Frequently Asked Questions for Parents
Learning to read
The Governing Body
How do the terms work?
Previously there was a concept of 3 terms each made up of 2 half terms. Now we refer to 6 terms instead and they are numbered for ease of reference.
What’s the class structure within the school?
The school is presently divided into 4 classes
Year of children
Timetabled outdoor learning
When will we know when staff training days are happening?
There are 5 days in all. These are scheduled and notified as far in advance as possible, usually by the end of the previous academic year. They are displayed in the calendar section of our website.
What is Mrs Druce’s role in communicating to parents and what is appropriate to communicate to her and in what form?
Mrs Druce is the school’s business manager. She can pass messages to any members of staff and is available throughout the day from 8.30 – 3.30.
How does lunch work?
All children in Darling and Nile Class are eligible for a free school meal as part of the Infant Universal Free School Meals Government initiative. The school lunches are all nutritionally balanced, varied and adhere to the Food In Schools Standards – April 15. On occasions our school cook also holds themed weeks where the children can suggest the foods along a theme e.g. place names or countries of the world. If your child prefers a packed lunch this should be placed on the shelf in the main corridor, where they will be collected at lunchtime. It is a good idea to include an icepack in lunch boxes.
Please note that Stanton is a Nut Free School.
How do I pay for school lunches?
Payment can be made using yourParent Pay account. Lunch costs of £2.40 and is requested each day from your Parent Pay account, each time your child has a school lunch. Please note that the kitchen does not offer credit. All meals ordered must be accompanied by the correct payment at the beginning of each week.
What happens if my child is ill or absent for a dinner which has been paid for? Is there some kind of credit system?
If your child has been ill on a day when you had paid for a cooked meal then you gain a credit that can be redeemed for a future meal. Please state clearly when you are using a credit. Meals need to be booked/cancelled by 10.30am. If your child is ill and needs to return home before lunchtime, the meal will have been booked and cooked and therefore paid for. If your child arrives in school after 10.30am it will not be possible to provide a cooked meal that day.
Can my child have only occasional cooked lunches, e.g. 3 a week? How is that managed?
Your child may have only occasional lunches. Payment from your HomePay account will be taken only on the days a school meal is taken. If paying by cheque/cash, please order and pay on a Monday and state on your payment what you are paying for so that the Catering Manager can plan accordingly.
Can parents attend lunches? Parents are often invited to join us for lunch, especially on Family Friday. We will inform you of dates in our newsletters.
Parents of reception children will be invited to join their child for lunch as part of our transition programme at the beginning of the year. Each lunch will need to be paid for – this can be easily managed using your HomePay account. Families are also invited to have a school lunch with their child/ren on a Family Friday (usually the first school Friday of the month). Any request to attend on another day can be made to the Head Teacher and will be accommodated where possible. The cost of an adult meal is £3.27.
Day to day matters
What time is school open from?
Parents and children are able to enter the school from 8.50am for a 9.00am start, although we also offer an early drop off from 8.30-8.45am for a quick drop off. Staff are not available to talk to until 8.50am. Children should enter through the front reception door to self register, if arriving before 8.45am. The early drop off is staffed on a volunteer basis and is not guaranteed. Please ask if you would like to use this facility.
Can my child bring in a snack for break time?
The School encourages healthy food. The children in Darling and Nile class are all offered fruit in the morning or afternoon break. You may provide additional healthy snacks, but we find that it is often not needed. Please do not send you child in with sweets or chocolate biscuits/cake for snack. This is not permitted.
Please note that we are a Nut Free School, this includes whole nuts and nut based products, as we have a number of children with severe allergies to nuts. Please do not send these into school as part of snack.
Milk is available to order on a termly basis for children of all ages. It is free for those under 5 years and subsidised for those 5-11 years old. Please ask for details or follow the Cool Milk link from our website.
Classroom etiquette - when is it appropriate to speak to the teacher and what is the protocol for approaching him/her?
All teachers are busy but are very happy to talk to you if they are able to. If you would like to talk to your child’s teacher in private, please set up an appointment with them. Parents’ evenings are held during Terms 1, 3 and 6 when formal appointments are made .
How to address teachers in front of the children
By their title – Miss\Mr\Mrs <surname>.
How much time can I spend when dropping off and settling them down
You are welcome to come into the class to settle your child but parents are asked to leave no later than 9.00am.
Is it OK to bring in birthday cakes?
If your child would like to bring in food to celebrate their birthday, please inform the teacher so that he/she may distribute it at an appropriate time. Do remember to add in some for the teachers and teaching assistants! If you would prefer that your child does not eat any cakes, biscuits or sweets provided in this way, please let their class teacher know.
Is it appropriate to buy staff gifts?
It is not usual to buy gifts for staff. However, a small token at Christmas and/or the end of the school year is acceptable. Staff love anything which a child has made! There is no obligation to buy a gift – a note or word of thanks is always appreciated at any time of the year!
How and whom should I notify if my child is sick or I wish to take child out of school or I am collecting someone else’s child ?
Phone the school before 9am if your child is going to be absent through sickness.
Children who go home on school transport will be required to complete a weekly “Transport Card” to confirm how they are getting home. If there are changes to this, parents are requested to contact the school before 2.30pm
It is your responsibility as parent to notify the school is there is a change to the person picking up at the end of the day. We will not let children go home with other adults if we have not been informed by prior arrangement. This is for your child’s safeguarding and we appreciate your support in this matter.
Please let the teacher or Mrs Druce know if possible and particularly if this is to be a regular arrangement so that the school can record the person as a contact for your child.
Can my child go on the school bus to another child’s home without the appropriate bus pass?
No. The bus company does not accept responsibility for any child who does not hold a valid pass for that route and will refuse to accept them. If there is space on the bus, it may be possible to purchase a ticket through Wiltshire Council Transport. Please ask if you would like this service.
What happens if I am late picking up my child?
Let the school know immediately if you are going to be late and if someone else will be picking your child up. Children will not be allowed to go home alone and will usually wait inside the school.
Where are forms for requesting time off held?
All forms are on our website or copies can be found in the folders outside the Admin office. These include forms requesting absence from school (Green Form). If in doubt please ask Mrs Druce or the class teacher. Our school Absence Policy can be found on our website.
How do we send letters and communications home?
We use a system called “Homecontact” to email letters and information to you. We rarely send out communications in hard paper copy. The “Homecontact” system allows you to create your own account to receive our school communications and to give permissions for school trips etc.. The system also allows us to send text messages, which can be either helpful reminders, or important information about school closures etc. You will be given details of how to set up your “Homecontact” account when you join us. Our letters are also posted on our website. Most school communication is sent home on a Thursday. So check book bags and inboxes!
Where is the Lost Property held and how long for?
Lost Property is hung up on the pegs just inside the main corridor by the Admin Office. The property is kept until the end of term and then sold off in aid of, or sent to, our partner school in Kenya. Please make sure all items of clothing is clearly named this way were are able to return stray items to their owners before it coming Lost Property.
Are After School clubs available to Reception children?
At the moment no clubs are offered to Reception children; apart from Craft and Opportunities fee paying club which runs until 5.30pm if you would be interested in running a club please come in and speak to us.
We run a breakfast club from 8am. Please ask for details.
Where do we put various forms, permission papers etc.
Unless otherwise specified there will be a tray in each class for your child to return forms to. Alternatively forms, can be left in the office.
A class list for parents (names of parents and phone numbers) would be excellent. Can the school get the permissions upfront and instigate it?
This is not something the school is unable to do due to its data protection requirement.
Can someone give my child medicine if required? Who and what do I need to do?
Some staff can administer prescribed medicine, although the hope is that doses can be given outside the school day, or by a parent coming into school. Your child’s medicine needs to be clearly labelled with your child’s name, the dosage and timing of next dose. Please complete a medicine form which can be downloaded from our website or from the Admin office then take it to the Head Teacher’s office.
What happens about suncream? Do teachers apply it? What measures are in place to restrict exposure to the sun?
Please supply suncream for your child (label it with your child’s name please!). It is most helpful if it could be applied before school on hot days so only needs topping up during the day. Staff do not apply it to the children but the children apply it under staff direction.
Please also make sure your child has a sunhat in their bag. There are areas of shade around the grounds during playtime.
The school’s uniform list doesn’t mention sandals. Can my child wear them in summer?
Sandals may be worn but are not encouraged as they do not provide much foot protection.
Timing of parents evenings
Parents’ evenings/Open Afternoon are held three times a year, at the end of terms 1, 3 and 6. There are two sessions arranged in the afternoon/evening in the same week. You will be asked for a time range and then be given a ten minute slot within that. If longer is required that can be arranged. Children may sometimes attend these meetings. An annual report is sent home in July each year prior to the term 6 meeting.
What happens if my child’s teacher is away?
Teachers may be away either through illness or through attendance on training. When this happens, the class may be covered in a variety of ways. Mrs Winterburn may teach the class or one of our highly trained and experienced Teaching Assistants. If we can not provide cover for the class in this way, a supply teacher is employed. We aim to have a small group of such staff who can be used regularly and so build up a relationship with the children.
What are Stanton Stars about and how are they earned?
Stanton Stars are awarded as a result of a child earning credits through a variety of activities, including representing the school at events e.g. sporting tournaments, concerts, school productions, helping around the school such as doing a litter pick-up really showing something ‘over and above’ the norm. The youngest children presently earn their first, yellow, badge when they have completed a sticker chart.
What are the significant events in the school year
Various events occur throughout the year and parents are informed of these through the weekly and termly newsletters and from information on our website calendar. There are also some events which happen annually. At the present time these are:
Sports day in the summer term which is a whole day including family picnic.
Church services in St Giles Church for Harvest, Christmas and Easter. These usually happen in the morning and last for about 30 minutes.
At Christmas, Reception and Key Stage One children perform an Infant Nativity; in the summer there is a KS2 production. Both of these have an afternoon and an evening performance.
Book Weeks, dressing up days and bedtime story night occur during the year.
FOSS organise other events including a summer Fete and Carols around the Tree (an evening in December).
How can parents be involved in the school? How can I volunteer and in what capacity?
The School wholeheartedly welcomes offers of help from parents. Whether you can offer occasional hours for reading, would like to help regularly in a class or can offer a club or activity that we don't currently cover, please talk to your child's teacher in the first instance. We will need to seek a Disclosing and Barring Service (DBS) clearance on your behalf and we will ask you to complete a DBS online application. This is a national requirement for all individuals who choose to work with children
Learning to read
How are the reading books graded?
The reading books are categorised into different colour bands. The class teacher will monitor your child’s progress and move them through the colour bands as appropriate.
Phonics – how does it work and how can I help my child.
In Reception and Key Stage 1, Phonics are practised for at least 20 minutes each day. We follow the Letters and Sounds framework with additional resources to support learning. There is usually a workshop for parents in in Darling Class during the Autumn term to give an overview of how the phonics approach works and is taught.
The Governing Body
How does the school governing body work?
The governing body: works closely with the Head Teacher; makes decisions collectively as a team; often delegates decision-making to committees or to individuals, for example, to the head teacher; and conducts most of its business through meetings, making use of relevant papers and guidance, and advice from the head teacher.
What do school governors do?
School Governors: promote high standards of educational attainment; set targets for pupil achievement; take general responsibility for the conduct of the school; manage the school's budget, including deciding on staff numbers and pay; make sure that the curriculum is balanced and broadly based, in particular that the National Curriculum and religious education are taught, and report on exam results and pupils' achievement in National Curriculum assessments; participate in the appointment of senior staff (including appointing the head teacher) and regulate staff conduct and discipline.
Who are the governors?
The governing body is made up of a number of staff, parents, local authority and community representatives. School governors are people who wish to make a positive contribution to children’s education. No special qualifications are required, but enthusiasm, commitment and an interest in education are important qualities. If you are interested please talk to any of the present governors or to a member of staff.