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Dear Parents/Carers,

We would like to take this opportunity to welcome all our new children and families who will be starting in Nursery and, of course, the grown up children who are now full time in our Reception. We would particularly like to welcome many families whose children have gone directly into our Reception classes.

We thought we would write to you to highlight a number of important areas:

Staffing

We would like to welcome two new teachers to school. We are very fortunate to have Miss Shallcross who is starting her teaching career at Ravensmead taking a Year 3 class. We also have Mrs Lewis who is teaching in one of our Year 5/6 classes. I am sure that they will enjoy their time with us and we look forward to benefiting from their expertise and ideas. We would also like to inform you Miss Reynolds and Mrs Chidlow will be working in school in the mornings to support Year 5/6 English and Maths. For your information Mr Heppell is now sharing a Year 4 class with Mrs Lockett with remainder of his week utilising his expertise in Physical Education in many classes across the school.

Just to remind you that as part of my phased retirement (repurposing!) I am working in school Monday, Tuesdays and Wednesdays with Mrs Goodall stepping up as Headteacher on Thursday and Friday. I will finish on Wednesday 24th October and Mrs Goodall will be Acting Headteacher for the remainder of the Academic Year. Governors have decided that they will advertise and appoint a new permanent Headteacher at some point during this Academic Year.

Parent Governor Elections

There will shortly be an opportunity for parents to consider the position of Parent Governor. It has been decided that further information will be sent to you after half term to enable Mrs Goodall and our Chair of Governors Mr Steve Swatton to meet prospective Parent Governors.

Paperwork Sent Home Shortly we will send “Consent Forms” and other paperwork home. We try not to “overdo” it and most documents can also be found on our website which I would encourage you to visit regularly. A small number of additional copies will be placed in the rack to the left inside the school entrance. We will inform you by text that documents have been placed on the web site and to save paper we will regularly direct you to the web site.

We have sent out some paper copies such as Asthma Care Plan and Emergency Inhaler documents to all families, which went out on Friday to the children on our current register. We would ask you to return those immediately. If your child is asthmatic we would ask that you return the Care Plan and also the Medication Consent Form. Schools have to send these documents out to all parents and we are advised that some children come off the register, please let us know if this is the case, with new ones receiving a diagnosis. Only if your child is asthmatic should you return this document but it is vital that we have an up to date Asthma Register in school.

Some of the following important issues are very familiar to our families but we have many new families and it is worth revisiting them….

The Start and Finish of The Day

A reminder that Reception and Key Stage 1 children should enter school at 8.50am and for Key Stage 2 the gate to the playground will be opened by staff at 8.50 and will close at 8.55. Children will not be supervised before 8.50am.

Silver Fox Care Club can be contacted on 07813 679706 and will look after your child from 7.30 in the morning up to 6pm in the evening. The doors to the Breakfast Club will open from 8.40am and will close promptly, pupils will go directly to class from here. Early Years and Key Stage One Classes finish at 3.15pm with Key Stage two at 3.20pm.

Playtimes

Currently we are trialling some changes to our playtimes for KS2 due to the large numbers in these year groups.

After School Clubs

The After School Clubs letter will be going out today or tomorrow. We would remind you that some of the clubs must operate on a first come first served basis. We would ask that you look carefully at the start and finish dates for the clubs and we will try very hard not to make amendments.

Parking

We are extremely grateful to the Parish Council and the Audley Football Club for allowing the use of their car park. The car park will be open most days but will need to be locked promptly at 9am. After school it will need to be locked at 3.30pm. Once again we are grateful to our friends at the Methodist Chapel who agree to allow our parents to drop off and collect from their car park. Parents should not, however, park here for the duration of a school activity, e.g. Class Assembly or Workshop as the Chapel themselves would no longer have available parking for their own functions. Clearly The Football Club and The Chapel accept no responsibility whatsoever for cars using their spaces. You use these facilities at your own risk.

As you know, safety is the school priority and, therefore, can I remind you of a number of other measures we take to help avoid accidents at these busy times.

We would ask that….

  • Parents avoid dropping off and turning near the school entrance and families should not walk through the main gates (keeping cars and pedestrians apart).
  • Parents should not park at the farm entrance. It is regularly used by farm machinery but also that side of the road is a walkway for many families and we have had incidents in the past where cars have almost reversed into children. If you choose to park or turn there you are placing children and parents at risk. (Sorry for this, but it needs saying).
  • We would ask that you park courteously in the streets at all times, and ensure close supervision and good behaviour of your children around the Chapel, the flats and in the local streets.
  • We would ask that parents do not use the Staff Car Park. There is not enough parking space for the staff themselves. Parents dropping off at the Silver Fox Care Club should not enter the Staff Car Park after 8.15am but rather park on the street and walk their child into the Care Club. At the moment a complete ban on parents using the staff car park at any time is a consideration and one to be discussed by Governors

Uniform

The children look very smart. Please label all items of uniform. Please ensure that PE Kit, Sandwich Boxes and Water Bottles are also all labelled. Please encourage your child to become organised, thinking ahead to when instruments, sandwich boxes, swimming kits or PE kits etc need to be in school. This will help to avoid too much “traffic” at the school’s Reception in the morning. As you know every attempt is made to match up lost property with “owners”. We keep back some good quality uniform without names but sadly it is necessary to throw some uniform away after all attempts have been made to return it.

Reading and Homework

All research indicates that partnerships between school and families are vital in terms of supporting child development in all areas. Could I ask you to sign your child’s Reading and Homework Diary nightly, commenting and signing the Reading column and monitoring closely your child’s homework to check for content and completion. Parents will be aware that we offer a “surgery” with teachers for a short time after school on a Wednesday and the Reading/Homework Diary is a daily vehicle for communication but if outside these times parents wish to speak to teachers they must sign in and sign out in the Visitors Book. For parents who live apart those not residing with their children should send to school stamped addressed envelopes to ensure that we contact you in advance of parents evenings and reports.

Volunteers

Mrs Weston had a meeting on Monday September 10th for prospective volunteers but it will not be too late to contact her after today to express an interest and there are many ways that volunteers can help in school. Thank you to those parents who came to the meeting yesterday, Mrs Weston will be in touch with you shortly.

Website

Can I encourage you to regularly visit the school website, www.ravensmead.staffs.sch.uk. There continue to be many changes. I hope that you and your children find it interesting and informative. Although you will receive a hard copy of this first newsletter, future letters will be posted on the website and you will be notified by text. We will also include copies of school presentation materials, educational visit letters etc. The website also includes a wide range of statutory information which you can access including, for example, Safeguarding Policies, School Standards e.g. Data Dashboard and Performance Table links. Information about how the school determines expenditure under “Pupil Premium” and “PE and Sports Grant” headings can also be found on the website. Any parental suggestions for inclusion in the website, as usual, would be very welcome.

“FAB Friday”

The children were very excited on Friday when we explained our new curriculum initiative we also wrote to you and the whole school looks forward to developing this part of our work. You will remember from our letter that we are asking the children to come into school wearing sportswear (not expensive) on Friday. We would ask that No football shirts are worn and if the children need to use their trainers or pumps from their PE kit, that they change into these once they come to school on Friday.

Audley Goes Purple – Thursday 13th September

We would ask that all children and staff wear an item of clothing or an accessory which is purple. We would also ask that each family contributes £1 and this money will go directly to Cancer Research UK which is the named charity for the wonderful local initiative. Ravensmead is delighted to be able to support “Audley Goes Purple”.

Calendar

The Calendar for this term will be given out this week. A reminder that future Newsletters will only be placed on the website with notification via text. If you have recently changed your mobile number it is very important that you inform the school office.

Yours Sincerely,

Mr D Bell
Headteacher

Mrs M Goodall
Acting Headteacher