Information for parents of pupils in the Pre-Prep department (4-8 years)
Arrival and departure from school
The Pre-Prep operates a rolling start to the school day to allow both an ease of communication with parents and the children to come into their classrooms and begin their day in a calm and ordered manner. Children should aim to arrive by 8.35am at the latest to allow them to be in an assembly by 9.00am. They should be brought into their classrooms where a teacher will be supervising activities or work from 9.15am. The school day ends at 3.30pm or at 5.00pm if a child is participating in the activities programme. These are provided for Year 3 every evening and Year 2 on selected nights. All children, at all times, should be picked up and signed out from the Pre-Prep building. A crèche (which carries an additional charge) is also available in the Pre-Prep building from 3.30-5.15pm.
The school runs minibuses from Oakham and Uppingham each morning (Monday to Friday). They pick up at a variety of villages on the way. Further details are available from the school office.
The school calendar provides details of school events and fixtures throughout each term and a copy is sent out to each family before the start of term. The school website is an important part of the day-to-day communication process and also contains the calendar information.
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. Parents may also send messages electronically to the school secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org
After 5.15pm Monday to Friday the telephone 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 our answering machine is checked regularly.
b. Parent contact details
It is vital 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, changes of postal and email address should always be notified to the school office.
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. In the Pre-Prep building there is also a Parent Noticeboard inside the entrance where club lists, mentor lists, letters and notices are displayed. Newsletters from each year group come home at the beginning of term containing information about curriculum, dates for your diary and other practical help.
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 or e-mail their child’s class teacher directly. In all other instances, initial contact should be made with the class teacher. All have email addresses at school, the format of which is initial, followed by surname, followed by @withamhall.com ie Mrs Brewster is email@example.com
e. Senior Management and administrative email contact details
Singing and music lessons are available on a private basis. These take place across teaching and non-teaching time. Further details on music, including the range of school choirs and ensembles that exist, are available from the Head of Music, Ms. Miriam Forbes. For information about drama lessons, please contact Miss Alex Storey.
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.
Whilst all classes and pupils benefit from excellent teaching support in the classrooms, if appropriate, learning support lessons are also available on a private basis either individually or in pairs, usually following recommendations made by the school. The learning support teacher works very closely with class teachers, offering advice that will benefit the pupils concerned.
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. Parental help is both appreciated and encouraged.
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 morning snack of fresh fruit and water at morning break, and fruit or biscuits for those in Year 2 or 3 attending clubs after school, or a creche. All children have water bottles and are encouraged to drink regularly.
The School surgery is located at the heart of the school and is staffed throughout the day. All Pre-Prep staff are first aid trained (and a number are paediatric first aid trained). Ill or more seriously injured children will be seen by the matron on duty, who will then 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.
Children are allocated to a house on entry to the school, although they do not attend house meetings as such until Year 2. There are four houses – Banks, Lyons, Maitland and Tate, all of whom have a Head of House (staff member) and two House Captains. All staff are also attached to a House, and support the children in their work. The children compete against each other in a wide variety of competitions as well as adopting a local charity that they support on an annual basis.
There are a small number of matches involving children in Year 3. 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 stay for match tea with their teammates and opponents. A separate parent match tea is also generally available.
Parent Teacher consultations
Parent/teacher consultations take place throughout the course of the year. Appointments times are made available a week in advance for parents to sign up.
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 must be authorised by the Headmaster. Where a child is absent from school through illness, parents should e-mail the class teacher or telephone the school office at 0815 to pass on this information. The school will contact parents if not notified of absence.
The format of the School day is detailed within the ‘Our School’ section of the website.
The School uniform is supplied by the school on-site shop.