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What happens if I live some distance from the school?

Infants (5-7 years) are transported for free if they live more than two miles from the school. To qualify for free transport, Juniors (7-11 years) must live more than three miles away. Arrangements are sometimes made for concessionary travel paid by the parent; for details ask at the school office.

Regrettably, the access road to the school car park is not wide enough to allow parents to use it either before or after school to deliver or collect their children. It can be used with care for functions out of school hours e.g. Parents’ Evenings.


Which secondary school will my child transfer to?

On leaving our school at the end of Year 6, pupils from our school transfer to a number of different local secondary schools. Letters explaining transfer procedures are sent out to the parents of children in Year 6 by Essex County Council during the autumn term of each year. Children are released from school to attend open days or visit secondary schools where appropriate. The Headteacher and class teacher concerned will try to help with any questions you may have.

Very effective liaison helps to ensure that their transition is as smooth as possible wherever pupils choose to move to. Throughout Year 6, pupils are involved in a number of projects to help prepare them for the move. For pupils with additional specific needs further steps may be put in place.

Pupils are supported in the decision-making process and independent visits to potential secondary schools are facilitated.


What can I do to support my child's school?

The school has a very active association: the Friends of Elsenham School (FOES).

All parents automatically become members and the AGM is held in September each year. Many fund-raising events and entertainment for all the family are held throughout the year. The children benefit greatly from the funds raised.

A number of parents also help in classrooms with reading, craft work and cookery etc. Parents are also invited to accompany educational visits where appropriate.

We welcome and value the contributions that parents make in this way.


What happens if my child is away from school or is late?

Regular attendance is crucial and we expect all children to arrive punctually so that we can have a prompt and calm start to the day. We are required by law to distinguish between children’s authorised and unauthorised absences, and every year we have to publish statistics of all absences.


School timings and lateness:

  • The school day starts at 8.35am when children can begin to come into school and settle into their work activities.
  • Registers are taken and saved at 8.50am and your child will receive a late mark ‘L’ if they are not in by that time.
  • Children arriving after 8.50am are required to come into school via the school office. If accompanied by a parent/carer they must sign them into our electronic system and state a reason for lateness.
  • At 9am the registers will be closed. In accordance with the Regulations, if your child arrives after that time, they will receive a mark that shows them to be on site - ‘U’, but this will not count as a present mark and it will mean they have an unauthorised absence.
  • The school may contact parents/carers regarding lateness.


Absent procedures:

  • Contact the school on the first day of absence before 9am (01279 813198 or
  • Contact the school on every further day of absence, again before 9am
  • Ensure that your child returns to school as soon as possible and you provide any medical evidence, if requested, to support the absence.


What will my child eat during the school day?

Some children like to bring a packed lunch, and others prefer to have a hot lunch. School lunches, where possible, should be ordered in advance on Monday mornings; children do not have to have the school lunch every day in the week, but may have it on occasional days, if they wish.

School lunches should be paid for in advance via ParentMail. The current cost is £2.30 per meal. 

Please make sure the packed lunch box is clearly named and please do not send fizzy drinks. Most children like to bring a snack to eat at the mid-morning break. They may bring fruit, vegetables or a cereal bar. No nuts, chocolate or sweets are permitted as snacks.

Pupils also have the opportunity to purchase milk on a termly basis.

If you are receiving Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, income-related Employment, Support Allowance, support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 or the guaranteed element of Pension Credit, you may be entitled to free school lunches for your child. For more information please contact the school office.


What happens if my child is disabled?

In the event of a permanently disabled child being admitted to the school their particular needs would be assessed and the Local Education Authority required to provide any appropriate facilities.

Should a child become temporarily disabled (for instance by a broken leg), every effort is made to help the child have access to whatever part of the building is required.

Wheelchair access is possible for the disabled visitor to all parts of the main building. A disabled toilet is available.


How do I know my child will be safe?

A high priority is given to the security of all members of the school. Premises are inspected regularly.

We restrict access to the building to the main entrance by means of security locks, codes and an intercom, whilst retaining freedom of movement for those working within the school.

Visitors to the school are asked to sign in via InVentry. An identity label is issued for the duration of their visit. The safety of your child is of paramount importance to us at all times.

The school car park and the drive are out of bounds for children during school hours. Dogs should not be brought onto the school site.

In line with advice from the Local Education Authority, it is school policy that for reasons of safety jewellery should not be worn in school, the only exceptions to this rule being a watch and stud earrings, that can only be gold or silver plain studs which must be taken out for P.E.

Long hair should also, for safety reasons, be tied back in school.

In general, children should not bring toys to school unless they are specifically requested to do so by their class teachers.


What happens if my child is ill?

Medicines are not held in school. The only exception being when a prescribed medicine by the GP needs to be administered four times a day. 

If your child is suffering from Hay Fever and the GP has prescribed an antihistamine, the medicine (clearly labelled) should be handed in at the school office.

If your child is really unwell during the day, you will be contacted so that you may decide what is best for your child.

If parents are at work, every effort is made to keep the child comfortable until the end of the school day.

You are asked to ensure that the school has a telephone number where you may be contacted should there be an emergency, particularly where both parents are at work.


How will I know what is happening in school?

A weekly newsletter is sent home from school via ParentMail each Friday. This gives information on forthcoming events, holiday dates and also news from the week.

Other newsletters can also be received by email. If you would like to receive newsletters this way, please let the school office staff know. Hard copies of the newsletter are also available on request.


What about school trips?

Trips greatly enrich school life and the curriculum.

We plan day trips each year, wherever possible, and also offer a residential journey to children in Year 6. This year we visited Kingswood, in Kent.  

These are greatly enjoyed and we hope that all children will be able to take part.


What about opportunities for the performing arts?

Performing is fun. It builds confidence and self awareness.

Some children, in other places, may never have the chance to perform on a stage. At Elsenham we give all the children the opportunity to perform in assemblies, concerts and plays.

At Christmas, we have the nativity play in EYFS and Yr 2 and a class performance in Year 1. Year 4 perform an Easter production and Year 6 perform a Summer production.


What opportunities are there for extra curricular activities?

The teaching staff give generously of their free time to ensure that extra curricular activities take place during the lunch break or after school. The activities vary according to the time of year and availability of staff.

Football is held during the Autumn and Spring terms. Our football team play matches against local schools and takes part in annual tournaments, wherever possible.

The school has a range of school clubs which change throughout the school year. Parents will be informed when new clubs are running.

Rounders, cricket and athletics clubs may run in the Summer term and Elsenham takes part in the District Sports competition.

Other clubs may include: Eco Warriors, mindfulness, art, netball and cross country and yoga.  

Clubs are charged at £1/week if run by teaching staff. If external coaches/teachers are used then they will set their own costs.  


What charges are made for school activities?

The school’s Governing Body adopts Essex County Council policies in respect of charges for school activities. We cannot afford to meet the cost of visits and activities such as swimming from the school budget. We have to ask you to make voluntary contributions to meet the costs. We will not exclude a child, but if insufficient contributions are received then the event will not be able to take place. Anyone concerned about meeting the cost of an activity is encouraged to speak, in confidence, to the Headteacher.

Charges will only be made for materials, ingredients etc., used in practical classroom work where agreed with parents in advance.

Please ask at the school office if you would like to see copies of Essex County Council’s and the Governing Body’s policies on charges for school activities.


What happens if there are concerns over my child's welfare?

Our first priority is your child’s welfare and therefore there may be occasions when our concern about your child means that we have to consult other agencies before we contact you. The procedures we follow have been laid down by the Essex Child Protection Committee. If you want to know more about this procedure, please speak to the Headteacher.


What happens if my child is gifted or has a particular talent?

'Gifted and Talented' pupils are identified and their progress is monitored and supported to ensure that they maximise their potential. We work in partnership with other local schools to ensure that these pupils have further opportunities, where possible, to work with other pupils with similar talents and ability.


What happens if my child has special educational needs?

Support for children with special educational needs is given by the class teachers and classroom assistants, co-ordinated by a Specialist teacher (SENDCo) and the Headteacher. Support may be given to children individually or in small groups.

When we are concerned about individual progress, we always consult parents and keep them fully informed. It is our aim to identify needs at an early stage so that we can give appropriate support without delay.

We are proud of the standard of our learning support (which was particularly praised in the OFSTED report) and the contribution it makes for children with special needs. We seek to remove barriers which may limit children’s learning and we strive to support all children to ensure that they fulfil their maximum potential.

We use the Essex Guidance procedures when responding to children’s special needs and welcome the full participation of parents in meeting their child’s needs.


How will I know if my child is making progress?

It is a legal requirement that all children are formally assessed, using national standard tasks and tests (SATs), at the end of Year 6. Additional materials are used to formally assess children at the end of Year 1 (Phonics Screening). The results are reported to parents, and should be viewed in conjunction with the teacher’s assessment to give a full picture of the child’s progress.

We have a policy of continuous assessment from entry to school onwards. This assessment enables teachers to plan the next stage for each child’s learning and to ensure that all children make good progress and succeed in education.

You will also have more formal opportunities to find out how your child is getting on. Parents’ Consultation Evenings are held in the Autumn and Spring terms.

An opportunity will be given to look at your child’s work and talk about your child’s progress with the class teacher. You will also be provided with targets to support with at home.

Written reports are sent to parents towards the end of the academic year. These include information about the work that has been covered, individual progress and targets for further development.

Please take the opportunity to visit your child’s classroom to see the range of work on display. We would like to emphasise that you are most welcome at any time of the school year to make an appointment to see your child’s class teacher or the Headteacher to discuss any aspect of life at school.


What about homework?

We highly value the involvement of parents in their children’s learning. We may set homework to reinforce and extend the work the children do in school. We also believe that young children need time to relax, play and develop interests outside school. Homework tasks focus on literacy and numeracy and, might include reading, learning spellings or times tables, research or a maths investigation or game. Expectations gradually increase as children move up through the school.

We hope that parents will be able to support their children with homework as part of an effective partnership between home and school.