SCHOOL MEALS AND DINNER TIME
At dinner time, children may bring their own packed lunches (in a box clearly marked with your child's name), go home for lunch or have a hot meal/packed lunch prepared by our school cook. Varied and healthy school meals that support our Healthy School status are prepared, cooked and served on the premises. A four-week menu is available on request. We would appreciate it if packed lunches also supported our Healthy School status. The inclusion of sweets, fizzy or highly coloured drinks is not recommended. Good manners and good eating habits are taught and expected at all times.
Dinner money is payable in advance either by cheque (made payable to Chartwells) or in cash on Mondays for the week. Any absences noted at registration will be credited. It does help us if you can send the correct dinner money in an envelope or container marked with both the child's name and 'Dinner Money'. Special envelopes are available from the school office.
At present, dinners cost £2.10 per day,£10.50 per week. Please ensure that if you wish to change to or from a school meal, we need a weeks notice. Meals cannot be ordered on an ad hoc basis. In exceptional circumstances we will of course proved a lunch, but you should see Mrs. Powell in the school office before 9.00 am.
In certain circumstances, children may have free meals, depending on income and financial circumstances. Please contact Mrs. Powell for the necessary application forms if you think you may qualify, certainly if you are on income support or family credit. Any enquiry will be treated in confidence and everything is done to avoid embarrassment for you and your child.
SNACKS FOR MORNING BREAK
Fresh fruit is available to pupils in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 classes every morning. We also run a healthy tuck shop for pupils in Key Stage 2. You may send in a snack but to encourage the children to eat their midday lunch and to promote healthy eating, we ask you to send only a piece of fruit or a prepared vegetable - e.g. a peeled carrot or a peeled orange - or a sandwich in a suitable named container or plastic bag. Crisps, biscuits, chocolate and sweets are NOT permitted.
There is a no smoking policy operating throughout the school, including the grounds.
Children must not bring money or valuable articles to school except for a particular reason, for example dinner money. No toys may be brought to school, unless for a specific topic.
Please note that responsibility for such items being lost or damaged cannot be accepted by any member of staff.
MEDICINES IN SCHOOL
Medicines for short-term illnesses should not be brought into school. However, if your child HAS to take medicine during the day e.g. if they need four doses, then please bring in ONE dose in a small container clearly marked with your child's name and the name of the medicine. This should be taken to the school office. If your child needs to use an asthma inhalant or has any specific difficulties please see the Head Teacher to make agreed arrangements. NB: We will only give medicines prescribed by a doctor.
MEDICALS AND OTHER FACILITIES
Every child is given a full medical examination, to which parents/carers are invited, usually during their first year at school. Other examinations and yearly follow-ups are given if requested by the school doctor, you the parents/carers, or staff at the school.
Dental, Eye and Weight Checks
These general check-ups are usually carried out at various times during your child's schooling. You are informed in advance and have the right to withdraw your child.
Children experiencing speech and language difficulties can be directly referred to a speech therapist, by you the parents/carers or by us in school after consultation with you. Children in the reception year will be seen at the local health clinics.
The Medway Community Child Health Department
This department is always very helpful in arranging for specialist help on any minor or major concern of parents and/or staff. Please do not hesitate to come in and talk to us.
The Educational Psychological Service
On occasions we may need, in consultation with you, to refer children to the Educational Psychologist for the specialist help and advice in assessing special educational needs.
We expect the children to consider and respect others and be polite and courteous.
There is no corporal punishment. The displeasure of the teacher and head teacher (or his deputy) is usually effective. If not, the child may miss their playtime (and therefore will not be allowed to eat their tuck). The threat of this is often enough of a deterrent!
The head teacher, staff and governors aim to be firm, friendly and fair. By providing a happy, welcoming, family environment we promote the best atmosphere for learning.
You should also be aware that, as a school, we will not accept rude or agressive behaviour, or abusive language, towards staff or pupils by parents/carers. You will be escorted from the premises and may, in extreme circumstances, be banned from the school site.
We believe that wearing school uniform creates a pride in belonging to the school community and promotes a business-like apearance and attitude.
white polo shirt
navy 'V' necked pullover/navy plain cardigan (of a pinafore is worn)
charcoal grey trousers/shorts (not cargo style)
charcoal grey pinafore/skirt
black sandals or shoes
navy 'V' necked pullover/navy plain cardigan (if a pinafore is worn)
navy/silver school tie (provided by the school)
charcoal grey trousers (not cargo style)
plain black shoes (no coloured lacing or eyelets)
Please ensure that shoes have a low heel for reasons of safety. Trainers or boots should not be worn in school.
white polo shirt
trunks/one piece swimsuit
One pair of stud earrings only and a wrist watch (when you child can tell the time) may be worn. These need to be removed for PE.
Hair should be neat and tidy. Long hair should be tied back. We expect moderate hair styles. No extreme cuts eg shaven markings, skinhead. If in any doubt please ask your child's class teacher.
Hair accessories should be plain, navy blue or white to match the colours of the school.
FRIENDS OF STOKE SCHOOL (FOSS)
There are many ways in which you can be actively involved in the life of the school, and FOSS is the first! As soon as your child enters Stoke you and your family become a part of the 'Friends'. The aim of 'Friends of Stoke School' is to raise money for the school whilst having fun. Information about their activities will be written in the weekly newsletter, or put on the noticeboard at the front of the school. If you have any ideas but are not sure who to talk to, please pop into the school office where Mrs. Powell will be happy to introduce you to the appropriate parent.
CHARGING POLICY OF THE SCHOOL GOVERNORS
As I am sure you know, the Education Reform Act 1988 affects charging arrangements for educational acitivites during school hours. These activities can only be undertaken with the financial support of the parents concerned. It is the wish of the Governing Body for such activities to continue and in order to make this possible we will be seeking your continued voluntary financial contributions.
No child will be penalised if their parents choose not to contribute but clearly it may not prove possible for an activity to take place if the majority exercised this option, and excursions may be cancelled at short notice.
Should you wish to know more about this policy, please contact the head teacher or any member of the governing body.
THE CHILDREN AND THE NATIONAL CURRICULUM
Foundation Stage (3-5 years), Key Stage 1 (6-7 years) and Key Stage 2 (8-11 years)
The School Day
Each day children will spend time:-
Learning the basic skills in:
English (including listening and speaking, reading, handwriting, creative writing and spelling).
Mathematics (including number, shape and space and problem solving).
During each wee they will spend time:-
-Learning scientific skills of investigation, observation and exploration
-Participating in a variety of activities including; Technology, Art, Craft and Design, constructive and imaginative play.
-using the environment.
-Enjoying Music, Dance, Drama, Literature and Poetry.
-Working on a termly cross-curricular theme (this may include History and Geography).
-Using Information Communication Technology (ICT) in its own right, as well as when appropriate as part of other subjects.
-Taking part in Assemblies, experiencing religious and moral stories and ideas.
-Participating in physical activities, games, movement, dance, gymnastics and swimming.
Teachers develop themes and plan activities according to the ages and abilities of the children within each year group and each class. You will receive an outline of these plans at the beginning of each term to enable you to help your child with research etc.
We see homework as an important way to consolidate learning that has taken place in school as well as a tool for children to develop their research and study skills. We ask that parents/carers provide support through ensuring work is completed in a positive environment with appropriate guidance and explanation. It is important that children are given help with this but it should not be completed for them.
We encourage all children to take home a book of their choice to share with you each evening and to tell you of the day's happenings. They will also have 'talk' homework where they are encouraged to talk to friends and family about a whole school idea or question.
In Key Stage 2, children are also expected to learn their spellings and tables and this is closely monitored. Homework is set more formally and on a regular basis. The pupils are equipped with a homework notebook and are expected to take responsibility for ensuring homework is completed on time. For children in Year 6 we are particularly mindful of the fact that, as they enter secondary school, homework is given every evening. Homework is therefore set in school as part of their preparation for the next phase in their education and in order to establish good working habits.
Please remember that talking to and listening to your child is one of the most important things that you can do each day.
Here we aim to open children's eyes to the world around them and to the infinite variety of life, to learn tolerance and understanding of actions and peoples and to build the child's own self-esteem. Whilst these lessons will have a mainly Christian bias, the children are taught about other religions and festivals. We follow the Medway Agreed Syllabus.
You have the right to withdraw your child from religious education lessons. Please see the head teacher to make the appropriate arrangements.
A daily Assembly and Act of Worship is held. Bible stories are sometimes told, as are stories from other religions and faiths. The main festivities of the Christian calendar are celebrated, for example, Harvest, Christmas and Easter.
The school maintains links with the local Chapel, Church and other places of worship from a variety of different religions. Other visitors - e.g. the Family Trust - are always warmly welcomed.
According to the 1988 Education Act, children may be excused, at their parents' request, from collective worship as well as Religious Education. Please see the head teacher to make the appropriate arrangements.
PERSONAL, SOCIAL AND MORAL EDUCATION
At every stage of a child's development, we should be aware that we have a duty to educate the whole child physically, mentally, emotionally and socially. These are the values and attitudes we wish to foster in our children.
The right to develop as an individual.
A responsible attitude to work and play.
Kindness and friendliness towards adults and peers.
Honesty and truthfulness.
Respect for people and property.
A feeling of self-worth and self-confidence.
By transmission of these values and attitudes we hope to promote a school ethos which is happy, cheerful, calm and orderly where children can feel safe, secure and valued.
Again this is part of everyday life and is incorporated in some topic work. Each topic is dealt with as an appropriate occasion arises (e.g. washing hands, healthy foods, healthy eating, exercise and new babies).
Sex Education forms part of the curriculum within the national guidelines. At Stoke Community School, this will be presented within a moral, family oriented framework which is appropriate to the pupil's age and experience. Parents/carers may view the school's policy by prior appointment.
Parents/carers do have the right to withdraw their children from any sex education lessons, the content of which is not laid down in the National Curriculum. However, we would encourage you to come along and discuss any concerns before taking such action.
Various educational visits are arranged during the school year in connection with projects, topics and Festivals. Payment for these must be voluntary but we could not offer this facility without charging and discreet help is given where parents are in financial difficulty. We especially welcome help from parents on these occasions. Just like the teachers you will enjoy the experience but will be tired out after a day guiding (under the teacher's direction) a small group.
Personal safety with others on the playground, coming to and going home from school, in school and at home is talked about and is part of the 'caring family ethos'.
Road safety instruction is given throughout the year and a Road Safety Officer from Medway Council visits the Reception Class each year.
PROVISION FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
Every child in our school is special to us and to you but some children have more problems than others.
Parents of children with specific problems will have the opportunity to discuss these with the head teacher and/or the Special Needs Co-ordinator, so that appropriate help might be offered.
To enable these children to integrate into our school, the Senco works with all the school staff. Together they will help and support these children and their parents in their learning, be it social and/or emotional and/or physical and/or behavioural and/or academic.
Provision is also made for children who excel in any area of the curriculum, thus ensuring that they continue to learn a broad and balanced curriculum and do not become 'bored'.
The assessment of children's work is an on-going procedure, which begins as soon as your child starts school. The first formal assessment will take place at the end of their Reception year.
Your child will be set targets that become progressively more challenging. They will gradually build upon their knowledge throughout their time with us. They are formally assessed again during Year 2 (the academic year in which they are 7 years old) and Year 6 ( the academic year in which they are 11 years old).
Targets and assessments will be discussed at each of the consultation evenings in the Autumn and Spring Terms.
An annual written report on your child's progress is sent to you in the summer term and you are invited to come in and discuss this report if you wish.
The Local Authority has published a leaflet explaining what parents/carers should do if they have a complaint about the curriculum or religious worship in their child's school. The LA encourages parents/carers to discuss the complaint with the head teacher first. The great majority of complaints can be resolved in this way.
However, a parent/carer who is still dissatisfied can refer the complaint to a panel of the school's Governing Body.
There are also further appeal stages to a Panel of the LA and, finally, to the Secretary of State for Education.
The school is committed to following the Medway Child Protection Procedure and will report to appropriate agencies if we feel that any child is likely to be harmed. A copy of the Child Protection Policy is available from the head teacher.
HOME SCHOOL SUPPORT WORKER
We are lucky enough to be one of the schools in Medway with a home school support worker. She is in school on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. She can help with a variety of problems that you or your child may be experiencing both in and out of school. If you would like to speak with her, simply pop into school and ask for her at reception.
We hope that this prospectus has answered many of your questions. If you require any further information, or have any questions about the prospectus, please do not hesitate to contact the Head Teacher, Mr. McDonough.