“Children are encouraged through friendly and welcoming staff to enjoy going to school. Independence and confidence are built upon such events as Sharing Assemblies and projects. Golden Rules add to the positive environment which leads to children feeling happy and secure in school.” Parent, Years 1 and 3
Growth Mind-set: Positively Encouraging Pupils
The school has developed the ideals of a ‘growth mind-set’ with the children and staff. This concept is visited regularly and we believe this an important skill in the child’s development and learning. Encouraging pupils to contribute positively to the community starts with promoting respect and responsibility and allowing them to feel valued and have pride in their school. Our children are given time to resolve problems, discuss ideas, develop teamwork skills and help around the school through various roles – monitors, helpers, councillors.
Many opportunities exist to contribute to the school community and beyond. Some of the activities the children undertake are:
- Become an elected member of our active School Council consisting of two children from every class in the school, one as a speaker and the other as a clerk.
- Become Peer Mediators or Play Leaders; help the younger children with their lunches; listen to younger pupils read; meet and greet visitors to show them around the school and help with assemblies each day.
The School Council
Members of the School Council are elected by their classmates. They meet regularly with the Deputy Headteacher to discuss ways to improve the school and feed back views and opinions from their respective classes. They are an important part in the school through their decision-making and their supporting and organising of events and activities. Fund raising activities and choices of charities, or campaigns are planned and organised by the school council.
Peer mediation is a way of involving the children in managing conflict and resolving their problems using co-operative methods that promote inclusiveness, respect and self-esteem. The Peer Mediators are trained and taught co-operation and mediation skills.
The Play Leaders are an enthusiastic group of Years 5 and 6 children who have been trained to provide enjoyable and enriching activities and games at lunchtimes.
The school also organises and takes part in events where the children are encouraged to contribute. Many represent the school in local sports events, competitions and tournaments: football; hockey; athletics; tag rugby and netball. The children who are in the Choir have the opportunity to perform in various events including the Wokingham Schools Carol Concert, the annual WASMA ‘Music for All’ at the Hexagon in Reading, and performing at the Young Voices Choir concert at the O2 in London. Children and their families also contribute to the local community at our Harvest Festivals, termly fundraising activities for various charities and sponsored events.
Encouraging Good Behaviour
We are very proud of the support and guidance that we provide for children in encouraging appropriate behaviour. We aim to encourage children to show respect for themselves and others by promoting the kinds of behaviour that will help them to become responsible, caring, courteous and tolerant people. Each class sets their classroom rules and learning contracts which are created through pupil/teacher discussions. The Golden Rules are a set of life skills rules which have been agreed by staff and the pupils, through the School Council.
- Always challenge yourself
- Respect & tolerate other people
- Respect property and the environment
- Be honest
- Be polite and kind to everyone
- Enjoy working & learning together
Both sets of rules are displayed within classrooms and around the school. Each week a child from every class will get a mention in our ‘Special Book’ school assembly highlighting their good behaviour or special contribution. The ‘Special Book’ certificate children of the week are mentioned in the weekly ‘Rivermead Round-Up’ newsletter. Each class and team has other strategies and incentives to promote and reward good behaviour. For those who find it more difficult to make good choices, we take a positive approach in helping them to improve.
In order for children to make good progress it is essential they attend school regularly and arrive on time. As parents you have a legal duty to educate your child, so it is important for the children to understand that school is an important commitment.
Requesting Holidays During School Terms
Rivermead takes a firm stance regarding holiday requests and strongly discourages parents/carers taking children on holidays during term time. Wokingham Borough Council applies strict recommendations about holidays during term time. Holiday absences are only authorised in exceptional circumstances and where a child has a good history of attendance. Please be aware that if holidays are taken without approval, information will be passed to Wokingham Borough Council and a Penalty Notice may be issued without further warning. A form requesting leave may be obtained from the School Office.
If your child needs prescibed medicine in school we are willing to do our best to meet this need. Any medicine should be brought to the School Office by you, not your child and a form completed giving permission for the medicine to be administered by a member of our Admin team.
We are prepared to administer antibiotics. However it is vital you discuss the timings and amounts with the Admin Team. It is essential that these arrangements are made before any medicine is administered.
Headlice prefer clean hair so anyone can catch them – at school or home. Please check your child’s hair regularly and if you find them inform the school so we can alert parents.
If your child needs to carry an inhaler with them for emergency use, please ensure you make an appointment with the class teacher where they and an emergency first aid trained person will go through procedures. A spare inhaler, which needs to be named, should also be kept in the School Office. Please let the School Office know if your child has asthma even if she/he does not have an inhaler in school.
The children during their time at Rivermead learn that eating heathy food and exercising regularly will enhance their ability to access their learning more effectively.
Lunchtime Arrangements /School Dinners
Rivermead School provides healthy meals for the children through our meal contractors, Caterlink. All meals are prepared freshly each day using fresh or frozen produce. Every day the children have a choice of a healthy meat or fish option, a vegetarian meal, a jacket potato or a salad together with a dessert. Water is also available daily as well as bread and fresh fruit salad. We send menus for the term well in advance and we also inform you of any special themed days and costs of meals. There are circumstances where your child is eligible for free dinners and the Office staff will be pleased to explain this arrangement to you. All children in EYFS through to Year 2 are entitled to a free school meal, an initiative implemented by the government.
Instead of paying for a school meal children can bring in a packed lunch. We do encourage you to provide a packed lunch that is balanced nutritionally and please refrain from including sweets, fizzy drinks and any item with traces of nuts.
Fruit and Vegetables
Foundation and Key Stage One children are offered a free piece of fruit or vegetable at morning break. Parents need to complete a form giving permission for their child to take advantage of this excellent National Health Service Scheme.
Parents can elect to pay for their child to have milk at school during the morning break. Full information on the scheme can be obtained from the school office or from the Cool Milk website: www.coolmilk.com
Children are encouraged to bring to school each day a bottle of water in a capped bottle. During lessons children can drink water whenever they need. We believe that the health benefits of hydration enable the children to concentrate better during lessons.
Help with Problems
Most issues are managed by the class teachers, our special needs staff and the Inclusion Manager. However we do work with a number of multi-professionals including: Educational Psychologists, Behaviour Specialists and the School Nurse. We always ask your permission before referring your child.
Health and Safety
Health and Safety is a high priority in our school. All staff monitor the children daily as part of their duties of care. Regular checks of the building, grounds and facilities are made by the members of the Health and Safety team which is part of the Governors’ Finance & Resources committee. Risk assessments are carried out before school trips and for activities in subjects e.g. science, PE, art and design & technology.
Security and Child Protection
Rivermead Primary School has a Child Protection Policy to meet regulations by the Department for Education. This is reviewed regularly by staff and governors.
- Children have a right to be safe
- Parents have a right to be informed
- Children are best protected when parents and school can work together
- Attitude of ‘it could happen here’
Rivermead will inform parents of any concerns about their children, providing it does not compromise their safety, and will help and support where necessary.
The school will actively seek to prevent children suffering from abuse and neglect, through the development of an open culture which informs children of their rights and encourages them to speak about any concerns. The curriculum also allows the school to address any issues relating to the children’s safety.
Responding to Concerns
Rivermead will refer all allegations or concerns that a child has been, or is likely to be abused or neglected, to the Social Services Department.
Rivermead Primary will:
- Consult when it has concerns that a child may have been abused or neglected
- Discuss with parents any concerns they have about children
- Keep parents informed of what has happened
Security: Access to the School
Access to the school should be through the main entrance.
- The Admin Team will address any questions, issues etc.
- Children need to be signed in and out if arriving or leaving other than at normal times
- Parent Helpers are issued with identification badges which they wear whilst in the school building
- All visitors to the school, including parents, must sign in and out, wear an appropriate badge and sign to agree to our Health & Safety guidance.
Checks are carried out on those working and volunteering in the school. We follow national and local child protection procedures and, if we have any serious concerns, we are legally required to inform the appropriate agencies.
“The children are encouraged to try their best and achieve good results. The good results are then shared
and rewarded in Sharing Assemblies. This helps children’s self-esteem.” – Parent