King's Academy Ringmer weekly newsletter 13/01/23
This week's message from our principal, Mrs Williams.
A very wise person once said to me ‘You are the standard, you walk past’. Of course we can apply this to some very obvious areas of school life, as I ask staff not to ‘walk past’ poor behaviour, inappropriate comments or uniform concerns. I am sure our students would agree that, for the majority of the time, we don’t. However I try to apply this to my life, not just my job and I think about the way I treat people, the homeless people I see in the street and the environment around me. This would make a great assembly for our students when we ask them to pick up litter, look after their world and most importantly look after each other. So this week I am reflecting on what I am prepared to ‘walk past’ and what behaviour I am prepared to accept as the minimum standard and I will try to have the courage to challenge what I shouldn't accept as good enough.
Next week is supposed to be the most depressing week of the year. The third week of January: pay day is a long way off; the days are short; the weather shows no sign of improving and Christmas has long since passed. To top it off today is Friday the 13th!
So I am ending the week on a high! This morning, I had a lovely Hot Chocolate Friday with some ‘lessons legends’ and last night an extremely successful Student Progress Evening with lots of happy parents and staff. I would like to say a big thank you to the parents who approached me last night to thank me for the work of the staff to make this such a great school. I have taken the time to walk around the school today and appreciate this fantastic community and my January blues have melted away.
I wish you all a great weekend despite the weather forecast- wish me luck. I am taking my two young grandsons to a farm tomorrow and the weather does not look good! However, I am consoling myself with the great Billy Connelly who said ‘There is no such thing as bad weather- just the wrong clothes!’
This week’s safeguarding focus at the end of the newsletter is on online gaming in general and then focusing on one of the most popular games of the moment - Fortnite. Please do take some time to read this very important message and click on the links.
Year 9 Student Progress Evening – change of date
Please note that the above event has been moved from 9 February 2023 to 23 February 2023. Please amend your diaries accordingly.
We are excited here in the Eco team, as we are in the process of forming an Eco Committee with the students at school. In addition to the students, we would like a parent volunteer who is interested in being involved with our Eco work. The Eco Committee will meet twice every half-term and the Eco Parent Member would attend the Eco Committee meetings and provide ideas, suggestions, help and advice on the projects and activities happening.
If you would like to be involved and help King's Academy Ringmer achieve our Eco goals, please can you contact Mrs Teague at email@example.com or ring reception on 01273 812220. Thank you and we cannot wait to get started in 2023.
Free School Meals
To make applications easier for parents/carers, ESCC has changed the way that you can apply for free school meals. Applications are now processed online via East Sussex County Council, the criteria for being able to apply and for the online application please see the details below.
Free school meals for children in Year 3 and older
Older children may get free school meals if their parents or carers get any of these benefits:
Universal Credit - GOV.UK – if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)
Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) - GOV.UK
Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) - GOV.UK
Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 - GOV.UK
The Guaranteed element of State Pension Credit -GOV.UK
Child Tax Credit - GOV.UK, only, if your annual household income (assessed by HM Revenue & Customs) isn’t over £16,190
[Anyone who gets Working Tax Credit - GOV.UK, won’t get free meals regardless of income]
Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
Children will get free school meals if they meet the criteria and are in school both before and after lunchtime.
Children eligible for free school meals on or after 1 April 2018 will remain eligible until they finish the phase of schooling (primary or secondary) they’re in on 31 March 2023 even if your circumstances change.
Our Electronic Checking Service might be able to confirm entitlement. If not, you’ll need to show recent proof that you qualify. Meals cannot be given until eligibility is verified.
Apply online if your child goes to school in East Sussex.
East Sussex School Health
The East Sussex School Health Service is constantly reviewing how they best meet the needs of children, young people and our school communities.
They have been offering young people confidential drop-ins, at locations across the county, every two weeks. Between September and December this year, 2 young people from your school used this service. They need to consider if drop-ins are how young people want to access our service and this attendance figure suggests this offer does not meet their needs.
They will suspend this drop-in with immediate effect while they complete some work to see how children and young people would like to receive their support.
They will be introducing termly themed health promotion events where they will provide health promotion information to as many of your school community as they can, while also having a nurse available for one-to-one conversations for any young person who needs it.
They will contact schools later in January to schedule in our health promotion events for the rest of the academic year. Until then, please note their confidential text messaging service for students – Text Your School Nurse 07507332473 which is available to all young people aged 11 to 19 and parents/carers of all school-aged children. Their website also has lots of information for young people, parents/carers and professionals: www.eastsussexchildren.nhs.uk/
This week’s focus is on online gaming in general and then focusing on one of the most popular games of the moment - Fortnite. Please do take some time to read this very important message and click on the links.
Christmas has now come to a close and a new year has begun. As pupils and staff return to school, the annual playground inquisition will begin. Among their peer group young people will begin to discuss what they got for Christmas. For many the answer will almost certainly be ‘a Fortnite battle pass, a new PC, a PlayStation 5 etc’. All devices which allow both unfettered access to the internet and expose children to voice chat, text chat and photo sharing with complete strangers. This year presents an acceleration of vulnerability window as, VR headsets, connected to Facebook’s Metaverse have been released onto the marketplace. The Metaverse seeks to link users to the internet as a Virtual Entity through the use of Virtual Reality Headsets. This amplifies the danger children are exposed to online. Over the coming months it will be vital for DSL’s to understand these Christmas gifts and the issues linked to them. To help you understand this new, fast changing issue the NSPCC has published a guide to both the Metaverse and VR headsets. To find out more please follow the link:
Understanding the Playground - Fortnite
Since its release 2017, the battle-royale simulator – Fortnite, has become ubiquitous in classrooms and playgrounds throughout the world. The game, which features cartoonish renderings of characters, bright colours and non-visceral consequence free violence, has had a mass appeal to children. Each Christmas another draft of young pupils are induced into its overcrowded multi-player lobbies, to the point that there is not a school pupil in the country who hasn’t owned it, begged their parents for it or played it round a friend’s house. As a result more children than ever are exposed to multi-player chatting with strangers, and financial exploitation via the game’s spend-to-gain-advantage operating style. Allowing children to use real world money to gain perks and costumes. From criminal blackmailing, to the coercion of nude exchanges by online ‘friends’ posing as children, the danger this game presents from a safeguarding perspective is clear. As an added complication, the verbiage surrounding the game used by pupils is near-incomprehensible, frustrating adepts to secure their safety. Fortunately to allow for greater comprehension of reports to staff involving the game, Internetmatters.org has published a guide to understanding the game and its terms. You can find the link below:
KING’S ACADEMY RINGMER
Standard - £10.98 per hour
Senior - £11.18 per hour
The Academy is looking to add to our bank of dedicated Examination Invigilators, who will be employed on a casual basis to supervise students taking both practise and actual GCSE exams, as necessary throughout the school year. Full training will be provided and staff will be contacted prior to the exam period to discuss the invigilation schedule in relation to their own availability. We offer a full support and induction programme for all new staff and a commitment to continued professional development.
King's Academy Ringmer is a rural comprehensive with an ethos of "In Pursuit of Excellence". We have a strong reputation for our inclusion, pastoral care and a rapidly improving trend of results in terms of student attainment and progress. In 2019 we were above national on P8 and we are forecasting a further improvement this year. The Academy is part of King's Group Academies whose mission is to equip all students with the confidence, knowledge, skills and values that will enable them to thrive in the modern world. We anticipate exciting developments ahead working together with students, parents/carers and the wider community to build upon our strengths and make this an outstanding school.
What can we offer you?
• A chance to be at the forefront of educational development.
• An Academy with a positive ethos, motivated students and focus upon learning
• Excellent induction, support and staff development opportunities
• A beautiful, rural environment situated approximately 12 miles from the coastal city of Brighton and Hove
For full details and an application form can be download directly from our website: https://www.kgaringmer.uk/news/?pid=15&nid=2&storyid=4 or contact Amanda French on either 01273 815460 or firstname.lastname@example.org quoting job reference P/423. We offer a first class working environment with supportive colleagues and opportunities for career development.
King’s Academy Ringmer is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. All posts within our Multi Academy trust are exempt for the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and therefore all applicants will be required to declare spent and unspent convictions, cautions and bind-overs, including those regarded as spent and complete an Enhanced Criminal Records Disclosure via the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
Closing date for applications is Friday 27 January 2023 at 9am with the interview date TBC