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FAQ

What are INSET days?
INSET stands for In Service Training. All schools in England are required to be open to pupils for a specified number of days (190 to be precise!) and have five days every year when they are closed to pupils to allow for staff training. These are an important part of staff training and development, ensuring that staff stay up to date with latest developments.                                                                                                                                                                                       
What is the Foundation stage?

The Foundation Stage is Nursery and Reception.

What are Key Stage 1 (KS1) and Key Stage 2 (KS2)?
Key Stage 1 is Years 1 and 2. Key Stage 2 refers to Years 3, 4, 5 and 6.

What is the National Curriculum?
The national curriculum outlines what all children should be taught in each subject in each Key Stage. To find out more go to http://curriculum.qca.org.uk/. The government is currently drafting a new curriculum for schools, anticipated for 2014.

What are levels?
The national curriculum outlines levels of attainment descriptions that are used to assess children, particularly at the end of each Key Stage. By the end of Key Stage 1, most children should be attaining at Level 2. By the end of Key Stage 2, most children should be attaining at Level 4. Generally pupils are expected to make 2 levels progress across a key stage.

What are SATs?
They are Statutory Assessment Tests and Tasks. These are used to assess all children at the end of Key Stage 1 (Year 2) and the end of Key Stage 2 (Year 6) in their English, Maths and Science. The SAT results are based on a combination of standardised national tests (marked externally at KS2) and teacher assessed levels based on the child’s attainment in regular class work.

What is Teacher Assessment?
This is the teachers’ judgement about what national curriculum level a child is attaining. This judgement will be made based on evidence gathered over a period of time and from a range of pieces of work, together with test results. Teachers assess pupil progress regularly throughout the year, every year. This teacher assessment is also a part of SAT results.

What is a teaching assistant?
This is somebody who supports learning in the classroom. Sometimes they will support individual children, at other times they may work with a group or with the whole class.
 
What is PPA time?

This is Planning, Preparation and Assessment time; all teachers are entitled to PPA time within the weekly timetable. The time children are in school represents the teaching section of the day, and most PPA happens outside of this. A specified percentage must also occur within the school day.

What is a Celebration Assembly?
Celebration Assemblies happen every week on Friday mornings. They are an opportunity to recognise and reward children’s particular achievements. We present Star of the Week, Roll of Honour, Maths awards, housepoints, birthdays…and many more awards throughout the school year. Parents are warmly invited to join us in our celebrations.

When do we get a school report for our children?
Written school reports are issued to all the children in July.

How do I give feedback about my child to teachers?
Teachers are available at the start and end of the school day for any brief messages or key information you feel they need to know. For longer conversations we recommend you make an appointment to speak to the class teacher at a time that is convenient to you both. Furthermore there are two Parent Consultation Evenings (one in the Autumn and one in the Spring term) where you have the opportunity to discuss your child’s attainment and progress in detail. There is also a Summer term Open evening where you can informally chat with any teachers.

How do I contact the Headteacher?
The first port of call regarding your child’s education is their class teacher. If you feel that you have an issue that is not suitable for discussion with your child’s class teacher you contact the head or deputy by email, letter or you can make an appointment through the school office. Our head and deputy practice an open-door policy and they are always happy to meet with you.

When can my child learn a musical instrument?
Whole class music lessons are a part of our curriculum. We also have a number of peripatetic music teachers who provide instrument tuition during the school week through Herts Music Service. Times and costs vary with children usually starting at Key Stage 2.
 
Do the children have swimming lessons?

Swimming is a compulsory element of the KS2 PE curriculum. The expectation is for all pupils to be able to swim 25m by the end of primary school. Children have one term of swimming offsite in Years 3, 4 and 5.

Where is the lost property kept?
It can be found in the cupboard in the medical room. This lost property is periodically taken out to the playground, where parents are encouraged to check through for their missing items. All lost property is taken to a charity shop at the end of each term.
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