Welcome to the Federation of St. Peter’s Elwick CofE (VA) and Hart Community Primary Schools
As Executive Headteacher I have a real passion for working in partnership with our parents, pupils, staff and communities across our Federation, our town and wider beyond. As a Federation we believe we are ‘stronger together.’ All members of the school community – both staff and pupils also remain true to our school motto ‘Always our Best’. We expect all members of our school communities to provide their best and in return to receive the best. We offer a diverse range of education, covering the National Curriculum resulting in high standards in tests consistently from Early Years right through to Year 6. We have received commendation from the Dfe on our high standards. We also have exceptionally high standards of behaviour and all of our pupils are expected to learn to be respectable, valued members of our school community who understand the importance of being citizens who contribute positively to the wider world.
Firstly, thank you for taking the time to find out about our schools. We pride ourselves on being open schools that feel privileged to share in your child’s journey of education. We welcome visits to our school, so if you have not yet visited, then please get in touch with the school office and we would be more than happy to show you around during our school day.
Our pupils experience a very wide range of opportunities in sport, music, outdoor education, charity work and wider experiences, including a progressive programme of residential visits and educational trips along with a range of after school clubs and breakfast club.
At St. Peter’s Elwick our pupils follow a Christian based education, as a Voluntary Aided Primary School. Both schools share the same school values that underpin all that we do – we look through the eyes of God at our values at St. Peter’s whilst at Hart we look through the eyes of our community.
I hope that this prospectus contains all of the information that you are looking for. If you have any further questions then please do not hesitate to get in touch with the relative school office and we will be happy to help.
We look forward to your child becoming part of our school family.
Values and Learning Powers
Our Federation hold core values together that underpin all that we do.
Our values are…
Friendship & Trust
Our Learning Powers help our pupils to work with a growth mindset, rather than a fixed mindset. We aim to develop resilience in our pupils and a ‘have a go’ attitude. Our Learning Powers help us all to be better learners.
Our Learning Powers…
Don’t give up
Use your imagination
Have a go
We also promote British Values and the important voice our pupils have in their own school community. Through initiatives such as ‘School Council’, ‘Junior Leadership Team’, ‘Big Fish’ group, ‘Ask-it’ assemblies and many other ways, we ensure that the children take responsibility for their own school.
The Governing Body takes an active role in the life of our schools, participating in a range of events, meetings and visits to school. Our Governors are drawn from a wide range of skilled occupations who bring their own expertise to the leadership of the school. An up to date list of our Governors can be found on the Governing Body pages of the website along with their attendance at meetings and declaration of any business interests.
The Governors hold the school to account for the strategic decisions it makes and the outcomes at both schools.
If you have any queries with regards to your child then the best person to contact is the class teacher. The class teacher can be spoken to briefly at the start or end of the day, or an appointment can be made to speak with the class teacher by telephone or a meeting arranged. This can be done through the school administrator in the school office.
The school office is the best place to contact to ask about any queries regarding administrative queries e.g. dinner money, consent forms, after school club arrangements etc.
Members of the schools take on a leadership role and can be contacted to speak about matters more specific that the class teacher may not be able to help with, e.g. the Special Needs Co-ordinator (SENDCo). Each school also has a Parent Support Adviser who is able to support parents with a wide range of issues, including attendance, behaviour and bereavement, along with contact with our school nurse and a wide range of other external agencies. A full staff list is available on our school website.
We understand that our parents are busy and so we try to make communication as easy for parents as possible. We operate a text message service whereby reminders are sent out by text. Please ensure the school office have an up to date mobile number for this purpose. We also communicate via letters that go home, please check book bags regularly. We provide a weekly newsletter every Friday that contains an overview of the week and any important dates. These newsletters are uploaded to the school website, along with letters that are sent home. If a copy of a letter is mislaid then please just contact the school office and we will provide a replacement.
Our school website contains a wide range of information and each class has a page that details photographs and information so that parents can share in the learning that goes on within each class. Our school website also contains our parent pay facility which allows our parents to pay online for school dinners, school trips etc. Our school uniform can also be purchased online and delivered to home or to the school office. For parents who prefer, payments for all services can still be paid directly through the school office.
As a school we produce guidance for parents to explain the methods used to teach reading, writing and maths strategies. These are available from the school office and on the school website. We also hold parent forums to share guidance with parents as we know our parents provide lots of support to our pupils at home and lots of methods have changed since parents were in school themselves!
The safety of our pupils is paramount. Our school grounds are secure and the main entrance contains an electronic secured entry system. On a morning we run breakfast club from 7.45am. If any parents require an earlier drop off then please speak to the school office and we will endeavour to support parents. The school playground is only supervised from 8.50am. We ask that any pupils arriving earlier than this are supervised in the playground, or dropped off into breakfast club. This is to ensure the safety of pupils, who MUST NOT be left in the playground prior to this.
We also ask that parents consider the safety of pupils and local residents when parking at drop off and pick up times.
Please park away from residents’ houses and adhere to the parking restrictions around school. Our school car parks are closed off to moving traffic at the start and end of the school day. Please ensure that pupils and all family members use the designated paths.
All parents must complete all necessary paperwork including permission to use the internet, go out of school on visits and all up to date medical and contact information. It is imperative that any changes to medical or contact information are updated at the school office immediately. Failure to provide a contact number could mean school being unable to get in touch with parents in the event of an emergency.
Our schools are fully inclusive and we welcome all pupils at our schools regardless of ability and needs. We ensure that our teaching provides an environment that respects all cultural and religious backgrounds. We encourage all of our pupils to work alongside each other and ensure that all pupils are treated with equal respect. Any pupils with Special Educational Needs are monitored closely with clearly targeted support to ensure their needs can be met. Details of our Local Plan and all other SEND information is provided on our Federation Website. Our SENDCos are more than happy to talk to prospective parents about any queries or concerns they may have.
Our children follow a wide ranging curriculum, based on the National Curriculum 2014. The curriculum follows topics that last for a half term. The children are immersed in their learning with an ‘engage’ activity in the first few days of the half term and then all topics end the half term with a ‘celebrate’ activity in which children can share all their learning with a visitor, parents, other pupils, or in a different way. To get a small flavour of our school curriculum, please visit the class pages of our Federation website.
We pride ourselves on our rural village setting and endeavour to provide our pupils with a unique learning experience. Both schools grow their own vegetables, which are used in cooking. Each school follows an outdoor learning curriculum and skills progression that includes activities such as den building. Our pupils also get the opportunity to experience caring for animals such as hatching chicks, looking after ducks and learning about the rural village environment in which they come to school.
We have high expectations of attendance at our schools. There is a clear link between lower attendance and lower academic achievement. If a pupil is unwell then please ensure that the parent contacts the school office to inform them of the illness. If contact has not been received the school office will call the contact numbers to ensure the safety of the pupil. If you are unsure whether the illness is contagious necessitating school absence then please contact the school office who will be able to advise. We often advise that if you are unsure about whether your child is unwell enough to be off school, they can come into school and then we will contact you if they are unwell later in the day. You can also call school to check on them later in the day to alleviate any worries.
Attendance is monitored by the school and the Local Authority Attendance Team. If the attendance of a pupil begins to cause concern then the parents will be invited in for a meeting to discuss the concerns. If the attendance does not improve then the Local Authority Attendance Team will work alongside the school to improve the attendance. Our Parent Support Adviser can provide advice and support to parents finding it difficult to manage their child’s attendance.
We also expect all of our pupils to be in school on time. Our pupils tell us they dislike coming into school late as they miss the beginning of their learning and feel flustered. The school doors open at 8.50am. Pupils must be in their classrooms by 9am. The school doors close at 2 minutes to 9 to give pupils time to come through the cloakrooms and be in class for registration.
Our Parent Support Adviser can offer support and advice for parents finding it difficult to get pupils into school on time. If punctuality is causing a concern parents will be invited in for a discussion on how to improve the issue.
Did you know?
If a child attains 95% attendance then they will still have missed 2 full weeks of school.
If a child’s attendance drops to 90% they will have missed 4 full weeks of school.
If attendance falls as low as 80% this equates to more than half a term of being off school.
And, if a child is even only 5 minutes late for school every day, this is equivalent to losing 3 full days of school a year!
Every day counts!
School term dates are published on the school website and all pupils are provided with a term date card that parents/carers can put in their wallet/purse as an easy reminder. Holidays in term time will not be authorised unless in accordance with the exceptional circumstances agreed by the Governing Body:
A parent is a serving member of the armed forces
A serious illness of a close family member
Another exceptional circumstance as judged by the Headteacher
If you feel that you may be eligible for holiday authorisation under these circumstances then please write to the Headteacher via the school office. Other situations may arise whereby absence may be authorised that is not a holiday, e.g. religious observance or sporting or drama opportunities. If this is the case then please speak to the school office or write to the Headteacher outlining the circumstances.
If you have not already, please come and see us – we would love to show you around!