Mr Rowe's Round Up
Thursday 15th December 2022
End of Term December 2022
Brrrrrrrr! It has certainly turned extremely cold – maybe we will actually have snow for Christmas! I know the children love the snow, but my feet feel it standing at the gate in the mornings. 😊 That said, someone else also has fun à
Following our successful Information sessions – see my last letter for more details – where we talked about our new logo and motto, ‘Grow, Learn, Give,’ it is with great pleasure that I direct you all to an absolutely fabulous new video we have created welcoming everyone to Ryvers school: www.ryversschool.com/welcome/
If you want to send the link on to anyone – and please do pass it around Facebook/Tiktok/Instagram etc. as it is a joyous five-minute watch – then you can also use: https://vimeo.com/779885918/e09a769cec?embedded=true&source=video_title&owner=5748343
It has been an absolute joy to see so many parents and carers joining us in school. Having parents and carers watching class assemblies is a lovely experience for everyone and it is always pleasing to see how many of you stay on for drinks and biscuits when we have our monthly coffee mornings – special thanks to those who bring cakes! 😊 Next term’s dates for the coffee mornings on Fridays have now been agreed and the first session will also host some Asthma nurses available to give extra information and support on this important theme, so please do come along - 20th January, 24th February and 17th March.
If you (or you know of families that) have pre-school children or children ready to move into our Nursery next year then I can recommend our ‘Little Goslings’ toddler sessions. These are informal play sessions where adults and their children can go to have fun and meet new people. Dates for the next term are: Thursday 19th January, Thursday 23rd February and Thursday 16th March. All sessions are 2pm-3pm.
The Christmas discos for Reception/Key Stage 1 and then Key Stage 2 were … errr … very loud! I am taking that and the very large numbers attending as a sign of happiness and success. We will continue to run events such as these throughout the year. As these events were proposed and supported by our School Council, it will be that group who decide how best to spend any profits made – look out for further information on this!
Our Winter Fayre was a wonderful event; certainly, the best I have attended since joining. The quality of items to buy, activities and games to play, the Santa’s grotto and the excitement and enthusiasm of everyone attending was a pleasure to experience. We also managed to make some excellent profits which we look forward to reinvesting in the school! A special thank you to our Friends of Ryvers committee who helped hugely in preparing, setting up and sorting out; much appreciated.
Talking of parents contributing (please do tell the FoR if you are available to help), a small group gave up time to help paint and restore our rotunda in our outdoor Learning Garden which is hugely helpful in keeping the area fresh and usable. The group are committing to meeting regularly to keep weeds down as the Spring growth starts so if you have green fingers or a strong back please do make yourself known to us as we have more dates planned for next term. We are also making great use of reading volunteers – again feel free to put yourself forward.
You will have seen in the news that schools are really struggling with costs at the moment and sadly Ryvers is no different. Our gas and electricity bills have increased by thousands of pounds and the rising costs of materials and ingredients are making things very difficult at the moment. We are also very aware that many of our families are struggling with their own finances. Please do remember that it might be possible for you to claim for Free school Meals and we have also been made aware that if you are a family with ‘no recourse to public funds’ you can still apply for free meals for your children: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/free-school-meals-guidance-for-schools-and-local-authorities/providing-free-school-meals-to-families-with-no-recourse-to-public-funds-nrpf#eligible-groups If you ever find yourself in significant financial difficulty please do quietly share with us and we will try to help in any way we can.
The Holiday Activity Fund is again hosting days for eligible children at our school so please do follow this link to book places: www.superstarsportwl.com or call 01895 204885.
Unfortunately, in light of ingredients/materials costs escalating by more than 20% we are needing to put up the charges for school meals by 20 pence and also raise the costs of our Breakfast Club to £4.75 and After School Club to £10.00. We understand this might be difficult for some families (please do get in touch if you are really struggling) and have decided to delay these increases until the beginning of February.
I would also ask that you make the ‘voluntary contribution’ we ask for to fund the various trips each year group. Put simply, without your contributions, these trips just won’t take place. Could I also ask you to respond a little more promptly when receiving trips information in particular the consent forms – it is difficult for us to book when we are not sure of numbers!
We are very fortunate to have an incredibly hard-working staff in absolutely every area of the school. I want to give a big thank to all the kitchen and dining hall staff who have had to cope with sudden loss of gas cooking with no warning (and even after we were told it was fixed – sigh) and still managed to provide food for everyone. As you know we had to postpone our Christmas lunch which will now become a new year feast on Thursday 19th January – crackers will still be pulled! 😊
Learning Support Assistants, the Site Team, Welfare and Office staff and the teachers all give so much of themselves and I know they all appreciate the cards and gifts you share but please don’t feel, in these difficult times, that you must buy anyone anything. We would all rather you looked after your families first – I will pass on your thanks, I promise!
We have a small number of staff leaving; Mrs Claridge, Mrs Chakravorti and Miss Bedford. We wish them well in their next steps and thank them for all they have done with us. We are also very excited to celebrate the wedding of Mrs Wells (Miss Hart) and, separately, I am (I think) looking forward to becoming a grandad in the new year!
We know that there is a lot of illness around at the moment and I hope you all read the letters from Public Health sent out last week – and we certainly don’t want very ill children in school. However, equally, we wouldn’t be in the education world if we didn’t believe that every day, every hour, every minute of time in school is precious. Please do try to keep your child in school (it is only 190 days a year!) as much as possible. Quite rightly, the government, the local authority and the school have a strong focus on attendance. We will not sanction any term time holidays and will fine families if they take unauthorised time off. Core religious festivals are granted as a single day if absolutely necessary. Our two-week half term has helped give many families an opportunity to visit relatives at relatively low costs and I would ask that you prioritise time in school as your number one decision.
A lovely note to finish on is to celebrate the election of Imaan Baig (starring at the end of our new school video!) and Ayaan Ullah as Head Girl and Boy this year. They went through a rigorous set of trials and interviews and will be seen representing the school at various events over the next two terms.
And so, we bring 2022 to an end – another difficult year nationally but here at Ryvers we have so much to celebrate and be grateful for. It is a genuine pleasure to stand at the gate each morning and welcome you all as part of the family of Ryvers. For those of you who celebrate: Happy Christmas and to all of you, have a restful, family break.
Ho, ho, ho!