A message from the Headteacher

Dear Children, Parents and Carers

Well…where to begin! I’ll start by sending you all my very best wishes. I trust that you and your families are keeping safe and well and I hope that despite the challenging circumstances, you have been able to enjoy the sunshine that we have been lucky enough to have over the past few weeks.

In some respects that last four weeks seem to have flown by and in other ways, it seems ages ago that we said goodbye to everyone as school closed back in March. It has been a strange time for everyone and under normal circumstances, I would be welcoming you to the summer term, with its myriad of activities and events. As it is, I am writing this at school where providing childcare has become the new normal. School is weirdly quiet with a small number of children of critical workers on site, rather than our usual 200 plus.

I want to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all the staff of The Ridge: whether working at home or at school, they have all contributed to keeping things going. I have been overwhelmed by how everyone is pulling together as we try to work a way through these unprecedented circumstances.

Thank you to the teachers and TAs who are providing childcare for our pupils for whom there is no other choice but to send them in. Staff have freely volunteered to provide activities within our childcare setting, including through their holidays! Thank you too, to the office staff for working tirelessly behind the scenes dealing with emails and enquiries. Mrs Davenport has been navigating the free school meals voucher system (which has been incredibly complex!) and Mrs Brown has been keeping the website up to date. Mr Rowley and our cleaners have been busy ensuring that we keep our building as safe as possible so it has been an amazing team effort all around!

We want to thank parents and carers too, for all that you are doing. Thank you for keeping your children safe at home so that in school we have as few children in as possible in order to minimise the risk of spreading covid-19.

We know that such a sustained period of home leaning is not ideal, but we are in new territory here and we all need to find a way forwards in this difficult time. I am sure that you have accessed the raft of activities available to the children on the school website. Teachers have been working hard to evaluate the vast range of home learning that have been published to signpost you to those which we think are most suitable for the children of The Ridge. We know that home learning will look different in each family but we want to help as much as we can. Please do keep checking back on our school website or following our Twitter feed for the latest ideas, suggestions and resources.

With lockdown extended and no timeline set for a return to school, the Department for Education have issued some guidance on helping primary school children continue their education during coronavirus. This gives advice to parents about structuring the day, using digital resources and recommended activities for different age groups. It can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/help-primary-school-children-continue-their-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19 

In addition, another new resource has been launched today. The Oak National Academy, https://www.thenational.academy has online lessons for each year group up to Year 10 and will be updated on a weekly basis from now on. However, although we value your support for your child’s learning, please don't get stressed about whether you have to do this or that within a structured programme: what is most important is that the children are safe and happy. However, if you can keep their skills sharp by focusing on frequent and regular reading, doodle maths and spellings, then this will help make their return to school so much easier. If they develop some new learning for when we are all back together, then that is a bonus!

We would love to hear from you and see what you have been up to. Please do contact your teacher through their email address or via the general school email address - info@ridge.dudley.sch.uk  We will make every effort to get back to you during working hours but please note individual teachers may be unable to respond immediately for a range of reasons, including their own illness or caring responsibilities.

We look forward to the day when we can all be together again. In the meantime, stay safe and if there is anything that you think we can help with, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Best wishes,

Mrs D Hudson

Headteacher

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