Autumn 2 newsletter
13th December 2022
Autumn 2 Newsletter
Dear Parents and Carers,
Welcome to the second newsletter of this year. I have tried to keep everyone up to date with key messages by using our text message system, but it’s always good to take a bit more time and share more news with you in this format. Much of what we do gets put on Twitter or the website, but somethings are worth mentioning in more detail.
Science / Black History Week
Children enjoyed the theme around animals - they loved meeting them too - but a lot of year groups commented on how interesting they found their scientist and how much the children enjoyed learning about them.
(Thanks to Miss McArthur for this report and for organising the week.)
As most of the country, we have been looking very closely at our school budget. Kingsley has always had a very healthy budget, which has allowed us to staff the school really well, and also provide exceptional facilities and opportunities for our pupils. We are, however, facing some significant budget cuts in the next 3 years. We are looking hard at how we can save money, but ultimately some difficult decisions may have to be made . For now we are making sensible savings and because school is so well resourced, we can manage this. I really do not want to cut provision for our pupils, so for as long as we can we will commit to not charging for any meals or trips or visitors to school. Nor will we charge for after school clubs. It’s really important that our pupils have these experiences and provision, so that they can stand alongside pupils from anywhere else in the country and do well, but we may have to be a bit more creative in how we do things!
Hours Of The School Day
The government have set an expectation that all state-funded mainstream schools will deliver a minimum length of school week of 32.5 hours as soon as they can, and from September 2023 at the latest. This will bring those schools that are under the current average up to the minimum expectation of 32.5 hours, which most schools already deliver. Kingsley hours have always fallen a bit short of this, so we have to now look to slightly extend the school day to bring us in line with other schools and with what the Government require. We have looked at several ways of doing this, using our existing systems which will mean for most pupils there is very little change.
Our classroom doors will be open early as normal in January- but we are going to ask you to bring your children to school for an 8.50 start to lessons, rather than a 9am start. This means lessons start then. Your child needs to be in class before then so they can start on time. External gates will be open from 8.45 . We will continue to keep them open until 8.55 until Easter. After Easter we will change the school day formally so that lessons start at 8.50 and gates will close at 8.50. Any child arriving in school after this time will come into school via the main entrance in line with our current arrangements, and receive a late mark.
Most of our children come into school at 8.45 and take advantage of in class learning at this time, so for most of you we hope there will not be too much change. At the end of the day we will only need to add on 5 minutes. We will start this from September. So for now the end of the school day remains 3.15. From September it will be 3.20. None of these changes affect Nursery, whose times of day remain the same.
We do have some concern about lateness in the morning, and we are aware that for a very small number of parents , this may mean additional organisation in the mornings, however we have done this in the interests of MOST children and families who already come into school at this time. We also know that our children seem to learn more effectively in the morning, so it makes more sense to add additional time here. All staff are already in class supporting learning at this time so there is minimal disruption to complex school routines. Breakfast club will continue to operate in the same way and at the same price for the rest of this financial year and is a useful support for many parents and families to help encourage good punctuality.
We are always here to support with attendance and punctuality should you need it, just ask for our Attendance Champion, Ms Bedford, or any of the mentor team at the school office.
Breakfast Club Reminder
Children who wish to attend should arrive at the main entrance at 8.15am. Breakfast club costs only 30p a day, which can be paid daily, or as a weekly amount of £1.50. Pupils will be offered toast, cereal and a drink to set them up for the day. You do not need to book your child’s place at the moment, we will only need to consider this if numbers increase dramatically. We do, however insist that pupils should arrive between 8.15 and 8.30am or they may not be allowed admittance.
We have had some amazing successes on the sporting front- again – this term. Girls were the undefeated champions of Admiral Park league, they were the team to beat! Many of the team haven’t played much together before, but showed amazing skill and resilience. Its brilliant that some of them are now also playing for other local teams. Lionesses in the making! The boys team faced really tough competition this term, but played with their usual positivity and talent. They were placed 3rd in the league- only missing out on runners up on goal difference. A massive thanks to Mr McGoverin, Mr Wright, Ms Bedford, and Ms Edwards who have coached, transported and supported the teams to train and take part . Several of the players have been lucky enough to spend an afternoon at Liverpool academy and were coached by under 18 Liverpool players.
Our pupils, parents and families continue to support our chosen charities. Its brilliant that even when times are tough for us all, you all still take time to think of those who are really struggling. This is what we have raised this term:
Jeans for genes day-£333.33
Silly socks for anti bullying alliance -£149.10
Pakistan Flood Appeal- £100 (Raised by donations for old books and uniform)
Woolies For Whitechappel to be held this week on Friday the 16th
The school council will be debating which charity they would like the school to support next term and will let me know.
The school uniform has always been very simple here at Kingsley and there should be no misunderstanding or ambiguity. Please note that we will be picking up on every single student who is not wearing the correct uniform on day one and asking them to fix this for day two. We will also speak to parents on the door if this remains a concern. The main issue for most schools at the start of a new year is often trainers being worn instead of shoes. Trainers are NOT part of school uniform, neither are tracksuit tops.
Ties are part of uniform from y3 upwards, please ensure your child is wearing one.
Please make sure that your child has the correct PE kit to bring to school with them this year.
- plain black shorts or jogging bottoms
- Plain white t shirt
- Trainers or pumps.
We will keep spare PE kits in school for children who fail to bring the correct kit into school, or whose parents do not discuss any reasons for this with us. We will also have spare pumps in school for those who come in wearing trainers rather than shoes.
Can I also remind you that swimming is a compulsory part of the curriculum. It is a legal requirement that we teach it and we have to report to Governors and the DFE about this. No child can be excused from this and children MUST bring a swimming kit to attend every week. We have had quite a few problems with children who repeatedly do not bring a kit. Please can you ensure that they have one every week from now on.
Parking – Another Reminder
Most of you will know that it’s a bad idea to park anywhere near the main entrances to the
school at start and finish times. It creates real problems in terms of gridlock and safety for
children and other school users. However, many parents do chose to drop children off at the gates in Eversley street in particular, sometimes in the middle of the road.
We entirely understand that many of your will want to be with your child as they make their way into school but we would be really grateful if you could park a reasonable distance from the school and walk the rest of the journey to the gates before bidding them farewell! Dropping them off mid road, and just watching them from your car is particularly concerning and not fair on the staff at the gate who then feel responsible for road safety. I would really appreciate your help in this matter as I get a lot of complaints from local residents and concerned parents about this- I have a lot of things to do as a Head Teacher, but being traffic controller shouldn’t be one of them! I have had to field a number of complaints again from the residents of Palomer Close, who suffer because of what can only be described as selfish and dangerous parking. It’s not fair on them, and its really not fair on me to have to spend time dealing with this! I’m asking again for your help to avoid these problems- please don’t use the close as a morning or afternoon car park.
Flu and Other illnesses
As someone said to me this week, ‘What’s Christmas in Liverpool without an outbreak of seasonal disease?’ It does feel like we have been here before! Hopefully you all read my letter about scarlet fever/ Strep A last week. What we know is that in Liverpool, far more pupils have had flu this year, Alder Hey are experiencing a lot of concern about this and its one of the reasons that everyone has been so keen to get everyone immunised for flu. The immunisation appears to lesson any symptoms a child may have, but also helps protect everyone else as there is some heard immunity. (More on the flu inoculation below) Scarlet Fever appears to be six time more common this year than it is usually- however for most pupils this remains a mild disease, easily treatable and not causing too much illness. We need to be vigilant about other illnesses which may be around at the same time, for example chicken pox, as having the two diseases in the same cluster can potentially cause complications.
We have a very good reporting system with public health in place, and receive regular advice, but its very important that we are informed of any Scarlet fever diagnosis so we can report it, not because its necessarily dangerous in itself, but because there may be other infection controls we need to put in place.
I’d advise everyone not to get too worried about Strep A. The press are reporting this Strep A as a new and significant disease, but we have been advised by public health that it is mostly is just a name for a throat infection which GPs diagnose and which seems to be very prevalent at the moment. Always take advice from your GP or the NHS if you are concerned- you know your child better than anyone and you will know what is normal for them.
Flu Vaccinations/. Immunisation
This Autumn, for the first time ever we successfully managed to get the immunisation team to offer our pupils either a nasal immunisation , or an inoculation via a needle (This is so that we could support our community in protecting from the flu with a non- porcine containing solution.) The total numbers are still to be counted as they ran out of immunisations and are coming back – but anecdotally the nurses told us we had had the biggest uptake of any Primary! We definitely had a bigger uptake than in previous years and it was very successful. A huge thanks has to go to our new office staff who worked really hard to support this. It took 3 of our staff, plus TAs to work alongside the NHS team to facilitate this, which I don’t think anyone in the NHS quite realised would be needed! It’s a lot to ask of our staff , but worthwhile if it helps our pupils. I will be giving feedback to the NHS so they know just how much work the school had to put into facilitating this and so we can improve the organisation of it next year. But it was a big success.
Dates For Your Diary
21st December - school finishes at 12.30 for the Christmas holidays.
4th January start of Spring term ( There is a staff training day on the 3rd)
13th- 17th February – Spring Half term- school closed.
6th – 10th March – Governor week
31st March, school closes 12.30pm for Easter holidays
There are 2 other inset days to allocate this academic year, these will be decided in the new year, depending on need.
18th July- school closes for the Summer holiday.
Please look on the school website for all other dates.
Some changes in staffing will take place from January.
Miss Codman, our Year 1 teacher will be leaving school this term, to pursue a new career with Wirral Local Authority. We are sorry to lose her, but wish her lots of luck in her new , exciting role and thank her for her hard work and loyalty to Kingsley over the past few years. Miss Harris will be taking over the role of class teacher in 1C. She has been working in school for the last 6 months and has worked with y1 over the Autumn term, so the children already know her and it should mean that the transition is very smooth for the pupils.
We are also very sadly saying good bye to one of our longest serving members of staff who is retiring this term. Miss Lee has worked at Granby and then Kingsley School for 27 years, as a member of dinner staff, office staff and currently as a general assistant. All of the children know her as I am sure many of you parents do as she will have worked here when you were pupils! She will be very much missed, and again I hope you will join me in thanking her for her hard work, good humour, reliability and massive loyalty to Kingsley school, pupils and families. We wish her a very happy retirement with her plants!
There is so much that has gone on this term that I have probably forgotten! Please look at our twitter feed and on our website , where staff post pictures regularly about what’s going on here. I feel like I’ve done some nagging here, (the children will know I always do this! ) but once again, there is so much to positively celebrate about life at Kingsley. The staff continue to work unbelievably hard on behalf of your children, and we really appreciate all the support we get from you.
I hope everyone has a lovely time with their families over the Christmas break.
Don’t forget we are back on the 4th, and lets all aim for an 8.50 start!
Mrs A Whittaker, Head Teacher.