New Starters - Joining The Beacon for Reception in September 2023
Quick guide to the ‘need to know’ questions as your child starts school!
Firstly and most importantly – please don’t worry! We are here to help and to work with you. Your child’s journey through school is a partnership between you as parents/carers, your child, and us as the teaching and staff team. We are looking forward to getting to know you and your child, and working together to create some wonderful primary school experiences that will become life-long happy memories.
We hope this quick guide will be a useful point of reference – but please do come and ask if you have any questions.
Please remember, we see your child’s school journey as a partnership. By working closely together we can solve any worries or problems and do our very best to make sure that together we can create some wonderful primary school memories for your child. Please do get in touch if you have any questions, we look forward to hearing from you.
Miss Brunwin, class teacher
Times of school day:
Playground gates open at 8.40am, we ask families to arrive so your child is settled in before 8.50am, which is when the day starts. There will be items set up in the playground, please help us keep these ‘ready for learning’!!!
Lunch is between 12.15 and 1.15pm.
The day ends at 3.30pm.
There is information further down this page about breakfast and 3.30 Clubs.
English not your or your child’s first language?
We are privileged to have a number of families and children whose first language isn’t English. We work closely with a number of professionals who support us and our families in a variety of different ways. If your child communicates in a language or languages other than, or as well as English, please do let us know.
Breakfast and 3.30 Club.
Breakfast Club runs from 7.45am until the start of the school day. 3.30 Club is available until 6pm every school day. We use the side entrance by the school garden, children use the library, garden, playgrounds, hall and Computing suite.
Children are provided with breakfast in the morning and snack after school. Bookings should be made via School Gateway (see below) It is essential that clubs are booked and paid* for in advance – this is to help us ensure we have the correct staffing levels.
* If you wish to make use of the tax-free voucher scheme, please let us know as it works a little differently.
* * Prices are subject to change. Sessions are booked in advance (via the School Gateway app)
Communication and Online Payments.
We send communications in two ways, through our School Jotter App and by email. Please do check both regularly so you don't miss out!
Any letters we send out will also be found on the newsletters page of our website.
All useful information can be found on our website.
Payments are made online through the School Gateway App.
Please allow 'push notifications' on both apps.
Mrs James, class teacher (Fridays)
The ‘full-time or part-time’ question!
Your child’s first day of school will be Wednesday 6th September 2023.
We recognise that children will be joining The Beacon from a wide range of previous settings. Your child can either start school full time from day one, or can join on a phased introduction - we recognise that the phased introduction is likely to be right for many children this year. In previous years, the phased option has worked as follows, but please don’t worry if you feel your child may need a longer transition – we can discuss this with you prior to your child starting school, please get in touch or discuss with Miss Brunwin when she visits you in July.
Absence from school.
If your child is unwell, please phone or email the office before 8.30am and leave us a message. If we don’t hear from you and your child does not arrive, we will contact you. If there is a reason you know your child will be off school, there is a form to complete to seek permission for this – it must be done in advance. Forms available from the office. Please note that time off school cannot be authorised except in exceptional circumstances – any questions please talk with Anne Billington, Headteacher.
School contact details and who’s who…
Your child's Teaching Team are Miss Suzy Brunwin, Mrs Lucy James, Miss Lisa Hamer
Mrs Anne Billington, our Headteacher, will be on the playground most mornings and afternoons, usually up by the gate near the larger end of the playground which everyone will be coming in through in September. She can also be contacted through the office. Please do come and say hello! Mr Paul Hughes, our Caretaker will be on the lower gate which everyone will be leaving through.
In the Admin Office we have Mrs Laura Neill (Administration Manager), Mrs Tracie Whitefield, and Mrs Catherine Blackmore (Administration Assistants).
You can find out more about our Staff Team under the 'About Us' tab on our website.
Whoever you wish to contact, please either phone the school office (01395 264300) or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will put you in touch with the right person.
School meals / Packed Lunches and snack time.
All children from Reception to Year 2 are offered a free meal each day* and a fruit snack which we share together mid-morning. You may of course choose to send your child with a healthy packed lunch (no nuts). We like all children to have a water bottle in school which they will have access to through the day.
* Please note that the age related free meals are not the same as means tested Free school meals- f you are in receipt of certain benefits, your child may be eligible for free school meals throughout their primary school career- the school will also benefit for additional funding which contributes towards costs of meals and trips.
We recognise that some children don’t like water or fruit – please bear with us, it’s surprising how coming together as a group of 30 children and having a special time can help everyone to quickly learn to love both fruit and water - which of course will be helpful to you in the long-run!
Meals are cooked at Marpool Primary, we share the menu with you each term and request that you pay in advance (once your child reaches Year 3). The lunch menu will be on our website and on our App where you will be able to book your child’s lunch.
You can also purchase milk for your child to have at break time. (Free until age 5, then sign up in the office.)
Miss Hamer, teaching assistant
Transition visits & home visits.
We offer 4 visits across 4 consecutive weeks, between 9.15am – 11.15am, those who have been allocated a place will have received a letter about the dates. This is with an aim that they feel excited and that they belong to their new class before the summer break. Miss Brunwin would like to do a home visit and sign up information will be sent out in plenty of time.
We will have a further parents evening during the autumn term to provide information about the curriculum- details will be sent to you in advance.
Both the school and the PE uniform are available from either Shipshape in Albion Street, Exmouth, or through http://www.shipshapepromo.com
Royal Blue sweatshirt, cardigan or fleece (with logo), white polo shirt, grey or black trousers, shorts or skirt. Summer dresses – blue gingham. Black/dark coloured school shoes. Book Bags are available. For PE, royal blue shorts and yellow T-shirt (with logo). Please supply warm tracksuit for winter PE. Trainers or plimsolls for PE. Children will require wellies for Forest and Beach School. School has a supply of all-in-one waterproofs for when we need them.
We are often given some ‘pre-loved’ school uniform which we sell at a nominal charge, the donations benefit the school.
Please make sure your child has a warm and waterproof coat, we try our best not to let the rain stop us!
It is very helpful if your child’s school bag is only as big as it needs to be, there’s not a lot of space for hanging them up!
PLEASE help us by making sure EVERYTHING is named… thank you! Imagine some children’s bedrooms when they’ve not put things away – multiply that possibility by 30 identical-looking items… it really helps when it’s named!!!
How can I help my child be ready for school?
The most important thing you can possibly do is to help your child to feel excited about starting school! Talk with them about the positives, walk past 'their school' over the summer and show them that you are excited for them (even when you're having a wobble about it).
It is helpful if your child can independently use the toilet (we know they need help sometimes!) and use cutlery (again, we'll help when they need it).
The forms we will need and information we will share with you before your child starts school.
Inevitably, there are forms to complete – please do let us know if we can help you in completing them. You will find links to download the forms below. Please complete and email them back to us as soon as possible.
S11/1 form: sorry, but this is a long one. It asks for all the essential information about your child and you. This is the document which will give us all your contact details. Please download it, complete it and return it to us.
Birth Certificate: our Admin Team in the school office will need to see your child’s original birth certificate. We recognise some children will have been born outside the UK, we will still need to see their original birth certificate, which we recognise isn’t always in English. If you are not able to do this in person before September, please bring it in on your child's first day.
Pupil Premium Grant (PPG): this is a fund which pays additional money to the school where a child’s family receives certain benefits. School pays part of the costs of trips for children who receive PPG, children older than Year 2 will receive free school meals if they are eligible. When a child is eligible for PPG, the school will continue to receive the funding for 6 years, so it’s hugely important to us that parents and carers do apply for this. Further information is available at this website https://www.devon.gov.uk/educationandfamilies/school-information/school-meals/new-starter-pupil-premium
Online Safety Consent: we require this form to be completed before children use our computer network in school. We expect parents and carers to sign on behalf of children in Reception / Key Stage 1. The form explains why. You can read the Policy on our Policies page.
Images Consent this is to ensure that we know exactly how you do and do not wish us to use photographs and/or video of your child. Please download it, complete it and return it to us as soon as possible.
Trips and Visits, including local trips: we make regular use of the local area, for example Manor Gardens, Holy Trinity Church and it’s grounds, the beach, the Maer and Imperial recreation ground. We ask parents to complete a consent form so we can take your child within the local area on our ‘regular trips’. Please download the form, complete it and email it back to us.
Medication. If you child will require medication to be given at school, we will require a form to be completed, you can download and complete this form as and when your child requires medication in school.
Privacy Notice this tells you how we use the information we collect about your child. You can view this on the Policies page of our website. Please do ask if you have any questions.