Parent Handbook – P

We offer two formal Parent Consultation Evenings within the school year, one in the Autumn term and the other in the Spring term. Further to this we invite parents to discuss any matters arising from end-of-year reports towards the end of the summer term.

At Parent Consultation Evenings teachers will share information about a child’s approach to school life in general and their academic attainment, progress and next steps, particularly in core subject areas. Parents are also warmly encouraged to discuss positives and any causes for concern and also have the opportunity to view their child’s work.

Whilst parents’ consultation evenings are a relatively formal and structured opportunity for discussion, we operate a policy of staff being readily available to parents throughout the year. We will not wait until a Parents’ Consultation Evening if we have any particular concerns to raise and we would similarly ask parents to raise concerns as and when they occur rather than waiting.

Parent Governors are one of the types of governors who make up the governing body of the school.

They are nominated and elected by the parent body of the school. They do not represent their personal interests (or those of their children) on the governing board but provide support and challenge for the school in the same way as other governors.

The term of office for a parent governor is 4 years from appointment and this can extend beyond the time their children are at the school. When a vacancy arises this is advertised to the whole parent body and if more than one nomination is made an election is held.

Parking at Grange Farm should not be an issue. There is a large amount of parking within easy walking distance of the school for those that have to drive and a large majority of pupils live within walking distance anyway.

Unfortunately we still do have frequent issues reported by parents and neighbours including:

  • Parking too close to a junction
  • Parking on double-yellow lines or yellow zig-zags
  • Double-parking
  • Parking over driveways
  • Turning at inappropriate points in the road
  • Parking by the bollards near the school and allowing children to get out of vehicles straight into the busy road.

This list is not exhaustive. We work as closely as we can with appropriate authorities such as the City Council Civil Enforcement Team and the Police and we have put lots of work into measures such as additional double-yellow lines and appointing a crossing patrol officer. Developments such as this will continue.

Our advice to anyone witnessing dangerous or anti-social parking or driving is to feel free to report it to school or to the appropriate authorities (the school office can provide contact details if you require them).

Anyone making the decision to personally confront somebody about their parking or driving should be careful about causing a situation which a) could be unsafe and b) could be unsettling for children present.

We know that happy children are the best learners and we place a lot of emphasis on providing pastoral care for our pupils that enables them to make the most of their time in school and to continually develop as individuals.

Core elements of this apply to all pupils, including:

  • Protective Behaviours
  • Social and emotional learning through our PSHE curriculum
  • Behaviour and Anti-Bullying Policies
  • Open communication policies with parents

We then have additional strategies to support children with specific or additional needs including:

  • Learning Mentor
  • School Counsellor
  • CAF level support
  • Signposting to Family Hub
  • Access to external professional support

If a parent is ever concerned about anything regarding their child’s pastoral care, we would always encourage them to come and talk to us as soon as possible.

Over a child’s time in school, we will ask for payments or contributions for a number of different things.

Payments are required for school meals for Year 3 and above (unless your child is eligible for Free School Meals) and some extra-curricular clubs.

We also ask for contributions for some curriculum activities which are not necessary to meet the expectations of the national curriculum but which add depth, breadth and memorable experiences to the children’s learning. These can include trips, visitors into school and additional activities. Whilst we are lucky and very grateful that levels of parental contribution are very high, parents do not have to contribute to activities such as this and all children will have the opportunity to take part in events that are run regardless of whether their parents make a contribution. However, as a school we do not have the budget to subsidise all of these activities and a lack of parental contribution over time would reduce the activities on offer.

We also ask for parental contributions towards the cost of swimming which is a national curriculum activity. Swimming would take place even of no parental contributions were made but there would be a knock-on budget impact that would inevitably affect another aspect of provision for children.

Most of our parents find the easiest way to make payments to school is via School Gateway, an online payment provider (that also provides some of our parental communication tools). To set up an account, please talk to the school office – you can use School Gateway via their website or a free to download App.

We also accept cash and cheques as payments and parental contributions at Grange Farm and these either need to be handed directly to the school office or sent with children in clearly named and labelled envelopes.

Phonics is a core element of children’s early learning in school. It is the teaching and learning of the 44 sounds (phonemes) which comprise all of the words that we use in the English language.

First, children learn these sounds and then ways of representing each with letters. These ways of representing the sounds are called graphemes and for most phonemes (sounds) there is more than one way. For example, for the sound you make by saying the letter name “E” you could use a grapheme (spelling pattern) of “e”,”ee”, “ea”, “ei”and various others – this can be quite confusing and it is why we spend a lot of time on phonics and how this develops into learning about spelling!

For more information on how we teach phonics in school and how to support your child with this at home, see the Phonics section of “How do I help my child?” on this website.

Towards the end of Year 1, children all take part in a Phonics Check. This involves them sitting one to one with their class teacher and attempting to read 40 words which use the phonics sounds they have been learning since the beginning of Reception (and before). Some of these words are real words and some are nonsense words.

Parents are informed whether their child has met the expected standard of the check (usually about 80%) or not. If they do not meet the expected standard, we will provide them with additional support throughout Year 2 and they will have another attempt towards the end of that year.

Taking photographs and videos of children can have a wide variety of positive applications in school:

  • Sharing work
  • Celebrating success
  • Recording evidence for assessment

However, as a school we are very mindful that the digital age we live in requires us to be very sensitive and careful about why and how we take digital images and how we store them.

We only ever take and store digital images using school devices and we never post them in the public domain attached to the full name of a child.

Parents can specify at the beginning of every year whether they give consent for their children’s picture to be used for a range of different purposes and they can change these preferences at any time in the year if they wish to do so.

If you want more information about how we used photographs and digital images in school, including about how we safeguard children in this respect, please see our Photographs and Images of Children Policy.

Children from Year 1 to Year 6 complete two hours of curriculum PE (Physical Education) every week in line with National Curriculum expectations.

 

In PE children cover a range of themed activities including Athletics, Dance, Gymnastics and various sorts of Games. Children also complete Swimming sessions during Key Stage 2.

Children in Reception cover many of the Physical Development aspects of the curriculum through informal classroom (particularly outdoor classroom) activities. However, they do sometimes also do more formal PE.

PE at Grange Farm is either taught by children’s normal class teachers or by specialist sports coaches who bring their particular expertise to the role.

Children will have a set timetable for PE but it is a good idea to have kit available in school every day as plans can change (especially as we work around varying weather conditions).

All children should have:

  • A plain white t-shirt
  • Black shorts
  • Black pumps/plimsolls

For outdoor PE we also encourage children to have:

  • Tracksuits
  • Trainers

Every item of PE kit should be clearly named and all PE kit should be brought in a clearly named bag.

We are very fortunate in Coventry that we still have a Local Authority owned and run Outdoor Education Centre. When you just mention the words “Plas Dol-y-Moch” to generations people who have grown up in Coventry, their faces will light up with the memories of their amazing trips there.

Plas Dol-y-Moch is situated in Snowdonia in Wales not far from the town of Blaenau Ffestiniog. It is a base for exploring all sorts of activities including kayaking, canoeing, climbing, caving, abseiling, rock-scrambling, hill-walking, rockpooling and so much more besides. Have a look at their website to see more.

Children in Year 1 to Year 6 have a morning break (usually 10:45 to 11:00) and an afternoon break (usually 2:20 to 2:35) every day.

Reception children do not stop for morning and afternoon breaks because the child-initiated focus of their learning means they have access to learning through play and outdoor activities for a large proportion of time in both morning and afternoon sessions anyway.

All children have a lunch-break. For younger children this begins at midday and for older children it starts from 12:20. Lunch-break for all children ends at 1:20. As well as giving time for eating, lunch-breaks include plenty of opportunities for play ranging from entirely free play to more formal activities for those that enjoy them.

Grange Farm has a full range of statutory and other policy documents that describe our practice. Many of these are available to view on our website – see the Key Info page. If you are looking for a policy you cannot find on the website, please contact our school office.

“Protective Behaviours” describes an approach to teaching children when to recognise that they need to ask for help and how and who to ask.

At school, just like at home, all of us do everything we can to protect children from harm whether that means physical or emotional harm. However, as adults who take care of children we have to recognise we cannot be with our children all the time. The best way to make them safe (now and as they are growing up) is to teach them to recognise potential harm for themselves and know what to do about it.

At Grange Farm, “Protective Behaviours” describes a set of lessons that form part of our PSHE curriculum but also a whole school, ongoing approach that takes every opportunity to encourage children to be independent thinkers well-versed in making safe choices for themselves and knowing when and how to seek help when they need it.

When your child starts with us at Grange Farm we ask you to complete a Pupil Information sheet which contains various bits of information that we need in order to effectively educate them and keep them safe in school. We retain this record throughout the time they are at school.

Every September, we re-send out this information to ensure it is up to date. However, we encourage parents to let us know as quickly as possible should any of the details change whatever stage of the year this happens at. If your child’s details (or your contact details) do change, please let the school office know.

The Pupil Premium is additional funding that the school receives for any child that:

  • Is eligible for Free School Meals (or has been in the last 6 years)
  • Is designated a Looked After Child
  • Has a parent who is in the armed forces

If you think your child may be eligible for Free School Meals, please let us know and we can help you to find out and to complete the eligibility checks. Even if you child will not take up the offer of Free School Meals (or is in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 and so gets a Free School Meal every day anyway) we would still encourage you to register as if you do not the school cannot receive the additional funding on offer.

Pupil Premium funding is intended to support the academic progress of the children who meet the eligibility criteria and all schools are accountable for how well they are using the additional funding for this purpose. For information on our use of the Pupil Premium, please see the report in the Key Info section of this website.

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