A message from the Headteacher

It is wonderful to welcome everyone back to a new year at The Ridge. The children have settled into their new classes really well, demonstrating our school values and really taking a pride in their school. Their attitude and smartness is something that everyone should be proud of.

After all the disruption caused by Covid it is exciting to see a full return to the 'richness of school life' and we hope that you will welcome more opportunities to be engaged with your children's learning as we welcome you into school for a return to things such as class assemblies and family learning.

We will soon be launching a 'new look newsletter' and hope to use it to keep you up to date with important information and inform you of the developments in school. In the meantime please use our website and class Dojo and look out for paper copies of letters and forms. We also text but only have a set number of characters we can use so sometimes send more than one text or refer you to the website or an email (we also can't use an apostrophe which is very frustrating!) And finally, you can follow us on Twitter (@ridgeprimary), and soon you'll be able to follow us on Facebook too!

This newsletter is rather 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 happy and successful year. As always, please raise any concerns with either the class teacher or a member of the leadership team as soon as they occur. We want to avoid small issues snowballing and by speaking to us face to face, hopefully we can resolve any problems.

Kind regards

Mrs D Hudson

Routine Reminders

• 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 Class Dojo. 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.

• Attendance - we have changed how we do our registers in school. If your child arrives after the gates have closed at 8.47, they must come into school via the main door and report to the office. Please do not take Reception or Key Stage 1 children to the exterior classroom doors. Children should be accompanied by an adult to sign in at the office.
Our preferred method for receiving messages about absence is through email (attendance@ridge.dudley.sch.uk) It is important that the office staff receive the message but you may wish to copy in the class teacher. To avoid undue Safeguarding concerns, please message before 8.50 a.m.

•Please make sure that you include your child's name, class and the precise reason that they are absent. If they are unwell, please tell us the symptoms they are experiencing (e.g. high temperature or tummy ache) so that we can look out for patterns and possible outbreaks of an illness.

• 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 the office to book a meal. If you phone before 9.30am we will be able to order their choice from the menu.

• 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.

• 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.

• PE - children should come to school in their PE kit and school jumper or cardigan on the days that PE is timetabled. Please make sure that children have the correct kit (eg plain tee-shirt and not any other leisure ware) and have a PE Hoodie, or tracksuit top in their PE bag in school to change in to for the lesson.

• 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!)

• 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)

Leave of Absence and Punctuality

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.

This Weeks attendance 

Year 1 – 99.15%

Year 2 – 100.00%

Year 3 – 92.86%

Year 4 – 94.58%

Year 5 – 100.00%

Year 6 – 96.67%

Well done Years 2 and 5 – a fantastic start to the school year!

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, Miss Beddoes and Mrs Burley.

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.

What's New!

• We welcome Mr Ryan Lamb as our new PE and Sports Coach. We are really looking forward to him working with the children in lessons but also offering some additional clubs and activities at lunchtime and after school funded through the School PE and Sports Premium Grant. He has already got the children buzzing with enthusiasm!

• Reading Ambassadors - please see the attached information regarding this exciting opportunity!

• Later this term we hope to implement a new online system to order school lunches and make payments for uniform, visits, clubs and OSCAR. We know that this will be warmly welcomed by parents and carers. (Unavoidable delays by the provider meant that sadly it was not ready for the start of term but we are keeping everything crossed for a smooth and speedy launch at some point before Christmas!)

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