Rushen Primary School

Learning and Growing

Rushen Primary School


October 2017

Dear Parents/Carers,

The children are now fully engaged with their learning. They have done well to think about our first 6R – ‘Readiness’ and are talking about how they use their learning muscles. I am really pleased that the children are able to apply these ideas in their day-to-day learning and when talking about their behaviour.

I would like to welcome Sarah Blyth (PC 169) to her new role as part of the Southern Neighbourhood Police Unit. We were pleased that she popped in and met some of the children and parents on the yard before school one day last week. We look forward to working together as we recognise the importance of contributing in a positive way to the local community. PC Blyth is keen to be involved and we are planning some more visits to school.

Hop Tu Naa

At Rushen Primary School we would like to celebrate ‘everything Manx’ and there is the perfect opportunity coming up!

We will celebrate ‘Hop Tu Naa’ at school this year on the last day of this half term, 27 October.

This is the 300 year anniversary of the trial of Jinny the Witch and the focus will be on the history of the day and its customs.

Expectations for the day

  • Children should come to school dressed in something appropriate for ‘Hop Tu Naa’ - this could be as a witch, wizard, or other traditional Manx costume. Children must not come dressed in football kit or superhero costumes for example.
  • If the children do not wish to come to school dressed up as the suggestions above, they must come in school uniform.
  • We will not charge anything or raise money through this event, this time.
  • Please bring in a carved turnip/swede, which the family can produce together. We will place them on tables in the Main Hall and classes will have the opportunity to view them during the day.
  • Celebration assembly will happen as usual and children will be able to see each other’s costumes.
  • In class, children will be learning about the day and customs, comparing celebrations from the past and today and the different types of celebrations around the world etc. Hogmanay, Halloween and Trick or Treat etc.

Remembrance Day

Poppies will be available at school from next week and we hope you are able to support the poppy appeal again this year. The poppies and a donation box will be placed in the reception area outside the School Office. We will also be preparing a school wreath to present at the Remembrance Day Service at Rushen Parish Church.

Pupil Information and Consent Forms

We will shortly be sending home a copy of the pupil profile information we hold on computer for your child, together with a new consent form for completion. We would be grateful if you could check the information, make any necessary amendments, sign and return both forms to us as soon as possible so that we can update our records accordingly.

School Meals

For those who pay half termly, school meals will cost £75.25 from half term until the Christmas holiday. This amount should be paid on the first Monday after half term, 6th November. A new school dinner menu is attached for your information.

Attendance and Absence

Attendance and punctuality are very important because this affects children’s learning, attainment and progress. Children must be in school every day to maximise their learning opportunities.

I have already had many requests to authorise absences. The Department of Education and Children’s policy on absence is to only authorise the absence in ‘exceptional circumstances’. Taking holidays in term time is not considered an exceptional circumstance and will therefore not be authorised. When considering the request we will also take into account your child’s attendance percentage for the previous two academic years. We will be monitoring attendance and punctuality closely. If you need any help, advice or support, please speak to your Class Teacher.

‘Meet the Teacher’ meetings

Thank you to all parents and carers who attended our ‘Meet the Teacher’ meetings. There was a very good turnout and I am pleased that so many of you came to school, including all of those whom I recognised! The teachers communicated whole school expectations, as well as the expectations for their class for the year.

I hope that by holding these meetings at different times and on different days, that you were able to attend all the meetings for your children. We value our home-school partnership and we are committed to working together to care for and provide the best education for your child.

If you were unable to attend, please ensure you take advantage of the weekly parent-teacher meetings held every Thursday morning and book an appointment with the class teacher.

School Photographs

Our school photograph morning went very well. It was lovely to see the siblings arrive early for their photographs and it was a good opportunity for us to meet families. The children throughout the school were very well behaved while waiting for their photographs to be taken and our photographer, Mr Morrison, commented on this. He also was impressed that we managed to finish in such a timely manner. I would like to thank Mr Morrison because he worked hard that day in his studio preparing the photographs and had dropped them off by the following morning – a very impressive turnaround! The majority of the photograph orders have been sent home with pupils today. There are a couple of late orders outstanding which will be delivered shortly.

School Photo Re-sits for those who were absent on the day, or would like a re-sit for any reason, are available at Morrison Photos Studio, Tynwald Street, Douglas, on the following dates. No appointment is necessary. Saturday 21st October, Saturday 28th October, Monday 30th October, Saturday 11th November, Saturday 18th November. 9.30am – 13.00pm on all dates.


So far this term there have been many opportunities to receive information, which has been communicated in a variety of ways:

Welcome letter from the Headteacher

Newsletter - one will be available each month

Learning at Rushen letter and information pack

Reading at Home booklet

Letter-join website information

‘Meet the teacher’ meetings

Thursday morning meetings – please contact your Class Teacher for an appointment if you wish to discuss your child’s progress or well-being.


We are looking for volunteers in a range of areas including reading, literacy, group work and individual support (in and out of class) and in the School Library. We also need parents to accompany us on trips. If you are interested, please see your child’s Class Teacher. Thank you very much to those volunteers who already give their time to provide support in school, particularly those from our community who are not parents of our pupils but nevertheless generously help with our swimming lessons.

Some pupils are ‘forgetting’ to bring their swimming kit to school, in order that they miss their swimming lesson. Swimming is part of our curriculum and I would ask all parents to please ensure their child brings a swimming kit to school every Tuesday morning.

Incidents/Issues in school

Whenever there is a serious incident in school, we are committed to dealing with it in an effective and timely manner. Full investigations will be undertaken. All children and adults will be listened to in an effort to understand what exactly happened and who did what.

We recently had an issue, which began because of football. Due to the seriousness of the issue, we decided to temporarily suspend football for one day whilst we investigated. We told the children about this. This allowed us time to find out what actually happened. As soon as we knew who was involved and what had happened we reinstated football and explained the situation to all of the children. We felt this was reasonable.

Please be assured that we are committed to a fair and robust approach. Sometimes we may have to suspend an area of the playground, the climbing equipment, the pogo sticks/stilts etc. but rest assured, this will always be for a reason.

Social Media

We hope that your child's time at Rushen Primary School is happy and productive. We are always happy to discuss matters with parents and carers to ensure every child achieves his or her full potential. If, at any time, you have any concerns about your child at school then please do not hesitate to contact the Class Teacher, in the first instance.

We would ask that parents and carers please support the school in our constant drive to raise standards by discussing any concerns or issues with us, rather than on social media sites, which could be potentially damaging for the school and its pupils.

Behaviour Review

This term we intend to undertake a review of behaviour across the school, as well as the systems that we use for supporting this. As a result, there may be changes to our systems and our rewards and consequences. We will keep you updated. This will ensure we are supporting the children with their behaviour, encouraging them to talk through their problems, look after each other, make the right choices and to accept responsibility for their actions. Already this term we have had fantastic support from parents and I would like to thank you for working with us.

The School Year

Class Assemblies Parents/guardians are invited to attend their children’s class assemblies, all of which will start at 9.00am in the Sports Hall.

25th October 2017 5H 28th February 2017 3H

15th November 2017 2O 16th May 2018 4/5N

1st February 2018 3/4M 23rd May 2018 R/1S

8th February 2018 1/2D 28th June 2018 RG

Autumn Half Term

Monday 30 October to Friday 3 November, 2017 inclusive.