Universal Infant Free School Meals
From September 2014, all infant pupils in England's schools will be entitled to a free hot meal at lunchtime every day.
So who will benefit from this policy, how did it come about and are schools ready?What is changing?
All state-funded schools in England, including academies and free schools, will have a legal duty to offer free meals for all children in Reception to Year 2, under the Universal Infant Free School Meals policy.
Until now around 367,000 children in this age group whose parents are on benefits or earn less than £16,190 have been eligible for free school meals.
Under the new policy an extra 1.55m children will be entitled to a free hot meal every lunchtime, bringing the eligible total to more than 1.9m youngsters
The scheme is expected to save parents about £400 per year per child.
Schools are legally required to provide meals that comply with the government's School Fund Standards which are intended to ensure children get the nutrition they need across the school day.
At St Michael's we run a breakfast club which is open from 8am until the start of the school day. The cost of the club is £4 a day with discounts available if you have more than one child in the club. If you require any further information then please ask at the school office.
We encourage the children to wear the school’s uniform with pride and therefore we ask parents to support the Governing Body by making sure that their children are dressed in an appropriate manner for school. St. Michael’s has a navy blue and yellow / gold uniform, with a tartan skirt (the tartan skirt in new to 2017-18 and we are hoping to phase this in, in place of the navy skirt), details of which are given to parents at the meeting prior to their children starting in the Reception class. This can be purchased from Rosenfield on Leigh market and Wendys in Tyldesley. Tesco on-line also stock the navy skirt and the gold polo shirts. Year 6 children wear a white shirt with a school tie, rather than the polo shirt.
We expect children to take pride in how they look and encourage them to tuck in their shirts. We do not allow children to tie their jumpers / cardigans around their waste.
Fleeces are for outdoor wear only and are not to be worn instead of sweatshirts/cardigans in the classrooms. Items such as book bags, sports bags and water flasks are readily available from the office. Children should wear appropriate black school shoes, not trainers, please. Girls must not wear shoes with large heels for health and safety reasons.
Parents should also ensure that children have the correct clothing for PE lessons. This comprises of navy shorts, white T-shirt and black pumps. Again the school is phasing in new PE kit which is available from Rosenfields and Wendys.
Inappropriate ‘extremes’ of hairstyles are not acceptable, including ‘tram lines’ of any kind or gelled hair
Jewellery should not be worn, with the exception of wrist watches and a small single stud type earring in each ear lobe. All jewellery must be removed for PE lessons. The school can not be held responsible for the loss or damage to these items.
Any uniform, clothing or property that is brought into school is the responsibility of the child and school will not be responsible if it gets lost and will not be liable to replace it.
The school has a ‘Policy for Administering Medicines’ which is available to all parents/carers. Ideally children needing medicine should get into a dosage cycle outside of school hours. Alternatively, you are welcome to come into school to administer the medicine if necessary. If this is not possible, and it is essential a child receives a ‘prescribed medicine’ (which has been prescribed by a doctor) during school hours, the Headteacher will be prepared to arrange for this to happen as long as a written request/permission and clear instructions are sent into school. On no account is a child’s class teacher expected to administer medicines.
All medicines MUST be handed in at the School Office. The medicines must be clearly labelled with:
Children are not allowed to have medicines in their possession, except for inhalers for asthma, during the school day. For children with long term medical needs, a care plan will be completed and put into place.
The school also has an Intimate Care Policy for children who are not toilet trained on entry into school. The school works closely with parents to create an appropriate plan and procedure for individual children.
All in a School Day
Key Stage 1 (Infants)
8.55 – 12.00 midday 1.15 – 3.15pm
Key Stage 2 (Juniors)
8.55 – 12.15pm 1.15 – 3.15pm
The DfE recommendations are followed with regard to time to be allocated for teaching i.e. 21 hours in Key Stage 1 and 23 hours and 30 minutes in Key Stage 2. These times do not include the time allocated for registration and the daily act of collective worship.
Please note that the school bell rings at 8.50am to ensure that the children are lined up and enter school at 8.55am. The school teaching day finishes at 3.15pm, the children will be brought out into the playground once they have collected their belongings.
If your child is unable to attend school, you are asked to contact the School Office on the first day of absence before nine thirty to give reasons for this absence. If you fail to report the absence before this time, the Learning Mentor will attempt to make contact with you in order to establish the reason for absence. If an explanation for the absence is not given then it will be recorded as unauthorised. All unauthorised absences have to be reported to the DfE each year. The school has an absence line where you can leave a message regarding your child’s absence.
Holidays in term time will not be authorised unless there are ‘special or exceptional circumstances’; this is in line with the policy and protocol of the Local Authority. In the event that ‘special or exceptional circumstances’ do apply, the pupil’s attendance must be 95% or above in order for the holiday to be authorised.
Arriving and Leaving the School
We are very concerned about the safety of our pupils coming to and going from the school each day. The children are asked to use the entrance on Hope Fold Avenue at all times and must not use School Street or the car park as an entrance or exit route.
Hope Fold Avenue does, therefore, become very congested at the beginning and end of the day and we ask parents to be very careful when driving in and out of this road. When parking please give due consideration to the residents and their driveways, by not obstructing these, even if you have to park a little further away from the school premises.
If your children have to cross Leigh Road, please set the example in using the Pelican Crossing.
The school does have a School Travel Plan. This is a long term plan to encourage pupils to travel to school by sustainable modes of transport. There are two important reasons for this plan:
We ask parents/carers for whom it is essential to use a vehicle for the school journeys to please use the designated ‘Park & Walk’ facility at the Scout Hut on Leigh Road.
Procedure for children coming into and leaving school:
Reception and Year 1 - Parents are requested to line up at the gate nearest their classroom. Staff will open the door and admit the children one by one. We request that parents do not come into the classroom this is to support children’s independence, (unless you have been requested to do so by a member of staff). If you need to have a quick word with the teacher the teacher will ask you to wait until all the children have been admitted into the class safely. Please note the teacher will not be able to have long conversations with parents at this point as they need to be in class with the children. If you need to speak to the teacher at length then please call at the school office and the office staff will arrange for the teacher to contact you. If you are sending money or a letter into school, please ask your child to bring this in and hand to the teacher. This once again develops their independence.
Year 2 to Year 6 – When a member of staff rings the school bell at 8.50am the children then should immediately go and line up in their class lines. The teachers will then come out into the playground and collect the children and take them into school. School officially starts at 8.55am. The doors will be supervised by a member of the school staff and will be closed by the teachers when the last class line has been brought into school. Year 2 are to enter the school before year 3 and 4. Any child arriving after this should enter school through the main office doors.
The school has a well established ‘house system’, with a boy and girl from each house in Y6 being the Captains and a boy and girl from Y5 being the Vice-captains. There is also a School Council, Ethos Council and an Eco committee, each has two representatives from Y2 to Y6. The ‘house system’ and committees provide an effective ‘pupil voice’ within the school, being very much involved in the day to day work, special events and the development of whole school issues throughout the year.
We do ask parents to support the work of the school, complete homework and hear children read. Parents sign a Home School Agreement that shows the clear responsibilities that the school holds and the responsibilities held by parents.
Parents Evenings are held twice a year in October and March. The purpose of the evenings is to fully update the parent on their child’s progress and achievements. Although parents can come into school to discuss children’s progress at any time during the year.
Where we or parents have concerns regarding a child’s progress, we will not wait until the next Parents’ Evening to inform you. As soon as a concern begins to develop, the teacher would arrange to meet with the parent of the child in order to outline the nature of the concern and the school’s proposed actions to address this. We would much rather work in partnership with parents at an early stage to avoid relatively minor concerns becoming bigger. Similarly, we welcome parents approaching us to raise any concerns that they may have regarding their child’s well-being or progress. Appointments to see a class teacher should be made through the school office.
Reporting to parents
A full annual report on your child’s progress will be sent home at the end of each academic year. However parents can request any information held by the school about their child. The school requires notice so that documents can be prepared and copied.
The school runs a Parent Forum with representatives across the classes. The forum meet each half term and is consulted on school policies. There is also an opportunity for the parents in the forum to discuss the views of parents directly with the Headteacher and Parent Governor.
Same Day Intervention / Support
Teaching assistants support children in the afternoon through interventions. The school has a system of same day interventions for children who have not achieved / understood concepts in English or Maths through the main lesson. This intervention takes place so that children are ready for that day and that they are following the year groups objectives.
We place great emphasis on a high standard of behaviour and respect for others. Each member of staff is concerned not only with educational progress, but with the personal and social development of the children. We try to combine high expectations with a sympathetic but firm approach. This is achieved through having high teacher expectations, positive reinforcement and the full co-operation of parents. The school operates both a ‘Good Behaviour’ policy and an ‘Anti-bullying’ policy, copies of which are available to all parents/carers when their child starts the school.
As we firmly believe in praise and reward for children in our school, each week trophies and certificates are given out in our Praise Assembly to children in each class who have consistently shown good behaviour and effort in their work. At this assembly all achievements, both in and out of school, are shared and acknowledged along with the ‘Best Class Attendance’ for the preceding week.
We also award Lucky Lunch Box Awards at lunchtime so that the children can work together as a class to earn an extra playtime.
When a child appears to be having problems in school, for whatever reason, the learning mentor or class teacher usually contacts the child’s parents to discuss the situation. Similarly, if a parent/carer has concerns regarding their child then the school encourages the parent to come into school to discuss these with staff. The school has a designated teacher (Mrs. F Quinlivan) and governor (Rev. Sinclair) responsible for Child Protection.
The school buys in the services of a Counsellor through Wigan Family Welfare. This service is available for children experiencing difficulties and who require a skilled professional counsellor. The school works closely with the parents of children who are experiencing any difficulties.
The school also access support through the Start Well Centre, Safeguarding Hub and other health services.
The role of the learning mentor is crucial to support children and parents in the school to help to overcome children’s barriers to learning. Mrs Taylor is available in the playground before school for parents as a first point of contact to discuss welfare concerns. She will also be monitoring children’s attendance and punctuality and will be contacting parents to discuss concerns. Mrs Taylor plays a key role in the pastoral care and support of children, particularly those children experiencing difficulties that need extra help. Mrs Taylor also runs a group at lunch times for children needing additional support and a group following “Nurture Principles” two afternoons a week. We are also launching a Curriculum Enrichment Group for selected pupils which Mrs Taylor will run.
When families are in need of help we will do our very best to support them. We are a family with strong Christian values.
We encourage parents to inform us of any circumstances that may affect the children in our care. We also offer ‘Early Help’ to plan and access support for families and children.
The school also holds ‘Food Vouchers’ for the food bank to support families who are experiencing financial difficulties.
School Visits / Outdoor and Adventurous Activities
As a school, we value the unique learning opportunities that can be provided outside the classroom. Throughout the school, visits play an important part in enriching the curriculum. We also have regular visits from musicians and theatre groups.
During the school year children will have at least three school trips off the premises and at least three visits / experiences in school. Trips are given to parents at the beginning of the year so that parents can budget for them. Unfortunately without parental contributions trips cannot take place.
Children derive great benefit from participating in Outdoor and Adventurous Activities. These types of activities build children’s confidence, self-esteem and their ability to collaborate and work as a team. In addition to the school’s outdoor P.E. curriculum, children in Year 6 have an opportunity to participate in a residential visit to the Outdoor Education centre at Robinwood (Lancashire).
During their time in the school all pupils will be involved in activities or visits to places of interest, in conjunction with their class topics, as we feel children benefit greatly from such enrichment activities. The school endeavours to keep the cost of such trips and events to a minimum but we do welcome a voluntary contribution from parents/carers to help towards the expense of the entrance fees and transport.
No child is prevented from an activity or school visit because of non-payment but if insufficient donations are received then this could result in certain events being cancelled.
School work closely with parents to set up payment plans for parents who are experiencing financial difficulties or who have more than one child in school.
St. Michael’s has the Healthy School Status. We encourage the eating of healthy snacks at break time. Children can pay a cost of £2.25 a week, which enables them to have a slice of toast and a carton of milk each day. This has to be ordered termly in advance. The children can have just milk, or just toast or both. (Toast is 25p a day, milk is 20p a day). The school is also part of the National Fruit Scheme; we therefore provide a piece of fresh fruit or vegetable each afternoon break to all our Infant pupils. The fruit is provided free of cost to the school and its pupils. Alternatively, children are welcome to bring their own snacks to school but we ask parents to please support our healthy eating policy in encouraging children to bring something that is appropriate e.g. fresh fruit or a cereal bar, not sweets, chocolate or crisps please.
We must ask that grapes are cut in half at home if given as a snack to eat in school. This is to prevent choking.
Consideration needs to be given regarding the amount of sugar in any snacks provided.
We do not allow any type of nuts in school, this includes peanut butter as we have children with life threatening allergies.
All children tend to stay on the school premises over the lunchtime period. Most children have a lunch provided by our catering service, Metrofresh. Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are entitled to a free lunch under the Infant Universal Free School Meal scheme. Children are allowed to bring a pack lunch if they prefer.
The meals are cooked at St. Michael’s ensuring pupils have the opportunity to enjoy a healthy, nutritious midday meal.
Again if your child brings a packed lunch to school we ask you to ensure this includes ‘healthy’ choices – please do not include sweets or chocolate.
You can view and pre-order your child’s lunch via our online system Live Kitchen. You can also pay for your child’s lunch by direct debit with Live Kitchen. Otherwise payment for school lunches must be made on a Monday and the cash or cheque (payable to St Michael’s) should be put in an envelope clearly marked with the child’s name, dinner money, amount and class. This must then be handed in by the child to the class teacher.
Although we do not encourage children to bring in sweets when it is their birthday, we accept that many children wish to celebrate their birthday with their friends. Under no circumstances do we allow lollies in school. We will not give them out as they are a very dangerous choking hazard.
Parent – School Liaison
As our school aims state, we firmly believe and actively encourage supportive home-school links for the benefit of your child. The school has a Home-School Agreement and we ask all new parents and children to read and sign accordingly.
An Open Afternoon for parents is held before the end of the summer term. Staff may ask to see parents at any time during the year if there is a concern that needs to be discussed and, likewise, we encourage parents to come to see staff if there are any worries. We welcome early liaison so that worries/concerns can be dealt with, before they become real problems.
However, when parents need to speak to staff, we do ask that you make an appointment so that teaching time is not interrupted. Please try to avoid the start of the day as the staff do need to begin the day promptly with all the pupils.
At the beginning of each year the children are given a School Planner. This contains all the essential information for the year and is used to record children’s reading and homework. The planner also supports home- school communication and is checked by members of staff each day. For non-urgent messages parents can use this as a way of passing on information to staff.
Parents Teacher Association
The school has always worked hard to raise much needed funds for essential resources for the pupils and also to provide opportunities for the school and wider community to work and socialise together. The Parents Teacher Association which is made up of parents/carers, staff, relatives, Church and community members, work hard to plan, organise and provide such events and activities for the enjoyment and benefit of all. Throughout the past year raffles, discos, Summer Fair, Family Bingo Nights, Cake Stalls, sponsored Charity & community events have been held. All parents/carers are encouraged to actively support as the association and in so doing support the children.
Transition into Reception
Prior to admission, parents of children starting in Reception are invited to attend a meeting in school with their child’s class teacher. This will outline in detail everything you need to know before your child starts school in September. The children will also have the opportunity to spend time in school getting to know their new teacher and familiarising themselves with the classroom and school environment.
We operate a part-time system at the start of the Reception year to ensure that each child settles in well and that the teaching staff get to know the children well in a smaller group. This is due to the wide range of settings that the children come from, with some children starting school straight from home.
The first few weeks are used to assess your child’s strengths alongside information from parents and other settings.
During the first two days of term the Reception teacher and teaching assistant visit children in their home environment. This supports children’s relationship with school staff and gives parents an opportunity to share further information about their child.
Moving on to High School
Pupils who leave St Michael's go to various schools which include the following:
Westleigh High School
Fred Longworth High School
St. Mary’s Catholic High School
Deanery High School
Bedford High School
Atherton Community School
Westhoughton High School
Bolton Grammar School
Consideration of Complaints
The school has an open-door policy and we encourage parents to come and discuss any concerns with teaching staff.
Any complaint should initially be addressed to the Headteacher. In the event of any problem remaining unresolved the complaint should be put in writing and sent to the Chair of Governors. The matter will then be dealt with in accordance to the procedures laid down in the Education Act and you have the right, within this process, to contact the Local Authority in Wigan. On request a copy of the complaints policy can be obtained from the school office.
Access to Public Documents
Inspection copies of any documents, which are required to be made available by or under the Education Regulations 1989 (School Curriculum and Related Information), can be arranged by contacting the School Office.
The school is now mindful of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and has adopted a publication scheme which identifies documents that are made available.
Please note that the school follows and regulates to the GDPR regulations which came into effect in May 2018.
At St Michael’s Church of England Primary School Primary School we are committed to promoting understanding of the practices of equality and justice. We aim to equip the children with an awareness of our diverse society and to appreciate the value of difference. We are committed to achieving the highest of standards and we do these by taking account of the varied experiences and needs of all, children and staff.
Every member of St. Michael’s is regarded as of equal worth and importance. This policy aims to ensure that this school promotes the individuality of all children, irrespective of ethnicity, religion or belief, age, disability, gender or background.
The school has the following Equality Objectives
Ensure the pupils who have disabilities but who do not have SEN achieve expected attainment.
Managers and governors access training re- implications of the Equality Act 2010 with regard to recruitment and selection.
Audit learning resources to ascertain the availability and use of those that include positive images of diversity and disability.
Please complete our online survey about settling into school, just follow the link. Thank you.
E Safety Advice
Below you will find websites with advice and support to help children and young people stay safe on-line. If you require any further information or have any concerns please do not hesitate to contact school to speak with a member of staff.