Attendance & Absence
Attendance: Good attendance is vital for children to achieve well and be happy at school. Children who are absent regularly may fall behind or be unhappy coming to school.We have high expectations for your children and our pupils, as a school with an attendance target of 96% we expect children to attend at least 96% to enable them every opportunity to do well and make the progress they are capable of.
What is good attendance?
If your child has better that 96% attendance at school they are doing well. The national average is about 95%. Children with 80% attendance will miss an average of one day a week and two years of school by the time they are in Year 11. Similarly attendance of 90% may sound good but it is still half a day a week and a year of missed education by the time they are 16. We don’t need to explain how difficult it can be for some children to make up for a year of lost time. Under new guidance issued by the government a child is considered persistently absent (PA) if their attendance is below 90%. In this instance the school is required to report to the Local Authority every term and we ensure parents are also aware of this classification.
What do we do?
We reward very good attendance at the end of the year - we give certificates out for pupils with very high attendance 99-100%. We also reward pupils who improve their attendance greatly. We monitor attendance and try and support families, if we can, to improve attendance. We will work with other agencies e.g GP surgery, to do this. We will also set up plans for children who need to improve so that they can be rewarded when they come to school regularly. We try and make it part of our school ethos that good attendance is expected and rewarded. We have an Independent Family support worker who may contact you where concerns remain.
What can parents do?
We value parents and children’s efforts to attend school on time and regularly. Of course it is important that when children are not well that they are properly cared for. Ensure you phone in on the first day of absence to give the reason for your child being absent and if possible every subsequent day. On return to school a letter confirming the reason for the absence should be handed in to your child’s class teacher.
If you are concerned about your child’s attendance or they seem unhappy to come to school please talk to someone as soon as possible. Normally it is best to speak to the class teacher in the first instance and then the Headteacher or another member of senior staff.
What about holidays?
New legislation came into effect on 1st September 2013 which means schools can no longer grant leave of absence for a holiday. The headteacher may grant leave only in "exceptional circumstances" and never for a holiday. Should a parent wish to request leave for exceptional circumstances they should put their request in writing addressed to the headteacher. We aim to respond to requests within 5 days.
In cases where attendance is particularly poor the school may request the Local Authority issue a penalty notice. An information sheet about penalty notices is available at the bottom of this page.is important to establish regular and prompt attendance at school.
- Absence due to illness, medical or dental treatment (please provide evidence of appointment).
- Absence due to educational visits, school trips, etc.
- Exceptional circumstance, bereavement, family emergency
- All other absences are unauthorized:
- Lateness is unauthorized absence unless this is due to illness or medical appointments. Please provide the school with a written and dated letter explaining the absence.
Children arriving at or leaving school during school hours:
If your child arrives at school after the start of the school day or has to leave before the end of the school day for any reason, could you please come to the school office. The secretary will then collect/deliver your child from/to their classroom and record their presence/absence in the class register. All children taken out or returned in school time must be signed in or out at the office. Parents should not collect children from classes – this is done by a member of school staff.
Charges for Activities
Under the 1988 Education Act we can make charges for food and accommodation (some parents on income support can claim exemption), but we can only ask for voluntary contributions to help with transport and activities. Each visit will only take place if sufficient voluntary contributions are received to fund it. Those who do pay do not subsidize those who do not. If a trip is cancelled all monies collected will be returned to parents. These visits enhance both the curriculum and the “teamwork” in our school and we rely on the partnership with parents to provide the best learning opportunities for the children.
If you have any concerns or worries about your child the first step is to speak to the class teacher – most problems can be rectified in this way. Problems can be referred to the Headteacher if the issue remains unresolved.
If you wish to make a formal complaint – it will need to be in writing to the Chair of Governors – this step is taken after all other options have been explored.
Whilst we hope it will not be necessary, if you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of your formal complaint, in limited circumstances it is possible for complaints to be referred to the EFA.
However we hope concerns can be resolved by informal discussions at school.
Our approach to discipline is to focus on positive behavior management techniques, highlighting the good and focusing on what is acceptable. The emphasis is on praising good behavior, attitude and effort.
Each class develops its own class rules in negotiation with their teacher. Overall we try to take a common sense approach to discipline and when sanctions are necessary they will be appropriate for the individual child and the incident. We do have a behavior policy which is available in school and parents, children and school sign a Home School Agreement in Reception and Year 3 – which outlines the expectations for all parties.
First Aid and Medicine
If a child is unwell at school, or if they are hurt in an accident, parents will be contacted
by telephone. For that reason it is very important that the emergency contact numbers given to school by parents are kept up to date.
In accordance with Bournemouth Borough Council advice school staff are not allowed to administer medicines without a written request from parents. A medical authorization form is available from the school office. The medication must be brought into school in the original container from the pharmacy with the instructions clearly visible. Medicines should be handed into the office. If a child is to be given medicine 3 times a day this can be done at home before school, after school and at bedtime. Hence such medicine should not come into school. These guidelines do not apply to inhalers for asthma, which should be kept with the child at all times.
Two children from each class are selected weekly to go in the Golden Book, be praised at achievement assembly and have a special certificate to take home. This is a reward for showing a real effort and a positive attitude to work and school life.
The children know what TEAM means: Together Everyone Achieves More
And they are encouraged to praise and respect the efforts of others.
It is important to check your child's hair regularly for these unwelcome visitors. It would be very helpful to the school if you could inform the office if you have treated your child so that we are able to monitor the problem. A letter will then be sent to all children in that class giving details of the latest treatment being recommended. Lotion to treat head lice is available from your doctor or chemist. In line with our unifrom policy, hair that touches the shoulder should be tied up.
Children receive vision, hearing and dental tests as well as developmental checks when they start school.
We have a well-stocked and updated school library with a variety of books to support staff and pupils. We operate a micro librarian computer system, which allows books to be scanned in the same way as public libraries – the children take responsibility for scanning their own books.
- A charge of £30 will be made for each individual passport application.
- In exceptional circumstances and at the Headteachers discretion, this fee may be reduced.
- Please understand that the school teaching staff are very busy so may not be able to accommodate your request.
School Meals / Nutrition
- All the children in Key Stage 1 are entitled to a free school meal but the meal choices need to be made in advance
- Children can bring a packed lunch or you can decide to take advantage of ordering a cooked meal through the school office. There are 3 choices available daily at a reasonable cost.
- Drinks have to be in a secure plastic container (not bottles or cans).
- Children entitled to Free School Meals will receive a hot meal in school. Advice on Free School Meals can be obtained from the office.
- Children may bring a piece of fruit to eat at morning playtime – no other snacks are allowed.
- All children are provided with a water bottle in class with water to drink during lesson times. Research has shown a regular drink of water improves concentration and therefore progress.
- Children in Nursery and Reception (up to 5 years of age) are entitled to free school milk.
- Children in the rest of the school can have milk at a cost to parents. Forms are available in the office.
- Please see attachment below with nutrition details of our hot meals from Chartwells.
Parents / Carers are asked to make every effort to walk to school with their children – it not only contributes to the health of the children – but to the safety around the school. Children at the end of Year 5 and the beginning of Year 6 participate in cycle training – then and only then can they cycle to school without a parent. Children cycling to school will be issued with a cycle permit and the cycle racks can only be used by them. The issue of safety and congestion at the entrance to the school can be addressed if parents / carers make sure they do not park on the yellow zig-zags at any time. Notices indicating parking restrictions are clear and enforceable. The school has a travel plan which outlines the measures we plan to take to contribute to healthy living and safety.
Children should not arrive in school before 8.45 am. At 8.45 am children should go straight to their classrooms. KS2 children should be encouraged to leave their parents at the door. Nursery children wait with their parents until doors are open.
All parents / carers who drive to school are encouraged to park on the neighbouring roads outside the school and walk their children into school. Only those parents / carers who have written permission from the headteacher will be allowed access to the school drive. Locked gates are in operation throughout the school day and access is via an intercom system linked to the school office. Please do not use the church car park this is often in use by parishioners and occasional ceremonies