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School Organisation

 “Parents and carers are extremely positive about the school

and believe their children are happy and safe.”

Ofsted Inspection 2013

Year Groups

St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School has one form entry and the children are organised into seven year groups:

 

Class Age in years
Year R 4/5
Year 1 5/6
Year 2 6/7
Year 3 7/8
Year 4 8/9
Year 5 9/10
Year 6 10/11

 

Each class has a designated class teacher who is supported by at least one teaching assistant.

 

The School Day

The school sessions are as follows:

8.55 a.m Registration
9.00 - 10.00 a.m Class activities
10.00 - 10.15 a.m Assembly
10.15 - 10.30 a.m Break
10.30 - 12.00 p.m Class activities
11.50 - 12.50 p.m Lunch – Key Stage 1
12.05 -   1.00 p.m Lunch – Key Stage 2
1.00 -   3.15 p.m Class activities

 

 

Year R & Keystage 1 pupils may also have a ten minute break during the afternoon session.  The time spent on teaching, excluding worship and registration, is 22 hours and 45 minutes in Key Stage 1 and 24 hours in Key Stage 2.

 

School Uniform

A high standard of personal appearance and dress is required.  All pupils are expected to wear the official school uniform. Some uniform items are made especially for the school and can be ordered on-line directly from our supplier or at the Schoolwear shop in Northampton town centre.

The uniform is smart and helps to unify the school and instils a sense of pride in appearance and loyalty to the school.   Please make sure that all clothes and belongings are clearly marked with your child's name.

 

Do remember that changing for P.E. and dance can cause problems for children who can't dress themselves easily.   Clothes without buttons, shoes without laces and elasticated ties are often more appropriate.

 

Arrival and Collection

The children are allowed into the school building at 8.45 a.m. and should arrive no later than 8.55 a.m. to ensure there is a prompt start to the day. Children must not be left before this time as teachers are not able to supervise them.   Parents should also note that teachers will only be responsible­ for children for ten minutes after the end of the school day.   Responsibility cannot be accepted for pupils outside these times.   The school requires parents to put their collection arrangements in writing.

The school recommends that children under the age of 10 should not walk to and/or from school unaccompanied. 

 

Cycling is an effective sustainable mode of travel to school and is supported as part of the school’s Travel Plan.  To this end we provide a cycle rack for children who wish to cycle to school.  It is important that all pupils cycling are aware of the need for safety and security when cycling and therefore we encourage pupils in Years 5 and 6 to undertake the National Standard Cycle Training – Bikeability.  This is a progressive scheme that moves through three levels to give parents the reassurance that their children have the necessary skills and confidence to cycle to school.   It is recommended that children only cycle to school unaccompanied if they have completed the Bikeability course. 

 

If you wish your child to walk or cycle to and/or from school unaccompanied you should let the school know in writing.

Attendance at School

Regular school attendance is essential if a child is to make the most of the educational opportunity available to them.  St Mary’s takes seriously its responsibility to monitor and promote the regular attendance of all its pupils.  

We have an “Every Day Counts” attendance initiative and ask parents to recognise that irregular attendance seriously disrupts continuity of learning, undermines educational progress, can lead to underachievement and low attainment and impedes a child’s ability to develop friendship groups within school.

 

Absences

The school is legally required to forward the number of "unauthorised absences" to the Local Authority.  We can only authorise absences due to illness or attendance at a medical or dental appointment that can't be arranged outside school hours.

If your child is absent for any reason please let us know by telephone on the first day of absence.  On return to school please write a note to the teacher to explain the absence.

 

Children will not be allowed to leave the school premises during the day unless a parent/carer comes to accompany the child, via the school office.   Doctor, dental or other such appointments should be evidenced by the production of an appointment card.  Where possible, please make every effort to arrange appointments outside school hours.

 

If your child is unable to participate in swimming or P.E. lessons please inform the class teacher in writing.

  

Holidays during Term Time

You should not take your child on holiday during term time as it can be disruptive, not only to your child's learning but also to the school routine and other pupils.  Since 1st September 2013 the Head Teacher no longer has the discretion to authorise absence from school due to family holidays.

 

It is important that your consider carefully the implications of taking children out of school during term time.  Please discuss your plans with the Head Teacher before making any arrangements.  Any unauthorised absence will be seen as truancy and a Penalty Notice may be issued by the Local Authority.

    

Personal Belongings

The children are discouraged from bringing any personal belongings into school, e.g. toys, watches, games.   The school will not be responsible for their loss or damage.   Money should only be sent if specifically requested and placed in a sealed and named envelope and deposited in the appropriate collection box.

 

Mobile Phones

While we fully acknowledge a parent’s right to allow their child to bring a mobile phone to school, we discourage pupils from doing so.   However, it is recognised that the parents of children who wish their children to walk home from school unaccompanied may wish them to bring a mobile phone to school.

In order for pupils to carry a mobile we ask that pupils and their parents agree and sign an Acceptable Use policy.

 

Lost Property

Any lost items will be placed in a lost property box.   Parents are invited to look through for missing items.   Unclaimed property will be disposed of or given to charity at the end of each term.

 

Making Appointments

We welcome visits by parents.   We are pleased to discuss the work of the school and the children's work and progress with you at any time, but if parents wish to discuss matters in detail, it is preferable that they make an appointment.   The time between 3.15 p.m. and 4.00 p.m. is most suitable for meeting with teaching staff.

 

If you would like to see the Head Teacher, please contact the school office to make an appointment.

 

Lunchtimes

From September 2014 free school meals will be available for all pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 under the Universal Infant Free School Meals initiative.  This provision has been developed with the purpose of aiding child development, supporting academic performance and improving levels of healthy eating.   Although these pupils will be automatically entitled to receive a hot meal, a meal will still need to be ordered.

 

St. Mary's has a hot meal service provided by Nourish.  Information about this service can be obtained from the school or by visiting the Nourish Northampton website.

 

Parents of pupils in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 who are entitled to Free School Meals due to receipt of a qualifying Free School Meal benefit should contact Nourish to find out about their eligibility.  

 

If you choose not to order a hot meal for their child you are required to supply a packed lunch.   Lunches must be sent in a named plastic box.   We encourage children to eat healthily and not to have sweets in their lunch box.  Drinks must be in a plastic bottle or carton.

 

Supervisory assistants, not members of the teaching staff, undertake lunchtime supervision.   The children are expected to respect their authority and any children displaying unacceptable forms of behaviour may be excluded from the premises during the lunch break.

 

Healthy Eating Schemes

The School takes part in the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme.   Under this scheme, each child aged four to six is entitled to receive a free piece of fruit or vegetable each school day.  The idea behind the scheme is to encourage children to eat more fruit/vegetables and to help educate them of the benefits of healthy eating.

 

The school also participates in the Cool Milk scheme which enables all pupils under the age of five to receive a daily free carton of milk.