Frequently Asked questions (FAQs)

What must I do if my child is absent from school?

If your child is absent from school due to illness etc. please telephone the school early in the morning of the first day of absence to inform us. You will receive a phone call from us if we have not heard from you by 9.30am on the day of absence. This is done in the interest of child safety.

We would be very grateful if you would ensure your children arrives at school on time. i.e. 8.50am. as it is very disruptive for both staff and children if lateness occurs. Also, we believe that it is important to teach our children that punctuality is an important value.

The Welsh Government has issued new guidelines on school attendance, which provides further guidance on the interpretation of ‘authorised’ and ‘unauthorised’ attendance. An authorised absence is where the child’s absence has been described as medical, bereavement/family circumstance, being educated elsewhere or attending a special event etc.  All other absences are unauthorised particularly routine appointments and holidays taken during term time.  The Welsh Government target for attendance is 95% and we work hard to promote positve attendance. Our Attendance Officer works closely with the school to support our efforts to achieve very good school attendance.

All attendance records are submitted electronically to County Hall at the end of every term.

What are the procedures for supervision at playtime?

Your children are fully supervised by experienced and qualified staff throughout the day at Tavernspite School. Breaktimes and lunchtimes are fully supervised by members of staff who encourage all the children to play safely and happily.  Any form of inappropriate behaviour is discouraged and children will always be told why their actions are unacceptable.  We have wonderful play areas that are expansive and varied. However, we recognise the importance of excellent supervision to maintain a happy school.

During very inclement weather, children are supervised in their own classrooms by the teachers. During these times the teachers provide quiet activities for the children e.g. watching a DVD, playing a game, drawing etc.

What happens if my child has an accident in school?

Every precaution and risk assessment is carried out to minimize the potential of accidents at school.

In the event of a child having an accident during playtime or in the classroom the injured child is sent immediately to one of our qualified first aiders for treatment in the Medical Room. Children are not permitted to go into the Medical Room unaccompanied or administer their own first aid. Most accidents are minor, superficial injuries such as cuts and grazes and are dealt with appropriately. All accidents are reported in the Accident Book.

More serious injuries must be brought to the attention of the Head Teacher or Deputy Headteacher immediately and the parents will be informed.  If hospital examination/treatment is deemed necessary then the parent/guardian or appropriate contact will be informed immediately.  The telephone numbers of all parents and other contacts are kept in the office. If parents/guardians cannot be contacted, the Head Teacher (or in his absence, Deputy Head Teacher) will act in loco parentis. 

All accidents of a serious nature are recorded electronically to Pembrokeshire County Council Health and Safety Department in accordance with Local Authority policy.

What happens if my child becomes ill whilst at school?

If your child becomes unwell during the school day one of our qualified first aiders will assess the child to decide whether they should be sent home, in which case parents/guardians will be contacted to come to school to collect the child. However, we strongly recommend that if a child is feeling unwell before school in the morning then it is in the interest of the child to keep him/her at home until the child recovers.

Are family holidays during school time considered an unauthorised absence? 

Yes, all holidays during term time are considered an unauthorised absnce. This policy is consistently applied thorughout the ERW region.  Schools follow very comprehensive and progressive schemes of work and so it is very important that children have a very high level of attendance. It cannot be overstressed how important a good attendance record is in relation to a pupil’s academic progress. The Welsh Government have very strict regulations about school attendance and in some cases unauthorised absence may result in parents being fined. 

Please note that during the course of the school year, the school is closed for five INSET (In-Service Training) days for the staff. Adequate notice of these closure days is sent to all parents. 

What do I do if I need to collect my child early from school?

You will only be permitted to collect your child early from school for very good reasons. Routine dental appointments etc. are expected to be arranged outside of school hours. In the interests of safety no child will be allowed to leave school unless collected by a parent/adult substitute. There will be no exceptions to this basic rule. I am sure that you will appreciate that our concern is with the safety of your child.
If you need to collect your child early please let us know in advance and explain your reasons fully.

How can I encourage my child’s education at home?

Actively encourage your child to read both to her/himself and with you, to borrow books from the library, to buy books, to look after books and to ask you to explain words they do not understand. It is very important to establish a ‘story time’ every night before bedtime where you help your child to foster a love for reading and books. Teaching your child nursery rhymes and simple songs all helps to develop their love of language.

Create opportunities for writing, letters to friends and relatives, stories and accounts of things they have done and encourage them to bring them to school. Encourage your child to ask questions and show them where to find the answers in books or by using the internet. Support your child when they are completing homework tasks. Help with number work by playing games; let them help you with measuring, weighing, shopping etc. Allow them to draw, paint, and model at home (despite the mess!). Most important show a real interest in all that they do. Praise their efforts rather than pointing out what they cannot do.

Please ask us if you need any further ideas of ways you can encourage your child’s learning at home.

Does Tavernspite School have a Breakfast Club and an After School Club?

Yes! We have a Breakfast Club and an After School Club and in this way are able to provide ‘Wrap-a-round’ care for your children.

The Breakfast Club runs from 8am-8.30am every day. The children are fully supervised and are provided with a simple and healthy breakfast e.g. toast, fruit juice etc. There is no charge for the Breakfast Club as it is funded by the Welsh Government.

The After School Club runs from 3.15pm to 5.15pm with a Snack Club that runs from 3.15pm to 4pm. There is a charge for the use of these facilities. The children are fully supervised and  are provided with snacks e.g. sandwiches; fruit, drinks etc. and a range of interesting and enjoyable activities are arranged for them. Please see the school office for more details.

How do I arrange for my child(ren) to have school dinners?

School meals are cooked at the school; they are nutritious, healthy and are of excellent quality.  Lunches are served in the Hall and children who choose to bring a packed lunch eat there also. Please let your child’s class teacher know if your child would like school dinners. Parents receive a menu at the start of the school term and so you may choose which days you would like to have schol dinners. Payments are made online via the Pembrokeshire County Council website.

If you child does wish to bring a packed lunch, we ask parents to ensure that they are healthy lunches in line with our ‘Healthy Schools’ philosophy. We strongly recommend no sweets or chocolates.
Drinks should be kept in a non-breakable sealed container.

The children are fully supervised at lunchtimes by our Lunchtime Supervisory Team both in the Dining Hall and in the Playground.

Free meals are provided where parental income falls within the scale laid down by the Authority.  It is the parents’ responsibility to apply for these. Application forms are available from the school. Please let us know in strict confidence. Please see our School Meals Clerical Officer if you need further details.

Is my child able to travel to school by bus?

School transport is provided by the Local Authority for Tavernspite School pupils. However, the following conditions must apply:

  • Your child must be five years old or above.
  • You must live in the catchment area.
  • You must live at least two miles away from the school.

If you wish for your child to travel by bus then please collect a ‘School Transport Form’ form the school office. All applications for travel are sent directly to the Local Authority.

What is the school’s policy for charging for school trips etc.?

School trips are used to enhance the learning experience of Tavernspite pupils and are  educational. A letter will be sent to parents outlining the details of any visit your child will be undertaking.  It will also ask for written consent.  No child will be permitted to go on a visit without parental consent having been given first.

Our school aims to provide a rich curriculum for our pupils using the finance provided through the Local Authority. Where possible all activities are provided free of any charges. However, it must be recognised that some activities such as educational visits that take place off the school site are only possible if parents make a voluntary financial contribution towards the cost.

Under the 1988 Education Act, a school can no longer make charges for educational visits. Therefore, all contributions must be voluntary. Insufficient voluntary contributions may mean we shall be unable to make the trip, as school funding cannot afford to subsidise pupils.

What happens if I am worried about my child?

Whatever the worry may be please come and see us as soon as possible. Ideally make an appointment beforehand to ensure that the classteacher or Head/Deputy Headteacher is able to give you undivided attention. All worries/concerns are treated sensitively and confidentially. Sometimes your child may not wish you to contact the school about a problem however; we still advise that you do so.

If you would like you may see the teacher or Headteacher without your child being aware that you have come into school. Everything is done confidentially and in the best interests of the child.

What does my child need to start at Tavernspite School?

A checklist for starting school would include the following:

  • School uniform.
  • Reading bag.
  • PE kit.

Remember – Starting school is probably the single most important event in your young child’s life so far.

Whilst it can also be an anxious time for parents please remember that home and school is a partnership and that with your child we are growing and learning together. We will always have your child’s best interests at heart!

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EXCELLENT Standards at Tavernspite School (Estyn 2018)

Estyn Comments

"Pupils at Tavernspite School achieve excellent standards".

"The federation's leadership team have a powerful vision.  They establish high expectations with a strong focus on teaching and learning and share skills and expertise highly successfully".

"The quality of care, support and guidance is excellent".

"Exemplary Provision and Standards" "Excellent" "Very high standard" "Exceptional Progress" "Highly Effective"

Sector Leading Health Promoting School National Quality Award Sector Leading and Outstanding Practice as an Outdoor School Platinum Eco-Schools Award - Welsh Eco-School of the Year First Fairtrade Primary School in Pembrokeshire ICT Quality Mark Winner of the Advanced International Schools Award Quality Standard Award

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