Frequently Asked Questions...
What time does school start and finish?
School starts at 8.50 am and finishes at 3.20 pm. (The total time this amounts to in a typical week is 32.5 hours). Supervision commences at 8.35 am so children must not arrive at school before 8.35 am. The normal routine is for children to walk onto the school playground and wait for the whistle to be blown. Morning break is between 10.30 am and 10.45 am. Lunch is between 12.15 pm and 1.15 pm. During these times the children are supervised by the staff members on duty. Our Attendance policy can be found here.
What happens at the end of the day?
When the children are confidently established at Orchard Junior School they will independently leave the school building to meet parents or carers in an agreed area. Years 3 & 4 exit on to the school playground and Years 5 & 6 exit to the front of the building. Children are regularly reminded to return to the school reception if they are not met at the expected time or if they know their parents are going to be late on a particular occasion.
How do I know that my child is safe in school?
All visitors are signposted to the front entrance and reception desk. The school is “locked down” during school hours and entry is via the front door. Children are fully supervised during playtimes. Appropriate staff are on duty before school and during morning and lunch play. A team of experienced Supervisory Assistants are responsible for the children both inside and outside on the playground at lunchtimes.
What happens if my child is ill?
We ask that parents notify the school on the first morning of the child’s absence before 9.30am. A message can be left on the school answer phone if office staff are not available or please complete the online form by clicking here.
How are the classes organised?
Within each year group there are three classes. Each class has a class teacher who is supported by our team of Learning Support Assistants (LSAs). The make-up of Year 3 classes is decided in consultation with the infant feeder schools. Whether classes remain split or mixed at the end of each school year is a decision for the Headteacher.
Does my child need to bring a coat to School?
We understand that some children run around greatly and can get too hot in a thick coat, but they do need some form of protection from the weather (including coming to and leaving school); even a simple pac-a-mac tucked away in a rucksack will suffice. In certain circumstances we may stop individual children from going outside if they do not have a coat and jumper for their own comfort.
Can I get hard copies of documents from this website?
All School Documents and Policies can be obtained in hardcopy from the school office if required. If it isn't available instantly, we will ensure you get what you need within five school days.
Can my child give out birthday treats to their class?
Parents often ask whether their child can bring birthday cakes and treats to school to share; this comes up every year. Without wishing to be killjoys, due to the children in the school with severe allergies it isn't something we can openly do. However, families are more than welcome to provide fun-size individually wrapped packets of plain sweets (e.g. ‘Haribo’) to share at the end of the day if they wish as this is much easier for us to control.
Will there be a chance to meet my child’s teacher?
Parents will be invited to a formal personal discussion shortly after the October and February half-term breaks. However, if you have any concerns you are always welcome to speak to the class teacher at a mutually convenient time. Please avoid asking to speak to the teacher before the school day starts as teachers prepare for the day; you can always email the class teacher on the usual class email or alternatively leave a message with our office team to arrange a chat and it will be dealt with as soon as is reasonably possible.
Are there any INSET days planned?
Each school year, the School takes 5 INSET days. These are done in consultation with both Orchard Infant School and Noadswood Academy, but this does not necessarily mean all five will fall on the same day. Please check our School Calendar page, by clicking here, for the latest information.
Can my child bring a snack for morning break?
Food brought into school must never contain nuts or nut related products as, you will be aware, even the trace of nuts left on a table might set off a child’s allergic reaction. We also ask that should you provide a snack for playtime, this must be unprocessed fruit or vegetables, as if "picked from the plant" – otherwise, it just gets unnecessarily complicated as to what is acceptable!
Is water available at school or should my child have a water bottle?
Children can bring water to school, in a named bottle, which they can access throughout the school day, at appropriate moments. Water fountains are situated inside the building and on the playground to which children will also be able to use at appropriate times. We ask the children do not bring in squash to be drunk throughout the day as persistent sugar on teeth is not recommended. They may, of course, have a drink of squash at lunchtime if they bring in a packed lunch.
What meal options are available at lunchtime?
Children may choose either a meat or a vegetarian option from the lunch menu. Meals need to be ordered at the latest the night before through your Scopay app. Meals currently cost £3.00 each and should be paid for in advance, providing there is credit on your account you can order as many meals in advance as you want. Current lunch menus are available by clicking on "Key Information" > "School Menu" above. Children may also bring their own packed lunch. Within their packed lunch we ask that sweets such as Haribo, hard sweets or bars of chocolate must not be brought into school. Chocolate covered wafers and biscuits are fine.
Again we would encourage a well balanced, healthy lunch. Water jugs are placed on the tables at lunchtime.
Please also remember that we are a nut free school therefore please do not send children in with products/ sandwiches containing these