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West Blatchington Primary School News

School opening plans for January 2021

posted by Carly Regan

Jan 02

As you may be aware, the Government announced on 30 December 2020, that they were enacting the Department for Education (DfE) contingency framework for some local authority areas.

The infection rate for Covid 19 in our city has significantly increased since the beginning of December 2020.  Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) published data up to 27 December, shows that the rate in Brighton & Hove has increased by more than 500% since we came out of lock down at the beginning of December.  It is currently 388 per 100,000. However, the early indications are that this sharp increase is continuing, and we will approach rates of approximately 500 per 100,000 in the next few days.  This rapid increase is mirrored in the rates in our children and young people. The city’s all ages pattern is similar to that previously seen in urban areas of Kent and East Sussex.

Following a meeting between the council leadership (including public health) earlier today, a decision was made to write to the Secretary of State for Education. The Leader of the Council is formally requesting that Brighton & Hove be named within the contingency framework and that primary schools move to remote learning for the majority of pupils from 4 January 2021 until 15th January 2021.

Whilst BHCC await a response from the DfE, the council have just advised primary school headteachers that they should move to remote learning next week for all pupils except for vulnerable children and those of key workers.

We recognise this is extremely last-minute advice and we sincerely apologise for this. However, this is a fast-moving situation, and we need to keep our school community as safe as possible.  The entire West Blatch team continue to be concerned about the educational experiences that children have missed due to the COVID pandemic and we care deeply about the impact on children’s emotional health and wellbeing.  However, our priority must always be the safety of our children, staff and the wider community.

Given the extremely short notice, we will be using Monday 4th January 2021 as an INSET day, to enable us to organise our provision for key worker and vulnerable pupils.  School for these pupils will begin on Tuesday 5th January 2021 and school will be closed to all pupils on Monday.  

We will be regularly reviewing the situation, and further information will be emailed tomorrow.  Please note that teachers will meet virtually with children at 15:00 on Monday 4th January 2021 to share the plans for the remote learning.  Details of this will be included in tomorrow's email.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Wishing you all a healthy and happy New Year.

Royal Horticultural Society Level 5 Award

posted by Carly Regan

Oct 14

At West Blatchington Primary & Nursery School we believe in the incredible learning experiences that children have when working outdoors and engaging with nature. In 2013 we began our journey, working through the RHS gardening awards.

For Level 1 we had to show that we were ensuring that the children were being given gardening opportunities and were able to use basic gardening tools and vocabulary. We started an after-school gardening club and children across the school grew plants such as sunflowers, potatoes and beetroot.  

For Level 2, we had to demonstrate how we used the garden to extend the children’s learning opportunities. For example, we held workshops in the garden throughout healthy eating week which included a cross curricular treasure hunt! 


For Level 3 we continued in ensuring that more children were able to use the garden as an outdoor classroom to enhance learning in all subjects.

For Level 4 we had to demonstrate the children’s increasing confidence in caring for and growing plants, flowers and vegetables. We had an incredible harvest!


To achieve Level 5... In summer term 2019, we decided to start a school gardening and outdoor learning magazine. We did this to share knowledge and ideas for the children,  teaching staff and parents and to ensure that everything we were doing in the garden reached, and was enjoyed and celebrated by, the wider school community. The school now (through the Blatch Patch magazine) has a voice for sharing everything that happens in the garden. This ensures that the garden continues as a focus for the school: with many more children, parents and teachers being involved. The magazine is created by the children and reflects their learning, enjoyment and pride.


We have now officially been awarded the very coveted status of a 5 star gardening school!

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported us in this journey: in particular, FOWB and every child who has planted, weeded, dug, watered and cared for the plants and wildlife in our garden!

Finally, well done Mrs Heym for all of your fantastic work with our wildlife garden, gardening club and eco club!  We are very proud of what you and the children have achieved!