7 October 2015, Comments: 0


7th October 2015

Autumn Letter 3

Dear Parents


School Lunches

Since the introduction of Mellors as our new catering contractor we have seen an increase in the number of pupils enjoying a school meal. The children now have three choices every day as well as a salad bar. Fruit pots and yoghurt are also available as alternatives to a hot pudding. I can also say from first-hand experience that the meals are of a consistently high standard. The increase in school meal uptake combined with a large number of children in key stage one accessing free meal provision means that we are now regularly serving over 200 meals in the lunch hour. This has given us a number of practical challenges as we try to feed such a large number of children. We have reviewed our current systems and hope to introduce a number of changes which will improve the organisation of lunch provision.


From Monday 5th October we introduced a staggered lunchtime with children in KS1 having lunch between 11.45 a.m. and 12.45 p.m. Children in KS2 will eat between 12.00 noon and 1.00 p.m. There will be two sittings, one for each Key Stage and children will have a set table that they will go to everyday. We are also introducing a special reward for table manners and courtesy which will be awarded to one table from each sitting on a weekly basis. The aim is to make sure that children know when they will be eating and when they will be playing outside. The time taken to change sittings will also reduce and the children will know where they are sitting every day.


Thank you to everyone for your patience and understanding as we seek to make our lunchtimes an enjoyable time for everyone.



I know that a lot of children have taken advantage of the recent good weather to come to school on their scooters. We encourage parents to leave the car behind whenever possible but we need to make sure that the playground is a safe environment for everyone during busy times at the start and end of the school day. We are asking parents to make sure that children do not scooter on the playground when there are parents and grandparents dropping off children whilst supervising young children in pushchairs and prams. Thank you for your understanding and support in this area.


Sports News

Well done to the football team who took part in the recent football tournament at Rossett Sports Centre. The team won one and lost three games but each defeat was by the odd goal and the children represented the school very well. Thank you to Mrs Saunderson and Mrs Warburton who took the team to the event.


The next events on the calendar are the Sports Hall Athletics and TAG rugby.


MacMillan Coffee Morning

Thank you to everyone who came to support the MacMillan Cancer Research Coffee Morning last Friday. The school raised £240.51 to support the work of the charity.


This was the largest total ever raised by the Friends. Well done everyone!



Friends of School

The Friends diary of events is full for the rest of term, below are all of the dates confirmed. If you are interested in helping at any of the events, please contact the Friends. Details of how to contact them are available via the school website.


Thank you to everyone donating to the Bags2School programme. Special thanks to the Crawley family for organising the collection. The next Bags2School collection is on Friday 9th October.


The Friends are currently focussing their fundraising efforts on raising money to improve outdoor facilities for children in both the juniors and infants as well are replacing ICT equipment and supporting future special event days in school.


Thank you to everyone who supports the Friends, we are very lucky to have such a great group of parents willing to raise funds and support the school. A special mention must go to Laura Singleton in her role as Chair of Friends.


Thursday 8th October – Hamper building 
Friday 9th October – Harvest tea
Monday 19th October – Film night for Ribblesdale and Dentdale
Monday 16th November – Film night for Swaledale and Nidderdale
Monday 30th November – Film night for Coverdale, Wensleydale and Wharfedale 
Friday 11th December – Christmas Fayre

Seeds for Schools

I am delighted to inform you that the school has been chosen as one of the partners in a special project being funded by Taylors of Harrogate. It is a special environmental project called ‘Seeds for Schools’ which will see a large percentage of children in school involved in planting bulbs and trees in the school grounds during the year. The first day of activities will be on Monday 19th October.


Multi Academy Trust News

You may have noticed a change to the letterhead on school newsletters. The name of our multi academy trust has finally been confirmed as the Yorkshire Causeway Schools Trust. At the same time the trust has begun to operate as designed. The directors have met for the first time and many have visited us at Richard Taylor School; the local governing bodies for all member schools have met for a joint training event and the heads of all member schools are all meeting regularly and are currently developing the shared development plan which will focus on supporting the further growth and development of each school within the MAT. Two final schools have begun their consultations with a view to joining the MAT in 2016. The governing bodies of both Oatlands Infants and Pannal have begun the process which may see them join the MAT in 2016. I am delighted at the prospect of being able to work with two fantastic schools as part of a trust dedicated to providing the highest quality of provision for children in our care.


Harvest Festival

The theme of this year’s Harvest Festival is the 100th Anniversary of the WI. The children will be celebrating many of the activities and campaigns which the WI have supported and promoted over the last 100 years. All new parents are warmly invited to join us for this celebration which takes place at 9.15 a.m. on Thursday 8th October in the school hall.


Harvest Donations

We are looking for donations of fresh produce and tinned or packet goods (in date) for our Harvest Festival. They can be delivered to school on the morning of the Harvest Service on Thursday 9th October. The Friends have asked that donations be delivered to school in shoe boxes as this helps with the distribution of the goods to the elderly in the community. If you could help to deliver food boxes in the community or if you know someone who would benefit from a parcel please let the office know. As well as providing the elderly with food parcels some of the food donated will be passed onto the Harrogate Food Bank.


Hall Lane Parking

With the dark mornings and evenings ahead I am asking all drivers to take particular care when stopping on Hall Lane to drop off children. It is a very dangerous junction without the additional risks caused by people dropping off children on the yellow zig zag lines. Please do not park or stop on the Hall Lane or Bilton Lane zig zag lines, they are there to protect all the children at school.



Headteacher’s Blog

A great way of keeping up to date with everything going on in school on a weekly basis is to read both the Headteacher’s and class blogs published on the school website. This week you could read about harvest celebrations, school trips and Susie the reading dog.


Parents’ Evening

The next newsletter will include the booking form for the parents’ evenings being held before the end of term.


Piano/Singing Lessons

There are a few places available for piano/singing lessons. Please ask at the office for an application form.


Dates for your Diary

Thursday 8th October            Harvest Celebration for parents of new children to attend 9.15 am

Friday 9th October            Harvest Afternoon Tea for Local Community

Monday 12th October            Individual photographs

Monday 19th October          Film night for Ribblesdale and Dentdale

Monday 16th November            Film night for Swaledale and Nidderdale

Tuesday 20th October            Parents Evening – Early

Wednesday 21st October            Parents Evening – Late    

Friday 23rd October            School finishes at 3.15 pm for half term

Monday 2nd November            Staff training day -School closed to pupils

Tuesday 3rd November            School re-opens

Tuesday 10th November            New parents reading evening

Friday 13th November            Children in Need – Pudsey Pennies day

Tuesday 1st December             Advent Service at St John’s 1.15 p.m.

Friday11th December            Christmas Fayre



Yours sincerely


Andrew Symonds



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