Dear Parents & Carers,
As you will know, our school day starts at 8.40am every day. This is when we open the doors and children come into classes for “Start of the Day” activities. These activities include:
Extra reading, either individually or in groups
Support to improve pupils’ phonics, writing or maths
Targeted support for pupils with SEND or for pupils who need support to make accelerated progress
Catch up time for pupils who may have been absent and need support to catch up on work that has been missed
Time for pupils to complete work or to respond to marking from teachers
Extension – activities to challenge and stretch pupils further
Some children do not arrive at 8.40am and often miss this important period of the day. In fact, I have had conversations with some parents recently who have told me that “the children don’t do anything anyway” so it doesn’t matter if they get to school at 8.40am or 9.00am.
I believe it is a shame for the teaching staff who are working so hard with your children to help and support them with their education, and who use as much of the day as possible to do this, that some parents believe that the Start of the Day isn’t important.
In addition, some parents often bring their children into school late. Children arrive at 9.00am or even later and miss the start of the first teaching session as a result. For EYFS and KS1, this often means missing part or all of their phonics lesson which is an important part of teaching your child to read. In KS2, children that arrive after 9.00am may miss their guided reading session or the start of their English or maths lessons.
In an ideal world, all parents would aim to get their children to our school by 8.40am ready for the Start of the Day activities. However, all parents should get their children to school on time so that teaching staff can begin their first teaching session promptly at 9.00am.
As such, from Tuesday 6th November when we return after half term, I will be asking staff to close their doors and the school gates at 8.55am instead of 9.00am. This will give staff enough time to finish registration and start their lessons promptly at 9.00am.
Any children who arrive after 8.55am will have to be taken by parents to the school office to be signed in and marked as late. These children will be given an “L” code on the register. Children who are continually late after lessons have begun at 9.00am will be given a “U” code which means that they are late after the registers have closed. This is treated as an unauthorised absence and will count against their attendance. Twenty or more “U” codes will trigger the school Fast Track process and may lead to both parents being served with penalty notices by the local authority.
It goes without saying that my main concern is that children have the best start to their school day every day and that they come to school on time and ready to learn. I hope parents will appreciate why I have made the decision to close the school gates at 8.55am and why I am encouraging all parents to get their children into class by 8.40am.
If you wish to speak to me about the change to the start of the day, please feel free to contact me as always.
We look forward to seeing all the children at 8.40am after the half term holiday.
Mr A Beale