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Dear Parents/Carers 

I do hope that you had an enjoyable and restful break over the half term holiday.

I will address some troubling and serious issues later in this newsletter but I thought I should also take the opportunity to update you with regard to school events this half term plus some happier school issues.


Mrs Stanyer 

Many of you will be familiar with Miss Horne, it is however my pleasure to inform you that she has returned to school today as Mrs Stanyer. I am sure you would like to join me, as part of the Ravensmead community in wishing Mr & Mrs Stanyer health and happiness as they embark upon this next exciting stage of their lives.


Miss Bould 

It is also my pleasure to inform you that Miss Bould has recently gained Qualified Teacher Status. Furthermore, before the holiday, she was interviewed by the governors for a vacant Reception Teacher position at Ravensmead and she was successful at interview. I can now tell you that Miss Bould will start her teaching career with us taking her own Reception class in September 2017. I am sure you will join me in congratulating Miss Bould upon her success.


School Uniform 

Can I once again ask for your support with regard to school uniform. Visitors to school regularly comment upon how smart our children are but could I ask you to ensure that your child only wears “sensible black shoes” for school, as recorded in the school prospectus. Please also ensure that all items of uniform including PE kit is correctly labelled.


Summer Term Lunch Menu 

The new menu can now be found on the website, please go to Lunch Menus. This will run from today until October 2017 half term week when the Autumn menu will be available.

Can I remind you also that the Key Stage 2 school lunches now cost £2.20 per day or £11.00 per week, payable each Monday. All pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are entitled to “Universal Free School Meals”, this can be a hot meal but also the kitchen can provide a range of sandwiches. It is very important for school that all pupils, including the year groups above apply for the more traditional Free School Meals whereby family circumstance entitles them to school meals paid for by the Government. All schools receive additional grants for this take-up. If you feel that you may be entitled to Free School Meals, please consult the link on the website under the heading “Community” or talk in confidence, to the School Office staff.


School Car Park 

Parents will be aware that the school car park has itself become a health and safety issue. Can I remind all parents that only if dropping off at the care club before 8.15am should parents drive onto the school car park to drop off, and only when great care is taken. I would also strongly encourage Care Club parents to park in the street before collecting their children after school. Very few schools allow parents to use the car park at all and if necessary Ravensmead will also take this measure. In terms of space, there is insufficient space for staff colleagues to park at school during the day.


Year 5 Activity Day at Sir Thomas Boughey High School 

A letter will shortly go out to our Year 5 pupils explaining arrangements for the Activity Day on Tuesday June 27th.


School Budgets 

I am sure that you are aware that all schools nationally are facing very difficult budgets, Ravensmead is no exception. To avoid redundancies the Governing Board had to consider a wide range of cost cutting measures, all of them difficult. As you know, we attempt at all times to meet the individual needs of our children, recognised so proudly by our Inclusion Quality Mark Flagship status. Much of this work is, therefore, undertaken by our staff. I regard all staff in school as “teachers” whether they have the responsibility for their class or the label of “support staff” and, therefore, the priority is to secure the maximum flexibility to enable school to respond to the changing needs of its pupil population. At this point I would like to express my personal gratitude to Mr Stephen Swatton, our Chair of Governors, who works tirelessly in the background spending many hours ensuring that our finances remain secure.

It is, however, impossible to make cost cuts without noticing some differences. For a number of years now I have been grateful to the governors for allocating an Enrichment budget which has supported theatre groups, authors and other artists visiting school and thereby avoiding the necessity to request additional funds from parents and carers for these activities. We take this responsibility seriously and, as you know, use our fundraising creatively to subsidise our educational visits.

For many years now, our children have benefited from having a residential experience where, for the first time, they may be away from home over night. In recent years these residentials have largely been for Year 4 and Year 6 pupils. I am conscious that custom and practice must at times be avoided because these residentials require a massive and ever-increasing commitment from staff to take place. You may not be aware that in the past the governors have generously funded 50% of the cost of the residential for all pupils and 100% of the cost for pupils in receipt of “free school meals”. It is very unlikely that future residentials, if they take place, can be funded on this basis. We will, however, be contacting parents to gauge your thoughts on covering these potential increased costs.


Dates for the Diary 

Tuesday 6th June
Year 2 Visit to Rudyard Lake
Mrs Russell’s English Group to perform scenes from The Tempest at The New Vic
6pm – September 2017 Reception Intake Meeting

Friday 9th June
Academy Photos – Nursery Graduations, Leavers, Music, Sport

Tuesday 13th June
Nursery Play & Stay

Thursday 15th June
Nursery Play & Stay
Miss Reynolds Maths Group to visit Jaguar Landrover
9am – 10.30am – Parent Support Drop In

Monday 19th June
Year 4 Cricket at Bignall End Cricket Club

Thursday 22nd June
Y3/4L and Y3/4H K2M Concert with Halle Orchestra at the Victoria Hall

Friday 23rd June
Last day for After School Clubs (except Climbing Club, Athletics, Cricket, Gardening)

Monday 26th June
Multicultural Arts Week

Tuesday 27th June
Year 5 Activity Day at Sir Thomas Boughey High School
Year 3/4 Artscool at MMU
Eco Kids Textile Collection (details to follow)
Y5/6 Girls Cricket at Audley Cricket Club

Thursday 29th June
Year 5/6 Trip to Llandudno

Monday 3rd July
Year 5/6 Northwood Athletics

Tuesday 4th July
Year 6 Visit to Sir Thomas Boughey High

Wednesday 5th July
Year 6 Visit to Sir Thomas Boughey High
Nursery Parents Lunches

Thursday 6th July
Volunteer Afternoon in KS2 Garden

Friday 7th July
Nursery Parents Lunches
Year 6 Sleepover (details to follow)
Reports out to parents

Tuesday 11th July
3.30 – 4.30pm Open Evening

Wednesday 12th July
9.30am KS1 Performance (details to follow)
3.30pm Year 2 to Year 3 Transition Meeting
6pm KS1 Performance (details to follow)

Thursday 13th July
9.30am KS1 Performance (details to follow)
KS1 and KS2 Discos (more details to follow)

Friday 14th July
Inclusive Sports at Keele Change4Life
Garden Party and Grand Opening of Key Stage 2 Garden

Monday 17th July
Nursery and Reception Visit to National Farm Adventure Park

Wednesday 19th July
3.30 Reception to Year 1 Transition Meeting

Friday 21st July
1.30 Leavers Assembly
Break Up


Events in Manchester and London 

We are all acutely aware of the extremely challenging climate around safety and security of everyone nationally at the moment, schools are no exception. I can inform you that Local Authorities and professional associations are giving advice to schools at this time and this will be discussed by staff and governors. Firstly children of all ages are aware of some of the appalling incidents they are reading about and seeing on their screens. It is a difficult balancing act in terms of how these are shared, discussed and how children can be supported to understand the current situation. It will, of course, be for families to decide for themselves the approach to be taken in the home. As we prepare for another minute’s silence on Tuesday June 6th school staff will be also considering how best to support the children in their care in an age-appropriate way. Initial guidance coming into school is around how important it is to listen to children, how we can help them to express their fears and worries and what to say when the children ask questions.

In terms of school security, once again advice is coming into school which we will consider quickly and review our procedures. It may be, however, that we have to consider procedures not thought necessary in the past. As I think you are aware the safety and security of everyone within the Ravensmead community continues to be our first task and I thank you for your support during these difficult times.

It is, unfortunately, necessary to consider and act upon the advice and measures above but let us not forget the most precious time that “school days” should be for all children and every effort will be made to ensure that your child/children continue to be well supported at Ravensmead.

D Bell