Dear Parents, Carers, Children and Friends
I hope that you all had an enjoyable and happy Easter, despite the rotten weather!
I am often asked why we do not teach swimming to every year group every year. I think traditionally (pre 2005) it was quite common for schools to either have their own swimming pool or have free access to a local swimming pool. Today, the reality is very different.
I think many people have been led to believe that Primary Schools have free access to the Halstead Leisure Centre swimming pool on The Ramsey College site – nothing could be further from the truth. Not only do we have to pay for use of the pool, we also have to pay for lifeguards, additional swimming teachers and coach travel to and from the Leisure Centre (in addition, Primary Schools have limited access to the swimming pool because The Ramsey College has ‘first choice’ when it comes to pool time).
To send a class of 30 children for a 30 minute swimming lesson to Halstead Leisure Centre for 12 weeks costs the school approximately £2600 – approximately £7.00 per week, per child. As a result I do not feel that we can pass the entire costs of swimming lessons onto families at this time; it’s a burden that could prove too much for many families. As a result I have taken a decision to use some of the school budget to subsidise swimming lessons, but we cannot do this every year for all children. We plan to ensure that all children, at some point in Key Stage Two, get the chance to take part in swimming lessons. We are starting by taking Year 5 for swimming lessons this term, then, in the second half term of the Summer Term, extending this to some of our Year 4 children.
The Government’s financial policies are undoubtedly beginning to impact upon school life. Fuel costs in particular are driving up the price of trips and visits and we are beginning to see a steady increase in the price of books, general resources and utility bills. It may reach the point where we have little option but to reduce the number of school visits so as not to place too much financial pressure on families and our school budget – as always we will do our best to keep costs to a minimum.
We expect to finalise the Extra Curricular Program for the Summer Term within the next few days. Some activities will continue and some will change, nevertheless, in the interest of fairness, everyone will need to re-apply for places on Extra Curricular activities.
We hope that your children will enjoy the activities we have planned, it should be an exciting and memorable term!
Jon Smith (Headteacher)