Lymm Dickensian Christmas photo competition

In collaboration with the Lymm Dickensian Christmas Festival, we invite students of all year groups to enter the Lymm Dickensian Christmas photo competition. The theme of this year’s competition is ‘Christmas Spirit in Lymm’ and photographs should be taken during the festival on Saturday 9th December 2023.

This is a fantastic opportunity for students with an interest in photography with some great prizes up for grabs.  One winner will be chosen from Years 7-11 and one from Years 10-13.

To enter, students must collect an entry pack from Miss Simms (Technician) before the festival on 9th December 2023. The deadline for submissions is 15th December 2023.

Class Charts – launching Monday 13th November

We are pleased to announce that we will shortly be replacing the Gateway app with a new system for communicating with parents. The new app is called Class Charts and we will be launching this to parents on Monday 13th November with an email containing further details as well as a unique log-in code for you. Please look out for this email from Monday afternoon and, as soon as you can, download the Class Charts app and log in. We will have a short time period (unlikely to be more than a week or two) where we run Class Charts alongside the Gateway app, but once this transition period is over, you will not receive any more messages from school if you haven’t downloaded and logged into the Class Charts app.

Students will also have access to the Class Charts app and we will be giving them the time and log-in details in school next week to get them all up and running.

We will be using Class Charts for:

  • All messages from school (i.e., those that currently come via the Gateway app or email)
  • The reporting of student absences
  • Setting and monitoring of homework (i.e., Class Charts will replace Satchel One)
  • Communicating and recording of achievement/Hall points and rewards
  • Communicating and recording behaviour points and details of any detentions

We have been trialling Class Charts in school this term and, along with a lot of work exploring how other schools have been using Class Charts, are confident the new app will provide a much better experience for families. In particular, it ought to be a much better system for issuing and recording Hall points (something that student and parent voice has indicated is something we need to improve). It will also reduce the number of different platforms needed for communication between school and home.

All the evidence we have so far is that parents and students find the Class Charts app very intuitive and easy to use, and so we anticipate a fairly smooth transition. However, there are bound to be a few teething problems here and there so we thank you in advance for your support and understanding.

Just to clarify, you will not be able to log in to the Class Charts app until you have your unique access code, which will be sent out by email from Monday afternoon. This email will also contain further information about how to use the app.

Paper Colour Policy

I am writing to you as a reminder of our buff paper policy in school.

As a school we are committed to ensuring that all of our students are supported and provided for with all aspects of their needs. We have a number of students who, due to a wide range of different needs, have difficulties reading black ink on white paper. We have been advised by the advanced Orthoptist Kathryn Whitfield – Lead of Visual Processing Difficulties, Orthoptic Service at Warrington and Halton Hospitals – that the colour of paper is not as important as the fact that it’s not white paper with black ink, and for that reason, we have an all buff/cream paper policy in school. This includes lesson resources, exam papers and exercise books for those students who require them. Buff books will be provided by class teachers.

We think this is important for a number of reasons including:

  • This is an inclusive system that means no student will be made to feel different in lessons or in exams by having paper that is a different colour to their peers.
  • Students who may yet to be diagnosed with reading difficulties will benefit from not having to read black ink on white paper.
  • Students will still have the flexibility of having a coloured overlay of their choice if they so wish – as outlined in many reports for Visual Processing, Visual Distress and other Opthalmology reports. These can be collected from the SEND department.
  • Students who do have difficulties will never be in a position were a teacher/cover teacher may have forgotten to provide a resource on the correct paper.

The depth of the cream colour of the paper has been trialled with a range of students who currently require coloured paper in order for us to ensure that we have chosen a shade that allows all students to read comfortably and effectively.

Kathryn Whitfield has agreed to hold a forum with any parents/carers who have concerns about this and any specific issues for their child. Please email the SEND department if you would like to attend this session so that we can confirm a time and date. The email is:

You are also invited to email Kathryn directly for further advice:

We are confident that this policy will help to support the greatest number of students. Thank you in advance for your support.

Yours faithfully,

Ms K Yates