Questions and Answers

Before Starting School

What do I need to provide for my child so that they are ready for school?

Ensure that your child has the correct uniform and PE kit. Please click here for information about our school uniform. Please mark the uniform with your child’s name. You should also provide a bottle of water and if your child is bringing a packed lunch from home, a suitable bag/container; please note that unfortunately we do not have facilities to refrigerate lunch so an insulated bag/container is preferable – again these should be named. The water bottle and lunch container should be taken home for cleaning on a daily basis. Your child will need to come to school in their PE kits on the day that they have PE. Remember your child goes outside for breaks and for learning activities and so in cold/wet weather please ensure that your child has a suitable coat/jacket and shoes.

You do NOT need to provide any pencils, pens, erasers, rulers, sharpeners or books.

Is there anything else I can do to prepare my child for school?

Ensure that your child gets a good night’s sleep when s/he has school the following day.
Ensure that your child does NOT wear any jewellery to school other than studs for pierced ears (these must not be worn on PE days).  Also please bear in mind that if you plan to have your child’s ears pierced, please have it done at the start of the summer holidays as it usually takes 4-6 weeks for them to heal properly.

The School Day

What time does school start?

The school day starts at 8.45am and pupils must be in their classrooms by this time. Pupils are welcome to arrive from 8.35am when the gates open and soft start activities will be available for them to complete.

Where can I park if I come by car?

Unfortunately we do not have any capacity for parent parking on site. For everyone’s safety please do not park on the zig-zag lines outside of school to drop off or pick up your child. If you do so you may be challenged by a member of staff. Please be considerate to our neighbours if you wish to park in the vicinity and please ensure that you do not block anyone’s driveway or access (even for a few minutes).

Can I come in to the school in the morning to help my child hang up his/her coat / talk to the teacher etc.?

For a number of reasons, including the safety of your child, we would ask that you do not come into school with your child; it is a very busy time and we need to get the children settled in class as soon as possible – if your child needs help one of our staff will help. If you need to speak to the teacher and it will keep until the end of the day this is more convenient and less disruptive for your child and his/her classmates. If you need to get a message to the teacher urgently please speak with our office staff.

What if we are late?

If you are later than 8.55am  please bring your child into school via the office and ensure that the office staff note his/her name and class – this is necessary in case your child has missed morning registration. If you are very late please tell the office staff the reason why as this needs to be recorded.

It is important to try your best to be punctual but no matter how late you are please do bring your child to school except if s/he is unwell.

What if my child has forgotten something that s/he will need at school?

We ask that you try to make sure that your child brings everything s/he will need for school that day with him/her in the morning in order to minimise interruptions to classes  but if this is unavoidable please come to the school office and ensure that the forgotten item(s) are clearly marked with your child’s name and class.

When does my child have breaks?

All pupils have a morning break and a lunchtime break. These are staggered throughout the school day. Year 1 and Year 2 pupils also have an afternoon break. Please click here for the timings of the day.

Does the school provides my child with lunch?

At Whitefriars School we are proud to have our very own resident chef. Every day our chef and his team prepare fabulous school lunch for our pupils. Our lunches are prepared on site using fresh ingredients. We encourage your child to purchase a main meal at lunchtime from our school. Your child will be able to choose from a variety of options, including meat and vegetarian. All the meat is halal. The cost is £2.40 per day and includes a main meal, a dessert and a salad. Please pay in advance using ParentPay.

If you have applied and your child is entitled to Free School Meals please let the office staff know that you would like your child to have a hot lunch. If you need to make an application this is done online. The Eligibility Checker is available on the following link free school meals eligibility checker and you will need your National Insurance Number and Date of Birth to apply.

Alternatively your child may bring a packed lunch. Please can this contain healthy items only and not items with too much free sugar. Chocolate, sweets, fizzy drinks and energy drinks are not suitable for a packed lunch.

What time does the school finish?

School finishes at 3.00pm except on the last day of term when school usually finishes at the earlier time of 2.00 pm. Please note that on the last day of half-term (in October, February and May/June) we finish at the usual time of 3.00pm.

What if I’m late to pick up my child?

If you have an emergency whereby you are unable to collect your child at the end of the day you must contact the office staff immediately. If a child is not collected at 3.00 p.m. we will check for any information we have received about changes to the normal collection routines. If no information is available, we will attempt to contact parents/carers at home/work/mobile phones. At 3.15 p.m. it your child remains uncollected they will be placed into the After School Club and a charge will be made for the session. You will be asked to sign and give a reason for your late collection when you arrive to pick up your child. If by 6pm it has not been possible to make contact with any parent, relative or emergency contact and there is no indication of why the child has not been picked up, it will be necessary to contact Social Services.


What if my child cannot attend school?

If your child is unable to attend school for any reason please phone the school office on  020 8427 2080 to let us know. Please give your child’s name, class and the reason for his/her absence. If you do not contact us, we will contact you to enquire about your child’s absence. If you know in advance that your child is going to be absent (e.g. hospital appointment) please let us know. You may be asked to put this in writing, especially if the absence is for more than a day.

What if  I need to pick up my child early?

If you need to pick your child up earlier than normal please let the office staff know in advance and they will pass the message to your child’s class teacher. When you come to collect your child you must come to the school office to sign him/her out and the staff there will contact his/her class.
We would ask that you try to avoid taking your child out of school whenever possible; most appointments can be arranged outside school hours.

Can I take my child for a holiday during term time?

The law requires you to send your child to school every day that it is open. It is school policy not to authorise requests for leave of absence. Please remember that the more time your children are absent from school, the more difficult it is for them to catch up with their work.

If you have an exceptional circumstance and need to take your child out of school during term time you must make your application in writing in advance – forms are available from the school office.


What shall I do if my child is having problems at school (or outside school but which may affect his/her schooling)?

It is probably most appropriate to speak to your child’s teacher in the first instance. S/he may refer the matter to another member of staff such as the SENCO, Designated Safeguarding Lead, Phase Leader or a member of the Senior Leadership Team.vIf the problem remains unresolved please speak to our office staff for an appointment to see one of these members of staff.

What shall I do if I have a concern or comment?
Again, it is probably most appropriate to speak to your child’s teacher in the first instance. They will be available in the school playground at the end of each day. Our leaflet What to do if you Have a Concern gives you full information on how to direct your concern or comment.

My child’s progress

When will I meet my child’s teacher and how do I know how how my child is progressing?

Each term you will have the opportunity to meet with your child’s class teacher. Each term you will also receive a written report. These reports contain information about attainment, progress and next steps.