FAQs (frequently asked questions) & jargon glossary
How will I know if school is open or closed due to adverse weather conditions/snow?
All decisions regarding closure will be made in the morning and all parents will receive a notification from the school by 7:30am. Information will also be updated on the school website, local authority website and on our twitter feed @George_Tom16 or Instagram timeline @gtprimary.
Punctuality / absence
What should I do if my child will be late for school?
Please bring your child to the main school office and give your child’s name and class at the counter to ensure that your child has been registered for the day. If you are going to be more than 30 mins late, please telephone the school office to advise them. If your child is going to be late, and requires a school meal, you must let school know by 9:30am otherwise you will have to provide a packed lunch.
What should I do about appointments during the school day?
In order to minimise disruption please try and make GP, dental and other appointments outside of school time. If this is unavoidable then please ensure that you inform us of any appointments your child will be attending. You will be expected to provide an appointment card for any appointments your child may need to attend.
If your child attends an appointment during the day they will not be able to be admitted back into school during their lunch hour.
What do I do if my child is absent?
If your child is absent you must phone the school before 9:30am.
All absences will be followed up by the school. All children should achieve at least 95% attendance and punctuality. Our school target is 96%. Holidays will not be authorized during term time.
When do we get our child's report? School reports are issued annually to all the children at the end of the school year (July).
How do I give feedback about my child to teachers? There are three parent open evenings every year when you can make an appointment to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns with their teacher(s). Attached to your child's report is a parent feedback form for you to complete and return to school.
In addition, teachers are always happy to talk briefly at the start or end of the school day. If you’d like to talk for a bit longer, then ask your child’s teacher if you can arrange a time that is convenient for you both. You can do this at any time of the year.
How will I know how my child is doing at school?
In the Autumn Term, a Parents' Evening enables parents to meet their child’s new teacher to discuss how their child is settling into work in their new class and their academic progress.
In the Spring term, parents are invited into school to discuss their child’s academic progress.
In the Summer Term, every child will receive a written report of their year’s work along with the results of any statutory assessments. Parents will be given the opportunity to discuss this report towards the end of the Summer term.
Parent / carer volunteers
Can parents help in school as volunteers?
Yes! We value extra help enormously. Parents regularly help in all Key Stages. We find that volunteering works best if you do not help in your own child’s class and also if you can help on a regular basis. We also ask for help with trips and school events. Please give your name to the office.
News and events
How will I know what is going on at school?
A newsletter is sent to parents with information about upcoming events and how to get involved. The calendar on our website is also a source of up to date information which you can sync to your personal calendar. Our school has a twitter account @George_Tom16 and Instagram account which tweet school and local community information, events and updates.
Parents are also sent app messages as reminders of key dates and events. Please make sure the school office has an up to date mobile phone number for you.
Collecting my child?
Where do I collect my child/ren from at the end of the day?
School finishes at 3:15pm.
Children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and 2 are collected from their classroom doors.
Children in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 are brought into the playground by their teacher and dismissed from their class lines.
Years 5 and 6 may go home on their own. Parents will need to let the office know if they give permission for this.
Children collected late will be taken to the site school office and parents will have to collect their children from the office.
What do I do about my child/ren's dinner money?
Dinner money should be paid in advance. Please pay online using Parent Pay. Children do not have to stick to one meal type during the week.
School dinners for children in Reception, Year 1 and 2 are free under the Universal Free School Meal scheme.
Is my child entitled to free school dinners?
Children whose parents receive the following support payments are entitled to receive free school meals:
Income Based Job seekers Allowance
Support under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
Child Tax Credit - provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and annual income does not exceed £14,495
The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
Money / payments
Who do I give my child's school trip and school music lesson money to?
Please pay online using Parent Pay for school trip and music lessons.
Money for fundraising in school events, for example Red Nose Day, should be handed to class teachers.
At what age will my child start in primary school?
All children start Reception in September after their fourth birthday.
How do I apply for a school place?
Please view admissions key information on our website, click here admissions information
How should my child search for lost property?
For general items, your child needs to first speak to their class teacher and check the classroom coat pegs and area. Unclaimed items are kept in the green box outside the hall doors.
Unclaimed uniform that is not named is added to our 2nd hand uniform store.
Other unclaimed items will be donated to local charity shops.
Please ensure all clothing is marked with your child’s name and class.
Driving to school
Can I park in the car park?
We have a car park off Vernon Road with limited spaces and is for staff only.
Both Harrington and Vernon Roads are part of the Safer School Street campaign, which means you will be fined for driving a vehicle down either road during school drop off/collection times, unless your vehicle is registered to the area as you live very close to the school.
If you do drive, please turn off your car engine and do not idle your car engine as this causes air pollution which has a negative impact on our children's health.
We have scooter and bike sheds in all our playgrounds and children are encouraged to cycle, scoot or walk to school.
AHT - Assistant Head teacher.
DHT - Deputy Head teacher.
EAL - English as an Additional Language - Refers to children whose first language(s) is/are not English and who may not yet be speaking English fluently or even at all.
ECT - Early Career teacher.
ELGS - Early Learning Goals set out the learning and development skills most children will have achieved by the end of Reception.
EYFS - Early Years Foundation Stage - A framework for care and education of children from birth to five years of age.
EWO - Education Welfare Officer - Person employed by the school to help parents and the LA meet their statutory obligations in relation to school attendance.
FS - Foundation Stage - made up of Nursery and Reception children 3-5 years old
FSM - Free School Meals.
IT - Information and Communication Technology.
INSET - In-Service Education and Training - Training for teachers which takes place during the school year.
ITE - Initial Teacher Education.
KS1 - Key Stage 1 - 5-7 years old.
KS2 - Key Stage 2 - 7-11 years old.
LA - Local Authority.
MFL - Modern Foreign Languages.
NQT - Newly Qualified Teacher.
PE - Physical Education.
PHE - Personal Health Education.
PPA - Planning, Preparation and Assessment time.
PSHCE - Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education.
QTS - Qualified Teacher Status.
RE - Religious Education.
SATs - Standard Attainment Tests/Tasks - National Curriculum Tests and Tasks which take place at the end of Key Stage 1 and at the end of Key Stage 2.
SEAL - Social Emotional Aspects of Learning.
SCITT - School-centred initial teacher training.
SD - School Direct trainee teacher programme.
SEND - Special Educational Needs and Disability Provision - Support for pupils with learning difficulties.
SLT - Senior Leadership Team.
What are INSET days? INSET stands for In Service Training. All schools in England have 5 days every year when they are closed to pupils to allow for staff training. They are an important part of staff training and development, ensuring that staff stay up to date with latest developments.
What is the Foundation Stage? The Foundation Stage is Nursery and Reception.
What are Key Stage 1 and 2 (KS1 and KS2)? Key Stage 1 is Years 1 and 2. Key Stage 2 is Years 3, 4, 5 and 6.
What is the National Curriculum? The national curriculum outlines what all children should be taught in each Key Stage from Year 1 - Year 6.
What are SATs? They are Statutory Assessment Tasks. These are national tasks / tests which are used to assess all children at the end of Key Stage 1 (Year 2) and the end of Key Stage 2 (Year 6). The SATs results give a ‘snapshot’ of children’s attainment; in other words how they achieved in particular tasks or tests taken on a specific day / week.
What is Teacher Assessment? This is the teachers’ judgement about a child's attainment according to national curriculum end of year expectations. This judgement will be made based on evidence gathered over a period of time and from a range of pieces of work, together with test results.
Who are governors? Members of a school's Governing Body who have responsibility for raising school standards through key roles of setting strategic direction, ensuring accountability and monitoring & evaluating school performance.