Starting a new school can be a daunting time for both parents and children alike. We want everyone connected with our school to feel ‘at home’ with the services we provide and to settle quickly and happily into our community. We hope the following information will help you get to know our school. Should you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact the school office or speak to your class teacher.
What are the school times?
School begins at 8.45 but the bell is rung a few minutes before this (8.42a.m) to ensure children are in class ready to start as near to this time as possible. Children can be on the playground from 8:30a.m when supervision will begin. Children have a 15 minute morning playtime and KS1 also have a 20 minute afternoon playtime. Lunch starts at 12.00 for lower school and 12.10 for upper school. Afternoon lessons begin at 1.05 and school finishes at 3.15 when we ask you to meet your children promptly in the playground. Should you be delayed for any reason please let the office know as soon as possible. Please read our Attendance Policy for full details on attendance and lateness.
After school care club runs from 3.15 until 5.30. (£8.00 per session, concessions for siblings)
After school activity clubs also run from 3.15, again check individual club finishing times. Club details go out every half- term and are listed on our website.
Where can I park?
We have an agreement with The Village Inn whereby parents/visitors can use the pub car park so as to avoid parking on School Lane. We strongly discourage cars being parked outside of the school as this is a very busy road and we are situated on a bend reducing vision for drivers and pedestrians alike. Parking on this road is considered to be irresponsible.
What can my children wear?
Please refer to the school Uniform Policy.
We ask that PE kits remain in school during the week as PE lesson days may change and sometimes kit is needed for other lessons.
In dry weather children play outside in their trainers, on wet days children wear wellingtons for playtimes so it is important that these are available every day. School shoes are worn at all other times – not trainers.
PLEASE ENSURE THAT ALL UNIFORM IS CLEARLY NAMED.
In winter please provide your child with appropriate hat, scarf and gloves. Likewise in summer a sun hat is needed and a long sleeve cotton top to protect skin from the sun.
What can my child eat/drink during the day?
Fruit is provided for all children at morning play.
We send all parents a lunchtime menu and the current one is always available on the website. A choice of hot meals is available, one being vegetarian and there is also a packed lunch alternative.
KS1 children are currently entitled to Universal Free School Meals and children order their lunch on a daily basis when registers are taken.
For KS2 children meals are booked and paid for on Monday mornings for the entire week. Money should be placed in a sealed, named envelope with your child’s meal requirements.
If you provide your child with a packed lunch please be aware we consider ourselves a healthy school and have been awarded the ‘food for life’ award. Therefore we ask that home packed lunches are healthy ones and do not contain sweets including chocolate bars. Some of our children also have nut allergies therefore please ensure that foods containing nuts are not brought into school. Fizzy drinks and glass bottles are not allowed.
What do I do if my child is ill/has an appointment/needs time off school?
If your child falls ill please inform the school on the morning of the first missed day before school starts. On your child’s return we ask that you put in writing the reason for absence. If your child suffers sickness or diarrhoea your child should remain off school 48 hours after the last episode of sickness or diarrhoea.
We request all appointments to be made outside of school hours; however we do recognise that this is not always possible so ask that you give the school good notice of any impending appointments in writing.
All holidays in term time will be recorded as unauthorised and will only authorised in exceptional circumstances. County is concerned about the number of absences due to holidays and the effect that this has on children’s education. Please read our Attendance Policy.
How is classroom discipline managed?
Behaviour at Little Melton Primary is considered to be outstanding (Ofsted Report 2011) Please read our Behaviour Policy in the policies section of our website.
Within each class there is a 3 step system. If behaviour is not acceptable a warning is given, if this results in no change to the behaviour the child’s name is moved to step 1 (in all but Eagle Owls these are written on pegs and attached to classroom mobiles) the peg is moved back to base at the start of each afternoon and morning session thereby giving the child a ‘fresh start’. On the rare occasions that behaviour continues to be unacceptable and the peg is moved to the 3rd step then a visit will be made to see the Head Teacher.
We find that by recognising and praising good behaviour any misdemeanors are soon rectified.
Reward system includes the earning of house points. For outstanding behaviour/work a Head Teacher award can be given, followed by a mention in the weekly newsletter. In Friday’s celebration assembly our ‘stars of the week’ are recognised and their photograph placed in reception area.
Is homework given?
Please refer to our Homework Policy on the school website for greater detail.
We firmly believe that a homework routine is valuable but also recognise the importance of children taking part in clubs and family activities and therefore endeavor to achieve balance in the amount and type of homework given. Should you feel the need for more homework the class teacher can make suggestions as to suitable websites. If you find your child is finding homework challenging to complete then do not hesitate to speak with the class teacher.
Reception children are encouraged to develop a love of books and families are encouraged to both read to and with their children on a daily basis.
We do encourage lots of reading and sharing of books which we ask to be recorded in a reading diary provided by the school.
Children are encouraged to note down homework given and date due in the diaries provided by school.
How does the House System work?
We have 4 houses – Citrine, Topaz, Garnet and Emerald. Families are allotted to a house and children can gain points for their house through good manners, achievements, kindness, progress and general attitude etc
Each week the winning house is announced in assembly and at the end of the school year a cup is awarded to the overall winner. Your child/ren will be told which house they are in within 2 weeks of starting school.
How will my child be taught to read?
At Little Melton Primary School, we believe in developing a reading culture throughout the school by creating welcoming book areas in classrooms, a school library hosting a variety of books, and raising the profile of reading through a print rich environment, attractive book displays and promoting the written word at all times.
In Foundation Stage and Key Stage One the children are taught to read using the “Letters and Sounds”. This programme teaches children to decode text phonetically by introducing them to different phonemes (sounds) step by step.
“Letters and Sounds” takes children through six Phases, with children typically moving through Phases 1-4 during Reception, and then onto Phase 5 and 6 throughout Year 1 and 2. Phase 1 prepares children for hearing the sounds by practising their listening skills. Phase 2 introduces the initial sounds and double consonants. Children also begin to segment sounds and blend them together to read words. Phase 3 introduces sounds made up of two letters e.g. “oo”. Phase 4 consolidates these sounds and the children practise segmenting and blending longer words. Phase 5 introduces alternative ways to spell different sounds e.g. “ay” in “day” and “ai” in “rain”. Phase 6 introduces various spelling patterns which help children to spell more accurately using their phonic knowledge. Throughout these phases children are introduced to certain “tricky” words that cannot be sounded out. These are also called “High-Frequency Words” which the children will come into contact with regularly in their reading.
The children are taught in whole-class teaching sessions, and each session goes through a Revisit – Teach – Practise – Apply format so the children are able to consolidate their learning in a pacey, engaging style. Children are closely monitored to assess their learning and they are also assessed termly to check their progress, with teaching adjusted accordingly.
We also have a large selection of ‘book banded’ texts available in our school library. Children are matched to a colour band in accordance with their reading ability and are free to select a text to take home on a daily basis. This is assessed regularly to ensure children are reading within the correct colour band.
Throughout all key stages children have regular access to group guided reading sessions, where texts are explored with a particular focus i.e. use of vocabulary, structure of different text types.
Parents are an integral part in the children’s ‘reading journey’. We encourage children to read at home on a daily basis and communication between school and home is recorded in a ‘Reading Record’. We invite parents/ members of the community to come and read with children both individually and as a group. Reception and Key Stage 1 children can receive “Golden Time” on a Thursday afternoon if they read at least 4 times throughout the week.
How is home/school communication managed?
Red Books in lower school and Diaries in upper school – Both parents and teachers are encouraged to make comments in these books. In lower school these are checked daily but from year 3 onwards it is the child’s responsibility to hand this to the adult if a message has been written in the book for them. Comments can be about anything of interest – achievements, minor concerns, homework, praise, general queries etc.
Once finalised a class timetable is put into these books.
Weekly newsletter –this is e-mailed out on Thursdays and contains important news and a diary of forthcoming events – to keep updated please make sure you read this each week.
Text service to parents – this is used to inform parents of cancelled clubs, school closures and general reminders. It is therefore important that you ensure we have up to date contact details. Please note that the text service cannot receive text messages.
School website – This is regularly updated and contains lots of information about the school.
Basket system – Each class has their own basket into which children deposit dinner money, trip money, and letters/reply slips etc – anything which is to go to the office. This system helps to encourage children’s independence and ensures teachers and office staff are free to deal with other important matters.
The Head Teacher or a member of staff is available in the playground each morning and can deal with general queries and messages.
You are most welcome to speak with the class teacher after school or if not possible please telephone the office to make a mutually convenient appointment. Where possible we discourage unarranged meetings with class teachers at the start of the school day as it is the teachers’ duty to be ready to receive her class and be fully prepared to start the school day promptly.
Letters – the school sends out both class and individual information in letter form often by email. We do try to send out most letters on a Thursday with the school newsletter. You can send information/requests in this way addressed to the appropriate person. You can also e-mail the office with general enquiries.
Telephone – in the event of the office being unmanned you can leave messages via answer phone which is checked regularly.
Parent Consultations – We have 2 formal consultations where you are invited in to discuss your child’s progress/achievements.
Parent information evenings – last year these included 2 evenings on math calculations and one on how we teach reading across the school, which was followed with an open event.
Open afternoon/evening where you can come in and look at work across the whole school and meet all teachers.
Special assemblies – families and friends are invited to attend special assemblies and events where the classes will showcase some of their work and achievements.
How can I get involved in school life?
Attend school events which are all advertised in the newsletter or The Friends newsletter.
The Friends – This group of parents, grandparents and friends raise funds for the school via social events, a very successful May Fair and other fundraising activities. They provide transport for school trips, additional equipment and Christmas entertainment, disco’s etc for the children. Without their support and hard work we would not be able to provide as many wonderful experiences for your children. The Friends are always looking for additional help – even if you cannot attend meetings regularly there may be other things you can help with. Please let the school office know if you are willing to help and we will pass on your contact details.
Governors – we do occasionally have vacancies on the Governing Body. These will be advertised to all parents.
Helping in school – some parents help on a regular basis with things like reading, art classes, or general classroom support etc. Others help by sharing their skills e.g. dental hygienist has spoken to the children; story teller provides occasional entertainment, dressmaker helping make costumes. Please speak to the class teacher or Head Teacher if you would like to help in any way. A DBS check will be required.
What if I have a complaint?
If you have cause for concern this must be raised as soon as possible with your child’s teacher. We usually find that most things can be resolved at this stage if reported early enough. Parents and staff alike all want their children to be happy and make the best possible progress.
Please read our Complaints Policy.
Should you find the matter cannot be resolved then please make an appointment to speak with the Head Teacher.
All concerns are taken seriously, will be investigated promptly and outcomes reported back to you.
We also ask that you let us know if we do something particularly well – like children, we love praise as well as welcoming your ideas on how to become even better!