Headteacher's Newsletter July 2019
It’s always a pleasure to write the summer newsletter. At the end of yet another great year at Ravenshall we have lots to celebrate!
So, the weather could be better - the sunshine is a bit ‘hit and miss’, but it still doesn’t detract from the amazing successes achieved this year.
A school year goes by very quickly, yet it is important for us to reflect and recognise some of our key achievements; most notably a brilliant Ofsted inspection in February where Ravenshall was, for the second time in succession, awarded an Outstanding judgement.
We were all delighted and proud that during their inspection, the Ofsted team saw the school we see every day - one which is full of brilliant teaching, engaging lessons, happy and motivated children who are safely and well cared for, in every area of their life. Teachers and staff who ‘go the extra mile’ to ensure that every day is purposeful and meaningful for all our pupils, where families are helped through our caring, professional and supportive approaches by Ravenshall’s dedicated staff team.
We truly appreciate your support of us too. Parents and carers are so positive about our plans for the school and our work with your children. We simply could not do what we do without your positivity and engagement.
I should mention here too the amazing achievements of ‘The Friends of Ravenshall’ who have had an incredibly successful year. Working in partnership with Sainsbury’s, who chose us as their ‘Charity of the year’, they have raised a significant sum of money. Look out early in the Autumn term for full details from the Chair of Friends of Ravenshall, Sue Pryor, and see what they have been up to!
It’s been a good year for our Governing Body too. It was heartening to hear Ofsted praise their work and recognise the impact they have in the school. Governors know the school well and set challenging targets for leaders. We welcome their high expectations and understand their drive to continuously improve outcomes and our provision.
Ravenshall School is set to be a ‘Centre of Excellence’. The focus of our new School Improvement Plan will be shared with you in September where you will find out how everyone at Ravenshall is working towards this ‘Centre of Excellence’ goal. We are all very excited by these plans and know that there will be a lot of hard work ahead of us, nevertheless, I anticipate your full support in working towards our targets.
May I take this opportunity to recognise and acknowledge the work of a long-serving member of the school’s leadership team, who will be stepping down from his post at the end of this term.
Mr Caines has been a loyal member of the staff here since 1992, having spent the last 14 years as Deputy Headteacher. More recently, Mr Caines has been supporting me, in my work as a National Leader of Education, as Head of School at Ravenshall.
His expertise and experience have been hugely influential in securing Ofsted Outstanding judgements in all aspects of our Safeguarding provision in school. Mr Caines is well renowned and admired for his skills, tenacity and dedication in supporting Special School Education - both in Kirklees and beyond. Pupils and their families have been the true beneficiaries of his work. Steve has been an advocate for their rights and, over the years, has strenuously worked to ensure improvements in all things ‘SEND’ related.
I am pleased, however, to inform you that Steve has agreed to continue to work for the school in a new capacity in shaping our ‘Centre of Excellence’ plans. He will be working on several special projects over the year which he will update you regularly via the website.
We wish Mr Caines all the very best in this new career direction and thank him for his years of service as a dedicated and professional member of the Senior Leadership Team here at Ravenshall.
We also say a fond goodbye to KS3 class tutor Mr Butler who is leaving us to teach in Australia! He has been at Ravenshall only a year, but we will all miss his wonderful contribution to the school and the brilliant relationships he built with pupils. Good Luck Jake, and keep in touch from ‘down under’.
Teaching Assistants Natash Sikhosana, Carol Button and Brooke Smith are also moving on to pastures new and Madison Ramskill who has been on a work placement from Huddersfield University is also making fresh career moves. Our thanks for their hard work and best wishes go with them all.
However, as a popular and growing school, Ravenshall welcomes several new members to the staff team. Mr Phil Etchells is now permanently employed as a member of the Secondary teaching team, taking pastoral responsibility for a KS3 class. Well done and good luck Phil.
Additionally, we welcome Clare Blackburn as our new Deputy Headteacher, working alongside her Deputy Headteacher colleague, Gareth Owen. You will hear more from Mrs Blackburn and Mr Owen soon into the Autumn term, where they will outline their leadership plans for the future and how you can support them in their work. I’m sure that they will quickly become a formidable and influential team... I’m looking forward to working alongside them both!
New members of the Support Staff Team are joining us in September. Recruitments are still underway so we will update you as soon as they have all been finalised.
We are so lucky to have great leadership capacity across all the staff roles here at Ravenshall. Every member of the staffing team continually demonstrates skill and experience to meet the needs of our pupils and learners. And they are happy and willing to do so, day after day.
All staff appreciate and value the support from the school stakeholders, especially parents, carers and Governors. It gives us great confidence for the future. Thank you.
I wish you all an enjoyable, sunny and fun-filled summer break.
Mrs Jeanette Tate