Before Starting School
What do I need to provide for my child so that s/he is ready for school?
Ensure that your child has the correct uniform including PE kit and footwear, a book bag (Reception to Year 2) and a PE bag, all of which should be marked with your child’s name. Book bags and PE bags, water bottles and school summer caps can be purchased from the school office (office hours are 8:30am-4:00pm). The water bottle and lunch container should be taken home for cleaning on a daily basis; your child should keep their PE kit in a bag at school and taken home for washing at the end of each half term.
Remember that your child goes outside for breaks and for learning activities so in cold/wet weather ensure that your child has a suitable coat/jacket and shoes.
Is there anything else I can do to prepare my child for school?
Ensure that your child gets a good night’s sleep when s/he has school the following day.
Ensure that your child does NOT wear any jewellery to school other than studs for pierced ears but these must be removed on PE days. If in doubt please ask the teacher which days these are. Also please bear in mind that if you plan to have your child’s ears pierced please have it done at the start of the summer holidays as it usually takes 4-6 weeks for them to heal properly.
What happens if my child loses something?
Lost property in school is gathered in the Welfare Room. This room can be accessed by parents on Wednesdays only - between 9:00-9:30am or 3:00-3:30pm.
School Uniform/PE Kit
What extra information do I need to know about school uniform?
All children are expected to come to school in school uniform and to take pride in their appearance. No trainers are allowed in school. Children may bring in trainers to wear at play times. Boots are acceptable during the cold weather BUT children must bring in their school shoes to change into once in the school building. We are encouraging children to wear ties and we would appreciate parental support in this area. No jewellery is to be worn apart from stud earrings. Pupils should not wear nail varnish in school.
PE Kit - It is essential that children bring in an appropriate PE kit for games. All items in the PE should be clearly labelled.
What items are available to purchase from school?
The following items are sold at the school office: Water Bottle £3, Replacement Lid £0.50p, PE Bag £4, Book Bag £5, Caps £4.
The School Day
What time does school start?
8:50am – The children can come into school from 8:40am in the playground as a member of staff will be on duty (the school cannot accept responsibility for pupils arriving before this time). Pupils arriving after 8:50am are late and must be signed in by a parent at the office. School Office hours are 8:30am-4:00pm. It is important that your child comes into school on time to enable the teacher to welcome them and explain their tasks so they know what is expected of them.
Where can I park if I come by car?
The school car park is for staff and deliveries only. For the safety of all concerned we would also ask you not to drive into the school grounds, including the driveway leading to the school gate, to drop off or pick up your child at any time, even if you are late. If you do so you may be challenged by a member of staff. We would also ask that if you must park in the vicinity you are considerate to our neighbours and do not park (even partially) across anyone’s driveway or access even if you are late/in a hurry/it is only for a few minutes. There are parking restriction zigzags/lines in the Ravenswood Crescent cul-de-sac entrance into school. These restrictions are enforceable and our local community police officers will enforce fines for those illegally parked.
Can I come in to the school in the morning to help my child hang up his/her coat/talk to the teacher etc?
For a number of reasons, including the safety of your child, we would ask that you do NOT come into school with your child; it is a very busy time and we need to get the children settled in class as soon as possible – if your child needs help one of our staff will help. If you need to speak to the teacher and it will keep until the end of the day this is more convenient and less disruptive for your child and his/her classmates. If you need to get a message to the teacher urgently please give the teacher a note or ask our office staff to pass on a message. We have Critical Thinking/Reading Mornings on Tuesdays and Fridays from 8:50am- 9:05am and you are welcome to come into school and read with your child in their classroom during these days.
What if we are late?
The playground doors have to be shut as soon as the last children have entered the building. If you are later than 8:50am please bring your child into school via the main entrance and ensure that you sign your child in the Late Book – this is necessary in case your child has missed morning registration. If you are very late please tell the office staff the reason why as this needs to be recorded. It is important to try your best to be punctual at all times.
What if my child has forgotten something that s/he will need at school?
We would ask that you try to make sure that your child brings everything s/he will need for school that day with him/her in the morning in order to minimise interruptions to classes and to the work of our office staff. The School Office will accept late items up until 9.30am , these items should be clearly marked with your child’s name and class. Late items should be placed in the 'Late Box' and the class will be informed. Your child will be provided with books to take home but these should be returned. Unfortunately we have to make a charge for books which are damaged or not returned.
What time does the school finish?
School finishes at 3.30pm except on the last day of term when school usually finishes at the earlier time of 3.00pm. Please see details of after-school clubs on our website for pick up times when the clubs take place. Please make a note of the finish times of all clubs and make provisions for your child to be collected promptly.
What if I'm late to pick up my child?
If you have an emergency whereby you are unable to collect your child at the end of the day you must contact the office staff immediately. If a child is not collected at 3.30pm we will check for any information about changes to the normal collection routines. If no information is available, we will attempt to contact parents/carers at home/work/mobile phones. Please ensure that the school office has all your up to date telephone numbers. If by 6:00pm it has not been possible to make contact with any parent, relative or emergency contact and there is no indication of why the child has not been picked up, it will be necessary to contact Social Services. Please note that this would be an exceptional circumstance and we would expect all parents to ensure that they collect their child promptly as failure to do so results in the child becoming upset and distressed.
Can I take my child home for lunch?
You are entitled to take your child home for lunch, but we do not encourage this as it means that s/he misses out on the social aspect of lunch break and depending how far you live from school it can be quite a rush in order to get back on time for the afternoon session.
Does the school provide my child with lunch?
All Infant School children are entitled to a free hot meal. Our hot meals are provided by an external catering company called ‘Chartwells’ and all children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are entitled to a hot meal which parents do not have to pay for. We have made the decision that, because we have seen such a significant improvement in the children’s attitudes and well-being in school, all infant children will be given a hot free school meal unless your child has certain allergies and these will have to be discussed with the school.
If you have applied and your child is entitled to Free School Meals please let the office staff know that you would like your child to have a hot lunch.
If you are not entitled to Free School Meals you then have two options: to provide a packed lunch for your child or purchase a hot meal from school for your child. Hot meals cost £1.75 per day and are provided by Chartwells Caterers. The payment system in on-line only and you will need to open a 'ParentPay' account for your child - please contact the School Office for details about how to do this BEFORE taking a hot meal. The term menu can be found on the Parents tab of the school website.
Are there any rules regarding packed Lunches?
If you prefer to provide your child with a packed lunch from home, or you need to provide a packed lunch due to a school trip, please ensure that it is healthy – no nuts or products containing nuts, no glass bottles, fizzy drinks, chocolates or sweets! We are an accredited Healthy Eating School and we would like all parents to ensure that their child has a balanced diet which will allow them to learn effectively in school. Please see our Healthy Lunch Box Policy which is on the school website.
Parent IT Systems
What IT systems are available to Parents?
SIMS Parent App
You will be invited, via an email from Capita SIMS, to join SIMS Parent App. This app allows you access to the data we hold on your child, assessment data and shows you all items in the School Calendar.
All school trips and hot dinner orders/payments are managed via the ParentPay system. You will be issued with a letter when your child starts school which explains how to set up your account. All trips, permission slips, other payments, will be sent out this way and you will receive an email to notify you of any items that require your attention.
The school website is updated every Friday and school event photos, class pages, curriculum details and policy documents are available for you to view.
What if my child cannot attend school?
If your child is unable to attend school for any reason please phone the school office on 020 8864 8081 to let us know before 9.30am. There is a dedicated 'absence' answer service line where you can leave a message. Please give your child’s name, class and the reason for his/her absence. If you do not contact us, we will phone you to enquire about your child’s absence. If you know in advance that your child is going to be absent (e.g. hospital appointment) please let us know. Please ensure that all hospital and doctors appointments are made after school if possible, as taking your child out of school time can be very disruptive for the child. You may be asked to put this in writing, especially if the absence is for more than a day. If your child is attending an exam or interview their absence must be authorised by the school. A form will need to be completed to explain where your child is going and the collection and return time to school.
What if I need to pick up my child early? What if I need someone else to collect my child?
If you need to pick your child up earlier than normal please let the office staff know in advance and they will pass the message to your child’s class teacher. When you come to collect your child you must come to the school office to sign him/her out and the staff there will contact his/her class. We would ask that you try to avoid taking your child out of school whenever possible - most appointments can be arranged outside school hours.
When your child starts school you have the opportunity to grant other adults permission to collect your child from school and this is recorded with the teacher. If your child needs to be collected by another adult, please phone the office so that a message can be passed to the class teacher. Please ensure this is done before 3pm - your child will not be released to an unknown adult.
Can I take my child for a holiday during term time?
We would like to advise you that schools have received clear instructions from the Government stating the following:
‘Amendments have been made to the 2006 regulations removing references to family holidays and extended leave as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days. The amendments made clear that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time, unless there are exceptional circumstances. These amendments come into force on 1st September 2013’.
This means that we are NOT able to authorise any term time absence unless it is an exceptional circumstance. At Newton Farm we work very hard to help your child learn and achieve well. To do this, we need you to help us in many ways. The most important way to help and support your child is to ensure that he or she attends school and is punctual. If an exceptional circumstance arises you need to provide details in writing to the Headteacher and a follow-up meeting will be arranged. Proof of the exceptional circumstance is required, along with copies of any travel documents. Any unauthorised leave is recorded, will appear on school reports and is automatically included on transfer records when a child leaves this school. For persistent unauthorised absences, parents could face a penalty fine.
What shall I do if my child is having problems at school (or outside school but which may affect his/her schooling?
It is probably most appropriate to speak to your child’s teacher in the first instance, even if the problem is with him/her. S/he may refer the matter to another member of staff such as the Deputy Headteacher or Headteacher. If the problem remains unresolved please speak to our office staff for an appointment to see one of these members of staff.
My child's progress
When will I meet my child's teacher and how do I know how my child is progressing?
Each term you will have the opportunity to meet with your child’s class teacher at our Parents’ Evenings. Your child is continually assessed and we will report to you termly via the SIMS Parent App.
What about Homework?
Home Learning in the form of homework is a crucial part of extended learning as pupils develop their independent learning skills as well as extending good work habits at an early age. We ask parents of Junior School pupils to look at their child’s homework diary and look to see if the homework is of a good standard and only then sign the homework diary. It is important that parents engage in their child’s home learning programme regularly and consistently as research has shown that parental involvement plays a contributory element to a child’s success and school. Hearing your child read every day is equally important as it supports your child in ensuring they are pronouncing and decoding words for meaning. It is also important that you comment and sign to say that you have heard your child read in their reading record diary. We would greatly appreciate your support in this matter.
E-Safety - how to keep your child safe on-line
As part of our school drive to continue to improve e-safety, we would be grateful if you could ensure that you support your child to stay e-safe by monitoring their internet usage on a regular basis.
What should I do if my address changes?
If you are moving house but intend to keep your child(ren) at Newton Farm School, it is your responsibility to inform the school office of your new address details, along with a legal document confirming the new address e.g. new Council Tax bill or solicitors letter confirming the move. Addresses are checked by the local authority and any data conflicts are highlighted for us to resolve, therefore keeping us up to date with changes is very important.
Moving away - no longer require a place at Newton Farm School?
If you are relocating and your child(ren) will no longer attend Newton Farm, you will need to send in a letter or email to the Headteacher and complete a Form for Leavers (available from the school office). Due to Local Authority child protection and safeguarding procedures, we need to track the movement of ex.pupils therefore it is essential that we have information such as new address, new school details, etc.
How do I change the data held on my child e.g. phone numbers, contact persons, etc?
Once registered with the SIMS Parent App you can request changes to the data we hold on your child. Changes to data made via the app are periodically updated, but any address changes done this way will still require legal documentation as proof.
What is the process to deal with forgotten/late items that need to come to school?
There is a 'late items' box in the school foyer area in which items can be placed until 9:30am (e.g. homework, PE kit, musical instrument, etc) after this time items will not be accepted. Please make sure your child comes to school with the items they need each day.
After School Clubs
Is there a Breakfast and/or After School Club at Newton Farm School?
J&C Academy is our breakfast and after school club provider - all the information you need can be found under the Parents|J&C Club tab of the school website.
What other clubs take place at school?
There are a few clubs that take place after school or in lunchbreaks e.g. Enrichment Club, Science Club, Chess Club, Drama Club, Orchestra Club. If your child is eligible to enrol (some are age restricted) they will either bring a leaflet home or be invited to join via ParentPay. Some of these clubs are chargeable, some are not. It is the parents responsibility to make a note of the times, start and end dates of any club(s) their child(ren) attend. This information is on the leaflet/information that you initially received and can also be found on the school website and the SIMS Parent school diary. See the Parents|Clubs Information tab.