Frequently asked Questions
What are the schools Golden Rules?
Expectations of high standards of behaviour are always made clear to the children in school and we have two Golden Rules:
Be kind and considerate
Be sensible and safe
What time does school start?
School begins for all pupils at 8.45am each day. The school operates a staggered system into school from 8.35 onwards and supervision is provided for children for ten minutes before the morning session starts; children may, therefore, come in to school from 8.35am. For safety, children must not arrive before 8.35am.
What time does school finish?
Parents are asked to collect their children punctually at 3.00pm (EYFS/KS1) or 3.10pm (KS2), as our responsibility for them ends at these times.
The KS2 playground should be cleared promptly so that children attending the after school club (Kids Like Us) can use this space safely and securely. No parents should be on this area after 3.20pm. Please avoid the KS2 playground area at pick-up after clubs.
When is the gate from the Tythe Barn open?
Access onto the school site via the footpath at the Tythe Barn is between 8.20am to 9.00am and 2.50pm to 4.30pm.
The gate will automatically open and close.
When do the children have their break and lunch time?
All children will have a 15 minute break in the morning, usually between 10.15-10.45am. KS1 children will also have a mid-afternoon break. The hour lunch break starts at 11.45am for Reception children, 12pm for Years 1-4 and 12.30pm for Years 5 & 6.
Part-time reception pupils attend between 8.45-11.45am.
What should I do if my child needs to leave school for an appointment?
No child may leave school during school hours unless collected by her/his parent or other adult who has written permission from the parents. Please notify the school in advance if you intend to collect your child during the day or if s/he will arrive late because of an unavoidable appointment. Children arriving or leaving school during a session must be signed ‘in’ or ‘out’ at the office.
What should I do if I am unavoidably delayed?
Children are regularly reminded that if nobody is there to meet them as expected at the end of the school day, they must come straight back into school and tell their teacher or report directly to the school office. If parents are delayed unexpectedly, please try to telephone; we will look after your child until you arrive, but we cannot supervise in this way on a regular basis, this service is for use in emergencies only.
How do I report an absence?
Please telephone as early as possible on the first morning of any absence from school (the answer-phone operates 24 hours). We know then that your child has not gone missing on the way to school. Occasionally we require a written explanation for a child's absence; any unexplained or unauthorised absences may lead to a home visit from the Educational Welfare Officer.
Is my child too ill for school?
Please refer to the current NHS guidance when deciding if your child is to unwell for school. Please contact the school office for more information if required.
What times is the school office open?
The school office is open from 8:35 am until 5:00 pm. You can leave a message on the school answer phone or communicate via email.
What if my child is going home with someone else?
If your child is in Years R, 1 and 2 then you must let the teacher know in advance. We will not let a child of that age leave with another parent without your permission. Children in Key Stage 2 (Years 3 and above) are old enough to know who they are going home with, so please let them know.
Can my child have time off from school?
Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. If the leave is granted, they should determine the number of school days a child can be away from school. Examples of this would be:
- Funeral of an immediate relative
- Religious observation on days officially set apart by religious body to which the parents belong
- Compassionate leave
- Close family wedding
- Medical appointments which cannot be arranged outside the school day
- Music/ballet exam
- Educational/interview visits to other schools
A form obtained from the school office must be completed when withdrawal from learning is being requested in exceptional circumstances.
Will I be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice if my child has unauthorised absences?
There is no legal entitlement to holidays during term time and this should be avoided. It will automatically be classed as unauthorised absence and after 5 days, a fixed penalty notices and fine may be issued.
Parents/carers should be aware that Horsham East Schools follow the WSCC guidelines on issuing FPN and unauthorised absence of 10 sessions or more (each half day counts as 1 session) could result in the issuing of a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) by the local authority. On DFE guidance, any unauthorised holiday of five consecutive days or more will lead to the issuing of an FPN (guidance leaflet available on request).
Can I withdraw my child from curriculum subjects on religious grounds?
There are only 2 subjects from which children may be withdrawn on religious grounds, according to the Department for Education (DfE):
- Religious education (RE)
- Some aspects of sex and relationship education (SRE)
This applies to maintained schools and academies.
Pupils may raise spontaneous questions on religious matters in subjects other than RE, and that issues related to religion come up in other subjects such as history or citizenship.
However, the right of withdrawal does not extend to these areas of the curriculum nor P.E/swimming.
How can I contact staff?
We are proud of our ‘open door’ policy and many parents appreciate how accessible all staff are. We want to make sure you know whom to contact about specific issues and our office staff are able to make appointments for the Head Teacher and all other staff members.
If you have a question about…
Please ask to see or contact…
.. your child in their class
Your child’s class teacher
.. other Early Years Foundation Stage or Y1 matters
Mrs Wright, EYFS/Y1 Phase Leader
.. other Y2/Y3 matters
Miss Swift, Y2/Y3 Phase Leader
.. other Y4/Y5/Y6 matters
Mr Hudspith, Y4/Y5/Y6 Phase Leader
.. Special Educational Needs and Inclusion
Mrs Brooks, Inclusion Leader
… other pupil related matters
Mrs Davies, Deputy Head teacher
Holbrook Primary School is a very busy place and we work hard to provide the best possible service for everyone – pupils, parents and visitors. Please treat our school staff with respect as, whatever the circumstances, we will not tolerate the abuse (verbal or physical) of our staff while they are working. Anyone displaying aggressive behaviour will be asked to leave the premises immediately. If necessary, further action will be taken by the school.
Uniform and equipment
What are the School Uniform requirements?
We believe that a school uniform is important:
- It looks smart
- Wears well
- Contributes to a sense of belonging and community
- Gives a common purpose
- Makes children feel equal to their peers in terms of appearance
- Fosters a feeling of pride
- Is designed with health and safety in mind
We ask that all children wear the uniform and encourage them to maintain a good standard of clean and tidy dress in school. The uniform is designed to be practical, maintainable and good value for money.
Our school uniform consists of:
- Shirt - plain white or light blue polo/school shirt (this can be plain or with the school logo)
- Sweatshirt or cardigan - plain royal blue (this can be plain or with the school logo)
- Trousers or shorts - plain grey (no leggings please)
- Skirt or pinafore – plain grey (approx knee length)
- Summer dress - blue/white (check gingham or stripes)
- Socks - plain grey, black or white (tights may be worn by older children)
- Shoes - plain black with a flat heel (Velcro, bar or lace fastenings)
Our P.E uniform consists of:
- T-shirt - House colour t-shirt (blue, green, red or yellow) or plain white (this can be plain or with the school logo)
- Shorts, skorts or gym shorts - Plain black
- Footwear - Plain black plimsolls or trainers (for outside activities)
When the weather is cooler, the following items may be worn,
- Plain black joggers or leggings
- School sweatshirt or fleece (no hoodies)
All children, girls and boys, must tie hair up where it is long enough to do so. Hair should be a natural colour and avoid any ‘extreme’ hairstyles. Accessories such as slides, ribbons, bobbles, etc, should be simple and in school colours.
Jewellery should not be worn to school. The only exception is stud earrings, which must be removed for PE. We ask parents wishing children to have pierced ears, to get piercing right at the start of the summer holidays, so that earrings can be removed for PE lessons from the start of the new term
Our current uniform supplier is Taylor Made uniforms www.taylormadeuniforms.co.uk and the Friends of Holbrook also have a supply of new and nearly new uniform, please keep an eye on their facebook page for upcoming sales. Should you need any assistance (financial or information) in uniform matters then please contact the school office in the first instance.
- It is important that all clothes are clearly marked with the child's name.
- In Year 6 all children wear navy blue sweatshirts (these can be plain or with the school logo).
- For some outdoor activities extra clothes may be needed, School to advise as required.
- As a general rule no make up, nail varnish or hair products are to be worn (exception for special events).
- Hair – past shoulder length must be tied back. Hair styles must be of an appropriate nature for school. Hair accessories such as slides, ribbons bobbles, etc, should be simple and in school colours.
Does my KS2 child need a pencil case?
It is very helpful if older children (Y3-Y6) have a modestly sized pencil case in school containing the following items:
- HB pencil
- H pencil
- coloured pencils
- short ruler
- pencil sharpener
- Pritt stick
- white board marker
A basic “hand writing” cartridge pen with washable black ink or a similar handwriting pen, is also needed when advised by the class teacher.
It is best if inexpensive items are chosen, as these are less of a temptation to others and less distressing if lost. All items should be named if possible.
Where can I find the lost property?
We have a large wooden box outside the school office for any ‘un-named’ lost property. Lost property is kept for one term then disposed of.
All children’s property must be marked with their names.
The school will do its best to return named items to their owners as quickly as possible. Un-named items, particularly uniform, are completely untraceable; they are put in lost property boxes, or they may turn up on a peg in any of the eight cloakrooms around the school! Please label all items that come into school.
Can my child wear any jewellery?
No jewellery is to be worn. Children with pierced ears may wear small studs, except during physical activities, the School accepts no responsibility for any resulting damage or injury. County Regulations and Guidelines state that jewellery of any kind (including earrings and ear studs) is removed for physical education because of the danger of injury to the wearer and/or other pupils in the class. Whenever possible children should be able to remove their own jewellery before a P.E. lesson. Where this is not possible parents should ensure that jewellery is not worn on days when P.E. activities take place. If you plan to have your child’s ears pierced, it would be helpful for this to take place at the start of the summer holiday so that the time is available before earrings can be removed. If necessary, however, studs in newly pierced ears may be protected by plaster tape supplied by parents.
As technology continues to move on rapidly, it has come to our attention that some 'child-friendly' smart watches can now take photographs. Please be aware that these watches are not suitable for school due to this feature, which raises privacy and safeguarding concerns. If your child has one of these watches then please ensure that they are not worn to school. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.
What sort of bag should my child use?
We advise that all children have a book bag. Book bags are available to purchase through the school office and through the Friends of Holbrook Uniform sale.
What are the Home learning expectations?
The school informs parents of the home learning expectations for the year at the evening meeting with class teachers early in the autumn term, and by letter at the same time. We ask that parents sign into Seesaw to check and upload any work that the children need to do at home. Teachers will then respond to what has been done accordingly.
What form will home learning take?
The focus is on a range of skills, not just literacy and numeracy – and creative, open ended tasks are also encouraged:
Regular reading to and with parents is vital. We recommend that this takes place daily for younger pupils and at least four times a week for pupils in Key Stage 2. It is also important to talk to your child about the books they are reading.
Children should practise their mental maths skills at home, especially number bonds and multiplication tables.
- Creative tasks
Children from Year 1 upwards will be set some creative home learning tasks. These link to what children are currently learning at school, and may be from any subject area. Sometimes children may be asked to complete tasks in preparation for up and coming class work eg. research on a particular topic.
How much time should Home learning take?
Children will be given at least a week in which to complete their home learning task.
As a guide - time to be spent on creative learning tasks:
Y6 – 60 mins
Y5 – 50 mins
Y4 – 40 mins
Y3 – 30 mins
Y2 – 20 mins
Reading and maths practice is in addition to these recommended times.
Home learning across the school
Reception: regular reading at home is the main focus for home learning.
Y1: the main focus for home learning is still reading, but it may also include some maths number facts. Occasional creative tasks may be set.
Home learning is not set for children who are absent from school on holiday. Parents of children absent for more than a few days due to accident or illness may ask for activities from the class teacher.
Food in School
What food can my child have in their packed lunch?
Children may bring a packed lunch containing their own choice of food and drink (but no hot or fizzy drinks, please, or glass bottles. No nuts or nut products, including chocolate/nut spread, are permitted in school as these can be a hazard to others. We discourage chocolate and crisps. No child should have more than a small chocolate covered biscuit. No sweets/confectionary is allowed in lunch boxes.
Does the school have a hot meal service?
The school’s hot meal service is provided by a company called Chartwells. The meals provided are nutritionally balanced dishes and individually prepared each day.
If you would like your KS2 child to have a hot meal you can register on line at www.mealselector.co.uk or telephone the hotline on 0845 603 7998.
How do I apply for Free School Meals?
If you receive benefits it really helps our school budget if you claim free school meals even if your child already receives them. Our office staff are very knowledgeable in this area and can help you fill out the relevant forms so please just ask if you require help. Here is the link to the website and the revised application form:
Free school meals are available from all maintained schools and academies in West Sussex if you receive any of these benefits:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment And Support Allowance
- Support from National Asylum Support Service (NASS) under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- The Guaranteed element of state Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (provided you're not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more £16,190)
- Working Tax Credit run-on
- Universal Credit.
If you are eligible for benefits-related free school meals in accordance with the above criteria and your child is also receiving Universal Infant Free School Meals, please continue to register. This will enable us to claim valuable 'pupil premium' funding.
If you think you may be entitled to Free School Meals, you can get an application form from the school office. Parents eligible to claim include those in receipt of Income Support, Income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Income-based Employment and Support allowance or Child Tax credit with an assessed income below £16,190. Please speak to a member of the Office Team for help and assistance.
Is my child entitled to Universal Infant Free School Meals?
If your child is currently in Reception, year 1 or year 2, they will automatically be entitled to Universal Infant Free School Meals and you need not apply on line.
Can my child have a snack at break time?
Fresh fruit is offered to all KS1 pupils through the Government’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Scheme.
Children often become very hungry during the morning and we strongly recommend that they bring a mid‑morning snack consisting of a piece of fruit or raw vegetable. Children should not bring any sweets, biscuits, crisps or drinks at breaktimes please.
Will my child have access to water during the school day?
Fresh water is always available from the drinking fountains and children are encouraged to have a basic water bottle in school at all times containing fresh water only. The school has provided each child with a water bottle for use in school. If your child has a packed lunch they need two drinks bottles please.
Will my child have milk at school?
Milk is provided free for all children under 5, and can be ordered for any pupils through the ‘Coolmilk’ Scheme (0800 142 2972) for a small charge.
Does the school offer any After School Clubs?
Each term staff offer a range of after school clubs for children from Year 2 to Year 6. Activities may include several different sports, drama, dance, art/crafts, board games, music, singing, ICT, cookery, film club, chess and gardening. Pupils sign up at the beginning of each term for their chosen activity.
A range of after school clubs are also organised by outside providers. These clubs carry a small charge and are booked by parents separately.
Will my child have any school trips?
The children undertake a wide range of visits to enhance the curriculum; these may be locally on foot or further afield by car, coach or train. Residential visits for junior children (Year 4 and Year 6) provide opportunities for studying new environments, including the outdoor environment for adventurous PE activities, as well as adding to children’s personal and social education.
For some visits parents will be asked for a voluntary contribution to cover the costs of the visit (e.g. coach and entry costs). Where there are not enough voluntary contributions to make the activity possible and there is no way to make up the shortfall, the activity may be cancelled.
How often are there parents evening?
Appointments after school for you to discuss your child's progress with her/his Class Teacher are generally made in the autumn and spring terms; children are sometimes invited to be part of the discussions and help to set themselves future targets. In the autumn term parents also meet the class teachers and hear the plans for the year, home learning requirements, etc.
There are also open days, curriculum meetings and specific events, such as year group assemblies, sports days or celebrations, when parents are warmly invited into school.
Can I help in school?
Parents are involved in the work of the school community in various ways. They are invited to help in classes either in a practical way, e.g., craft or in hearing children read or accompanying the teacher on educational visits. Valued help has been given by parents in these and other ways and the school is indebted to parents for all their support. All parent helpers are DBS checked if they are regular helpers. They are also asked to sign the Code of Confidentiality.
When is the school library available?
All children have their own library card which is kept in their ‘Class box’ in the library. In addition to the children using the library during the day with their teachers/Teaching Assistants.
If a book is still out on loan after a month, the children receive printed reminders asking for it to be returned. If a book should be lost or misplaced we do ask for a replacement cost (in line with the School Charging Policy).