Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions page, please see below for more information.
Access to School (Twickenham Road back gate, rainy days, being late, medical appointments)
Q. At what times are the back gates (Twickenham Road) open?
A. The back gate is open in the morning until 9am. It is not re-opened until 3pm and is locked again at 3:45pm. The reason is for security of the children at our school. We are aware this seems inconvenient at times but the welfare of the children has to be our priority.
Q. What are the arrangements for rainy days?
A. Please bear in mind that children should not be on site before 8:30am. Classroom doors are opened by staff at 8:30am as part of our soft opening. Please do not come to the reception at the front of the school unless you are late.
Q. It’s just past 8:45am but the teacher won’t open the door?
A. This is because you are late. Learning begins at 8:45am. Banging on the door only serves to disrupt the learning of the other children who arrived on time. If the classroom door is closed, please enter through the main front doors and sign your child in with the receptionist.
Q. Can I collect my child early for a medical appointment?
A. Yes. However, please inform the teacher in advance and bring evidence of the appointment to the office. We would expect that regular GP, dentist and optician appointments are made out of school time. We know that this is not possible for specialist hospital appointments. You will need to collect you child via the office and sign them out.
Q. I’m new to the area and want to enrol my child at your school. How do I go about this?
A. All school admission (other than Nursery) are dealt with by the Civic Centre. You need to contact the Education Dept. directly to find out which schools in the area could admit your child. No school in the Hounslow borough deals with their own admissions.
Q. At what age can my child start school?
A. Children start Nursery in the year they turn 3 years old, before the 31 August of that year. If your child has a birthday on 1st September, they have to wait until the following year to join Nursery.
Q. Can parents withdraw their children from Christmas activites?
A. The answer is no. A representative at the Department for Education (DfE) explained that parents do not have the right to remove their children from Christmas activities at school. This applies whether the request is on a religious belief or not. The representative confirmed that the right to withdraw a pupil from RE does not extend to other subjects that may teach about religion. If a school is integrating lessons about Christmas into other subjects, parents cannot withdraw their children from these activities.
Q. Can parents request that Christmas activities do not take place at school?
A. The DfE spokesperson has said that schools are not obliged to alter their activities or curriculum in order to accommodate parents who object to Christmas being celebrated at school. It is a legal requirement for schools to provide spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of their pupils. This includes learning about the faiths, cultures and traditions of others, but also includes the promotion of tolerance and understanding.
Q. Can parents keep their children at home to avoid Christmas activities?
A. The DfE representative has said that parents do not have the rights to keep their children at home to avoid Christmas activities. If a parents was to do this, it would be recorded in the attendance register as an unauthorised absence, which if absence dipped below 91% could be referred to the Education Welfare Officer. The same would apply to other events, such as Easter or Diwali.
Q. Is football club/gardening club etc., still on because it’s raining?
A. Yes. If it rains, the club takes place inside school. If a club is cancelled, you will know in advance either by a previous letter or text message.
Q. Can I pay weekly for clubs?
A. No. In many cases, clubs are arranged with an outside provider and they need your commitment to the term. Staffing has to be paid for etc. so we need you to pay for the whole term in advance. No refunds can be given if sessions are missed as places have been reserved.
If you have any concerns and are unsure about how to deal with them then the following procedure will help you.
What should you do if you have a concern?
First come and talk to your child’s class teacher about it. You will know then whether it is a misunderstanding, which can be cleared up straight away, or whether it is something which requires further investigation, whereby the teacher will report back to you in the near future.
It may be necessary to make an appointment to see the class teacher. We discourage talking to teachers at the beginning of the day when the door opens as this is the beginning of the children’s learning day and we do not want the children distracted from this. We ask that you speak to the teacher at the end of the day and where necessary, make an appointment.
What should you do if you still feel unhappy?
Speak to the Phase Leader. Explain your concerns.
|Phase Leader’s Name||Year Group|
|Miss Maher||Nursery, Reception and Year 1|
|Miss Brett||Years 2 and 3|
|Miss Bharj||Years 4, 5 and 6|
Only after the above routes have been exhausted, and you are not satisfied with the result, should a meeting be requested with the Deputy Head or Headteacher.
If you feel that a complaint about the school is appropriate the procedure under Section 23 of the Education Reform Act of 1988 is as follows:
- The complaint should be addressed initially to the Head teacher in order that then issue may be resolved informally at the earliest opportunity.
- Contact the Chair of Governors via the school. A meeting will be arranged and the matter investigated.
- Contact the Director of Children & Adult Services at the Civic Centre.
Please be assured that the school takes any concern seriously and will do all it can to resolve the matter.
General (playground, PE kits, book bags, texts from school, parking, INSETs, birthdays)
Q. Why isn’t my child allowed to play on the playground equipment before or after school?
A. Our insurance does not cover accidents before or after school, only during school hours. It is the parent/carers responsibility to keep their child safe and in obeyance with rules outside of school hours. It is very important that children do not play in the musical garden or on the KS2 field before or after school.
Q. When should my child bring their PE Kit to school?
A. On the first day after any break. The PE Kit should be left in school at all times and only taken home at the end of each half term to wash. In reality, the children only wear their kit for about an 2 hours per week and then they change. A half term is roughly 6 weeks so in total the kit is only worn for the equivalent of a day but is always in school to ensure your child takes part in this important part of the curriculum.
Q. When should my child bring their book bag?
A. Every day.
Q. Why didn’t I receive the text message or email that everyone else did?
A. Probably because we have an incorrect mobile number for you on our system. It is so important to keep us updated. If your child were to have an accident or there has been an incident or a club is cancelled, we need to get hold of you urgently and we cannot tell you the frustration this can cause if we do not have an up to date mobile number on our system. The same is applicable to email addresses.
Q. Why can we not park near the school gates?
A. Because we need to keep the road clear for coaches and emergency access. If we need to call an ambulance for a child, parent or member of staff, we need to know that the emergency services can come down Turnpike Way unhindered. It also serves to keep the children safer on their approach to school.
Q. When and why are there INSET days?
A. INSET days are clearly marked on the year dates which are sent out (copies available between the main double doors). INSET stands for IN SErvice Training day. This does not mean the staff are having a day off, it means that training on the latest government initiatives or school improvement is happening on that day and the Local Authority give each school 5 training days per year, the first of which has to take place on the first day back in September ergo, there is not an INSET after every holiday – please check your year dates carefully.
Q. I’m worried about my child/ I have a concern, who do I talk to?
A. In the first instance, you should speak to the class teacher. The teacher will always try their best to look into matters or resolve any problem you have. Not sure if they have dealt with it? Ask them. If you are still unsatisfied, make an appointment with the Phase Leader. Only after these avenues have been exhausted, should you ask to make an appointment with the Headteacher.
Q. It’s my child’s birthday, can I bring a cake to share with the class?
A. Yes. We do ask that the cake is pre-cut as our staff do not have time to do this but we are very happy to celebrate your child’s birthday in this manner at the end of the school day.
Q. Can I ask the teacher to give out my child’s party invitations?
A. No. Unfortunately this is not always an inclusive task and we ask that you deal with the invitations yourself, in the playground.
Payments (school dinners, trips, bookbags, uniforms)
Q. How do I pay money to school for dinners/trips etc.?
A. By using ParentPay. When your child joins the school, we generate a user name and password to give you access to ParentPay. You can link all your children on the same account and they will appear on separate tabs on the home page. Trips are uploaded to the site as and when they come about. If you pay for your child’s school meals, this must be done in advance through the ParentPay site. Clubs will also be introduced to the site on a termly basis.
Q. Can I pay electronically or by card at the school office?
A. You can pay by card in the comfort of your own home but if you have trouble with this action, you may certainly call on the assistance of the school office staff.
Q. Can I buy uniform or book bags from the school office?
A. No. All uniform is purchased either from Sanco Schoolwear or School Bells Uniforms. Please click here to learn more.
We do not sell any items directly from school.
Q. How much is dinner money per day?
A. The cost to you is £1.90 per meal per day. School does subsidise this amount.
Q. If my child is absent what happens to the dinner money I have paid?
A. Unfortunately, because the caterers order the ingredients and your child’s meal has been prepared offsite for that day, we are unable to give a refund.
Q. What is UIFSM?
A. Universal Infant Free School Meals was introduced by the Government in 2014. This means that if your child is in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2, they may have a free meal without any cost to you. However, this meal still needs to be ordered at least two weeks in advance via the ParentPay website.
Q. Am I entitled to free school meals?
A. Ask the office for an application form. The criteria for eligibility is clearly stated on the form. If you match the criteria, complete the form and bring it back to us. We will send this directly to the civic centre who will write to confirm your free meal status. Free meals do not apply until the confirmation is received.
Q. Are there any items which are not permitted in lunch boxes?
A. Yes. No sweets are allowed and no fizzy drinks. We like to promote healthy lunches at Smallberry Green. A sandwich or portion of pasta with a piece of fruit and/or yoghurt plus water or squash in a drink bottle is sufficient.
Q. Can my child choose which days they want to have a school meal and which to have a packed lunch?
A. Yes, if you are a very organised person. Meals are ordered the minimum of two weeks in advance so if you want to chop and change, you must ensure you keep a diary of when you need to provide a packed lunch. The computer will only order what you enter and our food arrives at school giving the exact numbers ordered. The spare meals are few and provided for emergency only e.g. a child knocks their water cup over their meal or stumbles and drops their meal.
Welfare (absences, holidays, sickness, medication)
Q. My understanding is that we are allowed to take the children off school for a two week holiday in any given academic year. Is this correct?
A. No. Under no circumstances can a family holiday be authorised. In years gone by it was tolerated but, the DfE have given strict guidelines now informing Headteachers that they are not permitted to authorise such absences. The DfE have also given the LA (Local Authority) the power to issue fixed penalty notices to families who do take their children out of school for a holiday.
Q. When should I report an absence?
A. On the first day. Please leave a message on the answerphone or call the school office, text or email. You will be asked your child’s name and the reason for absence. ‘He’s ill’ is not enough information unfortunately. We need to monitor certain illnesses and report them if they become virulent within our community.
Q. My child has diarrhoea, when should they return to school?
A. 48 hours after the last bout of diarrhoea.
Q. My child has been vomiting, when should they return to school?
A. 24 hours after the last bout of vomiting.
Q. My child is on antibiotics but they feel well in themselves, can they return to school?
A. Yes. If the antibiotic is to be given three times per day we ask that you give it in the morning, immediately after school and before bed. We are not allowed to administer medication without dire need.
Q. Can I give my child medicine e.g. Calpol sachets, to take if they feel unwell or have a headache?
A. No. Under no circumstances should a child be in possession of medication of any sort.
Q. My child needs regular medication during school time, what do I do?
A. Speak to the school office. We do have official papers that parents may sign to give us permission to administer certain medicines e.g. inhalers for asthma. All medication is stored in the medical room and labelled separately for each child.
Q. My child has nits, what do I do?
A. Unfortunately nits and headlice are part and parcel of primary school life. The best way to limit the chances of getting them is to always tie your child’s hair back or keep it short. Nits do not jump, they transfer through head to head contact and children tend to huddle in groups or whisper to each other etc. during day to day play.
The best way to deal with nits is to regularly use a nit comb when you wash your child’s hair. You wash the hair as normal, condition it and leave the conditioner in whilst using the nit comb. After each stroke, wipe the comb clean on a piece of kitchen roll. Longer hair will need sectioning. When the whole head is done, rinse the conditioner. If nits or lice were found, repeat in 3 days until clear.