Guidance on school routines and expectations.
ARRIVING IN SCHOOL AND COLLECTING
The children are expected to be increasingly independent over their time at St Michael’s Junior, so we ask that parents encourage their children to walk onto school and on to the playground by themselves in the morning. Obviously, when a Year 3 child joins the school in September they may not be ready to do this so parents may like to accompany their child during the first two weeks until the child is more settled.
START OF SCHOOL
A bell sounds at 8.45am and children sensibly walk into school, hang up their coats and enter the class. Early work is on the screen and children get straight on with this after they have signed up their choice for school lunch. All children must be in school by 8.55am for the start of lessons.
END OF SCHOOL
Many parents like to agree a meeting place after school so that their child knows exactly where to find their parent. It gets busy at the end of the day with so many parents and children! As children get older many parents allow their child to walk home.
What a child wears to school reflects the way he/she values learning. It also portrays the school’s ethos and shared positive values. We have a smart but simple uniform that we encourage all pupils to wear. This is a burgundy sweatshirt with the school logo, a burgundy polo shirt with the school logo and grey trousers or skirt. School uniform, including sweatshirts, fleeces, polo shirts, bags and PE kit are available for purchase online from www.screenprinting.co.uk. All items of uniform should be clearly named.
Children are asked to wear low healed, sensible black or dark shoes – not trainers please.
Temporary tatooes or transfers and nail varnish are not appropriate for school and children will be politely asked to remove them at home.
Hair colour is to be kept natural and hairstyles sensible and respectful. Children are asked not to excessively spike gel or decorate hair. Hair should be kept a natural colour.
Jewellery, other than watches, is not permitted and studs or sleepers only are to be worn in pierced ears.
A named rucksack or book bag is required for taking home letters, books and homework.
Please make sure that your child has a suitable wet or cold weather jacket or coat and this comes to school for break times.
PE & GAMES KIT
It is important for pupils to wear correct clothing for physical activities. For PE children require a pale blue t-shirt with logo and navy shorts. For games activities outside, children need a warm tracksuit in winter and trainers. Children will have games lessons outside in winter unless the weather is very bad.
Year 3 children take part in swimming lessons. This is a statutory subject and all Year 3 children need to attend.
All clothing should be clearly labelled. This will help it to be returned if misplaced.
Jewellery must not be worn for sporting activities and long hair should be tied back. It is helpful if stud earrings are not worn at school on a PE day. If ears have recently been pierced and studs cannot be removed we ask that the studs are protected with a piece of plaster or adhesive strip.
Please make sure that your child has a PE kit in school every PE day as PE is a legal curriculum requirement.
There is no need to bring extra equipment into school unless your child wishes to. We appreciate that some children like to have their own pencils and pencil cases. The school provides the equipment that is needed in class. Problems can arise if a child’s own equipment goes missing and it is difficult for the class teacher and TAs to dedicate time trying to locate items. However, if your child wishes to bring their own equipment and is prepared to take responsibility for it, we are happy for them to do so. We expect that school equipment is looked after and respected.
We are an accredited National Healthy School and are committed to promoting and monitoring healthy food at break and lunch times. We continue to enhance our National Healthy School status, which is a government initiative set to raise education standards and to reduce health and social inequalities. Different teaching styles and learning opportunities are offered to pupils to develop their awareness and understanding of healthier eating and basic food safety practices, including regular opportunities to cook in the curriculum.
We cook all our meals on site and all food meets the nutritional standards set by the government. The menus are sent home and are on our website. Children choose their meal at the start of the school day and should be paid for using Parent Pay.
Some children prefer to bring a packed lunch. Please aim to provide your child with a well-balanced packed lunch.
If you think your child is eligible for free school meals, please collect a form from the school office.
Water is available in the dinner hall at lunchtime, throughout the day in classrooms and at the water fountain.
You may like your child to have a mid-morning snack. We welcome sandwiches, fruit and vegetables, and would ask you not to send your child with chocolate, crisps or sweets of any kind. With so many children in school, we ask that foods without packaging are provided for a mid-morning snack as the packages tend to end up as litter around the school.
Research shows that our brains need water to stay active and alert. All children are encouraged to drink water and each class has access to a filtered water machine. Please provide your child with a spill-proof plastic bottle that they can take home at night to rinse.
TRANSPORT TO SCHOOL
All children are encouraged to walk or cycle into school. Bowthorpe was designed with many footpaths and cycle ways. We have a bike shed in the car park where children can lock up their bikes.
In the interest of safety, parents are not permitted to drive cars onto the school premises and to park considerately around the school.
MOBILE PHONES (including i-pads and Apple watches)
We request that children do not bring mobile phones into school. However, if there is a valid reason for needing a mobile for the journey to and from school, the phone should be handed into the school office on arrival into school for safe keeping during the school day. While in school, if a phone call home is required, the school office will use the school’s landlines to contact parents. The school cannot guarantee the safe keeping of phones not handed into the office.
Apple watches are not only expensive items to bring into school, but also perform the same functions as many phones. Due to safeguarding reasons, i.e. photos can be taken, messages and emails can be sent, so we cannot allow these in school.
COMMUNICATION WITH PARENTS
We aim to communicate well with parents and have a number of ways of ensuring that parents are kept informed of things happening in school. The school sends home the weekly bulletin which lets parents know what is happening the following week. There are whole school newsletters and year group newsletters which are sent home on a regular basis. We use texting and emailing so make sure that the school office has your latest details. In addition to this, there will be letters home for specific events or where parental permission is required. Our website is a good place to refer to as all communications are added to this regularly too and you can keep updated via the school blog.
APPOINTMENTS WITH SCHOOL STAFF
Should you wish to talk to your child’s Class Teacher, contact the school office who can make arrangements or they will ask the teacher to contact you after school.
Pastoral issues can be discussed with a member of our Pastoral Team. Each year group has a designated member of staff from the Pastoral Team.
Miss Hunt, the school’s Special Needs Co-ordinator, is very happy to meet with parents and can be contacted through the school office.
We have a well-stocked library and each class has a timetable slot weekly in which to change their book. Some Year 6 children are taught how to carry out some library jobs and can support the younger children. If your child needs to access the library in between the class library slots, this can be done at lunchtimes. Children are able to borrow up to 3 library books at a time. We appreciate that some books take longer to read than others, so if your child wishes to keep the book for more than 2 weeks, bring the book back to the library to be rescanned. This helps us to keep track of the books and minimise loss. We have a computerised system for taking out the books. We ask that all school library books are returned to school and Mrs Wiseman, our Librarian, sends reminders home when necessary. We are happy to have any books returned whenever you find them!
EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
We run a wide variety of extra-curricular activities at lunchtime and after school. The activities list comes out termly (we aim to get this to parents at the end of each term) and children sign up themselves for daytime clubs and after school clubs can be booked and paid for via Parent Pay. However, please notify the office of collection arrangements. Children who attend our All Angels’ After School Provision can attend this after the activity and will be collected by staff.
OUT OF SCHOOL PROVISION
The school runs a Breakfast Club from 7.45am and Angels’ After School Club until 5.30pm. This provision is run by school teaching assistants. Ask at the school office for further information.
Good attendance enables children to fully access all school provision and to make good progress across the curriculum. It is also hard for a child with poor attendance to maintain good routines and friendships. The government changed the law on term time holidays so schools are unable to authorise holidays. Parents need to apply to Mrs McCarney for leave of absence from school. When a child’s attendance falls below 90% or they have had 5 consecutive days’ absence through illness, school will ask for medical evidence. The child will also be monitored by the Local Authority’s Attendance and Inclusion Officer. The school has a very strong Pastoral Team which can support good attendance so parents are referred to the team when their child’s attendance causes concern.
The child will be marked late if they arrive after 9.00am and recorded as unauthorised absence if they arrive after 9.15am. Letters are sent out to parents offering school support if, when monitoring the registers, there appears to be an issue. If attendance does not improve, the school is obliged to follow a legal route, which may result in a court appearance.
Parents must contact the school as soon as possible before 11.00am to inform of a child’s absence from school.
All year groups will set homework over the week. Often this is in the form of a longer project which may be set over half a term. Children are expected to read regularly, at least 3 times a week, spend at least 30 minutes per week on Maths Whizz and learn their spellings.
Some children find it hard to complete their homework at home so we offer lunchtime provision every day, staffed by school TAs, during which time children can complete their homework with support.
All children are heard read over the week. As children move into Key Stage 2 this is usually during Guided Reading sessions. Some children benefit from extra reading to an adult too, so this is put in place for those who need it. A Reading Record is used across the school for parents and staff to write in or comment about the child’s reading.
We encourage reading at home and have a reward scheme in place for this. Our Reading Tree is displayed in the hall. Children can earn leaves and apples for the number of times they read. 100 times of reading at home earns a £10 book voucher. Children see Mrs Barber who writes their name on a leaf or apple which is then stuck to the tree.
We aim to give the children a rich and varied curriculum and some of the most memorable aspects of this will be the school trips, visitors and special events. We ask for parental contributions towards these to enable them to take place. Please appreciate that without parental contributions these trips, activities and events cannot take place.
CELEBRATION OF SUCCESS
We have weekly Celebration Assemblies and try very hard to celebrate when a child has worked hard, demonstrated perseverance, thought differently about a problem or has made good progress. This is done throughout the year on a day to day basis in class (there are in class systems to promote positive actions and behaviours) and as a whole school. Children will come home with stickers, being entered into the Gold Book, certificates and notes. Much is done throughout the year to ensure that all children are praised for what they achieve. At the end of the academic year, we also award a few trophies for exceptional achievement, effort or contribution in a variety of areas.
SUPPORT FOR CHILDREN
From time to time children will require support from our Pastoral Team. It may be that there is, for example, a bereavement in the family, a separation, friendship issues or anger management concerns. Our well trained team is available to the children following a referral by the parent, school staff or the children themselves. One of our team will work with the child for an agreed period of time and will liaise with the parent on how this has helped.
SUPPORT FOR PARENTS
We run Restorative Approaches courses and Tea and Chat support groups for parents. Our Pastoral Team are very happy to support parents on a wide range of matters. Do not hesitate to contact the Pastoral Team if you think they might be able to help or you wish to have a chat about your child.
We find it unhelpful and unnecessary to have a long list of school rules. The two rules we have are: Be Respectful and Keep Safe. We have found that all matters relate to these. For example, if a child hits another child, one was not keeping the other safe. If school property is damaged, respect for the environment hasn’t been demonstrated. Children will have discussed these rules with their class and their teacher and are encouraged to think about how they can demonstrate respect and safe behaviours. You might like to try this at home?
If your child has any medical needs or needs to take medication of any sort, please let the school office know. We have a permission form to sign which includes all the information school needs to know so that we can administer the medication properly. We also need to know if your child requires an inhaler for asthma and be regularly updated if circumstances change.
We welcome parents to work alongside the staff in school and such involvement is invaluable for all concerned. There is an open invitation for parents to let us know when they can come and how they can help. All volunteers working in school are required to have an enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service check (formerly Criminal Records Bureau or CRB) and this can be arranged through the school office.
We are pleased to have a Friends Association and value the part that they play in the school. If you would like to join or offer help at times, let the office know.
Please see the school’s website for all policies in more detail. The most relevant are:
Behaviour for Learning and Relationships Policy
Use of Reasonable Force Policy
Charging and Refunds Policy
St Michael’s V.A. Junior School
Tel: 01603 745812