Information from Mrs Driver

Welcome back!
Where did the summer holidays go? The Autumn term is traditionally a very busy one for us in school and we are looking forward to welcoming you all into school. We would also like to welcome our new pupils and their families into our school community. We hope you enjoy your time with us at William Ransom.
I would also like to welcome Mrs Hazel Barrett, our new teacher in Ash Class; we are looking forward to having her as part of our team. 

At the beginning of a school year we always have a purge on names on uniform! Please ensure your child’s uniform and PE kit is named clearly. The first uniform shop of the year will be held on Monday 1st October 2018 at 3.25pm in the Dining Hall. Future uniform shops will be held on: 5th Nov 2018, 3rd Dec 2018 14th Jan 2019, 4th Feb 2019, 4th Mar 2019, 1st Apr 2019

Dates for academic year
On Friday we will be sending home a list of known dates for this academic year. Please keep it handy. We make every endeavour not to change dates once they have been set, but there are times when this is unavoidable, however we will try to give as much notice as possible. 

Please remember that we have been advised by County that we are to avoid granting permission for pupils to be absent during term time. The law is quite specific about this and allows for parents to apply for permission for their child to be absent, for UNAVOIDABLE reasons only. It is only the school that can authorise an absence. Attendance Inspection Officers visit all schools once every half term to enquire about attendance and inspect registers and letters about absence. Therefore I would ask that all requests for absences are made in writing to me and if you are requesting an absence for longer than 2 days please make an appointment to see me so we can discuss the situation. Where possible, doctor and dentist appointments should be arranged for times outside the school day. All holidays should be taken during the official school closures. Could I also share with you that 3 absences every month equals a whole year missed over 5 years!

School Crossing Patrol
Advance warning – there will be no School Crossing Patrol on duty on the afternoon of Friday 14th September. Please make sure your children can cross Wymondley Rd. safely.

Extra-curricular sporting activities
Many of the extra-curricular sporting activities will start next week. Those that are run by outside agencies will also be starting. You will have been informed by Mr Sears that your child has a place and payment is now due. Please ensure these clubs are paid for before the sessions start. There is a timetable up in the reception foyer showing what clubs are available and when.

Music lessons
Music lessons from peripatetic teachers will also be starting soon. Violin starts this Friday (7th) and all other instruments start next week. These lessons run for 33 weeks across the school year and parents are billed termly. If you have any questions about music lessons, don’t hesitate to come in and talk to Mrs Hopcraft.

If your child is ill and unable to come to school:
• Please telephone school and leave a message on option 1 before 9.00am
• Alternatively you can email any information to the school office on
• Please phone each day to keep us informed of their progress.
• Once your child returns to school please send a letter explaining their absence.
• In the case of long term absences we will assume the pupil will be off school unless you tell us otherwise.
• Any unexplained absences will be followed up with a phone call before 9.30am.
All of these procedures are intended to keep your child safe, please help by keeping us informed.  I hope these arrangements are clear but if you do have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me.

We are encouraging all our pupils to develop independence as they spend their time with us. Part of this is remembering to bring everything they need for school in for themselves in the morning. The office is extremely busy and we struggle to get all the forgotten items to the children when they need them. Please help us by encouraging your child to remember what they need for school and sending all forms and monies into school with your child. Obviously if you have any queries or issues you would like to discuss, we are happy to see you at the office.

School Development Plan
Every year we write a School Development Plan to highlight the areas of our work which we will be focussing on during the academic year and I thought you would be interested in knowing what some of our key priorities are for the coming year:
• To look at assessment and progress across the school to ensure pupils continue on an upward trajectory. To ensure we are assessing their progress regularly and using the same criteria which will feed into end of key stage assessments and data
• To look at the mental well-being of all children. To ensure the needs of all pupils are being addressed and that we are offering the support when it is needed.
• To look at the teaching of science across the school ensuring the curriculum is providing progress and challenge? This will include how are we using science assessments and engaging and enthusing children with our science teaching.
• To have a focus on the teaching of spelling. To have a consistent approach to spelling across all key stages and ensure that pupils understand the need for a positive attitude towards spelling.

Please remember if you have any concerns about your child at school, do not hesitate to come in to see me.

I look forward to seeing you in school in the very near future.
Yours sincerely
Mary Driver