Routines and Procedures
In order to keep you up-to-date with what is happening in school our preferred form of communication is via our website. Learning Intentions (an overview of the curriculum) for the following week for your child’s year are uploaded each Friday to our website, along with newsletters, trip letters, printable forms and diary of events. Emails will be sent with a link to alert you to new information and general reminders will also be sent via email. Please make sure you email details are kept up to date.
Our website address is www.st-josephs.suffolk.sch.uk
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.
If you need to leave a message for a member of staff, for example concerning collection arrangements or appointments, please email the school office or speak to the teacher in the playground after school. If you require a longer discussion, please make arrangements with the classteacher for a mutually convenient time.
If you wish to speak to Mrs Kemble or Mrs Price, please contact the office to make an appointment. You can contact the school via email email@example.com however if it is urgent it is better to phone (01787 373365).
Dropping Off and Collection
The school gates will open at 8.35am with children being able to enter the school building from 8.40am ready for registration at 8.50am. 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.
There is a ‘Stop & Drop’ available from 8.35am to 8.50am. Please drive to school from The Croft/Church end, stop outside the main gates where a member of staff will help your child out of the car and onto the playground
The school gates will be locked at 8.50am and any children who are late can then enter school through the main door and MUST report to reception and be signed in.
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.
In the afternoon, Noah Class should be collected from the Early Years outdoor play area next to their classroom promptly at 3.10pm. All other classes will be brought out to the main playground at 3.15pm.
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.
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.
Children in Reception, year 1 and year 2 will be eligible for Universal Free School Meals. From year 3 onwards school dinners must be paid for in advance on Fridays for the week, month or half term ahead. Children will not be served if a debt arises for more than two days. If there are any difficulties with payment, please speak to Mrs Kemble, Mrs Price or a member of office staff.
Please check via 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 if you think your child may be entitled to income related free school meals. Please apply even if your child currently receives universal free school meals as the school receives additional funding for children in receipt of income related free school meals and your child will also receive a free set of school uniform, reduced price trips and clubs as well as the free school lunch. Please note that your child does not need to eat school dinners every day to qualify. Please speak with the school office staff if you require further information.
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
- 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
- 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).
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.
All children are able to have a drink in the classroom but this must be in a named bottle and can only contain water. Children in reception, year 1 and 2 are provided fruit at morning break. From year 3 children are encouraged to bring a healthy snack like a piece of fruit, carrot, cucumber or cheese for break time. Cheese strings, cheese dippers, cereal bars and fruit winders are not permitted. We prefer snacks that do not need wrappers or packaging as it saves litter.
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.
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 Joseph’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 occasion’s withdrawal from playtime, school privileges or activities are used as a sanction too. This is monitored by Mrs Kemble and Mrs Price 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 in assembly on Friday. The ‘Hand of Success’ award recognises examples of work or behaviour which show our Christian values and our school’s Learning Characteristics 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.
A full copy of the Behaviour Policy is available from the school office or the school website.