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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

We appreciate that parents/carers who are new to our school will have many questions and concerns. Staff at the school are often asked questions in relation to children’s education, school timings, procedures and a myriad of other topics.

 

We won't have answered them all here but we have provided answers below to our most commonly asked questions in the hope that parents are able to find information they are looking for quickly without having to take time out to contact the school.

 

If your particular question is not answered here then please do contact the school via the form at the bottom of the page or via the information on our Contact Information page.

attendance and timekeeping

 

What are school opening and closing times?

 

School usually starts at 8:50 am each day with gates open at 8:30am and children able to walk to class from 8:40am.  All pupils will be ready to collect in the afternoon at 3:15pm each day.

 

There are a few occasions such as end of term days where the pick up time maybe be earlier.  All of these occasions are listed on our school diary, in newsletters and on the Latest News page.

 

What do I do if my child is late to school?

 

Take child to the main office and sign them in.  One of our Office Staff will then let your child in and they can go to class.

 

What do I do if I am going to late in collecting my child?

 

There are times when parents are late collecting their child from school through delays and circumstances out of their control.  If this is likely to happen to you, we ask you contact school and the expected delay is given.  We can then make arrangements to let your child know what is happening and when they will be collected.

 

If a child is not collected and no reason is given they will go to Kids Club and be charged in accordance with their charging policy.

 

If a child is still not collected, Children’s Social Care will be contacted.

 

Can I send someone else to pick up my child?

 

If you need someone else to come to school to collect your children, please speak to the class teacher in the morning or leave a message with Mrs Poulter, Mrs Burch or Mrs Snellings in the office. Each child has a data overview sheet with people who are allowed to collect them.

 

How do I report my child's absence from school?

 

Telephone school on the day of the absence before 9.30am and inform our administrator Mrs Poulter so she can let class staff know. A message can be left on the answer machine if she is not available.

 

When are the school holidays?

 

Full details for the current and next years term dates can be found on our calendar and diary information page.

 

Can I take my child on holiday during term time?

 

The short answer is No. Attending school is a compulsory obligation that parents must adhere to and therefore you should avoid taking your child out of school. If you wish to have a special case considered then you are required to complete a request for leave of absence form which can be requested from the school office.

 

The school has a policy around attendance where full details of the requirements and penalties can be found.

 

How will I be informed if there is an enforced school closure?

 

On the very rare occasion that the school needs to close we will inform all parents via Parentmail. Information will also be shared via local radio stations and Kent School Closures website.

school uniform

 

Does school uniform have to be branded school uniform?

 

Parents do not have to purchase school branded uniform.  There are many supermarkets which stock appropriate school uniform in our school colours and you are welcome to purchase from wherever you wish.  Please see our School Uniform page for details of what should be worn.

 

Where can I buy branded school uniform from?

 

You can buy school uniform from the school. Please visit our School Uniform information page where full details on what pupils should wear as uniform and PE kit. Information on pricing and a downloadable order form is available at the top of this page.

 

How much does school uniform cost?

 

Please visit our School Uniform information page where full details on what pupils should wear as uniform and PE kit. Information on pricing and a downloadable order form is available on this page.

 

Can my child wear jewellery in school?

 

We ask pupils do not wear jewellery in school.  Small stud earrings can be worn but these must be removed by pupils on PE days. If your child can not remove their own earrings we ask that they do not wear them.  Schools are busy places and we find that jewellery can cause unnecessary accidents.

meals and drinks

 

How long do the children get to eat lunch?

 

All children in school have one hour for their lunch.  This allows plenty of time for them to eat and socialise with their peers.

 

How much is a school dinner?

 

Our school dinners are provided by Nourish at a daily cost £2.30 per meal.  These can be paid weekly, monthly or by term. Our menu and information about Nourish is available on our School Meals page. 

 

How do I claim Free School Meals?

 

In Reception, Year One or Year Two: If your child is starting Reception, Year One or Year Two, you do not need to apply for free school meals. There is a government scheme for all Key Stage One children to receive a free school meal, regardless of parental income.  Their free school meals will stop at the end of year two.

 

For Year Three and above and to register for pupil premium: To apply, complete an application form located on the Kent County Council website or Medway Council website with details of your name, date of birth and National Insurance number. You do not need to re-apply annually, your children will continue to receive free school meals unless you cease to be entitled, and the Council will let you know should that arise.

 

How much is milk?

 

Milk is provided by Cool Milk and is free until your child's fifth birthday.  If you are in receipt of benefits which enable your child to have free school meals (not Universal Free School meals for all KS1 pupils) then your child will also receive free milk daily.  Milk is available to be purchased for all other children at an approximate cost of £1.30 per week by registering here.

 

Is drinking water available?

 

Drinking water is freely available throughout the school via our refrigerated filter machines in corridors.  Children should have a water bottle into school each day and fill it from the water machines.

 

What should I put in my child's packed lunch?

 

We are a Healthy School so encourage children to bring healthy items in their lunch to school.  This could include items such as fruit, vegetables, pasta or rice salads and yogurts.  We strongly discourage sweets and crisps as part of a daily diet as these exceed a child's weekly allowance of salt and sugar.  

 

Children must NOT bring nuts into school, including peanut butter as some children in school have severe nut allergies.  

 

It's my child birthday, can I send in sweets/treats?

 

We are a healthy school and we ask that children do not bring cakes or sweets into school, instead choosing fruit or vegetables to share with classmates if they would like to bring something in.

 

health issues

 

What do I do if my child is prescribed medication?

 

If your child needs to have medication at school you must complete a form at the school office. We ask that medication at school is kept to a minimum and if antibiotics are prescribed for less than four times a day we suggest this can be organised out of school time.  All medication held on school premises is kept locked and secure.

 

What happens if my child has a medical/dental appointment?

 

Please try to arrange medical appointments out side of school time. If this is unavoidable we ask that you bring the appointment letter to the school office so it can be recorded on the register.

 

How long before my child can return to school after an illness?

 

We ask that children remain at home until they are well enough to return to school.
Sickness and stomach bugs – we ask that children remain at home for 48 hours after their last bout of illness to ensure that infections do not spread. Please see our specific COVID-19 page for issues surrounding symptoms here.

 

What happens if my child has an accident at school?

 

All staff are first aid trained and can offer reassurance and first aid to pupils who are injured at school.  

If the injury is significant we would inform parents (either by telephone or medical note) and appropriate first aid would be given and any serious injury would involve the medical services as soon as possible.

 

What do I do if my child has head lice?

 

If your child has head lice we ask that you treat them quickly to ensure that they do not spread. If we notice that your child has head lice during the school day we may contact you to inform you. If you would like to collect them, treat the head lice and return them to school you are welcome.

transport and parking

 

Can I park at the school?

 

Unfortunately we do not have any visitor parking at school. Parents are asked to park considerately and carefully in the streets around school while avoiding the zigzags. 

 

Can my child cycle to school?

 

We have a limited number of bike racks available for children's bikes to be stored.  These may be used if children ride to school with parents.  If a child would like to ride to school on their own, they must have completed the Bikeability course and will need to write to the headteacher to ask permission.

home-school communication

 

What do I do if I need to see a teacher?

 

Non-urgent messages can be left with the members of the Senior Leadership Team who are on the gate each morning.

 

Specific staff can be contacted via Google Classrooms to enquire about learning.  Some classes also have Class Dojo set up to allow parents to see how their children's behaviour and learning attitude is throughout the day.  For urgent enquiries, parents can telephone the school office on 01634 388416 and leave a message for the class teacher or email here to ask for the email to be forwarded to the class teacher.  There are also regular opportunities for parents and carers to meet with class staff via Consultation Evenings as well as Open Afternoon events.

 

An appointment can be made via the school office.

 

How can parents get involved?

 

We ask that parent support school primarily by helping with their learning from home.  This could be in the form of reading at home and practicing times tables and number facts or accessing Google Classrooms and accessing current learning there.

 

We also ask that you familiarise yourself with newsletters, diary events and your child's class page where you can find all the information out about the class teacher and teaching assistant as well as events going on at school. The pages also feature some photos of learning taking place in class.

 

There are many opportunities to engage with the school throughout the academic year with Open Afternoons and specific events.  We also have a very active parent and staff group called the Parents and Friends of Holywell School (PFHS) and their details can be found here

 

How do you communicate with parents?

 

In Mayflower Class (Year R) we used an app called Tapestry to share observations and learning with parents. Parents can contribute from home to add observations and key learning points.


All classes have DoJO points as a reward systems and most classes have the capacity for parents and carers to message the teacher and share information about how well pupils are doing in class and at home.


We hold regular parent assemblies and have a drop in where parents can find out what pupils have been learning in class.  There are monthly newsletters from Mr Callaghan to give parents information about the school and what we are doing.  

 

Our website also offers opportunities to communicate with parents. We use Twitter to send out snippets of current/upcoming school information and other social media platforms are in the planning stages. 

 

We have also added a very informative calender event system to our website that is populated with all major events from term times to day trips, parent evenings and any shows or events that pupils and or parents are going to be involved in.

 

Do you have a school council?

 

We have a very active group of School Councillors and UNICEF Ambassadors who meet regularly with Mr Hopkins and Miss Lassman. The school council are elected members of each class.

 

The School Council and UNICEF Ambassadors are elected annually and all children take part in the nomination and election process.

 

How will my child be able to contribute their views?

 

We have a number of ways that children’s views can be heard and listened to.

 

  • School Council and UNICEF Ambassador meetings
  • Pupil Voice interviews
  • Class Council Meetings
  • Question of the Week assemblies

 

Children are consulted about many major issues around school and play an active part in the decision making process.

 

How much is after school club and how do I book it?

 

Holywell Primary School offer a Breakfast Club, After School Club and a Holiday Club service.  Information about this service can be found here.

 

education

 

What should I do if I am worried about my child's progress?

 

If you have any  concerns about your child’s progress we ask that you arrange an appointment to talk to your child’s class teacher.  This can be done by either ringing the school office on 01634 388416 or emailing the school office here.

 

What if my child can't speak English?

 

At Holywell School we welcome all children, regardless of their nationality. We have several children who have joined our school unable to speak English. All staff are able to support non-native English speaking children with a range of strategies.  There are several members of staff trained in the use of teaching strategies to support English as an additional language.

 

How is my child prepared for moving on to Secondary School?

 

Due to Holywell School's location, there is no one school our children move to when they leave us.  For this reason, we have very close links with many local Secondary Schools including (but not limited to) Westlands, Borden Grammar, Highsted Grammar, Fulston Manor School,  Sittingbourne School, Rainham Mark Grammar, Rainham School for Girls, Robert Napier School, the Howard School, Invicta Grammar School for Girls, Oasis Academy and Victory Academy.   

 

The year 6 teacher, SENCO and/or FLO meet with the Head of Year 7, Year 7 teachers and SENCOs and also have an opportunity to visit the school if needed.

 

There is a comprehensive transition programme for Year 6 children moving into Year 7, including visits to see the schools in action, meeting with their Year 7 Head of Years within Holywell and transition days/weeks organised by the individual Secondary schools.  For some children with additional needs, there may be opportunities for additional transition activities such as Anxiety transition sessions and meetings with new school staff with a member of Holywell staff for support.  For more details about this for your child, please contact Holywell School's SENCO here.

 

How can I protect my child when using new technology?

 

All children are educated in eSafety throughout their time in school. We share lots of online safety information, both through our website page We Are Happy and Safe as well as sharing guides and notes from other agencies such as National Online Safety via our Twitter page.  

 

We ask that parents are aware of online sites that their child is visiting and that they do not have access to social media accounts such as Facebook and Snapchat.

other questions

 

Where do I go to locate lost Property?

 

Lost property is kept in within each classroom in the first instance then transferred to the school hall after a few weeks of reminders to claim have not been fruitful.  Attempts will be made to identify property and will be passed back to the children if the item in question is labelled with the pupil name.  

 

There are regular table top lost property sessions where items are displayed for parents and carers to collect and these events usually coincide with Parent Consultation Evenings.  After a reasonable period of time, the items will be disposed of appropriately or added to our Unicycle uniform recycling project.

 

In all cases, lost property is the responsibility of the child with support from parents and carers, not class staff.

 

What clubs are there?

 

Holywell Primary offer a lot of enrichment activities for children to get involved in from additional learning opportunities to sports and creative clubs. These clubs are offered on a termly basis and are subject to availability of staff.  An example of the clubs offered and photographs of previous clubs can be found here.

 

What does SEN and SENCo stand for?

 

If your child has Special Educational Needs they will be on the SEN register.  Our Special Educational Needs Coordinator is Miss Taylor (SENCo).  

 

Children with special educational needs may need access to additional interventions and support and some may require specialist and specific support in the form of an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP).  In this case, the child will have a Personal Pupil Plan.

 

For more information, policies and factsheets, see our SEN page here.

 

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by Holywell Primary School?

 

We offer a number of specialist services mostly within school but are able to call on external agencies where necessary.

 

Within school:

  • Family Liaison Officer
  • ICT Technician
  • Sports Coaches

 

Regular External Agencies

  • Speech Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Specialist Teaching Service
  • Counselling services 
  • Specific Sports Coaches
  • Early Help and Social Services (including CAFCASS)

 

What is the school fund for?

 

The school fund is in place to provide a quick and easy way to fund extra-curricular activities without asking parents continually across the year.  Having funds available in bulk enables us to secure visits from companies at heavily discounted rates as we are able to book early and secure preferred dates.  

 

Examples of what the school fund covers are:

  • School trips
  • Visits from theatre groups etc
  • In-school workshops
  • Specific visitors

 

Is there a guide for the jargon used in Primary Schools?

 

Where possible, we do try to avoid jargon but we also appreciate there is a lot of terminology used within primary schools which parents or carers may not be familiar with. A guide has been produced that will hopefully help you understand many of the terms or phrases you may come across during your child's educational journey with us.

 

Please see the jargon buster below.

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