Parent/Carer Information

HOW TO FIND OUR SCHOOL

School Name and Address:

     Swarland Primary School
     Newton on the Moor
     Morpeth
     Northumberland
     NE65 9JP
     (01670) 787346

Email:     Admin@swarland.northumberland.sch.uk

Headteacher:   Mrs Louise Fletcher

Local Authority:         Northumberland County Council
     County Hall
     Morpeth
     Northumberland
     NE61 2EF
     0845 600 6400

Director of Children’s Services Andy Johnson


Swarland County School was officially opened on 29th November 1937. The original building was built as a temporary measure to educate the children of the nearby villages aged between 5 and 14 years. The school itself was heated with fires in each of the classrooms and had a strong curricular focus of reading, writing and arithmetic. Now however, the school is at the heart of its community, catering for 4-11 year olds. It is equipped with state of the art facilities, including solar panels for renewable energy, the classroom fires having long disappeared! The school is resourced with excellent computer equipment and interactive whiteboards, keeping abreast of equipping our students with the knowledge and skills required to face an evermore complex and demanding future. Although the school still recognises the importance of reading, writing and mathematics, which forms the backbone of the curriculum, we deliver a broad range of challenging, exciting and memorable activities for our children. We provide them with a wealth of experiences to stimulate their minds, open doors to new opportunities and provide them with a sense of awe and wonder in the world around them.

 

SCHOOL UNIFORM

 

Navy skirts or trousers. Red or white tee shirt/sports shirts and red 'V' neck sweaters and sweatshirts or  red cardigan.  We also supply fleeces and outdoor coats.

We would ask you to comply with the school colours but there is no need for you to buy your children's clothes from any specific supplier.  In order to keep costs to a minimum at a time when children are growing rapidly we feel that the only change required for summer is that the children may wear navy shorts or summer dresses in red or blue.  As an option it is left to you whether you replace shirts and sweaters with red tee shirts.  Items bearing the school logo are available from the uniform order section of the website.

Shoes should be sensible, comfortable and smart footwear that children can play out in without risk of injury. Fashion foot wear, shoes with large heels and boots are not suitable.

For P.E. the uniform is navy shorts, red or white tee shirt and black/white plimsolls.  Your child will be on occasions be asked to take part in outside activities including Forest Schools when a track-suit or waterproof bottoms, wellies and long sleeved shirts may be useful.   Jewelry is not permitted and long hair should be tied back.

School uniforms can be ordered from the uniform section of the website.

 

STARTING SCHOOL


We aim to ensure that this new experience in your child’s life is enjoyable and managed sensitively. To ensure that this transition period runs smoothly, we will endeavor to provide, within school, a secure and exciting environment in which your child will quickly learn to co-operate and respond positively to others. To help your child prepare by getting to know his/her teacher, classmates and school layout, we organize pre-school visits in the preceding term. There is also a New Parents Information Evening to allow parents to ask questions and meet the staff.

 

SCHOOL DAY

Morning Session
School begins     8.55 am
Work Period 1     8.55 - 10.30 am
Break                 10.45 - 11.00 am
Work Period 2   11.00 - 12.00 Reception, Years 1/2
                          11.00 - 12.10 Year 3/4/5/6
Lunch Break until 1.00 pm
Afternoon Session   1.00 - 3.00 pm

 

The School Governing Body:-

Chair  Mrs Bickerdike
Vice Chair Mr D Rooney
Parent Governors
Mrs Apthorpe   Mrs Garland 
Headteacher Governor Mrs L Fletcher
Teacher Governor Mrs Stocks
Co-opted Governors Mrs C Thomas Ms Ferguson

LA Governor Mrs Barkes

The Governing Body meets termly and its purpose is:
• help the school to set high standards by planning for the school's future and setting targets for school improvement
• keep the pressure up on school improvement
• be a critical friend to the school, offering support and advice
• help the school respond to the needs of parents and the community
• make the school accountable to the public for what it does
• work with the school on planning, developing policies and keeping the school under review
• exercise its responsibilities and powers in partnership with the headteacher and staff

Reports and minutes of the meetings are kept in a file in the office for you to read if you so wish. 

Professional development is undertaken by all staff to improve standards and quality of teaching and learning.

 

SWARLAND SCHOOL HOME-SCHOOL ASSOCIATION

Swarland Home-School Association was established to develop closer links between teachers and parents; and to help parents gain a better understanding of what happens in our school, and, very importantly, to feel more a part of what goes on here.

The Association is involved in fundraising and social activities for school parents and their children to provide ‘extras’ to benefit the children of the school.  Activities include the Christmas Fair, Bingo Nights, Raffles, Children’s Discos and Quiz nights.  Over the last couple of years the HSA has bought reading folders for all new starters in September and dictionaries for the leavers. They also regularly fund the summer term cultural event which parents and carers are welcome to attend.

Meetings are held on a regular basis, either in school or at Longframlington.  They are open at any time to all parents and guardians of children in school, as well as employees of the school.  We welcome any suggestions, ideas or practical input and strongly encourage parents of younger children in the school to come along.  We often ask for volunteer helps to lend a hand at various events and your generosity and support is essential if this work is to continue.

If you are interested in helping with the HSA contact either Mrs Jeffrey (chairperson), Mrs A'Echevarria (Secretary) or the Headteacher.

 

PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT

If you have any worries at all please come and see us and we will do our utmost to help you.  All the teaching staff are engaged with classes full-time so it is beneficial if you could telephone first, although we realize this is not always possible. There is however an answer machine in school to leave a message and we will get back in touch with you as soon as possible.  The times best suited for this are:-
before   8.55 am
between 10.45 and 11.00 am morning break
between 12.00 and 1.00 pm lunchtime

Parents are welcomed into school on a regular basis.  We hold Family Assemblies, Harvest Festivals, a Christmas Concert, Family Sports Day, Theatre Visits, Book Day, Charity events and Curriculum Open Days at which parents are welcome. 

We hold a Parental Consultation session each term where you can discuss your child's progress.  Be assured that you are free to make enquiries at any time, particularly if you are at all worried.  You will also receive an end of year written report about your child's progress in all curriculum areas.

We send out regular newsletters giving details of planned events for that term and any information regarding the school and its organisation which we feel may be of interest to you. Our website also provides additional information about school.  www.swarland.northumberland.sch.uk
In the Summer term we have a Cultural topic, based on an area in the world, in school and ask parents to take part in meals and often art work shops.

 

HELPING IN SCHOOL

If you feel you would like to share in your child's education in a particular way, your help in school would be much appreciated - we can always use an extra pair of hands.  If you are interested it would help if you could give us some idea of your particular interests or any expertise which you would be willing to share with us.  Please do not be shy - we genuinely need your help. 

 


COMMUNICATION

School tries to keep parents informed of new initiatives, forthcoming events and the progress of their children.  It is important that parents too keep the school informed of anything that may affect the academic, social or personal progress of their children.  If a parent has a concern or complaint it is important to inform a member of staff so that it can be dealt with immediately.

We also use ParentMail, an electronic form of communication. You can download the school APP from the APP store.

 


EVERY CHILD MATTERS

Our school is fully committed to offering a high quality of provision under the five outcomes of the government's 'Every Child Matters' agenda. These principles underpin all we do and guide us as we strive to provide even better opportunities for the children entrusted in our care. We aim to equip them to make a positive contribution to the community to which they belong. These are the 'rights' that all our children deserve:

Being Healthy
This encompasses physical, mental and emotional health as well as helping children to pursue healthy life styles.

Staying Safe
This relates to protection from mistreatment, neglect, violence or exploitation as well as accidental injury, bullying, discrimination, crime and anti-social behaviour. It extends to the right of well being and to the importance of the safety of our young people in and beyond our school community.

Enjoying & Achieving
This highlights attending and enjoying school and recreation, achieving personal potential and national educational standards, as well as the right to social and personal development.

Making A Positive Contribution
This relates to the children's participation in decision making, volunteering and supporting the community and environment, abiding by rules and the law, developing confidence and developing positive relationships.

Achieving Economic Well Being
This is about nurturing children's aspirations and helping them to set and achieve goals. It also highlights the importance of the school's role in facilitating access to quality child care.

Using these five outcomes as a guide we endeavor to work collaboratively and fully with parents/carers and any relevant or appropriate agencies for the well-being of all the children in our care.

 

THE EARLY YEARS – FOUNDATION STAGE

 

We believe that effective education rests upon a partnership between home and school; one supporting the other for the benefit of the child.  This is particularly true during a child's early education.  We recognise that at home and during pre-school educational provision, valuable learning takes place through a wide variety of experiences.  We provide a broad and balanced curriculum, designed to meet the needs and characteristics of the young child, building on these previous learning experiences.

At Swarland we set out to provide:

1. An atmosphere where the child feels secure, happy and valued.

2. A learning environment which has been carefully organised to encourage independence and decision making; present challenges and to increase opportunities for co-operative play.

3. Purposeful activities which are appropriate to the needs of each child and which are exciting and stimulating.

4. Teaching approaches which are flexible, imaginative and sensitive in responding to the changing needs of the children.

We recognise the value of play as the principle and most effective method of learning.  Good structured play allows for discovery and problem solving.  It is purposeful, absorbing, open-ended and enables children to communicate with each other.  It is the vehicle by which we gain access to the curriculum. Work tasks are also planned to suit your child’s unique needs, in order to develop appropriate skills, concepts, attitudes, knowledge and understanding across seven areas of learning.
  
These are:
* Communication and language
* Physical development
* Personal, social and emotional development
* Understanding of the World
* Literacy
* Mathematics
• Expressive arts and design

Of course, the first three areas form the major part of the learning.  Through a balanced combination of work tasks and structured play the children become confident and competent learners, helping them to make a smooth transition from the Early Years curriculum to the National Curriculum at Key Stage 1.


ASSESSMENT

Throughout your child's time at Swarland Primary School the teachers will be assessing all the children in order to build up a picture of pupils' achievements.  Assessment of children is vitally important as it allows teachers to gauge children’s performance and to inform their planning and teaching.  The teachers’ assessments can indicate the next steps for the children’s learning.  These are then made into targets for each child These assessments are part of everyday teaching and learning.  It is a continuous process, not a separate activity, which necessarily requires the use of extra tasks or tests.  The children are assessed with a Baseline Assessment as they enter school.

At the end of Key Stage One (the 'infant years') teachers are required to summarise their own assessments.  In addition, teachers are required, at the end of Key Stage One, to set their pupils nationally prescribed tasks or tests (SATs - Standard Assessment Tasks) in Mathematics and English and science. 

We are very proud in this school of the high standard of achievement of our children compared to the National Average.  We have maintained this over several years and hope to do so through the continued hard work of staff, parents and particularly children.

 

A TEACHING AND LEARNING SCHOOL

Classroom trainees are part of our community and allow our pupils to have a continually changing access to a range of staff and their talents and specialisms. We feel it is extremely important to help shape the future by training our future generation of teachers and teaching assistants.

School is involved in putting on Workshops to support parents in helping children with their learning throughout the year. This year we have focused on Mathematics support and phonics. We also operate a Family Learning Programme covering e-safety, story sacks, mathematics and literacy on a rolling programme.

 

AN AWARD WINNING SCHOOL

Swarland has received it’s “Anti-bullying Award” for the third time and has been praised for its distributed leadership model. It has been awarded “Activemark Gold” for excellence in P.E. and Games and “Artsmark Silver” for excellence in Art. It holds the National Healthy Schools Award. We have the International Foundation School Award and the Green Tree Award for quality outdoor learning provision.

       


SCHOOL FINANCE

The LA provides us with funding to run the school, based upon the number of pupils on roll.  The school has full responsibility for managing this money.   An LA Adviser based in County Hall is always available for consultation purposes.  Decisions concerning the spending of this money, however, rest with the school and the Governing Body.  Matters of school finance are not kept from parents and the ongoing budget position of the school is usually an agenda item at Governing Body Meetings.

 

PUPIL PREMIUM


Each year, the Government gives a sum of money to each school based on the number of children receiving a free school meal. This grant is called the Pupil Premium. This money was used on 1:1 support and delivering high quality intervention and boosters for groups of children in literacy and mathematics. The impact was shown in our end of years attainment results and progress reports in narrowing the gap. This current year we intend to utilize it in a similar way to last year, with a focus on interventions in the basic core skills and providing enrichment opportunities for all children.

 

EMERGENCY PROCEDURE


For emergencies, such as sudden hospitilisation of a relative, involvement in an accident or a serious safeguarding issue, the office phone is manned for most of the day. There is an answer machine facility on the phone which we urge you to leave a message on, as it is regularly checked and staff will get straight back to you.

There can be times when we need to contact you quite quickly. Children who become ill during the day might need to go home. There is also the chance (not too often we hope) that there could be some sort of accident. This is what we will do:

• We will try to contact you by telephone.
• If there is no answer, then we will use the emergency contact number that you have given us on the admission form.
• If there is a serious accident (e.g. a break or deep wound) then we will act as quickly as possible. If it is necessary to send for an ambulance, then we will do this whilst trying to reach you. Please remember that the hospital will need your consent to treat your child. The telephone numbers kept in school and are our link with you. Please keep us up to date if there are any changes.

 

HEALTH AND WELFARE


The school is part of the Healthy Schools Initiative and has a School Health Policy and a Healthy Food Policy.  The school is a no smoking area.  The school has a Travel Plan for school.

 

MEDICAL EXAMINATION

If your child has a serious or recurring problem it would be most helpful if you would tell us about it.

Parents need to be aware that the Area Medical Officer has the statutory right to by-pass the school and approach parents directly for information regarding contagious diseases or particular illnesses that their child may have had or been in close proximity to.  If this does happen, do not be alarmed, but be prepared to ask for further identification from the visitor or, if it is a telephone call, ask for the number so that you can check the validity of the request.

If it is at all possible, I will give parents advance notice of the possibility of an approach from the Area Medical Officer.

 

ILLNESS OR ACCIDENT IN SCHOOL

In the event of a child becoming ill or having an accident at school, I will need to contact parents quickly.  I would ask, therefore, that you give the school a telephone number of an emergency contact in case you cannot be reached.  Children who have been sick or had diarrhea are asked to remain at home for 48 hours following their last bout of illness.  This advice comes from the Communicable Diseases Unit.


MEDICINES IN SCHOOL

If children are in need of regular medication  a medication form needs to be completed.  It is preferable for medication to be given at home wherever possible and if medicines are prescribed to be taken 3 or more times per day, parents should ask the prescribing doctor if the administration of the medication can occur outside normal school hours.

Parents should note that NO MEMBER OF STAFF at Swarland Primary School is prepared to administer medication to a pupil, unless the medication is prescribed by a doctor. A medical consent form MUST be completed before the medication is brought into school. See medical policy.

 

KEEPING THE CHILDREN SAFE


Once the children have arrived at school all external doors are secured. They are fitted with a combination of bolts and digital locks, all of which can easily open from inside in case of an emergency. Visitors are directed to the front door to gain admittance. The school site is kept secure by fencing and locked gates. The school has a responsibility to monitor the welfare of children and will work with parents and other agencies to address any child protection concerns.
It is vital to the best interests of the  children that they benefit as much as possible from their school days. Any days lost by the children are opportunities gone for ever. Inevitably some school days will be missed due to illness and other unavoidable absences, but these really should be kept to the absolute minimum.
Parents are asked to try to ensure regular, punctual school attendance and to avoid taking children on holiday during the school term. Leave of absence during term time will only be granted under exceptional circumstances. These are unavoidable absences - music exams, hospital appointments or special domestic arrangements. In order to meet these requirements parents must complete a form which is available at the school office.
This does not apply to illness.

 

CHILD PROTECTION


The school has a responsibility to monitor the welfare of children and will work with parents and other agencies as appropriate to address any child protection concerns. As a school we are committed safeguarding and promoting the welfare of our children.  Staff appointments are subject to satisfactory references, medical and criminal record checks.

 

ABSENCE


If your child is ever absent through illness, then please contact the school on the first day of absence. Last year our records show o
ur attendance was 96.9%.

 We need to receive a note or telephone call to authorise the absence. The list of authorised absences includes medical/dental treatment/exceptional circumstances and educational visits.


SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS AND DISABILITY

The school’s Special Educational Needs and Disability practice is based on our own observation and screening procedures.  If your child's educational progress is concerning you, we urge you to get in touch with us as soon as possible.  Similarly, if we are concerned, we will contact you to come and discuss the matter. After consultation with the Special Educational Needs and Disability Co-ordinator an individual education plan can be drawn up for work with the class teacher and any outside agencies, if applicable.  The school works closely with the parents at all times during this process, following the current Code of Practice and nothing would be done without your express permission.  Extra help may be available for your child but is obviously restricted due to budgetary constraints throughout the County.  If we need a particular analysis of the problem, we call on the school's Educational Psychologist, who is extremely valuable in determining the form and availability of help. This policy also includes the needs of more able pupils. The school has wheelchair access and is accessible for children with physical disabilities.


BEHAVIOUR

The school has clear guidelines and school rules which encourage appropriate behaviour and discourage anti-social behaviour. The staff are considerate and do their utmost to ensure fairness at all times.  Good discipline is essential for the school to be a place where effective teaching and learning can take place.  Children are encouraged to develop independence,.
We expect children to be well mannered and courteous.  Developing acceptable socialised behaviour will already be well established long before the children start school.  It is hoped that you as parents, and we as teachers may continue this process of learning together, helping the children to develop an awareness of the needs of others, tolerance, self discipline, independence, trustworthiness and a pride in the school.  In the event of persistent undesirable behaviour either individually or corporately, the matter will be discussed with parents on an individual basis. The school has strict anti-bullying and e-safety policies.

 


LOST PROPERTY

This is kept in a box in the corridor.  Periodically, lost items are displayed and those not claimed are disposed of.  We do advise that all clothing is named- this is helpful to us for sorting and does reduce the quantity of lost clothes.

 

CHARGING POLICY

The school relies on voluntary contributions from parents for many of its activities.  In order for trips, visits, swimming or special events to take place, we rely on parents making a voluntary contribution towards the cost.  All requests are based on the actual cost of the provision of the activity divided by the number of children taking part.  Where this cost is high, the school will often subsidise the cost of the trip.

 

MILK

This is provided at a cost of approx £13.10 per term, depending on the length of the term.  No refunds are permitted unless a child leaves the school or is absent for a period of three consecutive weeks or more.

 

SWARLAND PRE-SCHOOL (PRIVATE NURSERY)


Sessions at Chester Bears are available according to numbers.  These generally give a range of morning and afternoons of 3 hours to a younger and older group.

The Pre-school is run by Carole Mason  contact tel: 01670 783323 Email: Swarlandpreschool@live.co.uk It caters for up to 18 children aged 2 years to 3 years 5 months (younger group) and 3 years 5 months to school age(older group). The Pre-school is a registered provider.

The Pre-school portacabin is situated within the school grounds.

Transition into school takes place over the last half term so that children sample some full days in school prior to entry.

 

SWIMMING

Children are taken to Alnwick Swimming Baths on Tuesday afternoons in the Spring Term.  This is privately arranged and so we ask for a voluntary donation to cover transport.

Please could you send the money on Monday mornings when all other monies are collected.

 

SWARLAND BEARS

This is before and after school care  provision and registered by Ofsted, which is available each morning from 8.00 - 8.50 am and each evening after school, from 3.00 p.m. until 5:30 p.m.  However, parents are asked to book their children in.   It takes place in the pre-school portacabin and is open to all parents of first school age children in the area. For further details, including the current charges, contact Bev Beers or Carol Mason  mobile number 01670 783323.



SCHOOL TRANSPORT

Provided by Rothbury Motors and the LA from Longframlington. Pick up points and times are as follows:-

NEW FARM HOUSES  8.40
CHEVIOT LODGE   8.43
MEMORIAL HALL R/E  8.45
VICTORIA COTTAGE  8.47
NEW MOOR R/E   8.49
GLANTLEES R/E   8.51
SHIELDYKES R/E   8.52
SWARLAND PRIMARY SCHOOL 8.55  Depart 3.00 pm.

Those children living locally should be on the premises by 8.55 am but should not arrive before 8.45 am.

 

SCHOOL MEALS AND DINNER MONEY

A healthy two course meal is provided daily, and while the first course is fairly traditional there are very few desserts of the 'stodgy' variety and an alternative of fresh fruit is usually available.  It is important that you are aware of the fact that vegetarian or medical dietary requirements or alternatives to beef can be provided as part of the service. All menus are nutritionally analysed by a state registered dietician.

For children in YR, Y1 or Y2 hot meals are provided free of charge through the Universal Free School Meal scheme.  Currently lunches cost £10 per week for children in Years 3 to 6. You may pay weekly, monthly or half-termly in advance, whichever method is most appropriate for you. 

The children who bring a packed lunch sit alongside the children having school dinner.  If you plan to send a packed lunch may I request you also send a plate.  Lunch time is a very important occasion at school when we try to help the children towards good table manners and acceptable social behaviour.

Should you wish to alter arrangements for lunches either from packed lunch to school dinner or vice versa, it is important that we have at least one week's notice in writing.  Costing per head is extremely tight and time is needed to allow the Cook to adjust her orders.  Changes mid-week or on a whim cannot be entertained, but a regular day a week can be arranged. Further information about the catering service is available from the following:
www.myschoollunch.co.uk/northumberland
www.northumberland.gov.uk

 


COLLECTION OF MONIES

All payments should be sent into school on a Monday morning.  We would be grateful if you would not send money on any other day.  It should be in an envelope clearly marked with your child's name, class and details of the contents.  It will be collected by the class teacher at registration. 

Special  Projects in School Artist in Residence
     Storysacks
     Theatre in school
     Share Project
     Family Learning Project
     Summer Culture Topic
     Specialists in school

 

Instrument Tuition

Music Partnership North offer musical instrument tuition at school.  

Pupils are offered the opportunity to take up tuition, with group or individual lessons, on a range of instruments. These lessons take place during the school day or after school. Please contact the school office to learn which instruments are available and the cost of lessons. Advice on hiring or purchasing an instrument can also be arranged through Music Partnership North. Further information about this is available on our website at http://music.northumberland.gov.uk.   

If you require any further guidance on the work of Music Partnership North then please contact the office on 01670 624045.

 

COMPLAINTS


Misunderstandings can sometimes arise in the busy everyday life of a school. Usually these can be easily resolved by speaking to your child's teacher. However, if there is still a cause for concern then the matter needs to be discussed with the Headteacher. Unresolved complaints are referred to the Governors who have adopted the Local Authority complaints policy. A copy of this is available from school.

 

DFE SCHOOL PERFORMANCE TABLES


For our most recent DfE School Performance tables please follow the link http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/performance/index.html


AND FINALLY……...
Whilst every attempt has been made to keep this information up to date, changes may have taken place in the school since the information was published.