Communication

What should I do if I want to know how my child is doing?

We have two sets of parents’ evenings during the school year; these are normally in November and March. However, if you wish to see your child’s teacher at any other time they will be happy to meet with you at pick up time or by appointment. Please contact them via the school office.

Why can’t I see my child’s teacher before school even if it’s only very quick?

Teachers are busy preparing for the day ahead and the arrival of the children at this time. Any messages can be sent in writing or given to the office staff who will relay it to the class teacher. Although your message might only take two minutes, if you multiply that by every parent in the class you can see why it would be impractical.

I work full time and do not drop off or pick up from school. How can I have a dialogue with my child’s teacher?

You can contact the teacher via the office. Please be advised that teachers are encouraged to maintain a sensible work/life balance. If you wish you can arrange a telephone appointment at lunchtime or after school.

Where can I find the class newsletters?

Newsletters will be added to the website under the Documents tab and Mrs Daniels' newsletters will also be available in the Documents section of the website. Mrs Daniels newsletter is normally published on a Friday however this is not always possible if unforeseen circumstances arise or she is attending conferences/meetings off site.  Her newsletter is also e-mailed out to parents. 

How do I know what my child is studying throughout the year?

The half termly year group newsletters give information on what has been studied and what is coming up. The content of homework is another indicator. The website also contains curriculum overviews for each year group.

Why can we not take our children through the gate in the morning?

Until October half term reception parents are allowed to bring their children into class to help them settle.  After October half term we ask all parents to drop off at the gate as we envisage they will be settled by then.  The reason for this is to encourage children to be independent and resilient.

 

School Structure

What is EYFS?

Early Years Foundation Stage refers to the children who are in Reception and Nursery. This key stage follows the EYFS framework which is a curriculum designed for that age group based largely on learning through play and child initiated learning. In Reception children are assessed through the EYFS profile which measures if children are “emerging”, “expected” or “exceeding” the expected standard for that age.

What is Key Stage 1?

KS1 is often referred to as “Infants” which is what it was known as formally many years ago. This encompasses Years 1 and 2 and is where more formal learning starts. Children are assessed at the end of the KS1 by SATs which give a formal picture of what level children are attaining.

What is Key stage 2?

KS2 encompasses Years 3 to 6 and is often referred to as “Juniors”. It is another age range grouped together as a section of a child’s education. Children are assessed at the end of the Key Stage using SATs to measure their attainment and how much they have progressed since KS1.

Assessment

What are SATs?

Statutory Assessment Tests are set at the end of each Key Stage in order to measure attainment and progress for that Key Stage in maths, reading and writing. In Year 2 SATs are a little less formal and marked internally. Teacher assessment also plays a large part in KS1 SATs so that they are not completely test orientated. In Year 6 they are formal tests that are sent away to be marked except in the case of writing which is teacher assessed. There is now also a GPS (Grammar, Punctuation & Spelling) test. Currently there is no science test for KS2 unless the school is part of a government sample, however there are plans to reintroduce science testing in the next few years. The results are used to form school league tables and inform parents if their child is working below, at or exceeding age related expectation (ARE).

What is the Year 1 Phonics Check?

This was introduced in 2012. Children sit a “test” of 40 words which they read to a teacher. Some of the words are real and some are made up. The purpose of the check is to assess how well the children use phonics to read words and blend sounds.

What is teacher assessment?

Sometimes the level at which children are working is determined through testing, this is more the case with older children in KS2. Sometimes children are assessed using teacher assessment which means using the knowledge the teacher has of the child through what they produce as classwork and how they answer questions orally. Teacher assessment is considered to give a more accurate picture because it is based on more long term information and not a snap shot as in the case of a test.

How often are reading books changed?

Reception reading books are changed regularly. This will normally be every few days in the case of EYFS/KS1 .  In KS2 books are changed more frequently as the children’s reading skills improve. Teachers and TAs monitor book changes.

How can I help my child learn their spellings?

At school children practise spellings using the look, cover, write, say method. To do this get your child to look at the word, cover it, visualise it, write it and then check it matches the covered word. We recommend that you test your child at home orally and in writing but there are many other ways children can learn their spellings such as flash cards, breaking down words, highlighting the tricky part or even creating a mnemonic e.g. A Rat In The House May Eat The Ice Cream = Arithmetic. You can also look for words within words e.g. there’s “hen” in “when”. Break up the word e.g. Wed + nes + day or th-a-nk. Say the word as it is written e.g. knife.  Spellings are best taught in context e.g. the children played in the garden.

How often should targets be changed?

Targets are individual to a child and should be changed when the child meets the target. In some cases this may be in a matter of weeks but for some it will be longer. You can expect targets to be renewed at least half termly. Remember they will still be working on many other areas during class, this is just one area to formalise their focus. Children’s targets will be in their literacy, maths and science books.

Why has my child not moved up a reading level?

The classteacher will move children onto the next level as they see appropriate and based on how they assess the child from what they see in school. They will consider both the child’s ability to read out loud and their understanding of the text. If you have any concerns that your child is on the wrong level please contact the teacher to make an appointment.

Why isn’t my child heard read every day?

If class teachers listened to every child read every day they would not be teaching the class during this time. In recent years there has been a shift in philosophy towards guided reading which is reading in groups. The teacher will rotate around groups and listen to them read and discuss what they have read. In school children will be heard read individually once per week. We are lucky to have parent helpers who provide an additional adult resource to help hear children read. If you can offer help on a regular basis, please let your child’s teacher know.

How do you teach phonics?

The 44 main letter sounds are taught in a specific order (not alphabetically). This includes alphabet sounds as well as digraphs such as sh, th, ai and ue.  This enables children to begin building words as early as possible.  We do this through multi sensory learning using jolly phonics approach..

How do we teach your children to read/how do phonics works?

Blending - Children are taught how to blend the sounds together to read and write new words.

Identifying the sounds in words (Segmenting)

Listening for the sounds in words gives children the best start for improving spelling.

Sight words - Sight words have irregular spellings and children learn these separately

How does the behaviour system work?

Each class operates a smiley face system. Children start on the yellow colour and after a first incident of inappropriate behaviour are moved to amber. If another incident of inappropriate behaviour occurs they are moved to red. The class teacher will then contact the parent to inform them of this and the reason. In some cases the child may be given a sanction such as missed playtime/golden time or sent to the phase leader, deputy or headteacher. At playtimes children will be warned and/or spoken to by midday supervisors and in the event of any repeat behaviour are likely to be sent to the deputy. If the behaviour persists then they will be referred to the head teacher. We also make a real point of reinforcing positive behaviour and children are often sent to senior staff in the school to show them good work etc. We give out stickers, certificates and use the 6Rs assembly as rewards.  Every Friday is 6Rs assembly.

Clubs

Why are some clubs by invite only?

Some clubs are targeted at certain children with particular needs and often they are paid for by funding that is for certain children. Therefore, only certain children who it is deemed are in most need and will benefit the most are invited to attend. However, most clubs are open to all within the specified year groups.

Why can my child only join two clubs at a time?

The teaching staff, who give up their time to run clubs, are a finite resource and we can only provide clubs for certain numbers of children at any given point in time. In each child’s time at Cranmere they will have an opportunity to participate in many clubs.

Administration

Where do I go to find lost property?

There is a large green dustbin in the area by the school office that contains lost property.  We will give any unnamed clothing after 3 weeks to the Friends for their Good as New Sale.  We strive to reduce the amount of lost property coming to our office so please ensure your child’s clothing is clearly labelled with their name.

Why do staff not look for lost jumpers, P.E kits etc?

We encourage children to be independent and responsible for their belongings. For staff to look for children’s lost belongings would not be an efficient use of their time. If property is clearly named then chances are it will find its owner.

Can I go on holiday during term time?

No. As stipulated by Government and Surrey guidelines, only applications for leave of absence due to exceptional circumstances will be granted.

What constitutes good attendance?

Attendance is crucial to a child’s education. Research and statistics clearly point to children with low attendance throughout primary school not performing as well in GCSEs. If a child has 80% attendance this effectively means they are missing a whole year of school every five years. Good attendance 100% over the course of a year. Attendance below 90% is deemed as persistent absence. The Surrey Educational Welfare Team monitor our attendance half termly and have remote access to all our registers. They are entitled to prosecute parents of children with attendance that is consistently below 90%. You receive your child’s attendance percentage on their reports but if you are concerned the office staff will be able to calculate the figure for you.

When will my child have swimming lessons?

Swimming is for a six week block in years 3, 4 & 5. We use the excellent facilities at Reed's School which is only a short coach journey from the new Cranmere site. You will be notified in advance because we need permission to be granted before we will take any child swimming. A contribution towards the cost of swimming is also requested in advance.