Information For New Parents
St Mary's is a Church of England Voluntary Controlled School and admissions are handled by the Local authority. Prospective parents will be signposted to Dorset Admissions on http://www.dorsetforyou.com/schooladmissions where they will be able to apply for places. St Mary's has a Pupil Admission Number (PAN) of 17 in each year group. Some year groups are oversubscribed - this can occur if a family move into our catchement area during the year. Class structures and sizes invariably change year on year - most classes are split ages. There is a set criteria for gaining a place which are detailed on the admissions page of Dorsetforyou or click on this link to take you to the Dorset Admissions policy for 2013-14.
- The school session times are 8.55 am until 12 noon and 1.15 pm until 3.30 pm.
- Please note that there is no other supervision on the school premises before 8.45 am, when children may go into class.Children should not be left before 8.45 am.
- Children going home for lunch must return to school between 1.00 pm and 1.15 pm.
- When collecting your child/children, parents are asked to do so from inside the school gates to minimise the risk of accidents on the road. If you travel to and from school by car, please park safely and well away from the entrances to ensure the safety of all children, parents and staff. The forecourt area outside the village hall MUST be kept clear, as this is the main pedestrian entrance - the yellow zigzag lines are a NO STOPPING ZONE, not even to drop off a child. The school carpark is for staff only. The Reception playground gates are locked just after registration in the morning and unlocked before the end of the day to improve the safety and welfare of our pupils.
- If you are going to be late to collect your children, please telephone the office and leave a message. Staff will pick up any answer phone messages in the event that the office is not manned.
- Please do not write emails during the day enquiring whether clubs are running as emails may not be read until after school. The best thing to do is to phone the office directly and leave a message. A member of staff will contact you as soon as possble if your call is not answered.
- Please note that the school has no before or after school childcare provision on site. Parents are signposted to Lower Covey Nursery in Yetminster (our after school care provider) which some of our children attend. Please visit: http://www.lowercovey.co.uk; email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 01935-872544 for more details.
NOTE:If parents need to collect pupils during the day for medical appointments, we ask that school is informed beforehand by phone or note and that children are signed out at the office and signed back in on their return. This satisfies our fire regulations and safeguarding procedures.
The Education (Schools and Further Education) Regulations require us to complete an annual return giving information about absence from school. In order to fill this in correctly, we need your help! We therefore ask parents to contact us on the first day of absence for safety reasons, so that we know the whereabouts of any child not in school, and then to contact us on each subsequent day of absence until the child returns to school, unless a definite return date can be given at any point. A written note to confirm the absence should be sent in on the child’s return. In the interests of your child’s safety, the school will contact YOU if no contact has been received by morning break whenever possible.
Authorised absence includes sickness, medical or dental treatment or being educated off-site. A period of up to ten days can be given for an annual family holiday (where holiday cannot be taken in school holidays) but this can only be authorised by giving us details before the event (forms for this are available from the School Office as is a leaflet entitled “Term Time Holidays”). It is worth clarifying that this is not a parental right but at the discretion of the Headteacher - the child's previous attendance and achievement will be considered before giving approval. Otherwise, the absence is classed as unauthorised and may be queried by a Locality Social Worker (formally Educational Welfare Officer). If attendance falls below 85%, school will firstly work with families to improve attendance. If poor attendance continues, parents may be contacted by a Locality Social Worker.
Please note: Authorisation cannot be given for day trips, long weekends or activities which are not family holidays. If you are not sure if an absence can be authorised, please ask! It is important that this information is accurate.
PARTICIPATION IN SCHOOL ACTIVITIES
If your child is well enough to come to school they are expected to take part in all activities but if through illness (eg chesty cough or cold) you wish your child to miss a swimming or physical education lesson then please write a letter. If the child is to be excused such lessons for any length of time a doctor’s certificate should be produced. It should be stressed that school is a very demanding place and it is not equipped to care for children who are not fully fit. It is important, therefore, to ensure that children are able to be involved in a full school day’s activities before returning them to school after illness.