Tollgate Primary School working with parents
This page gives general information to parents providing details which are relevant to the running of the school and which will keep you up to date with current issues.
- E-Safety Advice
- Children‘s Safety and Welfare
- Reading Top Tips
- Head lice
- PE Kit
In our lifetimes, technology and the internet have changed beyond recognition. Multi-media and access to the internet is part of everyday life for our children and ourselves. Children use the internet, mobile phones and social networks on a daily basis and for parents and carers this opens up a whole new world of things to be aware of.
You might be struggling to keep up with the things your child is doing online, you might wonder whether what they are doing is safe, and you might also be thinking how can I be as good a parent online as I am offline?
The links below will take you to sites which can offer information, advice and practical tips to help you with online parenting.
For advice and reporting known or suspected child sexual exploitation or child sexual abuse directly to CEOP please click on this link.
Children’s Safety and Welfare
NSPCC Information – What is safeguarding?
Safeguarding is the action that is taken to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.
- protecting children from abuse and maltreatment
- preventing harm to children’s health or development
- ensuring children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care
- taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes.
Safeguarding children and child protection guidance and legislation applies to all children up to the age of 18.
As parents, you want to make sure that your children develop healthily and thrive. The NSPCC can help you with advice on how you can build strong relationships with your children and keep them safe.
It’s more than just physical safety. A big part of keeping children safe is making sure to look after their emotional and mental well-being. Helping them develop healthy emotional bonds from infancy can have a lifelong effect, and a strong relationship can make it easier when you want to discuss issues such as expressions of sexual behaviour or self-harm.
As your child grows older, you'll also worry about how to keep them safe when you’re not always around. When is a child old enough to be home alone? And how can they keep safe when they’re out on their own? You’ll also want to teach them about online safety and the dangers of sexting.
Of course, some people find it awkward to talk about some subjects. So if you don’t know how to talk to your child about difficult issues, these pages on the NSPCC website will provide helpful advice and support.
Information sourced from NSPCC
As parents you are your child’s most influential teacher with an important part to play in helping your child to learn to read. Here are some suggestions on how you can help to make this a positive experience.
- Choose a quiet time – Set aside a quiet time with no distractions. Ten to fifteen minutes is usually long enough.
- Make reading enjoyable – Make reading an enjoyable experience. Sit with your child. Try not to pressurise if he or she is reluctant. If your child loses interest then do something else.
- Maintain the flow – If your child mispronounces a word do not interrupt immediately. Instead allow opportunity for self-correction. It is better to tell a child some unknown words to maintain the flow rather than insisting on trying to build them all up from the sounds of the letters. If your child does try to ‘sound out’ words, encourage the use of letter sounds rather than ‘alphabet names’.
- Be positive – If your child says something nearly right to start with that is fine. Don't say ‘No. That's wrong,’ but ‘Let's read it together’ and point to the words as you say them. Boost your child’s confidence with constant praise for even the smallest achievement.
- Success is the key – Parents anxious for a child to progress can mistakenly give a child a book that is too difficult. This can have the opposite effect to the one they are wanting. Remember ‘Nothing succeeds like success’. Until your child has built up his or her confidence, it is better to keep to easier books. Struggling with a book with many unknown words is pointless. Flow is lost, text cannot be understood and children can easily become reluctant readers.
- Visit the Library – Take your child to the public library regularly and encourage them to look at the books and explore different types of books.
- Regular practice – Try to read with your child on most school days. ‘Little and often’ is best. Teachers have limited time to help your child with reading.
- Communicate – Use your child’s reading record book to communicate regularly with positive comments and any concerns. Your child will then know that you are interested in their progress and that you value reading.
- Talk about the books – There is more to being a good reader than just being able to read the words accurately. Just as important is being able to understand what has been read. Always talk to your child about the book; about the pictures, the characters, how they think the story will end, their favourite part. You will then be able to see how well they have understood and you will help them to develop good comprehension skills.
- Variety is important – Remember children need to experience a variety of reading materials eg. picture books, hard backs, comics, magazines, poems, and information books.
Click on the link to support development of reading skills Oxford Owl. This website shows the correct pronunciation of letter sounds (phonemes). Plus help your child’s reading with free tips, phonics support, free ebooks, and the latest reading news.
Email & Text Messaging
At Tollgate, we communicate with parents/carers through ParentMail. If you have not already registered please contact the school office for more details. Please make sure you verify your account so you can access the full benefits of ParentMail.
We send out a weekly communication and reminders bulletin. We will also notify parents/carers of other important messages by ParentMail so it is essential that we have a current mobile number and email address to use.
School Uniform Suppliers
Uniform is available to order from School Wear for Less. If you require any school logo uniform please follow the link below to the company website, type ‘Tollgate’ into the school name section and you will be able to purchase items from the school’s range.
Starting out at Tollgate
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is a framework for children’s development from birth to the end of their Reception year of Primary School. The EYFS principles which guide those working within the Early Years setting are grouped into four themes:-
- A unique child: Every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
- Positive relationships: Children learn to be strong and independent from loving and secure relationships with parents/carers and key adults in school.
- Enabling Environments: The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.
- Learning and Developing: Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. All areas of learning and development are equally important and are connected.
These themes are used to underpin the learning and development that your child will take part in during their time in Nursery and through Reception.
Telling us how we are doing
Tollgate Primary School welcomes the opinions of parents and their feedback on the way information is delivered to them. You will find the latest school newsletters and correspondance here and you can also access the school calendar for anything relevant to your children throughout the term.
You can also express your views on the Parent View website run by Ofsted. You will need to register with your e-mail address and then Ofsted will send you a log in password. Once you have activated you account with this password you can answer the 12 questions shown on the survey. You can up date this during the year and it will show the most recent response.
Why is Attendance Important?
Only by attending school regularly and punctually will children be able to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them. High attainment depends on good attendance. We as a community all have a responsibility for this. Pupils, parents and carers, teaching and support staff and school governors all have an important role to play.
Good attendance is important because:
- Statistics show a direct link between under-achievement and absence below 95%
- Regular attenders make better progress, both socially and academically
- Regular attenders find school routines, school work and friendships easier to cope with
- Regular attenders find learning more satisfying
- Regular attenders are more successful with school transitions
How it all adds up
|94%||10 days||2 weeks|
|90%||19 days||4 weeks|
|85%||29 days||6 weeks|
|80%||38 days||8 weeks|
|75%||48 days||10 weeks|
|70%||57 days||11.5 weeks|
|65%||67 days||13.5 weeks|
At Tollgate, NIMO stands for ‘not in, miss out’, which is a clever way of giving children the message about how important being in school is and why. We hope that NIMO’s friendly face will remind them that if they are Not In, they will Miss Out on so many things.
We have a ‘school NIMO’ and the class with the best attendance each week gets to look after him in their class the following week. We obviously couldn’t keep a real NIMO in a fish bowl because he’s a tropical fish, so our NIMO is a copy, but still very real in our imaginations!
Here at Tollgate Primary School we want to ensure that our families feel properly supported. Children’s needs are so varied, and life can throw challenges at us when we’re least expecting them. So parents/carers who feel they could benefit from some general advice, guidance, or need support accessing other specialist services can talk to their class teacher in the first instance. If necessary, meeting our Pastoral Support Co-ordinator can be arranged.
Special Educational Needs
The school meals are provided by eats (East Anglian Taste for Schools). eats are passionate about providing fresh, healthy, traditionally prepared food. From September 2014 all children in reception and years one and two are entitled to free lunches as part of the Government's Universal Infant Free School Meal policy. The menu rotates through a four week cycle. You can look at the weekly menus on the eats web site, and also download nutrition and allergen information if you wish.
Free School Meals Eligibility
Food for thought – Suffolk County Council have reported that schools are missing out on £5 million! They report that there are around 5,000 young people in Suffolk that are eligible for a free school meal but not currently claiming one. If they all claimed the meal they are entitled to, Suffolk Schools would be £5 million better off.
More than 12,000 children in Suffolk already receive a free school meal. This saves their families around £400 a year and gives £1320 (per child) for 2017/2018 of additional funding to their school.
Is your child eligible?
Your child will be able to get free school meals if you receive any of the following benefits:
- Income Support
- Income based Job Seeker’s Allowance
- Income related Employment and Support Allowance
- Guarantee element of State Pension Credit Child
- Tax Credit, as long as you do not get a Working Tax Credit and have an annual income (as assessed by HM Revenues & Customs) that does not exceed £16,190
- If you are supported under Part IV of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Working Tax Credit during the four-week period immediately after your employment finishes or after you start to work less hours per week.
- Universal Credit
To check if your child is eligible, simply call 01473 260989.
How to apply
If your child is eligible you will need to apply online at the Suffolk County Council website.
Once Suffolk County Council have confirmed if your child is eligible they will write to you and to school. If they cannot confirm your eligibility they will contact you to ask for extra qualifying documentation.
If your child is about to start school full-time and you already have an older child receiving a free meal, you do not need to fill in a new application form, just contact Suffolk County Council before your younger child starts school full-time.
Dealing with head lice
At Tollgate our guidance and procedures surrounding Head Lice follow NHS guidelines. We aim to work with all members of our learning community to promote a co-ordinated approach to the prevention, detection and effective treatment of Head Lice.
The NHS say "Head Louse infection is not primarily a problem of schools but one of the wider community. It cannot be solved by school, but the school can help the local community to deal with it." To find out what you should do please read the Tollgate Head Lice Guidance sheet.
Year 1 - Science Link
Year 3 & 4 - French Links
BBC Schools - French
Please select an age group. Remember - The older the group, the tougher the game!
Tollgate Primary School PE Kit Requirements
Pupils should have a white t-shirt and a pair of black shorts or black jogging bottoms. Every child must have a separate pair of trainers or plimsolls available for PE. If girls are wearing tights they must have a pair of socks to put on with their PE footwear. The children’s PE footwear may become wet or dirty during a lesson so for your child’s comfort and for the cleanliness of our school we request each child has a change of footwear. When working indoors and doing dance, gymnastics, apparatus and most indoor games the children will work in bare feet.
If your child does not have the correct PE kit they will have to sit out and observe the lesson. They will be given written activities to complete while the other pupils complete their lesson. Every time a child misses three lessons due to incomplete or no kit, a letter will be sent home to remind you of the school’s policy with regard to this matter.
Following a recent course on Health and Safety, I would like to point out the following regarding the wearing of earrings during PE. It is Suffolk policy to remove all items of jewellery before any PE lesson. If ears are taped, this does not offer sufficient protection to prevent the stud post penetrating the bone behind the ear should an unintentional blow be received from someone or some item of equipment, such as a ball. Children should be taught to remove earrings before PE and replace them afterwards. Staff are not allowed to do this for them. If the child is unable to do this, then parents must remove the earrings on the days when PE takes place. We advise parents who want to have their child’s ears pierced, to have them done during the summer holiday. However, if a child has newly pierced ears and is unable to take them out, then taping may be used on a temporary basis until the earrings are able to be removed.
We are currently running a very busy and varied range of PE and sport within lessons, lunchtime clubs, after-school clubs and competitions. Please ensure that your child is able to join in all lessons and activities by providing them with appropriate kit.