Attendance, Punctuality & Absences
Academy hours are from 8:45 to 3:00. Members of staff are on duty in their classrooms from 8:35 where children go straight in when they arrive at school between 08:35 and 8:45. Any child arriving after 8:45 will only be able to access the school via the school office where they will be entered in the ‘late book’. The Headteacher will wish to discuss repeated incidences of lateness with parents and late letters issued; this could lead to the issue of penalty notices. Further clarification can be found in the Pupil Leave of Absence Policy on the website.
At the end of the school day Foundation Stage children will be dismissed to their parents/carers. Children in Years 1 and 2 will be dismissed from their classroom doors to their parents/carers. No child in Foundation Stage or Key Stage 1 will be dismissed from school without the teacher having sight of the parents/carers. Key Stage 2 children will be dismissed from their classrooms. Any child not collected by 3:10 will be taken to the school office to await their parents/carers and parents will be telephoned. If the school is unable to contact parents and the child has not been collected by 4pm, social services may be contacted.
Any changes in the arrangements for picking children up at the end of the school day must be communicated to school in advance and in writing (except in the case of emergencies).
If a child is going to be away from the school for any reason a message should be left on the dedicated answer telephone line (01797 363118) on the first day of absence. Any absences that are not adequately explained will be recorded as unauthorised. Repeated incidences of unauthorised absences will be referred to the School Liaison Officer and may result in a Penalty Notice being issued.
If your child is absent for a prolonged period (5 days or more), medical evidence will be requested, and a penalty notice may still be issued by the Local Authority. It is the Parents’ responsibility to provide evidence to the contrary to the Local Authority.
Head teachers are no longer able to authorise holidays for pupils during term time. If you are planning to take your child out of school for a holiday then you are requested to put this in writing. All holidays of 5 days or more will lead to a Penalty Notice being issued by the Local Authority (further information is available from: www.kent.gov.uk/education_and_learning/school_attendance__behaviour/absence_from_school/holidays_during_term_time.aspx
The school’s Behaviour Management Policy is based on the positive reinforcement of good behaviour.
Each class has personalised rule posters in the classroom and this, in conjunction with the home/ school agreement support children’s behaviour and learning.
The Friday Celebration Assembly also supports the children’s achievements and enables them to gain a sense of pride in their work and behaviour.
Additional Educational Needs
Any child may be considered to have special or additional educational needs if they are unable to learn in a similar manner or at a similar rate to that of their peer group. These needs may include:
- Learning difficulties
- Physical and sensory disabilities
- Emotional and developmental problems
- Behavioural difficulties
- Children who are significantly more able than their peers or who have particular talents (often referred to as ‘gifted and talented’).
At St Nicholas CE Primary Academy we follow the guidelines as laid down in the Department for Education, Special Educational Needs &Disabilities Code of Practice 2014.
Class teachers deliver a curriculum that is suitably differentiated to meet the needs and abilities of all the children. Teaching Assistants work closely with class teachers to support both individuals and small groups of children. Other professionals and agencies may be involved in helping to provide appropriate provision for children with additional educational needs. Parents will be kept informed at every stage; if it is considered that their child has additional educational needs, and will be encouraged to work in partnership with the school to support their child.
A copy of the school’s policy for Additional Educational Needs may be viewed on the school website.
Equal Opportunities & Inclusion
The governors and staff at St Nicholas CE Primary Academy are passionately committed to providing the full range of opportunities for all pupils regardless of gender, disability, and ethnicity, social, cultural or religious background. All pupils have the right to equal access to the curriculum, and the right to a learning environment which dispels ignorance, prejudice and stereotyping. The entire school community has the right to protection from insult, abuse and bullying of any kind. Discrimination on the basis of color, culture, racial origin, gender or ability is unacceptable in the school. The school has undergone extensive alterations to cater for children and adults who are physically disabled. Each year group has a classroom which is accessible to wheelchair users.
Health & Safety
The Health and Safety of all members of the school community is of paramount importance to the Headteacher and the Governing Body. Concerns over matters of Health and Safety should be reported to the school office or Headteacher immediately.
It is vital that we have current contact information for all pupils. It is the parent’s responsibility to ensure that this information is up to date and they must inform the school office as soon as any change occurs. In the event or sickness or an accident involving your child, you will be contacted using this information.
At St Nicholas we are fortunate to have several members of staff who are qualified as First Aiders at Work. Almost all midday supervisors and classroom support staff have undertaken basic training in first aid and normally attend to minor injuries. All but the most minor injuries are logged in an accident book and the parent informed by letter. Parents are automatically informed by letter of any accident involving a bump to the head. If the school has any concerns with respect to the health of your child you will be contacted immediately.
It is the parents’ responsibility to ensure that the school is aware of any allergic reactions which may affect your child. Please inform the school office staff of any allergies and/or medication which may be required. This is particularly important for pupils who may require treatment via an Epipen. Any information given is treated in the strictest confidence and is only passed to other members of staff on a ‘need to know’ basis.
Parents must inform the school of any ongoing medical problems that their child may have, also if there are any changes in the child’s medical, physical or emotional needs. Any information given is treated in the strictest confidence and is only passed to other members of staff on a ‘need to know’ basis.
Under normal circumstances the school does not administer medicines and the child should be kept at home until the course of medicine is finished. If your child is well enough to attend school but still requires medication, arrangements can be made for a parent/carer to come into school to give the child their non- prescription medicine. The school will administer prescription medicines but only upon completion, by the parent/carer, of the necessary documentation.
From time to time the school suffers an outbreak of head lice. If your child shows symptoms of head lice, please seek advice from the Health Visitor or your GP’s surgery. Leaflets with advice on treating head lice can be obtained from the Family Liaison Officer.
Jewellery and Make-Up
The wearing of jewellery by children in school is not permitted except for stud earrings. Earrings must not be worn for PE lessons. Children with pierced ears must be able to remove and replace earrings independently. Make-up and nail varnish are not permitted. Long hair should always be tied back.
Through the creation of our School Travel Plan, the Headteacher and Governors are pleased to allow children to store their bicycles on the school site if they have ridden to school. Currently all children who ride to school must be accompanied by an adult and may only enter the school site on foot via the Fairfield Road entrance adjacent to the bike storage facility. Under no circumstances should bicycles be ridden on the school grounds, except Year 5 pupils undertaking their Cycling Proficiency Test.
The school accepts no responsibility for the safety and security of bicycles left on the school premises and strongly recommends that they are securely padlocked.
Dogs are not permitted on the school site at any time.
The Academy is very fortunate to have an outdoor gym. Any child using this equipment before or after school must be supervised by their parent, who will take full responsibility for their child’s health &safety.
Parents should not drive into school when bringing their child to, or collecting their child from, school. Cars should not be parked outside school in a manner that is a danger to the children and other road users and a nuisance to our neighbours. Cars should never be parked in the area marked for school buses. Any cars brought on to the school site are done so entirely at the owners’ risk and the school accepts no liability for any damage incurred.
The safety and security of the children whilst on the school site are of prime importance. We wish to have the safest environment for our children whilst ensuring that legitimate visitors are made welcome. To preserve the security of our children we would ask that visitors comply with the following:
- Only access the school via the main entrance (except at the beginning and the end of the school day).
- Sign the Visitors’ Book on arrival and wear a visitor badge whilst on school premises. Any person not wearing a badge may be challenged by a member of staff. On leaving the school the visitor should sign out of the Visitors’ Book.
- Children arriving late at school must report to the school office, not go straight to the classroom.
A parent who needs to take their child out of school during the school day should inform the school beforehand. When collecting the child from school, the parent should report to the school office. The parent will be asked to complete the signing out book to indicate that the child is not on the school site.
Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the school site at any time.
In order to promote healthy eating children are encouraged to bring fruit or raw vegetables, but not nuts, to eat for their mid morning break. Children in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 are supplied with a piece of fruit or raw vegetable to eat every day. Children are not permitted to eat sweets, biscuits or crisps at mid morning break. The children are forbidden to chew gum on school premises at any time.
All children have the option of having a carton of milk mid-morning. This is supplied free of charge to children under five years old and at a small cost to children over five. The milk is supplied by ‘Cool Milk’ and if you wish your child to continue having milk after he or she is five, please log on to www.coolmilk.com . Milk is also offered at lunch time for those children who have school meals.
The school recognises and supports recent research stressing the importance of taking water regularly throughout the day as an aid to concentration. Parents are required to provide their child with a clear, plastic water bottle marked with his or her name. The water bottle will be taken home every afternoon to be washed out and brought to school full of water the next morning. Water bottles can be re-filled during the day. The children will be given regular water breaks throughout the school day.
A cooked midday meal is available for those children that wish to partake. For Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 children this meal is provided free of charge as part of the Government Universal Infant Free School Meals Initiative. For Key Stage 2 children meals cost £2.20 per day and must be paid for in advance. A link for online payments will be available via the website from Term 2 and any other payments should be placed in the post box located in the school entrance. Cheques should be made payable to Nourish. A sample menu is available on the website or via the main office.
Free School Meals
If you are on a low income or are in receipt of state benefits your child may be entitled to free school meals. The forms to qualify for free school meals may be obtained in confidence from the office staff. Or log on directly to the www.kent.gov.uk website and select the Free School Meal application section. Here you can complete your application and find out on the spot if you are entitled. If you are; the school will be notified. Free school meals cannot be provided unless, and until, authorisation has been received from the local education office.
If you would prefer to provide your child with a packed lunch, please ensure that your child’s lunchbox is clearly marked, on the outside, with their name. Sweets and fizzy drinks are not permitted and parents are encouraged to think carefully about what they give their children to eat at lunchtime. The meal should include fruit and a drink. Nuts, and nut based products, must not be included as part of your child’s packed lunch.
The school cannot accept responsibility for the loss or damage of parents’ or children’s property on school premises. The children are discouraged from bringing in toys for use at playtime as they may be lost or damaged. If a child brings in items from home for use in lessons every effort will be made to ensure they are stored safely. The school will provide pens and pencils, and personal pencil cases are not allowed. Children are not permitted to bring mobile telephones to school. Under exceptional circumstances a child may be allowed to bring a mobile phone into school upon application by the parent to the Headteacher in writing. Mobile telephones brought into school under these arrangements will be lodged with the secretary during the day for safe keeping.
Occasionally it will be necessary for children to bring money into school e.g. payment for school trips etc. Such money should be brought into school in a sealed envelope clearly marked with the child’s name and class and what the money is for. The envelope should be handed to the child’s class teacher first thing in the morning at registration. Dinner money must be placed in the post box by the main pupil entrance. Children should not bring money for personal use into school.
From time to time the school may wish to use photographs of the children in school to record a particular activity. These photographs can then be used either within the classroom as a display or form part of a press release or article on the website.
When children join the school, parental consent is sought regarding the use of photographs through the completion of a form which is valid for the duration of the child’s education at St. Nicholas. Should personal circumstances change, parents are requested to inform the school office.
Every effort will be made to ensure that the school stays open regardless of weather conditions. However, in the event of severe weather before school parents are advised to listen for announcements of school closures broadcast on local radio:
- Heart – 102.8 and 103.1 FM
- Radio Kent – 96.7 and 104.2 FM
Closure information can also be found on the school website.
In the event of severe weather conditions developing during the day parents are advised to contact the school by telephone or visit the website to ascertain whether the school intends to close early.
Parents are assured that under no circumstances would a child be sent home early on their own.
To be eligible for free transport children must live more than two miles from the school up to 8 years of age and more than three miles from the school if over 8 years of age. Applications for information concerning arrangements for travel awards should be made to the Transport Officer at the Area Education Office, Kroner House, Eurogate Business Park, Ashford, TN24 8XU.
Children who use the buses and taxis are supervised by members of staff to and from the parking area to ensure they get on and off the transport safely. If your child uses the bus or a taxi, it is very important to let the school and the drivers know if he or she is not using the bus/taxi at any time.
It is essential that a high standard of behaviour is maintained on school buses to ensure the safety of all passengers. Whilst the school makes every effort to encourage children to behave appropriately on school transport, it must be emphasised that the school can accept no responsibility for their health and safety when using the buses or taxis to and from school. Any child who misbehaves on the bus may be banned from using it by the Local Education Authority or the bus company with the result that parents will be responsible for getting their child to and from school. Any queries or concerns regarding transportation to school by bus should be addressed directly to the bus company in the first instance.
Transfer to Secondary School
Children transfer to secondary school in the academic year that they are 11 at the end of Year 6 in Key Stage 2. In term 6 the school holds an evening for the parents of Year 5 children to provide information about the transfer process.
Parents may choose the school they think is most appropriate to meet their child’s needs and abilities; however admission to the school will be based upon the school’s admission criteria. Parents and children will have the opportunity to visit secondary schools before they make a choice. Most parents from this school opt for their children to attend the local comprehensive secondary school – The Marsh Academy.
Kent County Council operates a grammar school system and children have the opportunity to sit the secondary selection test in Year 6.
During Year 6 there will be liaison between St Nicholas CE Primary Academy and the secondary schools that are receiving our pupils to ensure a smooth and trouble free transfer.
There are special arrangements for the transfer of children with special educational needs and the parents of these children will receive advice from the school at the appropriate time.