I hope that this finds you and yours well.
I write to bring you up to date with changes that have occurred since my last Newsletter back in the Summer.
Happily, we are now scaffolding free as the main building refurb has come to an end. Work will resume in time, but at present we are taking a break from what was significant disruption.
The site was a hive of activity over the Summer break with a huge amount of work taking place. This included:
• New wiring has been placed to provide more efficient gate opening.
• CCTV has been updated throughout the site.
• The lower and upper school outside toilets have been totally refurbed.
• The laundry pipe work has also been updated.
• A climbing frame has been installed. This play area has been extended to include the outdoor gym equipment at the back of the school so the items no longer sit on the grass.
• Fire doors have been replaced in many places such as the staff room, primary provision and the sports hall.
• The paths up by the small bungalows have been replaced. There are now steps taking people from Primary to Burts in preparation for Burts being turned into the second Primary classroom.
• Repair work to walls and paving has also taken place on the raised area in the lower school playground.
• Audrey House has had their patio completely re-laid and extended. Alongside this the whole house has been redecorated.
• The gloss work on Edward is also complete.
• Somerville House has also been decorated.
• The house known as Bolney Court was totally refurbished. This now houses the new Inclusion unit and our Well Being centre.
To ensure that our beautiful site remains at a high standard we have appointed a landscape gardening company to maintain the grounds.
Our next significant project is the refurbishment of the three residential bungalows known as the IGs. Working on one at a time, these will be converted from bedrooms that sleep two to single rooms with new kitchens etc. We are just going through the tender process but are hopeful that work will start on the first bungalow in the Autumn term 2023.
We are, however, making plans to create an Inclusion unit on the school site. This will be for a class of no more than 4 pupils who struggle to access our provision as a whole and need a more focussed environment, with fewer pupils and not mixing within the main body of the school but remaining within the unit until they are ready to be part of the school as a whole. This is a completely new project which we hope will enable us to extend our offer to those that need that extra support.
We have slightly increased the number of inset days this year. You will see that we are now having two inset days at the end of October and following the spring break. This enables the staff to ensure that they are fully updated with all that they are required to know so that we can continue to offer the best possible care and education to your child.
At the end of the Summer term, we started our journey of being recognised as a Trauma Informed School. This has continued at pace this term with staff feeling empowered by the knowledge gained.
September also saw all staff undertake their annual safeguarding update and various other training input for both educational and care matters.
This term also sees three of our staff start their journey to gain their Forest Schools award. An exciting venture that will not only increase their knowledge base but also enable them to utilise our grounds and provide our children the opportunity to learn outdoors.
We welcomed Ofsted for a third time during the last academic year. The third Ofsted visit took place in July, as a result of our request to increase our numbers. We heard in September that our request had been accepted so we are now able to take up to 100 children. The report of this “material change” inspection can be found on our website.
Initially we are looking to convert another bungalow into a second primary unit so that our year 5s and 6s can have their numbers increased, leaving us with two classes rather than one. We have already employed a second primary school teacher who is working alongside our primary lead teacher until the second class is ready. We hope to have this up and running by January 2024.
Should anyone be interested in supporting the school’s fundraising team, with fundraising events or applications moving forward, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Dates for your diary:
• Friday 20th October – Last day of the half term.
• Monday 30th October – No school – inset day for staff only.
• Tuesday 31st October – No school – inset day for staff only.
• Wednesday 1st November – Children return for the second half of the Autumn term.
• November (date to be confirmed – possibly Monday 6th) – we hope that the weather will allow us to hold our annual fire work display this year.
• Wednesday 13th December – Carol service / Christmas play – invites to follow.
• Tuesday 2nd January – No school – inset day for staff only.
• Wednesday 3rd January – Children return for the start of the Spring term.
• Friday 9th Feb – Last day of the half term.
• Monday 19th Feb – No school – inset day for staff only.
• Tuesday 20th Feb – Children return for the second half of the Autumn term.
I hope that you will join me in thanking all the staff that work at Farney Close for their commitment and hard work. Without every member of our team, we could not provide the service that we do.
Thank you for the support you have offered the school and for the dedication that you show your child that makes our job that much easier.
Kindest of Regards
Please click here to view this newsletter in pdf.