Parent and Carer Notes
Who are we?
We are a Nursery and Infant School whose catchment area includes Saxon Fields, King Arthurs Way, and Cricketers Way. Children can begin with us the term after their third birthday and access their free, government funded fifteen hours Nursery place with us. We also have two Reception classes and many children join us for the first time in Reception and then two Year One classes and two Year Two classes. We also have a small group of two year olds who are able to access Early Years Education funding.
Our last Ofsted inspection was in June 2013 and we were graded as good with the inspectors noting that ‘pupils behave well and show high levels of mutual respect’ and that ‘pupils make good progress’.
The school was built in 1971 and then had a full refurbishment in 2009 – classrooms are a good size, well equipped and colourful. The building is modern and all on the ground floor with designated areas such as cookery room and library. We are very lucky with our school grounds which offer really rich opportunities for learning outside the classroom including a central courtyard, outdoor story circle and woodland areas.
All the rest of these notes are in alphabetical order to try and help you find your way around!
Once the classroom doors are shut in the morning and before they are open in the afternoon the only way to access school is via the school office (unless Nursery parents are coming to the class room door for drop off / pick up at lunch time) where you will need to buzz to be let in. There is no right of way through the school grounds at any other time. The side gates are open in the morning for drop off and in the afternoon for pick up and locked throughout the rest of the day. The Nursery back gate is open for lunch time drop off / pick up only. We lock the gate at the front entrance to school between 8.35 and 9.15am and again between 2.45 and 3.15pm to make sure that we have no vehicles moving around on site during our busy times. All our gate arrangements are in place to keep our children safe and we appreciate parents’ support with understanding these restrictions.
Admissions and starting school
Many children begin with us at the beginning of Nursery or the beginning of Reception but some do start with us mid-way through the year. The admission round for beginning Reception is organised by Hampshire County Council although we can help you with dates and forms. Nursery and mid year admissions are organised by us in school. Both Nursery and the Two Year Olds can start with us the term after they are three or two years old. Our admission policies are on the website but please just ask in the school office and we can help with the dates and the forms.
Once you have been offered a place with us we, there are registrations forms with information such as contact numbers and medical information. We like to be able to meet with you so that we begin to get to know you and your child well. We work together to ensure your child settles in quickly and easily. At the beginning of Nursery or Reception we usually arrange a home visit to you with two members of the staff team, at other times we will arrange to meet with you in school.
At the beginning of Reception our usual practice is to have a short period of half days to help the transition into full time. Children starting mid year usually begin with a short day to help them settle and in both cases we will work closely with you to extend this settling in period if it will help your child.
In the summer term we run meetings for parents new to the school to be able to show you around, introduce you to key staff, sell uniform and answer your queries. Mid year we will do all this when we meet you!
We have a daily assembly which may be in class, year group or in key stage. On a Friday every week we have ‘Celebration assembly’ and parents / carers / relatives are very welcome to come along for a 9.15am start. In Celebration Assembly we find out about some of the learning going on in classes, and we find out who is Star of the Week in each class. The children love it when parents and family members come along!
Attendance, being on time and holidays in term time
We make sure every day and every session in school counts for helping children learn and develop. Our aim is for all our children to make the most progress they can and this means that we need them in school to do that so we look for all our children being in school on time and all the time. There are of course times when your child is ill and shouldn’t be in school (see medical notes) or they have a medical appointment which cannot be arranged any other time If at all possible we ask that you make appointments outside school times or in the holidays.
Being on time can make a huge difference too – being late just five minutes twice a week would mean that your child misses over a day of school every year and that’s a lot of missed learning. Being late also means that it’s reading which is missed every day and this will slow down your child’s progress. The morning routine is carefully thought out so that children can come into school calmly and consistently which is very important in feeling settled and part of the class every morning. Lateness gets in the way of this important routine and again will get in the way of your child’s progress and well being.
If there is any reason that you think you need to take your child out of school for then you need to let us know because we record the different reasons for absence on the daily register. If your child is unwell then please phone the school office on the day of the illness to let us know. If your child has a medical appointment then you could let the class staff know that you will be collecting at a certain time or that your child will be in late. If you are planning to take your child out of school for any other reason then you need to request authorisation – please ask for a form in the school office. It is school policy to never authorise a holiday absence. There is a lot more information about authorised and unauthorised absence as well as penalty notices on the website. Our Family Partnership Manager, Sally, will be happy to explain any of this and to help with any queries.
We have a school run breakfast club every term time morning which opens at 8 o’clock. Breakfast club is open to all our children although we sometimes give priority to families who may be experiencing difficulties of some sort or need help with child care to enable parents / carers to get to work. If breakfast club is full we operate a waiting list and will try and meet demand when we can.
Children are offered fruit juice, milk, cereal and toast and then have the opportunity to play games, read a book or chat with a friend before school starts. All our breakfast club staff are school staff so they get to know the children well and follow school policies. Current charges for breakfast club are £1.00 a session although we are able to offer children who are eligible for pupil premium breakfast club at no cost to parents. Please ask in the school office for more information or to join the waiting list.
Every term we run a ten week block of clubs and most of these are held on a Tuesday after school. Clubs often include things like multi skills, gardening, cooking, sport, music, construction and much more! We offer clubs to Years One and Two and will ask you to call into the school office at the beginning of each term to sign up. Once a child has begun a club we encourage them to complete the ten week block as this is a good way of persevering with a commitment and being part of the group. During clubs children will be offered a drink and small snack such as biscuit or piece of fruit.
It is very important that we have up to date contact details for parents / carers. It is really distressing if your child becomes ill or we need to get hold of you for any reason and we cannot because the phone numbers have changed. Please let us know as soon as any of your contact details change.
Governors play an important part in school life by working with the Headteacher to set the strategic direction of the school, approving policies, setting the budget and meeting regularly to both support and oversee the way the school operates. Approved minutes of governor body meetings as well as the committee meeting minutes are available on the web site. You will also find our current governor list on the website.
Some children seem to be more prone to head lice than others and most of us who work in or come to school will have the occasional bout of lice! Please treat head lice promptly so that the chance of other children becoming affected is reduced. At the back of this pack there is a quick information sheet to help.
There are many ways that you can work at home to help with your child’s learning. Here are some of them:
Read to, and share books with, your child at home – it’s really important that children are read to from the very early months of their life right up to the early secondary years. It makes a huge difference to how well they learn to read as well as how their language and writing develops.
Visit the library – our school library is open Monday after school and there is also a very good town library in Andover centre.
We have our very own Maths Library which is open after school every Wednesday. You can borrow games to play at hone and the more you borrow the more points your child earns toward maths awards.
All children will have a Reading Record in their book bag and this is where we send home notes about your child’s reading and how to help at home. There are useful notes at the front and back of the Record to help too. We hope that children read at least five times a week at home and that way they collect stamps which lead to reading awards after three, six and twelve stamps each term.
We send home theme sheets at the beginning of each new theme that we plan for in school and these have ideas about how to support learning at home.
Children in Reception and Key Stage One have a Home Learning Folder in their book bag and this has our phonic mat, a number line and pen, our school handwriting font in there as well as weekly activities and ideas to do at home.
Go out and about with your child and take an interest in the world – talk, talk, talk about what you see and discover
Ask your child’s class teacher how best to support learning at home – there may be specific targets or areas that you can help with.
If your child is not well then they should not be in school – we do want their attendance to be as high as possible but if a day at school is going to make a child more unwell, very uncomfortable or spread the bug to others then it is better to stay at home and get better as quickly as possible. It is parents / carers responsibility to let the school office know if a child is not attending school and to let us know the reason so that we can record the absence using the correct code. Please phone the school office as early as possible on the day of absence.
We ask that a child is clear of vomiting or diarrhea for at least 24 hours before returning to school to minimise the risk of infecting others.
If you are not sure about whether your child is well enough for a day at school and you bring them in to have a go, just talk to the the class staff and they can let you know later in the day how your child is getting on. If children become unwell during the day at school and we feel that you would like to know that they are very uncomfortable then we will phone you.
For safety reasons we ask that children do not wear any jewellery to school. If your child has pierced ears then small stud earrings are suitable but we will ask your child to take earrings out altogether for trampoline sessions – children will not be able to trampoline if they have earrings in.
Keeping in touch with parents and carers
We believe that having good communication with, and knowing our children’s parents and carers well, means that we can do an even better job of meeting children’s needs. We currently have several ways of trying to make sure we keep in touch with you regularly but we are always interested in any ideas you have! Here are some of the things in place at the moment:
Face to face contact at the door at drop off time.
Out and about mornings – members of school staff are often out and about at the beginning of the day and this is a good way to have a chat or catch up.
Easy to make an appointment – if you would like a meeting with the class teacher then just ask at the school office or in class and we will arrange a convenient time (or a chat on the phone if it’s easier) as soon as possible.
At the beginning of each new theme we send you an information sheet with what your child will be learning, any trips or events coming up and ways to help at home.
We send home a weekly newsletter every Friday with information about the learning going on in different Year Groups and bits and pieces of useful information. The newsletter is also always up on the board outside school and goes on the website.
The school website is growing all the time and has lots of information on it. We hope this is an easy way for you to find out information about what’s going on in school.
Phone or visit the school office between 8.30am and 4pm and our friendly team will answer any day to day queries you have - if your query is about learning or your child’s progress then they will make a time for you to meet with the class teacher.
Friday assembly – all parents and carers are welcome at our weekly Friday afternoon assembly when we celebrate the week’s achievements and birthdays. Come along for a 2.30pm start.
Wednesday afternoon there are school staff at Maths Library.
We have various events such as summer fair, Christmas performances, Autumn meet and greet tea parties as well as end of theme events in each Year Group Team.
Have a look too at Reading Routines and PTFA notes too
We believe that learning to read and having fun with books is one of the most important parts of young children’s time at school. Our Library is at the heart of the school and we make sure we have a wonderful stock of high quality books. Every class visits the library at least once a week so that children can change their books regularly. We also teach them book and library skills during these sessions.
The library is also open on a Monday after school until 3.30pm (also on a Wednesday when we have maths library) so that you can pick up from the classroom door and come straight to the library. Families can have borrowing cards for these after school sessions so that children can borrow even more books this way. All parents and carers are welcome to use the library after school so please come along and have a look!
At Knights Enham Nursery and Infant School we believe that children learn best when they:
feel safe and secure
have the opportunity to be active learners
engage in first hand experiences which stimulate them to think and to talk
know and understand what they are learning and how to make progress
We plan all the experiences children have in school very carefully and think about the day as a whole so that every part counts! Many different elements make up the learning experience for our children but here are some of the key ones for us:
Each Year Group plan a theme to support learning over a few weeks or a half term. The themes are cross curricula and follow the National Curriculum (Key Stage One) and Early Years Foundation Stage materials but we also teach some areas of learning separately from the theme. You will see a new theme sheet on the back of your newsletter at the beginning of each theme.
Careful planning - within each theme we will be planning for the learning journey that children take and this includes very careful structured plans for all the subject areas with mini journeys for English and Maths especially. Some learning is planned on a daily basis such as phonics as well as language groups, quick maths sessions and reading routine happening every day.
Careful organisation - we sometimes organise learning with the whole class together, sometimes in small groups with an adult or working on a task independently, and sometimes individually.
Classroom environment and workshops – our classroom spaces are set up on a workshop basis so that children can access learning opportunities and resources easily and imaginatively either when they are learning in a group with a member of staff or when they are working independently.
School Grounds and outside – we include our rich school grounds when we think about learning opportunities because we know that learning doesn’t just happen in a classroom, it can often be better outside where there’s more space, different opportunities or resources and a sense of being in touch with the natural world.
Trips and events – we aim to bring learning alive for our children by planning lots of trips out of school as well as organising different kinds of events and celebrations in school. We know that we all learn well when we have new experiences that kick start our thinking and our use of language..
We are very lucky in Hampshire to have a County led schools’ meals service who operate all our school lunches. These are cooked in the Junior kitchen and brought over to our serving area every day. There are always two choices – one vegetarian – and children choose which they would like when they register every morning. Children choose each day whether they are going to have a school hot lunch or they have brought their own packed lunch from home. The school lunch choices run on a three week rotation and we will send you home the menu (you will also be able to see it on our website or just ask at the school office). We eat our lunch in the hall and also set up tables outside whenever we can. Nursery and Reception begin having lunch at 11.45 and Key Stage One begin at 12.15pm.
From September 2014 the government are changing the arrangements for paying for school lunches and all infants (not Nursery age children) will be able to have a school lunch at no cost to parents. Some Nursery children may be eligible for a Free School Meal but only when they attend all day.
If you are sending your child with a packed lunch then please make sure that they have enough to eat without giving them too much! A balanced packed lunch will have some carbohydrate (like bread, crackers, pasta or rice), some protein (like cheese, ham, tuna, humus or beans), some fresh fruit or vegetables (like carrot sticks, cucumber, apple, banana or grapes) and maybe some extra protein like a yogurt. Children can use the plates and cutlery in the school hall and also have a drink of water. They do not have to bring a drink in their packed lunch and this often helps with keeping it dry!
We have no nuts policy for all our packed lunches as we often have children with a severe allergy to nuts and this can be very dangerous.
Our medicine policy is clear about when we can help with giving medicine at school and the forms / consents that we need from you to be able to do so. With something like an inhaler or other on-going medication we will ask you to provide a school one that we can keep and we will ask you to meet with staff to complete a simple health care plan and consent form. A short course of antibiotics may not need a dose to be given at school but if it does we will ask you to complete a consent form. We can also support with conditions such as diabetes and epilepsy with the support of health professionals. Your admission forms include the opportunity to tell us about any health issues and we can then discuss your child’s needs further and complete a health care plan if needed.
We will not take any medicine from parents or agree to give them to children before all the necessary paperwork has been completed. Parents are welcome to come into school to give doses of necessary medicine during the day. On no account should children have any form of medication in their book bag or on their peg.
As a school community we share responsibility for the well being and safety of all the children at Knights Enham Nursery and Infants. We have high expectations for our children and we ask that all visitors to the school grounds share and model those high expectations in their use of appropriate language and behaviour.
The whole of the school grounds site (this includes the area immediately outside each school gate) is No Smoking. The whole of the school grounds site is a no dog zone (except for assistance dogs) and this includes not tying dogs to the school fences or boundaries.
Parent Teacher and Friends Association (PTFA)
We have an active PTFA who have regular meetings in school and help support the work of the school in many ways including running the Summer School Fair. The PTFA are always looking for new members or any help that you can offer. Please ask in the office for details of who to contact.
There is very limited car parking space on the school site and the car park is for staff and visitors from other agencies only. There is no car parking for parents on site at all except for blue badge holders who need to use this facility to help with dropping off and picking up their children. Parents are able to park and drop off for Breakfast Club at 8am.
For the safety of all our children and parents we ask that everyone takes great care to follow the parking restrictions around the school entrance. The school entrance is not a drop off point.
Pick up arrangements
In your admission forms we will ask you for a list of people that you give permission for picking up your child. We will not allow anyone else to pick up your child and if the list changes at any time please let class staff or the school office know asap. If there is an emergency change during the day – say you are held up in traffic for example – then please phone to let us know who is able to pick up.
Like all schools we have many policies which support how we work and are a useful resource for finding out how we work. All our policies are approved by our Governors and we review them either annually or every two to three years. You will find our policies on the web site but if you have any queries then please don’t hesitate to ask.
Progress and letting you know
We are very clear at Knights Enham Nursery and Infant School that school is about learning and that this is why we are all here! We strongly believe that children learn best when they feel safe and secure, are happy and are enjoying high quality learning experiences. Children learn best when they are active and sometimes this might be through play experiences. Whatever the learning looks like, however, the aim is for children to be making progress in their learning – whether that is their ability to make good relationships, develop their imagination, widen their vocabulary, learn to spell, work out maths problems, develop their painting technique or any of the other many areas of our curriculum!
We keep careful observations and records of children’s progress in school. These might be on observation notes, on our planning, when we look at children’s work and it will be part of us knowing each child really well. In Foundation Stage we then look at the Early Years Foundation Stage guidance called Development Matters to see where this fits with age stage bands that suggest Age Related Expectations. At the end of Foundation Stage (end of Reception) we use all our observations and notes and knowledge about each child to decide if they have reached the Early Learning Goal in all the different areas of learning. In Key Stage One we use national benchmarks to help us record what stage each child is working at and we report these to the government at the end of Year Two.
The government also ask us to do a quick phonics check in the summer of Year One for all children and also for any children in Year Two who did not meet the expected phonics level in Year One.
All our children have a personal folder where we keep observations, records of meetings with parents and also a tracker sheet which we update in the middle of each term with the latest levels that the child is working at. A few weeks after each half term we will ask you in to school to meet with the class teacher and share the progress that your child is making. You can share the tracker at this meeting and this will help you see how your child is getting on and also how you can best support them with their learning.
At the end of each school year we will write a report about your child’s learning over the last year. The report includes all the levels that your child is working at and how this compares with age related expectations. You will have the opportunity to discuss the report with the class teacher before the summer holiday.
Some children qualify for pupil premium which is an extra sum of money from the government which is paid into our school budget and that we can spend on making sure our children get the best learning opportunities they can. The money might be spent on staffing, helping with trips, books, training or class room resources. When you fill in your admission paperwork we will be asking you some simple questions to see if your child qualifies for pupil premium.
We are very proud of the rapid progress that our children make in reading. There are many ways that we teach reading such as:
Guided reading (this is a small group working together with an adult all reading a copy of the same book)
Shared reading (this is either a small or large group sharing the same book such as a big book
Phonics sessions – this is usually a daily group where children learn the way our phonic (or sound) system works to sound out words
Reading to children – being read to is a really important part of learning to read and all our children are read to in class AT LEAST once a day
Having a good library, book areas in all classes and lots of signs and other print around us in school
Another very important way we teach reading at Knights Enham Nursery and Infants is through our Reading Routine which takes place in all classes every morning (and at the beginning of the afternoon Nursery session). During Reading Routine children keep their book bag and reading diary with them. They read their book to themselves or to an adult and whenever they are ready to they choose a new book to take home. All our book box books are kept in the Book Nest in class and each box has a good range for the children to choose from including fiction, information and poetry books.
Every child has a Reading Record which lives in their book bag. Staff at school write down notes about your child’s reading and we ask you to read with them at home at least five times a week and make a quick comment in the record too. We have a reward system so that if you comment at home five times in one week we stamp that page in the Reading Record. Each term there are rewards given in assembly when children have collected three, six and then twelve stamps.
School health service
We are lucky to be able to work with the School Nursing Team in Andover and the team will visit all children during their Reception year with us – we will be asking for your consent for this – for a quick health check. We can also ask the School Nursing Team for help and advice at any time and so if you have concerns that the school nurse may be able to help with let us know in school and we can pass it on or you can contact the team direct on 01264 835368.
We offer all (including Nursery) children a mid morning snack using the government funded fruit and vegetables in school scheme. In Foundation Stage children have their snack during Discovery time in the snack bar and in Key Stage One children usually have their snack during Fresh Air time mid morning. Children in Foundation Stage are also offered milk to drink every day. There is a choice of fruit and vegetables each day so that there is something for everyone. We ask that you do not send any other snack into school as this can cause several difficulties.
Speech and Language and other agencies we work with
We are often supported in school by the work of other agencies and professionals. We will always talk to you about your child meeting any other agency before we go ahead and make an appointment and this will usually be to support a particular need such as speech and language or developing English as an additional language.
We do have a legal duty to report any safeguarding concerns we have and sometimes we need to do this without informing parents.Take a look at our safeguarding policy and also under community on the website.
We are well staffed and pride ourselves on the level of qualifications and experience of our staff team. The school is divided into three Year Group Teams with our Two Year Olds, Nursery and Reception joining together as Foundation Stage and then a Year One Team and a Year Two Team. A Year Group Team Leader leads the team of staff and children in each Year Group (please see the staff list on the website for names and details). There are usually three support staff working with teachers in each Year Group Team. We have staff with specialisms such as supporting children with speech and language and Emotional Wellbeing Practitioner who may also work with your child. We also have a Deputy Headteacher and a Headteacher who work closely with Year Group Team Leaders to form the School Leadership Team.
In the office we have a Finance Manager and three Administrative Assistants and also our Family Partnership Manager. If you visit the school office or phone the school it will be someone from this team that you will meet or talk to initially.
You will see from the staff list that there are many different roles and responsibilities in school but fundamental to how we work is putting children’s needs and learning first and we work together to make sure that happens!
Times and routines for the school day
All our children go straight to their own class at the beginning of the day and each class has its own door to the outside. The doors open at 8.45am and close at 9am in the morning and then the day finishes and doors open at 3pm in the afternoon.
Nursery timings are slightly different as children are part time and may be coming for whole or half days. Some Nursery sessions end in the Community room and this is where parents collect children at 12 o’clock. Nursery staff will explain these timings when they meet with parents.
Please make sure everything is named!!
Our school uniform is purple sweatshirts or cardigans with the school logo with pale blue polo shirts and trousers / skirt / pinafore in grey or black or lilac check dresses / skirts. You will find many local shops stock everything and we have the purple sweatshirts and cardigans in school. When your child arrives we will be giving them a school book bag and water bottle but if these are lost or become tatty you can buy a new one from the office. We also have school hats, coats and PE bags but these are not a necessary part of our uniform.
We often have a box of lost property that we sell for a small price. If you are finding it difficult to afford uniform then please speak to the Office Team of Head or Deputy Headteacher and we may be able to help.
Children need to wear practical, dark shoes to school that are safe to play outside and on play apparatus in. They should not have a heel and they should always have a back to them (eg not flip flop type style). Velcro fastening is good for very young children until you teach them how to do shoe laces!
We ask you to provide a PE kit in a simple drawstring bag with a pair of shorts (no pockets), a plain T shirt and a pair of plimsolls or trainers. The PE kit lives in school on children’s pegs and just comes home when it is needed for washing. We will let you know if the class is planning to go swimming and children need kit.
You will find a price list for uniform on the website or please ask in the School Office.
We welcome volunteers in school and there are many ways that volunteers can help the work of the school such as helping with Reading Routine, supporting learning in class, helping with running a club, offering time to help with tidying or admin jobs, helping in the school grounds, and coming along on trips. We have a simple volunteer induction program, if you are interested in volunteering on a regular basis and this will include a criminal record check for suitability to work with children. Please ask the Headteacher or Deputy Headteacher for more details if you are interested.
Having enough to drink through the day is very important and we will give every child a water bottle when they join the school. We ask that you send the water bottle in every day and give it a wash and refill it every evening. The bottles are for water only. Each class will have a place to keep water bottles and children are able to use them throughout the day.