NEW STARTERS SEPTEMBER 2020

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

Unfortunately we have had to cancel our usual Summer term induction plans which included a parent presentation and short visit for your child(ren).We are however continuing with our planned induction arrangements in September. Should the government guidance change between now and then we will email families and update this page.

If you are interested in The Hub (our before/after school provision) then please click HERE 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

We are delighted to welcome children to our EYFS classes in September. At the moment we plan to continue with our normal induction arrangements for children. We will contact families should government information change.

Below is a short video message from the EYFS Team!

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.

Whilst we are disappointed that we will not be able to meet with children before September we are committed to ensuring that your child’s induction to school is as seamless as we can.

The school term starts on Thursday 3rd September.

All children will be invited to attend school for 1 morning only on either Thursday 3rd September OR Friday 4th 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 7th September. Children will attend from 9am and leave after lunch at 1:15pm. (Update 4th September 2020 – children can be dropped off any time between 8:50am and 9am.)

All children will be in school full time from 8:50am to 3:15pm from week comencing 14th September. (Update 11th September 2020 – we will continue with the arrangements whereby children can be dropeed off any time between 8:50am and 9am.)

School starts at 8:50am for all children (except during induction) and ends 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.

There have been interim arrangements in place including different start and end times since we re-opened following lockdown. We will contact all families should any of our planned opening arrangements need to be amended for September.

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

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

**IMPORTANT – induction packs collected from school on 1st July 2020 contained the incorrect dinner menu to be returned to school. The menu with the pictures is CORRECT. We will send new menus to families shortly. Please accept our apologies. Packs posted home will contain the correct menu.**

Lunch
Hertfordshire Catering Limited (HCL) are our supplier.
The planned lunch menu for the first half of the Autumn Term is HERE.
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.
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. You need to order by Friday 10th July using our on-line payment system – SchoolGateway.

Snacks
EYFS/KS1 – the current government scheme whereby every child in EYFS/KS1 received a free piece of fruit or vegetable daily ceased in March 2020. We are hopeful that it will resume in September. We will communicate once we know.

Uniform details can be found HERE.
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 14th August 2020 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. Please contact them at ptauniform@gardenfields.herts.sch.uk if you wish to purchase uniform before the start of the school year. [Please note that this email address is managed by our parent volunteer body and not the school.]

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.

 

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. 

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

As at June 2020 children have been restricted in what they can bring to school. We will update this page once further guidance is received from the government and notify you by email.

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.

PTA Welcome – 30th June 2020
Letter 3
– 30 June 2020 – reminder re induction packs and second hand uniform
Letter 2 – 25th June 2020 – induction arrangements and how to collect your child’s induction pack
Letter 1 – welcome
Pupil Profile Sheet

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ALL ABOUT EYFS

Take a tour of our EYFS classrooms and playgrounds.

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.

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

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.

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.

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Q&A SECTION – we will add to this

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?

Please check the ‘what to bring’ tab for the days. 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.

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. 

 

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