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Background/Foreground

Frequently Asked Questions

STARTING SCHOOL

What do I do if I want a place at St Vincents Catholic Primary School for my child?

In the October of the year before your child is due to start, we will hold an open morning. You will be shown round the school by the head or deputy head during the school day and have a chance to ask questions about the school, as well as seeing us in action on a normal day.

After that you will need to apply to both Trafford (using the Trafford Online Form) AND to the school (supplementary application form) and provide the school with a copy of your child’s Baptismal Certificate if applicable. These forms must be submitted before the application deadline which can be found on Trafford Council’s website

 

ROUTINES

What time does school start?

09:00am Infants

08:55am Juniors

What time does school end?

3:30pm Infants

3:25pm Juniors

Where do I drop my child off/collect them from?

Each classroom has a door where the class teacher will be waiting. You should bring your child there in the morning and collect from there at the end of the school day. Outside normal hours, including for late arrivals you should come to the office.

What if my child is late getting into school?

If the classroom door has been locked you will need to come to the office and sign your child in.

What if I’m late picking up?

Phone the school office as soon as you can. Your child will usually wait at the office, or with their class teacher. You would need to collect them from the office when you do arrive at school.

What if my child is going home with someone else?

For arrangements known in advance, inform your child’s class teacher when you drop them off. For last minute arrangements, please phone or email the school office who will make sure your child and their class teacher are made aware.

Can I park at the school?

Many of our parents park and stride to school by taking advantage of free parking in the large Tesco carpark. Parents can park for free then walk to school and enter school via the Balmoral gate.

We know that there are many benefits to walking to school. It helps children learn road safety skills so that when children begin to walk on their own. Walking together also gives children a chance to talk and notice the world around them. Children then arrive at school feeling refreshed and ready to learn.

As our main school entrances are down two cul-de-sacs, we ask that cars do not drive down Orchard or Osborne Road unless absolutely necessary so that our children are not put in any danger. There is no parent parking on these roads. Please also note that keen traffic wardens patrol Orchard and Osborne Rd.

School Entrance Gates

As a reminder, parents can enter school through any school gate. We have gates on:

  • Orchard Rd
  • Osborne Rd
  • Balmoral Rd
  • Stockport Rd at the end of the ginnel next to the golf course.

Please note that we do not permit dogs on site apart from assistance dogs.

Can my child cycle to school?

Yes. We have cycle and scooter racks on the Infant and Junior school grounds.

All cyclists should be wearing a helmet. They should dismount on entering the school grounds. Children below Y5 should be accompanied.

Can my child walk to school alone?

Children younger than Y5 should be accompanied to school however they are travelling.

What should my child bring to school each day?

Their reading book, reading record and a water bottle.

Older children may bring a pencil case and may have homework to bring between home and school. Infant PE Kits can be left at school and will be sent home to wash at the end of each half term. Junior PE Kits can be left at school during the week and sent home to wash each Friday.

 

LUNCHTIME/SCHOOL DINNERS/FOOD

What time do children have their lunch?

Lunchtime is between 11.45am and 1pm

How much does a school dinner cost?

School dinners are free for children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2.

The cost of a school meal for Years 3 to 6 is £2.50 per day, meaning a week's worth of meals will be £12.50. Please ensure your account is topped up every Monday prior to your child taking the weekly meals. 

Do you allow nuts at school?

No. We are a nut free school, as we have children with severe nut allergies in school and contact with someone who has handled a nut product could be potentially life threatening.

How long do the children get to eat lunch?

Once in the hall, children are encouraged to eat at a good pace, but are not rushed to finish. Usually children new to school take a little longer, which is why Reception children go in first and have some time on their own in the hall before the rest of the school come for lunch.

What do they get in their cooked meal?

We have a 3-week menu cycle. The menu is published on the school website: https://www.stvincents.trafford.sch.uk/page/school-meals/6186

What happens if my child does not like their lunch?

They will always be encouraged to try their food, but never forced to eat it. We will try to communicate this to you if it becomes a regular occurrence.

Children may bring a packed lunch into school if preferred. If so, please ensure that it fulfils the school's expectations of a healthy meal and that your child’s name is clearly written on their lunch box. Children may change between packed lunches and hot meals. However, written notice of one week is required, from the nearest Monday, for any changes that are to be made. Please email these requests to admin@stvincents.trafford.sch.uk

What do I do if my child has a food allergy or intolerance?

Let us know as soon as possible. Speak to the school office and give as much detail as possible.

Why is my child being offered milk and fruit or vegetables?

There is a government scheme for children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 – a piece of free fruit or vegetable is offered each day. This is usually something like: apples, bananas, pears, tomatoes, carrots, raisins.

Reception children also receive free milk until they turn 5. This is usually given at afternoon break.

Can my child have a drink in the classroom?

Yes. Your child can bring a water bottle to school. Water bottles can also be bought through ParentPay. Your child can fill the bottle during the day as needed and should take it home each day to be washed. Only regular water is allowed in these bottles.

 

BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL CARE

Is there before and after school provision?

The Sunshine Club provides breakfast and after school sessions for pupils at St Vincent's Catholic Primary School from Reception to Year 6 and is accessible to children and families from St Vincent's Catholic Primary School. Sessions are allocated on a first-come first-served basis and we run a waiting list for sessions that are currently unavailable.

Breakfast club opens at 7.40am and the children are taken over to school at 8.45am. Children who attend after-school club are collected from the school at 3.25pm; the club closes at 6.00pm.

We require a completed set of registration forms for each child before their application can be considered by the Manager and Finance Administrator, including signed terms and conditions, all of which can be found here.  All completed forms should be emailed to sunshine@stvincentsnursery.com 

 

UNIFORM

Where can I buy uniform?

Our uniform is sold online, through our supplier PSU of Poynton https://stvincents.secure-decoration.com/. Once you have placed your order, they can either arrange for it to be posted out to your home (P&Ps apply) or delivered free of charge to school on the next allocated day.

What do I do if my child has lost a piece of clothing?

The first place to check is your child’s classroom as that is often where lost items are found. We also have a lost property box which the office staff can check for you.

Named items will be returned to children, so please ensure that everything is labelled.

Is PE kit compulsory?

Yes. Our PE uniform consists of a red polo shirt with school logo, navy shorts and trainers.

 

COMMUNICATION

Can I receive the newsletter by email?

We issue a weekly newsletter by email and also place it on the school website.

What is the best time to talk to the teacher if I have a question?

You can usually catch the teacher at the classroom door at the start or end of the day. If this isn’t possible, or for longer queries contact the school office and the teacher will get back to you with a convenient time to meet.

How can parents get involved with school?

Parents are welcome to join the Parent and Teacher Association.

How do I contact the Headteacher?

You can either telephone or call in to the school office to see if Mrs Harrop is available, or email school FAO Mrs Harrop on: admin@stvincents.trafford.sch.uk

 

GENERAL

Can my child bring toys into school?

No, unless their class teacher asks them to as part of their topic work or on special occasions.

How do I find out if school is closed during severe weather conditions?

In this rare instance, we would send out an email to parents.

It’s my child’s birthday, can I send sweets into school?

No. We stopped this a few years ago for a number of reasons. It is an added pressure and expense that parents do not need, some children can’t have the sweets because of dietary or religious reasons and it can be upsetting to those children who can’t take part.

Where will my child go when they finish St Vincent’s Catholic Primary school in Year 6?

Our children go to various secondary schools – the most common being St Ambrose College (boys grammar school), Loreto Grammar school (girls grammar school) and Blessed Thomas Holford School (non-selective high school)

What after school clubs can my child go to?

We send out a list of clubs running each half term.  Some clubs are free, and others have a cost to them, depending on the activity and if it is being run by school staff or outside organisations.

What are parent consultation evenings?

These are evenings in the autumn and spring terms when you can meet your child’s teacher for a 10 minute appointment to discuss your child’s progress and look at books.

What does SEND / SENDCo stand for?

SEND stands for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

The SENDCo is the SEND Co-ordinator. These are Mrs Farrell in the infant department and Mrs Sutton in the junior department.

What are INSET days?

INSET days are also called teacher training days. These are five days in the school year when the school is closed to children. It is not 5 additional days of holiday, as the children are required to attend for 190 days in a school year; training days are in addition to this and not taken off this total. They are an important part of staff training and development, ensuring that staff stay up to date with latest developments.

What is the Foundation Stage?

The Foundation Stage is Reception (age 4-5)

What are Key Stage 2 and 2 (KS1 and KS2)?

Key Stage 1 is Years 1 and 2 (age 5-7). Key Stage 2 is Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 (age 7-11).

What is the national curriculum?

The national curriculum outlines what all children should be taught in each Key Stage. To find out more go to https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-curriculum

What are SATs?

SATs is the common term used for national curriculum tests. These are statutory tests taken by children at the end of Key Stage 1 (Year 2 )and KS2 (Year 6). The results give a ‘snapshot’ of children’s attainment; in other words how they achieved in particular tasks or tests taken on as specific day / week. They are part of the system of assessment that we use in school.

What is teacher assessment?

This is the teachers’ judgement about the progress and attainment of a child. This judgement will be made based on evidence gathered over a period of time and from a range of pieces of work, together with test results. It is a more reliable judgement of a child’s attainment than a test result alone.

What is PPA time?

Planning, Preparation and Assessment time; all teachers are entitled to PPA time. At St Vincent’s we employ specialist teachers for PE, French and Music to cover this time.

 

MEDICAL

What happens if my child has vomited or has diarrhoea?

In line with NHS guidelines, please keep your child off school for 48 hours. 

What happens if my child has a toileting accident?

We will deal with the situation sensitively and provide spare underwear and clothing. If the accident is more difficult to clean up, we may contact you during the day.

What do I do if my child needs to be given medicine during the day?

Speak to the School Office staff. We can administer medicines, but only those prescribed by a doctor. They must be in the original, labelled bottle/packet and clear instructions left for administering – a form is available at the school office for this. Medicines MUST be handed in to the school office – NOT THE CLASS TEACHER – by an adult and collected again at the end of each day.

What do I do if my child has headlice?

If you notice headlice on your child, don’t worry. There are plenty of treatments available – just ask at your local pharmacy. It is important to treat all members of the household to make sure the lice are eradicated. If you let us know, we can pass a message on to other members of the class to check their child’s hair too. Your child does not have to stay off school if they have headlice.

What do I do if I have to collect my child during the school day for an appointment?

Come to the main school office. We always encourage you to make routine appointments, such as dental check-ups in school holidays or out of hours. We recognise that this is more difficult for non-routine appointments. We ask that you provide an appointment letter.

What happens if my child injures themselves at school?

Most of the time, we can deal with this in school and will let you know when you collect your child at the end of the day. For head bumps, we will contact you by telephone. If your child needs medical attention then we will contact you by telephone and ask you to come to school to check on them or to take them to see a doctor. In the case of emergency we would of course dial 999 first.

 

ATTENDANCE

Can I keep my child off for a non-medical reason? What constitutes authorised or unauthorised absence?

Requests for absence should be made on the Leave of absence form which can be downloaded or collected from the school office. Absence from school can only be granted in exceptional circumstances and is decided by the Headteacher. 

We have a legal duty to record attendance and absences.  If your child’s attendance falls below 90%, we will contact you to see if we can support you to improve this.

At what time can I phone to tell the office my child is unwell?

We have a dedicated answer phone for this, so you can call at any time of day or night. Call the main school number (0161 911 8040) and listen to the options given to record an absence.

 

BEHAVIOUR – REWARDS AND SANCTIONS

Will I know if my child has done something against the rules?

It depends what it is. For minor incidents, the teacher will deal with it in the class in the normal run of the day.

For more serious incidents, or repeat incidents you will be informed, usually by the class teacher. There are two deputy headteachers in school – Mrs Farrell and Mrs Sutton who also deal with behavioural incidents alongside Mrs Harrop.

Our pastoral workers – Mrs Gee and Mrs E Sutton will support children in school as needed.

 

ASSEMBLIES

Do you have assemblies?

We have different types of assembly during the week. Some are whole school, others are separate for different Key Stages.  Sometimes we have special events where we invite parents and carers into school to see the children’s work or to work alongside your child.  The school newsletter and website will have details of these events.

 

CURRICULUM

Will my child go on school trips?

Yes. Each class go on at least one trip a year, depending on their topics. We will give you as much notice as we can of these – we usually ask for a donation towards the cost, as transport is often very expensive. We also invite specialists into school from time to time to keep costs down.

Do you have dressing up days?

We sometimes ask children (and adults) to dress up for special occasions but try to keep this as simple as possible. Most of our non-uniform days are not themed, meaning your child can just come in their own clothes. Examples of past days we have had are:

  • Wear red day (for 'Show Racism the Red Card’ day)
  • Fun hair day (for Unicef)
  • Dressing up as Vikings (for a topic)

When will my child be taught swimming?

Swimming is a compulsory part of the national curriculum at KS2 and all children take part in lessons during Year 4.

What is Sports Day?

This is a day when we have a series of sporting events running, to which parents are invited.

Can my child learn a musical instrument at school?

Yes. We have various peripatetic teachers that come into school. They offer one to one or group tuition. Please ask the office or visit https://traffordmusicservice.co.uk/schools/

 

ASSESSMENT

When do we get a school report for our children?

School reports are issued to all the children at the end of the school year, in July. Our reports are a combination of

  • Learning mentoring records (these are individual meetings between the child and the class teacher held termly to discuss progress and targets for improvement both in respect of academic performance and behaviour)
  • General comments about your child’s learning and progress and contribution to the class
  • Assessment data
  • Attendance data for the year
  • Information about what the children have been doing that year.

Contact the School

St Vincent's Catholic Primary School

Orchard Road,
Altrincham,
Cheshire,
WA15 8EY

Main Contact: Headteacher Mrs Harrop

SEND Contact: Mrs Farrell and Mrs Sutton

Tel: 0161 911 8040

admin@stvincents.trafford.sch.uk

Testimonials

We couldn't be happier with St Vincent's, our children are really happy there. - Parent Survey
It is a wonderful environment, our children are flourishing - Parent Survey
The school ethos gives the children excellent opportunities to develop their spirituality and knowledge of their faith. - Parent Survey
It is a really friendly school, I have been made to feel very welcome. - Parent Survey
We love St Vincent's, keep doing what you are doing! - Parent Survey
Pupil’s behaviour is exemplary, and they respect and care for all in the school community - Denominational Inspection
Ofsted Outstanding Provider Logo
School Games Platinum Award 2021/22-2022/23
CPD champion School
Primary Science Quality Mark 2021-2024
Dyslexia Aware 2022-2025
Diocese of Shrewsbury Logo
Music Mark School Member
All Together gold School 2021
Wellbeing Award for Schools
Living Wage Foundation Logo
360 Safe Accredited Safer Online Logo
Primary Geography Quality Mark Gold 2021-24
UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools- Silver Right Aware
Leading Parent Partnership Award 2021-2024
EDPA 2022-2025 Award
Trafford Council Inclusion Charter
Improving Children's Mental Health: Place 2 Be