We believe that working together with parents/carers for the benefit of their children is the best way forward; our working practice and ethos are framed in this context.
Before your child starts school
Visits to the school can be arranged before your child starts, to get you and your child used to the building and the class.
Once a starting date has been arranged, your child’s class teacher will come to your home to go through the Parents/Carers Pack with you, and sort out any preliminary details and queries that you may have. These visits help the staff to get to know you and your child.
What to send in on the first day?
We would be grateful for at least one complete change of clothing to be kept in school, and used for 'emergencies'. Soiled clothes will be rinsed through and sent home.
We will also need your child’s quota of nappies/ incontinence pads for daytime use and dinner money if s/he is having school dinners, unless you are eligible for free school dinners.
Whilst your child is settling in
We hope that you will be able to stay with your child until s/he feels secure in class, and you feel that s/he is settled. It is very helpful for us to be able to learn from you, and for you to see for yourself what activities we will be doing.
When the time comes for gradual withdrawal, we have a Family Room where you can relax for the periods of time you spend away from your child.
Once your child has settled
You are, of course, welcome in school at all times. Some parents/carers bring and collect their children every day, so we see a great deal of them. It is not so easy for others to do this, so we have other ways of keeping in close contact, although we must all remember that staff can not easily come away from their class during teaching time in fairness to the other children.
These go backwards and forwards between school and home daily with brief messages to let each other know items of importance in relation to the child, school and home life. Please tick messages when you have read them, so we are sure they have been seen.
The Head and/or Assistant Heads are usually available to take calls during the day. If you want to speak to your child’s class teacher, they can often be contacted before or after school, or any of us will phone you back if you leave a message.
Discussions and Worries
If you want to talk something over, or are worried about anything, or just want to find out how your child is doing in more detail – PLEASE DON’T WAIT – just let us know and we will set up a time for a discussion as soon as possible.
Occasionally, your child’s teacher would like to visit you at home. This is important even if you are in school every day, as we can see your child in his/her home context, and work out together which areas of his/her development we should work on next. This will usually happen when children change class or teachers.
Progress Reviews, Statements and Annual Reviews
When children first start at Oakleigh they have a progress review after 6 months. The class teacher will write a report, and other professionals involved with your child (such as physiotherapists and speech and language therapists) will contribute. Parents / carers are invited to the progress review and your contributions are very important.
If your child already has a Statement of Special Educational needs there will then be an Annual Review.
If your child does not have a Statement of Special Educational Needs this process will be discussed with you at the first progress review. The statutory assessment procedure can be initiated then, or at the next six monthly progress review. Your child will have six-monthly progress reviews until a Statement is finalised.
A Statement of Special Educational Needs is a statement of what provision a child must have to meet his/her special educational needs, and what s/he needs to learn in order to make progress.
The Statement is drawn up by the Placement and Monitoring Officer in the Inclusion Section of the Children’s Service after all those involved with the child have been asked for their advice as to what that child needs from their point of view. Of course, parents / carers are fully involved in this process.
The Annual Review looks at the Statement, in the light of the year’s progress, and checks to see if it is still appropriate. A process a bit like collecting advice for the original Statement is conducted – although this time initiated by the school – and the Review culminates in a meeting of parents / carers and professionals. We also involve, as appropriate, pupils in their Annual Review Meetings.
Newsletters and Letters Home
Once a term, you will get a newsletter to let you know what has been and will be happening in school.
Much more frequently, you will get letters home about a specific event, and they may ask you to complete a permission slip and return it. Please do so – you can then inform us of your wishes, and this will also help our smooth organisation of the event.
We now have a texting service which will keep you up to date with any school information.
Social and Educational Events
You will be invited – either specifically or generally – to attend all sorts of school functions. These may be social – for example coffee mornings, quiz evenings, parties etc; or they may be in-school events such as special assemblies, the Winter Show, summer sports day and picnic, or information events, like a talk by the Speech and Language Therapists. Coming to these helps you keep in close contact with the school, and supports your child and us.
Your Child’s Record Files
Each child has an electronic record of their progress, which includes reports, Individual Education Plans (IEPs), photos and video. You are welcome to see your child’s record; just let the class teacher know.
There are many ways in which parents/carers can help us – either directly or indirectly. You could be a volunteer, and help regularly in school; join the Parent School Assocation (PSA) Committee; help at school functions with refreshments. clearing up etc.; raise money for us – either independently or as part of a school effort; volunteer a talent such as art work or sewing, or be inventive and think up new things for us!
Also of great help would be: naming all your child’s clothes; NOT sending him/her into school if ill; replying to letters promptly and many other such things.
The workshops aim to develop and support the Oakleigh parent community. [more info]
Individual Education Plans
Each term, you will be sent your child’s own draft IEP, together with their programme of study so you can see exactly what s/he is learning next. We will also send home last term’s IEP ‘scored off’ so that you can see what your child has achieved. This is accompanied by a form for you to fill in by adding any additional priorities you have for your child. An IEP meeting will be arranged to discuss targets if this is necessary.
Annual Parent/Carer survey
Every year we send home questionnaires for you to fill in, to tell us your views and to tell us what support you need to help your child. It is very helpful for us, so that we can improve our practice and support you, if you fill in the questionnaires and return them to school.
Helping Your Child
Of course, you do this all day every day, and have always done so. However, once your child has started school, we have entered into a partnership where we help each other help your child. At the home visit you will be asked to look at a Home School Agreement, together with the class teacher.
Talk to your child about school; you will have the daily timetable, and know of special events – even if s/he can not talk back.
Support the school functions; coming to social events with your child shows that you are involved and think his or her school life is important.
Read to your child; a simple book is close and comforting, even if s/he does not understand the words. Your child’s Programme of Study will inform you of the books we are using each term. Your child will also bring home books from the school library, with a date for them to be returned. There will be a blank book for you to write comments about how much your child did / did not enjoy the book.
Support your child and us by responding to simple requests – such as “red clothes on Friday please”. Your child will then feel included in all our school activities.
Borrow a piece of classroom equipment for a weekend or holiday, or try working towards a target on your child’s programme of work; school and home will interrelate fully in this way.
Oakleigh’s children cannot always go home and tell their parents/carers what they’ve been doing, or remind them that it’s swimming tomorrow. It is up to us, as parents / carers and school staff to enable this home-school communication, and to involve the children as much as possible; it is far better if we can do it together.
What should my child wear to school?
We have a non-compulsory school uniform, we like our children to wear practical, loose, comfortable NAMED clothing. This makes it easier for them to get dressed and undressed, and to go to the toilet. Smith's Schoolwear located in both Enfield and Potters Bar, supplies our school uniform. You can either go into the shop if you aren’t sure of the size you need, or just order online, and they will deliver your order to school. We will then send it home to you. Please note that this is a private company, and Oakleigh is not involved in any of the financial arrangements between you and them. Visit the Smith's Schoolwear online shop here or download an Order Form here.
We can also purchase, on your behalf, waterproof washable swimming incontinence pants, which will be needed if your child is too big for the type you can get in shops. You will receive a letter and order form when your child starts school if appropriate.
Please keep to the school times. The day starts at 9.10am, and ends at 3.20pm.
If you arrive before the start of the school day, please stay with your child. The staff are involved in other aspects of work, and can not automatically be released to look after children. Similarly, please make sure that you do not arrive after 3.20pm to collect him/her.
On the other hand – don’t arrive late in the morning or fetch your child early in the afternoon! S/he will miss valuable time in school; it is disruptive to teaching activities and a register note will have to be made and reported upon.
In exceptional circumstances, of course, special arrangements can be made with the Head or Assistant Head.
Permission forms and information
Just to make sure that we get things exactly right for you and your child, there is a pack of forms for you to complete and return to school.
- foods not to be eaten
- permission to use Elastoplast, Sudocrem, suncream or thickener for liquids
- permission to give medication (as soon as you send one form into school, another will be sent home to replace it), information on immunisation
- school dinners and menu
- permission for nurse/therapists’ treatment including occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, music therapy, drama/movement therapy, teaching for children with hearing impairment, teaching for children with visual impairment
- basic details and information
- school year dates
- uniform order form
- permission for use of the hydro pool, use of larger offsite pools
- permission to have photos/videos to be taken in school and for publicity purposes
- permission to go on outings
- permission to act as a parent/carer in case of an emergency
- home school agreement
- health policy
- SEN policy
- homework policy
- parent pack
and if appropriate
- Permission for us to give emergency or routine medication
- Order form for swimming nappies / incontinence pads