A message from the Headteacher

I can’t believe that we are nearly at the end of September – mind you, with the recent cold snap it is clear that Autumn is on its way! We are now well into the rhythm of the school year and it has been great for teachers to speak to many of you about how your  child is settling into their new classes and for those of you who are yet to speak to your child’s teacher , we hope that you find the conversations useful.

Our oldest children in school have and important role in ensuring that our school runs smoothly and they are role models who promote our school values. We are excited to announce a new role for our Year 6 who throughout the year will take up the responsibility of being our ‘Values Champions’. We will be announcing the first group to have this honour, in our Assembly on Monday. In the meantime we have recently selected our House Captains. They are

Diamonds

  • Jack
  • Fleur

Rubies

  • Lily
  • Evan

Emeralds

  • Maisy-Lou
  • Harvey

Sapphires

  • Freya
  • Jakob

Yesterday we were privileged to be visited by Saltmine Theatre Company and to be the audience for the premier performance of ‘The Rhyming Bible’. The children thoroughly enjoyed seeing the familiar Bible stories that they have learned about in their RE lessons, presented in a new and engaging way. The children loved the elements of participation in the performance and in the workshop afterwards, learned about what the Bible means to people with a Christian faith. Thank you to our friends at Saltmine, who made this performance possible.

The governors have had a busy week. On Tuesday they held their termly ‘School Improvement Meeting’ where amongst other items on the agenda they looked at the priorities of the School Improvement Plan for 2022-23, reviewed staffing arrangements and discussed the school’s finances. Yesterday, governors attended a meeting with representatives from other Dudley Schools and the Department for Education to hear about the government’s plans for every school to become an academy by 2030.  Clearly this is a long way in the future but it is something we need to be aware of and begin discussing.

It has been wonderful to see the support for the Macmillan Coffee morning today. The cakes looked amazing and the opportunity for coffee, cake and chatter was well received. We will let you know how much was raised for this fabulous cause but in the meantime, huge thanks to the Ridge Friends Association and Mrs Davenport who made the event happen and to everyone who supported it with donations and by coming along.

We look forward to seeing you at our Harvest celebrations next week.

Kind regards

 

Mrs D Hudson

Headteacher

Attendance and Punctuality - Illness

Sometimes being a parent is hard, especially when your child is telling you that they are feeling unwell! For us in school, promoting good attendance, ensuring the welfare of a child who is feeling poorly and mitigating against the spread of infection can be a balancing act.

You know your children best and Covid has altered how we think about being at work or school when showing symptoms. However, we usually suggest that when children have vague symptoms (tummy ache, headache and the like) you encourage them to come to school. Sometimes, once they are in school with their friend, they begin to feel better but if they are clearly unwell we will contact you and ask you to collect them. (Note this does not apply to anyone with sickness and diarrhoea, which requires a period of 48 hours after the last episode before returning to school.) It is important to speak to your child’s teacher if you think your child might be experiencing physical symptoms which may be as a result of anxiety. 

If your child has a lot of absence because of illness, we will direct you to the school nurse, who will be able to offer advice about your child’s health.

This Weeks attendance 

Reception - 96.00%

Year 1 – 97.59%

Year 2 – 96.67%

Year 3 – 98.57%

Year 4 – 96.67%

Year 5 – 96.21%

Year 6 – 95.00%

Well done Year 3!

How to support the school financially without costing you a penny!

Like everyone else, the school is on a very tight budget and has seen huge increases in the cost of services and even basics such as paper. We want to continue to provide the very best that we can for our children but every penny counts. Here are three ways that you can make a difference to our school budget without costing you any extra.

 

  • Pupil Premium Funding

Our school gets extra money for each child who comes from a lower income household. This is called Pupil Premium and is available for children who are entitled to free school meals. It is worth an extra £1385 per child, and is not only paid in the year that it is awarded but every year for the following five years, even if the family are no longer on a low income!

If your child is in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2, they will already benefit from the universal scheme which gives free school meals to all children. But for school to get the Pupil Premium Funding, there must be an application for Free School Meals from eligible families.

If you get any of the following support payments your child may be entitled to receive free school meals:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit Run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit (you must have less than £616.67 a month net earned income (after tax - and not including any benefits)​

Children who receive a qualifying benefit in their own right are also allowed to receive free school meals.

Children under the compulsory school age who are in full time education may also be entitled to receive free school meals.

Please speak to Mrs Davenport in confidence if this applies to you and she will tell you how to apply. Eligible children may also receive other benefits such as reduction on the contributions to residential visits and access to other schemes which give for example, shopping vouchers.

  • Taking up school lunches on Census Day

Each term we have a school census and the numbers we return to the Department for Education determine how much money our school receives. One measure is the number of children in Reception and Key Stage 1 who take up their entitlement to free school meals from the scheme that provides them to everyone, on the day of the census. Our next census is on Thursday 6th October and we would welcome your support as we aim for every child in Reception and Key Stage 1 to have a school meal that day so that we can generate the largest contribution possible from the DfE. We will remind you nearer the time. (If your child has particular food preferences which can’t be accommodated on the menu, please speak to the office staff who will advise.) Thank you.

 

  • Easy Fundraising

Easyfundraising is a scheme which allows you to collect free donations for The Ridge every time you buy something online. It won't cost you a penny extra so please help us by following these east steps to start collecting.

 

It's easy to get started, search for your cause and join in (or follow the link below.........)

1. Join

Easy Fundraising 

2. Shop

From travel to toasters, every time you shop, do it the easyfundraising way

3. Collect

Help out when you check out - it doesn't cost you a penny extra

With many people shopping on-line for Christmas, please make use of easyfundraising – every penny counts!

Safeguarding - Keeping children safe during community activities, after-school clubs and tuition: Questions to help parents and carers choose out-of-school settings

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. Mrs Hudson is the Designated Safeguarding Lead and any concerns should be shared with her or the Deputy Safeguarding Leads – Mrs Hadley, Miss Beddoes and Mrs Burley.

As we start a new school year, parents may well be looking for after-school clubs, theatre groups or sports’ clubs. The Department for Education  has a document that helps parents identify the safeguarding issues to consider when choosing a provider. Parents can access the guidance here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-parents-and-carers-on-safeguarding-children-in-out-of-school-settings/keeping-children-safe-during-community-activities-after-school-clubs-and-tuition-questions-to-help-parents-and-carers-choose-out-of-school-settings 

P.E. Kit

We have noticed that a number of children are not coming to school in the correct uniform on the days when PE is timetabled. As a reminder, the children should come to school in their PE kit of a plain white tee shirt, blue shorts, PE skirt or jogging/tracksuit bottom and their school jumper or cardigan.  They should have a have a blue PE Hoodie, or tracksuit top in their PE bag in school to change in to for the lesson. (We ask that no other leisurewear is worn on arrival at school, so that the children look smart in uniform throughout the rest of the day when they are not doing PE). Thank you for your support with this.

What's Happening Next Week

Monday • Reading Ambassador's visit to Stourbridge Library
• Parent Consultation Phone Calls
Tuesday • Year 1 and 2 Family Learning followed by Phonics Workshop
• Forest School for Years 2 and 5
• Year 4 Clarinet Whole Class Lesson
• Parent Consultation Phone Calls
Wednesday • Tag Rugby - Years 5 and 6
• Parent Consultation Phone Calls
Thursday • Choir
• Girls Multisports Club - KS2
• Parent Consultation Phone Calls
Friday • 10.00 a.m. - Harvest Assembly (please see previous letter about arrangements and donations)
• Year 4 Swimming
• Parent Consultation Phone Calls

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