Education in England 3
· Starting school 3
Whitegrove Primary School 4
· Teaching time 4
· Teaching methods 5
· Parental help 7
· Homework 7
· Bullying 9
The school day 10
· The timetable 10
· Attendance 10
· Uniform 11
· After school clubs 12
· Medicals and medication 12/13
· First Aid 13
· Headlice 13
Data Protection Act 15/16
We are delighted to welcome you as a family to Whitegrove Primary School.
The purpose of this handbook is to provide you with the information you will need to play an active part in the school and in your child’s education in these vital early years.
Children are legally required to start full time education the term after their fifth birthday. They will be in a Reception class until the September after their fifth birthday when they move into Year 1. Every September from then onwards throughout their education they will move into the next year group. Primary Education covers the years from Reception to Year 6 when children are aged from five to eleven years.
In the September after their eleventh birthday pupils transfer to a secondary school. The primary - secondary transfer process is managed by the Local Education Authority who will provide details of the schools available to you and how to apply for places. The secondary schools will arrange visits for prospective pupils and their parents during the Autumn Term of Year 6. Statutory education ends at the age of sixteen but pupils who wish to extend their studies can stay on for a further two years to take GCE ‘A’ Level examinations.
The National Curriculum sets out what children must be taught during the years of statutory state education. It comprises core subjects: English, Maths, Science and IT and foundation subjects: Design Technology, History, Geography, Art, Music and P.E.
In addition schools are required to teach R.E. according to the locally agreed syllabus and spiritual, social and moral education. There is also a legal requirement for a daily act of collective worship which should be of a wholly or mainly Christian nature. Parents may withdraw their child from the act of collective worship on religious grounds.
The National Curriculum sets out for each subject the programmes of study which must be taught to pupils from Year 1 to Year 11. The subject content is divided into four phases, or Key Stages as they are called, of education. They are:
Key Stage 1: Years 1 and 2
Key Stage 2: Years 3 to 6
Key Stage 3: Years 7 to 9
Key stage 4: Years 10 and 11
Pupils’ achievement in National Curriculum subjects is expressed in levels of attainment which are described in the National Curriculum document and which are assessed by national statutory tests (SATs) and reported to parents at the end of each Key Stage and by continuous teacher assessment. Parents also receive details of the national levels of attainment achieved so that they can relate their child’s performance to that of other pupils of the same age.
This is the educational framework within which Whitegrove Primary School operates.
Whitegrove Primary School opened in January 1997 with accommodation for 210 pupils between the ages five and eleven years in seven classrooms.
Phase II of the building, completed in September 1999, allowed for the school to offer accommodation for up to 420 pupils in fourteen classrooms.
In two year groups the LEA has instructed us to admit up to three classes. There is a double modular classroom on site to accommodate the 60 extra pupils involved in these additional intakes.
The curriculum offered by Whitegrove Primary School promotes the highest standards of educational, social and personal achievement by all pupils by:
* encouraging pupils to take active responsibility for their own learning, to set their own
targets, to aim high and to take pride in their own achievements;
* providing a broad and balanced curriculum teaching the knowledge, skills and understanding which will enable pupils to play their part in a highly technological and rapidly changing society whilst maintaining their own personal, social, moral and spiritual identities;
* providing time in assemblies and within the curriculum for pupils to enjoy and treasure spontaneous moments, to reflect on issues beyond the material, to recognise and respond to those aspects of human experience which lead to spiritual development;
* providing a caring, disciplined and stimulating learning environment which encourages pupils to grow and develop in an atmosphere of mutual respect and which embraces not only the home - school partnership but which seeks also to make maximum use of the educational opportunities offered by the local business and professional community.
The hours per year devoted to each subject are:
Key Stage 1 Key Stage 2
( Years 1-2) (Years 3-6)
English - directly 180 172
- through other subjects (36) (18)
Mathematics 190 190
Science 54 72
(through other subjects) (27) (36)
Design Technology, History, Geography,
Art, Music, P.E., R.E. 36 45
Time is also set aside for developing children’s personal, social and health awareness, which forms a separate strand in our 7-year curriculum plan.
Religious education is taught as a separate subject and as an integral part of the whole curriculum. Its aim is to foster children’s spiritual awareness by building on their own experiences and responses to life and allowing time for reflection and their moral awareness by developing a sense of community and of corporate responsibility. The Christian faith lies at the heart of this teaching and learning process.
Sex Education is incorporated into the Science and Personal, Social and Health Education programmes. In Year 6 the School Nurse delivers a more specific audio-visual presentation and answers any questions that pupils may have. Parents have the opportunity to view the presentation in advance and to withdraw their children from the presentation if they feel that would be in their individual child’s best interests.
We employ a range of teaching strategies to meet the requirements of the National Curriculum programmes of study and the needs of pupils’ varying learning styles. At different times pupils will be taught as a whole class, in smaller groups and on an individual basis. For the core subjects pupils may be grouped with children from different classes who have the same learning needs. In this way we can maximise teacher time and ensure that pupils benefit from direct teaching for longer periods of time. In each class teachers are supported in their work by classroom learning support assistants.
Copies of our curriculum policies and schemes of work are available in the reception area for parents to view. At the beginning of each term class teachers send out specific details of the work to be covered in each subject in that term. This information, together with the dates of key events in the term, is published in the termly Curriculum and Events Diary.
During your child’s first term at school you will be invited to attend a workshop on the teaching of reading and how you can help your child at home. We also produce a reading information leaflet.
Information workshops for parents throughout the school on other subjects are held on a regular basis.
If you have any queries or concerns relating to the curriculum at other times please do ask and we shall be pleased to our best to help you. If after that you are still not satisfied then formal application for clarification may be made to the headteacher or to the governing body.
Formal Parents’ Interview Evenings are held in the Autumn and Spring terms with an option to see your child’s teacher again at the end of the Summer term. The dates of these evenings will be notified to you in the first newsletter of the term. You then make a specific personal appointment to see your child’s teacher on those evenings by signing up on the timetables which are posted outside classrooms during the preceding week.
At the end of each academic year you will receive a written report of your child’s progress during the year and the areas which now need to be worked upon. When your child is in Year 2 and Year 6 you will also receive the results of the end of Key Stage assessments (SATs).
If you have issues you would like to discuss at other times your child’s class teacher will be pleased to make an appointment after school for this purpose. We aim to make these appointments within a week of your request.
If you would like to speak to the headteacher please make an appointment via the school office.
Recognising children’s achievement is part of our everyday approach to teaching and learning. There are many ways of doing this - through the way we mark their work, through direct discussions with them, through encouraging them to identify their own progress, through corporate and individual reward systems.
At the end of this spectrum are some special projects and awards which we encourage pupils to aim for.
The Butler Cup is awarded to a Year 6 pupil each year for Excellence in Communication.
The English Speaking Board syllabus is taught throughout the school in support of the National Curriculum programme of study for Speaking and Listening. Pupils who would like to work towards a specific goal may enter for the examinations which take place in the school and lead to the award of certificates.
We value and celebrate excellence in other curriculum areas with annual trophies for sport, the creative arts and Science & Technology.
We also like to take part in schemes such as the Syngenta Young Scientist of the Year Award, which give our pupils a broader educational outlook and opportunity.
If we are concerned about your child’s progress at any stage of their education we shall inform you of the difficulties which your child is experiencing, the measures we are taking to overcome them and how you can help. In assessing special educational needs we work within the framework of the DfES’s Code of Practice, which defines the progressive stages of intervention. These range from initial concerns, which are often overcome by early classroom intervention and minor short term modifications to class teaching programmes, to the award of a full Statement of Special Educational Needs.
Children with identified Special Educational Needs are supported by individually designed learning programmes and sometimes by extra adult help. The headteacher and the designated Special Educational Needs co-ordinator are responsible for maintaining the school’s Special Educational Needs Register and for working with parents and other professionals, such as the Educational Psychologist, Speech Therapist and Language and Literacy teacher, in support of children with identified Special Educational Needs.
We aim to respect and value all children and treat them as individuals. Activities and the school curriculum offer children opportunities to develop in an environment free from prejudice and discrimination. For example there is no discrimination in sporting activities between boys and girls. Opportunities are provided for children to explore, acknowledge and value similarities and differences between themselves and others.
We also recognise that many different types of family successfully love and care for children.
We welcome parents’ help in the classrooms. If you are interested and have some time to spare please talk to your child’s teacher or the headteacher.
Research over a number of years has shown that homework can make an important contribution to pupils’ progress at school. Our aims in setting homework are:
· to enable parents to play an active part in their children’s education
· to provide opportunities for parents and pupils to enjoy learning together and to see learning as an interesting and worthwhile activity;
· to maximise the potential for learning in the home and to provide opportunities for younger pupils to talk about what they are learning to an interested adult and to practise key skills in a supportive environment;
· to develop a partnership between parents, pupils and teachers which will extend throughout the time pupils spend in our school.
The types of activities, which are set for homework, will vary according to the age of the pupils. Each term you will receive details of the days on which homework will be set and the days by which it must be completed and returned to school. For children starting school for the first time reading books are taken home daily together with the reading diary.
Group instrumental music tuition is available at cost during school time for pupils in Years 2 to 6. The tuition is provided by peripatetic teachers from the local Young Musicians’ Trust Music Centre.
You are very welcome to join us for Family Assemblies which are led by the children. Dates and times are advertised in the Curriculum and Events diaries and in our regular newsletters. To enable attention to centre on our pupils during assemblies, a creche is always provided for pre-school children.
The aims of our Behaviour Policy are:
· To encourage a calm, purposeful and happy atmosphere in school.
· To foster positive caring attitudes by everyone towards everyone, where achievements at all levels are acknowledged and valued.
· To encourage increasing independence, where children accept responsibility for their own behaviour.
· To establish a consistent approach to behaviour across the school.
· To ensure that everyone knows what is appropriate behaviour.
We believe that it is vital for pupils and parents to be actively involved in setting and maintaining standards of behaviour in the school.
Pupils are involved through
· setting and reviewing the school rules;
· designing and adapting rules for their class;
· setting personal targets where appropriate.
Parents are involved through
· information workshops on behaviour issues;
· the Parents’ Agreement
· the example of their own behaviour and attitudes within the school community;
· specific support for their children where appropriate.
Our rules are few in number and memorable for all:
· follow instructions given by adults;
· keep our hands, feet to ourselves;
· are kind to others (no name calling or teasing);
· listen to others without interrupting;
· use and look after equipment sensibly;
· walk quietly in the school building.
Our approach to behaviour management is based on the positive reinforcement of appropriate behaviour, for which children are rewarded. Rewards range from verbal praise to stickers, class points and positive comments to parents.
There is a team system within the school. Pupils can earn points for their team for achievement in their standards of behaviour and their attitudes towards others as well as for academic and sporting achievement. The names of children who have received team points are read out at the weekly Achievement Assembly and they are applauded. There are also special weekly awards which recognise good behaviour over a long period, much improved behaviour or a particularly good deed witnessed recently.
In addition class teachers may use a variety of certificates and reward systems within their own classes. These are usually used to encourage those children who do not readily respond to group reward systems.
Where children are choosing to behave inappropriately consequences are given as an opportunity for the child to reassess his/her behaviour and to decide how to behave appropriately in the future.
Typically consequences will include:
· a warning;
· “time out” – spending short periods of time away from the group or situation;
· speaking privately to their own teacher or a senior teacher during their own time;
· parents being informed;
· payment for deliberate damage to property
· being sent to the headteacher;
· a formal letter being sent home and being kept in the child’s file.
· In the final analysis, where all other approaches have failed and where the safety of other pupils is at risk, we may enter into exclusion procedures.
Bullying is anything which is intended to upset or hurt anyone else, to make a person feel isolated, unhappy or afraid. It is the persistent nature which turns such behaviour into bullying rather than an isolated incident.
Bullying or intimidation, by thought, word or deed, is totally unacceptable.
The school seeks to foster a climate in which pupils and staff accept individual differences and encourage mutual respect within a framework which does not tolerate bullying in any form.
We do this by:
· Promoting school values which reject bullying behaviour and promote co-operative behaviour.
· Identifying “high risk” areas and times of the day and targeting supervision accordingly.
· Ensuring effective supervision and accessible points of reference throughout the day (class teacher and headteacher).
· Developing a positive recreation policy.
· Taking the time to listen to what children say and to investigate all accusations.
· Reporting worrying incidents immediately to the class teacher or headteacher.
· Following up incidents with all those involved.
· Making written reports which are reported to all those who need to know including parents.
· Giving individual support to the victim and the bully to enable them to consider the consequences of their actions and improve their social skill, raise self esteem and help them to form relationships based on mutual respect and trust, rather than on intimidation or fear.
8.45 a.m. Doors open to pupils. Parents are welcome to come into the classroom
with their child for the first quarter of an hour to settle them down and
possibly to sit and work with a group of children.
9.00 a.m. Registration. Parents are asked to leave.
Whole school assemblies in the main hall on Mondays,Wednesdays and Fridays. The Friday whole school assembly is the weekly Achievement Assembly. There is a Hymn Practice on Thursdays. There are class or key stage assemblies on the other days. Each class holds an Open Assembly for parents once a term.
9.00 a.m. Pupil entrances close. Pupils arriving after that time should come in by
the main school entrance and sign the late book.
10.30 a.m.- Break. There are two teachers, one from each key stage, and two
10.45 a.m. classroom assistants on duty each day.
12 noon- Lunch. Pupils may either have a school meal or bring a packed lunch.
2.45 p.m. Optional break of up to 15 minutes for KS1 children.
3.30 p.m. End of school. Children are dismissed via the classroom fire doors on to
the playground. The side gate to the north of the building opens at 3.20 p.m. to allow parents access on to the playground.
We have computerised registration which takes place daily at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Pupils arriving after 9.15 a.m. will be marked late. Pupils leaving during the course of the day are signed out so that we know at all times the names of those present and absent.
Absences due to illness should be notified by telephone on the first day of the illness and by note on the child’s return to school.
Pupils are allowed to bring a plain biscuit, a piece of fruit or a bag of crisps for break time. These snacks should be kept separately from packed lunches. Water is available for them to drink.
Pupils may either bring a packed lunch or buy a school meal which is cooked and served on the premises. Our cook welcomes payment in advance, either in cash or by cheque. A table is put out by the Library for this purpose every Monday morning from 8.45 - 9 a.m. Prepaid meals, which are in the event not taken due to illness etc., will be credited in the next payment period. All meals are eaten in the main hall at special lunch tables.
Lunch boxes should be placed on the trolley outside your child’s classroom in the morning.
Pupils are strongly encouraged to wear school uniform. The governors and staff believe that this supports the disciplined learning environment of the school and promotes a common identity in which our pupils can take pride.
All items of clothing should be named.
School sweatshirt/cardigan (available from the school office)
Grey trousers, grey skirt/pinafore dress
Sensible dark shoes
School sweatshirt/cardigan (available from the school office)
Red/white, burgundy/white checked dress
Burgundy/white polo shirt
Grey short/long trousers, grey skirt/pinafore dress
Dark shoes/closed-in sandals
Maroon shorts (available from the school office)
Maroon tracksuit - optional (available from the school office)
Drawstring bag (available from the school office)
An old shirt/overall
Pupils are not allowed to wear jewellery to school. The only exceptions to this rule are watches and ear studs.
Toys and valuables should also not be brought to school - we cannot be responsible for their safe keeping and they are therefore far better kept safely at home.
Classroom work is often supported by educational visits as well as special activities in school. These contribute greatly to children’s education but are not funded by the Local Education Authority. We rely therefore on voluntary parental contributions details of which are supplied as far in advance as possible.
A residential trip is offered each year to pupils in Year 6.
Families receiving family credit or income support are welcome to discuss difficulties with the headteacher. No child will be excluded from an educational activity during school hours because their parents are unable or unwilling to make a voluntary contribution to the cost of the activity. However, if there are insufficient contributions the activity will have to be cancelled.
If you want to own any of the models or other finished products which your child makes in school you will be asked to pay for the ingredients, materials etc. No child will, however, be at a disadvantage if you feel unable to contribute in this way.
The governors reserve the right to ask you to pay for the cost of replacing books, equipment and materials which are damaged, lost or broken while in your care or while your child is using them.
After school clubs operate on most evenings of the week for pupils in Years 3-6. There is currently also a football club for pupils in Key Stage 1. Younger pupils are also sometimes able to join the before school Judo Club. Details of the clubs planned will be provided at the beginning of each term. A small charge is made to cover the cost of materials and refreshments.
Our School Health Sister makes regular visits to the school. She carries out vision and hearing tests soon after children start school and in their final year with us. She will also respond to school or parental requests for tests at other times or for information on health matters which may be concerning you. She holds health interviews with parents where a possible problem is detected.
Only medication prescribed by a doctor may be administered in school. You should take the medication to the school office where you will be given an authorisation form to complete. Medicines will be kept in the Staff Room refrigerator if required or in the Medical Room. They will be administered by the school’s administrative staff or by a classroom assistant. We are not allowed to administer eye or ear drops.
There are First Aid kits, gloves and bowls in the Medical Room and several members of staff who hold First Aid certificates. Minor accidents will be dealt with in school. In more serious cases or when your child is feeling generally unwell we will contact you by phone. Please ensure that we have your latest contact number and the name of someone whom we can call on if you are unavailable.
It is vital that you tell us if your child has a serious or life threatening medical condition (e.g. nut allergies etc.) so that we can take appropriate precautions. If medication (e.g. Epipen) is to be administered in an emergency it will be stored in the Medical Room. We shall undertake any staff training which may be recommended in these circumstances.
Headlice are an ongoing nuisance in schools. We do ask that you check your child’s hair regularly and notify the office if your child is infected. The best current advice for dealing with an infection is to apply liberal amounts of conditioner to the hair and then comb with a fine toothed comb.
Applications for holiday absence during term time should be made on the form which is available from the office.
Although the law allows under certain circumstances for ten school days to be taken off for family holidays in each academic year we do strongly recommend that you avoid taking advantage of this if at all possible. Children inevitably miss out on learning whenever they are absent and the work cannot always be satisfactorily made up. Absences are particularly to be avoided in Years 2 and 6 when pupils are preparing for and taking the statutory end of Key Stage tests. Absences for any reason will be considered on an individual basis taking into account the child’s attendance record as well as the extenuating circumstances which make the absence necessary.
Safety and security issues
There is a fire drill once a term. The procedures in the event of an actual fire are the same and are regularly reviewed by members of staff.
The main school entrance is fitted with a security system. If you are visiting the school or want to gain access press the red button on the wall to the right between the two sets of doors. You will then be asked to announce yourself and the door will be released by office staff.
The pupil entrances to the front of the school are alarmed. They are open from 8.45 a.m. to 9 a.m. but remain locked at all other times. Please avoid opening them if you are in school during the day as the alarm gives office staff quite an unpleasant shock and causes them to jump to their feet to check that we don’t have a pupil trying to escape!
The side gates are locked throughout the school day until 3.20 p.m. when parents are allowed access to the playground to collect their children.
We recommend that parents either pick their children up from school themselves or arrange for another responsible adult to do so.
Children should not be allowed to cycle to and from school unaccompanied until they have passed their cycling proficiency test in Year 6. It is strongly recommended that all cyclists should wear a safety helmet.
The Broadmoor alarm is tested every Monday at 10 a.m. If it sounds at any other time there has been an escape and we will apply any special measures which may be necessary, particularly when pupils are dismissed at the end of the day. On these occasions pupils will not be allowed to leave the building unaccompanied.
Regular newsletters which are sent out via the pupils and notices at the pupil entrances will keep you informed of dates and events. They often contain important news so do please read them and keep the dates by you for reference. We also have a website which we hope you will visit at www.whitegrove.bracknell-forest.sch.uk
Schools, local education authorities and the Department for Education and Skills (the government department which deals with education) all hold information on pupils in order to run the education system, and in doing so have to follow the Data Protection Act 1998. This means, among other things, that the data held about pupils must only be used for specific purposes allowed by law. I am including here information about the types of data held, why that data is held, and to whom it may be passed on.
The school holds information on pupils in order to support teaching and learning, to monitor and report on pupils’ progress, to provide appropriate pastoral care, and to assess how well the school as a whole is doing. This information includes contact details, National Curriculum assessment results, attendance information, characteristics such as ethnic group, special educational needs and any relevant medical information.
From time to time we are required to pass on some of this data to the Local Education Authority (LEA), to another school to which the pupil is transferring, to the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), and to Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) which is responsible for the National Curriculum and associated assessment arrangements.
· Bracknell Forest Borough Council, the Local Education Authority, uses information about pupils to carry out specific functions for which it is responsible, such as the transfer of pupils from primary to secondary schools or the assessment of any special educational needs the pupil may have. It also uses the information to derive statistics to inform decisions on (for example) the funding of schools, and to assess the performance of schools and set targets for them. The statistics are used in such a way that individual pupils cannot be identified from them.
· The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority uses information about pupils to administer the National Curriculum tests and assessments for Key Stages 1 to 3. The results of these are passed on to DfES in order for it to compile statistics on trends and patterns in levels of achievement. The QCA uses the information to evaluate the effectiveness of the National Curriculum and the associated assessment arrangements, and to ensure that these are continually improved.
· The Department for Education and Skills uses information about pupils for statistical purposes, to evaluate and develop education policy and to monitor the performance of the education service as a whole. The statistics (including those based on information provided by the QCA) are used in such a way that individual pupils cannot be identified from them. The DfES will feed back to LEAs and schools information about their pupils where they are lacking this information because it was not passed on by a former school. On occasion information may be shared with other Government departments or agencies strictly for statistical or research purposes only.
Pupils, as data subjects, have certain rights under the Data Protection Act, including a general right of access to personal data held on them, with parents exercising this right on their behalf if they are too young to do so themselves. If you wish to access the personal data held about your child, please contact the relevant organisation in writing:
· The Headteacher, Whitegrove Primary School, Westmorland Drive, Warfield, Bracknell, Berkshire. RG42 3QS;
· Bracknell Forest Borough Council’s Data Protection Officer at the Education Department, Seymour House, 38 Broadway, Bracknell, RG12 1AU;
· the QCA’s Data Protection Officer at QCA, 83 Piccadilly, LONDON, W1J 8QA;
· the DfES’s Data Protection Officer at DfES, Caxton House, Tothill Street, LONDON, SW1H 9NA.
The school is managed by a board of fourteen governors which include the headteacher, a teacher representative, a representative of the support staff and four parent governors.
The role of the Governing Board is crucial to the success of the school. It sets and reviews the general framework within which the school is run, provides support to the headteacher and staff of the school and has overall responsibility for the provision of a high standard of education within government guidelines and within the budget delegated to the school for this purpose.
Governors are elected or appointed for a four-year term of office. Parents who wish to become involved in the management of the school may nominate themselves for election as a parent governor and may also apply to become Local Education Authority nominees or seek secondment when a vacancy arises. Such vacancies will always be advertised to parents.
Governors can be contacted via the school office.
All parents of the school are automatically members of the WPFA which aims to raise funds for the school and to provide a social and support network. There are regular meetings, a newsletter to keep you in touch with events and plenty of opportunities for you to get involved in the school’s fundraising and social programme. Getting involved is an excellent way of meeting other parents while supporting the work of the school and your child’s education. Each class has a WPFA representative so do make contact and offer any help you can. We greatly appreciate the contribution that members of the association make to the success of the school and to its atmosphere of partnership.
Photographs of our present members of staff, governors and WPFA committee members are displayed on a board in the main entrance corridor.