We are thrilled to be able to welcome your child into our MBLS family. As Covid-19 restrictions prevent us from inviting you in and sharing the next pack of information with you, we have compiled a number of resources to help you get to grips with the transition ahead.
Please take a look through the videos, documents and text below and make a note of anything else you wish to ask us. You can either save these questions for your one-to-one conversations with the class teacher (these will happen in July) or feel free in the meantime to forward these to email@example.com
Will school still be impacted by COVID-19 guidelines in September?
Although we are hoping that the continuing easing of lockdown will provide more flexibility in school, it is likely that some aspects of social distancing, class bubbles and cleaning routines will be required for the foreseeable future.
Our focus is completely on making sure that school is a safe and natural environment to encourage the best development and learning possible and we know now through experience that we can deliver on this despite guidelines in place.
Mr Hewitt (Headteacher) welcomes you to the school and shares some key aspects of the school's ethos and vision.
Mr Willsher (Reception Leader) guides you through key aspects of learning and routines in the Reception setting.
The school day starts at 8:55am and Classroom doors open from 8:45am for you to drop your child off. Typically we invite grown-ups into the Reception setting for the first few weeks to help settle children, and we will confirm as soon as possible whether this arrangement will be achievable in the Autumn.
The school day ends at 3:15pm, and you are invited to collect your child from their classroom door.
It is important that you get your child to school on time and arrival after 8:55am will be recorded as 'late'. Please note that if you arrive after 9:00am you will need to sign them in at the Front Desk. Persistent lateness is followed up as we know this has a negative impact on children.
If you are dropping your child off or collecting during the middle part of the day, for whatever reason, this needs to be via the Front Desk, ideally with prior arrangement.
It is very important that you inform us if your child will not be coming into school, for example if they are unwell. You can leave a voicemail on the main school phone 24-hours a day if you want to leave a message or you can also email the Front Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a planned reason for absence I would encourage you to let the Front Desk know. We have safeguarding protocols for unexplained absences, and it would save us a great deal of time if you share with us the reason your child is away from school.
Please be aware that the school's expectation is that attendance is between 97-100%, and attendance that falls below this level is monitored closely. If you want to know more about the school's attendance policy, you can kind this in the 'Key Information' section of the website.
At The Mary Bassett Lower School we value the opportunity to have a uniform that:
We think the document above makes it easy to see what you will need - but feel free to contact us if you need assistance.
Visit the 'Uniform' page in the 'Parents' menu to find a link to Mapac, our external supplier of branded uniform. PLease note that other than our book bag and PE t-shirt, branded uniform is optional.
We do keep a selection of branded items of different size in school for you to try on your child - at this time we are unable to provide you access to this, but will assist you in September all things being well. Therefore feel free to wait until the autumn to make a decision about items with the school logo on.
PLEASE ENSURE ALL ITEMS OF UNIFORM ARE LABELLED CLEARLY to avoid these becoming lost.
Our Learning Powers are used to encourage relevant opportunities everyday to help your child prepare for being brilliant grown-ups in the 21st Century. We believe by nurturing and encouraging growth in these key areas that your child will be a resilient, adaptable and capable learner for life. Learning Powers are a key, daily part of our praise and reward system. The staff provide instant verbal reinforcement when a child demonstrates these capabilities (rewarded with the relevant sticker). We also encourage children to nominate their peers and recognise these qualities in others. Parents and Carers can also nominate children for showing these capabilities out in the real world - we want more than anything for our pupils to know that brilliant learning happens EVERYWHERE, not just in school!
Have a read through the Learning Power definitions - which already sound like your child's strengths? What experiences do you think might help them develop in the skills that you see less regularly? This is what powerful learning is ultimately about.
We are very proud of the work the PTFA at MBLS do - making a huge difference to the quality experiences children have throughout their school journey. Please take a look at the slides above to get a feel for the work they have done so far and consider the possibility of whether you might want to contribute to this work in the future.
The Mary Bassett Lower School is a community where we learn to treat others with kindness and respect - this is known as 'following the Mary Bassett Way!'
The 'Mary Bassett Way' is the school’s well established ethos to ensure we all behave respectfully and take responsibility for our actions. By following the Mary Bassett Way, children are encouraged to develop habits of conduct that make sure everyone is happy and safe.
When the opportunity arises for children to learn from a poor choice, we take the time to talk this through with them using our Restorative Approaches strategy. The whole staff body has developed significant expertise to help children reflect on their choices and most importantly consider why they should not repeat the negative ones. Responding to poor behaviour with punishment and sanctions only often misses an opportunity to repair the wrong-doing, get to the root of the cause of the behaviour and ensure that the learning has happened to avoid the behaviour being repeated.
As a child starting in Reception in September 2020, your child is eligible for the government's Universal Infant Free School Meal (UIFSM) offer. This means they can have a good quality meal daily, free of charge for the first three years of school!
We have a catering provider on site (Chartwells) who offer a super range of options daily. We use a three-week rolling menu and each day you can choose from Main meal options (one meat, one vegetarian), a pasta option, a jacket potato option and a packed lunch option; always something for everyone! You can find the current menu below to get an idea of how options work.
ONLINE BOOKING: once your child has started school you will be given access to the 'ParentPay' website. Once logged in you can select the option you want for your child each day - this means you can plan in advance, knowing the items you and your child have selected will be provided. This is helpful especially if you are worried about them eating this new lunch offer. The system allows you to book on specific days, so if you wanted to combine school lunches with your own packed lunches on some days, this is easily achievable.
UPDATE - We plan to get your log in details to you by midday on Monday 6 September - this will enable you to book online from the first day your child in in school. If you have any issues contact the FRONT DESK (01525373017) and they will happily assist you.
EATING CONCERNS: It may surprise you to know that the most frequently shared concern I hear in preparation for a Reception child starting school is, 'What if my child doesn't eat?' I want to reassure you that the children very quickly settle into the food routine, encouraged by watching each other tuck in, in our relaxed, social dining environment. Our staff team will become familiar with your child's eating habits very quickly, and we will always take note of things you share with us. We will encourage your child to try new foods or things that look different in school to how they look at home, but we will never punish or belittle children where food is involved. We know from experience that gentle encouragement and an ethos of 'being brave and trying new things' works!
On this basis I recommend you make use of the school kitchen's lunch offer and take the leap if you are unsure. For the first few days you will be picking up after lunch and this gives you the reassurance of knowing you can do extra feeding if you need to. Alternatively you are welcome to send in your own packed lunch to begin with and explore other options after a week or two when things are more settled.
DIETARY REQUIREMENTS: The kitchen will cater for a range of medical dietary needs. If you indicated on your New Starter Form that your child has a dietary need, we will send you a form from the school kitchen to complete. Once the caterers have processed this, new or adapted food options will be populated in your online account to select from.
Unfortunately not the ones with chocolate chips.
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