Dear Parents and Carers,
We recently informed you that we are planning to take the children out on various visits this term. Unfortunately, for those of you who have children in more than one year group this has involved requests for payments from nearly all children. We thank all those parents/carers who have already sent in contributions towards these visits. Although these payments are voluntary, unless we receive sufficient contributions we are unable to go ahead with the visits. We understand that the fact that we ask for voluntary contributions is often misunderstood. Therefore, I copy below an explanation to clarify the school’s position with regard to payment requests:
The school works to government legislation on asking parents for contributions to some of the school’s additional activities. The government dictates when contributions can be compulsory. Examples of these include some instrumental music tuition and school trips that take place outside of the normal school day. Schools can ask for “voluntary contributions” for other activities such as visits that take place during the school day. When we ask for a voluntary contribution we are never seeking to make a profit and in most cases even if all parents are willing to make the contribution the school is still making a financial contribution as well. When parents decide not to make a voluntary contribution we still need to include the child in the activity.
However, activities like this should only go ahead if there are sufficient voluntary contributions. The school has, in the past, had to make the decision to cancel a day trip owing to the number of parents who opted not to make the voluntary contribution. This might have been for a variety of reasons, but we will be doing what we can to ensure that all children still benefit from the variety of visits and visitors we provide to enhance the curriculum. However, these will largely require a voluntary contribution and it would be helpful to the school if you decide not to make one that you add a reason for this. This can be done by email or in a confidential note to the Headteacher. Please be assured that your reason will not be judged as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but will be used to take account of your views and how the school can respond to them.
I am writing to let you know the responses from the following year groups:
We are now in the position where we need to make a decision on whether these visits go ahead. We will take into account the cost of cancellation of the venue/transport against the cost to the school in running the visits at a substantial loss. We will be making that decision in the next few days. If you are planning on sending in a contribution please do so as soon as possible. Any monies paid will, of course, be refunded to you in the event of cancellation.
Year 2 have been reading and exploring stories by “significant” authors in Literacy. To support and enhance the children’s experience we are planning a visit to the Roald Dahl Museum in Aylesbury on Monday 12th June (2 Aspen & 2 Cedar) and Tuesday 13th June (2 Willow & 2 Beech). The children will be leaving school at approximately 9.15 am and returning by 3.30 pm.
To assist with the cost of the coach, entrance fee and two taught, Roald Dahl themed, sessions, we request that you make a contribution of £15. Unfortunately, if we are unable to collect sufficient voluntary contributions the trip will not go ahead. Payment can be made by cash sent in a named, sealed envelope, cheque made payable to ‘Bushmead Primary School’ or Pluspay through your Parentmail account.
Please send in your contributions to school by Friday 5th May. A decision will be made on that day as to the viability of this visit. If we need to cancel this visit due to lack of support all payments received will be refunded.
Thank you for your support.
Mrs M Razzaq and the Year 2 team
To Year 4 Parents
Residential Trip to KINGSWOOD
The Kingswood Centres pioneered Information Technology and related Indoor and Outdoor Activities. Our programme will concentrate on the activities such as climbing, archery, abseiling, aeroball and team problem solving, as well as a study of rock pools.
All the activities take place in a safe environment and only begin after a safety talk by the specialist on site.
In arranging this trip we hope to give the children a short residential experience where they can participate in activities we cannot provide at school including social skills and team skills. Staff from the school will accompany the trip.
The cost of the trip will be approximately £210/215 (final cost will be based on the number of children attending). This includes the charge Kingswood make, transport and some additional insurance. If the cost of the trip is a concern, please contact either Miss Randall, Family Worker or myself to see if we can come to some arrangement that can overcome this difficulty. This will be treated in the strictest confidence.
Please complete the Parentmail form that you will receive shortly, whether or not your child would like a place on this trip.
If you would like a place for your child, please send to school a deposit of £40 (deposit only at this stage please until we can confirm transport costs) by Friday 10th February so that I can confirm the booking with the Kingswood Centre. Payment can be made by cash, cheque made payable to Bushmead Primary School or bank transfer (please contact Mrs Blee for details) and you will be issued with a receipt card. A second instalment of £55 will be due by 23rd March and the final balance will need to be paid by 11th June. We would encourage you to pay by monthly instalments to spread the cost. If you require a receipt please send your receipt card with any cash or cheque payments, or present at the school office if you require a receipt for online payment. If you have difficulties with the timing of these payments, please let me know and we can consider alternatives.
To Year 5 Parents
Residential Visit to Swanage
Many thanks to those parents who attended the meeting about the educational visit to the Allnatt Centre in Swanage, Dorset. Particularly for those parents not able to attend, I repeat some of the information given on the evening.
The visit to the Centre will be a key part of the Year 6 curriculum. The children will enjoy and participate in many worthwhile educational experiences, particularly in aspects of Geography and Environmental Science, in a safe and secure environment. In addition to this, there are many social benefits to the visit as the children live and work together for 24 hours a day.
Allnatt Centres have been in existence since 1924 and cater for groups of young people from schools, churches, and voluntary organisations both from this country and abroad. The ability to make the bed on arrival is a skill worth learning! Three meals are served per day with the midday meal being a packed lunch owing to the expeditions that take place.
The tuition that children receive has active learning at its heart. Children are organised into groups of around 15 with a member of the centre staff who are experts in their field and a member of Bushmead staff. If you wish to find out more about Allnatt Centre, you may visit them on their website at www.allnatt.co.uk.
The visit is scheduled to take place from Monday 19th September until Friday 22nd September 2017. We have booked this week to avoid clashing with the Buckinghamshire 11+ testing.
The cost of the trip will be approximately £265 this is based on a daily charge set by the Allnatt Centre, insurance cover and transport. (Transport costs will vary depending on the number of children taking part). I believe this represents value for money. We will confirm the exact cost once we know the size of coach that is required.
My hope is that all children will take part in the trip. In order to achieve this, if there is any aspect of the trip that concerns you please contact your child’s teacher to discuss it. If the cost of the trip is a concern or you are in receipt of Working Family Tax Credit or Free School Meals, please contact either Mrs Davies, Family Worker or myself to see if we can come to some arrangement that can overcome this difficulty. This will be treated in the strictest confidence.
Please complete the Parentmail form that you will receive shortly, whether or not your child you like a place on this trip.
If you would like a place for your child, please send to school a deposit of £50 (deposit only at this stage please until we can confirm transport costs) in a sealed envelope, labelled with your child’s name and class by Wednesday 1st March so that I can confirm the booking with the Allnatt Centre. Payment can be made by cash, cheque made payable to Bushmead Primary School or bank transfer (please contact Mrs Blee for details) and you will be issued with a receipt card. The final balance will need to be paid by 24th June. We would encourage you to pay by monthly instalments to spread the cost. If you require a receipt please send your receipt card with any cash or cheque payments, or present at the school office if you require a receipt for online payment. If you have difficulties with the timing of these payments, please let me know and we can consider alternatives.