Routines and Procedures
Information is usually communicated through a fortnightly newsletter that is sent home, via e mail. Please make sure you email details are kept up to date. A paper copy will be available in the school office and one will be uploaded on our school website https://www.st-josephs.suffolk.sch.uk/
Notices are occasionally placed on the board in the playground.
We also have a text message service for quick alerts, updates and messages so once again please ensure we have an up to date mobile number for you.
Dropping Off and Collection
Children can arrive at school from 8.40am onwards and go directly to their class. Children must not be left at school on their own until this time and due to health and safety reasons we cannot accept responsibility for children until this time.
Any parent wishing to enter the school for any reason, at any time of the day, including before or after school must go through the main front entrance where the door is secured and school staff can supervise who is entering our building.
Please ensure that if you arrange for a friend or parent to collect your child, they are aware of the arrangement in advance of informing the school.
Please be considerate when parking. The local residents need to be able to have access to their drives at all times. Parking is available in the car park behind Argos in North Street. Always remember that our local community officer does regular checks on the parking outside the school and will give penalty notices to those who have parked illegally.
Safety & Security
Parents dropping off at Breakfast club should do so via the hall door by 8:00a.m.
‘After school club’ is held in the resources area and children should be collected from the playground promptly at 4.30p.m. by parents. If someone else is collecting your child, you must advise the office before 3.30pm that day.
Dogs are not allowed on school premises and should not be tied to railings at the school entrance or in the car park. Barking dogs can be distressing and frightening for young children and adults.
Our preferred method of payment for school dinners, trips and after school clubs is via scopay our online payment system. Link codes to set up accounts can be obtained from the school office. In exceptional circumstances payments may be made by cheque, payable to Suffolk County Council with your child’s name and reason for payment written on the back. If cash is sent it will only be accepted sealed in a named envelope. No responsibility will be accepted for cash sent with a child that does not reach the school office. Change will not be issued at the office and all money sent will be added to your child's account. Payments should be posted into the box in the school reception.
Absences, Late Arrivals and Holidays
Please telephone the school office on the first day of absence, leaving a message on the dedicated extension number to inform us of the reason for absence as following local authority advice we now phone/text to check any unconfirmed absences. If no phone call or letter are received by the office then the absence will be recorded as unauthorised. Absences can only be authorised by the headteacher and even if you have supplied a reason, it does not mean an absence is automatically authorised.
Children who arrive late must be signed in at the office by a responsible adult. A reason for late arrival must be provided. If children are persistently late or the reason is not acceptable, unauthorised absence will be recorded.
The policy with regard to authorisation of holiday is that holiday during term time will not be routinely authorised unless parents can demonstrate exceptional reasons. If you intend to take a holiday during term time please send a letter informing the school in advance.
All absence (authorised and unauthorised), late arrivals and holidays are monitored by the Educational Welfare Officer at least once a term. They will investigate regular absence or persistent lateness even where a reason has been provided and unexplained absences if necessary. The Education Welfare Officer also gives awards and prizes to those with full attendance. Each half term the class with the best attendance gets a reward.
A copy of the full policy is available from the office.
Health and Hygiene
Headlice are a continual problem in school and one which we can only solve if every family is vigilant and ensures they comb their family’s hair once a week even if they are headlice free. The most effective way of controlling headlice is by using the wet combing method with conditioner. Regular use of specialist shampoos can lead to resistant headlice. We do not routinely send out letters informing you of outbreaks however we will send a text in the case of a severe outbreak.
Personal hygiene is also an area of concern for young children. As part of the Personal, Social and Health Education curriculum we discuss the need to wash hands after visiting the toilet and before eating. It would be helpful if you could show your child at home how to use soap properly to wash their hands. Hopefully this will minimise outbreaks of tummy upsets or impetigo, which are caused by poor hygiene.
Lunches and Snacks
Please make sure lunchboxes have names on them and are taken home each day to be cleaned. Children are not allowed sweets or chocolate bars in their lunches. Please make sure your child can open all the containers or packets in their lunchbox. If they do bring a drink, it must be in an unbreakable container and no fizzy or chocolate type drinks please. We are trying to encourage children to be aware of healthy eating as part of the curriculum and hope you will support this when providing their packed lunches. Although it can be messy, we ask the children to leave any uneaten items in the lunchbox so you know how much they are eating.
School dinners should be paid for in advance on Mondays for the week, month or half term. It is extremely time consuming to accept payments for single meals on a daily basis or chase bad debts!). Children will not be served if a debt arises for more than two days. If there are any difficulties with payment, please speak to the office. Please speak to the office if you need more information regarding free school meals. Your child does not need to eat school dinners every day to qualify for free school meals.
Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 currently receive Universal free school meals. However, there is also an income related free school meals for all year groups which can be applied for via the link https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/children-families-and-learning/schools/school-meals-uniforms-and-trips/apply-for-free-school-meals/. If your child is in reception, year 1 or 2 it is still beneficial to apply for income related free school meals as this will give your child additional benefits such as free uniform and reduced price trips and clubs. The school will also receive additional funding to help with your child's education.
Your child will get income related free school meals if you receive any of the following:
- Income Support
- Income-based Job Seeker's Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit but no element of Working Tax Credit and have an annual income (as assessed by HM Revenues & Customs) that does not exceed £16,190
- If you are supported under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Working Tax Credit during the four-week period immediately after your employment finishes or after you start to work fewer hours per week
- Universal Credit (provided you have an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400 (£616.67 per month), as assessed by earnings from up to three of your most recent assessment periods).
To check if your child is eligible, apply online for an immediate response https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/children-families-and-learning/schools/school-meals-uniforms-and-trips/apply-for-free-school-meals/ or call 0345 606 6067 for advice.
Menus for this term can be found under parent handbook/lunches. If your child has specific dietary needs please make sure we know. Our cook is always willing to provide alternatives for children with recognised allergies and medical needs.
We encourage the children to enjoy lunch as a social occasion with their friends. It would be helpful if you reinforce good table manners at home and ensure the children can use their cutlery correctly. The school day is a long time and so we do encourage the children to eat a reasonable amount of their lunch- if they regularly do not seem to be eating enough the class teacher will discuss this with you.
Children in Year Three and Four are encouraged to bring a healthy snack like a piece of fruit, carrot, cucumber or cheese for break time. Cheese strings, cheese dippers and fruit winders are not permitted. We prefer snacks that do not need wrappers or packaging as it saves litter. Children in the other classes will be provided with a piece of fruit.
Parent Appointments & Messages
Appointments are to be made on a Tuesday evening only and will be at 3.30p.m or 3.40p.m. The teachers are on the playground for a quick message or question at the start or end of the day, but I do ask that these conversations are had before the bell, as once the bell is rung the teacher needs to begin to supervise their class. Please can parents wait for the teacher to be on the playground and not come into the school to find them. In the case of something more urgent at the start or end of the day please go to the main entrance and speak to the office or phone us.
The school reading diary can be used to communicate with teachers. Teachers only sign these diaries once a week, so make sure your child knows to give the diary to the teacher if there is an important message. Otherwise just phone the school office they can pass on any messages.
If your child requires ongoing medication for the treatment of medical conditions such as Diabetes, Epilepsy, Asthma etc, please ensure their medication is up to date and the new class teacher is aware. We do pass on all information when the child moves classes but it is useful to check nothing has changed since the records were completed. The office will update records and if you want to discuss your child’s needs, please make an appointment through the school office.
We are given minimum periods of absence for some illnesses by the local health authority, especially those which are particularly contagious or could be dangerous to pregnant women for example. Please check with the office if you are unsure whether it is safe for your child to return to school.
If your child has an accident or is ill in school, we will contact you immediately if necessary. For less serious injuries, a note will be put in your child’s book bag.
Emergency Contact Details
It is vital that our emergency contact details are up to date. Please inform the office immediately if any details change. If you provide mobile numbers they must be available at all times or alternatives provided. In addition to parent details please provide at least one additional contact who must be able to come to school to collect a child at short notice if necessary.
Behaviour Rewards and Sanctions
We are fortunate that our children generally behave very well and it is a compliment to you and the staff that visitors to the school often comment on the children’s politeness and good behaviour. However on occasions some children will not live up to the high expectations we have at St Edmund’s. The classteacher will discuss any concerns with you in the first instance including possible sanctions. Most instances of misbehaviour will be solved in this way. On occasions withdrawal from playtime or lunchtime is used as a punishment. This is monitored and if necessary will be discussed with you.
If the problem persists or there is a more serious incident, we will discuss this with you so we can work together to ensure your child is properly supported to behave appropriately. This may also involve seeking support from external advisory staff and longer term behaviour programmes.
Each week children will be rewarded for exceptional efforts of work with head teacher certificates. Examples of good behaviour and kindness will be rewarded with house points and each week the MDAs will select children to have lunch on a special table.
I would like to thank the members of St. Joseph’s community for their continuing support.