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How will I receive letters home?

Letters will come home with your eldest child. Letters may come home on any day of the week, so please do keep checking those book bags. In Willow class, the letters will be placed in their book-bags. Letters include information about open evenings, school trips, assemblies, medicals and PTA events. There is a weekly newsletter from the Headteacher, which gives updates what's been going on in school, on important issues and outlines forthcoming events. 


How do I go about seeing a member of staff if I have a concern?

Miss Kean will be outside the classrooms as often as possible before and after school. Please feel free to stop and have a quick chat with her. Please do feel free to telephone the school at anytime to speak with Miss Kean on the phone, and if she is available she will be happy to speak with you about any concerns you may have. All staff are always happy to speak to you if you have any concerns. Obviously first thing in the morning is a busy time, however if it's urgent then a quick ‘could I have a word?’ is fine. If you'd like more time and privacy, then we'd prefer you to liaise with the school office and arrange a mutually convenient time. This works both ways, so if the teacher needs to speak to you he/she will either catch you at school drop off/pick up or call you at home. 


What if my child is ill? What do I do? 

A phone call to school in the morning on the first day of the child's absence is required. You will also be asked to provide a reason for your child's absence. If your child will be away from school for any subsequent days due to illness you are also required to phone the school each of those subsequent days to inform us of your child's absence. If we have not received a phone call from you by 9.30am when your child is absent, we will contact you directly.


What is a bump sticker?

We give children a bump sticker when they have had a bump to the head, either when it's witnessed by a teacher or when they tell us about it. We also put a note in their book-bag with details.


What is the exercise book for?

We use this book to communicate with you. In the book we list the reading materials given to your child, please use the book to let us know how your child gets on with his/her reading. Please record any significant moments with regard to your child’s development, and any observations they make about the world around them which would be useful to share.


Is information available on the website?

The website is the most current place to obtain the latest news, dates and key information.


Does the school communicate via email and text?

We are currently investigating the viability of communicating with parents by email. This can be quite tricky as in the past updated email addresses have not been communicated with the school, and some emails 'bounce back'. This means that many parents have not been in receipt of the same information as others, which causes misinformation. For now, all information will be coming home by letter and will be updated on the website. 

Some information will be texted home if it is urgent or last minute.


Food and drink


Will my child be given a drink in the classroom?

We ask you to provide a water bottle, labelled with your child’s name. The bottles are kept filled with water and your child has free access to the bottle during the day. We would ask that it is only water in the bottles rather than squash. Most parents bring the water bottle home on Fridays to wash and return them on Monday mornings.


What are the arrangements for lunch?

You can either provide your child with a packed lunch or they can have a meal cooked by Mrs. O’Leary in the school kitchen. Our meals are provided by HC3s; the Hampshire schools’ catering company. Children are given a choice of two main courses (one vegetarian) each day and meals are ordered in the morning. Click here to find out more about HC3s and to see the current menu. The meals exceed Government nutritional standards and use organic and locally-sourced produce where possible. All children from reception to year two are currently provided with free school meals automatically.


If you provide a packed lunch, please do NOT include the following items: nuts, chocolate, sweets, and fizzy drinks (water is preferred).


How will I know if my child has eaten their lunch?

Reception children must put their hand up for someone to check they have eaten enough before they are allowed to get down from the table. For children with packed lunches, we leave any uneaten food in the lunchbox so that you can see what has been consumed.


Will my child receive a snack?

As part of the Government's scheme, children in reception year and years one and two are given a free piece of fruit or vegetable every day as a snack at break time. Children in other years are able to bring a healthy snack for break time or there is the facility to purchase a snack from the school kitchen. 


Year groups and assessment


How are the year groups organised?

There are seven age groups in a primary school and a child’s first year is spent in reception. During the reception year children work on Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Children officially start work on the National Curriculum during their second year at school. As we are a small school with only five classrooms, at some point each child will spend two years with the same teacher twice during their education. In addition to this, each year we will review the make up of each class, which depends on the number of pupils in each year group. Governemnt guidelines state that KS1 classes (years R to 2) must not go over 30 children.


Classes are currently organised as follows:-   Willow - Reception

                                                                        Chestnut - Year one

                                                                        Maple - Year two 

                                                                        Oak - Years three and four

                                                                        Hornbeam - Years five and six


When do you start to assess my child?

The children take part in initial assessments during their first four weeks at school. This gives a useful indication of each child’s attainments on entering school. The assessment takes in aspects of literacy, numeracy, motor skills, knowledge of the world and social skills. During the reception year, our special needs co-ordinator will administer a DEST test, which is an early screening for dyslexia.


Targets are set for the children in all classes and shared with you at the autumn and spring parents' evenings. A written report is sent home half way through the year and at the end of the school year. Time is made available for you to discuss the report with the teacher. A profile of your child's achievement during the Early Years Foundation Stage is built up throughout their first year. This is a statutory requirement and the report at the end of reception year is based on this profile.


What are SATs?

Statutory Assessment Tests or SATs are taken at the end of year six, at the age of 11. Children will be assessed in Reading, GPS (Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling) and Mathematics. With the advent of the new National Curriculum in 2014, the previous method of assessing children as working at a specific level has been changed. Children are now assessed as to whether they have met Age Related Expectations (ARE) for their Year group. Children may also be working towards ARE or achieving mastery (working at greater depth) of ARE.

At the end of Year 2, children are also assessed, but in a much more informal way, through their normal lessons.


How will I know what my child actually does at school?

You will receive a curriculum newsletter sheet at the beginning of each term, which details the work the children will be involved in during the coming weeks. It includes information about curriculum coverage, visits and visitors and anything you can do to help. The letter will also outline expectations around homework and will offer ideas for educational websites you may wish to visit.


Timings and travel


What are the timings of the school day?

On arrival at school at 8:45 am, the children go directly to their classrooms. The bell rings at 8:55 am to indicate the start of the school day. Registration takes place at 9:00 am. Reception and key stage one children break at 12 pm lunch (for an hour) and have a morning and afternoon break. Key stage two pupils break at 12:15 pm for a 45 minute lunch and have no afternoon break, except for privilege play on Fridays. The school day ends at 3:25 pm. Parents can arrive at the school from 3:15 pm and wait. After school clubs run until 4:30 pm. There is currently no breakfast club. 


Please note that it is a legal requirement for children up to and including year two to be handed over at the classroom door. Please do not drop them at the school entrance and let them walk to the classroom unsupervised.


Where do I park my car?

Our official car park is at St. Paul's Church in Ashford Hill. It is a short walk from the school and can be used at the beginning and end of the day. Some parents use the car park accessed via Chapel Lane. This is not our official car park, so if you do decide to use this car park please be respectful to the residents of Chapel Lane. Parents can access the school via the back gate – the gate is kept locked other than at pick up and drop off times.


Please do not use the staff car park for pick up and drop off.


How and when do I apply for a place on the bus?

To see if you qualify to use Hampshire County Council's School Transport log onto this link -


Other questions about school life


Where do I obtain school uniform?

School uniform with the Ashford Hill Primary School logo is available to purchase via the school office and online. Ashford Hill Primary School logo polo top, jumper/cardigan and PE tops must be worn. Visit the uniform page for more information. 


What is the merit scheme and how are teams organised?

Merit certificates are given out for the whole school on Friday afternoons in merit assembly. Children are given certificates for a wide variety of reasons, which are linked to our learning behaviours (respect, resilience, independence, thinking, active/motivation, creativity, risk taking and reflection).


The school teams are Coltsfoot (yellow), Poppy (red), Saxifrage (green) and Speedwell (blue). The children are put into a house team during their first week at school. Each child can earn team points during the week, which are added up and announced at merit assembly on Fridays. 


On sports day the children compete in their house teams and will need to wear a plain T-shirt in their house colour. Team points are added up over the year and at the end of the school term the overall winning team is presented with the school team point shield. The winning team has their colour ribbon put on the school cup. 


Will my child attend any off-site school trips?

The classes go on approximately two off-site school trips each year, involving travel by coach to a venue to support their curriculum work. In 2013/14 Willow class went to a Christmas pantomime in Newbury with the whole school, and to the Science Museum in Winchester. The older children take part in a five-day residential visit. In order for school trips to take place, it is necessary for us to ask parents to contribute towards the cost. We do rely on the help of parents to assist with school trips, so if you would like to help then please see the school office about obtaining a CRB check.


Will my child be able to take part in after school clubs?

We offer a variety of after school clubs, which are refreshed each term and open to all children. However we do encourage reception children to go home at the end of the day – they are usually very tired! This year some reception children joined the football club and have participated in our fun French lunchtime club. The list of the clubs on offer is usually sent home during the first few days of a new term, this allows you to select the clubs you'd like your child to attend. Visit our clubs page for more information.


Will my child take part in a school play?

Children in reception, year one and two take part in a production at Christmas time. Children in year three and above take part in a summer production. Parents are offered tickets to these productions at the appropriate time of year. 


Are you able to administer medicine to my child?

We administer prescribed medicines in school if they are a 'four times a day' dosage. You can obtain a permission form at the school office or download the form online


How do you manage children with allergies?

We understand that sending a child to school with an allergy is an additional area of concern for parents. We manage children with allergies on a case-by-case basis. We have experience of children with food allergies; managing their lunch and the use of epi-pens. We will jointly agree a management plan for your child, and ensure that all relevant staff are made fully aware of their needs. Should specific training be required, such as the administration of an epi-pen, this can be arranged through the school nurse.


Are you a religious school?

Although the school is not formally linked to the church, we do have close ties to St Paul’s Church in Ashford Hill and Rev.Lucy Thirtle. The whole school attends church services to celebrate Harvest Festival, Christmas and Easter. If you wish to withdraw your child from religious assemblies you must write to the Headteacher, outlining your reasons for wanting to do so. 


Induction process for children starting school in Reception


What happens on the induction visits to reception?

In the term before your child starts school he/she will make two school visits. The first is a short two-hour visit where the parent(s) can stay with the children. During the second visit, the parent(s) wait in the hall. The class visits are an opportunity for them to get used to the surroundings and to get to know the class teachers. The children get to experience some of the activities they will do when they start school. They will also see Miss Kean (the Headteacher), Mrs Yockney (the deputy headteacher) and other members of staff.


What happens on home visits?

A home visit takes place at the beginning of the autumn term and is used so that your son/daughter can meet their new teachers in familiar surroundings. We ask your son/daughter to draw a portrait which we put on display in the classroom. Your child can then see their picture when they start school. The home visit is a very relaxed and informal meeting, and is useful for the passing of information from parents to teacher and vice versa. The home visit is arranged at the induction evening.


In addition, if your son/daughter attends a nursery or pre-school a visit is arranged to observe them in this environment, and to speak with existing carers.


What happens during the first week of school?

Your child's first week at school is on a part-time basis, either five mornings or full days (Mon-Wed or Wed-Fri). The focus of the first week is familiarisation of their new environment.


What do we expect the children to be able to do when they start school?

Children need to be able to use the toilet independently and it would be useful if they can dress/undress themselves. It would also be useful if they could write their name and know some letter sounds and numbers to 10.