Dear Royal School Community
As I write my final letter to the Royal School Community as your Headteacher, I would like to begin by thanking you for your kindness. Rodney and I have been overwhelmed by the cards, gifts and messages as we get ready to leave the UK and return home to New Zealand. We have felt it a privilege to be part of The Royal School and Great Park community.
We will take beautiful memories with us, and we hope to keep in touch with you. Please do let us know if you ever intend to be visiting New Zealand. It would be lovely to be able to show you some of our home, just as all of you have made us welcome within this community.
This year has been another busy and productive year for the school. The school staff have again worked tirelessly to ensure an inclusive learning environment. The beginning of the 2021-22 year saw us preparing for the possibility of continued remote learning with much pupil and staff absence alongside shortages of supply staff. Fortunately, we did not need to close classes because of the team's flexibility and hard work within the school. Our OFSTED inspection early in the year, recognised the staff's hard work, care, expertise and professionalism. These attributes have resulted in children being supported to love learning and be proud of their achievements.
Throughout this year, we have updated our curriculum to reflect the school values and ensure a progression of both skills and knowledge. Looking back at the advancement and development of the school curriculum, I can see that the impact to learning caused by covid-19 rather than interrupting the development of the curriculum has caused us to ensure the robustness of the school offering. In the future, the school curriculum is ready to be delivered in various ways. The use of technology to deliver curriculum has been hot-housed into part of everyday teaching and learning within the school.
This year has seen real financial pressures as costs rise, but school income has stayed at the same level. Fortunately, we have received a generous donation from The Crown Estate. The funding will allow the school to continue offering quality education with a low staff-to-pupil ratio over the next academic year. When the school moved to single-level classes five years ago, it was with the support of parents and a PTA that were able to match-fund money raised at fundraising events throughout the year. In the future, as inflation rises further, there will need to be serious consideration given as to how the school priorities of single-year-level classes continue to be funded. It may be time for the school community to consider what proportion of PTA fundraising should go directly back to the school to fund the continuation of five classes within the school.
Please do keep your children practising writing skills during the summer holidays. They could keep a diary, write postcards, write shopping lists or write letters to friends and family. Reading daily with your child and playing card and board games will also help keep them learning through the summer.
Once again, I would like to thank you all for the way that you support The Royal School. Serving as your Headteacher for the last six years has been a privilege. I hope you have a wonderful summer. I look forward to hearing about the achievements of the school community over the coming years.
Now that I have put you on a hilltop, a light stand, SHINE! Keep open house, be generous with your life
Matthew 5: 15