Important Information

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Introduction to School for the Youngest Children

The transition of very young children to school is a delicate matter and if not handled sensitively can be very traumatic for them. The staff at Ad Astra are very keen to welcome the new children into school in as friendly and warm a manner as possible.

To this end the following procedures are adopted:

  • All new parents and children are invited to arrange an informal meeting with the Headteacher to chat through any worries/concerns etc prior to their child starting school in September.
  • A visit is made by the teachers to the local Preschools to meet the children.
  • Children from the Preschools are invited to visit Ad Astra before they start in September.
  • Children from the Preschools are welcomed to some of the school assemblies and a theatre performance.
  • Children are invited to attend a 'pre-school' club afternoon at Ad Astra in order that the children become familiar with the building, teachers etc.
  • A new parent evening is arranged to inform all new parents about the school and its expectations and policies. Parents are also able to tour the whole school with their children on a separate evening to meet the staff, see the classroom and their new class friends.  This is an enjoyable event and extremely popular.

The transition from Preschool to school is carefully planned and is a valuable experience for the children.  If you can attend some of the events your child will really benefit from this.  The staff look forward to meeting you and getting to know your child!

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Collection of Children

It is our policy to try to ensure that all children are collected at the end of the day by a responsible person during these early years at school.

  • If there is a change in the routine or a different person is collecting a child, the class teacher or school secretary must be informed asap.

  • If arrangements are changed during the day, whilst a child is attending school, parents are asked to telephone the office with the new arrangements.

To endeavour to ensure that no unauthorised person gains entry to our school, all parents are asked to report to the reception office before collecting a child from the classroom or visiting the classroom during school hours.

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Religious Education

Religious Education must be provided in the school under the terms of the 1994 Education Act and the 1988 Education Reform Act. Parents who wish to exercise their rights under the 1988 Act to withdraw their children from this course should do so, in writing, to the Head Teacher.

Parental Right of Withdrawal

Parents have the right of withdrawal of their children from collective worship and RE whatever arrangements are made and are not obliged to state any reason. Pupils may be withdrawn from the school premises to receive RE elsewhere if the parent requests this, so long as the LEA is satisfied it will not interfere with their attendance at school, other than at the beginning or end of any school session.

Parents may also request that a pupil receives RE according to the tenets of a particular religious denomination within the school (if parents meet the expenses) or attend a particular form of religious worship if they have withdrawn the child from that regularly provided, if this can be arranged. This may face Governors and Head Teachers with difficult organisational problems, but if suitable personnel can be found to organise this at no cost to the school, it is permissible under the 1988 Education Reform Act.

The circular also states that if issues of a religious nature arise during other lessons, this does not constitute grounds for withdrawal from a particular subject or area of the curriculum other than RE.

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Sex Education

At Ad Astra, we aim to provide an appropriate sex education programme built within our existing framework of PHSCE work. This will include:

  • helping children to understand and control their feelings and develop good caring relationships

  • encouraging a sensible attitude to sexual matters and bodily functions

  • helping them to recognise similarities and differences between themselves and other pupils

  • helping children to develop their sense of self-esteem

We try to create an atmosphere in which all children are encouraged to talk and question freely.

In this area of education especially, we recognise the vital role of parents as educators and the need to liaise with them.