FAQ and Jargon Buster
What are INSET days?
INSET stands for In Service Training. All schools in England have five days every year when they are closed to pupils to allow for staff training. They are an important part of staff training and development, ensuring that staff stay up to date with latest developments and so education in our school remains ‘cutting edge’.
What is EYFS?
EYFS = Early Years Foundation Stage and is Nursery and Reception.
What are Key Stage 1 and 2 (KS1 and KS2)?
Key Stage 1 is Years 1 and 2.
Key Stage 2 Years 3, 4, 5 and 6.
What is the National Curriculum?
The national curriculum outlines what all children should be taught in each Key Stage. You can find out what your child’s curriculum is by looking on our school website.
What are National Curriculum levels?
They are national levels of attainment descriptions that are used to assess children, particularly at the end of each Key Stage. By the end of Key Stage 1, most children should be attaining at Level 2. By the end of Key Stage 2, most children should be attaining at Level 4.
What are SATs?
They are Statutory Assessment Tasks. These are national tasks/tests which are used to assess all children at the end of Key Stage 1 (Year 2) and the end of Key Stage 2 (Year 6). The SAT results give a ‘snapshot’ of children’s attainment; in other words how they achieved in particular tasks or tests taken on as specific day/week.
What is Teacher Assessment?
This is the teachers’ judgement about what national curriculum level a child is attaining. This judgement will be made based on evidence gathered over a period of time and from a range of pieces of work, together with test results. It is usually a more reliable judgement of a child’s attainment than a test result alone.
What is PPA time?
This is Planning, Preparation and Assessment time; all teachers are entitled to PPA time.
What is an Achievement Assembly?
We have achievement assemblies every half term. They are an opportunity to recognise, celebrate and reward children’s particular achievements.
How do I find out about my child’s progress?
All end of year‘ assessment results are reported to parents in the End of Year report to Parents. The report also includes specific targets for your child.
The formal pattern of Parent/Teacher discussions is as follows:
Parent/Teacher interviews for parents to inform the class teacher about how their child has settled down, and ask any questions about the curriculum, homework etc. Individual
targets are provided for parents to help children with.
Individual Parent/Teacher interviews for teachers to discuss a child‘s progress and with their parents.
Individual targets are provided for parents to help children with.
Written Reports are sent to parents. If issues still require clarification parents can make an appointment to discuss the report.
Parents are encouraged to discuss with their child‘s teacher or Head any aspect of school life that concerns them. As the teachers are involved with the children throughout the school day it is
necessary to hold such discussions either before 8.50.a.m. or after 3.30.p.m. by appointment. However, if the matter is very urgent a member of staff will always be available.
How frequently are parents’ evenings?
Parents’ evenings are held twice a year. The first are in the autumn, usually mid October, and the second in the spring.
How do I contact the Headteacher?
You can do one of a number of things. 1) Call in to the school office and make an appointment. 2) Email or 3) Write a letter. Mrs Whitehead practices an open-door policy and is always happy to meet with you.
When can my child learn a musical instrument?
We have a number of peripatetic music teachers who provide instrument tuition during the school week. Please ask at the office for more information.
Do the children have swimming lessons?
Swimming is part of the Key Stage 2 PE curriculum. At St Mark’s, All KS2 have swimming lessons once a year usually for a 6-8 block.
When do my children sit their SATS?
SATS are taken towards the end of Year 2 (the times are variable, during April and May) and at the end of Year 6 (a specific SAT week is set nationally every year, usually the second or third week of May).
Where is the lost property kept?
Lost property is kept in a central storage unit in the KS1 corridor. It is put out in the hall at the end of each term at 3pm. Please ask at the office if you wish to look.
Am I allowed to take my child out of school for a holiday or day off? What happens if I do?
It is better if you can avoid taking children on holiday during term time. Children often find it difficult when they return to school as they have missed out on so much learning. If you do need to take your child out of school during term time you need to have this authorised in advance. Please ask in the office for a holiday form.
Any other questions? Please feel free to ask at the school office or contact us via phone or email.
The following are abbreviations you are likely to see when reading facts about a school.
RAISEonline – document provided by Ofsted which provides data comparing KS1 & KS2 results with National results
DfE – Department for Education
EAL – English as an Additional Language
EYFS – Early Years Foundation Stage
FSM – Free School Meals
KS1 – Key Stage 1
KS2 – Key Stage 2
LA – Local Authority
NOR – Number on roll
SEN – Special Education Needs
TA – Teacher Assessment
PP – Pupil Premium