We know it is can be daunting starting school or moving to a new school, but we hope the information below may help resolve any questions or worries that you or your child may have.
COVID-19 Update from September 2021:
Routine: As much as possible we aim to resume many pre-Covid routines when we return, all this information was shared at the end of the summer term, and can be found here.
Alternative collection arrangements: If there is a regular person collecting your child, then one letter for the teacher explaining the contact details of the adults who are picking up and on which days would be fine for the start of term. Children able to walk home alone must have a form completed by the parents if they have not already completed one, these have been sent via ParentMail.
Class Map: an updated map of the classrooms can be found here.
Information about what your child will need in September can be found n the transition letter sent out at the end of term.
Where do I purchase uniform from?
Our branded uniform sweatshirts and cardigans should be purchased from our online supplier.
Any non-branded / plain items, like white shirts or polo shirts, grey shorts, skirts, trousers or pinafores can be purchased from any high street retailer. Do not buy plain/non-branded sweatshirts or cardigans please. Children do not have to have the white polo shirt with the school logo that is offered from our on-line support, a plain one is fine.
Occasionally, the school may run second-hand uniform sales (usually only once a year) and parents would be informed of these through newsletters.
I can see there's a dress on the uniform website but can also see blouses and skirts mentioned on the school website. What do the older girls tend to wear?
Most older girls wear grey skirts or trousers with white polo shirts (you don’t have to have the ones with our logo – plain ones are fine) some of the older girls wear the summer dresses when it’s hot – it’s a personal preference. You can also get similar red/white checked dresses from other places (eg supermarkets).
And for the boys, shall I get them trousers or shorts?
Most boys wear trousers, hardly any older boys wear shorts. Younger ones usually wear shorts when it’s hot.
Do we need the House Hoodies at the start of term or can I wait until school starts to get them?
Only Key Stage 2 children need House PE clothing. You can wait to order at the start of term for the House Hoodies as the weather is usually fine in September for PE in tee-shirts (if it is chilly the children can pull on their school sweatshirt).
They will need their House Tee-shirt ready for the start of term PE lessons, though.
If your child's size is not available on the suppliers website please contact the school office.
Do all children need the school coat or can they wear their own?
The School Coats on the uniform website are optional, your child can wear their own coat.
Same goes for PE shorts, can I buy black ones from anywhere?
Yes, that’s fine, ours are just plain black, elasticated waist shorts – not branded. Plain dark joggers/leggings can be worn in colder weather.
Can my child wear boots in winter?
No, our uniform policy is that they shouldn’t wear footwear that comes over the ankle, so sturdy shoes rather than boots. If the weather is very wet or snowy, they can wear wellingtons to school and change into school shoes when they are here.
What other clothes does my child need?
Most days, normal school uniform is all that is needed. It’s important that your child always has a coat in school as we still get them to play outside even if it’s raining.
Your child should wear their PE kit on their usual PE Day – this includes the relevant trainers/boots for sports, and bring school shoes in a bag. If they are swimming they should wear their swim kit to school under uniform and bring a towel, swim hat and underwear in a bag.
We encourage your child to be independent and remember what they need each day.
It is sensible to always have an art overall in school - ideally an old shirt with the sleeves cut down.
If your child is involved in Forest Schools (Reception/Key Stage 1), you will get a specific reminder about wearing outdoor gear, with wellies, gloves, scarves, hats & a good coat – they are usually asked to have their uniform in a bag to change into after their Forest School session.
The school run a few dress-up or own clothes days each year – usually own clothes in the Autumn & Summer in return for the pupils bringing in donations for the Christmas Raffle or Summer Fete. In the Spring children will dress up for World Book Day, and on Christmas Dinner day they usually come in their Christmas jumper.
Should I bring a change of clothes for my child?
It usually helps for the Nursery & Reception children to have a change of underwear/clothes in their bag for any accidents or messy/water play. If the staff need to change your child they will let you know at the end of the session /day.
About your child’s first day
What does my child need to bring with them?
Our ‘New Starter FIRST DAY Checklist’ below has a list of things to remember for the first day:
- School Uniform – ALL LABELLED PLEASE
- PE Kit to be worn on PE Day - teachers will let you know which day.
- A painting overall to protect uniform (e.g. an old adult tee-shirt)
- A coat (warm/waterproof depending on the time of year)
- Book Bag (available from the office – 6 colours £2.70) -
- SMALL School Bag (a small totebag/ small rucksack is ideal)
- Water Bottle (must be clear plastic with a sports cap) – named please
- Snack for break (Fruit or Vegetable only please) in a named small container
- Packed Lunch (remember NO NUT products) or payment for School Dinners via ParentMail (not cash)
- Key Stage 2 (Year 3-6) will need a filled pencil case including blue gel pen
- Completed registration forms to hand back to the office (if we have given them to you already)
Don’t forget to put their name on all their uniform and all other belongings, including footwear.
Where should we go on the first day?
Come to the office between 9.15-9.30am on the first day and we will take you to the class to meet the teacher and find your bag peg etc. On future days doors will open at 8.40am when your child should come into school to put their belongings away and get ready for registration by 8.55am.
We hope your child has a lovely first day and settles quickly into life at Sir Robert Hitcham’s.
How will my child find their way about?
We always have a class buddy for each of the children on their first day, who’ll stick with them for the first few weeks while they settle, make friendships and find their way around, so they have no need to worry about that.
What happens if my child loses something?
All lost property is kept in the large draw unit near the school office, please ask at the office if you need to look for some lost property.
Don’t forget to put their name on all their uniform and other belongings so you will be more likely to get them back if found. Initial and Surname is fine, but not just initials.
About Food in School
What is an acceptable snack at break-time?
Following successfully gaining Healthy School status, the school have continued with the principles. Within our school food policy we stress that morning snacks should consist of only fruit or vegetables (this can include dried fruit, but not refined/coated fruit eg fruit winders or yoghurt coated raisins etc). Please keep all other snack items – eg crackers, crisps, biscuit bars for their packed lunch.
Foundation and Key Stage 1 are given a piece of school fruit or vegetable in the afternoon.
It is important to remember that we are a NO NUT school due to the severe allergy suffered by a few of our pupils.
School dinners and how they work/are paid for?
We are a cashless school office, so parents need to pay electronically using credit or debit cards on ParentMail.
Please help the office by paying promptly.
As long as you have paid for school lunches either weekly on a Monday, or have credit on your child's ParentMail account, then your child can just announce daily to the teacher whether they are having school lunch or packed lunch. If you have paid in advance for lunches, you will not lose this money if your child is ill (unless they go home after 10.30am), or decides to have packed lunch, the money will stay on their ‘account’ and roll onto the next week/term.
Please see the link for more information about school meals on our website and also how to pay for those children in Year 3 - 6 & Nursery.
All Reception, Year 1 & 2 children currently get free school meals.
About the School Day
What are the school hours?
Please take a look at the link to the timings of the school day page on the website.
Timely attendance is important, so please ensure your child is in school at 8:40am-8.55am ready for registration at 8:55am. Late arrivals (after 8.55am) must always sign in at the office.
Do the children stay indoors at break if it’s raining?
We aim to get the children outside for fresh air and a run-around at break and lunchtime unless it’s really pouring with rain. Please make sure your child always has a coat or waterproof in school. If there is a reasonable amount of snow on the ground, then we may take the children to the field – as long as they have come to school in wellingtons (and have shoes to change into indoors). If the playground is icy we may have to stay indoors.
About Clubs, Music and extending the School Day
Is there before and after school care?
Every morning from 7.45am there is a club run by Premier Sport - Please take a look at the link to the Premier Sport Start Active page on the website.
We do not provide after-school childcare, but if you are looking for this we have a really good relationship with a number of local childminders, and the office would be happy to provide you with their contact information.
Does the school run clubs for reception and older?
After school we run an assortment of clubs – on different days, for different age groups – and these tend to change termly. We also run a number of lunchtime clubs. The teachers and support staff give up their time to voluntarily run many of these clubs. Please take a look at the link to the Clubs & Activities page on the website.
Most clubs are limited in numbers so there will be no guarantee that your child will be able to attend every club they apply for. We usually send out ParentMail Forms to ask parents to register their child’s interest in a club, we will then follow this up via ParentMail confirming if your child has a place or is on the waiting list.
Our clubs are popular and once signed up we do expect a commitment for the term.
What are the music opportunities for my child?
Please take a look at the link to the Music Tuition page on the website.
About my Child’s Learning
How do I get to see the work my child has been doing?
At Parent Consultations we invite parents to look through their child’s tray of work with their child. When parents attend the class Share Session that gives a further opportunity to see their work in class.
Do you tell me what my child is working on so I can help them?
In Reception and Key Stage 1 we send home ‘How to Help Your Child’ letters at the beginning of each term, with the areas we will be focusing on. Your child will also have reading books and home books to read and share with you. They may also have words and sounds to learn as well as occasional home learning activities.
In Key stage 2 the children are regularly given home learning and topic work which we invite parents to take an active interest in with their child, this will give you a rounded understanding of your child’s learning. The teachers produce termly ‘How to Help your Child’ or ‘Home Learning’ sheets, which give details of all the different curriculum areas they’ll be studying, plus info about topics and resources. Please do take time to support your child with this. These can also be found on the school website for each Key Stage, as can detailed curriculum information.
Are there scheduled meetings with teachers, and am I able to see them at other times?
The school schedules Parent Consultation meetings in the Autumn (October) and Spring (February) where you can discuss your child’s targets and achievements. The teachers also produce reports in the Spring and Summer. The children have a reading record which transfers between school and home on a daily basis and is another channel of communication.
Contacting a teacher - Parent Guide
If parents wish to arrange a meeting with the teacher this can be done through the school office, or if the teacher is on the playground at the end of the school day, parents can arrange a suitable time directly with the teacher.
We prefer parents to avoid trying to catch the teacher at the start of the school day, as this is a very busy time receiving the children and preparing, however, if it is urgent, you may speak to the office who will pass on the message immediately. Please see the Parent Guide above for more information. Teachers are willing to see parents as soon as convenient.
About illness and Medical Appointments
What are the rules around sickness and diarrhoea and infectious viruses such as chicken pox?
Please read the Children’s Health page on the website which contains our recommendations for keeping children at home and is also full of helpful information and links.
Children with diarrhoea and/or vomiting should definitely be kept off school until at least 48 hours after their symptoms have gone. Most cases of diarrhoea and vomiting in children get better without treatment, but if symptoms persist, consult your GP. This is to safeguard the health of both pupils and staff as sickness can easily be spread in a school environment.
DON’T FORGET YOU MUST ALWAYS RING SCHOOL BEFORE 9am TO REPORT YOUR CHILD’S ABSENCE
What do I do if my child has a doctor’s appointment?
Wherever possible appointments for doctors, dentists, opticians etc should ideally be made outside the school day. However, if you do have to take your child to a medical appointment, please give the teacher a handwritten note (at least the day before, if possible) or you can contact the school office. If your child will be late in because of the appointment, we need to know if they’ll be in for lunch or not. If the appointment is later in the day (and your child is well enough to be in school), then send them in with a note also specifying what time you would like to collect them from the school office.
Will the school administer medicine for my child?
Our medical policy stipulates that parents will have to come into school to administer doses of medication for their children, unless there is an Education Health Care Plan in place for your child. Children can administer their own asthma inhalers if needed, and we have staff trained in administering auto-immune injectors for anaphylaxis. Parents need to complete forms for both of these conditions. A copy of the medical policy can be obtained from the school office. If your child has any medical needs it is important that you share these with us before your child’s first day.
More for New Starters
Will my Reception child be with any of their friends from nursery?
The Reception teachers work very closely with our own Nursery team and also with other local Nurseries. The aim is to ensure that when the two reception classes are structured, that consideration has been given to gender and emotional/social development and more importantly that friendship groups are known and understood, to ensure that your child will be with other children that they are friends with. It may not be possible for all of their friends to be in the same class, but many of the activities the children do are with both classes combined.
If we join the school in September will we need to ‘catch up’ on anything before we start?
We sometimes run holiday projects/competitions for the children to do over the holidays, which are usually advertised in the newsletters near the end of term – these are usually voluntary so you do not have to take part if you don’t wish to. Links to all previous newsletters can be found via this link on the school website.
When we run our induction morning for new starters in July, the teachers may give their new class a small project or piece of work for the children to do over the summer ready for September.
Key Stage 2 children can also take part in the local Library Summer Reading Challenge, which may be a good way to meet new friends before the start of term.
More for New Parents
Is there an opportunity for me to get involved with the school?
There are a number of ways you can take part in school life – click on the links to see more information:
- why not Volunteer in class - with things like reading, cookery, and sewing
- perhaps join the committee of the Friends Association to help raise funds for the school while organising fun and enjoyable social events for pupils and parents?
- consider standing as a class representative on the Parent Council to share information, and strengthen communication, between parents and the school,
- or maybe put yourself forward to join the Governing Body the next time that a Parent Governor position is vacant?