Autumn term 2022
We are writing before the start of the new academic year to highlight some information for new parents and some general information for everyone that will help with the smooth running of the year.
Firstly, a big welcome to new families. We have 23 new pupils starting mostly in Lower and Middle School and we trust that you will feel very welcome and settle quickly.
Beginning and end of the day
School starts at 8.45am when the whistle is blown on the school playground and the children line up in their classes. Children and parents may arrive on the playground from 8.30am, and parents are generally encouraged to stay and chat until the children line up. Staff children sometimes arrive a little earlier out of necessity, but from a security point of view we do ask that pupils not arrive early and wait at the locked side gates.
School finishes at 3.25pm for Reception class and 3.30pm for years 1 - 6, who must be collected from the teacher by parents or other named adults. Years 7 & 8 pupils can make their own way home, but parents do often collect. Years 9, 10 and 11 students finish at 3.45pm and can make their own way home, though often parents with younger children wait for them on the playground. It is important that you collect children promptly at the correct time, so that teachers are released for other meetings and duties at the end of the day.
Please be aware that once you collect your child(ren), they are your responsibility and we ask that families are respectful of school safety rules. For example the grass hill and the trim trail are out of bounds at the beginning and end of the day.
Points of contact with teachers
If you have questions or concerns about your child, you can have a word with the class or form teacher at the beginning or end of the day on the school playground. You may also email email@example.com with a subject of “For the attention of the Year …. Teacher”. We will pass this on and the teacher who will contact you as soon as it is practicable. In Middle and Upper School, you can also write messages to the form teacher in your child’s homework diary which they will receive during the first week of school.
If you are a new parent, or if you have not come across something before, other parents may be able to help, so do chat with others or use the class WhatsApp group. Each class has a parent rep, who is also a good person to go to with questions. It would be great for reps to introduce themselves to new families during the first couple of days.
We usually communicate with parents via email on Mailchimp, so please check your email every day. We also send reminders of events or emergencies on the School App. Instructions of how new parents can download the School App can be found HERE on the website.
The school website is regularly updated with dates for events and meetings and other important information. You can also access a number of key school policies from the website.
Sometimes we send home a printed letter with a reply slip in a ‘Brown Envelope’. Please complete any slips or forms and return to school via your oldest child as soon as possible - ideally on the next school day.
If your child is unwell
Parents can phone school between 8.30am and 9:30am to report an absence due to illness. You may also leave a voice message or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to report and explain an absence due to illness. Please be aware that it is school policy for children to stay home for 48 hours after symptoms have stopped if they have diarrhoea or vomiting. We also advise children to stay home if they have a temperature or have a new cough or cold and are under the weather. If children have any kind of diagnosed or suspected virus, please keep them off school and contact school. If your child has a medical appointment, please email or write to the school office with as much advance warning as possible so that we have time to inform the relevant teachers.
Holiday requests during term time should only be made in rare and exceptional circumstances. An authorised absence is only granted at the discretion of the head teacher. Please do not book any holidays in term time until you have written to school on email@example.com explaining the circumstances and wait until you have received a response. If in doubt, please speak to me at the school gate.
Parking by School
Please be aware that parents should not park on Overbury Street by school or around the corner on Cardwell Street, as all this area is for resident parking only. You may drop off children on Overbury Street if they are old enough to come into school on their own and you are not planning to come on to the playground that day, but please do not leave your car unattended even for a short time. The best place to park is at the Tesco car park, which is about 3 minutes walk away. Parents are respectfully asked not to park in the staff car park unless they are volunteering on that day. Please do ensure that grandparents or anyone who collects your children are aware of these parking expectations.
Uniform and equipment
Lists are available on the school website, and we would be grateful if everyone arrives next week well presented and in the correct uniform. Please ensure that every item of uniform and equipment is labelled. We still have lots of unlabelled items from last year in lost property. Form teachers will check that pupils have the correct equipment during the first week of school.
Visiting the Office
You are welcome to pop in any day at drop-off or collection times or during the day, though you may be asked to wait in the lobby if the office is congested. Parents can purchase swimming costumes, hats and goggles from the school office, and pay for trips or leave messages for teachers. If you need to come into the school beyond the office or lobby, you need to sign in and collect a security badge. Please remember not to open the main door or hold the door open to anyone unless directed to do so by a member of office staff. You can also ask to speak to our bursar, Mr Mayowa Ilesanmi, if you have fee-related queries. You are also welcome to email him on firstname.lastname@example.org.
PE and swimming
Lower School children should keep their PE uniform in their PE pags on their pegs at school, though they can be taken home to be washed at the weekend or certainly each half term. Lower School swimming is on Thursdays and kits should be brought in on the day. Swimming lessons will start for Lower School on 8th September.
Middle School PE is on Tuesdays for years 6 - 8 and on Wednesdays for years 4 and 5. Pupils will not be changing in school so they should come into school in their PE uniform with jogging bottoms over their shorts/skorts, which should be worn whenever they are not actually doing PE. They should bring in an extra bottle of water on PE days.
Middle School swimming is on Mondays, and pupils must always have a waterproof coat and in cold weather a hat and scarf. If your child is not well enough to go swimming, they should probably not be in school. If they do come in, they will still be expected to walk to the University swimming pool and back with their class and watch from the side bench.
Upper School pupils do not swim and PE is on Fridays. Please ensure that boys wear jogging bottoms to and from school; girls can wear jogging bottoms or shorts/skorts with their normal uniform skirts worn on top for modesty. We would also like to let you know that Upper School will be playing hockey this term and it would be helpful if pupils have their own hockey sticks as well as shin pads and gums shields. We recommend Sports Direct for purchasing these items.
In addition to various class, department or house assemblies during the week, we warmly invite parents to join us each Tuesday either for a Worship assembly in the hall (years 3 - 1) or Stay and Praise in Lower School with years R, 1 and 2. These assemblies finish at approximately 9.20am. We really value these opportunities to worship God together as staff, parents and pupils. We also have more formal whole school assemblies at the beginning and end of each term or on special occasions to which parents are also invited. Our first whole school assembly will be on Wednesday, 7th September.