A WARM WELCOME
One of the most important decisions you make in your lifetime is about your child’s education.
The first steps into the nursery setting are the first in a long journey which will see each young person grow and develop through childhood and adolescence into adulthood.
At Whitehall Primary School, we aim to offer children the best life chances possible to start them on this journey.
We offer high standards of teaching and learning, high expectations in terms of behaviour and conduct and an exciting and stimulating curriculum which will support and challenge your child from Nursery to Year 6. All this is offered in a safe and secure environment where each child is treated as an individual and diversity is valued and celebrated.
We also wholeheartedly encourage a successful partnership with home as we know how positively this can impact on a child’s progress and development.
This prospectus will help you to get a feel for the school, for its ethos, values and its approach to education. You may also wish to view the school’s latest OFSTED inspection report and its website for further information.
However, there is nothing like coming along for a school visit and drinking in the atmosphere to help you decide whether Whitehall Primary is for you and your child.
School visits take place on request.
ABOUT THE SCHOOL
Whitehall Primary School is a two-form entry primary school.
There are two nursery classes, one in the morning and another in the afternoon. Each accommodates up to 30 three and four year olds in the nursery unit adjacent to the main school building.
There are two classes of up to 30 children in each year group thereafter, making 14 classes in all.
The school also benefits from a resourced provision for deaf pupils.
Whitehall as an educational institution dates back to the 1950s but the school is presently housed in a modern one storey building erected after a fire completely destroyed the old wooden structure in 1991.
There is a school run Breakfast Club and a privately run After School Club on site.
The school enjoys spacious grounds including a large playing field and a number of other facilities such as a computing suite, a comprehensive children’s library and a newly created science garden.
All classrooms have interactive whiteboards and the school is fully networked.
Whitehall Primary is a popular school, respected by parents in the local community. Our success has been recognised via the Healthy Schools Award Scheme and the Travel Plan Accreditation Scheme.
Our latest OFSTED report can be viewed on the school website or on www.ofsted.org
OUR GOVERNING BODY
The Governing Body of Whitehall Primary is representative of its parents, staff and local community. Members of the Governing Body have a responsibility to help raise standards at the school through strategic planning, systematic monitoring and by acting as a critical friend to the Head Teacher and her senior staff. Governors meet several times a term as a corporate body, both during the school day and in the evenings. Details of the composition of our present Governing Body can be found on the school’s website. The Clerk to the Governors and the Chair of Governors can be contacted via the school office.
Our staff consists of a dedicated team of teachers and support staff who are passionate about the welfare and progress of all children who attend the school.
They have very high expectations of our children both in terms of their behaviour, co-operation with others and their work.
Details of the present staffing arrangements can be found in the back of this booklet.
The school has around 485 pupils ranging from 3-11 years of age. We take children from a wide range of cultural, social and religious backgrounds and our intake includes those who are gifted and talented, those with learning difficulties and those with disabilities.
We take every opportunity to celebrate our diversity and see this rich tapestry of life as a significant strength of the school.
TIMES OF THE DAY
Nursery times are as follows:
Morning nursery starts at 8.45am
Morning nursery finishes at 12 noon
Afternoon nursery starts at 12.30pm
Afternoon nursery finishes at 3.30pm
Times of the Day for Reception – Year 2
School starts at 8.45am
Lunchtime is between 12 noon and 1.00pm
School finishes at 3.15pm
Times of the Day for Years 3 and 4
School starts at 8.45am
Lunchtime is between 12.50pm and 1.50pm
School finishes at 3.15pm
Times of the Day for Year 5and 6
School starts at 8.45am
Lunchtime is between 12.00pm and 1.00pm
School finishes at 3.15pm
The total hours provided in a typical week are 32.5hrs
ATTENDANCE AND PUNCTUALITY
If Whitehall pupils are to be the best that they can be, they must attend school regularly, arrive punctually and be collected on time at the end of the day.
The school works hard to encourage good attendance and punctuality and encourages children to form good attendance habits.
The School Attendance Officer runs regular late gate patrols and works in partnership with families to encourage and support punctuality.
Pupils who arrive after the blue gates have been closed at 9am will need to report to the school office where their name and reason for lateness will be recorded. The school monitors this late book closely.
Pupils who arrive after the registers have closed will have their late arrival recorded as an unauthorised absence in accordance with DfE regulations.
Parents should collect their child(ren) punctually at the end of the school day. Children who are not collected on time can often become distressed and upset. Failure to collect a child in a reasonable time can be construed as neglect. The school follows the Local Authority policy for uncollected children. This means that we may need to involve contact with Social Services or the Police if deemed necessary.
The school will work with and support families to secure good levels of punctuality. However, The Local Authority may take steps to prosecute the parents of children who are habitually late to school.
If your child is going to be absent from school, you must telephone the school office. This enables us to accurately record the reason for absence in the school’s attendance register.
Attendance registers are legal documents which can be used as evidence in a court of law. This is why they must be completed with the utmost accuracy.
As part of our safeguarding procedures, the Attendance Officer carries out ‘First Day Calling’ for all pupils who are absent but for whom no reason for absence has been received.
When the child returns to school, you must write to tell us the reason for absence.
The Attendance Officer monitors pupil absence and contacts parents if absences are not authorised.
The school has a zero tolerance policy regarding leave of absence in term time. We expect families to take their vacations during school holiday times and thus, do not authorise leave during term time.
Only in very exceptional circumstances, and at the discretion of the Head Teacher, will leave in term time be authorised.
Parents who do take leave in school time are liable to a fixed penalty notice, issued by the Local Authority, thus incurring a fine of £120 per child, reducing to £60 per child if paid within 28 days.
Persistent patterns of absence from school could lead to prosecution by the Local Authority.
Periods of unauthorised leave could result in your child’s name being removed from the school roll.
The Governing Body of the school expects every child to wear school uniform. School uniform can be purchased from the school’s on line suppliers at www.pmgschoolwear.co.uk.
Uniform can also be purchased more widely, including from supermarkets and second-hand retailers.
Children can wear the following:
Shoes must be low heeled and enclosed at the toe.
Flip flops, mules, peep toes, sling backed or croc type shoes are not suitable for school.
Jewellery must not be worn to school.
A watch and a single stud in the ear lobe may be worn but all jewellery must be removed for P.E.
For insurance purposes, members of school staff are not allowed to remove or insert earrings for children or to put tape over earrings for P.E.
WHAT DOES YOUR CHILD NEED FOR SCHOOL?
Most of the resources your child needs to learn are provided by the school. All text books, paper, pens and pencils are provided. However, your child will need the following:
A Book Bag
Book bags embellished with the school logo are available from the school’s uniform shop. Please note that as book bags are stored within the classroom, large rucksack style bags, handbags and holdalls are not permitted for health and safety reasons.
Seasonal Outdoor Wear
Pupils spend a considerable amount of time out of doors during the school day. We try to make the most of our spacious grounds for learning and children spend up to an hour out of doors each lunch time. Parents should ensure that, in colder weather, pupils have a warm coat in school.
Similarly a sun hat or cap is necessary in hot weather. Please note that, for health and safety reasons, we are not permitted to apply sunscreen to children’s skin. Therefore, adequate sunscreen should be applied by parents before children come to school.
Pupils have two sessions of P.E. per week. P.E. is part of the National Curriculum and is, therefore, compulsory unless there is a medical reason for abstaining.
Pupils will need the following kit:
- A pair of black shorts or black jogging bottoms
- A white T-shirt or polo shirt
- A pair of black plimsoles or trainers. Children must have a change of footwear – the black trainers they may wear for school cannot be used for P.E. lessons
- A warm top for the winter months
You will be notified of the days that your child has PE at the beginning of each term. On these days, children come to school in their PE kits.
In Year 4, pupils have swimming sessions. For this they will require a one piece swim suit or trunks and a towel. All pupils will also be asked to wear a swimming hat.
What not to bring!
The school provides all the equipment your child needs at school, therefore, games, toys and other valuable items should not be brought to school.
The school provides all playground equipment for break times so pupils should not bring leather footballs or other equipment into school for playground use.
Year 5 / 6 pupils are permitted to bring mobile telephones to school if they are making the journey to and from school independently. However, phones must be handed in to the class teacher on arrival and will be handed back at the end of the school day.
The school reserves the right to confiscate any phone not handed in and / or used during lesson time.
The school cannot accept liability for the loss of personal belongings brought to school.
COMPLIMENTS AND COMPLAINTS
We hope that all parents and children will enjoy being part of the Whitehall Primary School community.
Our teachers are available at the end of the school day to talk over any concerns you may have. They should always be your first contact as they spend most of the school day in the company of your child.
If this does not resolve matters, you may call in or telephone the office to make an appointment to see your child’s Phase Leader, the Deputy Head Teacher or Head Teacher.
We are usually able to resolve issues and offer solutions to problems but the school does have a formal complaints procedure if you need to use it. The school office will provide you with a copy on request.