Policies and Procedures
Our aim is to have a school where children are safe and well taught; rules and policies are minimal, constructive and helpful; and everyone can have clarity about what is expected and how we do things. So we publish as many of our policies as possible. The main things you might want to know are listed below: click on the text to read any item. If there is anything else you want to know, please ask.
COMING TO AND FROM SCHOOL
Arriving at School
Primary pupils may not enter the school grounds before 8:00 am on school days. Because we cannot supervise children before then we cannot make exceptions. Secondary pupils are able to begin school studies in their room from 8:00 am.
School starts punctually at 9:00 am each day – pupils who arrive late disrupt classes and miss out on lessons. All pupils arriving late will be given a detention after school the same day: 15 minutes for Primary pupils and 30 minutes for Secondary.
Primary and Junior Secondary children are released from class at 3:00 pm although Senior College Pupils continue to work until 4:00 pm. We do not supervise the collection of children, so if you are unexpectedly held up, please phone the school to make sure your children are safe. If we see someone we don’t know taking children from the school however, we will stop them. If we cannot establish to our satisfaction that your children should be with them we will not let them go. Please let us know therefore, if you arrange for someone else to collect your children.
You will sometimes find parking in the street near to the school gate, but there is always plenty of parking in the public car park in Basin View Lane. The school drive and car park is too small to accommodate cars dropping-off or picking-up pupils so it is restricted for staff and official visitors' use. Park in the street or public car park. Please don’t use our neighbours’ drives or parking areas, or stop illegally in the street. What may appear safe or convenient for you may pose real danger for others, especially the small children coming in or out of school. It is especially important when it is wet to consider children’s safety first: primary children need to be collected from the school and escorted to cars.
Special conditions apply to students who drive themselves to school. Please ask for a copy of the notice about this if you need it.
Holiday Closing Times
We do not close early during the term for wet days or such like. (Of course, in an emergency we may have to this!) Nor do we close early before statutory holidays that come during a term. However, we do close early before school holidays. At the end or terms 1, 2 and 3 we close at 2:00 pm. At the end of term 4 we close at 12:00 mid-day.
Homework is an essential part of the school programme and is to be completed as required. In Grades 1 - 6, children will normally be expected to complete 15 - 20 minutes homework each night. For Grades 7 & 8 homework will take 30 - 40 minutes; Grades 9 & 10: 1 - 2 hours; Grade 11: 2 - 3 hours; and Grades 12 & 13: 2 - 4 hours each night. (We may discuss variations in special circumstances.)
Personal Information & Privacy
All personal information collected and stored by the College is collected only when relevant to the work of the College. Relevant information will be released in the following circumstances:
A parent or the pupil gives permission;
a pupil is transferring to another school;
where there is a legal obligation to do so.
Under the Privacy Act 1993 you have the right of access to all information we hold about you or your children. We have a detailed protocol regarding Personal Information which we are happy to show you. Pupils’ school work, details of honours earned and awards achieved, and photographs of children in the school environment and their names, may be published by the school for educational purposes and in publishing information about the school.
Correction may include rebuke, detentions (up to 15 minutes at intervals; and for secondary pupils up to 1 hour after school), repeats and/or penalty assignments, and restitution with a penalty for property damaged, abused or stolen. Serious Problems: Where serious disciplinary problems arise the College will do its best to guide pupils and discuss the issues with parents to seek a resolution. We may suspend or expel a pupil when in our judgement the misbehaviour of the pupil is sufficiently serious. Parents or the pupil may ask that any suspension or expulsion be reviewed. The subsequent decision of the school is final. Refunds of fees cannot be given when enrolments end for disciplinary reasons.
By law we must have an explanation in writing for every absence. You can write a note or email absences@ateacollege,com. Please state the dates of the absence and the reason for it. (Please note that we do not phone you to check on absences on the day.)
Truancy is an absence for anything other than illness or emergency. Parents have contracted with the school to ensure children attend when the school is open. In any case, we are required by the Education Act to enforce attendance laws – this includes reporting and prosecuting parents who condone absences without valid reasons. Of course there are legitimate reasons for taking children away from school, but in general planned absences, including early leaving or late returns on weekends and holidays, can only be condoned for activities that genuinely enhance children’s education. Where possible please use school holidays for family activities – there are more than 10 weeks of holidays each year. Condoned truancy is not fair on children or the school.
This is a small school and all members of the school community have direct access to the Principal and other staff. We have a commitment to resolving problems promptly and fairly. We hope that most problems can be resolved informally but we have formal procedures for making complaints and resolving problems which are available on request. The main points are:
Don’t wait till things get serious: talk to us as soon as a concern arises
Please talk to the right person
We will listen and gather information before forming a judgement
We cannot tell you about other children and other families
You can have a support person with you when talking to us
Pray: God’s protection and solutions are best!
HEALTH & SAFETY
Students are required to use appropriate and safe personal hygiene practices.
Dental Nurse Service
Most parents like to use the School Dental Service while their children are at Primary School. We don’t have a clinic here, but there is a Nurse attached to our school, and she can be found at Stanhope Road School (579-6902), Sylvia Park School (570-9310) or Panmure District School (527-7591).
In some schools Health Services give treatment to children at school. We do not believe the school is the right place for treating children – so medical staff will not normally come into the school. This does mean however that if you want some services traditionally administered at school you need to approach your GP or the nearest clinic. This includes five year old checks, and immunisations and vacinations – such as the Rubella immunisation for Grade 7 pupils.
Sickness or Injury at School
If your children get sick at school, you will be asked to take them home. We can give them rest, and comfort them while you get organised, but we do not have facilities for nursing children. If your children are injured at school, we will give first aid treatment only. If anything else is needed we will phone you to make arrangements. If the situation is serious we will try to reach you, but for medical emergencies and injury accidents we will normally call for an ambulance. If first aid is enough, we will write a note or phone you to tell you what has happened so you can check that all is well.
Medicines at School
As a normal rule children may not bring medications to school – that includes cough lollies. Teachers are not permitted to administer or supervise the administration of medicines to children unless arranged beforehand as explained below. On the advice of medical authorities, Aspirin will not be administered to children at school. Medications will only be permitted at school for chronic illnesses or conditions. Children recovering from infections or illness may not bring medications to school to complete treatment: as a general rule children should not return to school until they have either completed any course of treatment or can take required medications at times they are not at school.
Children with chronic illnesses may have medications at school and have access to them. This applies for such conditions as asthma, acute allergies or long-term illness. In such cases:
Arrangements must be approved before any medicines are brought to school
Medications must be labelled with the child’s name and dosage required
Parents must sign our standard indemnity form and provide written advice detailing the condition and dosages to be administered
Medications must be kept in a designated kit in the pupil’s classroom and carried on field trips
No medications can be kept in children’s bags or desks
Medications are to be taken under the oversight of a staff member
Disasters & Emergencies
In a civil emergency or major disaster, the school becomes (by law) a Disaster Centre. Apart from our need to provide care and shelter for the pupils and anyone else in the neighbourhood, special controls are applied to the release of children from our care. No one is permitted to take children from the school during an emergency without the permission of the Controller. All movement of all people into and out of the school has to be recorded so that the authorities and relatives can trace where children can be found.
Children are required to have school uniform sunhats with them in Term 1 & 4, and to use them whenever outside in those terms. We provide numerous shaded areas.
Our school rules are displayed in every classroom. Copies can be supplied on request.
ICT: Information Technology & Communications
All pupils have access to age-appropriate computing and internet facilities. We have a pro-active internet safety policy which is regularly taught in class. All internet content is filtered. Students are required to sign and abide by a Cybersafety Contract that covers issues of appropriate and safe use. Use by Primary pupils is always directly supervised by staff. All internet use by secondary students takes place in “public” spaces in the school where it is observed and monitored by other students and staff. Students may bring their own lap-tops and tablets to school for school use, providing they always comply with their Cybersafety Contract. Cell phones must be switched off before arrival at school and are handed in during school hours. All ICT equipment brought to school, used at school, or switched on at school, is subject to our inspection and auditing. At our discretion equipment may be seized and held pending further examination and discussion with parents if inappropriate or unsafe use is suspected or established. Our ICT Safety Policy and Cybersafety Contracts are available on request.
Parties at School
Parties are not permitted at school. We know it is fun to send a birthday cake or some sweets to school to share with classmates, but because it can create pressures on other families and pose health issues for some children, we have to ask that you don’t send such things to school.
Use of School Phones
School phones are kept busy on school business. Pupils are not normally allowed to use school phones, and they cannot be called to the phone to speak to callers. We can take messages for pupils if it is urgent, and of course in emergencies we will assist pupils to make any necessary phone calls.
All children’s personal property and clothing should be named. If it can be lost it will be if it hasn’t got a name on it! We have adequate recreational play areas – and children can bring suitable play or sports equipment to school providing they use it sensibly and accept the risk of damage.
Shoes Off Inside
Pupils are required to remove shoes at the doors to classrooms. Racks are provided for shoes which are to be stored neatly. Students may wear slippers or designated "inside shoes" inside, or socks; but bare feet are not permitted.