Welcome to this week’s bulletin and news round up…

We continue to be hit by high levels of absence – children and staff are falling prey to the numerous bugs doing the rounds at the moment. We hope that everyone who is currently feeling under the weather is soon better and that the break will give everyone a chance to recover properly. Thanks to all for their efforts to get children in as much as possible. We can ask no more. Thank you.

On the subject of absence, a little reminder that we need parents/carers to either phone in or email in as early as possible if their child is off. For Safeguarding reasons, we are expected to know the whereabouts of all children as early in the day as possible. Of late, the Office staff have been having to chase a lot of unexplained absence, which is not only an extra workload for them but also creates a delay which presents a potential risk to the safety of children. The ‘doomsday’ scenario here is that a child is missing, has not arrived safely at school and this is not uncovered as quickly as it might have been.

Thanks also to everyone who attended the Key Stage Two Christmas concerts. It was lovely to be able to have people together to celebrate the festive season after years of disruption and restrictions around gathering. The concerts in school were introduced to replace the traditional visit to the Church, which hasn’t been possible for practical reasons, including the ongoing lack of a vicar at St John’s. The timing of the evening event at the Church also brought quite a lot of negative feedback and parents/carers not giving permission for their children to attend with it being in the evening.

We’d hoped the ‘immediately after school’ option might be seen as an improvement on this, but again we have received quite a lot of negative feedback and children being refused permission to stay the extra hour. The 3:30 shows were missing about 1/3 of the cast for this very reason. This, of course, has a negative impact on the show, and creates additional  difficulties for staff and children alike, although the children present worked incredibly hard to make it work. They were amazing. Well done to them.

Rest assured, we will continue to try to find a way to make this important event work, perhaps making every show in school time.

Many thanks to all who kindly bought tickets in the FOP hamper raffle.  Equally, thanks of course to all who so kindly donated items for the hampers. The draw is available to see here: https://youtu.be/O2CEMrSQ9To

The winning house for this term is Rufford, the blue house. The race to have the most house points was incredibly close and all 4 houses remain in contention for the annual prize – we hope to be able to reinstate the trip to the cinema this year. For now, Rufford have their ribbons on the trophy and a bonus non-uniform day next Tuesday. Well done to them.

In further good news for Rufford, they were the winning house in Year 6’s Tag Rugby tournament on Thursday. Report and photo here: https://parkdale-primary.co.uk/y6-tag-rugby-champs/

The Key Stage Two trip to the Panto was wonderful – oh, yes it was! The children threw themselves into the fun whilst also behaving themselves impeccably. We got lots of comments from staff at the Playhouse and the general public about what a delight our children were.

Important advice around Winter Water Safety here, especially pertinent given the tragic events in the West Midlands this week: https://parkdale-primary.co.uk/winter-water-safety/

In case you missed it, we put out our own take on the OfSTED report here: https://parkdale-primary.co.uk/the-ofsted-report-report/

Severe weather – fortunately, we have escaped the worst of the weather this past week, but there may be more to come before Spring arrives. In the unlikely event of school closure, full or partial, we will make announcements on this website, Twitter and by text via Scholarpack. Closure does remain unlikely – we’ve avoided having to do it for many, many years now and have usually managed to find a way to remain open even in the snowiest of conditions. You never know though…

A reminder from the Office that you can now pre-order dinners for January on the Aspens site: https://select.aspens-services.com/

From our Eco-Committee children: If you have any unwanted or outgrown Christmas jumpers you’d like to recycle, they would love to have them. They will store them to sell or otherwise redistribute in time for next Christmas. Please feel free to send in to the Office.

Finally, a reminder that the last day of school for children is next Tuesday, the 20th. Wednesday is an INSET Day – staff will be in school working on the development points raised by OfSTED.