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Starting School

St. Mary’s Henley in Arden 1

Welcome Thank you for choosing St. Mary’s. We appreciate that it is rather a daunting experience starting school, so we aim to make this transition as smooth and as easy as possible. This booklet will give you a detailed insight into our school and your child’s first year with us. As a staff we are here to answer any questions you have, so please feel free to come and see or ring us, whenever you need to. Our school website keeps a wealth of information for you to access including a virtual office and guides to help you, help your child at home.

Our Federation


St. Mary’s Henley, is part of a hard federation of three schools: Our Lady’s Alcester, St. Mary’s Broadway and ourselves. Jacqui LeMaitre is the Executive Head of the three schools. She visits the school during different times in the week and with myself looks at the strategic direction of the school. The collaboration of the schools brings many advantages: we share staff training, the children meet for different activities and we can buy in resources at a reduced price. As we are part of a hard federation, we have one governing body that meets once a term. The governing body has representatives from all three schools. If you wish to bring anything to the attention of the governing body you should contact Fr. Richard Jones (Chair of Governors), through the school office.

Starting School 3

The children will start school full time from September and will be collected at the end of the day, on the playground at 3.00pm. The teacher will bring the pupils out in a line on to the raised platform and will check that the expected adult is there to collect them.We aim to make the induction into school as smooth as possible. If at any point you have any queries or concerns do not hesitate to ask.

Daily Routines The school day starts at 8.45am and finishes at 3.00pm. We ask that your child is on the playground at 8.40 ready to line up promptly at 8.45am. The morning lessons are usually Maths and Literacy. P.E. is on a set day for each class but as it is weather dependant we ask that P.E. kits are brought into school at the beginning of a half term and kept in school every day. They are then sent home to wash every half term (unless it needs it before).

Staff Structure Executive Head – Mrs Jacqui Le Maitre 4

Head of School – Miss Rachael Perry Class 1 Teacher – Mrs Tracey Price Class 2 Teacher – Mr Tom Roberts Class 3 Teacher – Mr Brian Irvine Teaching Assistant – Mr Tom Wale Teaching Assistant – Mrs Claire Prescott Teaching Assistant – Mrs Jan Wheeler Secretary – Mrs Rachel Saltmarsh

School Attendance Most members of staff are first aid trained and will be able to deal with minor injuries and illness. Should your child become ill during the day, we will contact you. If your child is away from school then please contact Mrs Saltmarsh in the school office (before 9.15am), to let her know that they will not be in and they should bring a note, explaining the absence, on their return. We would be grateful if you could complete the medical information form enclosed. If a child’s attendance falls below 95%, parents will be verbally informed, if it falls below 90% a letter will be sent home and a meeting arranged to look at the impact this is having on the child’s education.


SchSchool Lunches At lunchtime, children are encouraged to have a healthy lunch and a drink in a named lunchbox. Try to give your child an amount that they can reasonably eat in about 15 to 20 minutes. We offer hot school dinners at St. Mary’s provided by Warwickshire County Catering Services. This consists of a two course meal, which from September 2013 will cost £1.90 per day and is payable to Mrs Saltmarsh in the office, in the envelopes provided. School dinner menus will be sent out in September. The children collect their cutlery, then line up and wait for their hot dinner, which they carry back to their table. Dinner supervisors will be there to help them if needed.

Playtime Snack and Milk We have three break times:Morning play: 10:30am – 10:45am 6

Lunchtime: 12:15pm – 1:15pm Afternoon play: 2:15pm – 2:30pm St. Mary’s has healthy school status and so the children are offered the choice of fruit as a snack at playtime, this is usually the free fruit available daily for the reception children. Alternatively you may send in a snack for morning break. Please make sure this is a healthy snack such as fruit, cheese or a cereal bar; no sweets, crisps or chocolate. Please also ensure that your child has a named water bottle in school everyday so they can access a drink whenever they need This can be brought in on a Monday. The children can fill it up for themselves, then bring it home on Friday for clFor their snack time drink they can have milk (which is free for children that are four years old) – please fill in the enclosed form. If you would like your child to continue to have a carton of milk at morning break once they are five years old this must be paid for. Forms are available from the school office or online at


After School Clubs We have a range of clubs available here at St. Mary’s including: football, tennis, gardening, sewing and film club. All the details of these clubs are available on the school website. Some of the After School Clubs have trips, the Rugby club visited Twickenham.

School Council


Each year a school council is elected. They have a say on the school improvements they wish to see and help with fundraising. They have managed to secure funding for a new tyre park and I-iPads. They write to parents detailing what their aims are for the year and how they plan to raise the money to achieve it.

Rewards System At St. Mary’s we are firm believers in positive behaviour, rewarding the children for the things they do right, rather than the negative. When your child starts school here they will be placed into a house (St. Benedict – Green, St John – Blue, St Nicholas – Red) they can achieve house points whenever they do something deserving. We are very keen on manners and we often reward the children for their manners 9

with house points. The house points are counted each week by the Year 6 house captains and scores stored onto a spread sheet. The house that has the most house points over a term has a non-school uniform day as a reward. We also have a ‘Going for Gold’ system in each class. It is a simple system based upon coloured credit cards. Each week the children start without a card, then if they produce work which shows an improvement in effort and or quality they gain their green card, then onto silver and then finally onto gold. However, if we feel the work is not showing effort and or quality or they misbehave the cards go down from green to orange (warning) and red (consequence). If a child is on red they miss 5 minutes of their playtime (Reception, Year 1 and Year 2) or 10 minutes of their playtime (Year 3,4,5 and 6). A child in class 3 collects the percentage gold cards from each class and the winning classes have 5 minutes extra play time. Every Friday we have a celebration assembly, where we share the house points and percentage gold winners. Also in this assembly each teacher chooses a star of the week, they are children that have made a real effort in one aspect of their schooling over the week. They receive a certificate in appreciation of this. This is an important part of the life of the school, where we focus on the positive achievements from the last week. 10

Communication with Parents As a school we feel that it is imperative that you are kept well informed about your child. As a result we send out two termly reports to parents detailing each child’s progress and attainment in November and in March; this is in addition to the annual report in July. There is also regular communication in the children’s reading records between home and school. Each week a newsletter goes out to each parent highlighting school events and the children’s achievements. We also host our annual speech day, in which the school comes together to celebrate individual achievement and effort.


Parent Evenings We hold parents evenings once a term, these dates go into the weekly newsletter. The afternoon of each parent’s evening we invite parents in to look at their books with their child. This is a great experience for the children to be proud of their work and show their favourite pieces.

Term Dates These are all available on the parent’s section of the Website


PTA and Fundraising The friends of St. Mary’s (FOSM) are the parents and guardians of pupils past and present and support the school by organising various fundraising events. As a parent you are automatically a friend of St. Mary’s and you are invited to join in with all the get-togethers and fundraisers. The majority of the meetings are held on a Thursday night in the White Swan to ensure that it is a fun occasion. If you would like more information about the things they have planned or would like to help out in some way, please ask in school office for more information. Alternatively, events and posters are displayed on the FOSM notice board in the playground.

EYFS Curriculum To begin with, our priority is to encourage the children to settle and to develop good relationships with each other and 13

with members of the staff. The children will be involved in a wide range of play, practical and focused activities. Once your child has settled, we introduce more definite language and maths time. They will start to bring books home to share with you and on occasion, other things to do at home. Children will be given a home school communication book, in which we will write the book that they are taking home. Please sign this communication book when you hear your child read, so that we can change their book. We have a school book bag to keep all these items in, but please make sure that their water bottles do not go in the same bag. Reception children begin learning phonics within their first few weeks in school. A sheet has been included that shows all of the different sounds and their corresponding actions. Your child will be learning about three new sounds a week and it is important that you spend time supporting your child with this learning. A reading/phonics meeting will take place near the beginning of the autumn term and it is really important to attend this to understand how we teach these crucial skills. In addition your child will bring home high frequency (HF) and “tricky� words to learn. Your child needs to learn to read these words in the first instance and then learn how to spell them. We do not have weekly spelling tests but will observe who is using and applying the tricky words to their reading and writing. 14

Forest School Forest Schools is a Scandinavian approach to outdoor learning, which is child-led and involves repeated experiences in the outdoors. Forest School approaches have been used with a variety of ages throughout the UK and overseas. St. Mary's Primary School has been using Forest Schools with their youngest class (Years R & 1) since September 2010. We have Forest School trained staff. Miss Perry is our Forest School leader and holds a Level Three qualification and Mrs Price. Forest School occurs every Friday morning for Class 1.


Excellence and Enjoyment Excellence and Enjoyment: a strategy for primary schools affirms a vision for primary education that provides opportunities for all children to fulfil their potential through a commitment to high standards and excellence within an engaging, broad and rich curriculum.' DCSF 2004 Here at St. Mary's we pride ourselves on our rich and diverse curriculum. The children have many exciting experiences during their time at school including: visits, speakers, trips and hands on encounters.


Uniform and P.E. Kit The school colour is royal blue. A list of suitable clothing is given below. Would you please ensure that your child’s clothes are clearly labelled, this will make it a lot easier for us to ensure everyone goes home with the correct clothing and will help the children begin to recognise their name. Boys: Trousers




Polo shirt




Royal blue with school badge

(Available from school) Shoes

Black (preferably ones with Velcro

fastening) Tracksuit bottoms

Royal blue

*Sports shirt

Crested Gold T-Shirt (Available from

school) Sport shoes Velcro

White or Black trainers (preferably ones with



Black slip on (preferably ones with Velcro


Girls: Pinafore/dress

Grey (girls may wear grey trousers

in the Winter) Summer dress

Light Blue and white check (not

navy) Polo shirt *Sweatshirt (Available from school) 18

White Royal blue with school badge


Black (preferably ones with Velcro

fastening) Tracksuit bottoms

Royal blue

*Sports shirt

Crested Gold T-Shirt (Available from

school) Sport shoes Velcro

White or Black trainers (preferably ones with



Black slip on (preferably ones with Velcro

fastening) * Please note these items and school book bags are compulsory and available from school. In the Foundation Stage we do a lot of outdoor activities and it is helpful for the children to have waterproof trousers, jacket and wellington boots. We can get very messy, so it would not be suitable to use their everyday coat for such activities. Please could you provide these items for them, ensuring that they are clearly labelled and within a labelled bag. Outdoor clothing and PE bags stay in school and will be sent home at the end of each half term to be washed.



Above all, your child’s education is a partnership between the school, your child and yourselves. The better we work together, the more your child will gain from their time at school. Please let us know of any events, medical needs or family activities that may affect your child. We are available every morning before school and again after school, should you wish to speak to a member of staff. Please can you read, fill in and return the forms that have been included in this pack and return them to the school office.

We are really looking forward to your child starting school and we are going to have a very exciting time!



Welcome Pack  
Welcome Pack