Welcome to St Richard’s Primary School
The first day at school is very special for children and parents alike. It is important that we do our best to make the transition from home or nursery to school as smooth as possible.
The aim of this booklet is to give you a greater understanding of what your child will be learning and achieving in their first year of primary education and also the day to day routines of school. It outlines the need for a positive relationship between home and school, so that in partnership we can make sure your child’s experience at St. Richard’s is one full of achievement and enjoyment.
We hope you will find it useful. If you do have any questions before or after your child has started school please get in touch.
Our School Aims
At St Richard’s Catholic Primary School, we aim to:
· Guide our children to a more active and personal faith in Jesus Christ.
· Develop a safe, secure and nurturing environment, in which each child is valued and enabled to grow in self-esteem and self confidence.
· Build an inclusive community which welcomes diversity encouraging respect and tolerance towards others.
· Create a climate of excellence where all children are challenged through a broad and rich curriculum, enabling them to grow as independent learners.
· Provide opportunities for personalised learning, enabling each individual to develop their full potential.
· Foster in children a love of learning for life.
Meet The Reception Team
We have two small reception classes starting in September 2021
Will be taught by Mrs L Judge and Mrs L Hogan
Will be taught by Mrs H Muir and Mrs M Govan.
Both classes will have a Teaching Assistant.
Whilst there are two separate classes the children will still have the opportunity to mix as a year group. The outdoor area is shared and team teaching takes place regularly.
If English is not your first language and you require help with translations we have members of staff or parents in our school who may be able to help, please just let us know.
We are all really looking forward to welcoming your child to school in September and we hope that we will all have a thoroughly enjoyable year together.
The School Day
Reception children start school between 8:45 - 9:00, we have a 15 minute start time to make sure children are settled and ready for their day. The rest of the school start at 8:45, school finishes at 3:10.
Coming to school
We encourage as many children as possible to walk, scoot or cycle to school. Please note, there is NO PARKING at all in Cawley Road. We discourage all parents from driving down Cawley Road. Free parking permits for the Market Ave car park can be obtained from the school office.
Please bring your child to the main playground and wait with them in this area until the whistle is blown at 8:45 when you can bring them round to their classroom.
To begin with you may come with your child into the classroom from 8:45am for a few minutes. This will help them to settle in and give you a chance to speak with a member of the reception team if necessary.
The children will be dismissed from their classroom at 3:10. They stay in the classroom until the person collecting them has been seen by the class teacher and their name is called. Please could you let us know who will be collecting your child each day and inform the class teacher if there is any change in your arrangements. If for any reason you are unavoidably delayed in picking up your child please inform the office as soon as possible.
Punctuality is essential as it helps to prevent any unnecessary upset and distress for your child.
Communication between school and home is vital, particularly during the first year of schooling. At St. Richard’s we have an open door policy, meaning you can come and talk to the class teacher at the start or the end of the school day.
Our school website is regularly updated, please check it for information, dates and photos. In reception a weekly update will be sent to you by parentmail and tapestry providing you with an outline of what your child will be doing and how you can help them at home. This is in addition to the whole school weekly newsletter.
As a school we try very hard to keep parents regularly informed about what’s going on at the school. However, sending paper letters home can be rather ‘hit and miss’ with letters often going astray on the way!
We are also increasingly aware of the substantial cost and environmental impact associated with the amount of paper and photocopying involved.
To help improve these areas we use a service called ParentMail®, which is used by over 2,500 schools across the UK to communicate with parents by email and text message. ParentMail will be beneficial to you because:
· Messages will get to you reliably
· We can send messages directly to mums and dads at the same time
· You will quickly know about important or urgent messages
· We can tell you more about what’s going on at the school
Unless you ask otherwise we will automatically use the contact details you provide us with to register you to ParentMail. Most of our parents access ParentMail via the App which is very simple to use. Look for the ParentMail logo, download the app and follow the instructions.
Parents consultation meetings
There are two formal parents meetings during the school year. The first takes place half way through the Autumn Term, this allows us to discuss how well your child has settled into the school. The second meeting takes place in the Spring Term, during which we will discuss your child’s progress. You are always welcome to come and speak to the teacher after school and see your child’s book and discuss their progress. All appointments are made via Parentmail.
Home school journal
These books primarily act as a record of the times which your child has read both in school with us and at home with you. It also acts as a form of communication between home and school.
The reception team use an online system called Tapestry to keep you up to date with your children's progress. You will be given a log in for the system once the term begins and will be able to add your own observations and comments. At the end of the year you can download the record to keep.
Meet the teacher
This 20 minute meeting is a chance for you and your child to meet the class teacher and teaching assistant. It is an opportunity for you to ask any questions and give us information about your child and their needs.
We have established a set of Golden Rules which we believe support and reflect the ethos of our school. These govern the behaviour of all members of our community (children, staff, parents and governors) at all times (in the classroom and at playtime). They reflect gospel values and emphasise the positive. These rules are displayed in prominent places around the school. At the start of each academic year, class teachers devise a set of agreed rules with their class based on our golden rules.
Speak politely to others
Be kind and helpful
Listen to others
Think about the feelings of others
Look after property
Walk quietly around the school
We have adopted a system of rewards and sanctions to ensure consistency across the school. Children are awarded certificates each week for particular achievements and a Golden Merit is awarded monthly for exceptional achievement, be this academic, social or within their community. Please do let us know about our child's achievements out of school and we would love to share these.
Reasons for rewards
· To reinforce good behaviour
· To encourage achievement
· To give a reason for making the right choice
· A concrete way of showing pleasure with work, effort, behaviour – to show it is not taken for granted
· To value an individual- their actions and words
Reasons for sanctions
· To let children know that something is unacceptable
· To help children to recognise that actions have consequences
· To discourage children from doing something unacceptable again
2021-2022 Term Dates
Starts for children in Reception: Wednesday 9th September
Half term: Monday 25th Oct—Friday 29th Oct
Ends: Friday 17th December
Starts: Tue 4th January
Half term: Monday 21st Feb—Friday 25th Feb
Ends: Friday 8th April
Starts: Mon 19th April
Half term: Mon 30th May - Friday 3rd June
Ends: Friday 22nd July
In addition there will be 5 INSET DAYS where school is closed to pupils. These are to be confirmed.
Hot school dinners (Universal Free School Meals)
All Key Stage 1 children (reception to year 2) are entitled to a free hot lunch every day. You will find a leaflet from Chartwells within your welcome pack. Most parents choose to take up a free meal for their children and we recommend trying this option and then we ask that parents either opt in or out after the first full term.
Free School Meals - Pupil Premium
If you are in receipt of benefits or are on a low income you may qualify for Pupil Premium. Not only will your child receive a free hot meal at school but also the cost of trips and some clubs will be covered and the school will receive extra funding to support your child's education.
If couldn't be easier to apply ask for a form at reception and we are more than happy to help you complete the details. You will need your National Insurance Number and full contact details.
Alternatively children can bring a packed lunch—please ensure you tell the school office if your child will be having a packed lunch instead of a hot meal. In line with our healthy schools status we would encourage the lunch boxes to contain a nutritious and balanced meal providing energy for the afternoon ahead and fizzy drinks are not allowed As a school we operate a NUT FREE policy ensuring that any children suffering from a nut allergy are not unnecessarily exposed to nuts. Please be careful to check labels before packing items.
Milk and Fruit
Fruit (and the odd carrot!)
Every early years and key stage 1 child are provided with free fruit every day. In reception we use fruit time as an opportunity to encourage social skills, sharing and independence.
Semi-Skimmed Milk is free until your child’s fifth birthday, then you have the option to pay for it if you so wish. The milk is provided in individual cartons with a straw which we help them to open. A leaflet is enclosed in your welcome pack.
We teach the children about healthy lifestyles throughout their time at St Richard's school and ensure they understand the importance of regular exercise and a healthy diet.
From year 2, children will be able to join extracurricular clubs giving them even more opportunity for activity.
School Uniform and Kit
St. Richard’s has a school uniform which helps the children to feel part of the school community as well as giving them a smart appearance. A list of the school uniform is in the ‘New parent pack’ and is on the school website.
Please ensure that ALL items of clothing are clearly labelled.
Activities take place both indoor and outdoor throughout the day. Therefore your child will need to bring a warm coat with a hood as well as their jumper or cardigan.
Children will need to bring a named water bottle to school. Bottles in house colours can be purchased from My School Stuff. (House groups will be allocated once the children have started.)
My School Stuff—myschoolstuff.org
Please could you provide a pair of wellington boots which can live in school along with an all in one waterproof suit. This will allow your child to make full use of all of our outdoor area, including the mud kitchen! If you have an all in one waterproof suit this would be very useful.
For the first two terms our class PE lessons take place indoors, so your child will not need trainers until the summer term.
We ask that children don’t bring in toys from home as they can cause upset if they get mislaid or broken. We will provide specific opportunities for children to bring in things to share and talk about.
Children’s Illness and absence
Absence from school
If your child is absent from school, please phone the office first thing in the morning to inform us of their absence. It is helpful if you also inform the school if your child is going to be arriving late.
It is important that if your child is unwell you keep him/her at home until fully recovered, this is 48 hours in the case of sickness or diarrhoea. If your child has a minor accident during the school day they will be seen by a trained First Aider and the incident will be recorded in the school accident book. The school will contact you immediately if your child is unwell or has a serious injury during the school day.
Medicine in school—please refer to our managing medicines policy on our website
The school can administer medicines to children in the following circumstances:
· Where a child has a Health Care Plan
· Inhalers for Asthma (please order one for home & one to be kept in school in a named container)
· Medicine prescribed by a Doctor — please note antibiotics can only be given when prescribed for 4 times a day
· We can administer paracetamol and antihistamine with a signed consent but prefer not to do this for reception children. If they are unwell they should really stay at home.
Emergency contact details
Parents/carers are asked to supply us with a telephone number where they can be contacted in case of emergency. It is essential that the records are up-to-date.
Due to government legislation we are not able to authorise any holidays during term time.
Health screening and the School Nurses
The school nursing service offers screening to all children in reception year with your consent. The nurses aim to see children in the same term that they have their 5th Birthday and screen their vision, hearing and growth.
Your children will have a hearing test using headphones for each ear, to check their response to predetermined sounds, a vision test will take place to check distance vision and detect any impairment and their height and weight will be measured.
Following the screening you will receive a letter giving you the readings.
The school nurse isn't based on site but we can make contact regarding any health concerns. They advise and support staff on the care of children with particular care needs and can be available to advise families on issues such as:
The Nursing Team can be contacted on 01273 666451.
Who we are and how to join us
The Friends of St Richard's comprises of parents interested in supporting fundraising events for the school. The funds raised subsidise social and educational activities for the children and help towards the purchase of additional items for the school.
Over the last few years The Friends have raised money towards: the adventure playground, scooter pods, New Ipads, books, theatre trips and money for the Isle of Wight trip as well as the new adventure trail that was completed at Easter.
We also treat the children every year to ice-lollies in the summer and chocolate treats at Christmas and Easter. Money is raised through many fund raising ventures such as the Christmas Bazaar, Summer Fayre and Cake Sales.
Information regarding our meetings and events are sent out via ParentMail and the Newsletter. All new parents are automatically members of the Friends and we welcome every parent to attend our meetings, which are held every other Friday afternoon at the school. It’s a chance to get involved with up and coming events and discuss ideas for future fundraisers.
The Friends of St Richard's
Contact Details and how to get in touch
Mr J Field
Assistant Head Teachers
Mrs Coulter and Mrs Wojcik
Phase Leader EYFS
Mrs L Hogan
Mrs K Courquin
Mrs H Farrands
School Business Manager
Mrs L Orchard
St Richard's Catholic Primary School