Newsletter 17th March 2017

17th March 2017

The Next Fortnight

20th         Finance Governors

28th         Football team at Longton Rugby Club

29th         PTFA meet at Butcher’s Arms @ 18.30

 

One’s for your diary…

31st         PTFA non uniform day – Bring an Egg

7th Apr    Easter Bingo after school

Easter Service at St Peter’s 14.00 to 15.00

Easter Holidays

18th Dec Panto is now on Parent Pay

 

Looking Forward

Elections

The school will be closed for elections on 4th May 2017.

I have been in correspondence with the Returning Officer to express our concerns at having to close and entire school for the day when there are two perfectly good halls within a very short distance from us.

I have been informed by Mr Paul Rushworth (Paul.Rushworth@highpeak.gov.uk) that the school has no option but to comply:

The Returning Officer is requiring the use of the school in accordance with the powers that are available under Rule 20 of the Principal Area Rules 2006.”  

 Obviously I am somewhat frustrated by this, as well as the miniscule fee we are allowed to charge, and have let Mr Rushworth and the Returning Officer (Mandy.Pattinson@highpeak.gov.uk) know this:

“Thank you for your review of the school’s requirement for use of the school for elections. I am, of course, disappointed with the results and I know that many of the parents who express their displeasure to me will also be disappointed. I think it would be very beneficial to the school to inform them of the decision below to ensure that they recognise this is not part of the school’s wishes or that of its staff or parents. Particularly those who quite fairly point out that surely the purpose of a village hall is to serve the village. However, it appears that this decision is out of our control so we shall have to adhere to your requirements.

I would be extremely grateful if you could suggest ways in which you could minimise disruption because I cannot see how closing an entire school to the children could be more disruptive. However, given the decision is made, we will be forwarding our invoice for charges in due course.

 However, it does appear that the school is unable to refuse access for elections and that some that appear to have done so have, perhaps, found an alternative more suitable than our local Methodist hall or village hall.

 

Parent Survey

We would be very grateful if you could go to here to fill in our online parent survey. We’re focusing on finding out how you would prefer us to communicate with you but there is also an opportunity to tell us things you think we do well; things we could improve and ideas that might help us.

There’s also a link on the school website (williamamory.co.uk)>Newsletters>17th March 2017>Parent Survey

 

Reminder – Easter

Thanks to the PTFA for organising our Easter celebrations. On 31st March children can come into school in their own clothes if they bring an Easter egg to donate to the PTFA.

On the 7th we shall be having the ever popular Easter Bingo after school. We start at around 15.30 and it runs for around an hour to an hour and a half. There are prizes galore and refreshments available.

Also on the 7th is our Easter service. We leave school at about 13.45 from the Key Stage I playground. We, again, ask parents to join us there and not at the church. This way we can keep to the legal ratios for children to adults for the short walk.

Looking Back

It’s quite rare, but other than the usual teaching, clubs, football tournament and Parents’ Evening, I don’t have anything to Look Back at this week!

 

Other Information

Reminder – e-safety.

We had an alert from another school recently which we passed on. I’m now filling you in with a little more detail.

It appears children at that school have been using musical.ly. I’ve had a look at it and it seems really quite a suitable app/website/platform for children our age. However, it seems that one or more children have made the mistake of “friending” someone they don’t know. I don’t think it takes too much to work out the rest. I can honestly tell you I don’t know which school it was but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a local school.

I’d like to assure you that we spend a lot of time talking about e-safety. Years 4, 5 and 6 have just finished quite a bit of work about it all. However, I would be pretty confident that the school in question has done exactly the same thing.

Regretfully, I don’t think what we do in the classroom is enough. I was in class today teaching this very subject. We discussed how it is that children know not to “friend” someone and yet they still do it! In any school hall or classroom every child would tell you this rule. And yet still children do it.

I think it is important that parents reinforce the learning done in school. But regretfully I think you also need to be mistrustful of these sites and very regularly check your children’s accounts to make sure that the contacts they have are true friends and not strangers. Whilst Facebook and similar should not be used by children under 13, I have to admit that I would have let my children on musical.ly.

So please, check your children’s access regularly. I’d hate for any child at The William Amory to be the subject of a newsletter at some other school.

 

Policies

Please visit our website to see all the copies of statutory policies by clicking here.

 

 

When is a free meal not a free meal?

You already know that if you have a child in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 s/he can get a free school meal if you want. But what you may not know is that it is NOT A FREE SCHOOL MEAL! In order to get a Free School Meal, you need to apply.

 

That raises a rather obvious question, why would I apply for a Free School Meal when my child’s already getting a school meal that’s free?

 

Simple!

The school gets something called a Pupil Premium based on the number of children who get a Free School Meal. This Pupil Premium goes a long way to employing all the extra staff that we have to support the children’s learning.

 

So if you want to change your school meal that is free into a Free School Meal, please apply online here.

 

We’ll be giving some extra information to you all over the next few weeks to explain how valuable Pupil Premium is to the school and its pupils. But for those who want to give it a go please go to the website above.