Attendance and absence
If your child is absent from school for any reason, you need to contact the school office as soon as possible on the first day of absence. If we have not heard from you by 9.30am we will do our best to contact you to find out why your child is not at school. When your child returns to school, please send a short note explaining the absence.
If you need to take your child out of school, you need to fill in a leave of absence form available from the school office. All of the schools in Felixstowe follow the same procedure. In line with the Department for Education guidance, absence will only be authorised for holidays in exceptional circumstances as any absence from school has a negative effect on a child’s learning
If you need to collect your child during the school day, are helping in class, or if you wish to talk to a member of staff, please report to the respective school office. If you are staying, you will need to sign in and wear a visitor’s badge. Children cannot leave the school premises during the teaching day without an adult to accompany them. It also helps if you can let us know beforehand of any appointments or visits.
At the end of the day:
The children are brought out onto the playground by their class teachers or another member of staff through the door nearest to their classroom. They are instructed to wait with their teacher if they cannot see the person who is collecting them. The staff wait outside with the children and then bring any children who have not been collected back into school.
Children in years 3 and 4
- are brought out onto the playground by their class teachers or another member of staff. They are instructed to wait with their teacher if they cannot see the person who is collecting them. The staff wait outside with the children and then bring any children who have not been collected back into school.
- Children in year 3 are brought onto the far end of the playground near the field and
- Children in year 4 exit the school from doors leading out into the courtyard area.
- Children in years 3 and 4 may be collected from the playground by an older sibling in school but we would appreciate a letter explaining the arrangements you have made.
- If you wish to meet your child en route please inform the classteacher in writing.
Children in years 5 and 6
- Parents can choose whether to collect year 5 and 6 children from the school or allow them to walk home unaccompanied.
We would appreciate it if those collecting children could stand well back from the doors, and behind the yellow line marked on the playground parallel to the school building at Colneis, so that children can easily identify the person who is collecting them. If you have small children, please ensure that they stay with you for their own safety.
Please note that some clubs are only available to specific year groups. If a club is held after school, your child will be given a permission slip for you to fill in and return to the school as quickly as possible.
Both schools have had ‘Healthy Schools’ status. This is a national standard which supports the links between health, behaviour and achievement; it is about creating healthy and happy children and young people who, because of this, will be more successful in learning and will enjoy life more fully.
Fairfield is part of the Schools Fruit and Vegetable Scheme which provides a piece of fruit for each child each day. Children at Colneis are allowed to bring fruit for a snack at playtimes. At both schools children are encouraged to bring bottles of water (plastic) to have through the day.
We use SEAL (social and emotional aspects of learning) with the children at both schools and we hope this will have a positive effect on their social and emotional development.
Illness and accidents
If your child has an accident or is ill at school we will try to contact you if we think it is serious. If it is not serious but we are concerned, we will send a note home explaining the situation. We have many members of staff who are first aid trained, including several of our MDSA’s. If we feel that your child needs to visit the Minor Injuries Unit/A&E at the hospital, we will try to contact you. However, if we are unable to do so, we will take the child there ourselves while continuing to try and contact you. Please ensure, therefore, that you make the school aware of any changes in contact details.
Information for parents
We hold regular meetings with parents to update them on their child’s progress. We hold the following meetings during the year –
Autumn term – February/March: parent interviews to discuss your child’s progress, review targets and set new ones.
Summer term – July: Annual written report to parents (appointments can be arranged to discuss these if parents wish to).
Summer term – July: Open evening – a chance to share your child’s work with them, look at displays and see where they will be in the next year.
Information is sent home each September about your child’s new year group. We send regular newsletters home too. If you would like to receive this via email, please let the school office know your email address. Homework and home/school diaries can be used for communication and will contain your child’s targets.
Children should not wear jewellery at school; rings, bangles, necklaces and earrings put children at risk during PE lessons and at playtimes. Children who have pierced ears should wear sleepers with flat studs on the back and must remove them when taking part in PE lessons. Teachers cannot take responsibility for the removal and safekeeping of earrings.
Although care of their own property and respect for that of others is something we strive to encourage in children, parents should note that teachers are unable to accept responsibility for toys and personal items brought to school.
There are lost property boxes in both schools where items of lost property can be placed until claimed by their owner. All unclaimed items are displayed in the playground on the last Friday of each month (at Fairfield). Items not claimed will be disposed of.
Children must not have mobile phones in school. However, if children at Colneis bring them into school they must be handed into the school office for safe keeping.
“When children are ill, it is the parents’ responsibility to ensure that they receive proper care, and schools may advise parents that when their children are unwell they should not be sent to school. The administration of medicines to children is also the parents’ responsibility unless the circumstances (such as for a pupil at a special school) make this impractical.” (From the District Health Authority Notes of Guidance)
Taking into consideration these notes of guidance, the school wishes to be as flexible as possible when it comes to caring for pupils. If it is essential for a child to take medicine during the day, parents are invited to come and discuss the matter with the Headteacher. Inhalers for the control of asthma and epipens for allergies are an obvious case in point. If children suffer from asthma or allergies and need to have an inhaler or epipen in school, parents should ensure that their child understands how and when to use it. It should be named and will be kept where your child can have easy access to it. The school arranges for children using inhalers or epipens to be supervised by a member of staff.
Parents and voluntary helpers
We are always happy to see parents in the schools. Your child’s education depends upon the successful partnership between home and school. Parents are welcome to help in school with a range of activities and are invaluable on school visits. If you offer to help in school, the leader of your child’s teacher/year group leader will arrange times for you to come into school and the kind of activities you will be doing. You will probably not be working with your child but you may be working in their class.
Obviously working with children puts us all in a privileged position and we ask all parent helpers to maintain confidentiality.
We have drawn up simple guidelines for volunteer helpers. This includes information about typical helper tasks and how to ensure helpers and children are safe in school or on visits. All regular volunteers in school are required to have a DBS check completed. The office will be able to help you with this. No helpers will be allowed to work with children unsupervised; there will always be a member of school staff in charge.
If parents are collecting children by car, please do not use either of the school car parks or the zigzag lines outside of the schools. Parents must also avoid parking on the yellow lines which form part of the traffic systems on Colneis Road or Fairfield Avenue and the surround roads. Police patrol these areas on a regular basis.
If a child is not collected at the end of the school day, they must come to the school office and wait until an adult arrives in order to ensure their safety. We will always look after your child in an emergency, but please let us know when you are likely to attend.
Children have a set playtime in the morning and a Take 10 time chosen by the teacher during the afternoon. They may bring bottles of water into school too. These should be kept in school. Children also have access to water fountains. In the autumn and spring terms, pupils must bring a coat to school at all times. They may bring a small, light covered sponge ball to play with on the playground. However, we provide play equipment for both outdoor play and wet playtimes.
At the beginning of each academic year, each class elects a class representative for the school council. The council usually meets once every half term, either at lunchtime or after school. The children discuss all kinds of school issues and can make decisions about new equipment we need, school rules, etc. Our Year 6 representatives from Colneis also attend a Town Council meeting with representatives from other local schools. At these meetings, they are consulted on their views about issues that affect children in Felixstowe.
School lunches are cooked on both school premises and children can choose from a menu that is displayed each week. Menus can also be viewed on the ‘School Dinner Menus’ link under ‘Office’. Special diets can be catered for on request. At Fairfield, there is no charge for a school meal due to the Government policy of free school meals for EYFS and KS1 children. At Colneis, payment for the week is collected on a Monday morning. Cheques made payable to Suffolk County Council are accepted along with cash which should be sent in a clearly marked purse or envelope to their class teacher. Payment can also be made through Parent Mail and this is the preferred payment method.
Pupils from families receiving Income Support, Income Based Job Seekers Allowance or Child Tax Credit may be eligible to receive free school meals. If you think your child may qualify for a free school lunch, please contact the school office for the relevant form and details.
Children may bring a packed lunch to eat at school or alternatively, go home. Packed lunches should contain either sandwiches or a salad and no fizzy drinks or chocolate. Our senior mid-day supervisor and the team of midday supervisors, ensure that children are cared for throughout the lunch break and often organise games. The Headteacher, Deputy or Assistant Headteacher and a member of the management team is also on duty.
We have security locks on all of the outside doors and our playground is fenced off from the road. All these gates (except the Fairfield access gate on High Road West) are padlocked during the school day. These are measures to ensure your child’s safety. Children can easily get out of the building in an emergency.
All pupils in Colneis swim either in the school pool (years 3, 4 and 5) or at the Leisure Centre (year 6 autumn term). The instructors follow County guidelines which state that the children should not swim in bikinis or baggy shorts. If you would like further information on this, please contact the LEA PE staff. Pupils will also need to wear a swimming hat; these are available to purchase from the Colneis school office (in house colours).
Year 2 have one session a week in the pool at Colneis during the second half term of the summer term.
At the completion of Year 2 most children transfer to Colneis Junior School. Before the children start at Colneis they have the opportunity to meet their new teachers and to visit the school for a day to become familiar with the building and some of the routines. They also have opportunities for more informal visits including seeing the Colneis’s school production and joining in special curriculum days.
Also, year 2 pupils have a “buddy” in year 5 who will help them settle in when they move up to Colneis. The year 2 and year 5 pupils meet several times during the year before the year 2 pupils join Colneis. They take part in joint projects together and this helps the younger pupils feel more confident especially at playtimes. Staff from both schools meet to discuss children’s progress before they move to year 3 and again during the first term. We feel that these contacts make the children feel positive about changing school. We liaise very closely with Fairfield to ensure the transition is a smooth one. We also run a mini-project which they begin at Fairfield and complete at Colneis.
When year 6 children transfer to high school, most of them move to Felixstowe Academy. We have close links with the school and the teachers. The children visit the Academy for the day and staff also visit the children at Colneis. During the final term, we also begin projects at Colneis in the core subjects which are continued when they get to the Academy. If your child transfers to a different high school similar arrangements exist with those schools.
All visitors to school are required to report to the office to sign in and collect a visitor badge which they must wear whilst in school.
The children are offered the opportunity to go on a wide range of educational visits. These include places of interest, theatres, rivers, museums and events and activities which take place in school. All of these visits form a very important part of the educational programme we offer to children. Therefore, we hope that all children will be able to take part. We ask for a voluntary contribution towards the costs of a trip or activity. However, should contributions be insufficient to cover the costs then we will cancel that event.
As often as we can, and with the help of the Friends, we try to subsidise or cover the cost of some visits and events during the year. Additional funding is also available for children who qualify for Free School Meals.
Most of our visits are for a day or half day but in year 6 children have the opportunity to go on a residential visit for 5 days. This enables the children to visit another part of the country and to develop social skills and take part in a wide range of activities. It is an experience that many will remember for the rest of their lives.
We also run a school based activity week for those children who do not wish to go away. Payment for these visits can be made over 2 or 3 terms. However, if there are financial difficulties, again, we may be able to help.