate priority before the onset of winter was to paint benches, fences and the outside of buildings at the rear of the school.

A small but dedicated group of Rotarians set to work and covered many surfaces, including themselves, with paint, as the photo shows.

Further activities are planned during the coming months, many covering areas that can be categorised as community and environment activities.

School Rotary contact John Churchill said: “Wraxall village school is a great environment for the youngsters. 

“We are delighted that Amy and her team have welcomed us in to help them. 

“We look forward to working with them for many years to come.”

Miss Townsend said: “A huge thank you to the Rotary club members.

“It was lovely to have you all on our school site and to meet you all. 

“The paintwork that you have carried out makes a huge difference and really brightens up the school. 

“We are really proud of our outdoor provision and the freshly painted  woodwork is a very welcome addition.”

PHOTO: Rotary painters from left Graham Foster,

Roger Smith, Ted Potter, and organiser John Churchill

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Beautiful sounds

Nailsea School students helped Bucklands Retirement Development residents welcome in the new season with a short concert.

The homeowners were treated to a ploughman’s’ lunch by house manager Anne Hewetson who had organised the visit from the school musicians as a brilliant surprise. 

Five students accompanied by their music teachers Mrs Humphries and Mrs Perkins performed a number of musical pieces ranging from the classical to the contemporary. 

Ellie and Molly sang Rewrite The Stars from the musical The Greatest Showman, while flautist, Lily performed Feelings by Morris Albert and I Could Have Danced All Night from My Fair Lady,.

The diners tapped their feet in time to the well-known pieces. 

Student Thomas played the classical piece Sarabande by Bach on guitar– which showed off his talent, another classical piece was played on violin this time by Sophie a sixth former student, who is currently waiting to audition for the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. 

Sophie played Haydn’s Concerto in G Major 1st Movement which was really appreciated by the audience who were impressed by the incredible training and talent of the student. 

To bring the concert to an end, the group of musicians gathered together, sharing lyric sheets with the 'Bucklanders' who were invited to accompany them in the hymn All Things Bright And Beautiful.  

Anne Hewetson said: “The students were incredible and I saw a few of my homeowners getting quite emotional from the very first piece that was played.

"They all absolutely loved it!” 

It was a much enjoyed event for all.

This was the first concert for the musicians since Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted and hopefully the start of some great inter-generational performances going forward. 

Mrs Perkins said: “Our students really enjoyed it, it was a great occasion to help them build their confidence after such a long period of Covid-19 restrictions.

"It was a wonderful opportunity for students to mix with other generations and to value them.” 

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Ravenswood School floods

​Ravenswood School in Nailsea has been forced to close temporarily after suffering extensive flood and electrical damage during last week's heavy rainfall.

North Somerset Council is working closely with the school to try and reopen the building as quickly as possible. It is hoped that the main building could reopen on Monday, September 27, provided extensive work is complete.

In the meantime home learning is being provided for the 137 pupils at the school and families are being regularly updated on any developments by school staff.

The flooding was caused by damage to a temporary roof covering during heavy rain. The temporary roof was in place as part of work to upgrade the main school building as part of a 12-week works programme that started during the school holiday.

Work is being carried out this week to ensure the roof remains watertight. Assessment of the electrical damage is also being completed and flood-damaged materials are being removed from the building and dehumidifiers moved in.

Head teacher Mark Senior said: "The school has suffered considerable water and electrical damage. Before pupils can return we have to be sure the school is dry and safe as the welfare of the school community is our top priority.

"This is, understandably, an extremely stressful time for pupils and their families but we have to put safety first. We are doing all we can to support families and provide temporary learning solutions.

"If anyone has any concerns about the wellbeing of their child I would ask them to contact me directly."

North Somerset Council executive member with responsibility for education Catherine Gibbons is the Labour Party ward councillor for Milton.

She said: "This is an extremely difficult situation and we are working with the school to resolve it as soon as possible.

"This further disruption to learning during the pandemic is upsetting but we would like to reassure parents and carers that we are doing all we can to get Ravenswood open again."

North Somerset Council is working with the school to find possible alternative classroom space if the damage is severe and the repair work takes longer than expected to complete.

Parent Helen Truan wrote this on Facebook on Tuesday and asked people to share. Nailsea People was tagged in the post.

She said: “Ravenswood Specialist School is home to 137 wonderful individual pupils.

“After 18 months of intermittent school closure and all of the children’s support and therapies being taken away due to covid the children were excited to return to school.

“On day two of the children returning the school flooded.

The new roofing contractor had not made the roof watertight.

“It is now day seven the roof is still not watertight.

“The school flooded again on Monday evening.

​“The children now have no school to attend. As parents we wish our children could access home learning but each child has an individual need it is not possible.

“Each child is now isolated again, alone at home.

"The parents are struggling to work.

"The children are confused, upset and scared.

“Everyone’s mental health again is suffering.

“We as parent/carers are on our knees we need help.

"The discovery room, sensory room, post 16 new kitchen all of which were

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created with fundraising have been destroyed.

“The school has been absolutely decimated.

“Just like your child, our child’s future matters. School provides so much more to our children, it is their safe place.

“We need North Somerset Council not to say ‘bad things happen’ and leave these children at home.

“We need portacabins for our children on site now.

“Please help spread the word.

“We’re on our own here as parent/carers and children trying to get North Somerset to do the right thing.

“Justin Harvey Bennett please sort this. You are the lead. Please do not ignore us. Do the right thing.

“These kids deserve an education

“Please share and help us be heard.”

UPDATE 1: North Somerset councillor says lessons have been learned as back to school date announced as Wednesday, September 29.

 

UPDATE 2: One problem solved and another emerges as North Somerset Council public transport team is saying due to a national shortage of drivers and passenger assistants, it is anticipating disruption to public and home-to-school services. Read more on its Facebook page

UPDATE 3: While most of Ravenswood School has reopened after the flooding four primary classes will be moving to The Campus at Weston-super-Mare rom Monday, October 4, until all repairs are completed

update

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Back to school with new Covid rules

As schools return for the new academic year North Somerset Council public health teams are highlighting what the latest Covid rules could mean for pupils, staff and parents.
Public health, which supports schools to manage outbreaks of any infection or disease, will continue its work to tackle coronavirus. 
Outbreaks can still happen if Covid cases start spreading around pupils and staff while they are at school.
If too many people catch the virus, temporary precautions can be introduced to reduce the risk and help contain the spread.
This may include advice on infection control, additional testing and bringing back the wearing of face coverings into secondary schools and colleges. 
If needed public health can also advise on reintroducing bubbles or returning to online learning, but these would be temporary measures and only used as a last resort. 
North Somerset Council executive member for health Mike Bell is the Lib Dem ward councillor for Weston Centre.
He said: “Being in school is absolutely the best thing for the health and wellbeing of most children. Having that social contact with friends and time to learn is essential.
“But Covid is still an ongoing problem for our communities, and we will need to respond quickly to any outbreaks to reduce the risk of it spreading further into society and reaching more vulnerable people.
“Which means temporary measures may sometimes need to be put in place in some schools to make sure staff and children can remain as safe as possible. 
"These will be as undisruptive as possible, as our aim is to prioritise the education of our children.
“This is the same approach public health would take to any outbreak of any disease in schools.”
The most important step anyone connected to a school can take to reduce the risk of an outbreak in their community is to stay home if they have any symptoms of Covid-19 or test positive for the virus.
This includes a temperature, new continuous cough, or change to sense of taste or smell.

School staff and anyone aged 11 and over can also get regular Covid-19 tests, and doing these will help as it stops people who have the infection without symptoms, which is more common in younger people, from spreading it without knowing.

People who have been in contact with anyone who tests positive for coronavirus no longer needs to self-isolate, as long as they have had two doses of the vaccination at least two weeks before, or are under 18.

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SKY NEWS: The way schools deal with the pandemic will change this summer including the scrapping of the bubble isolation system meaning entire classes or year groups will no longer have to self-isolate if one person tests positive

They are encouraged to get a PCR test for coronavirus.
North Somerset Council director of Public Health Matt Lenny said: “As well as helping to contain outbreaks, our role in public health is to understand how Covid is spreading in our community so we can advise everyone of how to stay safe.
“This is why we have NHS Test and Trace, which contacts people who test positive to check where they’ve been and who’ve they’ve been in contact with.
“If you or your children test positive, please help us by working with the contact tracers as this will help us understand how and where Covid is spreading.
“It’s also important to let the school know if you get a positive test as they will have plans in place to deal with Covid cases and will need to get us involved if they are seeing high numbers of infections.”
How coronavirus is handled in schools is set out in government guidance and each school is responsible for developing its own plans for how it will reduce the risk of the virus day to day, for example with extra cleaning, how it will keep track of cases, and for getting public health involved if needed.

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