A message from the Headteacher

I hope that your children had a good half term break. The children have returned to one of the busiest but most exciting half terms as we run up to Christmas with Halloween, Diwali and Bonfire Night along the way.

On Monday we were visited by Loudmouth Theatre who presented workshops in Key Stage 2. The Year 6 presentation, ‘Under the Radar’ used drama and discussion to raise awareness criminal exploitation, knife crime and county lines with the children and the Year 4 presentation - ‘Bully4U’ - covered bullying, online safety and emotional health.  We are always delighted to welcome Loudmouth who approach these sensitive topics in an engaging, age appropriate way. Next week we continue our focus on health and wellbeing with a visit from Corum Life Education who will be delivering interactive workshops to all classes, linked to our PSHE Curriculum (some of you may remember the Life Education Caravan which used to visit – this is its replacement, without the caravan!). We are very grateful to our PSHE Lead, Mrs Melia who has organised these events, and to Kinver Rotary Club who have sponsored the Corum Life Education Workshops.

Yesterday , Years 2 and 3 enjoyed a visit to The Grand Theatre to hear author and illustrator, Catherine Raynor. Catherine read three of her books to the audience, illustrated live on stage, shared the process of writing a book and answered the children’s questions. Everyone came away with a copy of ‘Harris Finds His Feet’ and thoroughly inspired! Thank you to Miss Beddoes and Mrs Masters who organised the visit, and to all the staff and volunteers who accompanied the children.

There is a lot of information on today’s newsletter, but I hope that you find it informative.

Kind regards

Mrs D Hudson

Headteacher

Some Reminders

Winter Uniform

Not technically a reminder as we forgot to mention it on the last newsletter! Thank you for sending the children back on Monday in their winter uniform, which will be worn until the start of the summer term.

Xmas4Schools Designs

These need to be returned to school by Monday 7th November at the latest - we cannot accept any designs after this date as they need to be sent off in time to be processed.  Those that return them, will receive a text/email to view and place their order.

Cashless Catering

Please make sure that you have registered for an account for the new system, Evolve, even if your child does not currently have school meals. You should have received a letter with instructions of how to complete this process but please contact the school office if you are having difficulty.

Poppies for Remembrance

These are now on sale at school

Can you inspire our children?

Do you have an interest which may inspire our children? Are you (or someone you know) a member of a local ornithologist club or have an interest in local history? Do you own an allotment or are you a keen artist? Are you an engineer who makes use of maths in your everyday work ?  Do you belong to a faith community and would be willing to tell the children about a festival you may celebrate? Perhaps you know of a local club or society that would be interested in sharing their passion with the children or maybe you have canoed down the Amazon! If so, we would love to hear from you! Please let us know about your hobbies, interests, job or experience and we would love to invite you to share it with the children in a way that you feel comfortable with.

Please drop us an email with your name and what it is you may be able to offer. (info@ridge.dudley.sch.uk)

Lunches

If your child brings a packed lunch, please can we remind you of the following -

  • Please provide your child with a plastic plate to eat their lunch from. Not only does this make for a more pleasant eating experience, it also helps reduce the mess on the hall floor.
  • Lunchboxes should not contain chocolate or sweets. Whilst a chocolate covered biscuit such as a kit-kat is fine, chocolate bars and sweet should be saved for a treat rather than be part of a lunchbox.
  • Please remember that we have children with severe allergies in school and therefore operate a nut free policy, which applies to lunchboxes and includes peanut butter as a sandwich filling.

Thank you for your support.

Attendance and Punctuality

 

The DfE has published statistics looking at the link between the attainment of pupils and different levels of absence across key stage 2 (the end of Year 6) and key stage 4 (the end of Year 11 when pupils do their GCSE's). Unsurprisingly, pupils with higher attainment at KS2 and KS4 had lower levels of absence over the key stage compared to those with lower attainment.

The table below demonstrates how much school children miss if they are absent and it is surprising how this adds up. We are fully aware that illnesses are responsible for the majority of absences. However, it good to be aware of how absence can impact on your child’s learning and make sure that absence such as holidays are avoided and those routine appointments which can be made outside the school day, don’t affect attendance.

This Weeks attendance 

Reception - 94.00%

Year 1 – 96.28%

Year 2 – 99.33%

Year 3 – 96.43%

Year 4 – 96.00%

Year 5 – 99.31%

Year 6 – 93.67%

Well done Years 2 and 5!

News From The Governors

The governors’ committees met on Tuesday night. The Staff, Pupil and Curriculum Committee discussed amongst other things, staffing, including recruitment and plans for SEN Leadership during Mrs Norgate’s maternity leave, governor training and safeguarding. The committee monitored attendance for the last half term and adopted the Stourbridge Learning Partnership Attendance Policy (this will be shared with parents shortly). The governors also agreed the fourth INSET Day of the year – please see below. 

The Finance and Premises Committee monitored the school's finances and discussed the pressures on the school budget with increasing utility costs and rising costs for staffing and supplies. They also monitored the progress of the recommendations from the Local Authority Finance Audit, which took place last November.  

In both committees, there was lots to discuss but we are fortunate to have a skilled governing body with education and finance professionals amongst them, who work hard to ensure that the provision we give our children is the best that it can be.

Inset Day - 3rd January 2023

Staff have to work five days above those that the children do in school and these days are used for in-service training (Inset). We always try to make these days as convenient as possible for parents and carers so often have them at the start or end of a term or week.

We have already had one Inset day (5th September 2022) and will be taking 24th and 25th July as Inset days so that the children can break up for the summer on Friday 21st July 2023.

The governors have now agreed that Tuesday 3rd January will be an INSET day so the children will return after the Christmas holiday on Wednesday 4th January. On the Inset day staff will be continuing their professional development in teaching handwriting.  This leaves one further Inset day to be confirmed and we will let you know as soon as it has been agreed.

Safeguarding - Online Safety at Home and School

 

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.

Ensuring that our children are safe online is a very important part of the Computing and PSHE programmes and our use of ICT across the curriculum. We are proactive in ensuring that our IT environment in school is as safe as it can be. Our Internet is protected by the RM Firewall and in addition a monitoring tool called ‘Smoothwall’, which sends out an alert to staff should anyone type anything into a computer which could be cyber bullying, offensive or highlight risky behaviour.

If you want to learn more about how to support your children to be safe using the technology you have at home, we have some useful leaflets produced by Vodafone called ‘Digital Parenting’. Please ask at the School Office if you would like one or visit

https://www.vodafone.co.uk/mobile/digital-parenting

Counting Down to Christmas

The Ridge Friends Association are pleased to bring you the following events.

Vacancy

We are currently recruiting for a cleaner. Please share this with anyone you know who might be interested. Details can be found on WM Jobs or ask at the school office for further details

https://www.wmjobs.co.uk/job/141126/cleaner/

Community Events

Please note that while we are happy to publicise community events, we cannot endorse them.

Sports for Champions Workshop - Wednesday 23rd November

 

Reminder - The sponsorship form can be completed on-line here.. https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/ridge , or on the paper form recently given out.  If you are completing it on paper and sending money into school this MUST be returned to us by 15th November.  Thank you.

What's Happening Next Week

Monday
Tuesday • Forest School for Years 3 and Reception
• Year 4 Clarinet Whole Class Lesson
Wednesday • Life Education Programme Workshops
• School Tour for Potential Reception Class - Sept 2023
• Years 5 and 6 to visit Ridgewood for a performance of 'School of Rock'
• Years 5 & 6 Tag Rugby Club
Thursday • Life Education Programme Workshops
• Choir
• Years 3-6 Football Club
Friday • Remembrance Day Interactive On-line Workshops for Years 1 to 6
• Year 4 Swimming

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