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September 2020                     

Welcome back!

Firstly I would like to thank the Mapledown school community for welcoming me.  I would also like to wish a special welcome to all our new families, students and staff. This is the first of our termly Newsletters and along with this newsletter you should also have the term dates for the whole of next year plus ‘key dates’ printed on the back. Despite the restrictions we have all been facing over the last few months, I hope you have had a good summer. Staff have returned refreshed and full of optimism for the year ahead. We have completed one day of training so that we could be ready for students, and be confident with our new working protocols to make our school a COVID-safe environment. Students have returned to Mapledown full of energy and enthusiasm. I have been impressed with how quickly they have all settled back in, and coped with our new working practices. Many are in new classes, or new to the school, so they are making new friends and getting to know the adults too. This can be a challenging time for young people, but I have been really impressed by how well they are adapting to this new challenge.

This newsletter, key dates and lots more can be found on our website –

The website has several ‘pages’ of useful information and links and will be an important source for everyone connected to the school.

COVID-19 reminder:

Thank you for returning your home/school agreement. To keep our school community safe, please ensure that you:

  • Keep your child at home if they or anyone in the household becomes unwell with symptoms of the coronavirus (a high temperature; a new, continuous cough;  a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste).
  • Inform the school immediately by telephone or email if your child, anyone in the household or anyone you have had contact with becomes unwell with symptoms of coronavirus.
  • Only send your child back to school when they have had a negative test for coronavirus, if they have displayed symptoms.
  • Do not send your child to school if they are unwell with any illness and particularly do not give any medication such as calpol or ibuprofen so you can send your child into school while unwell.
  • Are contactable at all times by telephone while your child is at school.
  • Collect your child immediately and for any reason given, if the school asks you to.

Thank you for your cooperation, I will continue to keep you informed of the situation and of any changes via our website, Facebook page, emails and through text messages.

Staff News

As you know Caroline Garvey, Deputy Head, is on maternity leave after having her baby boy this summer.

Steve Parker, who has been our caretaker for over 30 years, will be retiring at the end of September. Our school nurse Katie Horn will be leaving on 22nd September. We will be welcoming a new nurse next week. She will be working with Katie to ensure a smooth handover and transition.  We wish them both the very best of luck in their next chapter!

We also welcome new therapists this year. Yetty Meadows will be working with Tara  

McWeeney (Speech and Language).  Mohini Talsania is our new Physiotherapist, she will be based at Mapledown for 3 days a week. Mili Nangla has returned from maternity leave to resume her role as a nursing assistant.

Open Evening

Unfortunately we have to cancel this annual event due to COVID-19 restrictions.  However, we will be organizing a virtual Parents Consultation Evening this half term, so that you can meet your child’s class teacher.

Friends of Mapledown

The Friends of Mapledown is our Parent-Staff Association which is a Registered Charity and raises funds for the school. The FoM will be holding their Annual General Meeting sometime this term. It is likely to be done virtually but we will inform you of the arrangements shortly. The Friends raise a lot of money and run events through the year in support of pupils and families at Mapledown, please support if you can. The Friends of Mapledown are always eager to hear your fundraising ideas!

School Meals  

Many families receive free school meals and we think that many others could also be entitled. If you think you could claim FSM please contact Kristina or Andriya in the school office and they will explain the process. The price of meals has increased for the first time in four years and from September 1st will now cost £2.34 per day. Paying for school meals: £2.34 a day or £11.70 per week - if you would like to set up a Direct Debit to spread the payments over 12 months please contact the office staff. We are strongly encouraging you to set it up as we would like to limit the cash coming into the office.

‘The Comfort Zone’ Holiday Playscheme/Short Breaks

Comfort Zone will be running a play scheme through our next half term so please book early and contact Mary Kilcoyne at:  If you have any questions regarding funding for ‘short breaks’ please contact the Short Breaks Team on 0208 359 7374 or 0208 359 3353 and they will send you some forms or direct you to their webpage.

Have a great year.

Sandra Chaay