Routines and Procedures
Our Unit uses an online service called Tapestry. This online journal records a child’s progress and achievements. It is used to capture photographs and videos of children completing their tasks during their school day. At the end of the year, you will be able to download a report to keep. You can find more information about Tapestry here.
Information is usually communicated through the newsletter every other week. Newsletters are sent by email and dated by month and edition number so you will know if you have missed one. They are also uploaded to the website. Other letters will also be sent via email and uploaded to the website for those with no email address. The website is updated regularly and has archived copies of newsletters, curriculum information and useful information.
General reminders, queries regarding absences and other brief messages are sent via text so please ensure your mobile number is kept up to date.
Dropping off and Collection
Many of our children come to school by taxi, we have a separate entrance via Friar’s lane and a taxi drop off area. Staff will meet children at the taxi and walk them to their classrooms at 9:00am and escort them from class to the taxi at 3:00pm.
Parents dropping off their children can do so via this same entrance, but please be aware that we have a number of cars and taxi buses coming and going during these times.
If there is a change to the regular home arrangements for your child, the school office must be informed by phone or in a letter, in advance if possible. Where possible it is helpful if your child also knows about the change.
Lunches and Snacks
Children are able to have a drink in the classroom but this must be in a named bottle and should only contain water. Children are encouraged to bring a healthy snack like a piece of fruit, carrot, cucumber or cheese for break time. During the day there will be breakfast and snack provided for the children, where they will be encouraged to practice using cutlery, preparing food and sitting with others. We also encourage children to try and explore new foods and will work with children who have food aversion or struggle with unfamiliar foods. We also have time for snack in the afternoon where appropriate.
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. They are allowed one item such as a chocolate biscuit bar. Try to avoid sandwiches with chocolate spread and peanut butter due to allergies. Please also limit the amount of processed food in their lunch such as crisps, fruit winders, dairylea lunchables and cheese strings as many of these contain significant amounts of hidden sugar and salt. 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 must 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 contact the school. 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 above. 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.
If you need to leave a message for a member of staff, for example concerning collection arrangements or appointments, please phone or go to the school office in the morning. If you require a longer discussion please make arrangements with the class teacher for a mutually convenient time.
If you wish to speak to Mrs Kemble or Mrs Barlow please contact the office to make an appointment.
You can contact the school via email firstname.lastname@example.org however if it is urgent it is better to phone.
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 class teacher 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 a child from each class is nominated for an award on Friday. The awards will be given for examples of work or behaviour which show our positive values in action. This is an integral part of our behaviour policy. We hope by positive reinforcement and highlighting positive role models, to help all our children learn the self discipline needed to live as caring members of our community. This will be added to Tapestry so you can celebrate your child’s success at home.
Safety & Security
Parking near school is limited and parents are not permitted to use either car park at any time (except for disabled access by agreement with the school). Obviously we appreciate some of the difficulty is caused by people unconnected with the school and the majority of parents make arrangements to park elsewhere when bringing children to school, however, please ensure that you do not park or stop outside the school entrance. It would be helpful if parents could make use of parking near Waitrose and Halfords rather than Westgate Street. Please use the pedestrian crossing or patrol officer to cross Westgate St. Please remember that parking on the zig zag lines is illegal.
Parents dropping off at Breakfast club should not use the carpark as staff arrive early and it causes delay if they are unable to park. The gate will be closed at 8.15am and only staff admitted.
Please do not use the blue door from the playground to come into school in the mornings especially if you wish to speak to a teacher or are coming into help. Please use the main entrance so that in the event of an emergency we know who is in the building. If you have a message for the classteacher please go to the office who will pass it on.
Children are not allowed to use the playground equipment before or after school or to play on the grass.
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.
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.
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 you can access the head lice advice bank. Go to www.advicebank.co.uk/lice to register. Use our school’s licence key 159-198-500 and then type in your email address – you’ll be sent your own password to access the material as often as you like for free.
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.
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.
If your child is prescribed medication they need to take during school hours please refer to the Health and Medicine Policy in the policy section of the website.
We are given minimum periods of absence for some illness by the local health authority, especially those which are particularly contagious or could be dangerous to pregnant women for example. If your child has been unwell with vomiting or diarrhoea they must be clear for 48 hours before returning to school. Please check with the office if you are unsure whether it is safe for your child to return to school.
If your child has a serious accident or is ill in school and needs to be collected, we will contact you immediately.
For significant injuries, first aid treatment will be given and the top copy of the accident report detailing the nature of the accident and action taken will be put in your child’s bag.
For minor injuries such as grazes, scrapes and small cuts these will be cleaned and child comforted as necessary but no accident form completed or sent home.
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.