How is my child’s information shared with The Orchard?
Before your child starts at The Orchard School we will have a handover meeting with your child’s current setting and the team of professionals that work with your child. Handover meetings will also include the multi-agency team who will work with your child when they start at The Orchard School. Your child’s current setting/team will complete a pupil profile form, this will provide information to be further discussed in the handover meeting. A member of staff from The Orchard School will visit your child in their current setting and arrange a home visit. The home visit will allow you to ask any questions and discuss information about your child. We will ask parents to complete an ‘All about me’ for their child.
What happens if my child is starting in September?
We will inform you of your child’s start date, we operate a staggered intake for pupils starting in September, therefore your child may not start at the very beginning of September. This allows us to settle pupils into their new environment and allow staff to become familiar with their individual needs. When your child starts you are welcome to drop them off and pick them up from school or send them into school on transport as normal.
Will my child visit The Orchard School and spend time with their new class team?
The transition process is very unique for each individual child, for most pupils joining us at The Orchard School it is more important for staff to see them in their current setting and have a robust handover between professionals. Children at The Orchard School do not move each year as a cohort, class groups change to meet the needs of all pupils. Therefore, it is very difficult for children to join us at The Orchard for the day. There is a video of our school on the website and a social story that families can share with their child. Each year we have a garden party in July for children who are starting with us in September, this morning gives families the opportunity to spend time at The Orchard School, meet staff and become familiar with the school environment. If you are starting at a different point in the year, you will be able to meet your child’s class team and visit their new classroom.
Is there any paperwork to be completed before my child starts school?
Yes, families will be given a pack to complete before their child starts. This is a legal requirement and paperwork must be completed by a parent/carer. This is to obtain pupil information and emergency contact details. Your child’s class team and the pastoral team will be able to support you with this if you have any questions.
How does transport work and who completes the paperwork?
If eligible, your child can be transported to and from school by Local Authority transport. Your child’s current setting or Early Years Worker will need to complete the paperwork to request transport. If your child is not currently in a setting there will be a transport form in your welcome pack to complete. Transport is not organised by school, this is provided by the Local Authority, we are not involved in the timings of pickups and drop offs, routes or the allocation of vehicle drivers and escorts. Before your child starts at The Orchard School, transport staff will usually contact you to clarify any information about your child.
Does my child need to wear a school uniform and what does this look like?
School uniform is not compulsory, but if you choose to purchase a uniform for your child they will need:
- Sweatshirts – green
- T-shirt/shirt/blouse – plain white
- Skirt/trouser/joggers/tunics/salwar – grey or black
- Socks/tights – grey, black or white
School uniform with The Orchard School badge can be purchased from www.myclothing.com
As part of the Welcome Pack you will be given an iron-on school badge. Additional badges can be purchased from the school reception for £1.00.
What time does school start and end each day?
The school day is 8.50am – 3.00pm.
Your child’s attendance is highly important to the progress they make is in school. Children who regularly arrive to school late are less prepared for lessons and they can miss important parts of their learning. If your child has a medical appointment you will need to provide evidence of this, and holidays should only be taken during the school holidays.
What does the school day look like?
Pupils will arrive in the morning and be collected from parents/transport by members of staff and taken to their classroom. A morning may consist of lessons in Literacy, Numeracy, Speaking and Listening and include snack time and playtime. Afternoon lessons often cover a range of topic-based lessons, throughout the week pupils will access; P.E, Understanding the World, Expressive Arts and Design, Physical Development, development of independence skills, outdoor learning and much more. Depending on your child’s needs, class timetables also include time for physiotherapy, movement breaks and water movement and swimming.
What does the school offer in terms of school meals and snacks?
If you would like your child to have school dinners this is £3.25 per day/£16.25 per week, this is paid through an online system called ParentPay. All children up to the end of year 2 are entitled to a free school meal under the universal free school meals scheme. Depending on your personal circumstances, your child may be entitled to pupil premium and a free school meal when they are in year 3,4,5 and 6. We ask that you please send your child into school with healthy snacks and drinks for their snack time. You can further discuss your child’s dietary and specific eating needs with your child’s class team.
How does the Multi-Agency team work?
There are a range of multi-agency staff including; Speech and Language therapists, Physiotherapists, Community Children’s Nursing Team, Occupational Therapists, Teacher of the Visual Impaired and Teacher of the Hearing Impaired. They work both within the community and here at The Orchard School supporting class teams to help children to achieve their EHCP outcomes. They work on a range of days across the week and your child’s class team will be able to let you know which professionals will be working with your child.
How will the staff at The Orchard communicate with families?
Once your child has started at The Orchard School, communication will primarily be via children’s home/school diaries, these will provide a brief overview of your child’s day. We also use a text message system for reminders and information about upcoming events. Class staff will not be able to answer calls during teaching hours, but our admin and pastoral team will take a message or may be able to assist you. We have a school news app where you can access news items, the school calendar, photo albums and the school newsletter. There will be two parents’ evenings throughout the year and we encourage families to join us throughout the year for family mornings where you can join your child’s class team to participate in an activity, there are also specific parent mornings focusing on particular topics such as ‘sleep workshops’, ‘Coffee and chat mornings’, ‘Makaton’ etc.
We share children’s learning through an app called Evidence for Learning Family App, this requires a log in. Your child’s class team will share photos and observations of what your child has been learning. You can also access your child’s information regarding attendance through our parent portal which is linked on our school website.
What is Pupil Premium?
Depending on your personal circumstances, your child may be entitled to pupil premium. You will need to complete the relevant paperwork in the induction pack. Children who access pupil premium funding are entitled to a free school meal. Even if your child does not require a meal due to their individual needs or they are already entitled to a universal free school meal because of their age, please complete the relevant paperwork. As a school we are able to access additional funding to support their learning.
What curriculum will my child access?
Your child’s EHCP has been shared with The Orchard School and we are aware of your child’s EHCP targets. This will be the starting point for your child when they start The Orchard School. Once your child has started school and has settled, we will baseline your child’s learning level on our curriculum. Our curriculum is very bespoke to The Orchard School and allows learning to take place in small steps. The Curriculum is broken down into steps 1 to 19, each with smaller targets for children to work towards.