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Parents’ Information

Communication

We believe in developing a strong partnership between home and school and as parents/carers you are a vital part of our school community. A positive relationship between parents and school has a crucial bearing on a child’s progress and we will work together to ensure your child has the best educational experience possible whilst .

We ask for contact details of parents/carers to enable the school to communicate with you – weekly newsletters and letters home are sent via email. Phone numbers are essential in case of illness or emergency for at least two contacts per child.  We do not share these details with anyone else, except for legal reasons.

We also ask you to sign the Home School Agreement which outlines the expectations and commitments from us both in your child’s time with us at Abbey School.

Class WhatsApp Groups

To aid communication between parents, carers and The Friends, many of our classes have set up WhatsApp groups, which OPERATE INDEPENDENTLY of the school. We understand Parents find Class WhatsApp groups a useful and efficient way of communicating to the whole class. The messages in the class WhatsApp groups come from parents in their personal capacity or are messages forwarded on behalf of the Friends. The school does NOT post directly on any WhatsApp parent/carer groups.

At Abbey Primary, we believe it’s important to:
– Work in partnership with parents to support their child’s learning
– Create a safe, respectful and inclusive environment for pupils, staff and parents
– Model appropriate behaviour for our pupils at all times

To help us do this, we set clear expectations and guidelines on behaviour for all members of our community. This includes staff (through the staff code of conduct) and pupils (through our behaviour policy).

This code of conduct aims to help the school work together with parents by setting guidelines on appropriate behaviour.

Code of Conduct

Parents should adhere to the following guidelines when using class WhatsApp groups:
– The group should never be used as a platform to air views/grievances regarding a teacher, child or parent in the class or school
– The group is not a political platform for airing opinions on current affairs
– The group should not be used for private conversations with anyone else using the group
– The group should be used keeping in mind mutual respect and cultural sensitivity between all its members

We expect parents, carers and other visitors to:
– Respect the ethos, vision and values of our school
– Work together with staff in the best interests of our pupils
– Treat all members of the school community with respect – setting a good example with speech and behaviour
– Seek a peaceful solution to all issues
– Correct their own child’s behaviour (or those in their care), particularly in public, where it could lead to conflict, aggression or unsafe conduct
– Approach the right member of school staff to help resolve any issues of concern

Please note, the school considers the following online activity inappropriate:
– Abusive or personal comments about staff, pupils or other parents or any member of the schools community
– Displays of anger including swearing, or using offensive language
– Bringing the school into disrepute
– Posting aggressive, defamatory or libellous comments
– Emails circulated or sent directly with abusive or personal comments about staff, pupils or any member of the schools community
– Using social media to publicly challenge school policies or discuss issues about individual children
– Threatening behaviour, such as verbally intimidating staff, or using bad language
– The school takes safeguarding responsibilities seriously and will deal with any reported incidents appropriately.

Raising Concerns

If you are concerned about inappropriate comments on a class WhatsApp group, in confidence, please contact our Senior Leadership Team by emailing the school admin@abbey.herts.sch.uk

If the school suspects, or becomes aware, that a parent has breached the code of conduct detailed above, the school will gather information from those involved and speak to the parent about the incident.

Depending on the nature of the incident, the school may then:
– Send a warning letter to the parent
– Invite the parent into school to meet with a senior member of staff or the Headteacher
– Contact the appropriate authorities (in cases of criminal behaviour)
– Seek advice from our legal team/the local authority’s legal team regarding further action (in cases of conduct that may be libellous or slanderous)
– Ban the parent from the school site
– The school will always respond to an incident in a proportional way. The final decision for how to respond to breaches of the code of conduct rests with the Headteacher.

School Day

The school day starts at 8:55am and finishes at 3:20pm. This amounts to a total of 32 hours and 5 minutes in school in a typical week. Parents/carers can bring their children to school, accessing the school site through pedestrian gates on Grove Road, Lady Spencer Grove and The Abbey Orchard.  Please do not arrive on the school site before 8.45am.  Children are brought to their classroom door where the teacher or TA will greet them. Any communication you feel important for the school day may be shared with the member of staff at the classroom door.

There is a morning break, lunch time is from 12 noon, where children eat, either a hot prepared school lunch or a home packed lunch, in the school hall. Key Stage One children then have an afternoon break as well.

Pupils are collected from the classroom door at 3:20pm, dismissed by their class teacher. Please arrive promptly at the end of the school day and also when collecting children from after school clubs.

If your child attends the Morning Club (7:55-8:55am) you drop them off at the Grove Road pedestrian gate where the children are met by the Morning Club staff.  After School Club runs from 3:20-6pm and pick up is from the Grove Road pedestrian gate where Fizzbug staff will bring your children to you.

Volunteering

We pride ourselves on having strong, productive relationships with our parents/carers and welcome them, and other members of the local community, into school as volunteers.  Our regular volunteers provide support in a variety of areas of school life, such as changing the library/reading books, reading with children, cookery, walks in the local area, trips, handwriting and gardening. For further details please see our Volunteer page.

Parking

Parking is not available on the school site. Please walk to school where possible as parking is not freely available around the school. The school office does issue parking permits to al parents for the short duration around pick up and drop off times to allow you to park safely on Holywell Hill. Please note, the layby in Grove Road has parking restrictions.

Absence

If your child is absent please call the school office, press 1 for an absence and leave details of your child’s name, class and reason for absence. Planned absence will require you to complete an Authorised Absence Form and obtain the Head teachers permission in advance of the absence. Holidays should be taken during the school holiday periods and we strongly discourage families from taking holidays during term time; in exceptional circumstances leave may be authorised by the Head teacher, please complete a form two weeks in advance of the time requested.   Medical appointments should be made, where possible, during holidays or outside of the school day.

Medicines in School

If your child requires medicines to be kept in school please provide these clearly named and in date. If staff are required administer any medicines a form will need to be completed for approval by the Head teacher.

Mobiles, Smart Watches and Walking Unaccompanied

If your child is in Year 5 and Year 6 and you wish to allow your child to bring their mobile phone to school and/or walk to and from school unaccompanied please fill in the form below and return it to the school office.

Please note that, although we encourage children to wear watches in school, we do not allow children to wear a ‘smart’ watch, or any watch that has the same functionality as a mobile phone or PC, on the school site.

Music Lessons

If your child wishes to learn a musical instrument lessons take place during the school day with the Herts Music Service (HMS). You need to book and pay for lessons with HMS directly.

Herts Music Service website