Parent Handbook – A

Our policy is that we ask parents to inform us of reasons for a child’s absence for each and any day they are away from school. To report a child’s absence, ring the school office (02476 411098) to speak to somebody or leave an answer phone message. Even if your child is absent for a second day with the same illness, we still ask you to ring again.

It is very important that children are in school for every day that they can be. There are some days when it is clear that they should not be in school (e.g. sickness which then requires a 48 hour absence following the last incidence). However, on days when you are unsure, we would encourage you to send them in – we will look after them and, if necessary, we can always ring you if they are really struggling.

At Grange Farm we want children to achieve their potential in all they do both in the curriculum and beyond.

We track their achievement in all subjects but with particular care in Literacy and Maths and we report this to parents in various ways throughout the year.

When we talk about achievement we talk about it in two different ways:

Attainment – this describes the level at which a child is currently working (i.e. how they compare to the standard expected of somebody their age)

Progress – this describes how far they have come from fixed points in time (i.e. entry to school or the end of Reception or Year 2 where national assessments take place)

Achievement Assemblies are about celebrating our children’s successes in school and beyond. They take place at 3pm (almost always – sometimes we need longer and will let everyone know an earlier start time) on Friday afternoons.

Parents and other family members are always welcome to join us and we alternate between Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and 2) and Key Stage 2 (Year 3, 4, 5 & 6) each Friday. Dates are advertised on the newsletter and on the diary on the school website.

Achievement assemblies involve:

  • Giving out behaviour reward certificates and cups
  • Children sharing what they have been doing in school
  • The children singing a song
  • Sharing achievements from outside of school

Our behaviour reward system involves a series of certificates that accumulate over time. Merit certificates are awarded relatively regularly so we cannot personally invite parents for these but we do ensure parents are invited when we give children Distinction certificates and either Silver or Gold Achievement cups. If a parent cannot attend a particular assembly, we are happy to change which assembly we will give out these special awards – just ask at the school office.

Our school admissions are controlled by the Admissions department at the Local Authority (Coventry City Council).

Children start school in the September that follows their fourth birthday (the start of the academic year in which they will be five. Coventry City Council will contact parents of children on their records and invite them to make their school application on-line by mid-January of the year in which they are due to start school in the September. Places are then offered in April.

If you wish your child to move to Grange Farm at any other point, this process is still managed and controlled by Coventry City Council. Our advice is to contact us to arrange a tour with the Headteacher to help to decide whether this is a school whose values, ethos and educational offer match what you would like for your child. For information about current available spaces, waiting lists and how to apply for a place, you should contact the schools admissions team on 024 7683 1613 or email Primary Admissions

At Grange Farm we believe that every child has the right to feel safe, the right to feel happy and the right to learn.

Bullying is usually defined as a deliberate, repeated action that makes someone else unhappy. As such, this would stop them feeling safe and happy and would run a real risk of stopping them learning.

As a result, we do not tolerate bullying and we encourage anyone who suspects that bullying may be happening to report it immediately. If we have an instance of bullying taking place, we take them very seriously and take appropriate steps to ensure it stops.

Identifying bullying is not always straightforward as relationships between children can be very complicated. However, we always ensure that where we know a child is unhappy, we will help to solve the cause of that unhappiness, whether bullying is established as the cause or not.

If anyone has cause to think that a child is unhappy as a result of bullying, they should always ensure that they have told somebody at school.

For more information please see the school’s Behaviour Policy and Anti-Bullying Policy.

Arrangements for arriving at school and collecting at the end of the day vary for different age groups across school:

Reception, Year 1 and Year 2

The school gates open at 8:45am at which point parents should walk children to their external classroom door and drop them off directly to a member of staff. The day begins at 8:55am and children must be in the classroom by this point.

At the end of the school day (3:30pm), children should be collected from the same external classroom door. Parents are asked to give us the names of people approved to collect their children from school. If there are any changes to this, we must be notified and will not release children to adults unless we have been told this is acceptable to a parent or guardian we know has parental responsibility.

Year 3 and Year 4

The school gates open at 8:45am at which point children can walk around to the playground where Year 3 and 4 children enter the school building through their cloakroom areas. The day begins at 8:55am and children must be in the classroom by this point. Many parents accompany their children around to the cloakroom door but whether you choose to do this depends on their individual maturity. Members of staff are on duty on the cloakroom doors and parents can leave messages with them or ask them whether teachers are available if they have any quick things to discuss.

At the end of the school day children will leave from their external cloakroom door. We do not hand children one at a time to a named adult but the member of staff who has been with the class at the end of the day will remain present until all children have clearly gone safely. If parents have an arrangement where children meet them away from this point on the school site (e.g. by the classroom door of a younger sibling) we recommend that they tell their child to find a school adult if they cannot find their parent.

Year 5 and 6

As for other years groups, children in year 5 and 6 head straight into their classrooms in the morning after the school gates open at 8:45am. The start of the school day is 8:55am and they must be in the classroom by this point. Parents should not come into the building with children and should ask at the school office if they have messages for class teachers.

At the end of the school day, Year 5 and 6 children come down from their classrooms themselves and will exit the building from a door out towards the back playground. Parents may wait here to collect their children but, as Year 5 and 6 children are older, many have their own arrangements for where to meet their parents or indeed to walk or cycle home independently. If parents wish us to put additional measures in place to support their children in this, they can let us know to discuss how we can help.

Whether your child is in Reception of Year 6, they will do plenty of potentially messy activities in school. We do have some art aprons in school (particularly for younger children) but sending children in with an old short or t-shirt (named please) for them to keep in their tray could be very useful in saving one of their school tops from some artistic over-enthusiasm!

Children have an assembly every day with a variety of themes and topics.

These include:

  • Achievement Assemblies (see separate item within the Parent Info section)
  • Key Stage Assemblies led by members of the Senior Leadership Team
  • Singing Assemblies
  • Class Assemblies
  • Open the Book Assemblies (run by a local church group using bible stories as a focus for talking about shared values)

Assemblies are focussed on a number of different themes throughout the year, drawing on school values and local and national events and festivals. The children learn and sing a range of songs across the year which are not usually religious by nature although some seasonal songs (e.g. around Christmas and Easter) sometimes are.

The simple message about attendance is that children must be in school every day.

Time missed from school can never be recovered and each half-day does make a difference. Having attendance of 90% may seem acceptable but that means children are missing one half-day a week which adds up to about 4 whole school weeks in one academic year.

If your child has to be away from school (when they are ill to the extent they pose an infection risk to others or could not reasonably be learning in the classroom), please contact the school office and ring us again on every day of the absence.

If children’s attendance is below acceptable levels over a sustained period of time, we get in touch with families to discuss ways of ensuring this can rapidly improve.

There is no such thing as a holiday request. Parents may request a leave of absence (see separate section within this Parent Info section) but there are strict guidelines in place to define the exceptional circumstances in which such absences can be authorised.

For more information on attendance at Grange Farm, please see our Attendance Policy.

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