Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs
What is a typical school day?

School begins at 8.50am and ends at 3.20pm every day.

As from October 2016 we are trialing a new drop off arrangement for children in the mornings. Parents will be able to drop their children at one of the perimeter gates from 8.30am to 8.50am. The gates will be supervised by a senior member of staff and in addition there will be a staff member on the playground. 

How do I report my child’s absence from school?

Parents are expected to call or email the academy on each day of their child’s absence.  The register will be marked accordingly with the appropriate absence code.  Office staff will check each class register and a message will be sent to those parents who have not contacted the academy regarding their child’s absence.

How will I know what my child is learning about?

We see home learning as a way of further developing the partnership between home and school. We encourage children to take responsibility for their learning both in and out of school. Each year group send out information about what children are learning and information about home learning every half term.

We also have parent consultation evenings which allows you to have a meeting with the class teacher so information including progress and targets are shared.

How do you encourage good relationships between children and promote values?

We place great emphasis on positive role models and positive praise. We encourage children to understand why certain kinds of behaviour are much more acceptable than others, and continually promote the following  key personal goals,  co-operation, respect, morality, empathy, a…… tolerance, communication and resillience.

All children know and understand the importance of the 3CS which are courtesy, co-operation and common sense.

Good behaviour is promoted at all times and we encourage parents and carers to work with us so that home and school are consistent in what they expect of each child.

So how do you deal with bullying?

Bullying is not tolerated at Pickhurst Academy. We have a strong anti-bullying policy which the children have developed with the school.

We have a number of ways of ensuring that children are able to report problems of bullying and of making sure children know we will take action. We always respond to reports of bullying and we work in partnership with parents to make sure we are a bully-free zone.

We have an e-safety policy which is available to read on the website. We provide support for children through e-safety workshops and remind parents that the recommended age for instagram and face book accounts is 13.

Please ask for a copy of our policy at the school office.

What happens at lunchtime?

Children stay for a school meal or bring a packed lunch.
Our school dinners are cooked on the premises. A menu is displayed in school and a copy is sent home. We provide a choice of meals and a vegetarian option is always available. Payment for dinners should be sent to school in an envelope clearly marked with the amount, your child’s name and class. Cheques should be made payable to Pickhurst Junior Academy.

Schools are able to claim a Pupil Premium (over £1000) per child on free school meals to make sure each school’s budget matches its community’s needs. If you think you may be entitled to free school meals, please make enquiries at the school office.

You may prefer for your child to bring a packed lunch. We teach and encourage children to eat healthily and this is followed up in the dinner hall. We ask that parents and carers support the school by providing healthy packed lunches. We ask that you don’t send in sweets, chocolate, chewing gum, juice, fizzy drinks, glass bottles or cans. Children are encouraged to only drink water in school.

Children in all classes have access to a range of different play areas during lunchtime and throughout the day. We have invested in Play Leaders who support fun activities during the lunch hour for example, tennis, badminton, skipping and team games. They will also have access to a variety of indoor lunchtime clubs such as chess and philosophy for children.
If the weather is poor then the children stay indoors and are encouraged to read, draw or play quiet board games.

If your child has a medical condition which prevents them going out to play, they can stay in the office. Please ask the class teacher or the school office if you think your child needs to stay in at playtime so that supervision may be arranged.

As many children are allergic to nuts or nut products, we request that you do not send into school nuts or nut products for your child, or any other child to eat.

What about before and after-school child care facilities?

There is a before and after school club which is run by a separate company and takes place in the junior school from 7.45am every school day. A simple breakfast is provided by staff who supervise the children until the start of the school day at 8.50am. The after-school club, run by the same company, runs from the end of the school day, 3.20pm until 5.45pm Monday to Friday. It provides supervised play opportunities in a safe, supportive and friendly environment on the school site. Both breakfast club and after-school club cater for children who are in Year 3 to Year 6.  Please ask in the school office for more information.

How do you keep the school secure?

Once school has started each morning the gates are locked and entry to the school can only be obtained through a video-controlled entry system. The main entrance to the school building is again entry controlled. Visitors to the school must sign in at the school office and they will be issued with a visitor’s badge. We do not allow free access to the classrooms or other areas of the school building or grounds without prior arrangement and permission.

Children are not allowed to leave the school grounds during the day, unless they are collected by an adult. Parents and carers deliver children to the playground at the beginning of the school day and collect children from the playground at the end of the school day. Although some children in Year 6 walk to and from school by themselves, younger children may only be collected by a known adult with prior permission.  Children cannot be collected by an adult other than their known and named parent or carer without the school staff being informed in advance.

All staff employed at the school, plus voluntary helpers, including parents, are subject to rigorous vetting procedures including Disclosure and Barring Service checks. We have close links with the police and our local community and any concerns relating to safety and security are always reported and promptly acted upon. If you would like further information, please ask for a copy of our Safeguarding policy.

How do I apply for a place at Pickhurst?

There are a number of criteria for admission and this information is published in our admissions policy available from the school office or website.

And finally. . .

We hope that this has given you the information that you need about our school.
If there are areas or aspects of the school about which you would like to know more please do ask. We welcome your interest, questions and comments. We look forward to working with you and welcome you to our partnership.

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