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

Building children’s confidence, igniting a love of learning and creating wonderful memories

Part of the Alban Academies Trust
Sharing Educational Excellence

GFS Logo

Garden Fields JMI School

Growing Hearts and Minds

Building children’s confidence, igniting a love of learning and creating wonderful memories

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. At the moment we plan to continue with our normal induction arrangements for children. We will contact families should government information change.

If you are interested in The Hub (our before / after school provision), please visit our Before and After School Club page for more information and the application form.

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 admin@gardenfields.herts.sch.uk.

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 – admin@gardenfield.herts.sch.uk
  • SchoolComms – we use an electronic system called Schoolcomms to communicate with parents – the emails from this system will appear from this email address -SC9192095a@schoolcomms.com – please add this to your address book as some email providers will report this as SPAM. It is essential that we have your most up to date contact details on file at all times.
  • APP – SchoolComms has a free app that you can download. You can send us messages free of charge.
  • Text – we occasionally text parents if we have been unable to get hold of them urgently by phone..
  • SchoolGateway – this links with SchoolComms and is our electronic payments system. You can use it to order milk for you child, for example.
  • 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 be sharing blog details with parents shortly.
  • Twitter / Facebook – we occasionally use twitter and facebook.
Induction Arrangements

The planned arrangements below are subject to government guidelines at the time and may change. We will email parents and update the website  shoud they need to be changed or amended.

Parent Meeting – 23rd June 2021 – as you are aware this was cancelled – please click HERE to see our presentation

UPDATE – 1 July 2021 – we are sorry but we have had to cancel or planned arrangements for transition day on Thursday 8th July.  Sadly this also means that parents will be unable to visit The Hub (our before and after school club). The Hub will be open on the two induction mornings on 2nd / 3rd September. Parents can visit once they have dropped off their child(ren). 

The school term starts on Thursday 2nd September.

All children will be invited to attend school for 1 morning only on either Thursday 2nd September OR Friday 3rd September. The date for your child will be on the front page of your induction pack. Children will be in school from 9am – 11:30am. Parents do not stay.

All children will be in school every day during week commencing 6th September. Children will attend from 9am and leave after lunch at 1:15pm.

All children will be in school full time from 8:50am to 3:15pm from week comencing 13th September.

Drop Off & Pick Up

Children in EYFS can arrive any time between 8:50am and 9am daily (except during induction). The school day finishes at 3:15pm.

Parents are asked to wait on the infant playground to drop off / pick up their children. Their class teacher will welcome them into school. Additional staff will be in school to support your child in cloakrooms if necessary.

Morning
Children in Bluebell and Primrose Classes enter though the gate circled in RED.
Children in Snowdrop Class enter through the door circled in YELLOW.

Afternoon
Children in Bluebell Class exit from the gate circled in RED.
Children in Primrose Class exit from the door circled in GREEN.
Children in Snowdrop Class exit from the door circled in BLUE.

Please click HERE if you are interested in The Hub our before and after school club.

Lunch, Milk & Fruit

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

It is essential that any packed lunches do not contain any nuts. This is to protect children and staff with severe allergies.

Lunch
Hertfordshire Catering Limited (HCL) are our supplier.
The planned lunch menu for the first half of the Autumn Term will in your induction pack.
If your child requires a special menu you will need to apply for this – HERE. Please note that HCL will not provide your child with a meal until the paperwork is complete.
MENU Autumn 2021 – you are asked to select your child’s meals in advance. There is a form to complete in your child’s induction pack.

Milk
You can order milk (cow’s milk only) for your child to have daily in school. This will be free for some families. Click HERE for more details. Please order by 9am Friday 9th July.

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  Telephone: 01727 853262 – strictly by appointment during Covid-19 restrictions – Monday 17th August to Saturday 23rd August.
  • PMG Schoolwear – on-line ordering only – order by 13th August 2021 to guarantee delivery before school starts in September.

Our wonderful PTA organise second hand uniform. Prices range from £1 – £5 and include tops, jumpers, cardigans, shorts, dresses, PE kit etc. They hold regular sales during the year. Our PTA will be selling uniform after the parent induction evening on 23rd June 2021. There will also be the opportunity to order on-line and details of how to do this will be comunicated nearer the time.

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
  • Book Bag

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

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.

Letters Sent to Date
  • Letter 4 – 9th September 2021 – invitation to New Parent Meeting – Wednesday 15th September at 6:30pm
  • Is your child school ready? – a guide from Hertfordshire County Council
  • Letter 3 – 2nd July 2021 – advice that sadly our transition day plans for the morning of 8th July have had to be cancelled due to covid
  • Induction Packs – 28th June 2021 – parents collected induction packs. Packs have been posted to those families who were unable to collect – PTA – a warm welcome from our PTA
  • Letter 2 – 17th June 2021 – updated induction arrangements
  • Letter 1 – 11th May 2021 – welcome and induction dates *CARE – some details have been changed and are outlined in Letter 2
  • Pupil Profile Sheet 
  • The Hub – our before and after school club

All About EYFS

A Message from the Class Teachers

A Tour of our EYFS Classrooms & Playgrounds
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. This may change from September 2021. We will communicate any changes to all parents.

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.

Q4. I'd like to volunteer at the school. What do I need to do?

We have a strong and important parent (and grandparent!) volunteer body at our school. We always need parents to assist with the changing of reading books in EYFS. Often parents organise themselves to come in as a group to change books – it is a great way to meet other parents.

All volunteers must read and sign our volunteer policy and have a reference and DBS completed. The process can take a few weeks. Please speak to the school office if you are interested in volunteering. Please note that due to Covid-19 restrictions volunteers are currently not allowed in school but we are still happy to discuss the process with you.