16 September 2016, Comments: 0

16th September 2016

Autumn Letter 2


Dear Parents


Thank you to everyone who attended the Friends meeting on Monday 12th September. It was great to see so many people, including new parents, come along. Last year the Friends did a wonderful job in raising funds for the school, almost £12,000 was spent by the Friends on new benches, computers and outdoor playground equipment in the early years. This investment makes a huge difference to the life of the school. The Friends have also funded additional access to paid for contact on Sumdog. Thank you to everyone for their efforts last year. This year’s focus is on improving facilities in the junior playground and funding a special lego construction day for every child.


The next Friends events are:-

.    Macmillan Coffee Morning                –    Friday 30th ~September 09.00-10.30 a.m.

.    Harvest hamper building                 –    Thursday 6th October – morning

.    Harvest Community Tea                –    Friday 7th October – afternoon

.    Film night – Aire/Bish                –    Monday 17th October – after school

.    First Cake Stall (produced by Dent/Swale/Nidd)    –    Monday 7th November – after school


The next planning meeting for the Christmas Fair will be on Monday 10th October at The Knox Arms at 7 p.m. The Friends urgently need more helpers.


If you can help with any of these events please let the Friends know via the school office or via email ( friendsofrichardtaylor-school@gmail.com) .


The Friends also sell nearly new uniform in excellent condition on the first Monday of every month. The next sale will be on Monday 3rd October after school.



If you have a bag of unwanted clothes please bring them to school, the Friends store the bags in their shed and it raises useful funds for school. Thank you.


Indoor Shoes

We are very proud of our smart appearance in school and we are conscious of the money and effort spent by parents on black school shoes. We also want to make sure that our carpets do not get spoiled by muddy footprints. This year children will be allowed to wear school shoes inside providing weather conditions outside are dry. In wet weather they will be asked to change into their school indoor pumps. Children do not have to bring slippers or additional indoor shoes. Some older children prefer to wear brightly coloured training shoes for playing football. They will be asked to change their shoes indoors to maintain the smart appearance of the school. Thank you for supporting the school in keeping everyone smart.


Harvest Celebrations

The first celebration of the school year is our Harvest Festival; this is held in school on the morning of Thursday 6th October starting at 9.15 a.m. The parents of all new starters will be welcome to join us for our service which is led by all of the classes. This year the theme will be ‘seeds’. As part of our celebration we ask everyone to bring a harvest gift in the form of tins, packets, fruit and vegetables. These are put into Harvest gift boxes which are distributed to elderly and vulnerable members of the community. Parents are welcome to make their own harvest shoe box. The Friends are looking for empty shoe boxes to fill – they can be brought to the school office.


Mobile Phone Theft

PCSO Nick Woods has asked me to raise awareness with all parents about a couple of incidents of mobile phone theft which have taken place on Hall Lane and Bilton Lane. The thief is targetting teenagers using their phones in public. Please be aware of basic phone safety and report anything suspicious to the police.


After School Clubs

Many of our after school clubs will be starting shortly, we will always contact parents if a club is cancelled due to bad weather and will supervise all children until collected. Please make sure that you inform the school office if your child is unable to attend their club for any reason.


Mr Ward

Mr Mark Ward has been undertaking his solo epic journey from York to Whitby by boat starting in a craft which he built himself from plastic bottles. The school has received regular updates and everyone has been in awe of his dedication and determination as he has encountered mud, wind, waves, engine failure and many other obstacles which would have stopped any normal human being from completing their journey.


I am delighted to say that Mark is approaching his final destination of Whitby and has raised almost £2,000 for school funds. There is still time for you to donate via the Just Giving page (https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/mark-ward). If you do not wish to give electronically you can make a donation to the school office. We are planning a special non-uniform day to celebrate Mark’s safe return at some point this half term. The photo below shows Mark embarking on his home built craft named ‘Yorkshire Grit’.













The NSPCC play a vital role in ensuring that children know how to stay safe. Children and NSPCC posters are in every classroom and schools across North Yorkshire work closely with the NSPCC to promote and support their vital work.


On Monday 19th September workers from the NSPCC will be in school to work with all of our children prompting their ‘Stay Safe’ campaign. Parents will be given a staying safe on-line booklet.


The school will also be undertaking a sponsored fundraising activity to support the work of the NSPCC. We will be sending out more information about this to all parents next week.


School Website

As well as class blogs and diary dates you will find valuable information about e-safety with lists of links to websites. There is information about Child Protection and the values that the school promotes. There are also a huge number of resources to support the teaching of maths at home via the maths mole tab. It is well worth spending the time to familiarise yourself with the site. The web address is rtsharrogate.com.


Attendance Advice

The current position regarding absence from school is still that headteachers no longer have the power to authorise absences for anything other than very specifically identified exceptional circumstances. Following NYCC guidelines the school will not be using penalty fine notices for holiday requests providing that the current attendance for the school year is above 90%.


The school last year had an absence figure of 96.20% compared to 97.02% from the previous year. This year we have set ourselves the ambitious attendance target of 97.5%. Please help us to achieve this by keeping absences from school to a minimum. Whilst absences can happen for any number of legitimate reasons statistics show that regular absence from school in term time has a significant impact on achievement by the end of High School.


Road Safety

At the start of a new year it is always worth reminding everyone of the need to be careful and considerate when parking and driving around school at the start and end of the day. Please do not rush; please do not park inconsiderately blocking residential driveways. The school is open until 6 p.m. every day and we will always make sure that a child is safely supervised until they are collected. If your children are using scooters to come to school make sure that they are aware of the need to think about cars and pedestrians. Please do not allow children to use the playgrounds to scooter on at the start and end of the day with so many young children around. .


Thank you for your ongoing support in ensuring that our children are safe in and around school.


Yours sincerely


A Symonds

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