Information for parents of pupils in the Prep department (8-13)
Arrival and departure from school
Children should aim to arrive by 8.25am at the latest to allow them to be in registration by 8.35am. They should be dropped off on the main school drive adjacent to the safety gates, or in the main school car park close to the Stimson Hall. The School day ends at 5.15pm or at 7.00pm if a child is participating in the activities programme. On a Wednesday and Saturday this time may differ due to sporting commitments. When collecting, parents should park in one of the designated areas and meet their child in the main hall.
The School runs one minibus from Oakham, also from Uppingham to Witham each morning (Monday to Friday). Further details are available from the School office.
The School calendar provides details of school events and fixtures throughout each term. The School website is an important part of the day to day communication process.
a. School contact details
The School switchboard (01778 590222) is manned from 8.15am until 5.15pm on all week days, and from 8.15am to 12.15pm on Saturdays. An answering machine will be available in the unlikely event of the school secretary (or her equivalent) being unable to take the call. Parents may also send messages electronically to the school secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org
After 5.15pm Monday to Friday the phone will be answered by the member of staff on duty, or subsequently the Housemaster/mistress who will then pass on messages if required.
During the School holidays, the office may not be staffed at all times, but an answering machine service, checked regularly, operates.
b. Parent contact details
It is vitally important that we have accurate and up-to-date lists of contact telephone numbers. Please ensure that the school office is brought up to date of any change of number, whether home, work or mobile. Similarly, in the event that your postal and email address changes, the school office should be notified.
c. School communication to parents
The school communicates with parents via email and the school website on a regular basis. The latest news pages and daily updates of events/fixtures and team selections/arrangements provide day to day information via the website.
d. Parental contact with school
In cases where parents wish to request future absence/report their child’s absence through illness or leave an important message for, or regarding their child, they should, in the first instance make contact with Mrs Paylor, the school secretary. Should the matter purely relate to boarding they should contact the Housemaster or Housemistress. In all other instances, initial contact should be made with the Form Tutor. (see ‘Tutors’ below) Form tutors all have email, the format of which is initial, followed by surname, followed by @withamhall.com i.e. email@example.com
e. Senior Management and administrative email contact details
The school calendar, published termly, carries details of all relevant email contacts.
Drama and Music lessons
Drama and music lessons are available on a private basis. These take place across teaching and non teaching time, but are not timetabled at the same time each week. Drama lessons can be taken either individually or with another child. Full details are available from the Head of Drama, Miss Alex Storey. Individual music lessons follow a similar pattern. Further details on music, including the range of school choirs and ensembles that exist, are available from the Head of Music, Ms Miriam Forbes.
Parents will receive written notification from the relevant member of staff detailing visits that take children out of School. This communication will advise on the purpose of the visit, timings, equipment required and associated costs of applicable. Where possible all such trips will be detailed on the School calendar.
Food and snacks
All children are served lunch, freshly cooked on site and using local produce where possible, daily. The teaching staff eat at the dining room tables with the children. In addition, there is a fresh fruit and water snack at morning break, and a biscuit and juice snack at afternoon break. Breakfast is taken by boarding pupils only, but day children are welcome (at morning registration) to sign in for tea if they have an evening club or activity. In exceptional circumstances, parents may book their child in for breakfast, however permission must be sought via the school office.
The school surgery is located at the heart of the school and is staffed throughout the day by one on duty matron. Two matrons are on duty from 1700 to 2130. One matron remains resident overnight to deal with any emotional or medical issues that may arise for a boarder. During the daytime, the on duty matron will see any ill or injured children and decide on the best course of action for their care. The school Doctor is Dr Anthony Wright, who is part of the Galletly Practice in Bourne.
There is a formal prep session between 4.15pm and 5.15pm Monday to Friday. This is done in form classes within the Prep classrooms. Occasionally, children may have another formal commitment at this time that they are able to attend with permission. The Study provides a quiet area for children to work outside of prep times.
Children are allocated to a house on entry to the school and begin attending house assemblies and mentor meetings from year 2. There are 4 houses – Banks, Lyons, Maitland and Tate, all of whom have a Head of House (staff member) and two House Captains (children). All staff are also attached to a house, and support the children in their work. The houses meet on a regular basis. They compete against each other in a wide variety of competitions, as well as each adopting a local charity that they support on an annual basis.
The School has a Policy for Children with Special Educational Needs and Children with Learning Difficulties or Disabilities. which outlines the procedures for dealing with children with specific learning difficulties within the school. This is available on request from the school office. All pupils are taught in classes with their peers. Disruption to the normal timetable is kept to a minimum, and where pupils do come out of class it is on a rolling basis to avoid similar lessons each week. In year 4, lessons are arranged with the class teacher and are at a fixed time each week. The Head of Learning Support, Mr Paul Boswall, works very closely with class teachers, offering advice that will benefit the pupils concerned.
School fixtures (from year 4 up) predominantly take place on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons. Occasionally they may be on other days of the week, including Sundays. Children selected to represent the School should be available to play in all such matches. The school calendar lists all school fixtures, and parents are asked to take this into consideration when planning weekend arrangements away etc. After matches, children are expected to stay for match tea with their teammates and opponents. A separate parent match tea is also generally available.
Children are not allowed to bring mobile telephones to School. There are two payphones available (pupils will need a phonecard to use either of these). If the matter is urgent, then a child can ask the School Office to make a telephone call on their behalf.
Parent Teacher consultations
Parent/teacher consultations take place, by year group, across the course of the school year. Full details appear in the school calendar.
If children have to be away from school and there is prior knowledge of this, parents are asked to write to the school secretary, well in advance, with the information. All requests for absence have to be authorised by the Headmaster. Where a child is going to be away from school through illness, parents should telephone the school office at 0815 to pass on this information. If a child is absent, but the School has not been notified, the School will contact parents to verify the absence.
For information on the make-up of our school day, please see the 'Our School' section of the website.
Within the Prep, every child is assigned a Form Tutor who is responsible for their overall academic and pastoral progress. In addition, the Form Tutor is responsible for registration in the mornings and afternoons, and other administrative tasks. Form Tutors act as the first line of communication between the parents and the School. If you have any concerns about your child’s academic progress, or any other matter, please contact the Form Tutor in the first instance. If it is something which needs more detailed discussion, or is of a more detailed nature, it will possibly be passed on to one of the Senior members of staff (i.e. the Head Master, the Deputy Head Master, or the Boarding Housemaster/mistress if appropriate). Form tutors all have email, the format of which is initial, followed by surname, followed by @withamhall.com i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org
The School uniform is supplied by the onsite school shop.