A- Z Information For Parents
Absence and illness
If your child is unwell, please inform the school promptly by a telephone call. Unexplained absences are always followed up and we will get in touch with you to find out where the child is.
If your child has to leave school during the school day, (for example for an appointment or because they have been taken ill) you will have to sign the child out via the electronic system at the office. If the child returns the same day, you must sign them back in. Please ensure that we are fully informed about any medical condition suffered by your child, and about any procedures to be followed in this case.
If your child becomes ill during the day, or has an accident, we will always contact you. It is therefore vital that contact details are up to date, particularly mobile phone numbers, and that someone is available to take the child home or even to hospital. We always phone after a head bump, however small, so that parents are alerted to be vigilant should there be signs of concussion later in the day.
Any child on medication whilst at school is supervised closely whilst taking it to ensure that the correct dose is administered. Medicines are kept in the office and parents are asked to fill in a medicine form with exact instructions. We can only give children medicine prescribed by a medical practitioner, which has the name of the child on the original bottle or packaging. In the unfortunate event of your child becoming ill during school time, we will always contact you or the emergency contact numbers you will have given us. Please ensure we have up-to-date contact details at all times.
If you plan to take your child out of school during term-time for annual holiday you must complete a leave of absence request form, obtainable from the school office. Please note that in line with government guidelines, absence for this reason will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.
The school runs a range of clubs after school for children of all ages. Those that are run by school staff are usually free, although a fee may be charged if the club is run by a coach from another organisation.
Clubs change on a term-by-term basis. Parents of the relevant-age children are notified by Ping when it is time to sign up.
If your child has an allergy please see the School Office to complete the relevant paperwork.
Children are admitted to Southill Primary School in accordance with Dorset County Council’s admission arrangements. These state that children can begin school in the September after their 4th birthday. The admission number for the school is 30.
All children attending school for the first time have the right to attend full time from September. However, parents may choose to send their child in the morning only until after the autumn half term, or until January. This is not something we’d normally recommend because of the important learning and socialising opportunities that will have been missed by a later start. If this is something you are considering, please discuss it with the school staff.
Visits to the school are welcome and may be arranged by contacting the school office.
Children of compulsory school age must, by law, receive a full time education.
It is important to maintain good attendance at school:
- to give your child the best possible start in life
- they will be able to keep up with their learning
- they will achieve better results
- they will develop friendships and social skills.
School attendance is central to raising standards in education and ensuring all pupils can fulfil their potential. The school has set a target of 95% attendance for all pupils. This rate allows for periods of illness or particular circumstances when absence from schools is unavoidable. We want your child to attend school regularly as this supports their learning. If your child is not well or if you have a planned reason why your child cannot attend school, please inform the school at the earliest opportunity.
Each person with day to day parental responsibility could be taken to court and fined for each child who is not attending school regularly or who is persistently late.
The Education Act 1996 states that all pupils should attend school regularly and punctually. ‘If a child of compulsory school age, who is a registered pupil at a school fails to attend regularly at the school, his parent is guilty of an offence.’
8.00 am – 8.45am
£3.10 per session
We provide good quality childcare for the children of our school aged between 4 and 11 before school from 8am. We aim to provide a nutritious and filling breakfast which will prepare your child for the school day. The cost of a session is £3.10 per child and includes breakfast and activities. Spaces are available on a weekly basis or for parents who might only require the occasional day, or sessions with little notice. We can accommodate most requests. Please see Mrs Sharpe in the school office with any Breakfast Club queries.
Bookings are made via our ScoPay system.
We always celebrate children’s birthdays in school, usually during the nearest assembly on or after the big day itself. School tradition means the children receive a small chocolate bar or suitable alternative.
Charges and Remission Policy
Education should be free to all – of course this is true. Nevertheless, we recognise the valuable contribution that can be made by activities such as clubs, visits and residential experiences, as well as other opportunities to enhance the ‘normal’ provision. In respect of this we may make a charge for:
• Board and lodging for all residential visits which take place outside school hours
• All optional extras taking place wholly, or mainly outside school hours
• The cost of materials or ingredients for technology or similar lessons, where the child wishes to keep the final item
• The cost of damage to, or loss of school property, where this is the result of the pupil’s negligence or misbehaviour
• All instrumental lessons, except in cases where this would result in financial hardship.
No child will be excluded from any activity offered during school hours because of parents’ inability to pay. However, the school will generally need to invite contributions to cover or subsidise the cost. While there is no obligation to contribute, the whole activity is dependent on sufficient contributions to cover the cost. It may otherwise be cancelled.
Where families are in receipt of certain benefits they need to register for Pupil Premium to automatically become entitled to any remissions. Evidence of entitlement will be required, but applications will be treated in confidence. Please contact the Headteacher or school office for details
Collection of children
The school gates re-open at 3.00pm. At the end of the day we ask that you wait outside your child’s class, in the playground, for the class to be dismissed by the teacher.
From Reception, the children will be handed over individually at the Reception door.
From Year 1 and Year 2, the class teacher will hand over the children one at a time as they spot parents who wait on the lower playground by the steps to Unit 1
From Year 3 upwards, the children are led to the KS2 gate by their teacher where their parents are waiting.
Please inform the school if you are going to be late collecting your child to avoid any concerns or if someone new is picking up.
Communicating with parents
All our communication is through a smartphone app called School Ping. It is available from the Apple Store and Google Play. Once downloaded to the phone, parents will need login details provided by the school.
Newsletters, trip letters, information and anything really is sent to the phone providing a quick and convenient way for parents to stay in touch with what’s happening at school. Parents can even give permission for trips and events through the app.
Parents will also need to regularly look at our website to see pictures and reports from their child’ class. It’s also where we keep all the important school policies and information which parents need: www.southill.dorset.sch.uk
Our aim is for parents to explain everything we do so that parents understand what goes on at school. It is inevitable that, sometimes, parents disagree with something that’s happened and wish to make a complaint. In the first instance complaints should be taken to the class teacher, the Deputy Head or the Headteacher. Most complaints can be solved with the school by talking to members of staff. However, if parents are not satisfied with the outcome, they can make a formal complaint to the Governing Body. Full details can be found in our Complaints Policy, a copy of which is available on the website or from the school office
At Southill Primary School we believe that the School Curriculum should be broad and balanced, offering children the opportunity to achieve success in many different areas. Although our curriculum is based on the National Curriculum, there are other planned opportunities that make up the wider curriculum.
The curriculum consists of core subjects; English, maths and science and foundation subjects; art and design, computing, design and technology, French (at KS2), geography, history, music and physical education. Religious education is also taught throughout the school.
We follow a theme-based approach to learning, in the belief that children learn best when logical connections are made between different aspects of their work. The school has also identified the key skills that children need to learn in the foundation subjects to create our own hierarchy of skills.
Key Stage 1
In Year 1 they will experience more formal learning opportunities to develop their basic skills, but there is still an emphasis on play and developing social and emotional skills. At the end of Year 2 children are formally assessed against National Curriculum levels.
Key Stage 2
The National Curriculum guidelines are followed in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6. Further information is available on our website.
Dogs are not permitted into the school grounds at any time (except on the public footpaths) and should not be tied up adjacent to the paths where children have to walk.
The Reception class curriculum builds on the knowledge gained through pre-school settings and seeks to consolidate the skills developed. Learning experiences are planned for six areas –
Personal, Social and Emotional Development; Communication, Language and Literacy; Mathematical Development; Knowledge and Understanding of the World; Physical Development and Creative Development.
Learning opportunities are planned through play-based activities. A major emphasis is placed on building confidence and self-esteem. At the end of the Reception year children are formally assessed against the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile, and this provides a basis for their future learning. The results of these assessments are provided to parents.
On starting school, parents are provided with login details for ScoPay – where payments and bookings for school trips, clubs, Breakfast Club, etc can be made. We also use myschoolmeals for ordering our hot school meals.
We are delighted to be part of the Government’s Fruit scheme: every child up to and including Year 2 receives a piece of fruit for free as their mid-morning snack! We hope that this becomes established as a healthy habit and so children in Y3-Y6 are encouraged to bring a fruit snack We do not allow any other snacks.
Friends Of Southill School
We are very proud of our PTA organisation called FOSS. This group is made up mainly of parents and with some staff. Fundraising and social events throughout the year help to increase resources and make sure our links with the parents are close ones. All parents are automatically members of FOSS and can participate at whatever level they choose.
Southill School is managed by its governing body, in partnership with the Local Authority. The governing body consists of representatives from the local community, the parents, the local authority and the teaching staff.
We ask that all long hair is tied up (for health and safety reasons) and that any bows in hair are small and, ideally, blue in colour.
Home School Agreement
When your child starts school we take a moment to formally reflect on the partnership that will be built between home and school. Parents are asked to sign this home school agreement so that expectations and responsibilities are clear and that the partnership will be happy and open with your child’s best interests at heart at all times.
We allow only simple stud earrings for health and safety reasons. These should be removed or taped up for PE lessons.
We offer all children in Reception and KS1 a free, delicious hot school meal. We encourage all parents to take up this offer because the meals have been nutritionally balanced and provide a great option for a healthy meal. We believe that our provision of a wholesome hot meal further supports our aim of improving your child’s academic performance.
Please see our school office for details of how you can take advantage of this great opportunity.
You may prefer to send your child with a packed lunch and we ask that it is well-balanced. Please see our factsheet for guidance.
Please note the restriction on nuts – our school is a nut-free zone!
If you wish to change from packed lunch to school lunches, or vice versa, please contact our supplier Local Food Links on 01308 420269.
If you think you may be eligible for free school meals, please see the office staff for full details.
We are able to administer medicines during the school day. Please complete the form at the office and we will keep your instructions alongside the medicine
Milk is available at break time each day. Orders and payments are made directly by parents at www.coolmilk.com. Milk is free for the under-5s and children who qualify for Free School meals.
Details of school events, reminders, requests for help and ‘thank yous’ are shared in our weekly newsletter. This comes out via Ping every Friday. The newsletters are also available from our website.
Please show that you are interested in the school’s teaching methods and in your child’s progress by attending Parents’ Evenings, Curriculum Evenings and other school events. At the start of a new school year, parents are invited to ‘meet the teacher’ where each teacher addresses the parents about themselves and the year ahead. You are then invited to meet with your child’s teacher one to one later in the Autumn term, at the beginning of the Spring term for a progress report, and finally at the end of the Summer term, when you will receive an end of year written report.
Please don’t wait if you have any concerns or queries. We are very committed to working in partnership with parents and will always find the time to talk.
The roads outside and around school get very busy at drop-off and collection time. So many cars in small residential roads often cause problems for other drivers, residents and also for our children. Parents are therefore asked to park at the Southill shops and walk their children to school. It’s called our Active Travel Plan and the walk is only 5 minutes – we know because we’ve timed it!
Our school holds a lot of personal information – about pupils, parents, teachers etc, and the new General Data Protection Regulation is the law that says how we can hold, use and store it. We’ve always been very careful with the personal data we hold and we’ll continue to have the highest standards under the new laws.
We have a new school wide Privacy Notice which tells you what personal information we collect and hold, what we do with it, who we share it with and how long we keep it for as well as other important information.
The new law gives people more rights about how their personal information is handled. You can find out more about this on the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) website. If you want to use one of your new rights please contact the school and one of our team will be in touch with you. We have a Data Protection Officer who is Sharon Howe. She can be contacted at the school office on 01305 773144 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please rest assured that our school knows how important your and your child’s information is, and takes all appropriate measures to make sure it is kept safe and secure, processed lawfully and fairly and only shared with the correct people.
Doors open at 8.45am. School starts promptly at 8.55am.
Punctuality is important for everyone at school – just as in life! Constant late arrival has a detrimental effect on your child’s education. Late arrival results in disruption and missed learning, as well as the distress and embarrassment of being late.
The school is proud of its reputation as a school that encourages reading for pleasure. Reading is a vital life skill and so we also dedicate a lot of our teaching time to reading and to listening to the children read. We recommend that all children read daily at home; this is important even as the children get older – even our Year 6 children would benefit from discussing their reading with an adult. Children are provided with a Reading Record book and we ask that you make a note of their reading every time. The Reading Record and the child’s reading book should be brought into school every day.
Reporting to parents
We provide written reports to parents every term so parents can be fully informed of how their child is progressing at school:
- Autumn Term: we write a ‘Target Setting Report’ with our aims for the year ahead
- Spring Term: we send home a more detailed ‘Progress Report’ to tell parents how children are getting on
- Summer Term: parents receive a ‘Summary Report’ to round off the year.
Each report includes comments from the pupil and space is provided for parents to add their own. Each report is sent out just before a round of parents’ evenings where they can be discussed with the teacher.
Safeguarding and Child Protection
We take this aspect of the care of your children very seriously, but like to think we retain a balanced and human approach. We have excellent recruitment procedures; every member of staff has full checks and up to date references, as do visiting sports coaches, regular volunteers, supply teachers and governors.
All staff receive appropriate training at regular intervals.
We have policies and practices that focus on ensuring the health and well-being of the children, for example: risk assessments before every class trip, an annual safety check of our playground and a ‘medicines in school’ policy.
We have well-established ways of monitoring and responding to incidents of concern, for example: unexplained absences, difficult behaviour and significant changes in physical or emotional appearance;
Safeguarding our children is the responsibility of all our staff. The ethos of the school is open so that staff, parents and children feel able to share concerns. Advice on how to do is on display all around school.
Our Child Protection Policy is available on the website.
Secondary school links
The process of choosing and allocating a place at a secondary school is quite involved and it can be an anxious time for everyone involved. This process starts a whole year before the children actually leave. Most of our children transfer to Budmouth Technology College, with smaller numbers moving on to Wey Valley or All Saints.
During the Autumn Term when children are in Year 6, the secondary schools run open evenings and we always encourage parents to visit each school with their child to see for themselves which one would best meet the needs and talents of their child. Applications are made online by January and parents informed of the results in March.
Liaison between Southill and the secondary schools is an important part of the smooth transition for each child. Staff come to our school in the summer term to meet the children and to discuss their needs, aptitudes and talents with the Year 6 teacher.
Morning session: 8.55am – 12.00pm
Afternoon session: 1.00pm – 3.15pm
Children are welcome into school from 8.45am. Registers are taken at 8.55am. Children arriving after this will be recorded as ‘late’ and after 9.10am as an ‘unauthorised absence’.
At the end of the day, children in Reception and Years 1, 2 and 3 need to be collected from their classroom. Children in years 4, 5 and 6 are dismissed from their class bases and should return to their teacher if they cannot find the adult who is meeting them or stay with their teacher if they are waiting for an adult to arrive.
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
Staff take great care to watch for early signs of children experiencing learning difficulties, as early diagnosis and additional help can often solve the problem before it becomes too great. One in five children will experience problems with learning at some stage, to a greater or lesser degree and most are overcome within the classroom setting although some children may be withdrawn for special lessons. We have strong links with other professionals, who give advice and support should this become necessary.
Swimming is a statutory part of the National Curriculum but, without our own pool, is quite difficult to oragnise.
Parents help us by dropping children off at the swimming pool at 8.45am. A coach returns the class to school at 10am.
Children swim for a total of 8 weeks at a time:
Autumn Term: Year 3
Spring Term: Year 4
Talking with staff
The Headteacher is often available to talk to before school, and can often be found on the playground or at the front of school as children arrive. Many parental queries and concerns can be dealt with informally at this time. It is also possible to make appointments with the Headteacher, often at very short notice, through the school office.
Teachers, too, are always available for a ‘quick word’ at the start or end of the day. However, if you need to talk with the class teacher in more detail, please make an appointment, as talking at length at the classroom door or in the playground before or after school is difficult for the teacher and the children.
All staff have email addresses and are happy to communicate with parents directly in this way.
Travelling to school
Our catchment area is relatively small and so lots of our families walk, cycle or scoot to school. Because of the congestion that can build up around the school gates at the beginning and end of the day, we recommend that parents park their car at the Southill shops. This will leave you with a 4/5 minute walk up to school, which is good for your children’s health, the environment and lots of other reasons. Please ask at school for a leaflet about our Active Travel Plan which has been drawn up with our Year 6 children.
We are proud of our uniform because it means our children are very smart, they are encouraged to take pride in themselves and they are ready for learning. We have a detailed list of uniform requirements which may seem long, but are designed to keep everything running smoothly and happily at school – and at home! Please see our website page for all the information you need.