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
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
We want all the children at Tollgate to have a love of reading, therefore the most important role you can play is to share books with your child and ensure they have access to books. We recommend visiting the town library to access a wide variety of books.
In Early Years, talking about the stories and asking the children what they think might happen is a great way to start developing a child’s comprehension of a text. Children can then move on to thinking about the meaning of new words using the pictures and context to help them. When children are able to read for themselves, ask them to tell you about their book.
You can support your child at home by listening to them read their school reading book. Doing this regularly will have a positive impact on their reading progress. We encourage you to take 5 minutes for 5 days a week to listen to your child read. Don’t worry if they do not finish their book in this time.
When children first learn to read, they will need to break each word down into the separate phonemes (letter sounds) and then blend them together. This will take time. If they make a mistake then encourage them to have another attempt at blending. You can support by sounding the word out for them and letting them blend. As they develop their phonic knowledge and sight vocabulary, the children are ready to develop their reading fluency.
To help develop reading fluency, the children can read the same page repeatedly until they can read it without sounding out any words. Once they can do this, move onto the next page. Encourage the child to then read the two pages without sounding any of the words out. Once fluency has been developed, children will gain a much better understanding of what they have read.
If you have any questions about how to support your child at home, please speak to the class teacher.
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.
Our school uniform is:
- A navy school sweatshirt or cardigan
- White Polo Shirts (these can be plain white)
- Grey trousers, shorts, skirts, pinafore dresses
- Navy and white checked summer dresses
- Black shoes
- Navy, black or grey tights.
- White, grey or black socks.
- White t shirt
- Blue or black shorts and tracksuit bottoms
- Trainers or plimsols
Uniform is purchased through the Trust. Order forms are available at the main office. Uniform can be purchased from County Upper School on the first Saturday of the month (8 am – 12 pm).
Only one pair of small stud earrings may be worn; these must be covered or removed for PE and swimming. No other jewelry is allowed. Nail varnish is not permitted. Children should not have clipped patterns in their hair.
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.
Starting out at Tollgate
Children can join our school nursery the term after their 3rd birthday. We offer morning, afternoon or all day sessions. We can offer 30 hour placements. The timing of our sessions are as follows:
- 8:45 – 11: 45 am
- Morning Session
- 11:45 am – 12:30 pm
- Lunch Club
- 12:30 – 3:30 pm
- Afternoon Session
Lunch Club is run by members of the school staff and children are taken to the dining room to eat with the other children. School lunches can be purchased through the office. Your child may qualify for Free School Meals, so please speak to our office staff. If there are spaces available, then regular additional sessions can be paid for. Our current prices are:
- £10 for a morning or afternoon session
- £2.50 for lunch club
Applications for our Nursery are available at the main office. Please ring the school to book an appointment if you would like to visit.
The Early Years Foundation Stage
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.
We value good attendance at school and being punctual at the start of the day. Children who have good attendance make better progress, achieve well and are able to make the most of all the opportunities available to them. We do understand that there are times when children cannot be in school e.g. illness, in these circumstances we ask you to ring the office by 9 am and let us know why your child is not in school. We encourage you to book medical appointments outside of school hours, however if this is not possible we ask to see evidence of the appointment e.g. appointment card, a text message confirming the appointment. This will ensure the absence is authorised.
At Tollgate, we recognise good attendance. Each week we present our NIMO (Not In, Miss Out) award to the class with the best attendance each week. Our knitted clownfish is the most popular award in school! We also acknowledge the children who have achieved 100% attendance for a term, two terms or a year.
If you are concerned about your child’s attendance, please speak to a member of staff.
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 get free school meals if you receive any of the following:
- Income Support
- Income based Job Seeker’s Allowance
- Income related Employment and Support Allowance
- Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit but no element of 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 VI 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 (provided you have an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400 (£616.67 per month), as assessed by earnings from up to three of your most recent assessment periods)
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 NHS guidance on head lice and nits.
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!
The views of our community are very important at Tollgate. We use an annual survey of parents and careers as part of our work to understand how we are doing.
|April 2018||June 2019|
|My Child enjoys coming to school||93%||94%|
|My child feels safe at school||98%||96%|
|My child is taught well and is making good progress||99%||95%|
|My child is encouraged to work hard and do their best||100%||97%|
|My child receives an appropriate amount of home learning for their age||98%||74%|
|Behaviour at the school is good||96%||91%|
|Communication is effective||93%||94%|
|The school provides sufficient and varied extra-curricular clubs||87%||79%|
|The school is welcoming and there are opportunities for parents to get involved||99%||87%|
|The school is well led and managed||100%||89%|
|Staff are friendly and approachable||95%||95%|
What we plan to do in 2019
There is much to be pleased with in the 2019 survey. There are common themes and strengths around the staff, our communication and how friendly and welcoming people find Tollgate.
On the areas for improvement this year, the fall in satisfaction about the amount of home learning received has resulted in an overview and year group expectations being established and shared with parents. The small drop in satisfaction with how the school is led is most likely a reflection of the long-term absence of the previous head teacher. With Miss Brookman now appointed as Head of School it is expected that this historical drop will be reversed by the next survey.
What we will be focussing on this year are:
- Review of home learning to ensure consistency across the school
- Continue to develop the variety of clubs on offer to all year groups
- Continuity of Staff
- Providing parents with opportunities to be involved in their child’s learning
What we did in response - 2018
- Investigated third parties coming into school to run extra-curricular clubs and increased the number of clubs
- Continued to review parking and safety at drop off and collection
- Reviewed and improved the provision of sports such as football
- Worked with Greener Growth to develop the playground