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KAR Weekly Newsletter 17/09/2021

This week's message from Principal, Mrs Williams 17/09/21


Maria Caulfield MP visit to King’s Academy Ringmer – Friday 17 September 2021

It was great to welcome Maria Caulfield, MP for Lewes into the school today. Maria has not been to the school since we became an Academy. Maria was taken around the school and remarked how delightful the atmosphere of the school and how focused and smart the students were. She was particularly complimentary  of our Eco achievements and the quality of the lessons she saw. 

After the tour, Maria attended a Q&A session with our students, addressing tough questions on traffic, transport, pollution, housing, covid related unemployment, online bullying and the wellbeing of our young people. Students appreciated Maria's answers, year 10 student Mia said "It was a good opportunity to meet our Local MP and hear Maria's plans and how she addressed each of the issues raised. It has given me hope that Maria is trying to make a difference for our future".


Update from the Attendance team

Attendance is a very high priority for us here at King’s and we just wanted to outline quickly our policy and procedures for this academic year.

Did you know that across the year there are just 190 school days? That means there are already 175 days set aside for weekends, holidays, family visits and rewarding days out. We believe every school day counts to give your child the greatest opportunity of attaining a good education and to support a happy and healthy future.


The guidance from the Government regarding Covid absences has changed this academic year and I have detailed below how we will be coding these absences now.



School attendance is mandatory for all students of compulsory school age and it is a priority to ensure that as many children as possible regularly attend school.

Where a child is required to self-isolate or quarantine because of COVID-19 in accordance with relevant legislation or guidance published by PHE or the DHSC they should be recorded as code X (not attending in circumstances related to coronavirus). Where they are unable to attend because they have a confirmed case of COVID-19 they should be recorded as code I (illness).

For students abroad who are unable to return, code X is unlikely to apply. In some specific cases, code Y (unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances) will apply. Further guidance about the use of codes is provided in the school attendance guidance.

Now is maybe a good time to remind you of the process if your child is absent from school. 

You are required to contact us via phone or email before 8.30am on every day of your child’s absence clearly stating their name and the reason for their absence. This will then be coded accordingly depending on the reason for absence. You will then receive contact from our Attendance Officer / Head of Year or Form Tutor just checking in with you and reinforcing the importance of your child’s attendance in school.


Uniform/safeguarding note

It has been brought to our attention that there is a new craze of wearing safety pins and ring pulls as badges. This may seem innocuous but these are apparently ‘tokens of honour’ with regard to certain behaviours. We will have individual conversations with students but in order to ensure our students safety, we are asking all students to only wear badges on their lapels that are issued by the school. We will be talking with our LGBTQ club - Revels’ so that we can support the inclusive badges that many of our students wish to wear. 


After school support with Independent learning tasks – years 7 to 9

If your child is in key stage 3 (years 7-9), we offer after school support with Independent learning tasks. A teaching assistant will be available in learning support every day after school at the following times:

Monday - Thursday until 4.30pm

Fridays until 4pm

If you would like your son/daughter to attend please contact to book a place.  Thank you, Miss Jo Beattie, Teaching assistant / ELSA / Wellbeing practitioner 


Eco Hub

Hello and welcome to back to a new year at Ringmer Eco hub, and what a year we have lined up! We will be holding some Eco assemblies to introduce ourselves and to recruit new Eco reps from year 7 and above. We will also be running drop in Fridays in the Eco hut on Friday lunchtimes, these will give us all an opportunity to do some Eco crafting, take part in debates, be part of Environmental campaigns with schools across the country, take care of the Eco area, check out what's happening on the Wildlife capture camera or just take a chance to sit on the decking and soak up the atmosphere. First feel good Friday is happening this Friday the 17th - hope to see you there!


“Revels” (LGBT+) Club

This is starting up again this week.  Please note that they are now meeting on a Wednesday moving forward.


Outgrown school shoes

We are asking parents/carers if you could donate your outgrown school shoes to our Pastoral team for the attention of Mrs Lockyer.  Thank you in advance for your assistance with this.    


Free School Meal Vouchers

We have been asked to remind families that their Summer holidays free school meal voucher needs to be redeemed by 30 September 2021. We have also been asked to remind those families with any unspent vouchers that we are unable to change this date so we ask you to redeem them before the expiry date shown on the voucher. Please check whether you have any unspent vouchers before the expiry date for the vouchers.  


ParentPay and lunch accounts 

We have been advised that the issues that we have had with ParentPay are now all resolved and apologise for any inconvenience caused. I have been advised by the catering company here that some accounts are overspent, please can we ask parents to check their child's lunch account and top up as needed. The catering company will not be allowing any students to purchase items from Monday if their account is overspent. 


Safeguarding focus

  1. I’m worried about my child’s eating habits (Action for Children) 

Everyone has different eating habits. But if you’re worried about your child’s relationship with food or their body, it might be worth looking for some support.


If your child’s eating habits negatively affect their everyday life, they may have an eating disorder. This is when someone uses food to cope with certain situations or feelings. Teenagers between 13 and 17 are most at risk, but anyone can have an eating disorder.

It can be helpful to know the signs and what to do if you’re worried about your child.


Read more: 

  1. Online Safety

The Children’s Code came into force on 2nd September 2021. This is another step towards the Online Harms Bill. It has led to a number of changes to social media apps which now have to ensure that companies that target children must address privacy, inappropriate advertising and tactics to keep children online for long periods of time, such as auto-playing another video on a website after one has finished. The following changes have been made:  

  • Instagram is preventing adults from messaging children who do not follow them, defaulting all child accounts to private and requiring users to enter their date of birth to log in. A new feature called ‘Limits’ automatically hides comments from strangers. Users need to activate this manually so do make sure your pupils are aware of it. There is also a feature called ‘Hidden words’ which filters offensive content found in direct messages. Again, this needs to be activated manually 

  • TikTok - new feature ensures that any user under 16 automatically has a private account, again ensure that your pupils are aware of why this is the case. TikTok will also stop sending notifications after 21:00 to 13- to 15-year-olds and 22:00 to 16- and 17-year-olds. 

  • The IWF have released various different statistics which continue to show the dangers of livestreaming - 98% of publicly available livestreamed child sexual abuse images involved children aged 13 and under; 28% were aged 10 and under.  


Kind regards


Sian Williams