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Communication, Admin & Travel

The information below is what is in place when things are "normal"!  During this time of Coronavirus, some of our processes have been altered in line with government guidelines.  These amendments are written in

blue italic

to highlight these changes.  Please do email office@stnm.org.uk if you have any queries.

The School Office

Weekly Bulletin, Newsletters and Dates

Email and letters

Texting 

Emergency Contacts

Separated Parents

Seeing staff before or after school

School Website                                                                                          

Coming to School/Nursery

On Time!

Parking

Scooter & Cycle shed

Cycling to and from school

Bad weather

Home time

Home time supervision

Running late?

Uncollected children policy – extracts (Full policy available on request)

Dogs

Financial Contributions

 

The School Office

The school office is open from 8am – 4.30pm and is always busy, particularly at drop-off and pick-up times.  Staff are always willing to help and we would ask that you also help them by doing the following:

  • Read the weekly parent & carer bulletin, letters and emails.  Check your email inbox and your child’s bag for letters daily. 
  • Reply to letters and emails promptly e.g. by completing consents and purchases via sQuid.
  • Inform the school by 9.15am if your child is absent.
  • Inform the school by 2pm if you are changing arrangements for the collection of your child that day.
  • Check the website first for information about events, dates, clubs, emails/letters sent home before contacting the school office.  Most answers to your questions can be found there (you can use the touch screen in the foyer area if required).
  • Ensure your child comes to school with things they need for the day as the school does not have the capacity to contact parents about forgotten homework, water bottles, jumpers/coats, packed lunches etc.
  • Ensure you pass on any messages to your child before the start of the school day, the school will not pass on further messages during the school day except in case of emergency.

Access to the school office: Pedestrians should use the designated path to reach the office or via the Cherry Tree Playground (high level door release button on left hand side).  There are many vehicle movements throughout the day with frequent deliveries and visitors.  Parents should not park in the staff car park.

Current arrangements: the office is closed to parents and carers except for pre-arranged appointments.  Just outside the foyer entrance, there is a box to place in any forgotten items which will be taken to your child and also a Quick drop box for letters, messages etc.  Please phone 01273 454470 or email office@stnm.org.uk if you have any queries.  Back to top

Weekly Bulletin, Newsletters and Dates

  • Weekly bulletin: usually produced every Friday (you will receive a text with a link) and contains important information, dates and news so please do read it carefully. 
  • Newsletters: issued at the end of each term with a round-up of what has been happening during the term. 
  • Calendars: term dates, inset days, events and trips.  The calendar can be filtered by year group to help you find dates relevant to you. Follow the link for instructions on how to use or subscribe to the calendar.
  • Dates list: the dates list is kept up-to-date. A hard copy is available from the office although please remember to check the online list for any changes.

All the above are available online at www.stnicolasmary.w-sussex.sch.uk  If you do not have access to a computer, we have a touch screen in the foyer which parents/carers may use.    Back to top

Email and letters

Messages can be emailed to the office: office@stnm.org.uk This is an effective way to get an important message through quickly.   Letters and emails sent home can also be found on the website.     Back to top

Texting 

The school's texting service is used to send messages such as school closures, reminders or cancellation of clubs. Please make sure the school has your correct mobile phone number.  On some days more than one message is sent so do scroll back to make sure you don’t miss any important information.  Texts will state who the message is for followed by the main text, for example, “KS2 Sports Day” or “DD Assembly”.  The following abbreviations will be used:

All Children                   ALL                                                                R – Blue or Gray Whale                 BW or GW

Early Years                    EY (includes Nursery and Reception)   1 – Dusky or Spinner Dolphin      DD or SD

Key Stage 1                    KS1 (includes Years 1 and 2)                 2 – Penguin or Puffin                     PEN or PUF

Key Stage 2                    KS2 (includes Years 3 – 6)                      3 – Sea Lion or Seal                       SEA or SL

Little Fishes Nursery    LFN                                                               4 – Sea Otter or Seahorse            SO or SH

Year 1, 2 etc                  Y1, Y2 etc                                                    5 – Terrapin or Turtle                  TER or TUR

6 – Oyster or Coral      OYS or COR

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Emergency Contacts

Please ensure that the school office always has at least two up to date emergency contact names and numbers.  This is particularly important if you, or other emergency contacts, change mobile phones!    Back to top

Separated Parents

The separation of parents/carers can be a difficult transition for adults and children alike and St Nicolas and St Mary CE Primary would like to support all those involved the best we can.  As a school we seek to act in the best interests of children and communicate to their parents in a fair and impartial way.

It is important for everyone to know who is responsible for what and what rights everyone has whilst ensuring that all parties are working together to support the child. 

The school will:

  • Ask parents/carers for the names and addresses of all parents when they register a pupil and ensure that names and addresses of all parents, where known, are included in the pupil records and are available to the pupil's teachers via the school’s management information system
  • Ensure that names and addresses of all parents are forwarded to any school to which the pupil moves
  • Record the details of court orders in a pupil's record, if we are in receipt of that information

The school will (unless a court order states otherwise):

  • Work in partnership with both parents and act in the best interests of their son/daughter
  • Seek to involve both parents in the education and welfare of their child
  • Treat all parents equally
  • Send one copy of the school report home in book bags, unless a second copy is requested
  • Welcome both parents to any school event or activity where parents are invited
  • Contact the resident parent in the first instance in the event of sickness or emergency
  • Send individual school photos home in the child’s book bag (one copy per family unless parents have requested a second copy)
  • Send home permission slips for trips and other activities in book bags (these letters and permission slips are also put on the school website)
  • Send text messages to the first contact that has been provided on the Pupil Information Form unless requested otherwise
  • Offer two tickets per family for ticketed events e.g. school plays.  The letter and booking slip will be sent home with the child and parents will be notified via text and email
  • Post all letters/newsletters/parent bulletins/date lists/news/permission slip requests etc. on the school website
  • Ban any person who acts in a threatening, abusive or violent manner from the school premises – in line with school policy

Both parents will use their best endeavours to:

  • Seek information from the school website including dates, newsletters and other letters
  • Keep the school informed about any change of addresses, emergency numbers, mobile phone numbers, email addresses and any other contact information
  • Keep the school informed about who is picking up their child and on what days
  • Attend parent meetings together unless a court order, advice from external agencies or with the agreement of a member of the school’s Senior Leadership Team state otherwise
  • Give the school a copy of any court orders

We hope this guidance will be helpful in promoting good communication between the school and parents.  If any parent wishes to discuss this further, please don’t hesitate to contact the school.    Back to top

Seeing staff before or after school

Once your child has settled into school, parents should not come into classrooms at the start of the school day.  This is a very busy time of day as teachers need to spend time with the children.  Messages should be passed on via a note, the staff member at the gate or the school office.  Parents may speak briefly to a member of staff when children are collected or you can make an appointment through the school office.  All parents who need to go into school must sign in at reception and wear a Parent helper or Visitor badge – it is really important that everyone knows who is who and that security remains tight. Your help with this would be much appreciated.

Current arrangements: we would ask that parents and carers drop off and pick up their child(ren) at the allotted time and leave the premises promptly.  If you would like to speak to a member of staff, this can be arranged by contacting the school office office@stnm.org.uk 

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School Website                                                                                          www.stnicolasmary.w-sussex.sch.uk

The website contains lots of useful information about the school such as term dates, calendar dates and teacher-led clubs, as well as information about the school’s Christian and British values, staff and governors, performance reports, policies, information from parent workshops, school meals and latest news eg snow closure.    Back to top

Coming to School/Nursery

Parents/carers are responsible for ensuring their children get to school/nursery safely.  The school gate is opened at 8.35am. You can come onto the Cherry Tree playground and wait with your child(ren) until a member of the Senior Leadership rings the bell at 8.45am.  Parents/Carers are responsible for their child(ren) until 8.45 am – they must not be left unsupervised before this time.  We encourage as many parents/carers as possible to walk to school/nursery.  It is better for your child’s health, reduces pollution and eases congestion.  Please make use of the “lollipop” man at the top of Eastern Avenue and the crossing.   

Current arrangements: we would ask that parents and carers drop off and pick up their child(ren) at the allotted time and leave the premises promptly.   

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On Time!

Please make sure your child arrives on time by 8.55am so as not to disrupt the registration process and the start of the  school day.  For every child who arrives late we have to check he/she is signed in by a parent/carer and mark them “late” both in the register and on our electronic records.  All classes have Early Morning Work set up for them to take part in on arrival so children often benefit considerably if they arrive at 8.45 am.    Back to top

Parking

If you do need to use a car PLEASE, PLEASE DO NOT PARK ON THE YELLOW ZIG-ZAGS, DOUBLE YELLOW LINES or block the driveways of neighbours.  We ask you to consider parking at Buckingham Park and walking down to the school.  This will help reduce congestion around the school, directly improving safety for pupils as well as reducing parking issues for local residents.  You should not park in the Tesco car park.    Back to top

Scooter & Cycle shed

Children are welcome to park their scooters and cycles in the cycle shed but must remember that:

  • Scooters and cycles are left at owners’ risk – the school cannot be held responsible for lost or damaged scooters or cycles.
  • All scooters and cycles should be clearly named, preferably engraved.
  • Parents are responsible for supervising children using scooters and cycles on the way to and from school.
  • Scooters and cycles must not be ridden on the school premises.

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Cycling to and from school

Cycling is a healthy, eco-friendly way of travelling to school.  Parents are responsible for ensuring their child travels to school safely, especially younger children who have not done a cycle safety course.  The school’s expectations are:

  • All cyclists should wear helmets.
  • All cycles should be roadworthy.
  • The Highway Code should be adhered to.
  • Children should be supervised.

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Bad weather

Please allow extra time if coming by car and the weather is bad as there is always more congestion.

Home time

Parents/carers are welcome to wait on the Cherry Tree Playground from 3pm to collect children at the end of the school day.  Children are not allowed to leave the care of their teacher until their parent/carer has arrived.  Children will only be handed over to adults for whom we have permission. 

Different arrangements for collecting your child: if someone other than the usual person is picking up your child please email the office with the name of the person and their relationship to your child so this message can be passed on to the teacher.  Your child will not be allowed to go home with anyone else unless we have permission for them to do so. 

Regular Travelling Home Permission Arrangements

  • Some (older) Y5 and Y6 children may go home independently and can leave the premises on their own with parental permission.  We request written confirmation from parents/carers that you have given your child permission to do this - you must specify the days on which your child is allowed to go home independently.
  • If your child is picked up regularly by another person please email the office with the name of the person, their relationship to the child and on which days they will be picking up – this arrangement will be in place on an ongoing basis until further written notice is received from you.

Current arrangements: we would ask that parents and carers please pick up their child(ren) at the allotted time and leave the premises promptly.  

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Home time supervision

Parents are responsible for their own children at home time and must supervise them once their child has been handed over. Pre-school age children may use the play equipment whilst you wait for older siblings, providing they are closely supervised.    Back to top

Running late?

Occasionally parents are delayed when picking up their child.  If this happens, and if possible, please ring the school so we can explain to your child why you are late, it helps stop them worrying.  Your child will then wait on the chairs by the school office.    Back to top

Uncollected children policy – extracts (Full policy available on request)

If a child is not collected at “home time” our staff will follow the following procedures:

  1. Staff check whether the child should be attending a club or not.
  2. The child will be taken to the school office.
  3. Children will initially be asked to wait on the chairs by the school office (depending on age etc) but may be looked after elsewhere in the school if appropriate. 
  4. All reasonable attempts are made to contact the parents or nominated carers via telephone or text.
  5. The child does not leave the premises with anyone other than those known to the child/school.  The office must be informed when an uncollected child leaves the premises.
  6. If no-one collects the child after one hour and there is no-one who can be contacted to collect the child, we will apply the procedures for uncollected children.

a) Children’s (Social) Services are contacted and given relevant information including parent/carer contact details and child’s medical details.

b) A full written report of the incident is recorded in the child's file.

c) Under no circumstances are staff to go to look for the parent, nor do they take the child home with them.

d) Children’s Services will aim to find the parent or relative. If they are unable to do so, the child will be admitted into the care of the local authority.

e) The child stays at the school with two members of staff until the child is safely collected either by the parents/carers or by a social worker.

Depending on circumstances, the school reserves the right to charge parents for the additional hours        worked by staff. (Charges will be in line with late pick up charges for Starfish After School Club – details available upon request).    Back to top

Dogs

Dogs are not permitted on the school premises unless agreed in advance (e.g. as part of a project) – this includes the car park and footpath to the office.  Please tie your dog up at the rings on the fence in the designated area (left of the gate) and, even if you are just dropping off by the gate, please stand with your dog by the designated area.  Please also ensure you control your dog outside the school gates so children can come to and leave school without feeling scared – some children are not confident with dogs so they must be kept clear of the school gates.     Back to top

Financial Contributions

There are occasions when the school asks parents/carers to make a financial contribution.  This may include:

  • School trips – usually 2 or 3 per year (between £6 – £20 per trip)
  • Swimming lessons – years 3, 4 and 5 only (approximately £4.50 per session)
  • Uniform (see website for suppliers)
  • School meals – free for YR – Y2, £2.35 per meal for years 3 – 6 (subject to government funding review)
  • Breakfast Club (£4.10 per session) and After school Club (£6.80 per session)
  • Y6 residential trip in the summer term – approximately £240
  • Visits from theatre companies to complement curriculum topics – up to £10 per visit
  • School Photos: between £9 – £28
  • Play tickets and DVD of performance: tickets £2.50, DVD £3
  • PTA events eg film nights (approximately £3.50 per ticket), parties (up to £5 per ticket) and fayres
  • Ad hoc events, for example, non-uniform/dress-up days for charity (usually £1 each time), cooking and other projects
  • Clubs and other tuition eg Cricket, Art, French, Music lessons
  • Additional items to support your child’s needs eg sensory items, personal care items.
  • PTA standing order (optional)

Please do get in touch if you wish to discuss any of the above in confidence (also refer to our charging policy).

Online payment

The school has a system for paying online for nursery fees, breakfast and after school clubs, school trips etc.  You will receive a letter with further details.  As an eco-school we aim to reduce the amount of paper that the school distributes and we are increasingly using the website and email to communicate with parents.

Voluntary Contributions for the year

To help parents and carers plan for the academic year please see the budget planner on your child's class page. 

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