Good attendance and punctuality make effective teaching and learning possible, while irregular attendance disrupts these processes. If pupils are to take full advantage of what school offers them and become effective learners, gaining the appropriate knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will equip them for life, good attendance and punctuality are essential. Valuable learning time is lost when pupils are absent or late. Research has shown that pupils who attend school regularly achieve better results than those who have longer or more frequent periods of absence from school. Good attendance is an achievement in its own right and is recognised as such by the school.
Our aim is to achieve good attendance by operating an attendance policy which enables staff, pupils, parents, the local community, and outside agencies to work together in partnership. The school will monitor attendance and ensure quick and early intervention where a problem is identified. The school recognises that poor attendance may be as a result of difficulties pupils are experiencing in school, or may be the result of circumstances beyond the school’s control, but whatever the circumstances, some pupils will need extra support in order to achieve and maintain good attendance.
Ensuring regular attendance at school is the legal responsibility of parents and allowing a child to be absent from school without good reason is an offence in law that may result in prosecution by the Education Welfare Service. The school has a legal responsibility to report poor attendance to the appropriate agencies in order to safeguard the welfare of all our pupils.
School Attendance Targets
As with standards of attainment and other areas of school life, there are school targets to improve attendance and every pupil has an important part to play in meeting these targets. In Spring 2018 our whole school attendance was just below 93.51%. We believe we can do better than this and raise the minimum level of attendance expected for all Brackensdale pupils to 95%.
Holidays in Term Time
There is no automatic entitlement in law to time off during school term time to go on holiday. Taking holidays in term time will affect a pupil’s schooling as much as any other absence and we expect parents/carers to support the school by not taking their children away in school term time. The government and the local authority strongly discourage holidays in term time and have provided all schools with guidance for use in deciding whether or not to authorise such requests. Brackensdale Primary School has adopted this guidance and will only authorise holidays in term time in exceptional circumstances. Parents wishing to apply for a holiday leave of absence in term time should apply in writing to the Head of School. These will only be authorised in very exceptional circumstances and cheaper prices will not be considered as a reason to grant a leave of absence.
Any period of leave taken without the agreement of the school, or in excess of that agreed, will be classed as unauthorised and may lead to further sanctions such as a Fixed Penalty Notice.
We keep up to date contact details for all children in the school office. Parents must inform us when contact details, such as mobile numbers change. It is important that you keep the office informed of such changes.
We also have a system of passing on information to parents by text. We will send texts out from school whenever we need to pass on information quickly. Again, please inform the office of any change of mobile numbers.
When children are ill
Firstly, we encourage children to come into school if at all possible - sometimes when they are a little off-colour they forget about it when involved in activities. We think it is vital that children establish a regular pattern of attendance. If children become ill in school we have facilities for them to rest for a short period of time and we will contact parents as soon as possible. We ask parents to avoid the need for children to bring medicines into school - prescriptions can sometimes be modified to avoid a lunchtime dose and parents are welcome to come into school to administer medicines if necessary. School cannot give non-prescription medicines such as paracetamol.
These are kept in the classrooms so that the children have easy access to them. Please ensure that your child’s inhaler is clearly labelled with his/her name. They will be sent home every half-term for checking by parents.
Please examine your child’s hair regularly. The school or the chemist can advise on treatment. If your child does get head lice, keep him or her at home until the treatment is completed. Let us know of the problem so that we can warn other parents to check and treat their child’s hair and prevent re-infestation. We have leaflets and a DVD/video for parents to borrow if you need any advice on treating your child’s hair. The Governors of the school have drawn up a policy which advises that if a member of staff notices that a child does have head lice, then we should contact the parent or guardian and ask them to take the child out of school, and return them after they have been treated.
Contact the school nurse on 01332 888080.
All parents need to be aware that we are required to take reasonable action to ensure children’s safety. In cases where we have reason to be concerned that any child may be subject to ill treatment, neglect or other forms of abuse, we follow an agreed set of procedures and inform social services. Our designated safeguarding leads are Mr Radbourne, Mrs Wallace and Mrs Lumley (Juniors) and Mrs Mills, Mrs Cooper, Mrs Chapman and Mrs Latham (Nursery and Infants).
Children intending to stay for dinners should bring their money on Monday mornings. If meals are not paid for the week they are taken, the pupil concerned may have to go home for lunch until the arrears have been paid. Any parent who feels they may be eligible for free school meals can get a form from in the school office. She will then tell them the procedure for applying.
We teach RE through a scheme of work based on the ‘All our worlds’ scheme. Although the school has no affiliation with any one religious denomination, we have excellent relationships with local Christian churches. We have links with St Francis Church at Mackworth, and hold services there such as Harvest Festival and at Christmas. We welcome visitors from all religious denominations and faiths.
Parents who do not wish their children to participate in collective worship for religious reasons should contact Mr Hall or Mrs Hammond to explain their viewpoints and, where possible, alternative arrangements will be made.
Physical Activity and PE
Over the last few years our school has become a B-Active school. We ensure that physical activity is high profile within school and that all children realise the importance of regular physical activity. Our programme of physical activity includes:
- Twice weekly PE lessons either in the hall, on the playground or field when weather is suitable.
- Encouraging children to either walk to school or to come on their bikes. We became a ‘Bike It!’ school recently and many children come to school on bikes regularly. Children who wish to use their bike for school must see Mr Hall for a permission form. We try to insist that all children wear a helmet.
- Extra-curricular activities - we have various sports clubs for children to attend. These include football, badminton, multisports, hockey, basketball, cricket and tag rugby.
Plain shorts and t-shirt (these should not be too baggy for reasons of safety.) These can be purchased from school. Pumps for indoor use and trainers or pumps for outdoors. Swimming kit for Year 4. For safety reasons, pupils with long hair should have it tied back for P.E.
We ask that children do not wear jewellery apart from sleepers or studs and a watch. On days when children have P.E., jewellery is better left at home as it can cause a hazard and may be mislaid.
We aim to offer the children a broad range of teaching and learning experiences during their time with us. All elements of the National Curriculum are taught through our ‘Cornerstones Curriculum’ which links the subjects together within themes to make them enjoyable and relevant to the children’s lives. At the beginning of each term we send out information to parents about the theme being taught. This is to show parents the areas that will be covered and to provide an opportunity for parents to contribute to the themes, which is always welcome. There is an emphasis on progress in Literacy and Numeracy.
We use a variety of teaching approaches including whole-class teaching, group activities and opportunities for individual work. Children are taken on regular visits out of school which support and enrich their work in class. We also have visitors into school who add another dimension to children’s learning.
The teachers plan work carefully to include basic skills in Literacy which meets the needs of all of our children. We are careful to provide a good structure to develop both reading and writing skills. Children are introduced to a wide variety of texts and learn to read and write for different purposes. We ensure that children apply their learning to all areas of the curriculum and assess work frequently. Teachers review children’s progress regularly with senior managers to ensure that maximum progress is being made.
At Brackensdale we also devote additional curriculum time to give children the opportunity to engage in additional reading activities. Much of the reading practice however, takes place at home, supervised by parents and recorded in the Home/School reading record.
As we are now Brackensdale Primary School your child will automatically move from KS1 (Year 2) to KS2 (Year 3) in the mainstream setting. They will have visited the junior site on several occasions before hand for assemblies and other activities, but will specifically meet their new teachers in their new classrooms on the 3rd July which is our Transition Day.
If your child is in the Ark setting then please refer to the information given in the Special Educational Needs pencil tab as it differs to the automatic mainstream arrangements.