ST MARY'S CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL

Celebrating Excellence through our Faith and Learning

01454 866390

01454 866391

admin@stmarysbs.org.uk

New Pupil Information Booklet

Please find below information from our New Pupil Information Pack, which you can translate into your home language using the Google Translate button below.

Welcome to St Mary’s. We are looking forward to getting to know you and your child.

Please note that many of our school policies are on our school website, including our attendance, homework and behaviour policies. There is also other information such as term dates and a diary of dates. If you are unable to access the website and require hard copies of any of the above information, please do not hesitate to contact the school office.

Please read the information in the booklet and complete the permissions form included in this pack. There are also several other forms that it is essential that you complete and return to the school office.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require further information or help completing this booklet.

Mrs Paula Marsh

Head Teacher

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Home-School Agreement

At St Mary’s we have a duty and desire to provide your child with a ‘Quality Education’, but a child’s education starts in the home and is continued as a partnership between home, school and parish.

So that this partnership will give every child the best possible chance of success, we feel the partners should be clear about what each can reasonably expect of the others. This is hopefully what this document does.

We ask that you and your child read this document together, discuss each responsibility individually in order to ensure understanding, and then sign at the appropriate places. In the case of a very young child, we suggest the child make an attempt at their name and if necessary you then scribe the name beside theirs.(Please now complete the attached Home-School Agreement)

 

Data Collection Form

It is essential that the school has up to date contact information for your child. The data collection form asks you to list contact details of parents or other carers that we can contact about your child, particularly if they are unwell. It also asks for the details of your child’s doctor, along with dietary and medical conditions. (Please now complete the attached Data Collection Form)

Absent Parents

We appreciate that both parents do not always live with their children and therefore their details may not be included on the data collection form. In order that we carry out our statutory duties and inform anyone who has parental responsibility of his/her child’s progress whilst at St Mary’s, please give details of anyone not listed on the Data Collection Form that has parental responsibility for your child, on the attached Absent Parents Form. (Please now complete the attached Absent Parent Form if applicable)

Home/School Communication and ParentMail®

We try very hard to keep parents regularly informed about what is going on at the school and do this through a variety of methods. Our school uses ParentMail®, which is a text and email messaging service.  More urgent messages will be sent by text and other information by email. This will go direct to your phone or computer or can be accessed through the ParentMail® app that you can download (we will send you information on how to access this once we have you set up the system). We will need to ensure that we have the correct details of any parent/carer who will we need to receive any communication.

Please be assured that ParentMail® is registered with the Data Protection Registrar and guarantees that all information you provide will be kept private and will not be passed on to any other organisation.

Letters sent home to parents are also available on the website under our ‘News and Events’ section. You will also receive a fortnightly newsletter by email. This too is available on the website and there are hard copies in the foyer. (Please now complete the attached ParentMail® Form)

Educational Visits

Each year your child will have the opportunity to take part in educational visits, walks etc. which means they will be taken off the school premises. Individual class letters giving details of a planned trip and requesting payment and/or parental help will be e-mailed to you prior to the educational visit or walk. The consent form gives permission for your child to be taken off the school premises by teachers, support staff and parent helpers.  We will of course follow all the health and safety regulations as set out in both our Health and Safety and Educational Visits policies. (Please now tick the Educational Visits section on the Permission Form to give consent).

 

Food Tasting

During their time at St Mary’s, your child will have the opportunity to take part in various activities which include tasting different food types.  Individual class letters giving details of a planned food tasting activity and possibly requesting a contribution towards costs/donations of food etc., and/or parental help, will be e-mailed to you prior to the activity taking place.

Please ensure that you list any dietary requirements/allergic reactions that should be taken into consideration (where indicated) and keep the school informed of any changes to this information.   

We will of course follow all the health and safety regulations regarding the preparation / sharing of food etc. (Please now tick the Food Tasting section on the Permission Form to give consent).

Allowance of Photography and Videoing

Schools are in a very difficult position in that we have to balance protecting our children, at the same time as being realistic in that many of the events and occasions are milestones in a child’s life and moments that family and indeed schools wish to hold onto.  In considering this balance we have to accept that there is always a risk that an individual may have an ulterior motive for taking a photograph or video, or may have an inappropriate thought when doing so.  Only the individual concerned can be held responsible for this.  As a school our responsibility is to reduce the chance of that risk materialising, and to that end we are  making the following recommendations:-

  • One person, designated by the school prior to the event, to carry out the videoing of major school events, such as the Christmas Play, School Camp. This will enable the school to have sight of what has been captured.
  • Teachers, or persons designated by the school, to carry out photography during class activities, assemblies or trips, for the purpose of display within the school to celebrate work undertaken.
  • Photographs taken for use in a newspaper report to be vetted and approved by the school prior to publication, and no surnames or addresses supplied.
  • Parents to be asked not to bring/use cameras or video recorders, (including phone cameras) at school events where ‘official’ photography is provided. (It causes a disturbance if nothing else)
  • Parents to consult a member of staff before using a camera or video camera, at any school event.

Where there is a school recorded family separation, permission from both parents will be sought.  We would add that if any parent refuses permission for their child to be photographed or videoed (Recommendations 1-3) then this will be respected and the school would need to decide whether or not to video the event at all, or to exclude the child from the video/photo. (Please now tick the Photography and Videoing section on the Permission Form to give consent).

 

School Website

The school’s website is a major way that you can access school information at any time.  The site has a range of information related to the school and the many activities and events that go on.  It also contains copies of newsletters, termly curriculum overviews, policies and any other information felt to be relevant, including that produced by the Friends of St Mary’s. 

One of the key elements related to a website is the use of photographs.  Clearly the site will contain photographs related to the building and the grounds but if we are to show the many activities and celebrations that go on within a school, such photographs would involve pupils.

As you are aware the school has already sought your consent for the use of photographs used for display purposes within school or in the newspapers however, we need to seek consent if we are able to use any pictures on the website.  (No names would be linked with any photographs; forenames would only be used if there was a piece of work displayed on the site).  It may also be possible to make use of videos or pupils discussions and so consent for this has also been incorporated into the Permissions Form.

(Please now tick the School Website section on the Permission Form to give consent).

 

ICT and E-Safety

Included with this booklet, you will find a shortened copy of the school’s ICT and E-Safety Policy (the full policy is available on our website).  As part of the pupils’ development in ICT we are required to make them aware of the internet and its uses, including e-mail. However, as you know, the use of the internet can bring all manner of information to the attention of the pupil.  Everything possible is carried out to prevent access to any unsuitable material i.e. implementation of the policy, use of a Local Authority backed filtering system and pre-visited sites by teachers, but we cannot give you a 100% guarantee. With all activities there are risks, but in weighing up the risk element it is minimal and obviously the risk is greater the older the pupils get.

(Please now tick the E-Safety section on the Permission Form to give consent).

School Lunches and Pupil Premium

Children can choose between having a cooked dinner and bringing their own packed lunch.

Under the Government’s Universal Infant Free School Meals scheme, all pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are entitled to a free school meal. Children in KS2 can have a school meal at a cost of £2.00 per day, unless you are a low income family, in which case your child may be entitled to a free meal under the Free School Meals scheme.

Who qualifies for free school meals?

Free school meals can only be awarded if you or your partner are claiming either;

  • Child Tax Credit, provided you are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual income (as assessed by HM Revenue & Customs) that does not exceed £16,190
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The Guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit run on – paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit

If the criteria above applies to you, you should apply to see if you are eligible under the Free School Meal Scheme. This applies even if your child is in KS1 and entitled to the Universal Infant Free School Meals, as it will automatically follow them through the school. The other benefit from being eligible for free school meals pupils, is that the school can claim the Pupil Premium grant.

What is Pupil Premium?

Pupil Premium is extra money paid direct to schools for each child who is eligible for free school meals due to the household being on a low income. It is used to support your child’s education. This can mean academic support, financial help such as free school trips and after-school clubs and other ways in which we can support your child. This will be carried out in a confidential manner, so that your child would not be identifiable to other students or parents.

You can see if you are eligible by completing the enclosed form or applying through:-

http://www.southglos.gov.uk/advice-and-benefits/benefits/free-school-meals/

(Please now tick the relevant section on the permission form to indicate whether you have enclosed the Free School Meals application).

 

Donations and Gift Aid

As a ’voluntary-aided’ school, the school is responsible for maintaining and improving the building and grounds. Due to very good financial management the school has been able to subsidise all the above largely from its budget; however this will not necessarily be the case in the near future.  Maintenance costs will also rise as the school becomes older.

As a voluntary aided school the Governors, who act on your behalf, are required to pay 10% of any building costs or maintenance.  The only way this can be provided is through donations from you as parents who have opted to send your child to a VA school.  Since opening the school has already expanded and developed in order to continue to provide an education of the highest standard.  It has:

  • had an administration extension to enable others areas to be used for teaching  - cost £100,000
  • An additional classroom built at a cost of £162,000
  • Playground equipment cost £30,000
  • Perimeter Fencing at a cost of £25,000
  • Stained glass windows
  • Contribution towards outdoor play equipment
  • ICT Suite / food room £150,000
  • Outdoor classroom
  • Cark park gates and other security measures

We ask that parents to make a contribution of £9 per annum per child to support the Governors responsibility to maintain the building and grounds.  This is a voluntary contribution and it will not be detrimental to your child if you do not contribute. This donation can be made through our online facility or if you are unable to pay by this method, you can contribute by cash or cheque (made payable to St Mary’s School Governors’ Fund).  If you are a tax payer we may also be able to claim an additional 25% on your donation, so please tick the Gift Aid box.

Governors recognise that not all families are in the same financial state and that in some situations even this small amount may be difficult.  If this is the case then please feel free to donate an amount that you feel is affordable. No amount is too small. If you feel able to contribute more than the set amount then please feel free to do so.   

The philosophy behind keeping a donation small is that it should be within most people’s range to contribute and as all children benefit from the education provided at St Mary’s, then the cost should be evenly spread.  (Please now tick the relevant section on the Permission Form to give details on donations and Gift Aid)

 

School Milk

Your child is eligible for free school milk until his/her 5th birthday. Milk is given to your child each day, usually in the afternoon. Once your child turns five, you have the option of then purchasing milk for your child using the School Milk Service.

Prior to their 5th birthday School Milk Services will contact you by letter, via the school, informing you of the costs involved and how to pay accordingly. If your child’s 5th birthday is in September or early October 2016, the necessary information required to purchase milk for your child will be given to you during July. This will then enable you to process the paperwork accordingly and your child to have milk as soon as they start school. (Please now tick the School Milk section on the Permission Form to give consent for school milk)

Fruit and Vegetables Scheme

Under the Government’s School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme, each child aged four to six in LEA-maintained schools will be entitled to receive a free piece of fruit or vegetable each school day.  The fruit and vegetables will be fresh and of good quality. Scientists agree that everybody, including children, can reduce their risk of heart disease and cancer by eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.  On average, children in the UK eat only two/ three portions a day.

The scheme is voluntary, and although there is no obligation for your child to take part, we hope you will share our belief that it has many benefits.  It is a great way to help us teach your child/children the benefits of healthy eating.  KS2 pupils are also able to take part in this scheme by making a small termly payment.

It is essential that you inform us of any allergies your child may have so that we can ensure they are not given anything that might harm them.  (Please now tick the Fruit and Vegetables section on the Permission Form to give consent, indicating any allergies).

Making Schools A Better Places For Learning

Under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 2005, schools, Local Authorities and the Department for Education need to collect information so that they understand the nature of the disabled pupil population for whom they are responsible and to help in planning and monitoring provision and improving outcomes.  The school’s Privacy Notice is available on the website and contains information for you regarding how your data is held and managed by the school, with details of how to obtain further information should you require it.  (Please now complete the attached ‘Making Schools a Better Place for Learning’ questionnaire and return it in the enclosed envelope).

Collection and Recording of Pupils’ Ethnic Background

All schools are required by the Department for Education (DfE) to gather information on ethnicity in schools.  The information is used to compile statistics on the school careers and experiences of children from different backgrounds, to help ensure that all children have the opportunity to fulfil their potential.  These statistics will not allow individual children to be identified publicly and the information will not be used for any other purpose.  From time to time this information will be passed to the Local Education Authority and the DfE to contribute to local and national statistics.  Information about your child’s ethnic background will be passed on to any other school to which your child transfers to save you having to be asked for it again.  You can ask to check your child’s information at any time and, if you wish, have the ethnic background changed or removed. (Please now complete the attached ‘Ethnic Background’ questionnaire and return it in the enclosed envelope).

 

Other information

Parent Pay

In order to make payments to the school as easy as possible for both parents and the school, most payments can be paid online through ParentMail®, which we use to send texts and emails. Payments for school dinners, trips, breakfast club, music tuition, etc. can all be paid this way, although we will still ask for cash or cheques for charity or sponsored events and other instances where small payments are expected. You will be able to pay through debit card, credit card, PayPal or PayCash. Further details will be sent once you are set up on the ParentMail® system. We can still accept cash or cheques at this time but are hoping for the majority of payments to be made online in the near future.

Water Bottles

We encourage the children to drink plenty of water during the school day as we find this helps to keep them alert and hydrated. We have found that the children need to drink water on a regular basis and not just at break times. To help with this we encourage the children to bring a bottle of water with them each day which they can keep in their classroom and use throughout the day.

The school has a stock of clear plastic bottles at a cost of £1 from the school office or you child can bring their own. Please ensure that your child’s name is clearly marked on the side of the water bottle. We ask that you fill the bottle with water only, as flavoured and fizzy drinks are not allowed. 

 

Uniform

All the items below are available to purchase direct from our uniform supplier “Initially Yours” with the exception of the items marked *.  These items can be purchased from any retail shop. There is an ‘Initially Yours’ leaflet enclosed in this pack.

WINTER

Jade sweatshirt/cardigan with school logo                                        

Navy school polo shirt with school logo                                           

Grey skirt/tunic *                                                        

Grey trousers/shorts (not black) *                                             

Black shoes *                                                             

OptionalFleece / Waterproof Jacket

SUMMER

Girls

Yellow gingham/checked dresses *

Jade sweatshirt/cardigan with school logo

Boys

Grey shorts *

Navy school polo shirt with school logo

RECEPTION CLASS ONLY

Waterproof jacket and trousers (for forest Fridays)

PE KIT

Hooded PE sweatshirt with school logo

Jade tee-shirt with school logo

Navy shorts (plain navy track suit bottoms, with no logos, can be worn in the winter)*

Black trainers *

PE Bag

So as to protect all books transported from school to home, we ask all parents to purchase a school book bag.