Garden Fields JMI School | Townsend Drive, St Albans, AL3 5RL | 01727 890440

Garden Fields JMI School | Townsend Drive, St Albans, AL3 5RL
01727 890440

GFS Logo

Garden Fields JMI School

Growing Hearts and Minds

Ambition | Respect | Kindness

Part of the Alban Academies Trust
Sharing Educational Excellence

GFS Logo

Garden Fields JMI School

Growing Hearts and Minds

Part of the Alban Academies Trust
Sharing Educational Excellence

NEW STARTERS

Firstly welcome to Garden Fields! We are looking forward to children joining us in September.

It is important to us that you are comfortable with the arrangements for your child. Please contact us if you have any questions.
T: 01727 890440 Option 2 or Email .

Please note that we communicate electronically with parents and to do so we need your mobile number and email address.

Practical Information

Whole School Communication

It is very important to us that we have open communication with our parents and offer a variety of ways in which to do this:

  • Website – we update our website frequently. We will use this dedicated page for new parents until the end of September. You will find a host of information including the whole school calendar, past newsletters, policies, term dates etc.
  • Face to Face – we are here to help. Please however avoid trying to speak with teaching staff when dropping off your child in the morning as they will be busy welcoming the children. The School Office is open and staff will be happy to help you.
  • Post box – there are two post boxes in the school lobby. They are emptied daily. Useful if you just have something to hand in.
    Blue – School Post
    Red – PTA Post
  • Telephone – you can contact us on 01727 890440 during the school day.
    There is a dedicated absence line if you need to advise us that your child is unwell. This is open 24hrs. This means that if your child is unwell in the night, for example, you can ring us then. We have to account for every child who is not in school. We will call you in the morning if we do not have a reason for your child’s absence.
  • Email
  • Arbor – this is our information system. We use it to communicate with parents and manage payments including trips, milk and any school run extra-curricular clubs.It is essential that we have your most up to date contact details on file at all times.
  • Text – we occasionally text parents if we have been unable to get hold of them urgently by phone.
  • SchoolGateway – this links is our electronic payments system for Hub only. Hub is our before and after school child care provision.
  • BLOGS – we have private year group blogs. You can sign up for alerts when information is posted. Blogs are used by teaching staff to share what the children have been learning in the week and to send reminders to parents. We will share blog details when your child joins us.
  • Twitter / Facebook – we occasionally use twitter and facebook.

 

Induction Arrangements

Parent Meeting – Tuesday 25th June 2024 – 6pm –  an evening session for parents only and an opportunity to collect your child’s induction pack and hear from the team. Please do not worry if you are unable to attend. Your pack will be posted to you and the presentations will be added to this page.

Our PTA will be at this meeting and there will be the opportunity to purchase pre-loved uniform.

Induction Visit – Thursday 11th July 2024 – 9:15am – 11:15am – a short visit to support your child’s transition to primary school. Please wait on the infant playground. Parents do not stay for this visit. Children do not need to be in school uniform today but can if they would like to!  The Hub will be open at 9:15am for parents of children starting in The Hub in September to visit if they wish.

The school term starts on Tuesday 3rd September 2024. All children should wear school uniform when in school.

All children will be invited to attend school for 1 morning only on either Tuesday 3rd or Wednesday 4th September. The date for your child will be on the front page of your induction pack. Children attend from 9am – 11:30am. Parents do not stay.

All children will be in school on Thursday 5th and Friday 6th September from 8:40am – 1:15pm (after lunch)

All children will be in school full time from 8:40am to 3:15pm from week commencing 9th September.

Lunch, Milk & Fruit

All children should bring a NAMED water bottle to school with them every day. 

We are a nut free school. It is essential that any packed lunches do not contain any nuts. This is to protect children and staff with severe allergies. 

Lunch
Aspens are our catering provider. All meals for children in EYFS, Y1 & Y2 are currently free.
Parents will pre-order lunches direct with Aspens. Please look out for an email from us with further details.
If your child requires a special menu you will need to apply for this – HERE. Please note that Aspens will not provide your child with a meal until the paperwork is complete.

Milk
You can order milk (cow’s milk only) for your child to have daily in school. This will be free for some families.

Snacks
EYFS/KS1 – the current government scheme provides a free piece of fruit or vegetable daily  to children. You do not need to give your child a snack to have at break time.

Uniform

Uniform details can be found on the Uniform page. Our uniform suppliers are:

  • Stevensons – 131-139 Victoria Street  St Albans  AL1 3XS
  • PMG Schoolwear – on-line ordering only – order by 12th August 2024 to guarantee delivery before school starts in September.

Our wonderful PTA organise pre-loved uniform. Prices range from £1 – £5 and include tops, jumpers, cardigans, shorts, dresses, PE kit etc.

Please ensure all items are labelled.

Please send your child in school shoes that they can put on themselves with ideally no laces. This skill would be good for them to practise at home.

Book bags should be brought to school daily. Please do not attach key rings as the book bags do not fit in our drawers.

Water bottles should be brought to school daily with fresh water. They can be any type but must be labelled. No juice.

Clothing for the weather – children use the outside area in all weathers so we would recommend a coat in school. Please don’t forget sun hats and to apply sun screen before school for warmer days.

Medical

If your child requires medication in school for a medical condition e.g. asthma, EPIPEN then please ensure that this comes in with your child, in a labelled clear bag/container together with the medical paperwork that is in your pack. All medication should be handed to an adult on arrival.

If you have any questions around medication then please call us.

What to Bring

Reminders of what to bring….

  • Water bottle – NAMED PLEASE – it will go home with your child every day. It stays in the classroom
  • Lunch – packed lunch (in named bag) if not ordering a school lunch. Remember to include a drink in their packed lunch too! Please no nuts, sweets or fizzy drinks.
  • Book Bag
Attendance & Absence

We have to account for every child on each day the school is open. It is therefore essential that you inform us if your child is not going to be in school. We do require a reason for absence.

Parents can contact the school and leave a message on the absence line (24 hours) or email the school office.

Guidance around common childhood illnesses can be found on our Illness and Medicine page.

Letters Sent to Date

Letter 1 – 13th May 2024 – welcome letter with key dates

Pupil Profile Sheet – 13th May 2024 – please complete and return by 20th May 2024

Home Visit – Google Form – please complete by 20th May 2024

New Parent Meeting – 25th June 2024

Presentation

All About EYFS

EYFS Communication

Every child will have a Home-School Communication book. This is useful to pass on messages, including details of play dates to the class teacher.  Please ensure that you hand your child’s communication book to their class teacher in the morning, if you have a message inside for them. We are unable to check through all 90 communication books each morning. We also might send you a message so please check it daily.

Parents can email or contact the school office during the school day if they have a question or would like to speak with a member of the team.

How Children Learn

We pride ourselves on providing a safe, happy and fun environment in which our children can learn.

The structure of the day is made up of a mixture of adult led activities and child initiated learning .

Adult led activities

These usually consist of adults working one to one or in a small group with the children.

Child initiated learning

This is where the children access a range of exciting and engaging learning activities and opportunities that motivate them to learn independently.

Early Learning Goals

Within the Foundation Stage, children work towards achieving the ‘Early Learning Goals’ by the end of the Reception year. There are 7 areas of learning and development, these are:

  • Communication and Language
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Literacy
  • Maths
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design
Learning Through Play

Play is a vital part of a child’s early development. Play at Garden Fields takes place indoors and outdoors and it is in these different environments that children explore and discover their immediate world. It is here they practice new ideas and skills, they take risks, show imagination and solve problems on their own or with others.

Independence & Early Years

Developing the children’s independence is a very important part of the start of their school life. Through the Early Years, the adults will be teaching, modelling and providing a range of opportunities to develop the children’s independence.

To help your child be prepared for their start of school life it would be beneficial to:

  • Encourage your child to dress and undress themselves independently.
  • Encourage your child to go to the toilet and clean themselves independently.
  • Encourage your child put on their own coat. Try zips.
  • Encourage your child to use a knife and fork when eating.
  • Encourage your child to get into the habit of washing their hands after they have been to the toilet or before eating.

We know these things take time but it really supports your child at school if they are able to do these things independently.

Q&A Section

Q1. My child is nervous about coming to school. Will I be allowed to come in with them?

We are sorry but we cannot allow parents in to the school building with their child. We have a very experienced team of staff who will support your child in gaining the confidence they need.

Q2. When do children have PE?

We will let you know which day EYFS children will have PE once the whole school timetable has been confirmed. At the moment children should come to school in their PE kit on their PE day. 

Q3. I will not be dropping off / picking up my child. How do I communicate with you?

Every child will have a Home-School Communication book. This is useful to pass messages, including details of play dates to the class teacher. We also might send you a message so please check it daily.

Parents can email or contact the school office during the school day if they have a question or would like to speak with a member of the team.