Information for Parents
Contact with the School
Where a situation occurs which the school believes requires your involvement, such as a result of illness or an accident, we will contact you immediately using the telephone numbers you have given us. Your contact numbers, particularly for emergencies, are crucial and if your circumstances do change, please let us know straight away. We do appreciate it if you can keep us well informed on any issue that may affect your child i.e.:
- If your child tells you about someone or something at school that concerns him/her, then please share this with us. What initially may be very simple to sort out, if left could become a major problem for everyone concerned, particularly for your child.
- When he/she is ill at home and unable to come to school. Please phone the school on the first day of absence and follow this up with a letter on their return.
- If your transport arrangements change and you experience difficulties in getting your child to school before 8.55 a.m. or picking him/her up at the end of the day.
- If you are not able to bring your child to school or collect him/her as a result of changed circumstances and a friend or designated carer does this on your behalf.
- If you experience domestic difficulties and this may have the potential to unsettle your child emotionally and socially.
- If your child has a specific medical problem.
- If your child is behaving at home in a way that is causing the family anxiety and you are uncertain as to what the trigger is and how best to respond.
- If you are uncertain about something that has been asked of you by the school.
Likewise, if we are concerned about something or need some clarification about an issue connected to your child, we will make contact with you as quickly as we can. Apart from such occasions, the school organises two formal meetings a year to enable you to gain an understanding about how well your child has settled into school and the progress he or she has made. In the Summer term, you will receive a report illustrating your child’s achievements and the progress he/she has made as well as being given an informal opportunity to meet with your child’s classteacher to discuss the report if this is requested.
There are other opportunities throughout the year for parents to meet with teachers and advance notification for these events is given via the school newsletter, ParentMail, the School website or by letter from the teachers of individual classes.
The Academy has a Charging and Remissions Policy that adheres to government legislation.
Legislation prohibits schools and academies from making charges for most activities within school hours, with certain exceptions (e.g. instrumental music lessons).
There is a Remissions Policy, which offers remission of charges for those exceptions for parents who are in receipt of specific benefits, such Income Support, Income-based Job Seekers’ Allowance.
A copy of the Charging and Remissions Policy is available at the school for any parent who wishes to see it.
Balgowan is an inclusive school and we place great importance on the need to ensure that all our pupils are included equally in opportunities for learning. The school’s ethos and the values we practice and promote aim to secure equal opportunities for all the pupils at Balgowan whatever their age, gender, ethnicity, attainment and background. As a learning community all the staff work hard and are fully committed to securing the best provision for our pupils and the different groups that they may represent:
- Girls and boys
- Pupils eligible for Pupil Premium Funding
- Minority ethnic and faith groups, Travellers, Asylum Seekers and Refugees
- Pupils with disabilities
- EAL pupils (English as an Additional Language)
- Special Educational Needs pupils
- Looked after children
- Pupils at risk of exclusion
Our Policy documents and Schemes of Work are subject to regular review and the school is involved in ongoing self-evaluation to ensure that our aims and those principles that support inclusion are being appropriately implemented.
All medicines should be administered to children at home. However, if there are circumstances when medicine needs to be administered at school, eg asthma medication, we ask that it is clearly labelled, with the child’s name and clear instructions relating to the dosage and frequency and is supported by a letter from the home authorising the school for its administration. Our desire and aim is to support the needs of pupils in the best possible way, but at the same time, taking into account all aspects of health and safety in relation to the storage and administration of medicines, the availability of trained staff, and the practical logistics of supporting an extremely large pupil community of approximately 680 pupils.
Outings and Journeys
During the school year children will have the opportunity to take part in educational visits away from Balgowan, this may involve a study locally, or a visit further away. They link to our creative curriculum. Year 6 pupils go on a residential school journey to the Arethusa Centre on the Medway. Parents are informed well in advance about each visit and the school undertakes a risk assessments for all visits to assure the highest possible standards of safety for the pupils, Staff and helpers. Information about educational visits is included in the termly curriculum notes to parents.
The Morning Session
- 8.55 am to 12.00 noon – Reception/Y1/Y2/Y5/Y6
- 8.55 am to 12.15 pm -Y3/Y4
The Morning Breaktime
- 10.30 am to 10.45 am – Reception/Y1/Y2/Y5/Y6
- 10.50 am to 11.05 am – Y4/Y3
- 12.00 mid–day to 1.15 pm
The Afternoon Session
- 1.15 pm to 3.30 pm (Reception/Key Stage 1)
- 1.15 pm to 3.35 pm ( Key Stage 2)
The Afternoon Breaktime:
- 2.30 pm to 2.45 pm – Reception/Y1/Y2/Y3/Y4
The school day begins at 8.55 a.m. and children are allowed to come onto the school site from 8.45 a.m. The school day ends at 3.30 p.m. for pupils in the Reception and Key Stage 1 classes and at 3.35 p.m. for pupils in Key Stage 2. Our two playgrounds, one for the Infants adjacent to Belmont Road, and the Junior playground with access to Balgowan Road, are supervised from 8.45 a.m. by members of staff and also at the end of the day for 10 minutes after the finish of the afternoon sessions. Pupils who have not been met by parents/carers at 3.40 p.m. (Infants) and 3.45 p.m. (Juniors) will be accompanied by staff back into the main school building and will wait in the Reception area until they are collected. A member of staff will contact the parents/carers of those pupils who still remain at school. In the interests of the pupils and staff at Balgowan and to secure their safety and welfare, video surveillance is operational around the school site and the school gates are locked shortly after both the start of the school day and at the end of the afternoon session.
Access by parents and visitors in to the school building always requires authorisation and an official Balgowan security badge will be issued by the clerical staff to all adults who have been granted that authorisation. In the best interests of everyone, visitors on the school site not wearing an approved badge will be challenged. To support our Fire Safety procedures all visitors are required to complete an entry in the Visitors Book both on arrival and also at the end of their visit to the school. Visitors will also be provided with information about where to go in the event of a fire/emergency on site during their visits.
Special Educational Needs
At Balgowan Primary School, we aim to ensure that all pupils in our care are able to achieve their full potential. We enable the children to access all areas of the school’s curriculum in a way that is both inclusive and appropriate to the needs of the child. A child may have Special Educational Needs either throughout, or at any time during their school career and it is therefore crucial that both the identification and assessment of their needs, as well as regular monitoring of their performance is prioritised.
With reference to the Special Educational Needs Code of Practise 2014:
‘A child has Special Educational Needs if they have a learning difficulty, which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.’
A child has a learning difficulty if he/she:
a)Has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of the pupils of the same age.
b)Has a disability, or which prevents or hinders him/her from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for pupils of the same age in schools within the area of the LA.
c)Is under compulsory school age and falls within the definition at (a) or (b) above or would so do if special educational provision was not made for him/her.
A child must not be regarded as having a learning difficulty solely because the language or medium of communication of the home is different from the language in which he or she is or will be taught. At Balgowan we have a specialist teacher who supports children with English as an Additional Language (EAL).In many situations, children’s special needs have already been identified prior to their start at Balgowan and wherever possible we will ensure continuity of support and make all the necessary preparations, working with the external agencies where necessary prior to a child’s start at school. Some children’s Special Educational Needs are only identified once a child starts at school. The school therefore places appropriate emphasis on early identification and assessment, in order to ensure that teaching is appropriately matched to a child’s individual needs at the point at which he/she arrives at the school.
The four areas of need are broadly described as:
- Communication and Interaction
- Cognition and Learning
- Social, Emotional and Mental Health
- Sensory and/or Physical
When a child is identified as having a Special Educational Need, they are considered to be in receipt of SEN Support. At this stage, children are assessed, planned for, supported and their progress is reviewed via a provision mapping tool which is written and updated by the Class Teacher.For children who require a level of provision that requires additional funding, the parents and Inclusion Leader may request a Pupil Resource Agreement from the Local Authority.
An Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) will be applied for, where it is felt by all concerned that a child’s needs will be better met in a specialist setting. It may also be necessary for an EHCP to be in place for a child who has multiple professionals, from differing sectors involved in their care. The Local Offer provides an overview of the provision available in the Local Authority. This includes universal, targeted and specialist services. Please refer to the Bromley website for further details
Our school Inclusion Leader, Hayley Andrews works collaboratively with services identified in the Local Offer and facilitates access to this provision as appropriate. She consults with relevant professionals, families, teachers and the children to identify the best approach to supporting each child as an individual. Support for children with Special Educational Needs can be provided in many ways. The main avenues of support employed at Balgowan are outlined below:
- Educational or training provision that is different from or additional to that which would generally be provided for a child of the same age. This provision goes beyond the differentiated approaches and learning arrangements normally provided as part of our high quality teaching.
- Appropriate evidence based interventions are provided as part of a graduated approach, where there is a regular review of the progress made and adaptations made accordingly.
Any support provided, is recorded through Provision mapping, where teachers are required to set Challenging, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound (CSMART) targets, that will lead a child to achieve enriching outcomes.At Balgowan Primary School we seek to ensure that our children are educated in an environment that is reflective of both the local and wider community, with specific regard to diversity and inclusive spirit. We are committed to enriching the lives of all our children and families.
Visiting the School
We encourage prospective parents to visit the school. Formal open mornings take place in the Autumn term where prospective parents tour the school. We are happy to arrenge for prospective parents to look round the school at other times which can be arranged with the school office staff.
The roads around the school becomes extremely congested at both the beginning and end of the school day and parents are therefore encouraged to walk with their child and leave the family car at home.
The school grounds are private property are kept by the for children’s use. It is important to be aware that you may not be insured against accidents on private property.
Dogs: dogs are not permitted inside the building and on the playgrounds and the school field, purely for reasons of a Health and Safety nature.
Smoking: Balgowan has a non-smoking policy in operation both outside on the school site and inside out building.
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Pupils transfer to a variety of secondary schools-selective, all ability, academies and private schools. Some of the schools which our pupils transfer to are listed below. Click on the thumbnails to see the Secondary School websites.