Volume 3 Issue 1


Welcome Back

We hope you all had a fantastic Summer holiday and have come back to school refreshed.

We have seen the children come back to school and settle quickly into their routines. They are enjoying their new classes and teachers and have worked hard already this year to produce some high quality work. We are sure this will continue over the year.

We have already held our meet the teacher afternoons which will have given you information about how our teachers and classes will run this year. There are some changes to routines in order to utilise school resources more effectively throughout the year and we believe that these will impact on pupils attainment, achievement and enjoyment.
As we move through the year there will be further curriculum developments coordinated by Mrs. Steer which we will inform you about as we implement them. Miss Wild will be discussing with parents your involvement in the school and how we can utilise the support that you offer to best effect.

The school is in a strong position with a full teaching team and many new initiatives now embedded in the school from the previous two year. As many of you will be aware the last two years have been difficult in terms of recruitment and maximising the skills of the staff to deliver progress and attainment right across the school. The evidence of the improvement is in the OFSTED report and we are determined to build on this success to ensure that the future of the school is forward and outward looking leading to continual improvement. We are looking forward to this continued development over the year.

Website

The new school website is now fully functioning and is being updated continually. We have worked closely with the governing body, in particular Rob Halkyard (Chair of Governors) to produce a website that serves the parents and the school effectively, without being onerous. Our thanks go to Rob for his hard work on the site.

As much as possible we will use this as our primary source of communication. Although we will continue to send letters out via email for now we will also post them to the site so that they can be found at any time. For parents who do not have access to the internet we will have a laptop in Reception which can be used to access the site and we will continue to send paper copies of everything for those parents who have requested it.

If you experience any difficulties with the site, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can ad-dress it quickly.
We are holding some training for teachers on the site management next week and from there they will be updating their class pages on a regular basis. For parents there are some key elements to the site; there is a parents section which has access to school gate-way, term dates, uniform etc. The news and events pages which hold the school calendar and then individual class pages. Anything that relates to a phase or key stage, for example the key stage 1 homework, will always be found on your own child’s class page.

As we go through the year we will invite feedback on the web-site to ensure that it is meeting the needs of parents. We will, however, try to avoid just adding more and more as this makes it complicated to find the information you are looking for.

PFA

The PFA are holding a fundraising meeting on Tuesday 27th September at 3:30pm in Miss Collins classroom. The purpose is to schedule the events for the next year and to agree what projects the PFA will fund for the school. You may have some amazing ideas to support the school so please come along and support them.

Without parental support for the PFA they will be unable to run the types of events that they have run traditionally and there-fore less money will be raised to buy additional equipment for the school. Please come along and show your support.

The Giving Machine

We have exciting fund raising news.
You can now help raise donations for The Richard Whittington Primary School without you even leaving your sofa. And it doesn’t cost you a penny!
We have signed up to www.thegivingmachine.co.uk.
TheGivingMachine is a fundraising organisation designed to help charitable causes raise money online. By signing up and shopping online via The Giving Machine you will generate a free cash donation for the charities of your choice. With all your favourite retailers, including Amazon, Ebay, M&S, NEXT,
Tesco, Sainsbury, John Lewis and Ocado, you are bound to find what you need and generate a donation.
In order to start raising free do-nations please go to www.thegivingmachine.co.ukand follow these steps:
· Click join as a giver. It will ask you to search for a cause. Type in The Richard Whitting-ton Primary School in the search and then select from the list of results.
· Click join and support and then enter your details.
You are now signed up.
Make sure you never miss a donation and download the Shop&Give application.
https://www.thegivingmachine.co.uk/shop-and-give/
It takes just a few minutes to install on your web browser and means that every time you click onto a retailer that supports this scheme you will get a prompt asking you to donate.
Thank you for your time.

Homework and Term overviews

These have been produced and sent home today. They will also appear as links and/or posts on your child’s class page in the next couple of days.

Governing Body

At the end of last term we were lucky enough to have two nominations for the role of governor. We will be sending out the voting papers next week. It is a really important role and it is one that we are grateful parents are prepared to take it on. Please read the information carefully and vote for the parent that you believe will support the school best over the next four years.

Parking

Once again parking has become an issue for the school. We recognise that many parents have to drive to school in order to get to work or simply the distance they need to travel to get here. We also recognise that the roads around the school are not the easiest to find parking and that the school has no jurisdiction beyond the school gate. We do, however, have a responsibility to local residents to address poor behaviour when we see it or when it is reported to us. There is a minority of parents who are parking inconsiderately and sometimes illegally around the school. When they have been challenged about this they have become rude and sometimes aggressive. This is not the image of the school we wish to portray, it is not what we expect of our children and all of us should be modelling the expectations that we have for them.

Where we see parents parking inconsiderately we will challenge you about it. If the parking is illegal we will pass your details on to the police. Please, therefore, ensure that we are not put in this position. We will be monitoring the road markings outside the school and where we see parents stopping or parking on yellow lines within the restricted hours we will take action.

To the vast majority who drive carefully around the school and park considerately, thank you.

Attendance

It is worth mentioning at the beginning of term that attendance is crucial to a child’s achievement. We do not want children in school if they are really not well enough to be here, however, for the vast majority of complaints children can be in school and still be active and engaged in their learning (a cough and a cold is not usually enough for a child to be absent).
Please can I remind parents that we need you to phone the absence line if your child will not be in school on the first day of absence. Following this if they are absent for 3 days please call us again and advise us of the expected time your child will be absent for. After a period of 5 days absence we would expect a GP note or similar as evidence of illness. This is not because we don’t trust parents to make decisions about their children’s health but is part of our responsibility under the safeguarding arrangements for the school.

If you are late arriving to school and the class has already gone in, you must register your child at the office.

On days when it is raining the school staff will make the decision as to whether children can come straight in. Please do not make the decision for yourself as we can not be responsible for your child’s health and safety until 8:55am when we take them into school.

Herts and Essex Multi-Academy Trust

You will have received the email drop regarding the HEMAT. We have agreed to host an information morning for parents in the school hall. This does not mean that we are part of the trust or are even discussing the possibility. We do, how-ever, want to understand what is happening in the town and to give parents as much information about the potential changes and developments happening within the schools in Bishops’ Stortford. We also want to make sure we maintain strong and positive links with all our secondary schools.
If you can come along on 20th September at 9.15, we would be delighted to see you there.

Staffing vacancies

We have a couple of vacancies for Midday supervisors. The hours are 11:45 to 13:15 Monday—Friday. Many of our MSA start with us in this role and then take up other roles within school as time goes on and opportunities arise. If you are interested in the role please contact Mrs. Frost (School Business Manager) via the office.

After school time

Whilst it has been lovely to see parents talking and socialising after school and children using the field and playgrounds in the last couple of weeks, unfortunately we have to stop this now. We will be beginning after school clubs in the coming weeks (football has already started) and having children and parents in these areas means we can not check which children are at the club and those that are not. We also have our after school club Funzone who hire the playgrounds and the field for their use and we need to be able to guarantee them their space.
Please make sure that you have left the school site by 3:30pm.

Equally, in the mornings, we are using outside are-as straight after registration. Parents need to have left the school site so that we can make it secure by 9:00am. Thank you for your understanding.