Our School Day

Our school day starts at 8am for those signed-up for our “Georgeham Jumpers” Breakfast Club.  The bell is rung at 8.55am on the front playground and children line up in their classes and walk into the school accompanied by their teacher.   Unless in our Breakfast Club, we ask that children arrive no earlier than 8.45am, which all together provides a 10-minute window to ensure you’re on time.

Morning break is at 10.30 and lunchtime begins at 12 noon for children in Classes 1 and 2 and 12.15pm for children in Classes 3 and 4.  Afternoon classes commence at 1.15pm.

School finishes at 3.15pm and children can be collected from the front playground.  Class 1 children will be handed over to parents, close to the front door of the school, by the class teacher and TA.  Our staff monitor the school gates to ensure that children do not leave unaccompanied.  Please do let us know if your child will be going home with someone different (a friend, grandparent etc).   Georgeham Jumpers continues as an after-school club, until 5pm.

Travel to School

We encourage families living in Georgeham or close by to walk or cycle/scoot to school.  Storage is provided for scooters, skateboards and bikes – we ask that you all wear helmets please!  If you are travelling to school by car from Croyde or further afield, please park in one of the village car parks and walk the last few metres to school.  If you are driving from the Baggy Point side of Croyde or Putsborough direction, please park your car on Putsborough Road.  Please note that the Parish Council have asked us to respect ‘residents only’ requests relating to parking in Putsborough Close.

It is illegal, but also dangerous for children (and quite annoying to other parents) to stop or drop off children in the zig zag zone immediately outside of the school.

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Attendance and Punctuality

WHY ATTENDANCE MATTERS…

Attending school regularly is vital to help children achieve and to give them the best possible start in life.  It is also a legal requirement of parents once children are of school age and enrolled in mainstream education.  Children who frequently miss school easily fall behind and thrive less well at school.  Regular and punctual attendance help contribute to a positive school experience.  The earlier we get our children in to the right habits, the better.

What should my child’s attendance record look like?

The government target for attendance is 95% – we aim to match or exceed that.  We are legally required to take the register twice a day and provide the data to the Local Authority (Devon County Council) for the 190 days (or 380 sessions) that children are in school each year.  To meet the 95% target, a child needs to be present for 180.5 of those days (361 sessions) or, put another way, absent for less than 9.5 days in a school year.  This allows for the fact that children will typically miss some time due to normal childhood illnesses.  When levels drop below 95% it becomes much harder for children to stay on top of their learning, and for the school to support them.   Absence for multiple days can mean that children miss out on large chunks of a unit of work and/or key learning milestones.

How do we encourage good attendance and punctuality in school?

We welcome children into the school in a supportive and nurturing manner in line with our school values.  We explain clearly to children the importance of punctuality and good attendance.  We publish our attendance data in newsletters and follow up directly with families where we have concerns.

Did you know?

  • If you are absent from school 1 day a week throughout your school life….you will be missing 2 years of your education.
  • Being 5 minutes late each day equals 5 days lost each year
  • Being 15 minutes late each day equals 2 weeks lost each year

Governors are aware that many families in our school work in the tourist industry and find it hard to take family holidays during the summer.  In the last four years we have conducted two surveys of families to understand if we can help this situation by extending one or more half term holidays.  In both cases the results were inconclusive due to the very diverse needs of families (particularly where families have children in more than one school).  In 2019 we piloted an extension to the October half term holiday to enable families to take extended holidays and/or midweek travel days.

The school works closely with the local Education Welfare Officer to ensure that families have access to additional support where they need it, including Early Help support.

If we are ever concerned about unexplained absence (particularly where the school has not been informed of the absence) we will follow this up. Unexplained or frequent and irregular absence may be a cause for concern and schools nationally are expected to make visits where there are any concerns about a child’s whereabouts or general absence trends.

WHAT DO I DO IF MY CHILD NEEDS TO BE ABSENT FROM SCHOOL?

My child is too ill for school – what do I do?

Childhood illnesses are an inevitable part of growing up.  If your child has sickness, diarrhoea or another illness that means they are too unwell to attend school, please call the School Office as soon as possible (and before 9.15am).  Please call for each day that they are absent.  For sickness and diarrhoea, we ask that children remain off school for 48 hours.  If you are unsure whether a child can be in school please always call us – we have access to the NHS directory of childhood illness and contagions and could possibly help.  Remember, it is perfectly fine for a child to be in school with mild coughs and sniffles and we will always call you if your child becomes unwell during the day.  We may ask for a doctor’s note or copy of prescription if your child is repeatedly absent – this helps us understand any patterns of illness that may benefit from support from the School Nurse.

My child has a medical appointment, what do I do?

There are circumstances where you will need to book emergency appointments or cannot avoid daytime medical/dental appointments.  Please let the School Office know in advance if your child will be absent.

My child doesn’t want to come to school – what can I do?

We want all of our children to come to school happily and enjoy their learning and social activities.  Please speak with your class teacher as soon as you have any concerns.

Can my child take time off during term time for holidays/family events?

The Government says that only in exceptional circumstances should children have time off from school (Education Act, 1996).  Requests for absence should be submitted through completion of an ‘Absence Request Form’ which can be obtained from the School Office.  Each request is considered carefully to ensure family context is taken into account, but holidays are not typically authorised under government and local authority guidelines.  This is a procedure followed by all schools nationally and we thank you in advance for your respectful use of this system.  If you choose to take children out of school without authorised absence this may end up triggering a School Penalty Notice from the Local Authority.

PERSISTENT OR FREQUENT ABSENCE

What Happens If Attendance Falls Below 95%?

If we have any concerns with attendance we will always inform you so that we can work together to support you and your child.   We want your child in school – enjoying learning and thriving.   If attendance falls further to 90% or below, then this is deemed to be persistent absence.

What is ‘Persistent Absence/A Persistent Absentee?

The government considers any child with attendance at 90% or below as a ‘Persistent Absentee’.  This level of attendance is equal to missing at least 19 days of school – almost 4 school weeks over the course of an academic year.  If a fortnight’s holiday is taken during term time and your child has some sick days during the year, this could bring them very close to triggering this issue.

School Registers are the formal record of attendance and are used by the school and Devon County Council to identify absence trends.  If your child is identified as a Persistent Absentee, the local Education Welfare Officer (known as the EWO) will get involved.  The EWO may in the first instance send you a letter to ensure you are aware of absence trends.  They may follow this up with a visit to see how they can help support you with any other issues that may be contributing towards poor attendance.

What is a School Absence Penalty Notice?

If your child is persistently absent, you may be fined by Devon County Council, who will issue a School Absence Penalty Notice.  The fine currently stands at £60 per parent per child for each period of absence.  Penalty Notices are only typically issued once in any two year period.  If absence continues to be persistent, a Summons to Court may follow which could incur a fine of up to £2500 or prosecution.  For more information about DCC’s School Absence Penalty Notice procedure please see refer to the DCC website below:  www.devon.gov.uk/educationandfamilies/school-information/school-attendance/absence-from-school-penalty-notices

PUNCTUALITY IS IMPORTANT TOO…

What time does my child need to be at school?

Our school is open at 8.00am for ‘Georgeham Jumpers,’ our before-school club.  Children can be dropped into the playground any time from 8.45am and, at 8.55am, the bell is rung for children to line up to go into school.  It is important that your child is ready for a prompt start to learning each day.

As a rule of thumb, if children aren’t in the line, coming in with the class, then we mark them as late.

What happens if we are late coming to school?

All children who are late for school must register with our administrator, to get their mark in the register and to help explain lateness.  This ensures we know exactly who is in school at all times.

Does it matter if my child is late for school?

Yes, absolutely. Not only does arriving late cause anxiety for you and your child, but an adult need will need to support them with the teaching, instruction or learning they may have missed.  This takes our staff away from planned work, supporting other children.  Further to this, being late after the register is closed, at 9.10am, children are classed as absent.

Persistent lateness is monitored by the school and the EWO to ensure that children are supported to be in school on time.  Being late, after the register has been taken, on ten occasions in any given period and without a justifiable reason, is regarded as an absence, and you can be fined.  If you are going to be late for whatever reason, please contact school to make us aware.  We understand that things can happen and take us by surprise – a late arrival may infrequently happen to any of us.

We are obliged to publish our attendance data.  Please click here for our most recent published data from the Department of Education or click here for a breakdown by Class and Year Group as well as information about punctuality.