As you can imagine, running a school efficiently and effectively, while ensuring a fulfilling relationship between our staff, parents and children can be tricky, so I wish to draw your attention to some of the important factors that make our school easier to manage.
Parent – Teacher Communication
Pre-Preparatory Parents i.e. Grade R, Grade 00, Grade 000 and Grade 0000 will receive verbal feedback in the form of a parent interview, during the course of the first term. You will be notified of the dates well in advance, whereby you will have an opportunity to set a suitable time for both mom and dad to meet with the teacher. Written reports are issued in the 2nd and 3rd term. Communication with the teacher is vital but we please ask that if you need to give the teacher a message that the first line of contact is the office. (The main office number is 011 540 4800 and the Pre Prep cell number is 078 095 3195). Alternatively you may send the teacher a sms and she will respond as soon as she has a moment. We ask that you respect the teachers after hours personal time, contacting them only in emergencies during this time.
Teachers are involved in continuous assessment of your child and this takes place throughout the year and is never based on one particular activity. Assessment can result in concerns being raised and although it is not our intention to always send children into therapy, sometimes it is in their best interest that this is done. It is never a decision that is taken lightly and is always done with the child in mind. Our teachers are qualified in their field of expertise and in consultation with the parents we will decide on the best way forward. Through many years of experience and qualifications, everything I have read and studied indicates that the earlier a problem is identified the easier it is to rectify.
Written reports are issued in the second and third term. We ask hereto that you understand the confidentiality and sensitivity of discussing your child’s progress with other parents in the class or school. Not all children develop at the same pace.
A school newsletter (The Heron) will be issued to you once a month via the HBC App. A Pre-Prep newsletter will be issued on a weekly basis via the HBC App (if a hardcopy is required please request from the office) as it is our main form of communication with you. Incidental communication may be conveyed to you via the homework diary or by a separate letter. There may sometimes be discrepancies in the dates between the two newsletters. If there are please take the Pre Prep newsletter dates as being correct.
The Grade R’s send out a two weekly communication letter, which we ask you to please check, so that you make yourself familiar with what is expected of them.
The Grade 0000’s, Grade 000’s and Grade 00’s send out a monthly communication letter. These letters are sent out via email and are also loaded onto the HBC App.
In order to ensure that we can reach you in the event of an emergency, parents are asked to keep the school updated when any personal information changes e.g. postal or physical address, cell phone, office address and telephone numbers etc.
There is an all day care facility available to children, from Grades 0000 – R, held at the Pre Preparatory block. Details are available on the website.
Nuts and nut products are prohibited
There are children in our school who are highly allergic to nuts and nut products. They could die if they eat, touch or even smell the product on someone else’s breath. As a consideration towards them, we ask that all nuts and nut products be prohibited.
During the month of your child’s birthday, parents are kindly requested to please purchase a book for our Library. Donated books are to be handed into the office as they are logged into the computer and your child’s name printed into the front together with their birthday details.
llness and Absenteeism
If your child is absent from school for any reason, please advise the office or teacher as soon as possible. No medication can be administered by teachers or administrative staff except in the case of asthma, anaphylaxsis or diabetes. This must be with the written consent of parents/ guardians. A copy of this consent will be kept in your child’s file. A medical report book is kept to record all incidents and accidents that occur during school hours. The parent will be notified in such cases.
Lunch and Tuckshop
Please send a healthy snack for your child to have at snack time, as well as a bottle of water. If packing yoghurt for your child please ensure that they have a plastic spoon to be able to eat it with. Please be aware that we are unable to warm up any food for your child. The tuckshop is run by Marshall Foods and Pre-Preparatory children do have access to this facility on an account basis, funds are pre-loaded onto the students profile, please enquire with the office for more details. Children can receive lunch from the tuck shop in the form of a tuck box, with stipulated items therein from Monday – Friday. Details are available on a termly basis.
Open Door Policy
Parents are welcome to make an appointment with your child’s class teacher or the headmistress to discuss any problems concerning their child or the school. Please phone the school to make an appointment with the child’s teacher at a mutually agreeable time.
Dropping & Collecting
Children are please to be at school to begin the first ring at 08h00 and 08h30 respectively. Children who arrive late often feel awkward and embarrassed if they walk into the classroom during the first ring. Children may NOT be dropped off outside the school gate. Parents are required to take their children personally to their classroom. Parents are requested to please drive slowly and carefully at all times in the school grounds.
PLEASE ENSURE THAT THE GATE IS LOCKED BEHIND YOU. Children are to be fetched personally from their classroom or extra mural. There is a waiting class until 13h30 thereafter children will be taken directly to aftercare and you will be billed accordingly.
Every week the Grade 000 and Grade 00 classes have a Baker’s Day. The supplying of a cake/iced biscuits or fairy cakes for Baker’s Day works on a roster basis. If at all possible, please supply something in line with the theme for the week. Please speak to your class teacher if you are unsure or need some ideas. There needs to be enough for each child in the class. The list will be put up in the classroom at the beginning of each term.
The class likes to celebrate each child’s birthday as close as practicable to the actual birthday. Please arrange with the teacher a suitable day and this is normally done at 12h00. A cake is welcome for the ‘birthday ring’ held at school. NO NUT PRODUCTS PLEASE. Grade 00 and Grade 000 parents are welcome and encouraged to share this with their child. The Grade R children share their birthday ring with the teachers.
A visit to our Library occurs every week. Parents are requested to purchase a library bag as indicated on the stationery lists and your child will keep this bag for the duration of their time at the school. Library books, which are mislaid or damaged, must be replaced and the office must be informed of this replacement to adjust the computer records accordingly. Should you wish to assist in the library, please return to us the enclosed form. You will be contacted by our librarian who will gladly enlist your services!
A pigeonhole is allocated to each child in the Pre-Preparatory this is how we communicate with you – all notices/party invitations are placed in your child’s pigeon hole. Please check your pigeon hole on a daily basis. any other documentation is sent out via the HBC App.
School innings in line with the theme of the week/month and age appropriate for the group, are arranged at least once per term.
If school equipment finds its way home please bring it back to school. Please ensure that the child is aware that you are returning it. Please don’t take this as stealing at this stage.
Messages about the different plans for the day must be communicated to your child’s class teacher or phoned into the office. DO NOT ARRANGE FOR A STRANGE PERSON TO COLLECT YOUR CHILD WITHOUT TELLING THE TEACHER AND THE OFFICE. Your child’s safety is paramount and we will not release them.
Each child must have his/her own named school bag or case, which should always contain a change of clothing. Lockers are shared and so please don’t send in a big bag for school, a small one just big enough to fit in a change of clothes and snack box is fine. This is such a good way to be able to teach the child to look after and put away his/her belongings. All clothes should be properly marked with your child’s name to avoid losses. Please do not send children in their best clothes – this inhibits their enjoyment of messy play. A lost property box is kept at school. Whilst we try to make sure that missing items of clothing are recovered, the school cannot be held responsible for any losses.
It is compulsory that all children wear hats outside during playtime. Marked hats should be sent with your child and left at school. HeronBridge hats are available from the school uniform shop. Sun cream is not provided at school – please remember to apply it on your child before school and also to put a small tube inside their bags to be re applied later if necessary.
Hearing and Eye Tests
Hearing and Eye Screening Tests are conducted on children 3 years and older. It is recommended that children participate in these on an annual basis. Hearing and Eye screening is compulsory for Grade 000, Grade 00 and Grade R children. Parents are requested to settle this account with the therapist on receipt of an invoice. You will be advised of these dates before hand.
Toys at School
Bringing toys to school often results in tears, especially when they are broken. Please if at all possible leave them at home.
Show and Tell
Children are required to bring something from home related to the theme to show to the class. This builds their confidence as they talk in front of their class and it emphasizes and enhances learning. The class teacher will inform you when this needs to sent in
Waste Materials such as clean empty boxes, milk bottle tops, cotton reels, silver paper, old Christmas cards, etc are always most useful to the school. PAPER AND CARDBOARD IS ALWAYS NEEDED – please could you bring any unwanted or used paper from home. Waste products may be brought to the school on Thursdays and placed outside the office.
Children of this age are often ill, therefore, please co-operate on the following points. These are for your children’s benefit as well as for those around them. Sick children are miserable and do not gain anything from being at school, so they are far better off at home. When three-year-olds first come to school, their immunity is often poor but will develop, as they get older. For this reason they get sick and no sooner come back to school than they catch something else. This is why it is so important to keep children at home if they are infectious in any way. If the teacher notices that a child is not well enough to be at school, you will be asked to take your child home. Until your child is fetched he/she will be cared for by the teacher. We would appreciate a phone call to inform us if your child will not be at school. Children on antibiotics must stay away for at least 48 hours after which they may return, as long as they do not have a fever. Please do not send children to school who have had a temperature, vomiting or diarrhea during the night before, even if they beg to come. They often feel fine at first but the fever returns later in the day. Cancel afternoon social arrangements too.
If children have a nose with thick mucus and/or a cough with lots of phlegm they should not be at school. Please try to teach your children to blow their noses correctly and to put their hands in front of their mouths when coughing and sneezing. Children may not come to school with nits or lice. If these occur, a clearance certificate from a doctor or a municipal clinic is necessary before your child is allowed to return to school. Even though nits are supposed to be killed by the special shampoo, it is strongly recommended that they are removed from the hair, using finger nails. Ringworm must be treated with an anti-fungal ointment and be covered while the child is at school. Impetigo must be treated with antibiotics by a doctor and the infected area should be covered. It is highly contagious. Conjunctivitis (pink eye) is also highly contagious and the eyes must have been treated, have no discharge and may not be pink before the child will be allowed back at school. Chickenpox is contagious until all the spots have dried up and no new spots have occurred for two days. This usually takes about two weeks, but with a clearance certificate from your doctor, your child may return earlier. Please check unexplained rashes with your doctor before sending your child to school. Some may be allergic reactions but others are contagious. A spare asthma pump/ Epicene must be kept in the secretary’s office if prescribed for a chronic or anaphylactic condition. Remember to keep the school informed of any allergies or food intolerances your child may have.