What’s it like at our school?

Before a child starts school we invite parents or guardians into school to meet the Foundation Stage staff and exchange information. Following this visit children and a parent / guardian are invited to come to Southill PIP Club (Pre Infant Programme Club). This is to enable parents and children to familiarise themselves with the staff, the other children and the building. The PIP Club is held in the Reception Classroom on Friday afternoons for a number of weeks preceding the term in which the child starts school officially.

 

When children come to us from other schools, we aim to introduce them to their class, teacher and unit before starting so that we are not strangers to them when they finally arrive. Please feel free to arrange a preliminary visit.

Admissions

The policy for admissions to county and voluntary controlled schools is that children are admitted to a school in the following priority order:

  • children living in the area normally served by a school.
  • children living outside the area and wishing to attend on parental preference grounds.
  • where there are spare places available and the number of preferences is equal to or less than the places available, those out of area children wishing to attend on parental preference grounds can be admitted.
  • where there are spare places available but there is a greater number of preferences these out of area children will be offered the spare places in the following order:
  • an older brother or sister who has been admitted in previous years and who will be attending the school at the time of admission.
  • a child who had particular medical reasons for attending the preferred school, as supported by the Clinical Medical Officer.
  • particular reasons advanced by parents which, in the Education Officers view, deserve priority.
  • if places still remain available, the childs proximity to the preferred school may be taken into account.

There is one intake per academic year.  The local authority is responsible for allocating school places. Please see the admissions page on Dorset For You

Our current published admission number (PAN) are as follows:

  • Reception Class = 30
  • Year 1 = 30
  • Year 2 = 30
  • Year 3 = 32
  • Year 4 = 32
  • Year 5 = 32
  • Year 6 = 32

We take children from all pre-schools but parents should note that no preferential admission is given because a child attends a particular pre-school.

Parents are responsible for ensuring that the Local Education Authority application for each and every child is completed and forwarded to the school by early November in the year prior to starting school

Absence

If your child is unable to attend school for any reason, please notify the class teacher by sending a note or leaving a telephone message with the school office before 8.45am. It is important that both teachers and parents communicate. Verbal messages from children will not be accepted by teachers for obvious reasons. Legally, we have to show all unauthorised absences on school reports. Persistent absence will be discussed with the parents. Records will be checked and monitored half termly and concerns will be discussed with parents. The Headteacher reserves the right to contact local agencies and Childrens Services where there are concerns about attendance.  Please note that parents have a duty to ensure their child attends school and failure to do so could in exceptional circumstances, lead to prosecution.

Our policy is that if a child is well enough to come to school, you must leave it to our discretion to decide if they go out to play or take part in physical activities.

Children who have been sick need to stay off school for 48 hours following the last bout of vomiting. This may sometimes seem like a long time, but please stick to this as your child could still spread an infection – and infections do spread easily (and quickly) around children in class.

Children are not permitted holiday during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Leave of Absence forms must be completed and authorised by the Headteacher. Forms are available from the school office.

Lunchtime

If parents wish their children can purchase School Meals (supplied by Weymouth College) or provide sandwich meals, we ask that lunch be brought to school in a named plastic container clearly marked with the child’s name. Children are able to have a drink at school, but should you wish to send an unbreakable flask of soup or hot drink in winter please ensure that the flask is clearly marked with the child’s name. The child may if you wish bring a piece of fruit for break time.

It is important that those families entitled to Pupil Premium free school meals inform the school, even if they do not wish to take the meal. This information is important so that we can plan the financial support we provide for activities and visits. We also have to provide statistical information to the Department for Education and Science and to the Local Education Authority.

If you are in receipt of Income Support or Working Family Tax Credit benefits, you may be entitled to support. Please contact the school office for further information.

Website

There are times when we might want to take photos of children taking part in school events or activities. In order to be able to use these photos on the school web site, we need to gain your permission for your child to appear. If you have not already filled in the reply form, please ask for a copy from the school office. Even if you do not wish your child to appear, we would like you to fill in the form and return it to the school office as soon as possible.

Medicine

Some children may be fit to attend school but still be on a course of treatment. Members of staff are willing to administer treatment as a courtesy, providing you comply with a county directive on Medicine in School. The conditions laid down by the authority are:

  • We may only accept ONE days needs at a time
  • The medicine (tablets etc.) should be clearly labelled stating the childs name, dosage, when to be taken and, if possible, the name of the medicine or drug along with a signed by parent or guardian
  • The medicine must be HANDED BY THE PARENT OR GUARDIAN to the class teacher, or to the Headteacher, at the time of the request. IT SHOULD NEVER BE BROUGHT BY THE CHILD.

These conditions will help to eliminate any possibility of children taking any form of medicine such as tablets, drugs, etc., unsupervised.

Visits to Clinics
Please send a note to explain why the child will be absent, or to authorise withdrawal from lessons. Please arrange for the child to be collected from school.

If you wish to contact the School Nurse about anything regarding your child, please phone Katie Heal, School Nurse, 01305 752395.

Possessions

Over the years we have had various articles reported broken or lost. Our policy with all toys, jewellery, money, etc., is that children do not bring them to school except for special occasions, e.g. infant “showing” of special articles (not toys unless it is a birthday), exhibitions, educational visits. If children do bring such items to school, it is at their own risk. The only exception is for watches (time telling practice). When watches have to be removed, children should give them to their teacher for safe keeping.

It is a great help to us if any special money is put into an envelope with the childs name on it. The envelope can then be collected quickly and given to the school office for checking. There is rarely any need for children to have any loose money in their bags or pockets. Whenever possible, large amounts of money should be sent as a cheque, or cash given by yourselves direct to the relevant person in school.

Travel

Children’s safety is a prime concern for all of us. At this school this concern centres not only on the time children are in the building but also during arrival and at the end of the day. Children should enter and leave school using the footpath and pedestrian gates and should take particular care at all times outside the school gate. At all times, the only vehicles permitted in the car park will be those belonging to staff and official visitors. If you need to bring or collect your child from school please park in the road outside school. Many parents try to park as close to the gates as possible, please consider parking a short distance from school to help ease congestion and give yourself a little exercise. There are always lots of spaces within 100 metres of the school.

There are bike/scooter shelters for the parking of bicycles at school. Exceptions are made for children to cycle under the following conditions:

  • Other methods of travel have become difficult
  • Your child is in Class 6
  • A Bikeability certificate has been obtained
  • Written consent is given by parents to the Headteacher
  • Your child wears a safety helmet.
  • Your child is accompanied by an adult

Homework

All children are asked to complete homework to reinforce understanding, improve learning, practice skills and to develop independent study skills.

As a parent you are expected to take responsibility for supporting and encouraging your child to complete homework – in particular helping them to plan ahead, to understand new ideas and provide an environment in which they can work. It means helping your child to ask the right questions so that they can help themselves – not quite the same as doing it for them! The volume of homework generally increases as children progress through the school but will vary depending on the time of year. Teachers will issue a homework advice note at the beginning of each term. Homework can also be provided by parents themselves – local book shops often have a variety of materials – but remember your child needs a variety of activities. Children should come to school fresh, with a thirst for knowledge.  Homework should be purposeful and will not be given at the request of parents simply to fill time at home.

Homework – What and When

Reading:
Reading to / listening to children at least 10 minutes per day, 20 minutes if possible. From reception to year 6

Spelling:
This homework will come home regularly on a weekly basis

Handwriting:
Practice sheets can be given at any time.

Times Tables:
These start in

Year 2 with 2s, 5s and 10s
Year 3 with 2s, 5s, 10s, 3s and 4s
Year 4 with 2s, 5s, 10s, 3s, 4s, 6s and 9s
Year 5 with 2s, 5s, 10s, 3s, 4s, 6s, 9s, 7s and 8s
Year 6 reinforce all tables
(This does not prevent any child learning any table at any time if they are able)

Maths games:
These are sent home in Year R, 1 and 2

Maths activity work sheets:
Can be any of years 3 – 6

Project activities:
These cover questions and research problems in science, history and geography but might involve other subjects and other activities such as learning lines for assembly/plays or collecting items for display.

Discipline

Discipline at Southill School is excellent. This is due to the way parents and teachers work together in the best interests of the children. Praise and encouragement are important and freely given. Confidence and personal self-esteem often encourages mature attitudes and self-discipline. When children overstep the mark then, as in real life, sanctions are initiated. Punishments will be firm, fair and reasonable. Punishments usually take the form of withdrawal of privileges, repetition of work considered unsatisfactory or rectifying wrong done to others. Those who persist may have their name entered in the punishment book. Parents of children who do not respond to positive encouragement will be invited to discuss the problem with the class teacher or headteacher.

Bullying happens in all schools. At Southill we encourage children to talk if they feel they are being bullied. Claims are dealt with fairly with all parties in a dispute having the opportunity to give their viewpoint. Ultimately, bullying is not acceptable and action will be taken against those who bully, physically or psychologically.

Equal Opportunity and Race Equality

As a school we operate an equal opportunity and race equality policy. The policy aims to ensure that regardless of disability, gender, race, colour, ethnic background or orientation, all members of the school community are valued equally. The school is committed to promoting positive attitudes and combating discrimination in all its forms; to equipping pupils with knowledge, understanding, skills, equal access and to developing attitudes to recognise and challenge discrimination.

Healthy Schools

At Southill Primary School, we take every opportunity to encourage our children to lead healthy lives, including eating a healthy diet.

We have developed these guidelines to help them create a healthy, balanced lunchbox!

We believe that:

  • packed lunchboxes should promote an image of healthy eating.
  • the environment in which they are eaten in should encourage good manners during meal times.
  • pupils should develop responsibility for their own lunchboxes.

A packed lunch should:

  • Satisfy your appetite
  • Help your body grow
  • Be balanced in portions
  • We ask that children do not bring sweets or fizzy drinks.

Rights Respecting Schools

We promise to:

  • include everyone in our games and activities
  • be kind, polite and helpful
  • show love and respect others
  • be truthful, fair and honest
  • learn as much as we can and help others to learn
  • look after our school

Complaints

If you are unhappy about any aspect of your child’s education or experience at school, you should make an appointment to see the class teacher. We would hope that discussing the matter with the teacher should be enough to resolve the issue. However, if you are still unhappy and wish to take the matter further, you should make an appointment to see the Headteacher. If after discussion with the Headteacher the matter remains unsolved you can request details of the next stage of the formal complaints procedure.