Universal Infant Free School Meals
From September 2014, all infant pupils in England schools will be entitled to a free hot meal at lunchtime every day.
Who will benefit from this?
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.
This is different than Free School Meals, which some children are eligible for depending on their parents benefits or on their income. Details of free school meals can be found at:
Under the Universal Free School Meals guidelines an extra 1.55 million children will be entitled to a free hot meal every lunchtime.
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 Food Standards which are intended to ensure children get the nutrition they need across the school day. Our meals are provided by Metrofresh, for more information on the menu they provide and details of how to find out more about Metrofresh, please refer to our page on School Meals.
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. Details of the school uniform are given to parents before they start in reception class and is also detail in our School Prospectus. Our uniform can be purchased from several suppliers around Atherton and Leigh, please ask at the school office for the name of the suppliers. 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 bottles 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. We do have a PE kit which is available from the same suppliers, the kit has the school's emblem on it, as well as the child's initials. School is also introducing a tracksuit, which can also be purchased. This is optional for parents.
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.
At St Michael’s we do not discriminate regarding gender identity and respect the right for children to choose either boy or girl uniform.
Special Education needs
We work flexibly with parents to ensure that the uniform that SEND children wear is suitable for their individual needs - e.g. reducing sensory overload. If an item is not suitable adjustments can be made easily.
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. All items should have the child's name clearly marked in them, this includes shoes.
The school has a ‘Policy for Administering Medicines’ which is available to all parents/carers. Ideally children needing medicine should ask for 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 form is completed with clear instructions. 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 or epi-pens 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.
Please see our Attendance Policy on the Policy Page and information regarding the Education Penalty Notice Warning for Non School Attendance.
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. 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 has a Parent Champion group with representatives across the school. The group meet each half term and are consulted on school policies. There is also an opportunity for the parents in the group to discuss the views of parents directly with the Headteacher or member of staff.
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 the next 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 and are on our website.
As we firmly believe in praise and reward for children in our school, each week trophies and certificates are given out in our Praise Worship to children in each class who have consistently shown good behaviour and effort in their work. At this Worship, achievements, both in and out of school, are shared and acknowledged along with the ‘Best Class Attendance’ for the preceding week.
We also have a lunch time reward system, that the welfare staff use 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 (Mrs N Haynes) responsible for Child Protection.
The school buys in the services of a Play Counsellor through a company called Canw. 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 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 Friendship Groups, two afternoons a week.
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 or have visitors into the school to enrich the curriculum. Unfortunately without parental contributions trips cannot take place. We feel children benefit greatly from such enrichment activities. The school endeavours to keep the cost of such trips and events to a minimum.
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 Low Bank Ground and Year 4 children visit the Outdoor Education Centre at Robinwood (Lancashire).
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 for toast and milk to receive this at break time. These must be ordered and paid for in advance and are ordered for a full term. 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.
We do not allow any type of nuts in school, this includes peanut butter as we have children with life threatening allergies.
All children 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 or nuts of any type.
You can view and pre-order your child’s lunch via our online system School Grid. You can also pay for your child’s lunch by direct debit or wish a credit / debit card, via School Grid. 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 sweets into school, 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.
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 a member of staff each day. For non-urgent messages parents can use this as a way of passing on information to staff.
Transition into Reception
Prior to admission, parents of children starting in Reception are invited to attend a meeting in school. This will outline in detail everything you need to know before their child starts school in September. The children will also have the opportunity to spend time in school in the Summer Term, before they start in September.
The reception teacher will advise you of your child's starting date. The first few weeks are used to assess your child’s strengths alongside information from parents and other settings.
At the beginning of the September 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, via the school office. 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. Our complaints policy is available on our Policy Page or a copy can be requested 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.