Academic Year End 2019 – Information for Parents
As we fast approach the break up for the summer break, I want to update you on some changes for the up and coming academic year (2019/20) and some additional information for the end of the term.
Over the last few months, staff have been taking steps to consider the diversity of the education we deliver to ensure that a more broad and balanced, relevant and exciting curriculum is offered. Whilst Standardised Assessment Tests (SATs), league tables and other national expectations remain very important to us, we recognise the importance of ensuring children receive an enriched curriculum that promotes life long learning and recognises their wellbeing needs. Indeed, evidence shows that children’s academic levels thrive through a broad relevant curriculum, rather than one that is restrictive and narrow.
In the coming year, we aim to ensure that we no longer over focus on core subject areas and that children are given wider opportunities in the arts, sports and other foundation subjects, areas that regularly suffer in the current climate of assessment led judgements of schools.
We intend to deliver more breadth and relevance, we plan to implement better learning through more memorable and creative experiences and we aim to assess the impact, not only through test outcomes, but also through the engagement and enjoyment of our pupils.
This will be developed over time and methodically, but we hope that the school community, including parents, support our drive to ensure learning is worthwhile, valued and delivered with child education as wider wellbeing in mind.
Pupil Admission Numbers – Changes to class structures.
Ashgate Primary School is subject to Derby City Council (DCC) School Admissions requirements and therefore pupil numbers (the capacity of the school and individual year groups) is dictated by what is referred to as the Pupil Admission Number (PAN).
Over the last 5 years at Ashgate Primary School, DCC have stipulated a Pupil Admission Number of 45 per cohort (no more than 45 planned in each year group) as opposed to the original 60 allowed in previous years. This means that there has been a net loss of 15 pupils per year over the last 4 academic years. This has a significant impact on school finance as funding formulas, set by government, are based on numbers of pupils admitted to a school.
PANs of 60 are designed to provide single year group classes (two single year group classes of 30), whilst PANs of 45 are designed to provide mixed classes (three mixed year group classes of 30). This means that from the academic year 2019/20, Ashgate Primary School will have a mixed year group class structure in all but the Early Years Foundation Stage.
This will be as follows:
Unlike other schools, we are fortunate enough to be in a position that class sizes / pupil to adult ratios are lower that seen nationally and this will be maintained under the new mixed year group structure.
Who your child will be working with from September will be shared on ‘move up day’, which is this Friday.
Farewells and other announcements
There will be two class teachers leaving us at the end of this year.
After a very successful 3 year period at Ashgate Primary School, Mr Wolff will be moving to a new school at the end of term. He has been a genuine asset to the school and a very popular member of the team amongst staff, parents and children alike. We are of course sad to see him leave, but wish him all the best for the future.
We also say farewell to Mr Jones, who has decided to retire from teaching and therefore will not be returning to Ashgate Primary School in September. He has asked that I include the following message in this announcement:
“After nearly a quarter of a century at Ashgate well spent, I have decided to retire from teaching and to seek new challenges. I would also like to thank everyone at Ashgate for their friendship, professionalism and support and to wish them well for the future. Teaching at Ashgate has been a major part of my life and I genuinely feel blessed to have had that opportunity. I hope I can come back and help the school on a voluntary basis at some point in the future.”
I am sure you will join me in thanking Mr Jones for all his work over the years at Ashgate Primary School and wishing him well in his retirement.
We are delighted to formally announce that Miss Ragan is expecting a new baby, as is Mrs Patrick. Both staff will be returning to us in September but will be commencing their maternity leave on or around the October half term. Their roles will be subject to temporary cover for the duration of their leave of absence.
Earlier in the term, I set out for parents all of the holiday and INSET dates for the academic year. These have already been issued and are published on the school website. Derby City Council holidays do differ slightly to other local authorities, so I urge you to look carefully at these. A reminder now that the first day back to school for the children is Tuesday 10th September and the last day of school for the children is next Wednesday 24th July.
End of academic year celebrations
Each year, Year 6 children are permitted to have a school shirt signed by their classmates and staff. THIS IS FOR YEAR 6 CHILDREN ONLY. Last year, some younger children took it that they too could have shirts signed also. THIS IS NOT ALLOWED.
Note for Year 6 children. If you would like a shirt signed on the last day of term, you should bring one with you in addition to the one being worn. It is the shirt that you bring to school that can be signed, not the one on your back!
I would like to thank you all for your on going support, both at home and at school. Ashgate school continues to go from strength to strength and is becoming increasingly popular as the educational setting of choice for many; your contribution to this is noted and appreciated.
Mr Peter Seargent B.Ed (hons), NPQH.
Ashgate Primary School