January 2021 Newsletter

HAPPY NEW YEAR – 2021

We wish you and your family a happy and prosperous New Year. May 2021 bring you more opportunity for joy and laughter with your favourite people. After all, our connections and community became very precious in 2020.  May 2021 open your awareness to new community and connections in new ways.  
May 2021 bring you focus, clear vision and faith. May you trust in yourself and your children that all will be well.   

We hope that you had a lovely holiday and rest. We especially enjoyed our Christmas time with our first grandson Gabriel.  

 The school opens its doors on Tuesday 12th January 2021.  The first theme of the year is “Orientation My school”. This theme will be about familiarizing the children with their new classroom/school and also we will be engaging in a fun and exciting way of how we are managing the new normal “Covid Times”.     Please see the calendar attached for the monthly teaching themes.     N.B. At the end of this newsletter is information regarding the our school Covid Protocol Rules. 
 
GENERAL INFORMATION
When your child arrives at school on the 12th January she/he will be welcomed by the principal at the entrance of the school.  A questionnaire regarding Covid will be completed.  The children must be wearing their masks as usual and their hands will be sanitized and temperatures will be taken.  Initially we will allow the parents to enter into the school/classroom to meet their teacher.  But going forward we encourage the parents to hand over their children at the main gate.  With regards to infants the parents are allowed to take their baby to the nursery where you will be greeted by the teacher. 

SCHOOL HOURS
The school opens at 7:00am and closes at 4:30pm. 
The day is structured as follows:
Morning Half-day Afternoon Up to 12:30pm (includes morning snack and lunch) 
Up to 2:00pm (includes morning snack, lunch & rest)
Up to 4:30pm (includes morning snack, lunch and sleep. 

Afternoon snack or children can enjoy their own snack from home)
Our teaching day starts at 8:15am.
The children engage in supervised free choice play until all the children have arrived.  

2:00pm and AFTERCARE Please note that if you have chosen the 2pm collection time, please collect your child at this time.

Due to the new Covid protocol rules, we get the children ready for home time and they sit and wait for their parents on a chair at the office entrance until their parents have arrived to collect them.  We also offer a casual daily aftercare. 

If you choose to leave your child for aftercare.  This charge is an extra R25 per afternoon.   If you decide to use this offer the parent will need to sign an aftercare register.    If you are going to be late when collecting your child, please inform the school. 
 
WHAT TO BRING TO SCHOOL THIS YEAR.As it is the beginning of the year please supply your child with a new face cloth and small towel clearly marked with his/her name. A sun hat and water bottle. A pillow and a light blanket for rest/sleep time.1 A5 notebook to be used as a communication book.  If your child is full day you are welcome to pack a small snack box so the children can enjoy during aftercare only. (It is not compulsory as we do supply snacks) 

PLEASE LABEL ALL YOUR CHILD’S BELONGINGS. This makes it so much easier for the teachers to track belongings when they go missing and also helps alleviate the problem when two children have identical items. Before the teachers/assistants go home in the afternoon the children’s bags are packed with all their belongings but sometimes things can get mixed up.  What some parents do is that they check their child’s bag every day when they collect their child from school.   We can then look for the missing item immediately.  If your child is still in nappies and is also bottle fed please supply all the necessary items. (Please mark the babies milk bottles and juice bottles) 

EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
We will be informing the parents in due course of the extra-curricular activities that will be taking place at the school.  Please note it is all dependent on the Covid protocol what we are allowed to do.  If extra-curricular activities are allowed then all the children will be given an opportunity to partake in the open demonstration classes.  If parents are interested in their child enrolling in an extracurricular activity, please collect an enrollment form from the office or you may find a form in your child’s school bag. 

The extracurricular activities for 2021 year are: 
Monday:     Soccer  Starz  
Tuesday:    Clamber Club (day may change)                
Wednesday:   Tangonastix with William for all Kyalami Ridge Children (Sponsored by the school).       
Swimming with Aquativity Swim School. Children are taken off the premises with parents’ permission only.       
Cricket – Smash Cricket 
Thursday:  Making and baking with all the children 
Friday:   Lucinda’s School of Ballet   

Please note that all enrolments and payments must be done directly to the extra-curricular companies.  
Kyalami Ridge is not responsible for their account collections.  


THURSDAY – BAKING DAY
This is the highlight of the week.  The children love baking day. They get to bake savory and sweet scones and cake etc.  They are allowed to be creative by decorating biscuits which is always theme related.

 FRIDAY – TOY DAY
 The children can bring a toy to school on a Friday ONLY.   Many children try to sneak in their toys on a daily basis and as a result it creates difficulties when toys get lost or broken or when the teacher tries to take the toys away from the children.    We want to create a happy environment and also teach a sense of responsibility that they must look after their toys and that there is only one day a week to bring a toy to school, not every day.   However, please note the teachers will try their best to help the children to look after their toys but the teachers cannot be held responsible if the toys get broken or lost.  

SCHOOL MENU 
The menu is available for the parents to view.    We cater for Vegetarian children as well. We encourage healthy eating and the food is freshly prepared daily.   

BIRTHDAYS
Birthdays are very special and we enjoy celebrating with your child. We normally suggest that you bring a small cake or cupcakes to share with the class.  You may bring party packs (not necessary) and they will be given out when the children go home.  Please discuss with your child’s class teacher what you would like to do when it is your child’s birthday.     

CORRESPONDING WITH TEACHERS AND SCHOOL
The school sends out a newsletter and calendar on a monthly basis.  We also have a notice board which works very well when reminding parents of events.  Sometimes we staple notes to the children’s bags.  We are also introducing daily correspondence books.  If you require a formal meeting please feel free to inform the school and one can be set-up.     

 UPDATING THE INFORMATION FILES  
If you have any information that needs to change PLEASE inform the school e.g. cell number, emails place of work, medical aid etc.   It is very important to keep our records up to date in case of emergencies, to send newsletters and invoices out and generally to keep in touch.  If you are having problems with receiving our emails or invoices please let us know.   We also need a copy of your child’s updated immunization Clinic Cards.
 
THE CURRICULUM
We follow the South African National Curriculum Framework for children birth to four years and the CAPs for Grade R.  Our aim in the school is for the children to learn to love school and also to have lots of fun while being educated.  We also believe in individuality and one of our main aims is for the children to develop “The 7 Habits of Happy Kids” and “Leader in Me” concept. The monthly calendar informs you, the parent, of the different learning themes we follow.   If you would like guidelines on the milestones and progress of your child/children’s development we are more than happy to assist.   School reports are given out in June and December.   

SCHOOL TERMS AND HOLIDAYS 2021
We run according to the 3 term independent schools.    Please note we do not close for the full school holidays as prescribed by the independent schools, but do take 2 short breaks so we can also recharge our energy.   

SCHOOL CLOSING TIMES
School Opens Tuesday 12 January 2021 School Closed Monday 22 March – Human Rights day School Closed Friday 2 – Monday 5 April – Easter School Closed April 26,27,28,29,30 – School holidays, Tuesday 27 April – Freedom day School Closed Wednesday 16 June – Youth day School Closed Monday 9 August – National Women’s day School Closed September 20, 21,22,23,24 School holidays Friday 24 September – Heritage Day School Closes Wednesday 15 December – Christmas Holidays I hope this introductory letter is useful.  If you have any other questions you are welcome to ask.
 
GENERAL INFORMATION RETURNING COVID PROTOCOL RULES
Firstly, I would like to introduce to the new parents and recap with our existing parents the school Covid protocols.   We have already been following these rules for the past 6 months and have verified that this system actually worked extremely well.  The children and staff are thriving. We have also managed to prevent other illnesses which normally occur in preschools.  The children have learnt an amazing skill of taking ownership of their belongings and being aware of personal hygiene and what is socially acceptable in our current times.  Even our little ones (2 year olds).   

Please read below:   The Department of Health has set guide-lines for health and hygiene in which to follow and I have also implemented some of our own rules as well.    I am pleased to announce that our school is compliant with the Health Department requirements.When we return to school the first Month’s theme will be focused on “Orientation of the Covid rules in the School” and “health and hygiene” so that the children can engage in the new normal in their daily lives. 

PPE FACE SHIELDS FOR THE CHILDREN AND STAFF 
When the children return to school they will be required to wear face masks, they can either use the material face masks or the face shields.  We have found with experience that the shields work best during class activities, and theme discussions,   but the masks work best during outside play time.  Initially we will be very strict with the children wearing their masks until we are certain and proven that no child has brought any illness into the school.  We will then be selective when the children wear the masks as the children need a break from wearing masks.  It is also not the best for a child to have his/her month covered all day long.     

ON ARRIVAL AND SICK CHILDREN*
Sanitizer will be available at the entrance of the school to be used by the children and parents on arrival at school.* The child’s and parent’s temperature will be taken and if the skin temperature exceeds 37.3 the parent will be notified and asked to take the child home or to consult a doctor.* If we see that a child is not well during the day we will phone the parents immediately to come and fetch the child.  The sick child will be isolated until the parents have collected the child. 

WASHING OF HANDS AND BATHROOM HYGIENE*
We will be using hand sanitizer on the children’s hands before meal times however continuous use of sanitizer causes our beneficial healthy microbiome to be destroyed and also too much use is actually more harmful to the children’s skin and their immune system.     We prefer pure soap and water which is more effective at keeping germs at bay.  The children are already well trained in washing hands and our staff are ready and willing to enforce the new rules and regulations.* Parents must supply a clean face cloth and hand towel for their child and these will be sent home every week for washing or alternatively parents can replace these every day.   The children have learnt and are very aware of their own towels and face cloths.  
 
HANDING OF EQUIPMENT DURING ART ACTIVITIES*
To make it easier for hygiene and safety purposes and to keep the children from sharing art equipment everything is going to be labelled. * Each child will be allocated their own little work station with their own chair, table and chair bag and labelled/marked by means of colour coding/or if the child prefers his chosen cartoon or theme.* The chair bag will contain their own crayons, scissors, paint brush, glue and whatever they need for the day etc., which will also be labelled.   This will be a fun activity teaching the children to identify and look after their belongings by ownership of theme and their name.    We know the children are bright enough to grasp this concept. *

Their lockers will be placed under their specific table, which are 1.5 metre apart and their water bottles will be kept in their lockers and sent home daily for washing.*

For ring time the carpet will be marked with the children’s own personalized space coded with coloured shapes.*

Outside the classroom leading to the lapa will be distancing markers. This term we will be using the theme of flowers to mark out the social distancing. 

 TOYS/ GAMES AND EDUCATIONAL EQUIPMENT*
Not all the toys and equipment will be accessible to the children all the time.*

We will be rotating the toys everyday so that we can have them cleaned before they are used again.* This includes the outside toys as well. 

SNACK AND LUNCH TIME*
Lunch time hygienic measures of hand washing before and after a meal will continue as it always has been done.* Each child will be seated at his/her own chair and table which will be labelled during snack and lunch times. * There will be restricted areas in the school but these will be marked as no go zones. E.g. kitchen. Hygiene measures as usual will be implemented with food preparation.* If the parents feel that they would like to bring their child’s own food and snacks you are welcome to do so.  Please inform the staff of such. 

SLEEPING ARRANGEMENTS*
The mattress covers and their bedding will also be labelled with the children’s names.  If you would like to provide your own mattress cover you are welcome to do so.  The children’s blankets will be sent home once a week for washing.* There will be the appropriate distance (1, 5 m) between each child at sleep/rest time.* A specific class room is allocated as the sleep room which is large enough to distance the children during sleep time. 

 SCHOOL HOURS*
School hours will be from 7:00am until 4:30pm.  *

SANITIZING THE SCHOOL
The whole school will be cleaned and sanitized as normal with extra measures every day and be prepared for the children’s return for the next day.A local community organization has sanitized the school on a regular basis and will continue to do so again this year. The school will be thoroughly sanitized before we re-open.  I am very grateful for their support as this has greatly helped to  keep our school hygienically safe for our children and staff. For more information please click on below. ‘Decon7 Systems Biofilm removal, disinfectant, and contaminant’   https://kyalamiridge.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c064ed803eac984084c1cb60c&id=8b480d17b8&e=04c75fad7f

I hope this letter gives you some insight of our approach and we are looking forward to the children all coming back to school January 12, 2021.  I hope this introductory letter is useful and that we covered all areas.  If you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to ask.  

With Love
Kyalami Ridge Team 

www.kyalamiridge.co.za
011 702 3045

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