A message from the Headteacher
Welcome back to a new year at The Ridge – one that we all hope will be a little more ‘normal’ than the last couple we have lived through. Thank you for your support in making it such a smooth start to the term. The children have settled into their new classes really well and their attitude and smartness is something that everyone should be proud of. Thank you too for your support of our Covid measures, which you will remember are staying in place over the next two weeks, with a view to making some changes after that.
Some important information regarding Covid.
Following the latest change in government guidelines in July, we can begin to return to some kind of normality. This means that your child must attend school as normal unless they are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or self-isolating.
However, some things will need to remain the same to avoid further spread of the virus:
- Your child should not come into school if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive.
- Practice good hygiene through frequent and thorough hand cleaning and the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach.
- We will continue to follow thorough cleaning regimes in our school.
- Rooms will be kept well ventilated.
What to do if your child has symptoms of COVID-19
- Self-isolate immediately.
- Book a PCR test for your child - https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or call 119.
- Follow Government guidance and instructions provided by NHS Test and Trace.
- Contact school as normal to inform them of the absence.
- Remote learning will be provided.
What to do if your child has diffuse /wider symptoms
(Loss of Appetite, Extreme Tiredness, Headaches, Joint Pain or Muscle Ache, Nausea, Sore Throat, Sneezing, Diarrhoea* and/or vomiting** - must be clear of symptoms for 48hrs before returning to school- Runny Nose or Congestion)
- If your child has any of these wider symptoms (apart from diarrhoea* and vomiting**) they can carry on attending school if they are well enough to do so but we ask that you arrange a PCR test for your child.
(If your child has tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 90 days, they should not get tested for wider symptoms. However, they must self-isolate and seek a new test if they display any of the three main Covid-19 symptoms.)
- If the test result is positive your child must self-isolate for 10 days from their symptom onset date.
- If the test result is negative but your child then develops a high temperature, new, continuous cough or loss or change of taste or sense of smell they must self-isolate and you must arrange another test for your child.
We will continue to monitor cases and put in place additional steps to mitigate against Covid ‘ramping up and relaxing down’ depending on the cases.
Over the coming year we will continue to develop aspects of our school to give our children the best that we possibly can. This involves amongst other things, embedding our agreed values (Respect, Independence, Determination, Gratitude and Empathy), some new approaches to teaching and learning – specifically phonics - and also reviewing our behaviour policy. We will be sharing further information about all of these as the term progresses but in the meantime, I would like to congratulate the children on their ‘wonderful walking’ which has been a focus for us all in these first few days.
Over the summer we were due to have a significant number of windows and doors replaced. However, like many others, the contractors were unable to source the glass needed. As a result this work will be on-going during the remainder of this half term. This may cause some disruption to our usual routines but we ask you to bear with us during this time.
It always feels as though our first newsletter is a list of requests and reminders. I hope that you will understand that these are necessary to help with the smooth running of our school and the newsletter is not intended to be a list of ‘dos and don’ts’!
Thank you for your on-going support and interest in your child’s learning. We look forward to working with you over the year to come and hope for a stable, happy and successful year.
Mrs D Hudson
You can contact your child’s class teacher in any of the following ways
- Reception and Key Stage 1 – quick messages can be passed on to the class teacher at the classroom door.
- Key Stage 2 - Mrs Hudson and Mrs Hadley are available on the playground before school and will pass on messages.
- Teachers can be contacted via their e-mail addresses which can found on the staff page on the ‘Our School’ tab of the website or through ClassDojo. Please use these routes to share any concerns you may have or matters which are more detailed.
- Messages can be left with the office staff, who will ensure that the class teacher is informed. This particularly applies to medical appointments or notifying us of an absence.
- Sometimes parents and carers are unavoidably delayed at the end of the day. If you know that you are going to be late, please phone the school office so that arrangements to look after your child can be made. Please also let the office know if you have arranged for another parent to collect your child.
- If your child requires a school lunch but is not going to be in school first thing in the morning, it is important that you notify Mrs Priest to book a meal. If you phone before 9.30am we will be able to order their choice from the menu.
- All money brought in to school for school activities, including money for swimming, needs to be sent into school in a sealed envelope with the child’s name, class, amount and purpose clearly written on the front. This should be handed to the teacher. Each class has a box for safekeeping of dinner money, which must be in a named purse or wallet. No money is to be left in bags.
- Children invariably lose things and we aim to reunite any lost property with the owner as soon as possible. Obviously this is made so much easier when uniform and other belongings are clearly labelled.
- We may send home important information including details of any minor accidents via your child. To make sure that you receive this information please can we ask that you check their school bag on a daily basis (even if they are in year 6!)
- Other information is uploaded to the school website or sent via ClassDojo. We will text you to let you know that there is something that you need to look out for on the website but please check ClassDojo frequently.
- Children need to bring a water bottle to school each day to keep hydrated in the classroom. However this must be filled with water, only - no squash, fruit juice or other flavoured drinks. They can however have these drinks as part of their lunch.
- We have a number of children in school with potentially life threatening allergies. It is vital that no nut products are brought in to school.
- As a Health promoting school, fresh fruit is the only snack allowed at breaktimes and lunch boxes should not contain chocolate bars. ( a chocolate coated biscuit - e.g. a kitkat - is acceptable)
Attendance and Punctuality
It is important that if your child is absent you telephone school on the first day that they are away, to inform us of the reason for the absence and to ensure this is accurately registered. This is important not just for recording attendance but also so that we know your child is safe. If you do not contact us or respond to our text messages, we may need to do a home visit.
If you need to request leave of absence, please ask for a form from the school office. You will be aware that we are unable to authorise leave unless there are ‘exceptional circumstances’. Please be honest about your reasons for any request. There have been occasions where children have been reported ill but have been on holiday. We usually know because they want to tell us or their friends all about their trip! If you are not up front with us, the children may be put in the difficult position of having to tell lies, which goes against everything we teach children about the importance of honesty.
Lateness – punctuality is an important part of attendance which we are focusing on. All children should be in their classrooms by 8.50 a.m. Those arriving after this time will be recorded as late. Please see our Attendance Policy for further information about what this means.
Parking in Gregory Road
At the start of this new year please can we take the opportunity to remind you about parking in Gregory Road. You will know that this is a constant issue for both school and local residents and so for everyone’s safety and to ensure that we maintain good relationships with the residents, please note the following.
- Please avoid double parking along the length of Gregory Road and obstructing the driveways of our neighbours. (Marked out with the white I-------I)
- Do not park on the yellow’ Keep Clear Zig Zags’ or in the turning circle in Gregory Road.
- Please do not park or turn round in the school car park.
- Whenever possible please take the opportunity to walk to school.
Please see the attached information from West Midlands Police.
Keeping Children Safe
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 and Miss Beddoes.
More information about changes to our arrangements will be shared soon but in the meantime, if you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us.