6th April 2022
It’s almost the end of the Spring Term already! Who knows what the weather is doing – one minute it is bright sunshine, the next it is snowing! We have had some lovely moments supporting our various communities in celebrating their festivals lately. I wish Ramadan Mubarak to those observing and very much enjoyed making Jurgen into a unique blue Labrador as he joined a Holi party a few weeks back. There is a ‘Happy Easter’ (it’s not just about the chocolate eggs!) and I enjoyed being told the story of the birth of Khalsa by a colleague Headteacher which will be celebrated on the 14th of April. I’m sure there will be many other such moments for all these faiths and others too. Ryvers is a secular school but one which thrives on being part of a wonderfully diverse and rich community.
On to more difficult matters. The government has now told schools that it is up to them to deal on an individual level with covid related matters. It is quite clear that many children, families and staff are still getting infected and needing time to recover. The latest rules are that if your child is ill with symptoms they should stay off school just as they would with any infection. The suggestion is three to five days and in particular check that their temperature has returned to normal. We would recommend that you still do take tests if you are concerned but recognise that these now do cost a lot of money. From our point of view, we simply don’t want infectious children circulating the disease in school. If they pass it on to their TAs and teachers they will have yet more supply teaching and disrupted learning so better safe than sorry!
Attendance and punctuality
Having asked that you keep your child off if they are infectious, I do equally want to encourage you to keep your child in school for more minor illnesses. Absence rates across the country have been huge and although our Ryvers attendance is not terrible, we do have a number of families whose children have missed a huge amount of schooling. We have been contacting those parents whose children have a lower than 90% attendance to talk through with them what we can do to help. There is no implied criticism of families as almost all have perfectly acceptable reasons for low attendance but the fact is it will have led to ‘lost learning’ and we will need to work together to support this being caught up. We will be writing to parents to advise them of their child’s percentage if it has fallen below 95% and whilst we do record all reasons and evidence provided by parents, we still have a duty to advise you of your child’s attendance percentage.
As you all know, I am on the gate every morning with Jurgen and we do ‘try’ to close the gate at 8.50am. Whilst I completely understand a bad morning or heavy traffic there are one or two, how shall I put it ‘regulars’!
We also have a rather too long queue at the office post gate closure some mornings. Just getting up five minutes earlier would often solve the poor punctuality.
Whilst on these subjects could I just remind you all to please always be polite and respectful to all staff at the school. I genuinely understand the frustrations of being late or queuing or any number of other annoyances of life. However, my staff do not come to work to have to cope with rudeness and it will not, on the rare occasions it occurs, be tolerated. By all means come and have a ‘moment’ with me but not at my staff!
Parking and the gate
I can’t write home without my usual reference to parking! As the weather improves so do the opportunities to walk, scoot or cycle to school and in doing so reduce the congestion levels and indeed the understandable annoyance of our neighbours who still occasionally have people parking across their drives – please don’t!
We had to repair our pedestrian side gate (next to the main entrance) this week as it had been broken by impatient people, how shall I put it, ‘interacting’ with it as it slowly opens. Please just have a couple of seconds of patience and let it fully open by itself before trying to walk in or out. Please wait behind the yellow lines, the gate has censors and will not open if it detects anything within those yellow lines.
Friends of Ryvers
We are very much hoping that the Summer Term will allow us to start up our Friday coffee mornings again and also many of the hugely important fundraising activities which parents can contribute to. We will be actively recruiting for new members of our Friends of Ryvers (our Parent Teacher Association) early next term. Please have a serious think about whether you could help out with this – it is a hugely important part of the school community and the more parents and carers that get involved the better and more fairly the work is spread.
Well done to all of you who have been working through the activity passports that we sent home in the autumn. It is great to see our children enjoying a wide range of experiences through which to learn and build memories. In the second half of the summer term, we will be awarding bronze, silver and gold certificates for participation, so please look at the lists and see what you could do together over Easter.
We will be closing early on Friday 8th April at 1pm (excluding Nursery); please do ensure you are here on time to collect your children as the school will be being locked up soon afterwards.
School opens again on Monday April 25th. We DO NOT have an Inset day.
School is closed on Monday 2nd May for the May Day Bank Holiday.
Half Term begins on Monday 30th May and please note …
School is closed on Monday 6th June for the Queen’s Jubilee.
Term ends on Friday 22nd July at 1pm.
Have a lovely Easter break and roll on the Summer Term!