This page contains a huge amount of general school information, compiled from our most frequently asked questions.
We hope that you find the following information useful. If you have any questions that are not covered here, please do feel free to ask by contacting the school office.
What time does school start?
Class teachers are available on the playgrounds from 8.40am each day. School starts at 8.45am and ends at 3.15pm.
Jessie’s Café – When is it open? Who is it for?
We are a school who welcomes all our parents to take part in school life and take and active role in our community. From January 2012 Jessie’s Café will be open each morning from 9.00am until 10.00am for parents to come in and enjoy a coffee and a chat. Jessie’s will be a place to come meet and chat with other parents in a relaxed environment. It’s also a place to meet members of staff, find out about what’s going on and information about other services available. All are welcome at Jessie’s and we look forward to seeing you soon.
We are currently looking for volunteers who would like to staff the café for any time during the week and serve drinks for our community. We hope to be able to open the café in the afternoons once we have the volunteers to staff it.
Our new and much improved school dinner menu is now in operation at the school. The meals are plentiful, nutritious and a huge success with the children. They are hugely successful with more than 200 meals served every day. The children have a menu of three choices:
Hot non-vegetarian option
Hot vegetarian option
Jacket potato, and self service salad cart
In addition to these options hot home made soup is also available on Thursday.
At the beginning of each day the children choose which option they would like and the food is cooked to order. Menus are always produced in advance and are sent home to parents and displayed in the main reception area.
The current daily cost of school meals is £2.05. We have seen huge increases in demand for meals since we moved to our new building, and will continue to adapt and improve our menu to give children the best possible dining experience.
How do I pay for School Meals?
Money is paid to directly to the class teachers in a labeled envelope in advance. You can pay a week in advance, so many parents choose to send dinner money for the week on a Monday morning..
For your convenience, you can also pay for meals by visiting http://shop.devon.gov.uk Payments need to be made before 8am on Monday so that the school office can receive confirmation of your purchase. The minimum purchase is ten meals. There is more information about this service on their website, or you can ask member of staff in the school office.
What uniform do children wear?
A Montgomery school jumper/fleece with logo or Purple jumper Grey trousers or skirt and a white polo shirt. In the summer many girls choose to wear a purple and white checked school dress and the boys choose to wear grey shorts. We encourage children to wear school shoes and not trainers as part of their uniform. School jumpers and Fleece’s can be purchased from Thomas Moore’s on Fore Street in Exeter. Please remember that the school uniform is there to unify the school but also to get dirty and be a practical outfit. In school we glue, paint, cut, get sweaty and dirty on a weekly basis. The uniforms often follow suit! Without the uniform expensive garments will be damaged frequently.
What do children wear for PE?
Our PE kit is a plain white t-shirt and dark shorts/jogging trousers. All children will need a pair of plimsolls for indoor PE or work bare foot. The plimsolls can be worn outdoors but some children prefer to use trainers. In the winter the children often wear their school fleece’s or bring an additional jumper for PE outside. P.E days are allocated at the start of each year, and will remain constant, so that children know when to bring in their Kit.
Can children miss PE?
PE is part of the statutory curriculum. However, if your child is not fit enough to participate, please ensure that they bring a letter excusing them from these activities detailing the reason and length of time they are to be excluded from the lesson. PE kits should be brought to school every Monday and taken home, to be washed, every Friday. It is not satisfactory for children to wear their school clothes for PE activities.
How do we support children with their behaviour?
These are our 5 school rules:
- Work hard in your learning
- Follow the instructions of adults
- Keep, hands, feet, objects and bad words to yourself
- Take care of your own and other people’s belongings
- Take care of our school’s resources, buildings and grounds
These rules help to ensure our school is a safe, caring environment where each member is valued and can learn effectively. We support every pupil to make good behaviour choices by using clear rules, rewards and expectations. We are a positive school and use praise and rewards to encourage and support good choices. The vast majority of children, the vast majority of the time, behave extremely well in and around the school. We encourage a respectful polite and caring attitude in our children and foster this.
Where children do not meet our high expectations of behaviour we have clear systems within each team to support the child to make a better choice next time. We operate a restorative approach to behaviour where we take time to tackle the route cause of the behaviour and restore any wrong choices that have been made. We use our internal staff structure, teaching assistants, class teachers, team leaders, deputy and head teacher to ensure that all behaviour is dealt with effectively. All behaviour issues are tracked in class and by our SENCO team.
Teachers track repeated poor behaviour choices and discuss these issues with parents where appropriate so that parents reinforce the message with your child at home.
Where children make repeated wrong choices and need additional support to behave well, we operate Behaviour Care Plans which identify, in some detail, the strategies and support mechanisms for each child. There are times in school however where children make a wrong choice, or a series of choices, that requires additional intervention. The school uses seclusion (where a child is kept separate and works alone for a period of time) and exclusion (child is excluded and stays at home for a fixed or permanent period) as and when it is appropriate.
What homework will my child get?
We feel that we need to teach children to have a good work / life balance. While much of the children’s time out of school should be their own time in which to pursue their own interests, hobbies and play, we also aim to inspire children to carry on learning out of school. In Key Stage 1 children are asked to read to an adult daily at home and practise weekly spellings. In Key Stage 2 multiplication tables, regular reading tasks and spellings are also sent home weekly. In addition to this KS2 children will have an extended learning task/project to complete over a period of time – sometimes two or three weeks, and a Maths investigation to complete.
Can I claim Free School Meals?
If you are in receipt of Income Support, Income Based Jobseeker’s Allowance or the Guarantee Element of Pension Credit, or Child Tax Credit (without Working Tax Credit) where income is less than £16,190, your child is eligible for a free school meal each day. For further details please call into our office where one of our administrators will provide you with confidential advice on how to claim this. If you are eligible to register but your child does not want to have a free school meal please do register anyway as part of our budget allocation is based upon the number of children registered for free school meals.
All children have a 15 minute break in the morning, Foundation and Key Stage 1 children have a short break in the afternoon too. As part of our Healthy Eating Programme all children in Key Stage 1 are provided with a piece of fruit or vegetable each day as a snack by the Government. Children in Key stage 2 are encouraged to bring a similar snack. Biscuits, chocolate and crisps etc are not allowed.
How are the children encouraged to eat healthily?
Along with our snack policy we teach children about developing a healthy lifestyle. To do this we provide daily physical activities ranging from 10 minutes to a full PE lesson. Children learn about staying safe, drug and sex education and the importance of a healthy diet. This is all suitably delivered to meet the needs and age of the pupils. We encourage children to bring in a named plastic bottle of water each day, which they have access to in class. Hot meals are available to buy each day from our school kitchen. The menu is carefully constructed to ensure a healthy diet is available.
What jewellery can children wear?
Except for watches and ear studs, no jewellery should be worn to school and for health and safety even the watches and ear studs must be removed for all physical education activities. This must be done by the child themselves.
What do I do if my child is ill?
Please telephone the office on the first day of your child’s absence if they are ill. The start of the day is often busy and the answering machine should be used to leave a message on if we are unable to answer.
Medicines in school
Sometimes children need to have medicines administered through the school day. We can only administer medicines that are prescribed by a doctor and have the prescription details on them. Please come into the office and fill in the authorisation form on the first day your child returns to school.
Can I take my child out of school to go on holiday?
Holiday forms are available from the school office. We can normally authorise holidays of no more than 10 school days per academic year. If your child’s attendance is very low however we would be unable to do this. Please submit authorisation requests prior to booking your holiday.
What happens if my child misses school?
Obviously when a child is absent from school they will miss lessons. If they are away frequently or for a significant block of time they will inevitably miss learning that their friends have not. Attendance is monitored carefully by the Education Welfare department. If your child is away regularly this department may contact you to discuss the reasons for this.
What extra curricular activities are there?
Each term our staff and volunteers from the community offer a range of clubs for children to attend. Thesse will be starting from January 2012. Previous clubs have included Photography, Science, Netball, Football, French, Dance, Drama, ICT etc. We regularly organise educational visits throughout the year to enhance the learning in class. Recent trips have been to the Eden Project, Exeter Cathedral and , and
Bath. Residentials are arranged annually and vary each year. This year pupils went to the France taking part in a variety of outdoor education challenges and learning about French life.
What insurance does the school have?
Children are insured against injuries caused by building defects and accidents which occur as the result of negligence by a member of the Authority’s teaching and non-teaching staff. Children attending the Authority’s schools are not insured against personal injury or accident while on educational premises or taking part in recognised activities outside the school. Devon County Council expects all employees, pupils and students to accept full responsibility for their personal possessions, including money, and to consider taking out insurance themselves to cover risks.
How do you know the school is effective?
At Montgomery we monitor the progress of every child to ensure they are being appropriately supported, challenged and included in order that they reach their full potential. Teachers carefully plan and monitor children’s achievement in all areas of the curriculum and when concerns arise around academic progress, social or emotional concerns, we will always contact you as quickly as possible. This is of course a two way street and we encourage you to raise any concerns you have with us too. When children’s attainment is falling behind we have a range of successful options open to us. We can use small teaching groups, provide extra support, provide an individual learning programme, known as an IEP (Individual Educational Plan). If both home and school agree we can then seek additional advice and support from outside agencies. Sometimes children are achieving at a higher level than their peers and then we ensure they are appropriately stretched. At Montgomery we have a good track record of supporting children with additional needs.
What if I am not happy with an aspect of school life?
Initially you should raise your concern with the class teacher. They will listen to your concern and advise you of how the matter will be dealt with. At first informal measures will be taken in addressing your concern. If you feel the concern is not dealt with, then you can raise it with your child’s Team Leader, who will endeavour to support you to address the concern. Once you have spoken to the class teacher and team leader, if you wish to speak to either the Deputy Head or Head Teacher, you can book an appointment through the school office. As a school we will work hard to address any concerns you may have. If you are still unhappy the school has a comprehensive complaints policy which can be requested from the office. This enables the concerns to be raised in a more formal way.
Can I help out at school?
Parents regularly come in to school. Many parents listen to children read, help out with sewing, art, baking, PE etc. Nearly every skill you can offer can be utilised. Before you can do this you will need to complete a request to volunteer form, available from the school office. The office will then advise you on how to complete a Criminal Records Bureau form. This can also be collected from the office. The outcome of this check goes only to yourself and the headteacher. If previous convictions come up it is the responsibility of the Head to talk to you and make a decision whether or not this past issue could be detrimental to your working with children. We look forward to welcoming more and more volunteers into the school – whether a grand parent, someone looking for voluntary work, a member of the local community or a parent – we look forward to hearing from you.
What is the PTA/FOMS?
The Parent Teacher Association (Friends of Montgomery School) is a voluntary group made up of teachers and parents. We work together to raise funds that are spent on enhancing the children’s time at the school. Meetings are held termly or when an event is being organised. Please come along to find out more. You will be very welcome. You will not be forced to take on huge amounts of work. Please click here to link to our parent partnership page.
Do we run an after school club?
The school operates an after school club which runs from the end of school day until 6pm. For an up to date price list for this please contact the school office.
How does the school collaborate with pupils and parents?
The school is committed to working in partnership with parents and pupils. In response to parental surveys, we are developing the ways in which we collaborate with our parents.
At the end of each term parents are invited in to learn alongside their children at the open learning days. This is an opportunity for parents to learn alongside their children. On the open learning days pupils can share their learning, take you on tours of the school and enjoy a variety of learning experiences.
We offer traditional parent consultation evenings twice per year but due to time constraints these are limited to ten minute slots. However we do encourage parents to speak to teachers at the earliest opportunity discuss their children’s learning and progress at any time through the year. You can do this by making an appointment through the school office or directly with the class teacher.
Each day the teaching staff will upload examples of children’s work and learning to the Learning Blog. This will be done in each of the four teams. This provides an opportunity for you to discuss with your child and ask “What have you been learning today?”
What has the school done for pupils who have Special Educational Needs?
Each year the school produces a report on the work carried out in this area and its impact. The SENCO team works hard to support all children who require additional support across the school. Some children require short term intervention, such as additional phonics or maths. Others require significantly more support which is co-ordinated by the SENCO and assistant SENCO. Teachers and their team leaders work together to identify SEN needs and refer to the SENCO where appropriate. If you have more questions about your child’s progress then speak to the class teacher directly. If you have a concern they will advise you on what action the school will take to address this concern.
Who are the Governors and what do they do?
Each school is governed by a group of volunteers who ensure that the school is compliant with statutory requirements and providing children with a good quality education. This group acts as a corporate body to ensure that budgets are set and monitored, the buildings are maintained and developed, standards are being improved, we are compliant with the law regarding our staff and that we are meeting the needs of the local community. Governors attend meetings several times each term, usually in the evenings and discuss actions, their impact, and plan for the future.
The school monitors the attainment and progress in standards of our pupils and writes a school improvement plan to address specific points. The governors work with the school to carry out these actions and hear about the impact they are having on improving the school. The Governing Body is made up of representatives from the parents, staff, local authority and community. When a vacancy occurs the appropriate elections are held. If you are interested in finding out more about this group you can speak to any of the parent governors.
How does the school keep children safe?
More information about how we safeguard children and deal with any child welfare concerns can be found in the leaflet below.
If you have any questions or concerns at all about this, please contact our dedicated Educational Support Worker – Dave Woodland via the school office.