January 2017

Dear Parents/Carers

Attendance

Our whole school attendance is currently at around 95% to 96% which is in danger of dropping below the government’s expected threshold of 95%. Whilst I am aware there have been various bugs and illnesses going around there are also far too many pupils, especially amongst the older children who are missing school for very minor ailments. Please ensure that your child attends school whenever possible.

Children who attend regularly achieve more at school than those who do not. Arriving late, even by just a few minutes, also has an impact. This disrupts class routines, the beginnings of lessons are missed and learning suffers.  The government now defines ‘persistent absence’ as any pupil missing 10% of the school sessions and we have an obligation to, through working with the Educational Welfare Officer, to investigate any pupils whose attendance who falls into this category

Sports

Congratulations to the Year 6 boy’s football team, who won their preliminary league competition and will now take place in next week’s finals. This term also sees teams taking part in gymnastics, cross country, sportshall athletics and tag rugby.

Parent’s Association

Sadly, the current PA have decided that they no longer wish to continue in organising events beyond July 2017 and because of a lack of support from the wider school parent cohort they are scaling back what support they can offer until then. Consequently they will not be running a Mother’s Day sale; helping out at book fairs; serving refreshments at sports days or running a summer end of year disco. This is a real shame and the biggest impact will be the lack of fun activities that our children will get to partake in. The PA also makes donations to the school which are mainly used to subsidise the cost of school trips, without this future school trips will either be more expensive or not financially viable to run.

 Understandably, given the amount of parents the school has, they feel disappointed that the burden of organising these events and supporting the school on occasions such as the Christmas concerts falls onto the shoulders of the same 5 or 6 individuals. Future PA events will only happen if enough of you are prepared and able to contribute in the support and organisation of them. Some members of the current PA are prepared to help in the future so there is a smooth transition to a new PA being in place. Should you be able to help please talk to Mrs Pridmore in class 13 or email  yardleyPA@outlook.com

Staffing

There have been several stories in the media recently about teacher shortages and Yardley was not immune to staffing issues last term. Mrs Olsen and Mrs Sutherland were both off for several weeks due to illness. Happily, Mrs Sutherland is now back however Mrs Olsen remains absent from school. We were able to quickly and successfully replace her in the classroom with Mrs Folami with no disruption to the children’s learning. Mr Russell left at the end of December and Mrs Davis has joined us to teach class 9 until the end of the year. Ms Vallance also left as she is relocating, her replacement, Miss Vernon has settled in very quickly. Ms Vallance is still around supporting other classes whilst her house move goes through. Please be assured that the school is working hard to ensure that we are prepared for any future staff vacancies, particularly through encouraging students to train in the school; a route many of our current staff took in joining us.

Kind regards

Mr Evans/Head Teacher

Date: 27/01/2017