FAQs

Q/. How does communication between the school and parents work?

A/. In a primary school most communication will be face to face but this is not always possible.  


We publish a range of information about our curriculum and learning on the class pages and there’s an online school calendar: http://bit.ly/SMICALENDAR.  There’s a termly class newsletter (on the class pages) and weekly whole school newsletter which is uploaded to the newsletter page of the website.  To receive the newsletter via email please register using this link: http://bit.ly/SMINEWSLETTER  On the class pages you will also find the homework diary for each week.  

From Spring 2020 we will continue the move away from Teachers2Parents to the Parent Hub app.  To download the app please visit: http://bit.ly/SMIAPP

From Spring 2020 the Parent Focus Group will provide (via class reps) a platform:

• for parents to pose questions and get answers about the running of the school

• for parents to give their views and influence the direction of the school

• for the school and Governors to share relevant information on school policy / developments

• for the school and Governors to get feedback and views from parents


For a full explanation please read our communication guidelines: www.smi.hounslow.sch.uk/helping-at-home/communication-guidelines.pdf. 


Q/. What are the school day timings?

A/. Children go straight into class from 8.45am.  School runs from 8.55am - 3.15pm for Reception to Year Six children, 8.45am-11.45pm for Nursery children.


Q/.  What do I do if my child is late to school?

A/.  If your child is late for school, even by a few minutes, it is vital that you go to the School Office.  This is not just so that we can monitor punctuality, but is essential for fire safety and security.  You must take your child to the school office if you arrive at school after 8:55am.  Do not take them to class office if the gates are still open.


Q/. What are the arrangements for Friday afternoons?

A/. These arrangements cover Y2-6 as EYFS and Y1 are not involved in the Friday afternoon provision. Children in Y2-6 should come into school in their PE kits, they will remain in their kit for the whole day.  On Friday afternoons every Y2-6 class will have one session of PE taken by an external provider - Kick London.  The other session will be covered by the school staff.  Children will be dismissed at the end of the day in the normal way.  Children without PE kit will still take part in the activities.


Q/. Who needs PE kit?

A/. All children in Y1-6 need PE kit.  Children in EYFS will not need PE kit as they will not be changing for activities.  Children in Y1-6 have 2 PE sessions a week.  Y4 children swim and this counts for one of these sessions. 

 

Q/. How do I report my child's absence from school?

A/. You only need to inform us using one of these methods. Please either telephone the school on 020 8560 7166 as soon as possible and on each day of your child’s absence from school; we have a dedicated answering service where you can leave a message.  Or use the dedicated absence form on our homepage.  It is very important that you let us know your child’s symptoms so that we can monitor any possible epidemics.  If your child has an appointment you will need to use the form and then email the full details to reply@smi.hounslow.sch.uk.  We need these details for reporting purposes.  Please send a letter of explanation to school on your child's return.


Q/. How do I go about arranging school dinners for my child?

A/. School meals are free and compulsory for Infant children.  All meals choices need to be booked via ParentPay.  For Junior children you will need to be pay for the meals via ParentPay when you book them. If you’ve forgotten your log on details please call into the school office.  If you don’t have internet access at home you can use one of the office computers to charge your account.  Sometimes we have a special menu (for instance Patron Saints, Ash Wednesday and the Christmas Meal) on these days the choices on ParentPay don’t change and you will need to use the colours of the replacement meal options and make your choice in the usual way.  


Q/.  How can I buy school uniform?

A/. Our main uniform supplier is School Days in Whitton High Street. You can order online here.  Details of other providers are available from the school office.


Q/. Can I take my child out of school for a holiday during term time?

A/. No.  Ordinarily no holiday will be authorised during term time.  The attendance trial will continue to run for the time being.  Ordinarily any absences (other than through illness) will be recorded as unauthorised and you may incur a fixed penalty fine and risk your child losing their place at our school.  The school is currently operating an attendance trial during which children with over 97% attendance can have 5 days authorised leave.  Contact the office for details.


Q/. How do I apply for a place in your school for my child?

A/. As we are a Voluntary Aided school Governors oversee admissions to the school.  Please look here and then contact the school office if you are interested in a place for your child.


Q/. How will I be informed if there is an enforced school closure?

A/. We have a text messaging service where we can text all parents who have a registered; please ensure you keep us informed if your number changes. You can also check our website for updates: www.smi.hounslow.sch.uk and the Hounslow website.


Q/. What do I do if my child is prescribed medication?

A/. Parents can arrange to come into school to administer medication to their own children if necessary.  Antibiotic doses that are administered 3 times a day should be given before and after school and at bedtime. If the medicine is required 4 times a day please ask in the office to arrange a time for you or another relative to give any additional required dose.  For long term or ongoing medication, parents are asked to complete and sign a School Health Care Plan. You do this by meeting with Mrs Squillaci.  Children with asthma, severe allergies, etc keep their medication in the Medical Room; these are given by a First Aid trained member of staff.


Q/. How long before my child can return to school after an illness?

A/. In the case of vomiting and diarrhoea your child should be well for 24-48 hours before they return to school.  If you are unsure please call us.


Q/. What do I do if I need to see a teacher?

A/. Teachers are normally available for brief enquiries before and after school. If you need a longer appointment, please contact your child's teacher or the office staff who will be happy to arrange this for you.  Parent teacher meetings are held once a term.  The summer session is a drop-in with no need to sign up.  Signing up is via an online system with links on the class pages.


Q/. Why does the school ask for contributions a Maintenance fund?

A/. As a Voluntary Aided school St Mary’s receives 90% of these funds from the Government with the remaining 10% coming from contributions (in the form of standing orders) from parents.  These standing orders can be set to pay monthly (£8.50) or £102 yearly.  If you are a UK tax payer then the Diocese can reclaim the tax as Gift Aid.  For this reason UK tax payers are asked to pay their contributions into the Diocesan controlled account.


Q/. How are parents’ evening slots booked?

A/. For some years we used a free website - doodle.com - unfortunatley this website changed in 2020 and we were unable to use it.  Until Parent Hub add a parents evening booking system we will use the PTA app which is called Class List.  You will need to download in from the App store and apply to be added via the sign up process.  New users are added by the PTA or School Admin staff.


Q/. How quickly do you respond to letters or emails?

If you email regarding an arrangement for your child, we will respond as quickly as possible. However, if you are reporting a change to arrangements for the same day, we would advise you to telephone, if possible. If you don't get an acknowledgement of an email, please contact again, in case it has gone astray.  We aim to acknowledge letters/emails within five working days, however, depending on the nature of the enquiry, a full response may take a little longer.


Q/. How do I make a complaint?

A/. Every effort will be made to meet with parents, to listen to their concerns, offer explanation or an apology and agree a way forward.   Occasionally a concern will be too serious to be handled in this way, perhaps needing greater investigation; or the person concerned may not feel that the answers given so far have been acceptable or adequate. In such circumstances, the concern will become a complaint and the formal procedure should be rigorously followed.  You can see our complaint’s policy here: www.smi.hounslow.sch.uk/_Media/school-complaints-procedure-2.pdf.  


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