At Christ Church Junior school, we believe that good attendance is vital for every child to enable them to access the educational opportunities on offer to them. We work very closely with the educational Welfare Officer (EWO) to monitor attendance and to work with families to improve attendance where it dips below the Government expectation of 96.4%.
Every week in celebration assembly, we award the class with the best attendance for the last week with the attendance cup. We also show the combined attendance of every class for the term so far on our weekly newsletters. At the end of each term, any child whose attendance is 98% or better receives a letter home to their parents to acknowledge their positive attendance and thank them for making the effort to attend every day.
If attendance starts to dip below the Government expectation of 96.4%, then the Head and EWO will write to the families to encourage better attendance and to inform them that their child’s attendance will continue to be closely monitored to ensure it improves. Where it doesn’t improve over the next six weeks, families may be invited to meet with the EWO to discuss their child’s attendance and to try and unpick the reasons for it dropping. In many cases, the school will be able to offer support and it is a great opportunity for an open conversation as everyone wants their child to attend school and be happy. All correspondence is always addressed to the parents so children are never involved in the discussion as it is rarely ever a child's decision to not be attending school.
Term time absence
There are times that a child needs to miss school for very genuine reasons such as
- Sickness or medical appointment
- Close family funeral or wedding
- Exam or interview e.g. ballet or piano exam
- School visit for an open day or transition day
All these examples are authorised. Parents just need to complete an absence request notification form which can be found on our policies page at the end of the attendance policy or by picking up a paper copy from our school office.
Term time holidays, family visiting from abroad and more than one day for weddings etc are not days that will be authorised but the school still need to be informed. It can be very detrimental to children to miss a chunk of school as they can miss lessons that are not taught again within that year and they start to fall behind their peers.
Every week is made up of ten sessions (two a day). If any one of these sessions is missed, regardless of the reason and whether it was authorised absence, the week is called a ‘broken week’. This is because lessons often build on each other, so missing a lesson can have a negative impact for a child’s confidence and their understanding of the teaching. Even if your child’s attendance percentage is high, you may be contacted by the Head or EWO if there are lots of broken weeks.
Our school timings are as follows
8.45am – Playground dates and school doors open and children are dropped at the classroom doors
8.55am - Register and lunch requests are taken in class
9.05am - Registers close and any arrival after this time is recorded as late (L code)
9.15am- The late now becomes an unauthorised absence (U code) if a child arrives after this time
1.00pm- Afternoon registers are taken
3.20pm- School ends and pupils are collected from their classroom doors
Working with Families
We know that parents want the best for their child and in our experience most parents are very happy to work with us to tackle any reasons behind poor attendance. We are aware this could include family break up, friendship issues or medical concerns etc.
We would always encourage you to talk to your child’s class teacher if there are any issues, however, we also have parent support workers (Mrs Sally Payne and Mrs Kate Thatcher) who can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and are keen to help. Appointments can also be made with Mrs Pippa Osborne (Head) or Mr Alex Desmond if there is a sensitive or complex issue you would like to discuss.
Thank you for your ongoing support to keep every child’s attendance as high as possible.