Hello from the Leadership Team!
Hello and welcome to the last Blog of 2020……..
The final week of this term has arrived at last – and what a year it has been! I am sure we’ll
remember 2020 for a long time to come.
Such an eventful year at Ravenshall School too. Class bubbles, self-isolation, hand washing and
sanitising, keeping a safe distance and many lessons now happening via Microsoft teams!
There has been so much which has been different and new.
However, we have had the opportunity to enjoy a brief return to a normal December as we have
celebrated various Christmas events in a safe way.
Primary children have produced some brilliant Christmas videos as competition entries. We have
had the pleasure of seeing them today and voting for the most inventive and creative entries is
taking place later. It will be a very hard job as they are all tremendous! Well done to the Primary
Team and colleagues in The Zone.
The Secondary department has been busy designing and making some excellent gifts and trinkets
to sell as part of an enterprise project. There were some lovely things on sale and all at bargain
prices; I hope you receive one in your Christmas stocking.
You may well be receiving a Christmas present bought from the recently re-opened Ravens
Boutique. Our very own Charity shop has been busy selling a variety of gifts kindly donated by staff
and families. Following very strict Covid safety guidance, the shop almost sold out of goods and
raised a very healthy amount of money too. Great entrepreneurial skills everyone!
Today we have enjoyed a delicious Christmas Lunch, served in our own class bubbles by staff who
have swapped roles for the day to become Waiters and Waitresses! As always it was a very tasty
treat. We thank Tina, Sarah and Jackie for their hard work today and throughout the rest of the year.
On Friday, I understand that Santa will be making a ‘Virtual’ guest appearance in The Zone. I’m
sure that there are lots of children who have been ‘VERY GOOD’ who may be in for a Christmas surprise from virtual Santa. Fingers crossed!
I know that you have all been kept well informed about your child’s learning and engagement via the
school Dojo system and with messages and photographs throughout the term. However, we are all
keen to share more information with you about your child’s achievements and progress in school.
With this in mind, look out for information regarding a School/Home Consultation Event which we
hope will take place before February Half Term. More details will follow early in the Spring Term.
As always, thank you for your continuing support of the school and what we are doing. We truly
appreciate all the positive comments we receive and we thank you for your encouragement of the work we do. It is of course, our pleasure!
May I take this opportunity to wish you and your family a peaceful and restful Christmas holiday.
Stay safe and well, Best wishes from all staff at Ravenshall School
Hello Parents, Carers and Friends of Ravenshall School
Welcome to the second half of the Spring Term………the weather feels like it’s telling us something different, doesn’t it?
However, we don’t ever let the weather spoil our plans here at Ravenshall and I am about to give you a brief overview of what’s been going on recently and what’s about to happen in the near future.
So, we finished our last week of the half-term welcoming so many of you to our main consultation event of the year. Teachers were delighted with the turnout and the feedback I received was very positive. I was told that almost all of you were happy with the educational and social progress your child was making. You all feel well informed about what’s going on in your child’s life at school and you made lovely comments about your child’s individual successes and achievements.
Teachers too were pleased to hear that our communication systems between home and school are working well and that you know what to do if you need to contact the school for any reason. Most of you have joined the school Dojo system so you will already know the important role they play in engaging children with their work, behaviour and achieving rewards for ‘getting it right’.
It has been lovely to see the children enjoying so many trips and visits out of school to extend their learning and social skills. Staff work hard to ensure that parents have the opportunity to further any learning experiences by sharing their assessments of your child’s progress through the dojo system and via the 2 simple photographs sent to you. I do hope that you find this useful.
Moving onto this term, I’m delighted to tell you that for the 5th year running, Ravenshall has been selected to attend the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on Monday 9th March. Staff and children are eagerly looking forward to the experience and seeing members of the Royal Family alongside the famous faces of politicians, world and religious leaders and celebrities from across the Commonwealth. Look out for us on TV on the day and I’ll be sure to post some photos on the Website too.
Plans are well underway for our next Drop Down Day. This is one of our most special and poignant Drop Down Days as we recognise the wishes of all our pupils who wanted to do something nice and positive to remember Daniel Sullivan. Dan was a much-loved pupil at Ravenshall who unexpectedly died recently following complications from an illness.
The final details of the day and how we plan to raise funds for Leeds General Infirmary will be shared with you shortly. But be prepared to be amazed by what is about to happen!
Finally, I’d like to share with you a couple of photographs taken with ‘Snuggles’ who is P2’s lovely class Bear. He often goes home for the weekend with the children and staff in P2, however recently he spent the half-term holiday with me in sunny Spain.
I have to say that he is a very well-behaved Bear and was excellent company – even enjoying the snowy weather as we left my house last Monday morning. But, as you will see P2 are glad that he’s safely back in their classroom now and ready to have more fun with his classmates.
Dear Parents and Carers
As 2019 draws to a close, Ravenshall School has much to reflect and celebrate over the year.
The most significant event for the whole school was, of course, our second Outstanding judgment we received from Ofsted following the inspection in February.
It was a great recognition of everyone’s hard work, support and professionalism which is seen constantly throughout the year.
As leaders, we have never taken this for granted. I know that teachers have kept you informed of everything that has been going on since the start of September, through newsletters and via the dojo system. If you have missed anything you can always catch up by logging onto the school website to capture all the details and photos in the class blogs and keep updated with information about other key events. It is exhausting reading!
This Autumn term has been a long one. Fifteen busy weeks filled with a raft of wonderful learning opportunities for all our children and young people. This was exemplified by the wide and varied range of crafts and Christmas ‘goodies’ designed and made by our students during ‘Enterprise Day’ to sell at the Christmas Fayre. The Friends of Ravenshall organised yet another successful fundraising event for us all to enjoy. Currently, the grand total stands at £1,200 which will provide much-needed funds for special projects and resources that our pupils have helped to identify on their class ‘wish lists’.
We are eternally grateful to everyone who supports the school. It’s an especially good time of year to say “THANK YOU” to our special colleagues, including the Catering team, physiotherapists, speech and language team, musicians, our Caretaker and cleaning team, Bus Escorts and drivers, LA Officers, the Governing Body and everyone else who contributes to the success of Ravenshall School.
On behalf of the staff, pupils and Governors may we wish you all a peaceful and happy Christmas.
Season’s Greetings and very Best Wishes
Jeanette Tate Gareth Owen Clare Blackburn
Headteacher Deputy Headteacher Deputy Headteacher
Welcome back everyone………..we’re already 3 weeks into this term!!
A warm Ravenshall welcome to all pupils, families and staff – New and Old!
Hope you enjoyed the summer break and (like us) are looking forward to another successful year at Ravenshall School.
The new term has started pretty busily already. You should have received details about what your child will be focussing on in class, key learning outcomes and how you can support them with this, alongside information about upcoming trips and visits they will be making this half term.
It’s a long term too…….8 weeks until the half-term break, but we’ve got a lot to fit in!
Get ready for details about the following events over the next few weeks. Letters should be with you later this week.
Celebration Assembly and ‘Meet your Teacher’ day
Additionally, several pupils who had ‘exceptional’ attendance last year have been invited to a very special event. 10 pupils and their families will be attending a ceremony at Dewsbury Town Hall on the 10th October to acknowledge and celebrate the importance of good attendance at school. This event is being organised by The Dewsbury Learning Partnership of Schools, which Ravenshall is a member.
Look out for photos and details of this VIP celebration and WELL DONE to all students who have been nominated from Ravenshall School. We are very proud of your fabulous achievements!
As we rapidly approach the end of another academic year, there are some exciting developments to report.
As you may well be aware, we had a very successful OFSTED inspection in February where we were judged to be outstanding in all areas and were described by the lead inspector as being ‘an exceptional special school’. We are obviously very proud of this achievement as it reflects the hard work of the staff, the excellent attitude of all our pupils, the continuous support from parents and the ambition and drive of our governors.
Since our last blog, there have also been some exciting developments in the Senior Leadership Team. I am very pleased to announce the appointments of Claire Blackburn and myself as Deputy Headteachers from September 2019. Claire currently works as Assistant Headteacher at Delius School in Bradford and will take over from Mr. Caines, our long-standing Head of School. Claire will be responsible for Personal Development, Behaviour, and Welfare. Having worked in an Acting Assistant Headteacher role since the departure of our previous Deputy Headteacher Mr. Page, I will continue to be responsible for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment.
Both Claire and I are very excited about the prospect of working alongside the pupils, staff, parents, and governors at Ravenshall to provide the best possible learning opportunities for all.
Thank you for reading!
Mr. G Owen
Here we are at the end of a long term, looking forward to our Christmas break!
Since the last blog, there have been some very special events in school. Primary pupils presented us with a fantastic nativity production, complete with sheep and shepherds of course. The Palladium at Ravenshall production presented 2 performances to parents and pupils and showcased some very talented young people indeed. Mrs Caie and choir closed the show with a very moving singing and signing rendition of Feed the World – not many dry eyes in the audience!
There have been a number of seasonal events for pupils, including visiting the German Market in Leeds and visiting Father Christmas in Mirfield. PfA has produced some very professional looking Christmas Cakes for sale to raise funds for their enterprise scheme and a number of ICT classes have taken orders for 2019 calendars. P4 paid a visit to York’s Chocolate Factory, Friends of Ravenshall organised a very successful Christmas Fayre with pupils holding an Enterprise Day to make items for sale on the day.
As we close the term, we wish all our parents, carers, pupils and supporting professionals a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous and successful New Year.
Mr S Caines
Autumn 2018 continued
Well, here we are, closing in on the end of the Autumn term. Time flies when you’re having fun!!
The children and staff have worked incredibly hard over the past months and there have been some very exciting developments …..
In the Primary department, the latest topic has been ‘Celebration Kitchen’. The children have been working on various activities based on Halloween, Bonfire night, Diwali and Christmas. It was an added bonus for me and Mrs Tate to judge the ‘Primary Bake Off’ competition, with Primary 2 reigning supreme with their delicious ginger cake. Yum!!
Over the term, Key Stage 3 children have been following the topics ‘Kings and Queens’ and ‘Amazing Journeys’. There have been some exciting opportunities for extending learning out of the classroom with visits to The Royal Armouries, Conisbrough Castle and York Railway Museum.
In Key Stage 4, our Year 11 pupils have been looking ahead to life after Ravenshall through individual meetings with Katherine Jones (careers advisor) and visits to Kirklees College as well as various careers exhibitions.
The Preparation for Adulthood department continues to go from strength to strength. Their latest ventures include a Christmas cake sale and the much anticipated launch of the new pop up restaurant ‘WF12’. I’m thoroughly looking forward to sampling the menu!
All staff and children are also working their fingers to the bone in preparation for the Christmas Fayre on the 7th December and our production ‘Ravenshall at the Palladium’ on the 11th, 12th and 13th . So as you can see, there’s never a dull moment here at Ravenshall! Thank you for reading and I hope to see many of you at our upcoming events.
Keep in touch.
Mr G Owen
Week 4 already!!
A very warm welcome to Autumn Term 2018 at Ravenshall School, whether you’re already very familiar with our school, or if you are family of our 32 new September starters.
We were lucky to start the term in a fresh and lovely building which Nigel (Caretaker) and his team of co-workers, worked so hard over the summer holidays to ensure that the school was painted, cleaned, repaired and refurbished. Thank you, Nigel!
With record numbers of children and young people attending Ravenshall this year, it’s been lovely to see how well everyone has settled in. New students have done remarkably well to adapt to a new school environment and our ‘seasoned’ regulars have shown great friendship and help to all our new starters. Staff are doing a great job too, ensuring that all students are settling into their new classes and becoming confident with their new timetables and exciting new curriculum subjects.
Key Stage 3 classes are already enjoying their new VLA (Vocation, Leisure and The Arts) curriculum, whilst Key Stage 4 students are trying some different Enterprise projects for the first time. Alongside this, they are already thinking about their future after Ravenshall, by considering their Work Experience placements. Decisions, decisions!!
In the Primary department, children have been working on a range of different activities related to ‘Time Travel’. Our Preparation for Adulthood (PfA) learners are astounding their teachers with skill development relating to several aspects of WRL (Work Related Learning) What a great start to this academic year!!
As always, your child’s class teachers will keep you all updated with what’s going on through the Class Dojo system, so do make sure that you’re signed up and ready to be part of their learning journey. Additionally, every week a different class will share their news with us as part of their class Blog on the website. I love reading this as it gives you such a great insight to the wide and varied experiences which our children enjoy every single day....what a life!!
Keep in touch and enjoy the season.
Mrs J Tate
Summer News 2018
I’m struggling to believe that this is the end of yet another superb and successful year……where does the time go?
Once again we have had a full calendar of events which have been enjoyed by all our students. I hope you have been keeping up with these amazing experiences and activities which have been going on.
We’ve loved our summer ‘Party in the Park’ days over the last few years, and this year was no exception as a creative ‘Cirque de Ravenshall’ fun day, the leavers’ celebrations and the Year 9 week long residential to Keswick in the Lake District. Fantastic times for everyone involved and huge thanks to all staff and ‘Friends’ who made it all possible.
The Leavers' Day in June was once again an emotional day (students and staff alike!) but we are so proud of our Year 11s and of course, wish them all the very best for the future. We hope that we have equipped them to face the challenges which adult life brings. Each and every one of them has a chosen post 16 pathway planned and I am sure they will enjoy many successes.
Year 9 residential trip to Keswick was a huge success, a superb venue which we will be returning to next year - the facilities were absolutely first class, especially the food I am told!
Sport's Day was held in the wonderful sunshine we have all been enjoying and as always everyone performed to their very best.
Cirque de Ravenshall raised the bar once again in terms of creativity, staff imagination and pupil participation and a great time was had by all involved - a huge thanks to Mrs Collins and her team for a wonderful event.
Sainsbury's school charity
Thanks to a huge public response to our appeal for support, the school won Sainsbury's charitable status for the coming year. This should lead to a considerable amount of funding being allocated to school which will benefit all our students. Many thanks to all who voted for us.
Summer term visits
Many of our pupils have enjoyed educational visits to a variety of venues during this term. Many of these will be referred to in the Class Blog section and further News Events will be uploaded to the school's website over the summer holiday.
We wish all our pupils and families a brilliant summer break. Be assured our hardworking staff will be enjoying a well-earned rest and returning for the new term in September.
Speaking of which - may I remind you all that the new term starts on September 4th and we look forward to welcoming all old and new pupils.
Finally - a huge thank you to all parents and carers who always support us, either financially through Friends of Ravenshall or simply by being there to help one another in ensuring that Ravenshall School continues to be the fabulous provision it is.
Mrs J Tate and the Leadership Team
Hello from the Leadership Team!
Hope you’ve all enjoyed the early spring break and managed to get out and about in the sunshine.
What a treat to have glorious sunny days over a Bank Holiday period……let’s hope it lasts a while.
Can you believe that we are in the last term of this academic year – how did that happen? So do look out for the updates from teachers about what is going on in all the classes, as well as information regarding trips, visits and the huge number of special events which will be taking place from now until the end of July.
We can’t emphasise enough how important it is to keep checking the website for important information regarding what is going on in school. We know only too well that planners containing messages from staff and other class/department news may not always reach home; or that dojo messages are not always picked up promptly. And how often do we find that the letter given out in the afternoon remains at the bottom of the school bag for the rest of the week!!
From September we will be making changes to our “communication channels” as a result of conversations and feedback from parents and Governors. We’ll explain all later this term.
It’s helpful therefore, to have the website as one of your ‘go to’ aps on your phone/tablet for all the up-to-date news from Ravenshall. It’s a brilliant and uplifting experience anyway, so enjoy!
On another note we want to share more positive achievements…….
PARENTS TOLD US THAT…….
You were concerned about how busy and congested the road outside the school entrance was. You reported about ‘near misses’ between taxis and parent ‘drop offs’ and how the build-up of traffic could potentially become even more hazardous.
WHAT WE DID…….
Mr Turner and Mr Silkstone did some detailed analysis of what was actually causing the problems and the timing of when the issues appeared to be potentially hazardous.
The findings showed that there was a key period of about 10 minutes where most parents chose to arrive at the school gates.
We spoke to all the parents concerned and asked them to do the drop off between 8.30am and 8.40am. Children were well supervised in the Gym with the Breakfast Club staff and the traffic flow eased considerably.
Simple but effective, and more importantly, much safer conditions for passengers and pedestrians .
Thank you for your ongoing support!!
The Leadership Team
Welcome to Spring Term 2!
It’s a short one, and what a start........who would have predicted how disruptive it was?
Despite the shaky start we know that there is a lot to do and lots to look forward to.
But, let’s just have a quick recap on the splendid achievements and memorable moments from last half term.
Firstly, we welcomed two new teachers. Miss Charlotte Roberts and Mr Steven Sykes who are teaching in the Secondary department and have pastoral responsibilities for S4 and S13. I’m sure that many of you have been introduced to them already. We have also appointed teacher Mrs Karen Kidd. She will be joining us after the Easter holiday.
Staff reported excellent feedback from parents and carers who came to our Consultation Day. It was lovely to see so many of you in your child’s classrooms enjoying a personalised tour of their learning and social spaces. The pride in the pupils’ faces as they shared their work with parents was delightful to see. It was heartening too to hear your comments and evaluation of how we are doing as a school. Your feedback from the questionnaire has been analysed and results are shown below. If you gave us suggestions for improvement, we will certainly work on those, but may I thank you for your overwhelming support. It is important for us to know your opinions.
Pupils from both Primary and Secondary have been enjoying the outdoors and learning new skills as part of our Forest School programme. Mrs Millar and Mrs Lewyckyji are currently training to become Forest School Leaders and have certainly enticed the children with their enthusiastic and engaging sessions. They’re presently using an area near to the pond but hope to move to a newly developed wooded area of the school grounds which offers much more to explore and learn from. Keep updated with these exciting developments on the Forest School on the school website. You’ll want to join in!
On the 1st February we had another superb Drop Down Day. Teachers were inspired by the theme of Hobbies and Interests. And, Oh my goodness, what a day!!
The day was packed with our exploration of a raft of hobbies and interests for us to try out. We had yoga and pilates, Zumba dancing, crafts and card making, sewing, Jumping clay modelling, Hockey, Cake decorating, Lego challenge, Boccia, photography, Guides and Scouting, Kite making and film/movie reviewing......PHEW!!!!!
Check on the website for more details and responses from the students about this fun filled learning day; and take a look at my own very impressive card making skills. So proud!
I am also pleased to inform you that our PfA students were involved in the appointment of a new Leader for their department from the start of next September. Somewhat reluctantly (as they do not want to see their beloved Mr Lomax leave!) they challenged prospective candidates and showed them just how fabulous the new person’s job would be. So, after a tough day with all candidates badly wanting the job, our learners were pleased to hear that Miss Rebecca Errett will be the new Leader of Preparation for Adulthood. She will work alongside Mr Lomax and Mrs Ellis after the Easter holiday. Well done Miss Errett and good luck in your new role.
May I share with you a huge thank you and well done to our group of students who are Independent Travellers. Not only do they get themselves to school each morning, on time, fully equipped and in fine form, but they support each other, look out for each other and managed to get to school during the very bad weather we had last week. They were still smiling and positive despite the incredibly difficult travelling conditions they faced. Well done, they are absolute Super Stars!!
Finally, I must tell you of our visit next week to the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in London. Yes, we have been selected once again, to attend this very prestigious and special event. Mr Hudson, Frances and myself will be taking 7 pupils by train to London where we will sightsee and enjoy the whole Commonwealth Day celebrations. We know already that Meghan and Prince Harry will be attending their first ‘official’ royal event together along with the rest of the Royal Family and other ‘celebrities’.
How exciting is that?!!
Look out for the photos and update on what we did..........
LEADERSHIP BLOG – JANUARY 2018
So, how are the New Year Resolutions going?
I think that staff at Ravenshall are on a serious mission………there’s lots going off and lots more ‘in the pipeline’ to keep us all very busy at the start of 2018.
We are delighted that our Preparation for Adulthood (PfA) students continue their studies and character building skills with Mr Smyth and the Ravenshall staff at Tong Woods. They’re hardy types in PfA, as Mr Caines discovered when he visited them recently on one of their weekly sessions. Snow, ice, rain and difficult terrain did not dampen spirits or learning potential!
Senior pupils too have begun the new term with gusto and enthusiasm. Mr Wright took his Pathways group (who are completing their Arts Award in Film Making) to the BBC studios at Media City in Manchester, despite the bad weather disrupting our morning transport arrangements. He tells me too, that The Zone is almost ready to start recording P5’s ‘Planet Rap’. Look out for that little gem. I’m sure that it will be ‘out of this world’!
We have welcomed two new teachers this term. Miss Charlotte Roberts is taking on the role of form tutor for S4 and is clearly enjoying her new class. It’s reciprocal too as S4 have told me lots of nice things about their new teacher. Mr Steven Sykes is going to take over Mrs Farrar Smith’s timetable as she begins her maternity leave soon. Good luck to all and we look forward to hearing about a new arrival in a few weeks or so.
As always, staff are forever coming up with great ideas to engage and excite all our pupils in their learning and, whenever we can, to involve friends and families too. So I’m delighted to be able to give you just a snippet of information about the soon to be launched “Read a long with Ravenshall”. Mrs Maclean and Mr Wright will be revealing all very shortly!
Finally, just a quick message to tell you about our forthcoming ‘Consultation Day’, which is to be held on Thursday 15th February. This is your opportunity to spend time in school, talking to teachers and letting your child show you their work and achievements. You’ll hear all about their progress and targets for the future.
A letter is coming out soon with details of how to book appointments with staff - between 1pm and 6pm, so everyone will be able to attend.
It’s a very special event which is important for us all for lots of different reasons. I do know however, you’ll leave the school feeling happy and immensely proud!!
Look forward to speaking to you soon.
Christmas 2017 Newsletter From The Leadership Team
Dear Parents, Carers and friends of Ravenshall School
Oh, how we love this time of year!
The school has been buzzing with all things magical over the last few weeks. Pupils and staff have got into the Christmas spirit and deadlines for the less ‘exciting’ things – assessment data, subject planning, performance management and staff development meetings - have still been done…….however grudgingly!!
Teachers have just completed a round of lesson evaluations. We have worked in pairs (a senior leader and teacher colleague) to observe each other’s best practice. We then met together to discuss and reflect upon what was seen and commented upon engagement, enjoyment, pupil progress and achievement. It was a great opportunity for all of us to learn from each other, to develop and improve our own performance, and to simply soak up the wonderful experiences which our children and young people enjoy every day in their lessons!
There have been some brilliant class and group efforts too this half term. Do check the website for all the latest news and photographs of what’s been going on recently. You’ll love the updates from Ravens Boutique. In just a short period of time they’ve managed to raise over £400 from their charity shop enterprise. All their hard work resulted in a visit from Ely, a resident of ‘The Donkey Sanctuary’ in Leeds who accepted the cheque with his human helpers. Throughout the year we appreciate the Sanctuary’s support and opportunities they give to Ravenshall pupils, so it is brilliant that we can give something back to them.
Give yourself a big smile and see the photographs and report on the website – they’re wonderful!
We must also thank our friends at Mirfield Rotary Club, who have again been so generous. Rotarians came along to the Primary, S1,2&3 Nativity on Monday morning to present us with a cheque for £1000. This will be used to buy much needed specialist play equipment for some of our pupils in upper school. Again, we really appreciate your support of our school.
Pupils in the Primary department have been ‘out and about’ making visits to places of interest to enhance their learning. They’ve been to a supermarket café, Leeds German Market and to visit our friends at Earlsheaton Infants. All classes in Primary also went to visit Santa at the Shepley Bridge Marina. So clearly they are all very good boys and girls!!
Similarly, students in the Secondary and Preparation for Adulthood (PfA) departments have been equally busy. Most of KS4 and PfA attended a special event in Huddersfield which looked at training and work opportunities open to young adults when they leave Ravenshall School. The ‘Local Offer Live’ event gave our learners a taste of things to come over the next few months and years, and we look forward to extending these further with families and work experience/FE providers.
I cannot end this letter without mentioning the amazing ‘Oliver with a Ravenshall Twist’ Christmas production.
Members of the school’s Performing Arts Club staged a brilliant performance which was loved by everyone who saw it. The cast members included a few ‘novice’ members of staff who were ably supported in their roles by Mrs Briggs, Mrs Cassidy, Miss Errett and Mr Wright who have worked tirelessly to ensure that the cast were word perfect, musicians were tuned to perfect pitch and the stage was designed and built to West End standards for the ‘lights, camera, action’ showstopper performances!
Mrs Caie ensured that our friends from Southgate School had a chance to shine too, Mrs Pryor did a great job with the costumes and Mr Ingham our very patient caretaker, helped get the show together. It has been a delight to see so many staff and pupils working together in the making of this wonderful event. Huge thank you to everyone involved – so sorry we cannot name you all individually, but you know who you are. You’re brilliant!
May we take this opportunity to thank all staff here at Ravenshall, who are committed and hard working professionals who give so much to their roles. The achievements and experiences which our children and young people enjoy every day, is testament to their dedication to the school.
We wish you all a joyous and peaceful Christmas!
Jeanette Tate Stephen Caines Gareth Owen
Headteacher Head of School Acting Assistant Headteacher
As English leaders we attended the Dewsbury Learning Partners moderation events for Key Stage 1 and 2.
Both sessions were informative about current developments to the end of Key Stage assessment frameworks and it was reassuring to work alongside mainstream colleagues to moderate pieces of work from our own and their schools to ensure accurate assessment and use of the end of key stage expectations and pre-key stage statements.
Looking forward to the next one in Spring term, and then our Maths leaders will be attending the Summer term moderation events.
INSET Day @ John Smith's Stadium with Professor Barry Carpenter
Monday October 30th 2017
All staff from Ravenshall School in addition to colleagues from Fairfield School attended a full day’s conference led by Barry Carpenter CBE OBE PhD with the theme of ‘Decoding Complexity: Who are the Children with Complex Needs in the 21st Century?’
Barry Carpenter has a vast knowledge base of SEND, having a career spanning 30 years, in which he has held positions of Academic Director, Chief Executive, School Principal and Director of Centre for Special Education at Westminster College Oxford. He was also appointed by the Secretary of State for Education as Director of Children with Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Research Project. He is the author of over 150 articles and texts as well as the author of a number of specialist SEND books.
His input covered looking at the changing complexity of children with SEND and how we need to adapt our teaching to meet their needs, the importance of engagement and how teachers need to ensure learning is taking place, the growing prevalence of mental health issues (particularly in girls) and how this impacts learning and well-being and the effects of premature birth on the brain’s development and how we must adapt our teaching to engage such complex learners.
Feedback from staff indicates the day was a huge success with new learning and the desire to increase their knowledge-base in a wide range of specialist areas. These next steps for staff will be a measure of the true impact of the day on the achievement and development of pupils here at Ravenshall.
So, 5 weeks into this first term of the new academic year, and what a successful start we have had!
Our new pupils are well and truly settled in, new staff members are now ‘old hands’ and life continues to be ‘full steam ahead’ for everyone involved with Ravenshall School.
We were pleased to share with Governors some great successes from last year, as exam results, accreditations and pupil performance over the whole year, continues to show Outstanding progress. The full analysis can be found on the website.
Students have now got used to our new school day timings as well as enjoying a new subject on the timetable.
‘CSI Ravenshall’ (how’s that for a title?!!) is our new Communication and Social Interaction session which happens every day at 2.20pm and is spent covering a wide range of subjects and topics in our class groups.
Mr Caines, Mr Owen and I have been monitoring the success of this new initiative and I can assure you that it’s FANTASTIC!! Do ask your children what they have been learning about in CSI recently.
Mrs Ellis’ PfA groups and Miss Ward’s teaching groups are enjoying great cookery lessons in our newly refurbished Food Tech Room. The waft of delicious aromas is only bettered by what the students actually cook. They have made some very tasty treats from Cheese and Onion Pasties to fruit kebabs, wholesome soups and muffins. Ravenshall ‘Bake Off’ every day!
The Primary department is enjoying their new Forest School sessions and seem to be relishing the opportunities to study and learn outdoors. This is such a creative and exciting development for us all and we look forward to sharing all coming events.
The Zone has undergone a ‘transformation’ this term too. Mr Wright has some brilliant plans for new topics and curriculum slots for all departments this coming year, so do look out for those too.
Parents and careers will get the chance to see some of these things in action very soon at our ‘Meet the teacher’ days next week.
Key Stage 3 & 4 teachers are available on Thursday 19th October and Primary will be celebrating their day with a Celebratory Assembly on Friday 20th October.
You should have received all the details already, so put it in your calendars and look forward to seeing you on both those days.
Wow……our first half term! How have we managed to fit all this in?
And there’s lots more to share. Ask staff about our Mental Health and Well Being focus, Donkey Sanctuary, the Raven’s Boutique, the Play Gym days, our Ambassadors and new Sports Leaders.
Jeanette Tate Headteacher
13th September 2017
Dear Parents & Carers
Here we are, refreshed after our summer holidays and ready for another fabulous year of learning and working together to ensure all our young people make progress and thrive here at Ravenshall.
We welcome a number of new staff joining school (see our Staff section on the website) and we are sure they will complement and enrich our existing team.
Leadership Team Blog
18th July 2017
Dear Parents & Carers
We are optimistically writing this cheery summer message in the sunshine reflecting on a very full and busy last term of the year for everyone connected to Ravenshall School.
As always there has been much to celebrate in school over this academic year, most of which has been documented in previous newsletters and on our website; more of which later. However, this term has seen our Y11 students celebrate their time at Ravenshall with special events and activities. The Leavers’ Celebration Day was splendidly organised by Mr Swaine and the KS4 & Preparation for Adulthood teams, alongside the hardworking and dedicated Friends of Ravenshall. The Hall looked resplendent for the occasion; Limo rides and a celebratory meal later that evening, ensured that our fabulous young adults were given a great ‘send off’. We wish them well for the future!
Across the school, pupils in all departments have been busy extending their experiences and opportunities. Several classes have been ‘out and about’ enjoying their learning at many different venues including, Canon Hall Farm, Bridlington, Lightwater Valley and Lakeside in Cumbria. Students have had an overnight camp as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award and several Primary students had great success at the Kirklees Swimming Gala.
Ravenshall School also took part in this year’s Kirklees Music Festival held at the Town Hall in June. The feedback from the organisers was incredibly positive and they are keen to include our ‘Makaton Choir’ for next year!
In May we had a very interesting and successful Drop Down Day which focused on Science learning. All classes investigated different themes and then shared their new skills and knowledge with their peers during inspirational and creative assemblies later that day.
This is also a good time to tell you that our new website will be up and running very shortly. Mr Caines and Mr Clayton have been working for some time with a local company to update and improve our school website. We are delighted with what we have seen so far and believe this new format is more informative and much easier to navigate. All school information will be available here as well as weekly and daily blogs, news feeds and other school related business.
The Governing Body have also worked extremely hard to ensure that Ravenshall School provides the best provision for all our pupils and their families. Recently we had a joint staff Inset session / Governors meeting to reflect upon the challenge and impact of their work in school and to discuss further improvements. At this meeting we also said goodbye to Margaret Lynn. Margaret has been a Governor at Ravenshall for over 26 years and has been a superb advocate of the school. We will miss her sage words and dedication to the Governor role.
We are proud and delighted too, to extend huge congratulations to our Chair of Governors, Helen Metcalfe. Helen has recently been awarded the prestigious accolade of “National Leader of Governance”. This is a well deserved award for Helen who has skills and expertise in abundance to share with other schools. Well done Helen!
With the privilege of working alongside so many talented teachers and support staff, it is with some mixed feelings that we share with you news of staff who are leaving the Ravenshall fold and others who will be joining us in September.
Firstly, we are saying goodbye to one of the school’s longest serving teachers. Mr Smyth has served the school for 28 years and has been the greatest advocate of the wonderful benefits of ‘Outdoor Education’. He has also led the Design Technology department for many years and more recently has been instrumental in designing many of the successful elements of the Preparation for Adulthood curriculum.
Rob is retiring at the end of this term to pursue many of his other interests and hobbies, however, he has agreed to continue working with the Preparation for Adulthood department for 1 day per week, to continue the brilliant work he has done to promote and teach the raft of Outdoor Education opportunities at Tong Woods.
Whilst his friends and colleagues will miss him greatly around school, we are delighted that his immense skill and expertise can be enjoyed by Ravenshall learners for a little while longer. Good luck Rob with your plans for the future!
Another long serving member of staff is also leaving the school to begin her well deserved retirement. Liz Crowther moved to Ravenshall from Hartshead Moor School and this year has completed 29 years service between both schools. Mrs Crowther has worked as an Educational Support Assistant, supporting pupils across the departments and Key Stages. Liz is well renowned and admired for her skills, passion and dedication to the pupils she support, and her presence around school will be sorely missed.
Similarly, Mrs Gray is starting her retirement after several years’ dedicated service in Special schools. Cath has been a brilliant member of our Preparation for Adulthood team, and has supported many of our learners to achieve additional skills from their work experience programmes. Her wit and sense of fun will be greatly missed by her students and colleagues over the 23 she has worked amongst us, however we wish her well for the future and a long, healthy and happy retirement.
Finally, we say a heartfelt ‘Goodbye and Thank you’ to Mrs Matthews. Louise has taught, first of all, at Hartshead Moor School, then at Ravenshall for over 14 years and has been class tutor to many groups of pupils who have been very well supported both pastorally and academically. Her skills and talents within the Performing Arts will be missed as Louise was the driving force behind many of the school’s amazing seasonal productions and performances. Louise is going to be undertaking new directions and challenges in her career in the future and our best wishes go with her.