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KAR Newsletter - 02/02/2024

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope you have had a good week. We have been very busy this week at Ringmer!

We are excited to be taking part in National Apprenticeship Week next week (5th -11th Feb). Students will be discussing careers and also looking forward to our first 'business breakfast' soon in March, where workers from various professions will talk through career paths. If anyone would like to support, please get in touch with Ms Colbourne. We currently have a paramedic, fire fighter, course leader in biomedical science at Brighton Uni, audio / visual industry, fashion/ communication sustainable fashion, and an engineer in metal/3D printing - among others!

In keeping with the careers theme, I am excited to report that 15 girls in Year 9 will be attending the women in STEM careers event next week at Number 10 Downing Street. This is a fantastic opportunity and I look forward to hearing their stories on their return.

We currently have a parent survey out to field your views on the school. Thank you for taking the time to fill this out, as your feedback is important to us. The link is here:

I have been clear that my aim this year is to work on improving communication from the school, which is a key thread that arose in the first term. As you are aware, I have introduced a parent forum since September which has already been immensely useful to hear ideas and support me to focus on the things that parents would like to see. Our third meeting to discuss whole school topics is next Thursday 8th, 5pm-6pm. If you are available, please feel free to pop in and join. The coffee and sweet treats were a success last time so I promise to bring more!

Have a great weekend

Best wishes,

Mr Harvey

Parent Forum Meeting with Mr Harvey

The next Parent Forum Meeting will take place on Thursday 8 February from 5pm to 6pm in the conference room at King’s Academy Ringmer.  If you would like to attend, please contact my PA, Amanda French at 

Student / Parent Communication Guidance 

Please use this flow chart as a guide to signpost you to the correct staff member and process for your most common concerns and questions. A larger copy of the image may be viewed here.

Careers Information

National Apprenticeship Week  5th -11th February

Please find below a resource designed for parents to help your child to search for and apply for an apprenticeship.


Drive test your future career – INVESTIN

Immersive work experience programmes in 15 industries. A great way to decide whether a certain industry is right for you or not is by gaining first-hand experience of the field. By joining one of InvestIN’s programmes, you will be able to test-drive your chosen career to see if it is something you want to pursue before you commit.

Meet industry-leading professionals as they guide you through a series of authentic career simulations, interactive activities and career coaching sessions. You will also be gaining invaluable experience for your future university and job applications to boost your chances of success.

Did you know, 78% of their alumni students surveyed who highlighted their InvestIN programme on their applications secured a spot at their first-choice university?

Join their weekend programmes for a masterclass in your chosen career. Dive even deeper with their Summer Experiences, offering you the chance to fully experience life as a young professional in London. Explore iconic sites, gain valuable insights, and acquire hands-on experience in your chosen industry.

Career Inspiration for Students - INVESTIN

Introducing their free career quiz and workshop, helping students reflect on their next steps. InvestIN know that making decisions about your future at a young age can feel overwhelming. At InvestIN, they seek to equip students with relevant and insightful resources to navigate their futures with confidence – whilst enjoying the process!

That’s why they have launched their latest tool to guide students on this exciting adventure – The InvestIN Career Quiz! By answering a series of expertly crafted questions, students unlock a personalised report that unveils an industry aligned with their skills and interests.

Every report contains expert advice and resources collated from their years of work with top professionals. This is a great place to start for students looking for career inspiration and an opportunity to reflect on their goals.

To further support students and their families, we are running an online workshop on how to choose your future career. Join us as we delve into future job options and explore the art of choosing the perfect career fit.

  • 6th February | 6.30-7.30pm UK Time. Click for registration.
Do you qualify for Free School Meals?

To make applications easier for parents/carers we have 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 Support - GOV.UK
  • 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.

Apply for free school meals online

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.

Free School Meal vouchers for the February half-term school holidays 2023

Please see details below from East Sussex County Council with regards to the free school meal vouchers:

  • It has been agreed that each pupil will receive a £15 voucher for the February half term school break. The expiry date must be set to 20.02.2024. Please advise parents to activate their voucher before the expiry date as any left to expire cannot be re-issued.

We will be sending the vouchers out via email before the start of half-term as normal.

ParentPay account for lunch money

We would appreciate it if parents could keep an eye on their child's balance for lunch and top up payments when needed please. We are having more students asking us to call home to "top-up" their lunch account on ParentPay.

To top up your child's account you need to log into your ParentPay account (details of link are below) and it will show you a balance of your child's account. To top up click on the blue tab that says pay for meals. You then add the amount that you would like to top up the account with and add to the basket. Once you have finished adding items, you click on the basket and choose the payment option and complete the purchase. This is then on your child's account, usually within a few minutes.

If you haven't set up a ParentPay account yet or have lost the details, please email, and we will get another letter issued with details of how to set your account up.


King's Group Academies Safeguarding: Safer Internet Day and Children's Mental Health Week 2024

Dear Parents and Carers, 

My name is Laura Phillips, Trustwide Safeguarding Lead for King’s Group Academies.  As Safer Internet Day (February 6th) and Children's Mental Health Week (February 5th-11th) approach, I want to share King's Group Academies' approach to supporting our students' digital wellbeing and mental health during these vital weeks.

Safer Internet Day: Inspiring Change, Making a Difference

This year's Safer Internet Day theme, "Inspiring change? Making a difference, managing influence and navigating change online," resonates deeply with our commitment to empowering students to be responsible digital citizens. Throughout the week, your child’s school will be carrying out activities tailored to their relevant age groups, covering topics like:

  • ​​​​Critical thinking and online misinformation: How to assess information online, spot fake news, and develop their own informed opinions.
  • Cyberbullying and online safety: Understanding online risks, how to protect themselves, and where to seek help if needed.
  • Positive online relationships and digital citizenship: Promoting respectful communication, empathy, and responsible online behaviour.
  • The impact of social media on mental health: Exploring the positive and negative aspects of social media use and strategies for healthy online habits.

We encourage you to discuss these topics at home and use Safer Internet Day as an opportunity to have open conversations with your children about their online lives. There are links to resources to support with this at the end of this letter.

Children's Mental Health Week: My Voice Matters

This year's theme, "My Voice Matters," emphasises the importance of listening to children and young people. Throughout the week, your child’s school will be:

  • Creating safe spaces for children to express themselves: Through creative activities, and discussions, we aim to empower children to share their thoughts and feelings.
  • Promoting positive mental health practices: We will discuss students practical strategies for coping with stress, anxiety, and other challenges, as well as the importance of healthy routines and self-care.
  • Raising awareness of mental health support: We will ensure every child knows who to turn to if they need help, both within the academy and external resources available to them.

We encourage you to use this week as an opportunity to connect with your children, listen to their concerns, and show them that their voice matters. 

At King's Group Academies, we recognise the interconnectedness of online safety and mental health. We are committed to providing a safe and supportive environment where all students can thrive, both online and offline. We believe that by empowering students with knowledge, skills, and open communication, we can ensure they navigate the digital world with confidence and maintain good mental health.

We want to work in partnership with you to achieve this goal. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your child's teacher or a member of your school’s safeguarding team if you have any questions or concerns.

Key Resources:

Together, we can create a positive and empowering environment for all our students, both online and offline.

Best wishes,

Mrs Laura Phillips
Trustwide Safeguarding Lead
King's Group Academies

Local Events & Initiatives


East Sussex Local Offer, more info here


Activities for Ukrainian children, more info and referral here:

Free Mental Health Webinars for Parents. Book here:

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