8th September 2023
Dear Parents and Carers,
Welcome back to a new school year and a very warm welcome to our new starters. There is always lots of form filling at the beginning of a year, which as a mum of three myself, I know can be a real headache: please find time to complete all consent forms and ensure we have your up to date contact details.
We are having a really hot spell, so please ensure your child has sun cream, hat and water bottle. We are unable to put cream on children unless it is their own from home.
Staff have been very busy, preparing classrooms and planning a range of activities for your children. Training was delivered across Monday and Tuesday: this included safeguarding, health & safety, medication giving, epilepsy awareness, asthma in schools, GDPR, pathways and more.
As I walked down the corridor at 9.45 on Wednesday morning there was a real sense of purposeful calm across the school. I think the pupils were happy to be back.
We have been notified by the Local Authority that our school site will be surveyed for RAAC (Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete). Whilst I expect there to be nothing found, due to the age of our building, I will of course write to you with an update if necessary.
What is RAAC?
RAAC is a lightweight, ‘bubbly’ form of concrete commonly used in construction between the 1950s and mid-1990s. It is predominantly found as precast panels in roofs, commonly found in flat roofs, and occasionally in floors and walls.
It means it may be found in any school and college building that was either built or modified in this time period.
New guidance has been issued by the Department of Education to help the school community work together to improve school attendance. Regular attendance at school is essential to ensure uninterrupted progress and to enable children to meet their full potential. At Mill Water, we have the expectation of 100% attendance from every pupil. Non-attendance is an important issue that is treated seriously. However, each case is different and the school acknowledges that no one standard response will be appropriate in every case.
The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 states that the right of a Head Teacher to authorise any absence has been taken away. Therefore, no family holiday, short break or day out can be authorised, except in exceptional circumstances. Absence for any reason during term time is discouraged. Parents do not have an automatic right to withdraw pupils from school for a holiday and in law, have to apply for permission in advance.
All unauthorised absences over 10 sessions (5 school days) are reported to the Local Authority Attendance Officer, which may result in you receiving a Penalty Notice fine. All illness absences should be reported to the School Office. We ask that all parents adhere to the 48-hour rule following a bout of sickness and diarrhoea. All routine dentist, doctor and optician appointments should be made outside of school hours, where possible.
If you or your child are struggling with attendance in anyway, please do contact the school.
Pupil Premium and Free School Meals
If your child is eligible for ‘free school meals’ and you register them for this, we’ll receive extra funding called ‘pupil premium’. We use this extra money to improve the educational provision and resources at the school. Pupil premium funding from the government is given to schools to help pupils reach their full potential, regardless of their background or financial situation.
It’s provided for pupils who:
Pupils who are registered for free school meals don’t have to eat them. If you’re eligible but you want your child to have packed lunches, you should still register because the school will receive the funding which can support your child in other ways, such as funding school trips, educational provision/resources, academic interventions, wellbeing and self-esteem building interventions. The extra money we receive could make a real difference to the quality of education we offer.
Currently, pupils in reception, year 1 and year 2 are entitled to a free school meal thanks to a different government funding scheme known as universal infant free school meals (UIFSM). You shouldn’t confuse UIFSM with free school meals and the pupil premium. If your child is in reception, year 1 or year 2 and is eligible for free school meals according to the criteria above, you should still register because we’ll receive the extra pupil premium funding.
Please note that if you have older children in the school, who are entitled to free school meals, this does not automatically register younger children onto free school meals register, you will need to apply separately for them. If you feel that you may be entitled to Free School Meals please contact the school.
Meet and Greet for New Parents and Carers
Parents and carers of our new pupils are invited to a ‘Meet and Greet’ event in school on Friday 20th October from 12.30-1.30pm.
This will be a chance to learn more about the school and to meet staff and other parents. Tea and coffee will be served. Parents and carers are welcome to collect their child afterwards, ensuring they sign them out.
If you need further details, please email email@example.com
Join our PTFA
We are in desperate need for you to join our PTFA. Fundraiser Georgia White can only access a whole raft of funding if we keep our charity status. The school itself is not a charity so we need to keep the PTFA to enable our funding streams to continue. We are urgently seeking people who can act in posts as secretary and treasurer. Perhaps our new parents may be interested in joining!
You would be supported in your role. Please consider helping us. Some of the things that would not have been possible without PTFA money include Paddleboat drama productions, African drumming, outdoor education equipment and a whole host of other enrichment activities.
To find out more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Join our Staff Team
If you would like to be contacted about future jobs at Mill Water School, please express an interest by contacting us through our website
Blue Tokens for Mill Water
Grab a blue token for Mill Water when shopping in Tesco! Several regional stores are currently supporting us with the scheme. Every little helps!