Dear Parents & Guardians,
It is an absolute pleasure to write to you as Headteacher of Long Close School. I have had the wonderful and unique opportunity over the past few months to be working alongside Mr Pavey and the Senior Leadership Team to begin to get to know the Long Close Community. Long Close School is known for its dedication to helping every student achieve more then they believe possible and there is a great sense of pride within the LCS community, which is rooted in family values and the sense that individuals matter.
Over the past 15 years, I have worked as a teacher and School Leader, but I consider my most important job to be that of a child advocate. I will spend a lot of time with your children, getting to know their personalities, learning styles and interests. Together with my Leadership team, I will celebrate their successes, small and large. I will encourage them every day and let them know they are valued and have a special place in our school community.
Not only am I excited to work with your children, but I look forward to the work we will do together. I greatly value the role that parents play in the learning community partnership and I cannot wait to share with you the great things they do throughout their days here at LCS. And of course, my team and I will be here to work with you should they need any help navigating any aspect of the school day.
You will have noticed our new format for our School E-Newsletter. Together with your use of the Parent Portal and Firefly, I am looking forward to engaging with you through these platforms throughout the year as following your feedback on how we can improve communications. This is an exciting and innovative way in which we will stay in touch and update you on news and developments of LCS.
My goal is to ensure that all children are healthy, happy and safe, so they may learn as much as they can. It is my belief that one of the greatest things we can offer our pupils is the self-confidence, experiences, creative competencies and skills set they require to grow from the learners of today to the leaders of the future. Whilst I have achieved many outstanding achievements in my career as a Head, my greatest achievement comes not professionally, but personally as I am the mother of two beautiful children; Anna (8) and Keanan (3). People often say that I treat all children in my school as if they were my own. Please know that I will ensure that my team and I work tirelessly to ensure all your children have the best possible experiences while at Long Close.
In the attached document titled, Working Together: Our Parent Partnership, I have outlined both our commitment to parents together with my expectations for how we can supportively work together during your child’s time at Long Close School. Through this partnership, I am committed to ensuring that all members of the LCS Community (Pupils, Staff and Parents) work together to create an environment were all members feel valued, empowered and supported in shaping the lives of your children. In particular, I have outlined details on our request for you to support our Attendance Policy, as attendance has a direct correlation to the overall achievement and progress of a student during their time at Long Close, together with information I encourage you to share and discuss with your child about what it means to be a Pupil at Long Close School.
We are delighted about the expansion of the Reception and KS1 block. As well as the transformation of both the Library and Yr.3 & Yr. 5 classroom. Both the building team and staff have been working tirelessly to ensure pupils have a safe and welcoming learning environment for the start of school on Monday. As with any building project there may be snags that we work through during the course of the term, but rest assured your child’s safety and learning is our first priority. We cannot wait for you to see the new and exciting spaces that have been created. This is the start of a bright innovative future for the development of Long Close.
I look forward to getting to know you and your children and I invite you to come join me at our PTA Meet the Head Coffee mornings which will be held next week from Tuesday 5th September – Thursday 7th September. Our Academic Staff will also be on hand to welcome you to the new School Year and outline expectations for the year during our Introductory Sessions on Tuesday 12th September (Yr. 1 – Yr. 11) and for Early Years on Wednesday 13th September 2017. In addition, Year 7 and Year 8 parents are reminded of the Bushcraft Trip taking part for pupils towards the end of September. As I am passionate about outdoor education and the wonderful experience this opportunity provides to all students, I encourage all pupils to attend. The Founder of Bushcraft will be at Long Close School on Thursday 7th September to lead a Parent Talk on the experience. Full details for these events, year groups and timings can be found in our Autumn Term Calendar.
At the end of last term, we wrote to you with regards to the closing of booking window for Clubs, Prep and After School Care for the Autumn Term. As I hope you can appreciate, given that our number one priority as a school is to ensure the safety and care of your children, there is a significant amount of planning, staffing and administration that goes on behind the scenes in order to ensure the effective, efficient and safe running of our clubs programme. For this reason, it is important to note that we will not be able to accommodate late requests for Clubs for the Autumn Term. The only exception to this is for our externally run Ballet Club for Yr. 1 and Yr. 2 pupils on Tuesday afternoon. This is due to low numbers but our desire to ensure we do not have to cancel the club for pupils who have already signed up.
Our Clubs offering for the Spring Term will be made available after half term in October and I encourage you to ensure that if you are interested in the take up of this programme you indicate your interest within the booking period as this will allow us to facilitate the running of clubs in the best interest and fairness to pupils, parents and providers.
I wanted to share with you at the earliest opportunity that regrettably Ms Sarah Field will be leaving Long Close as Head of Prep School at the end of the Autumn Term. Ms Field has taken the difficult decision to step down as Head of Prep in order to spend more time with her family and return to her passion as a full time classroom teacher. She will be very missed by both staff, pupils and parents.
Having Ms Field with us for the Autumn term has allowed us to ensure that Year 6 students and parents will have her full commitment and support during their 11+ entry assessments and that a smooth transition for her Year 6 Form Group is in place. Whilst we will celebrate her success during her 15 years with Long Close towards the end of the term, we would like to thank her in advance for her commitment, passion and expertise in the role. We will shortly commence our recruitment for the post of Head of Junior School and will keep you updated once we have appointed her replacement.
We are also looking for an additional After School Care Assistant and will shortly begin recruitment for the roles of both a School Receptionist and a Data and Examinations Administrator. If there are any parents who may be interested in further information regarding any of these roles, please contact the School Office.
We are delighted to welcome our newest members of the Long Close Team who have joined us this week. I know that you will make them feel as welcome in the Long Close Community as you have done so with me last term.
- Paula Reynolds – Nursery Manager & DDSL EYFS
- Rishma Dingankar – Red & Blue Room Leader, Nursery
- Anita Jaswal – Early Years Assistant
- Jade Edmunds – Early Years Assistant
- Becca Wade – KS2 Classroom Assistant & Girls Games Coach
- Manjit Nota – Year 5 Teacher
- Rakhee Gajree – Year 8 Form Tutor and Teacher of Maths and Science
We are still waiting on any Long Close baby news from Mrs Collet (Yr. 5) but will share with you the happy news as soon as baby arrives. Finally, a huge congratulation to Mrs Sarah Blanshard (nee Moss) (Yr. 2) who was married over the Summer Holidays.
Once again, I am grateful to have the opportunity to bring all that I have experienced and learned with me to your wonderful community. This is an exciting time in the development of Long Close and I am delighted to be able to work with you to shape our strategic vision for the future together. I will soon be announcing a date and timing for our Parental Engagement Group (PEG) Meeting to discuss the exciting Strategic Vision and Future Developments at the School and will provide parents with plenty of notice once details have been finalised and confirmed.
Should you have any questions or wish to meet with me personally, please do let my PA, Margaret Welsh know so we can arrange a suitable time.
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