A Week in our School
This is a description of a 'normal' week - obviously some things are different at the moment. Please look at our Latest Letters Home page for information about staggered openings, what your child can bring into school and other changes we have had to make in response to Coronavirus.
The school's doors open at 8.50am, though we have a variety of Before School Clubs which start between 8.00am and 8.15am, some run by school staff and some by external providers. (See School Clubs for more information). If your child is not attending a club, they can come into school from 8.50am when they can start learning in their classroom.
Registers are called at 9.00am in all classes. If your child arrives between 9.00 and 9.15am, they will have to come in through the main entrance where they are recorded as being late by the office staff. We are obliged to keep a record of how often children arrive late, and we may need to call you in for a chat if your child is late or absent too many times.
If a child arrives after 9.15am (or 1.15pm if they are only arriving at school in the afternoon), they will be marked as absent for the whole of the morning or afternoon. The school has an Attendance policy which explains the school rules and reasoning on lateness and attendance in detail, as well as Hertfordshire County Council's rules. We hope that our pupils feel valued and welcomed at school, and that they want to come to school because the learning is interesting so please contact your child's teacher if that does not seem to be the case.
The children in the Willows class follow the Early Years and Foundation Stage Curriculum, meaning that they have a less structured school day than the older children, though they do enjoy Friday break time and lunch with their older new friends. They are encouraged to play and learn both inside and outside their classroom, and their day gradually becomes more structured over the course of their Reception year. In order to help them become part of the school community, we give each Willows child a Year 6 Buddy. The Willows children have regular sessions during the school week with their Buddy to support each other's development.
The Rowans, Silver Birches and Oaks classes start the day with a half hour session we call Early Morning Work. They then do Maths and English, with break time at 10.30am - 10.45am. Throughout the school, the children are taught to use the same handwriting font, and to present their work in a consistent manner. They will be given homework every week, in accordance with our Homework policy. If you find that your child's homework is taking them much longer than the recommendations for their age, please tell their teacher. Homework should support learning, not cause stress at home.
We strongly believe that children should play out whenever possible, even in winter, so please send your children to school with sensible, appropriate shoes (ideally in a small, named shoe bag) and coats, which they can change out of when they come indoors. Sometimes unfortunately, indoor play is unavoidable and on those occasions, the children may play in their own classrooms or in the hall.
Lunch is provided by Dolce schools catering, who offer a choice of meals including vegetarian and allergy-appropriate options. You need to order your child's meal ahead of time at home - you can do this daily, weekly or half-termly as it suits you and your child. The menus are on the Dolce website - our school uses the Village menu. if your child brings a packed lunch, please make sure it is a healthy, balanced lunch, without chocolate, sweets or fizzy drinks. (And no nuts, obviously!) We regularly have community visitors to our Wednesday Top Table, where they enjoy the company of the Stars of that Week.
After lunch, the children learn about other areas of the curriculum, including Music and PE, which might need children to remember their kits or instruments. It must be stressed that PE is a compulsory aspect of the school curriculum. If a child is unable to participate because of a medical condition please notify the teacher in writing. On Friday afternoons, the whole school takes part in Enrichment sessions.
The children have an assembly at some point every day, during which we may talk about the school's values and behaviour procedures, sing together, celebrate children's achievements inside or out of school or welcome visitors to our school. Other assemblies may involve one class showing the rest of the school what they have been learning lately.
Every so often, we have House assemblies. When children join our school, they are put into one of our four houses (Griffins, Phoenix, Dragons or Unicorns). Siblings are put in the same house as each other. Children can earn house points as a result of good behaviour, good work, sporting achievement or by demonstrating our values around school. We total up the house points each week, and the house with the most points at the end of each half term has a non-uniform day as a result. We also total up the house points over the whole year - the winning team is rewarded with a trophy.
Some weeks can be quite different to this - we have an annual Sports Week and a Food Revolution Week. The Juniors go swimming to Luton Swimming Pool during the summer term, and we have a whole school trip in the summer term (Last year we went to Kew Gardens). If we are lucky, we have other trips out - there's an outing to Duxford being planned for the Oaks this term. You might see some of us walking around the village sometimes - we visit the local church, farm and High Street regularly.
School finishes at 3.15pm, unless your child is attending an After School club. If someone other than their parents will be picking up your children, or they will be walking home on their own, please could you clearly inform the Office of this. If your child brings a mobile phone to school, due to walking to and from school on their own, their named phone must be handed into the Office when they arrive and collected from there at 3.15pm.