About Us / Prospectus


INTRODUCTION


At Sunnymede Junior School we firmly support the concept that Every Child Matters.

All children should be:
  • Successful learners
  • Confident individuals
  • Responsible citizens
We aim to provide a caring and stimulating environment where all pupils are encouraged to thrive both academically and socially. Confidence and independence are highly valued and a positive attitude to learning is expected of everyone within our community. Mutual respect is vital and we attach great importance to the partnership between home and school.

We work hard to ensure optimum intellectual, social, physical and emotional development for all pupils. We do this by:
  • Providing full access to the National Curriculum
  • Fostering an atmosphere of discovery and learning
  • Promoting rigorous standards in work and behaviour
  • Ensuring that all pupils have the opportunity to experience success
  • Maintaining an ambience of tolerance and respect for all cultures and beliefs
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SCHOOL RIGHTS AND CLASSROOM RULES


At the start of each academic year the school’s ‘three rights’ of all our pupils and by which we are guided, are reinforced during a whole school assembly. The three rights are:
  • The right to be safe
  • The right to learn without interruption
  • The right to be treated with respect
Following this assembly, each class will work with their class teacher to identify a set of class rules that reinforce these rights and are phrased in a positive manner. They will also be reminded that respect must be earned. These will be displayed clearly in the classroom and will be used to reinforce good behaviour on a day-to-day basis throughout the year.

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SCHOOL HISTORY


Sunnymede Primary School was opened on 4th September 1958 with only 20 children on roll. Since that time, the school has grown considerably and in the mid 1960s it was split into separate infant and junior schools. At present, Sunnymede Junior has approximately 230 pupils on roll divided amongst eight classes.

The original uniform was grey, with blue ties and maroon blazers. However, since September 2001, the uniform has been royal blue, pale blue and black. Items purchased through the school shop are embroidered with the school badge, which was designed by the first Headteacher, Mr Tom Williams. The badge illustrates the history of the Billericay area.
  • The eagle reminds us of the Roman remains found in Norsey Wood and on the site of The Billericay School
  • The scythe and the sword represent the Peasants Revolt and the subsequent battle in Norsey Wood circa 1340
  • The chevron and crosses remind us of the Chantry that used to be in Billericay before there was a church
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THE CURRICULUM


A broad and balanced curriculum is taught at Sunnymede Junior, in line with the National Curriculum and based on the recommended programmes of study.  Planning is rigorous and matched to the needs of our pupils and ensuring continuity and progression.  Where appropriate, children are taught through a themed approach, as this helps children to understand links between subjects, as well as helping to foster a love of learning by teaching through their interests. We use ICT to enhance learning across the curriculum.

Pupils are taught as whole class groups, in small groups or individually. A team of skilled LSAs (learning support assistants) work with teachers throughout the school with the aim of ensuring that the needs of all pupils are met in full.

English


English is taught as a subject in its own right and across the curriculum. With its four main components of speaking, listening, reading and writing, it forms the basis of, and is a means of access to, other areas of the curriculum. Effective communication is a vital skill in today’s society and pupils will be supported fully to enable them to master the necessary skills to express adequately their thoughts, feelings and opinions. All pupils will participate in daily English lessons which, over the course of a term, will focus on the skills of speaking and listening, reading and writing. Some of these sessions will focus on skills such as spelling, grammar and punctuation, handwriting and comprehension. Wherever possible, the context for English lessons is linked to topics being studied across the curriculum. Guided reading takes place every day, ensuring that all children read in a group with their class teacher once each week. Year 5 & 6 pupils are set for English, based on their reading and writing needs. We benefit from a number of trained reading volunteers who support us with additional reading practice for our children.

It is important that you support your child by:
  • Helping him/her to learn weekly spellings
  • Encouraging him/her to write regularly at home
  • Sharing different types of books/texts with him/her regularly
This may mean, for example: hearing your child read aloud, reading with or to your child, asking your child to answer literal and inferential questions about the book; asking them to make predictions or express opinions about a story, or to review the whole text or summarise the plot.  When learning weekly spellings, it is helpful to discuss the meaning of words with your child and use them in the context of a sentence to reinforce the meaning.

Mathematics


Mathematics is a powerful way to develop logic and thinking skills. It provides an effective way of viewing and making sense of the world, enabling us to both explain and predict. We expect all children to develop an appropriate knowledge of facts and skills so that they can use them to solve problems. We teach pupils to estimate, think logically and be systematic. We support children so that they can develop a range of strategies, enabling them to use what they know to solve the unknown.

All pupils participate in a daily maths lesson, which includes developing sound mental arithmetic skills, which will prepare them well for the future. Within each year group pupils are set by ability for maths lessons. However, there is a certain amount of fluidity between sets during the course of any year, depending on progress made by individual pupils.

You can help your child considerably by:
  • Ensuring that he/she commits to memory the multiplication tables and develops instant recall of the relevant facts
  • Supporting him/her to learn other mathematical facts such as number bonds, units of measurement and telling the time

Science


Science provides a means for pupils to explore and understand their world. It should encourage them to develop skills of investigation, prediction, analysis and interpretation. We teach children to develop an enquiring mind and a rational approach so that they can pose questions and devise fair experiments in order to solve specific problems. They will be taught to record and analyse data. We will also teach them to use equipment safely and begin to recognise possible hazards for themselves. We are extremely fortunate to have extensive grounds that include a wildlife garden, a small copse of saplings and a separate pond area, as these provide a superb resource to enhance the science curriculum, as well as other subjects.

ICT (Information And Communication Technology)


ICT provides the tools to help every child, regardless of gender, age or ability, to maximise their learning. It enables them to access, analyse, process and present information in a variety of ways across the curriculum.

Our ICT suite is fully equipped and each classroom is linked to the central school network. All classes have a time tabled slot each week to enable pupils to learn the necessary skills so that they can use the appropriate technology to enhance their learning throughout the curriculum. In order to support application of ICT across the curriculum, we now have three sets of class laptops and have recently installed a managed wireless system across the school. Pupils become increasingly proficient using a range of technology. They are also taught to use technology safely and pupils will be required to sign an Acceptable Internet and Computer use agreement when they join the school.

RE (Religious Education)


At Sunnymede, we follow the Essex agreed syllabus for RE. Although this focuses mainly on Christianity, it also gives pupils sufficient opportunity to study other world religions such as Judaism and Hinduism. RE is taught as objectively as any other subject and no attempt whatsoever is made to influence children's beliefs, although they are strongly encouraged to respect the beliefs of others. From time to time, visitors of different religions are invited into school to speak to pupils within lessons or during assemblies. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from RE lessons, providing they notify the school in writing of their decision.

PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education and Financial Capability)


All classes undertake activities which develop the social and emotional aspects of learning (SEAL). Children also undertake other initiatives such as Circle Time and Golden Group to support this.

History


In history, pupils learn about people, events and places from recent and more distant times. They study change and continuity in the British Isles and other parts of the world from a variety of perspectives including political, economic, technological, scientific, social, religious and cultural. They are taught study skills to enable them to increase their knowledge and understanding. They are also encouraged to understand that historical events are often recorded subjectively and, therefore, sources need to be analysed for accuracy. Whenever possible, visits will be arranged, or visitors invited into school, to enhance children's learning within this subject.

Geography


We aim to teach pupils about their own locality, Britain and the wider world. We help children to appreciate and understand the variations between different localities and cultures. We teach them to realise the impact that human activities can have on the landscape. Pupils also learn basic mapping skills.

Art


Pupils are given the opportunity to develop an appreciation and understanding of art in its entirety. We create an atmosphere in which we hope that all children will feel sufficient confidence to experiment with a range of materials in order to express their feelings and observations. They are encouraged to value their work and appreciate the skills and talents of artists, craftsmen and designers from around the world.

Design & Technology


In D & T, pupils investigate a need or respond to an opportunity to make or modify something. As well as constructing items, pupils are expected to plan and evaluate their work. Although a subject in its own right, D & T requires children to use skills, knowledge and understanding gained in other curriculum areas.

Modern Foreign Languages


Children in all year groups take part in a weekly French lesson which is taught by a specialist teacher. In years 3 and 4, more emphasis is placed on speaking and listening, with more writing being introduced in years 5 and 6.

Music


We want all pupils to enjoy a wide variety of music and encourage them to develop skills as listeners and performers. They are given the opportunity to appreciate that music reflects historical and cultural change and to understand that it is an ideal medium for conveying emotions. All pupils have the opportunity to play a range of tuned and un-tuned instruments during class lessons. Each year, pupils in our choir take part in the local music festival. The choir also sings regularly to support community and charity events.

PE (Physical Education)


Physical exercise is vital in order that children grow into healthy, active adults who are physically confident and it enables them to maximise their opportunities for academic learning. We teach them gymnastics, games and dance, as well as encouraging them to develop socially by becoming team players. Lessons are taught by class teachers and also a qualified sports coach as part of our PPA arrangements. Year 4 pupils have the opportunity to learn to swim at a local pool each week.

We have a number of after school clubs that are sports related, offering further opportunities for pupils to participate in a range of different sports. Pupils from Sunnymede Junior participate regularly in the local swimming gala, District Sports Tournament and local football, basketball, tag rugby and netball rallies, as well as friendly matches with other schools.

Sex Education and Relationship Education (SRE)


We encourage children to develop family values and moral principles and consider the teaching of sex and relationships education as a joint responsibility with parents and carers. We follow a programme of study for teaching this which is age appropriate. A copy of this can be obtained from  the school office or by talking to your child’s teacher. A copy can also be found in the Sex and Relationships Education Policy on our school website.

Parents have the right to withdraw their children from sex education if they wish and should speak to the Headteacher. Parents of Y6 pupils are invited to a meeting to view some of the materials we use and discuss the topics we cover before they are used in the summer term.

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ASSEMBLIES


As required by law, we hold a daily act of collective worship during our assemblies. Children are always given the option of joining in the act of worship and parents/carers may, of course, withdraw their child providing they notify the school in writing of their decision. During the assemblies we tackle a range of issues, including PSHE. We also have a weekly singing assembly and a weekly Celebration Assembly. A range of visitors from the community, and further afield, come in to take assemblies from time to time. Parents are also invited to a celebration assembly at least once a year.

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ASSESSMENT


Pupils are assessed both informally and formally throughout the year, using a range of strategies. Pupils in all year groups complete standardised QCA tests in reading and mathematics on a termly basis. This prepares children for the statutory QCA tests taken in the final term of Y6. Teacher assessment judgements are also made each term for these two subjects.  All writing is based on teacher assessment. Teacher assessments are based on work completed throughout the term, rather than on a single piece of work completed in a test, and these give a more rounded picture of a child’s achievement.

Results from teacher assessments and tests are analysed carefully and are used to track pupil progress and identify additional support/interventions that may be required to enable children to make even better progress.

Consultation Evenings are held in the autumn and spring terms so that parents/carers can be kept up-to-date with their child's achievements and informed of the National Curriculum level their child is working at, along with targets for future progress. End of year reports also inform you of the progress your child has made over the course of the year.

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ATTENDANCE and ABSENCE FROM SCHOOL


It is expected that children arrive at school on time and attend regularly.

In line with safeguarding procedures and to ensure pupil safety, we have a policy of 'first day contact' in the case of absence from school, Please telephone the school office as soon as possible if your child will not be at school that day, along with a reason. If no-one is available to take your call, details should be left on the answer phone which is checked regularly.  Please give an expected return date and update the school office if this is likely to change. Please confirm the absence in writing, along with reasons, on your child’s return. The absence will be recorded as authorised or unauthorised in line with our Attendance Policy and will be recorded on your child’s annual report.

If we have had no contact with you and your child has not been registered, they will be treated as a missing person and appropriate action taken. An unauthorised absence will also be recorded.

Arriving late at school causes disruption to others and means your child is likely to miss out on the first part of the first lesson. It also causes distress to some children. For their benefit, therefore, please ensure they arrive on time. Our Attendance Officer monitors lateness and parents will be challenged if a pattern of lateness emerges for a particular child.  If your child needs to visit the doctor, dentist etc., please send a note to the class teacher or inform the school office to make appropriate arrangements for collection.

Leave of absence is granted at the discretion of the Headteacher, in line with the School’s Attendance policy and acting on behalf of the Governing Body. You may apply to the school for leave of absence, though only in exceptional circumstances will this be authorised, including holidays. Each case will be judged on its merits and at the discretion of the Headteacher and in line with certain considerations as outlined in most recent guidance from the DfE as follows:

Taking your child out of school during term time could be detrimental to your child's educational progress. Parents should not normally take their children on holiday in term time. There is no legal right to do so. If the absence is not authorised and the holiday is taken anyway, the case will be referred to the Education Welfare Service who may issue a Penalty Notice for £120 (or £60 if paid within 28 days) to each parent for each child taken out of school.

Pupils’ attendance is monitored closely both by the School, the Local Authority and the DFE. The school will work closely with parents and children where there is a risk of persistent absenteeism to ensure strategies are put in place so that attendance and punctuality improves.  Our full Attendance Policy can be found on the school website or accessed via the school office and you are advised to familiarise yourself with it.

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BILLERICAY COMMUNITY TRUST


The BCT was established in September 2009 and consists of 15 schools in Billericay and its surrounding area, either as full or associate members. There has been a long history of the schools working together and previously the group was known as the BEC (Billericay Education Consortium). For some time, the group has been regarded locally and nationally as one of the more successful educational communities. Staff members across the schools support each other and share good practice with a view to providing the best possible education to children across the town. As a result of working in partnership with BCT, we have swift access to a range of support services for our families, such as a home school liaison officer, a counsellor and an Attendance Officer.

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BREAKFAST CLUB


Sunnymede Breakfast Club provides childcare from 7.30 am until 8.45am. The cost is £3 per child.  Please contact the school office for details. After school care until 7.30pm is available at Goldcrest Nursery, which is based on our site. They will collect children from Sunnymede at the end of the school day. They can be contacted on 01277 632428.

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CHARGING & REMISSIONS POLICY


The Governing Body will ask parents/carers for a contribution equal to the cost per child for any activities that incur an additional cost to the school, including swimming. No child will be excluded from such an activity due to the absence of a donation. However, without the voluntary donations, the activities cannot take place so we do ask that you support the visits and trips wholeheartedly as they enhance pupils' learning immeasurably. In the case of financial difficulty, please contact Mrs Lyon in the school office. Our full Charging and Remission Policy can be found on the school website.

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COMMUNICATION


Effective communication between home and school is vital if your child is to receive the best possible education. Please let us know promptly if anything has happened at home that may have an impact on your child's well-being in school. In turn, we will communicate with you via your child's homework diary, by letter or by telephone, depending on the nature of the message. Please ensure that we have your most recent contact information and that you notify us of any changes immediately.

The school also uses Parentmail, which is an e-mail based communications system. Parents/carers can register at www.parentmail.co.uk free of charge to receive communications from school. This system provides instant access to communications for parents/carers and considerable reprographic savings to the school. Those parents without internet access should inform a member of staff in the school office and will, of course, still receive paper communications.

At the beginning of each term, parents will receive a year group newsletter. This will give parents and carers an overview of topics to be covered that term, information about any trips or visits that have been planned, and will suggest ways in which you can support with learning at home. It will also give details of optional homework projects for those families who would like to complete them.  A termly curriculum plan is also sent via Parentmail giving a week-by-week outline of what your child will be covering in each subject. These are also uploaded to the school website.

The Headteacher or Deputy Head will try to be available for brief conversations at the beginning and end of most school days. However, if they are unavailable, the office staff will make an appointment for you as soon as possible.

A monthly newsletter called ‘Sunnymede Snippets’ is issued via Parentmail, which contains a range of information about past and upcoming events, including key diary dates. These, along with other key information, are uploaded regularly on our school website. Amongst other things posted, this includes policies, guidance, curriculum planning and gallery photos of key events.  All pupils have homework diaries in which they record their weekly homework. On occasions, teachers use the diaries to send home brief notes regarding issues that have occurred within school and parents/carers are welcome to use them to send into school non-urgent information regarding their child, homework etc. However, it should be noted that teachers do not read each child’s book daily and may only check them once a week.

Where the information is more urgent, of a confidential nature or more complex, this should be communicated via a letter in an envelope, a telephone call or face-to face meeting. Should you wish to make an appointment to see your child's teacher, or a more senior member of staff, please contact the school office. We always attempt to make mutually convenient appointments as soon as possible in order that any issues can be remedied promptly and efficiently. It is sometimes possible to arrange an immediate appointment, especially at the end of the day, if the discussion is likely to be brief. We ask that you do not approach teachers on duty in the playground at the start of the school day to discuss issues concerning your child, as they are there to supervise the children and ensure their health and safety. You are always welcome to come into the school office in order that someone can give their full attention.

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EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES


All members of our school community are valued. Pupils will receive their entitlement to access the curriculum in full in ways that take into account their starting point, irrespective of gender, ethnic background, age or disability.  Pupil Premium funding, allocated by the Government to address inequalities between pupils currently or previously eligible for free school meals is used to help narrow the attainment gap between  these groups of pupils.  Information about how this funding is used is published on our website.

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EQUALITY


In order to promote the highest possible standards, we strive for equality in everything we do. Our Equality and Community Cohesion Policy is available to view in the school office, setting out the framework by which we endeavour to eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment, promote equality of opportunity, good relationships and positive attitudes between people of diverse backgrounds. This policy, which can also be found on our website, also sets out our equality objectives.

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EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES


Staff members and volunteers run a wide range of lunchtime, before and after school clubs to benefit our children. The choice of clubs varies slightly from year to year, depending on the expertise available and the season. Whilst a number of clubs are free of charge, some are run by external agencies and there is usually a charge for these. However, costs are kept to the minimum, as the school does not make a charge for use of the premises if the activity concludes by 6pm.  Occasionally, a small contribution is requested towards the cost of materials for Art and Sewing clubs. Some clubs are open to children in all year groups, whilst others may be targeted at specific year groups or pupils.

We run a weekly homework club where children may receive some support with their homework if required. This is particularly useful for children to complete their weekly maths homework if they do not have access to the internet at home.

Extra-curricular activities include a range of sporting, musical and academic activities. Details of all clubs are sent out at the beginning of each academic year and reviewed termly if required. They can also be viewed on our school website.

In April 2011 we were awarded the QISS mark (Quality in Study Support) at the Advanced Level. This is in recognition of the high quality and breadth of our extra-curricular provision we offer.

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GIFTED AND TALENTED STUDENTS


Our more able students are supported fully to enable them to further their abilities and develop their potential. This support includes a Verbal Reasoning Club for year 5/6 students and setting in  Maths in all year groups  and also in English where it is considered appropriate. Where appropriate, some other extra-curricular clubs may be targeted specifically at our more able pupils.

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HEAD LICE


Unfortunately, head lice are an unwelcome part of school life. In an endeavour to control the spread of any outbreak, the school will contact parents/carers and request them to take their child home for treatment should lice be spotted during the school day.

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HEALTHY SCHOOLS


Sunnymede places much emphasis on being a healthy school. It is integral to our practice and we have achieved National Healthy Schools Status.  Many components make up a healthy school including:
  • Physical activity
  • Emotional health and well-being
  • Promotion of a healthy diet and provision of freshly cooked and nutritious meals
  • Sense of community and commitment to producing good citizens who will make valuable contributions to society (PSHE)

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HOME SCHOOL AGREEMENT


It is the belief of governors and staff that there should be a strong partnership between us, parents and children. We all have responsibilities to ensure our children make good progress socially, emotionally and academically. These are set out in a Home School agreement. We ask parents and children to agree with these responsibilities by reading and signing it when they join our school. Parents and children will be reminded of these at the start of each school year. A copy of this agreement can be found in the appendix and on the school website.

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HOMEWORK


We believe that homework provides an important link between home and school, encouraging parents to actively engage with their child’s learning. As such, we set weekly homework tasks during term time that reinforce and build on what children are learning in lessons. We very much hope that parents support their child with these tasks. The table below sets out the weekly tasks that are set for each year group and an approximate amount of time, based on DFE recommendations, these activities may take.

The homework guidance leaflet for parents, available on the school website or from the main school office, sets out what days homework tasks will be set, when they need to be completed and where homework should be recorded. Guidance is also offered on how to support your child with the different homework tasks. A full copy of the policy is also available on the website, along with the parent leaflet.

Y3 Y4 Y5 Y6
Daily Reading 15 mins per night 20 mins per night
Daily Mental maths
(prep for maths test)
5 mins per night
Weekly online Maths Task
(Homework club available for any children without Internet access at home)
Approx. 15 mins per week
Weekly English or cross-curricular Task
A creative / cross- curricular activity will be alternated with a more formal literacy based task.
Approx. 1 hour per week N/A
Weekly English Task
(comprehension, grammar, spelling  and punctuation activities)
N/A Approx. 1 hour per week
Other N/A An additional literacy task will be given most weeks from Spring term onwards. Past SATS maths questions will also be given from time to time.

Daily reading and recall of multiplication facts and number bonds are considered vital in ensuring your child makes good progress in literacy and numeracy.

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LUNCHTIME ARRANGEMENTS


Healthy, balanced and nutritional school meals are provided daily by our own catering staff and currently cost £2.00. If you wish your child to have a school dinner, you can pay for these by +Pay, cash or cheque. Cash or cheque payments should be sent to school in an envelope clearly marked with your child's name, class and the amount of money enclosed. The menu is displayed by the front doors and may be requested from reception. Cheques should be made out to Essex County Council. Where possible, it would be helpful if dinner money could be paid on a Monday for the week to avoid arrears with payments. If you are receiving additional benefits for your family your child may be entitled to free school meals. Please ask a member of the school office team who will discuss this with you in the strictest confidence.

Children who bring a packed lunch should do so in an appropriately sized container that is clearly marked with their name.  We take our status as a healthy school seriously and ask you to support this by ensuring your child’s packed lunch is healthy and nutritionally well balanced. For example, we encourage you to provide your child with at least one portion of fruit or vegetable.  Please provide them with a drink – water, squash or fruit juice- in a sensible container that does not leak. Fizzy drinks, glass bottles and cans are not allowed. Please provide spoons if required and avoid foods that are messy. Chocolate coated products are not encouraged. Packed lunches are stored on trolleys in the school corridors during the day and these areas can become quite warm. We recommend, therefore, that you put a small ice pack in your child’s lunch box to keep food fresh and cool.

A team of experienced midday assistants supervise the children over the lunch period, both in the dining hall and in the playground.  Members of the teaching staff are always nearby if they are needed.

Children may go home for lunch if collected by a parent/carer. The child should make this clear when the dinner register is called and remember to come to the school reception at the start of the lunch period. Parents should report to the main office when collecting their child for this purpose and make it known to the office when they return at the end of the lunch break. They should not arrive back at school before 1:00pm and must return before the afternoon session begins.

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MEDICAL VISITS


If a child needs to be released from school during lesson time to visit the doctor, dentist etc. a note should be sent to the school office/class teacher in advance. In the interests of safety, all pupils must be collected from the school office by an adult. Pupils will not be allowed to leave the premises unaccompanied during lesson time.

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MEDICATION


Members of staff are prepared, in most situations, to administer medication providing that a consent form has been completed by a responsible adult. For those children with more serious medical conditions, it is standard practice to draw up a protocol agreed with parents/carers and medical advisers. Staff members have regular training to use Epi-pens.

Under no circumstances should your child be sent into school with medication unless staff members have been informed. With the exception of inhalers, all medicines must be stored in the school office.

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MONEY & VALUABLES


We can only be responsible for money, or other valuables, if it has been handed to a member of the office staff for safekeeping. It is not appropriate for pupils to bring unnecessary sums of money or valuable items into school.

Mobile phones should not, under normal circumstances, be brought into school. However, some of our Y6 children walk home unaccompanied and parents/carers feel that they are safer if they carry a mobile phone. Should your child need to bring a mobile phone into school for safety reasons, it must be named and handed into the office first thing in the morning for safekeeping and collected at the end of the day. The school cannot take responsibility for phones not handed in.

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MUSIC LESSONS


Peripatetic music teachers provide private tuition for many instruments within school on a fee- paying basis. Currently, lessons are available for piano, keyboard, cello, violin, guitar, drums, flute, clarinet and saxophone. Please contact the school office if you require information about any of these lessons. Please be aware that any such lessons may take place during maths and literacy lessons so your child will miss part of those lessons on a weekly basis in order to have their music lesson.

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ORGANISATION OF TEACHING AND LEARNING


Work is planned in year groups so that all classes have equal access to the curriculum. Children are taught as a whole class, in groups and as individuals, using a range of teaching styles in order that their needs can be met. Able pupils are encouraged and extended and those with learning difficulties are supported with work differentiated to meet their needs. A skilled team of LSAs (learning support assistants) support class teachers in meeting the needs of individuals and groups and run a number of targeted intervention groups for selected pupils. Some pupils will also receive specialist support from our outside agencies.

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PASTORAL CARE


The welfare of our pupils is most important to us, so please do not hesitate to contact the school if you have any concern about your child's happiness or safety. It does help if you keep us informed of any changes in home circumstances that may affect your child e.g. bereavement (people or pets), the birth of a new baby, change in living arrangements. We will, of course, contact you should we have any concerns regarding your child.

If your child is ill, or involved in an accident that requires more than basic first aid, we will contact you as quickly as possible by telephone so that you can take your child home or to a doctor. It is, therefore, important that we have up-to-date contact numbers registered in school. If we are unable to contact you, or any other nominated person, we will, of course, act in loco parentis and ensure that your child receives appropriate medical treatment.

We expect all our pupils to work hard and to behave with kindness and courtesy towards others. If your child has any problems maintaining a high standard of conduct, we will contact you so that we can work together to help your child become a responsible member of the school community.

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PEER MEDIATION & PLAY LEADERS


The Peer Mediation scheme is a peer group support system where pupils from Y5 and 6 are trained to work with other pupils in the School to help resolve friendship issues. A number of students from Y5 and 6 are also trained as Play Leaders.

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PPA (PLANNING, PREPARATION AND ASSESSMENT)


In line with statutory government legislation, all members of the teaching staff must receive 10% of the teaching timetable as non contact for planning, preparation and assessment. Classes within each year group are taught a carousel of activities by specialist teachers during this time. At present these lessons include P.E and French. Where there are three classes in a year group, activities will also include another aspect of the curriculum, such as Religious Education or Art.

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PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF STAFF


All staff, teaching and non-teaching, undertake professional development based on the needs of the school and the needs of individuals or groups. Pupils' learning is enhanced considerably by this training and every effort is made to avoid any disruption to the normal timetable. However, there are times when supply staff or other members of our existing staff must be used to cover a class. We expect pupils to accord the same respect to these teachers as they do to their regular teacher.

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PTA (PARENTS & TEACHERS ASSOCIATION)


The PTA, our parents’ association, is run jointly by Infant and Junior parents and raises a considerable sum of money each year to provide those little extras that make school a more pleasant place for children. They are responsible for organising a range of activities that benefit the children, as well as raising funds e.g. regular discos for pupils and other events. All too often the bulk of the work involved falls upon the shoulders of just a few individuals. If you feel that you can spare some time to help at any of these events, please contact the school office and someone will arrange for a member of the committee to contact you.

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+PAY


We accept online payments for school trips, school dinners and breakfast club via +Pay, which is a module within Parentmail. If you would like to use this payment method, please activate the +Pay module through your Parentmail account or contact the school office. We will, of course, still accept cash and cheque payments.

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RAISING CONCERNS AND RESOLVING COMPLAINTS


From time to time parents, and others connected with the school, will become aware of matters which cause them concern. To encourage resolution of such situations the Governing Body has adopted a Compliments, Concerns and Complaints procedure. The procedure is devised with the intention that it will:
  • Usually be possible to resolve problems by informal means
  • Be simple to use and understand
  • Be non-adversarial
  • Provide confidentiality
  • Allow problems to be handled swiftly
  • Address all the points at issue
  • Inform future practice so that the problem is unlikely to recur
The policy may be obtained from the School Office. It is also available on the school website.

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READING MENTORS


We have a team of reading mentors who regularly come into school to hear children read. If you would like to join this team of dedicated volunteers, then please contact Miss Catharine King, Deputy Head, via the school office. We are also happy to hear from older members of our community who have time to spare and would like to support the school by hearing children read.

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REWARDS AND SANCTIONS


We have a Behaviour Policy which sets out clearly our expectations about how pupils should behave and conduct themselves and what constitutes acceptable behaviour. Our ‘three rights’ underpin this policy. We prefer to use positive behaviour management strategies whenever possible as we believe children respond best to praise. Whilst not an exhaustive list, below are some strategies we use to achieve this:
  • Weekly celebration assemblies to celebrate achievements in and out of school
  • Headteacher’s award (weekly certificates in assembly)
  • Stickers
  • Verbal praise
  • Letters or phone calls home to parents to recognise achievement
  • ‘Good egg’ award for good citizenship being demonstrated
  • House points for good quality / exceptional  academic work
  • Marble jar; pupils work together to earn marbles for good behaviour. When the jar is full they earn golden time for their class
However, we recognise that there are occasions when sanctions need to be imposed and we have a clear system for implementing this fairly and consistently across the school. We use a four step approach for low level disruptions and this is set out in our Behaviour Policy which can be accessed on our school website or in the school office. There is also a clear system for managing behaviour issues around the school and also for more serious breaches of good behaviour. These procedures are also set out clearly in the policy, available on the school website and to view in the school office.

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ROAD SAFETY & PARKING


We have a programme of road safety sessions that begin in the lower school. Please support your child by walking to school whenever possible to enable him/her to practise these necessary life skills. Walking to school also reduces the congestion on the roads around the school, thereby aiding pupil safety. A covered shelter is available within the school grounds.

If you do bring your child to school by car, please park off the school premises and with consideration for other motorists and local residents.

We have a bike shelter in the School grounds and, once Y6 pupils have passed their Bikeability test, they can cycle to school and lock their bike there during the school day. If you decide that you would like your child to cycle to school, please contact the school office, where a member of staff will issue your child with a permit and ask for written confirmation from you that they will by cycling to/from school.

Under no circumstances should vehicles be brought onto the school site without prior arrangement, as doing so may put children at risk. Parents should not park in the staff car park under any circumstances as this is used throughout the day and is the main access for emergency vehicles. This includes dropping children off to school, collecting them at the end of the day and turning cars around.

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SAFEGUARDING


Our policies and procedures for safeguarding pupils are designed to ensure that pupils feel safe and are safe in school. Safeguarding is a priority in all that we do. The designated member of staff responsible for safeguarding is Mrs Ronnie Branch. She is responsible for the implementation and monitoring of these procedures. The Governing Body also plays a key role in evaluating their effectiveness.

All staff members are appropriately trained in Safeguarding (child protection) procedures and safer recruitment procedures are rigorously pursued when appointing members of staff or other adults who will work regularly in the school. Ofsted (2011) confirmed that the school meets current government requirements with regard to Safeguarding.

A copy of our Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy may be obtained or viewed from the school office and is available on the school website.

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SCHOOL SECURITY


Staff members are required to wear an identity badge at all times. All visitors to the school, regardless of their role, must enter via the main school office and are required to sign the visitor book and wear a visitor badge if they are staying on the premises. Anyone not wearing such a badge will be challenged appropriately to ensure the safety of our pupils and staff. Visitors are required to sign out and return their badge on leaving.

Children are always supervised in school or on the playground during school hours. Parents are responsible for their child until a member of staff is on duty in the main playground at 8:45am. You should not leave your child unattended before this time.  If you need to collect your child before the school day has ended, this should have been arranged with the school office in advance and you should report to the school office in order to collect them. The office will make a note of this.

We have CCTV, enhanced lighting and alarms on the school premises to further enhance the safety of our pupils, as recommended by the Police Crime Prevention Officer.

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SCHOOL COUNCIL


Our school council consists of two elected members from each class. The brief of the council is to improve school life for all pupils within the school and class representatives are able to act as a voice for their peers, as well as express personal opinions regarding day to day aspects of school life. Meetings are held on a fortnightly basis and the minutes are shared with all pupils during class discussions. Members of the school council may have the opportunity to participate in regular Student Voice activities across Billericay and within Essex.

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SCHOOL HOURS


School hours are 08:55am to 3:15pm. The school bell will ring at approximately 8:50am, a signal for the children to begin lining up in the junior school playground with their classes so they are ready to enter school to be registered at 8:55 am when the school day begins. Parents should exit the playground when this bell is rung so that children are not distracted from lining up.

At the end of the day, some classes will exit their classes via their classroom doors and others via the main school exit into the junior playground. You will be informed of the exiting arrangements for your child’s new class each year via Parentmail.  If you are responsible for collecting children who exit from different parts of the school building, you may want one child to meet you in a preferred location away from their place of exit. If this is the case, please make sure you communicate this with the class teacher who will allow them to walk round unaccompanied to another part of the school site.

We encourage all pupils to be collected by an adult at the end of the day. If, however, a parent has made a decision that their child is to walk home unaccompanied, we will, for safeguarding purposes, need confirmation of this in writing.

It is the duty of parents and carers to collect their child promptly at the end of the day. If a child has not been collected on time, they will be asked to wait in the medical room and not leave it until collected by their parent/carer. It is the responsibility of the child to ensure they stay safe and wait in the medical room where they will be collected. However, it is expected that children are collected promptly and  this procedure will only need to be followed in exceptional circumstances.

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SNACKS AND WATER BOTTLES


Pupils may bring in items of fresh fruit or prepared vegetables to eat at morning break time. Fruit is also available to purchase from school at 25p per item. Other snacks, such as fruit flakes or cereal bars, and are not permitted.

We encourage pupils to drink plenty of water as this aids concentration and promotes good health. Children are also encouraged to bring in bottles of water, labelled with their names, to be kept in the classroom during the day in order to avoid dehydration.  These bottles must contain WATER ONLY. Water is also available from hygienic water fountains situated through the school. Though children will be reminded from time to time to have a drink, children should develop their independence by remembering to take a drink when they need it. There will be times in a lesson when it is inappropriate to take a drink.

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SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS


Our Inclusion Manager, Miss Catharine King, has been trained as a Special Educational Needs Co- ordinator (SENCO) and is responsible for strategically planning support for pupils on the SEN register. Staff members liaise with a range of outside agencies to provide the best possible education for our pupils. If a staff member has any concerns about progress being made, or behaviour being displayed by your child, you will be contacted and arrangements made, if necessary, to place him/her on the special needs register. Provision will be made according to their needs. Children who transfer from other schools and are already on the register will, of course, be added to our register, unless there are extenuating circumstances.

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UNIFORM AND DRESS CODE


It is expected that children come to school dressed sensibly, wearing the correct uniform and following our dress code.

BOYS GIRLS P.E. Boys and Girls
  • Royal blue sweatshirt
  • Sky blue polo shirt
  • Black school style trousers
  • Plain socks in a dark colour
  • Plain black school shoes
  • Royal blue sweatshirt or sweat cardigan
  • Sky blue polo shirt
  • Black school style skirt/trousers
  • Plain socks in white or a dark colour /thick, plain black tights
  • Plain black school shoes
  • Blue/white checked gingham dress for summer (optional)
  • White polo shirt
  • Royal blue shorts
  • Trainers for outdoors
  • Plimsolls may be worn indoors
  • Socks (not tights)
  • Plain dark coloured sweatshirt / jogging bottoms can be worn outdoors in cold weather

Clothing


All pupils may wear black, tailored shorts, approximately knee length, in the summer. Skirts should be ‘fit for purpose’. Pupils will be required to sit on the floor at times and skirts should be loose enough and long enough for them to retain their modesty. Short, tight skirts are not practical. Polo shirts should be tucked in. Clothing with ‘fashion’ logos, including trainers, is not permitted. We prefer tops to carry the school logo and these can be purchased online.

Footwear


For health and safety reasons, please ensure that all footwear is ‘fit for purpose’ and provides adequate support. Plain black or white trainers may be worn in the summer, as these are safer on the field than sandals that can offer little support. No heels should be worn. Children must always wear socks, which look smarter and prevent blisters. Sensible boots may be worn to and from school and in the playground during cold or wet weather. However, children are expected to change into shoes or trainers when indoors.

Accessories, hair and make up


Make up, including nail varnish and lip gloss, should not be worn at school. Fashion items and styles which are unnecessary are also unsuitable e.g. tattoos, large hair accessories. Long hair should be tied back and hair should not be gelled into inappropriate shapes. Where appropriate accessories are worn e.g. belts, hair bands, these must be plain rather than patterned, of a neutral colour and in keeping with school uniform colours. On sunny days plain, sensible sun hats should be worn to give protection when outside.

Jewellery


For health and safety reasons, jewellery should not be worn at school. Pupils may wear a plain, inexpensive watch. Children may also wear a pair of plain stud earrings if they have pierced ears but these must be removed for PE, including swimming lessons, in accordance with the LA Code of Practice. Staff members are not allowed to remove earrings so, if your child is unable to do this for themselves, they should leave them at home on PE/swimming days. Teachers are not permitted to take responsibility for earrings that have been removed in school. If parents do not wish their child’s studs to be removed, they should notify the school in writing that they wish them to be taped instead. This is not advised. However, in such circumstances, the parent must provide tape with which their child can cover their ears. Children must tape their ears themselves

Implementation of the uniform and dress code


If your child is not wearing the correct uniform or has not followed the dresscode, your child will bring a letter home to parents reminding them of expectations.  A similar letter will be brought home if they forget their P.E. or swimming kit.  If the matter is not addressed, the child will miss a morning break time, as outlined in the school Behaviour Policy. Please see the Behaviour Policy for further details.

Amendments to the uniform and dress code may be made for individuals in response to medical needs. Parents may also request an amendment on religious grounds. Such requests should be made in writing to the headteacher. Children may also be required to wear different clothing for school trips or similar activities.

Please make sure that all items of clothing are clearly labelled with your child’s name, including P.E. kit which should also be kept in a named bag.

Lost property


Please make sure that all items of clothing are clearly labelled with your child’s name, including P.E. kit which should also be kept in a named bag. We have a lost property box in the school hall. We check it regularly and, where items are named, we return them to their rightful owner. However, if items are not collected after a two week period, we will recycle them into one of our schemes to raise money for our school.

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UNIFORM – ONLINE ORDERING


Our badged uniform is provided by Red Oak Roller and can be ordered online via www.redoak-schooluniform.co.uk. Please note that the blue fleeces are optional and intended as outdoor wear. It is not appropriate to wear them indoors as the school is well heated.

A limited range of second-hand uniform is also available via the PTA. Please contact them directly on sunnymedepta@gmail.com

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