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Big Help Out

Dear Parents and Carers

This week the pupils at Parkside are taking part in the ‘Big Help Out’ and doing some volunteering at school as part of the King’s coronation celebrations.  Your child’s class teacher will give you more information on this during the week. 

On Friday, your child can come to school dressed in their choice of ‘posh or sparkly’ clothes, red, white or blue or their own school clothes.  We will have a small picnic with cakes on the playground on Friday afternoon for staff and pupils.  We are asking pupils to bring in a picnic blanket and if possible, some cakes to share, with ingredients clearly listed.  If your child does not bring in a cake we will ensure they still have one given to them.

The following Monday – 8th May – will be another bank holiday and so the school will be closed.

Kind regards

Carolyn Ellis-Gage    (pronouns she/her)

Head Teacher

The Parkside School

Forthcoming dates in the Summer Term

Dear Parents and Carers 

This next half term has a lot going on, so I thought it would be useful to point out a few key dates for you.

Strikes: 27th April and 2nd May – The union is preparing to strike on these dates due to the Government not funding the pay deal it offered.  In reality for Parkside, an unfunded pay award for staff would mean that the school would have to limit the provision it offered its pupils and potentially make cut backs in both staffing and resources.  The teachers do not want this to happen and so are striking for the Government to fund any pay increases.  Parkside will stick to the same plan it has previously for strike days.

Bank holidays: 1st May and 8th May – School closed to all.

8th May is the Coronation Bank holiday.  Parkside will be celebrating the coronation by taking part in the festival of volunteering  campaigned for by King Charles III.  Each class will spend some time volunteering at an appropriate level for them, either within the school or in the local community.  The class teacher will email with more information.

Friday, 5th May: Parkside will also have a ‘playground party’ with cakes and music from 2 pm – 3 pm on Friday, 5th May; this will be for current pupils only and classes will make their own crowns.  If you are able to provide a blanket for your child to sit on and any cakes (ingredients must be clearly labelled for allergies) it would be much appreciated.  On Friday 5th, pupils are welcome to wear something ‘posh’, sparkly or red, white and blue’ if they would like to.

Half term: 29th May – 5th June

Last day of school Year:  21st July

Kind regards

Carolyn Ellis-Gage    (pronouns she/her)

Head Teacher

The Parkside School

Leopard Class

Dear Parents and Carers

I am writing to update you on staffing in Leopard Class after Easter.  Ruth Norton will be leaving Parkside and Thursday and Fridays will be taught by Charlie Hunt.

Charlie already knows Leopard Class well as he teaches a session in the class already on a weekly basis. 

Tamsin Robertson will remain on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The teaching assistant team will remain the same. 

We would like to thank Ruth for her work in Leopard Class and we wish her all the best in her new role.

Kind regards

Carolyn Ellis-Gage    (pronouns she/her)

Head Teacher

The Parkside School

Stay & Play after school club

Dear Parents and Carers 

It is with regret that I am writing to you today to let you know that the Governors and I have made the decision to close Stay & Play from the end of the current academic year. 

Stay & Play will continue until July 2023 but will not be in place after the Summer holidays.

It was not an easy decision to reach; we recognize that Stay & Play gives pupils an opportunity to socialise outside of the normal restraints of a classroom and build friendships across the school.  The reason for this decision is financial – unfortunately as the funding for schools continues to decrease in real terms, we need to make changes to the provision in order to stay out of financial difficulties. 

We wanted to let Parents and Carers know about the changes now, in case they need to make alternative arrangements for after school care,  ready for September.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused and would like to thank the Stay & Play staff for their hard work over the time we have had this provision running.

Kind regards

Carolyn Ellis-Gage    (pronouns she/her)

Head Teacher

The Parkside School

Teacher Strikes

Dear Parents and Carers

I am sure you will have heard in the news about the upcoming Teacher Strikes.

The strike days are planned for:

Wednesday 1st February

Wednesday 1st March

Wednesday 15th March

Thursday 16th March. 

I have been working closely with NEU Union Representatives at Parkside and it is likely that up to 90% of the teachers at Parkside will be striking in favour of better pay and better funding for schools in regards to teacher pay (currently the Government are not giving any additional funding to schools for any of the pay awards, this is leaving schools in a difficult position and having to cut back on the provision they have in place for the pupils).

In light of this information I have completed a full risk assessment for the strike days and shared this with the Chair of Governors and Vice Chair of Governors.  The outcome of the risk assessment clearly concluded that with 90% of teachers striking, the current rates of staff sickness and the vacancies we have at Parkside, it is not safe to open fully to all pupils.  Supervision levels would not be high enough to keep the pupils safe.  It is also likely that we will have staff that will need to be at home with their own children in the event of other schools closing. 

Therefore, along with the Governors I have taken the pragmatic decision to close to pupils apart from our most vulnerable pupils, that have support from Children’s services for a range of reasons.  This makes up about 25% of our families and this would be a safe number of pupils to manage within school for that day.  We will contact these families directly.  If you are not contacted directly by Wednesday, please assume the school is closed for your child on 1st February.  We are aware of a very small number of front line NHS workers, with two parents working as key workers and we will also contact these families.

We will not be providing remote learning on the strike days and the provision in school will resemble ‘childcare’ as we will not have teachers available to plan lessons.  We will ensure the transport at the Local Authority is notified ahead of time.

We are aware that this is likely to cause some challenges for families and we apologise for this.  I know the decision to strike would have been a last resort for our teachers and would not have been taken lightly. 

If there are any further developments, I will write to you again and update the risk assessment accordingly.

Kind regards

Carolyn Ellis-Gage    (pronouns she/her)

Head Teacher

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