Welcome to our first newsletter of the new term. Thank you for your support in making it such a smooth start to the year. The children have settled into their new classes really well and their attitude and smartness is something that everyone should be proud of. It has been a busy summer in school with lots of building work going on: this has included work to update the heating in Kindergarten and refurbishment of the school bungalow to create a new and exciting space. More information will follow about these changes and we look forward to inviting you to come and see the results! The staff have worked hard in their classrooms to create wonderful learning environments for the children to return to. Everything is fresh and exciting! Thanks must go to all the staff, both teaching and support staff, for their efforts over the holiday.
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 happy and successful year.
Mrs. D. Hudson
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. 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 in the cloakroom.
We do not accept money ‘over the counter’ at the School Office (with the exception of purchase of school uniform) Please use the secure posting box outside the office to deposit any envelopes containing money, letters or reply slips which need to be returned to school.
We hold a staff briefing each Wednesday morning and it is valuable for the office staff to be there so that they are informed about what is going on in school and can answer any questions from parents. Therefore, on a Wednesday, the school office will not be open from 8.20 – 8.40 a.m. for visitors or phone calls.
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.
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 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 and we will text you to let you know that there is something that you need to look out for.
First thing in the morning is an extremely busy time for the class teachers. Whilst we wish to encourage you to share any concerns that you may have or information that you might need us to know, please could we ask the following:-
Teachers can be contacted via their e-mail addresses which can found on the staff page on the ‘Our School’ tab of the website.
Staff are more than happy to chat with parents or carers, but whenever possible, this should be at the end of the day, when the teacher can talk to you without the distraction of also looking after the children in the class. Staff need to attend a staff meeting each Wednesday straight after school, so please avoid Wednesdays unless it is a matter of urgency.
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.
Mrs Hudson Mrs Hadley and Miss Beddoes are available on the playground before school and will pass on messages.
If you really need to see the class teacher before school, please ask at the school office between 8.10 a.m. and 8.40 a.m. After this time, teachers need to be in their classrooms. Please do not make your way directly to the classroom.
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 and we will ask your child to wait on the sofa outside the office, until you can get here. Children in Reception and Key Stage 1 are accompanied to meet their parents at the end of the day. Pupils in Key Stage 2 should only leave the playground if they have parental permission to walk home. If they are due to be picked up and the person they are expecting is not there, Key Stage 2 pupils know that they must go to the school office to wait. Please do not offer to take another child from the playground unless a specific arrangement has been made with that child’s parent or carer.
Bags and Bottles
Can we please remind you that due to space restrictions in our cloakroom, we advise that children in Key Stage 2 have a Ridge Backpack. These are available to buy from the school office. If bags brought into school are too big, we will request that a smaller bag is provided.
Please can we also remind you that the 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.
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.
We monitor the attendance of all children and recognise that the attendance of a small minority of children falls below that expected. Children can't help being ill and as parents you are best placed to make the decision as to whether your child is well enough to be in school. However, if they are feeling a little 'under the weather' we would encourage you to send them to school where we will monitor them and contact you if they are struggling. Obviously, if your child is clearly unwell then it is in their best interest for them to be resting and recovering at home. We will contact you if we are concerned that your child's attendance is below that expected or there is a pattern of absence.
If you are taking leave of absence, please ask for a form to request this. You will be aware that we are unable to authorise leave unless there are 'exceptional circumstances'. 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. It also sends out contradictory messages 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.
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.
Finally, over the course of the year we support a number of charities as well as raising money for our school. We believe that it is important for the children to know about the work of charities and the people they help. However, we recognise that everyone’s situation is different so please support when you can, with what you can, without feeling under pressure. Thank you.
Thank you for your support with the Aldi Kit for Schools – we have already collected a good number of stickers and are well on our way to claiming our sports kit.