FAQS

Attendance

Regular attendance and punctuality is an important factor in raising the achievements of pupils. Even short absences can have a detrimental effect on children’s learning and late arrivals can be disruptive and affect the learning of other children in the class. Early poor attendance habits follow right through from primary to secondary school and into employment and so we expect all children to be at school, and on time, every day that the school is open, as long as they are fit and healthy enough to do so. We do all we can to encourage children to attend.

Absence

If your child is going to be absent from school please inform us as soon as possible. If we have not been informed by 9.30am a text message/call will automatically be sent to the parents/carers. If there is no response to this message and there is any doubt about the whereabouts of a child, the class teacher will notify the Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher or Inclusion Manager who will contact the parent or guardian to check on the safety and wellbeing of the child.

Poor Attendance

The Government has stated that if a child’s attendance figure goes below 85% they are classed as persistently absent. This equals to just 30 school days, so please help your child by ensuring they are in school unless there is valid reason for their absence.

Exceptional Leave

There is no automatic right to any leave of absence, and all schools in Coventry are encouraged to adopt a policy of not authorising exceptional leave. Being mindful of this, only in very exceptional circumstances will the school grant leave of absence during termtime. An Exceptional Leave form is available from the school office for parents requesting absence due to exceptional circumstances. Each request will be considered on an individual basis.

Please note that any leave taken without authorisation can lead to parents being issued with a fixed penalty, which is currently £60 per parent per child if paid within 21 days and £120 per parent, per child if paid after this date but within 28 days. School holiday dates will be sent to you regularly and are always available from the school office and we ask you to keep to these dates when booking holidays.

Illness

Parents are asked not to send their child to school if he/she is unwell. When children have been off school with sickness or diarrhoea parents are requested to keep them at home for 48 hours following the last attack.

Jewellery

For safety reasons children should not wear jewellery to school. We ask that children with pierced ears should only wear stud earrings.

Toys

Please do not send children to school with toys as they are easily lost (or even swapped), which causes upset and distress.

Behaviour

We expect all children to behave in an acceptable manner in school and to follow our five Golden Rules.

1. To be polite, kind and helpful.
2. To listen to other people.
3. To always tell the truth.
4. To look after everything in school.
5. To try to be the best that we can be… and we smile

Clubs and Activities

Children can enjoy a wide variety of before school, lunchtime and afterschool activities and clubs at Howes. Examples include:

• Multi Skills
• Rugby
• Football
• Cookery
• Board Games
• Art and Craft
• Gymnastics
• Dance
• Student newspaper
• Crochet.

Hearing Impaired Unit

Howes primary school is the base for Coventry’s Hearing Impaired Unit (HIU) for primary age hearing impaired children. It caters for children with a profound hearing loss whose parents choose a Total Communication approach to their education. Total communication is a communication policy that involves children using mainly Sign Supported English. Sign Supported English in the HIU is used as a support to spoken English, not as a substitute. Development of good listening and lip-reading skills is essential to the success of this approach. All pupils based in the HIU have weekly access to a Deaf adult who uses British Sign Language.

All children in the HIU have Educational Statements or EHC plans based on their own communication and learning needs. The children are encouraged to develop their language and communication, both spoken English and Sign Supported English, in all aspects of the daily life at school. The children’s’ day is split between work in the HIU, generally literacy and numeracy, and in their mainstream class. They are supported in their mainstream class by staff from the HIU. We try our best to provide the children with exciting hands on opportunities to involve them in their learning and to encourage communication at all times. The mainstream children and teachers at school are eager to learn signing to communicate with the hearing impaired pupils and the hearing children and teaching staff in Howes Primary school have access to free BSL tuition from a Deaf adult sign language tutor.

The HIU is staffed with specialist Teachers of the Deaf, nursery nurses and teaching assistants, provided by Coventry Sensory and Physical Support Service(SPSS). The HIU works closely with other agencies to support the children needs including Sensory and Physical Support Service, Specialist speech and language therapists, Cochlear implant teams and Coventry Audiology Service. Parents are invited into school for parents evening but also have annual reviews every year to review the child’s Educational Statement/EHC plan.

Children are usually referred to the school through the SPSS.

Seek Permission

We will always seek your permission if any activity takes place after school. If we are playing a sport at another venue we will try to arrange transport – but it may involve children sharing lifts in other parents’ cars. We will always inform you of the arrangements. We will ensure that children are brought back to school but it is the parents’ responsibility for ensuring that appropriate arrangements are made for your child to get home from school.

Collective Worship

Howes is a diverse community school and our assemblies reflect the values of the school and the faiths within our community. During our Friday ‘celebration’ assembly we recognise and share the achievements of children, both in and out of school, children who have had birthdays and also share Housepoint totals for the week. Parents will receive a letter of invitation if their child is due to receive a certificate in this assembly.

If you wish your child to be withdrawn from our assemblies on religious grounds, please discuss this with the Head teacher so that alternative arrangements can be made for their care during this time.

Homework

Our school homework policy is designed to ensure school and home work together in partnership for the benefit of the children. We ask parents to spend some time every evening either sharing books with their child, or listening to them read. Ten minutes is sufficient in the Early Years, but by Year 2 this should increase to 15 to 20 minutes.

Please support your children by finding out more about the topics they are covering; details of these are sent out to parents at the start of each term. If you have any queries or concerns about the quality or quantity of the homework please do not hesitate to have a chat with your child’s teacher.

Books

From the beginning of their time at Howes, children are able to borrow books and enjoy reading them at home. Taking the time to share these books with your children is an important part of developing their interest in pictures and stories and encouraging a love of books. It is also the first stage in learning to read. Unfortunately, books are expensive and if a book is lost or damaged at home a contribution of a £2 will be requested to provide a replacement.

Nylon book bags with Velcro fastening and a carrying handle can be bought at the school office. These are ideal for keeping books in good condition and encouraging children to take care of them.

Special Educational Needs

Howes is an inclusive school with a dedicated Inclusion Team that is fully committed to providing a broad and balanced curriculum for all our pupils. Our Inclusion Leader ensures that the school provides the best support possible for children identified as having special needs. We discuss any support plans with parents and provide regular feedback on progress. External agencies may need to be consulted on some occasions, but only with prior consent from parents.

Please have a look at our Special Needs Policy on the school website for more detailed information, or arrange to speak to a staff member if you have any concerns.

Access

Children with a physical disability are fully supported in accessing all parts of the school. There is wheelchair access to all teaching areas, disabled toilets with wheelchair access.

More Able

We recognise that all children are individuals with their own specific needs, gifts and talents. Children who are identified as being exceptionally able or talented, are monitored and provided with stimulating and enriching lessons appropriate to their needs.

Charging Policy

A wide range of additional activities, including clubs, visits and residential experiences can make a valuable contribution towards pupils’ personal and social education. We hope that parents will be prepared to make voluntary contributions towards these activities, so that they are able to proceed, but if this causes difficulties please contact the school.

How To Pay

Our preferred method of payment is via SIMS Agora, which is a safe and secure online payment service for processing debit and credit card payments. A unique activation reference is created at the beginning of the school year. We will inform parents in writing if there is a special event when cash may be required, but normally children will not need money during the school day. Any money that is sent into school should be in a sealed envelope, clearly marked with the child’s name, class and the amount contained. All return slips and envelopes should be sent to class.

Please try and send the correct change for payments, as very little money is kept on the school premises.

Emergency Arrangements

If there is bad weather, please do not leave your child at the school, or send them off to school, before you check that there is someone here to receive them. Announcements will be made on the school website, text to parents and on local radio stations.

Medicine in School

If your child requires regular, long term medication such as an asthma inhaler, this should be discussed with the class teacher and the appropriate medication form completed. Any inhalers brought into school should be clearly labelled with the child’s name and dosage requirements.

The school does not accept responsibility for administering short term medical treatment such as antibiotics. In most cases it should be possible for parents to ask their doctors to arrange dose frequencies so that medication can be taken outside of school. Where medication has to be administered by staff the parents or guardians of the child must complete a written agreement form prior to the medication coming on to the school premises.