Dear Parents and Carers,

I am really keen to write to you to introduce myself as the Principal of Ryecroft Academy. I am thoroughly looking forward to taking up my post after the half term holiday. Through my current role as Partnership Director of Teaching and Learning for The GORSE Academies Trust, I have already had the privilege of meeting all of the children at Ryecroft and I am eager to ensure, along with Mrs Fitzpatrick and the Ryecroft team, that the Ryecroft Academy provides a first class education for all children.

I have worked for The GORSE Academies Trust from its inception and I am determined to ensure that Ryecroft swiftly becomes a centre of genuine excellence with community spirit and parent/carer relationships at the heart of its operation.

As a Mum of primary aged children, I fully appreciate the need for high quality and stable primary provision. My daughter, Alice, aged 6 is currently in Year 2 and my son, Frankie, is in Reception. Additionally, I have 3 step children – Sophie, aged 24, Eve, aged 22 and Leo, aged 14 who unite with my own children to form a very happy family unit.

I intend to communicate with you, in the very near future, to explore ways in which we can strengthen our partnership with you as parents/carers as well as with the wider community. As a first step I would like to invite you to one of our informal coffee and cake events at the following dates and times:

  • Wednesday 1 March, 9.00am
  • Thursday 2 March, 2.45pm
  • Wednesday 8 March, 5.00pm

I would also like to ask for your support on really important areas.

Firstly, I am eager to ensure that our uniform policy is adhered to. (The uniform expectations are included in this week’s newsletter.) In particular, I would like to remind you of the need for your child/children to be in black shoes. Trainers and boots are not acceptable. The Academy will take appropriate supportive measures to ensure your children are in the correct footwear immediately after the half term holiday. Please use this half term holiday as an opportunity to address the issue of footwear, if this is a requirement for your child/children.

Secondly, you will know that as an Academy we recognise and value the importance of reading. The launch of our reading hub represented a significant step in the development of a deep rooted reading culture and we look forward to strengthening this culture moving forwards. If I could ask you to listen to your child/children read and read to them as frequently as possible, signing their planner accordingly. We cannot overstate the positive impact that this will have on the learning and progress of your child/children.

It is really unfortunate that I am unable to be in school on Tuesday 21 February. I was really keen to take up my new post earlier than was first intended (the role was advertised for an Easter start) but I do have a work commitment, connected to my current role, on 21 February that cannot be altered. I am extremely eager to be at the Ryecroft Academy on Wednesday 22 February.

I hope to welcome as many of you as possible at our coffee and cake events and please do come and say hello when you see me out on the playground. I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with you to bring about excellent education and quality care at the Ryecroft Academy.

Kind regards,

Helen Townsley