‘Together in God’s loving family, we believe, we learn, we grow.’
Frequently asked questions
The school gates are opened at 8:45am, children should go straight to their classrooms where tasks and activities are prepared for them. They can try to improve their work from the previous lessons, guided by teacher's comments. Ask the teacher's advice and/or support or practise their handwriting, timetables or spellings. Registration is at 8:55am when the school day starts. School finishes at 3:15pm.
We host a Breakfast club from 7:45am please see the school office for details.
We teach the children to respect property, especially books. Please be honest if there is an accident or a loss and let the office or the class teacher know so that we can arrange for a replacement to be purchased at your expense.
Early Years Foundation Stage, Years 1 and 2 will be released from their classroom by the teacher via the classroom door which opens onto the playground. Year 3 & 4 leave from the classroom door. Years 5and 6 teachers escort pupils to the playground.
What if I’m late picking up?
Sometimes you may be unavoidably delayed. Please let the office know as soon as possible and we will look after your child in the office until you arrive. Children who are not collected will be looked after by their teacher and then brought to the office when it is clear that there is no-one to collect them. If children are regularly collected late we will contact you to discuss how we can help.
Being on time is very important to your child’s education and welfare. School starts at 8:55 am and children should be on site by then. In conjunction with the Local Authority’s Education Welfare Officer, we closely monitor lateness and will contact you if the problem persists. However, if you are late arriving at school you MUST bring them to school via the front office and not directly to the classroom, where you will be asked to sign the late register.
You must let the teacher/office know in advance, preferably via a note/phone call. We will not let a child leave with another parent without your permission.
Will my child really be forgetful?
Undoubtedly – usually losing jumpers, coats, snack boxes, lunchboxes and water bottles. We teach the children to look after their property but it is a never-ending struggle.
Should I label everything?
Yes! If it has got a name on it, it is less likely to end up in Lost Property.
How can I avoid missing what is going on?
By ensuring that you regularly read the newsletters and website. Parentmail is also used to keep parents up to date of events in the school. Children get upset when you miss a special event and it creates extra work for the office when deadlines for return of forms or money are missed. All newsletters are posted monthly on the school website.
When do things need paying for?
You should pay for items as soon as you are asked to. Letters which go home regarding payment of items such as lunch and school trips always include a deadline
What if my child loses something?
The first port of call is the Lost Property in the school office. Failing that, have a quick look in your child’s cloakroom or in the classroom if the teacher doesn’t mind. Please do not ask the office to send a note to all parents.
Will I know if my child has done something against the rules?
Our Behaviour Policy has a very clear set of rewards and sanctions. If an incident occurs which we feel you should know about or if misbehaviour is persistent then we will contact you. We can then work together to help your child.
What is “Star of the Week”?
Every class has a “Star of the Week” where children are chosen for particularly good piece of work, attitude or effort. The child is given a certificate for them to keep, this is presented to them in our Friday afternoon “celebration assembly”, to which parents are invited.
What are Houses and to which one does my child belong? How does my child earn House Points and how are they used?
Children can earn House Points by working well, helping others or good manners. There is a tally for each class. Each child is allocated a house, either at random or because an older sibling is in a particular house. Our houses are named after the places St Pius X visited in America and are called Georgia (Green), Montana (Blue), Missouri (Red) and Iowa (Yellow). The House Points of all children in each house are accumulated each week to give a winning House, and during the Friday afternoon celebration assembly the winning house is announced and the cup presented. We also have sports events where children compete for their house.
Can my child bring toys into school?
Children may not bring toys to school as they may easily get lost or damaged. The only exceptions are for Show and Tell in Early Years and Year 1, and when permission is given by the class teacher for a specific event.
Can I keep my child off for a non-medical reason? What constitutes authorised or unauthorised absence?
Children are in school for 190 days a year, allowing 175 days to enjoy outings and holidays. If you do feel you have to take your child out of school then you may request leave of absence by filling in the form found on the school website, or from the school office. The Headteacher will only authorise such leave on compassionate grounds (e.g. visiting relatives abroad for a wedding / funeral, etc.). Term-time holidays will never be agreed and these absences will be treated as unauthorised. Such unauthorised absences are monitored closely by the Education Welfare Officer and fines can be imposed for persistent offenders.
Where can I park without annoying the neighbours or breaking the law?
If you do choose to park you must follow the Highway Code and not park opposite a drive or within 10m of a junction. It is never acceptable to think that blocking someone’s driveway is OK for a short period of time. We encourage our neighbours to report bad parking to the police. If you have a grandparent, other relative or friend visiting for an event, please mention this to them too.
Lunch / meals
How long do the children get to eat lunch?
Each class has at least fifteen minutes in which to eat their lunch. As this drifts toward 30 minutes we will start to chivvy your child along (usually because they have been chatting too much!)
What do they get in their cooked meal?
Menus are sent out via parentmail weekly, they are also posted on the school website, and a paper copy is available in the foyer.
What could go in a packed lunch?
We recommend a healthy packed lunch, which may include savoury sandwiches, a cereal bar, fruit, yoghurt or other items which are good for a growing child. Children should not bring chocolate items or anything at all which contains nuts.
What happens if my child does not like their lunch?
Whether you have made it yourself or the school kitchen has, children will sometimes not like what they have been given. We encourage them to try as much as they can. If we feel they will suffer in the afternoon if they have not eaten enough we may contact you to discuss what could be done to ensure that they eat a better lunch.
What snack should I give to my child?
KS1 children have fruit supplied by the school on a daily basis. KS2 children have a tuck shop available at school each day to purchase healthy snacks. If you wish to send your child in with a snack, nut-free cereal bars, which are full of slow-release carbohydrates, are an important source of energy for growing children. Chocolate bars and sweets are not allowed. Items containing nuts may never be brought to school as we do have children with severe nut allergies.
Why is my child being offered milk and fruit or vegetables?
Children in Foundation Class, who are under 5 years old, are eligible for a free small carton of milk every day. Children further up the school will be required to pay for the milk should they choose to receive it. Also, children in Key Stage One are given a piece of fresh fruit or vegetable each day, again free of charge. This is a government initiative to encourage children to eat healthily and to develop a liking for fruit and vegetables as they grow up. This is not available to Key Stage Two children.
If you would like your child to receive milk then you can register on the cool milk website www.coolmilk.com.
How do I pay for lunch and by when?
Dinner money must be paid weekly in advance. Payment can be made by cash or cheque (payable to “St Pius X”) and handed in to the school office.
How is my child prepared for moving into Early Years Foundation Stage or on to their next class?
Before your child starts school the Foundation teacher will organise a convenient time for a home visit. This helps your child to familiarise themselves with their new teacher. There are also after school play sessions/mornings to meet the other children that will be joining the Early Years class
Before the end of the summer term the children will spend a morning with their new teacher.
In Year 6 the children visit their chosen secondary school for a whole day. We are aware that the transfer to “big” school is both a worrying and exciting time. Year 6 teachers and the Head of Year 7 provide opportunities to discuss or answer any questions.
What happens on school trips?
School trips occur throughout the year and are a valuable addition to the curriculum, taking learning out of the classroom and into new contexts. Not only are trips a chance to find out more about topics, they also allow children to experience different places and learn how to be safe outside school. Each class usually has at least one trip during the school year and we try very hard to achieve value for money and keep costs down. Although we reserve the right to exclude children from the visit on the grounds of unacceptable behaviour, it is not our wish to exclude any child on the grounds of financial difficulty. If there are any issues regarding payment, please speak to either the office or HeadTeacher.
All school trip venues are visited in advance by staff and a full risk assessment is drawn up and agreed by the school leaders. Sometimes a school trip may simply be a walk in the local area. We won’t necessarily give you notice or ask your permission for these walks as you will have signed a general consent form when your child joined the school.
On a school trip the children always need to take a packed lunch and may have to carry it around with themselves during the morning so parents need make sure it’s not too heavy and will not come apart. If the bag it comes in is disposable then they won’t have to carry it around in the afternoon.
A residential trip takes place in Year 6 (4 days/3 nights) much anticipated by the children and long remembered.
When do you teach swimming?
Swimming is part of the National Curriculum and it is a requirement that children should be able to swim 25 metres by the time they leave school. We send out a swimming questionnaire to parents to find out their child’s ability. Following that your child will if necessary start swimming lessons (usually 10). These lessons are not optional.
How do I get involved with the school?
The PA is the fundraising body of the school: they organise events such as the summer and Christmas Fayres, Film Shows, Discos, Quiz nights etc. and are a good way for parents to get involved socially. More details of the PA can be found in the Parents section of the school website. Finally, parents can become a member of the Governing Body, a body which is concerned with the legal, financial and strategic direction of the school. The Governing Body appoints the Headteacher to run the school on a day to day basis. Vacancies for Parent Governors arise occasionally.
What are all the types of assemblies for?
It is a legal requirement for schools to have a daily act of worship. Assemblies are an ideal chance for the children to get together to listen, learn, take part and celebrate. On a Monday the Headteacher speaks on the Gospel reading of the previous day’s Mass. Class Assemblies are a chance for children to perform in front of the school and their families. All parents and grandparents are invited and assemblies start at 9:15am. Each Friday we have a “Celebration Assembly” which start at 2:40pm, during which children receive their “Star of the Week” certificate and show any trophies/medals they may have received from outside clubs. We also hold Mass at key dates throughout the Church year, these dates are displayed on our website and parents are most welcome to attend.
What clubs are there?
Please see the list on the school website. Clubs are either run by volunteers (parents or staff members) and are free, or are run by outside agencies which need to be paid for.
Can I bring siblings in to class assemblies?
Yes, but if they are noisy you must step outside with them, as the children have worked hard to practice and then perform the assembly.
What other performances are there?
At Christmas we have a nativity performed by EYFS and KS1. Years 3 and 4 perform an Easter play. Year 6 have an end of year production in the summer which also includes performances from Year 5.
What is “Sports Day”?
All children take part in Sports Day. Parents are invited to watch and cheer. Children compete in and for their houses.
A Catholic school
What sort of Bible should I have at home to help my child?
Any Bible which is appropriate to their level of reading and understanding is fine. A children’s Bible for the younger ones is appropriate and for Years 5 and 6 a Good News Bible is the one the children use in class.
What exactly is a School Mass?
Every term the school and parish join together for a special ‘School Mass’ either in the school hall or Blessed Sacrament Church. Some children will recite the readings whilst others will want to take part in the Bidding Prayer or Offertory Procession. All children and their families are warmly invited to attend.
Can I attend school services?
Parents and parishioners are warmly welcome when Mass is celebrated in school. Parents may also attend Class Assemblies. Should there be any other occasion where parents are welcome to attend we will let you know.
What is the First Holy Communion programme?
This is run by the parish for children in Years 3 and above. It leads the children towards receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation in April and then making their First Holy Communion in May. This course is open to children who are Catholic. If your child expresses an interest in this, then you must approach your parish priest to discuss it.
How do I sound letters out correctly?
There is a session for parents on reading in the Autumn Term with the Phonics Subject Leader.
Can my child learn a musical instrument at school?
Yes, piano/guitar lessons can be arranged. Please ask for details from the school office. Lessons will need to be paid for and are scheduled in lesson or break time.
How do I arrange a meeting with the class teacher if I have a concern?
Please catch them after school to arrange an appointment, or call the office. Please avoid trying to see a classteacher before school as they have to prepare for the day ahead.
What are Parents Consultation Evenings?
These are an opportunity for you to discuss your child’s progress and any worries you may have with the classteacher. With 30 sets of parents to see, appointments are for a maximum of ten minutes. If you have more to ask and discuss then please make a separate appointment. These meetings generally occur in October and February.
What does SEN / SENCo / IEP stand for?
SEN is Special Educational Needs and the SENCo Coordinates provision for these children. Many children have difficulties learning and the SENCo will help you to understand how your child can be supported and will organise professional help from other agencies. Children with SEN will have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) with specific targets to help the children.
At what time can I phone to tell the office my child is unwell?
We have an answerphone in the office to take messages before 8.00am. The office itself opens at 8:00am and we would like to know if your child is not coming in by 9:30am at the latest. Your child must bring a note to school explaining the reasons for the absence on his/her first day back at school after an absence.
What happens if my child has an accident (wets him/herself)?
This is not a rare occurrence, particularly in Foundation. We will deal with the situation sensitively and provide spare underwear which can be worn with your child’s PE kit. We ask that you return the borrowed underwear washed. If the accident is of a more unpleasant nature, we may well contact you during the day.
What if my child seems ill at home or doesn’t want to come to school?
If you genuinely feel that your child is not well enough to come to school, just let the office know and keep your child away from school. If a child is actually sick or has had diarrhoea, then he/she must not be returned to school for at least 48 hours after being ill. If your child seems well but just doesn’t want to come to school, you should bring them to school but alert the classteacher that there was a reluctance to come to school. It may well be that there is something bothering your child which could be easily fixed.
What happens if my child has a medical appointment?
Please let us know in advance, wherever possible we require a letter that confirms the medical appointment. Please note that routine dental check-ups should not be made during the school day wherever possible.
What do I do if my child needs to be given medicine during the day?
Please bring it in to the office where you will be given a form to complete and leave with the office giving permission for a specific dose to be given at a specific time of day.
What do I do if my child has head lice?
If you find that your child has head lice, these must be treated before returning your child to school. If we are aware of a case we will usually send out a letter to everyone in the class asking them to check for head lice due to the ease with which they spread around a class.
What do I do if I have to collect my child during the school day for an appointment?
Please warn us in advance by a phone call or letter and then arrive at school in plenty of time, as the office staff will have to go and find get your child from the classroom. This can take up to five minutes. Wherever possible we require a letter that confirms the medical appointment.